Emergency Gate  - 04/05/2010

For the German band EMERGENCY GATE, 2009 must have been a busy year. After releasing the album ‘Rewake’ at the beginning of 2009, they completed another record on April 30 of 2010. The new album is entitled ‘The Nemesis Construct’ and will be released by Twilight Zone Records. So in order to get to know this band a little better we tracked down Udo Simon (guitar) and Daniel Schmidle (Keyboards, Synths ) to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com.

 

 

Could you start this interview off with a short update of Emergency Gate, what’s been happening since your previous release? Can you give us an introduction of the members and explain the origin of the bandname?

 

Udo: Right on the release day of our last record we went on a 2 month European tour with Kreator, Caliban and Eluveitie, which was of course an amazing experience.

After that we played some summer festivals and worked on the new stuff. Matthias and I joined the band during the recordings for „Rewake“, so we had a lot of ideas for songs, which we worked on during 2009. In december we went to the studio, and voilŕ - here is „The Nemesis Construct“.
 

The current line up of the band is vocalist Matthias, bassist and producer Mario Lochert, synthie-guy Daniel, drummer Dominik and guitarst Vlad and me. That‘s also the line-up which played the Chaos over Europe Tour with Kreator. About the band name: Mario came up with it 15 years ago at school. He thought Emergency Gate would be cool, because it‘s free promotion with the Emergency Gate-signs everywhere.

 

Congratulations on your new album ‘The Nemesis Construct’ which will be released soon, of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it. So how did you launch into writing material for  your new album, ‘The Nemesis Construct’ and how much time did you spend on the songs?

 

Daniel: Writing “The nemesis construct” was a bit different from the development of our last album “Rewake”. Udo and Matthias brought the ideas for the songs to us, some were more or less done, some were in the construction phase. Everybody in the band brought in ideas and inspiration. I think our new album is not as personal as “Rewake” which was almost completely written by Vlad alone. So both CD’s have their own special appeal. We have a strong feeling that for our progress as a band this new approach was very important… And funny and drunken and very fucking exhausting!!

 

Which approach did you choose to create this album, did you go for a more raw exposition.., or something all together different?

 

Daniel: As I already said it was important to get this job done altogether. For example me and Udo pulled a couple of allnighters for the programmings, the e-drums and especially the whole new keyboard-sound.  I think now we are a big amorphous biomass transformer, everybody in our band has worked and is still working ‘till the total overkill. And now we are fucking proud…

 

Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?
 

Udo: Matthias and I had some ideas going on for a long time. Once I start to write a song, the hardest thing is to come up with the first riff. But when you have something cool, it‘s easier to go on from that point.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘The Nemesis Construct’, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

Daniel: Me and Udo especially wanted to take the keyboards to a new level. We think that there is a big lack of aggressive electric sounds in metal music. Some say that metal music doesn´t need that kind of extra.. But we think it does! And we make our music for ourselves too.. We think it fits perfectly and we are ambitious to play our new songs live.. So you will see when you come to our concerts that this is our music, and not just music to fit in someone’s taste in music.

 

 

How can we imagine you work on new songs, what's the typical writing process like for Emergency Gate?
 

Udo: When I write a song, I start by writing a guitar riff most of the time. When I come up with something nice, I already think about what the other instruments could do. Especially the vocals and the drums are important. There are many bands which would be so much better if they varied on the drums a bit more. I go on with that process until I have the whole song together with all the instruments, and then go on with the lyrics. Now it’s important for me that lyrics, vocals and music go hand in hand. After that I present the whole thing to the others and they throw in their ideas. In the studio we work on different sounds, singing styles and keyboard sounds.

 

Could you please describe the implications of the title ‘The Nemesis Construct’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

 

Daniel: The name came to me because I wanted to bring our feeling as a band to the title of our CD. So “Construct” was the first thing which came to my mind. Construct: we have been made as one.. Through our hard work and our passion.. The next thing which came to me was “Nemesis”. The greek goddess of revenge. You realize everyday that we all have this need for revenge in us.. Some can suppress it and some can´t. So “The nemesis construct” is a fusion of this ancient idea of a goddess and our everyday experience of the world around us. And when you listen to the CD and read the lyrics you will notice that the title fits perfectly.

 

About the lyrics, where do you get your inspiration from and can you tell me something more about them? Did anything in particular inspire your lyrics?
 

Udo: Often it‘s just personal struggle. There‘s a german musician who said „When I feel like shit, I write my best lyrics“. And that is kinda true. Whenever I feel like shit, I try to compensate it and write lyrics. On ‘The Nemesis Construct’ it is about problems. Problems one has, maybe with himself, maybe with others, and also about the big picture. Problems people have always had. Also some apocalyptical thing is going on, especially in „An end to the age of man“.

 

How important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?

Udo: For me it is not very important. When I listen to metal music its 95% about the music and not about the lyrics. But I care a lot about my own lyrics, because I know that for many people lyrics are important.

 

Can you give us a little background about the songs on the album, is there a story behind them?
 

Udo: As I already mentioned the whole album is about conflict, problems and things that haven’t changed and will never change. People make up their own problems and fight their enemies, although they maybe don’t even know why the other people are their enemies. It‘s often a point of view. You sometimes wonder from a different perspective, why people act the way they do. They construct their own nemesis in their head.

 

 

Is your music written independently of the lyrics or do you try to reflect lyrical ideas through the music?
 

Udo: Of course it is important that the lyrics fit. I don‘t wanna have lovesong-lyrics over a brutal death metal riff, (although that would be a cool idea.. gotta remember that. hehe.)

 

How did you get in touch with Evergrey frontman Tom Englund and what was it like to work with him on the song “Dark Side Of The Sun”.
 

Udo: Our bassplayer Mario knows him from when he was on tour with Evergrey as a sound engineer. Tom heard our last record and liked it, so Mario asked him if he wanted to sing a song on the upcoming record. There was not much working together with Tom, because we just sent the song over, told him how we imagined it. He sent it back an hour later and it was perfect, 100% how we imagined it. That‘s what I call professional work. Cheers to Tom, if you read this. :)

 

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you?
 

Udo: It is the going hand in hand of vocals + music. That‘s what makes catchy songs and stays in the heads of people for days. But there are a lot of other things you’ve gotta pay attention to. Every element you add should serve the song. Don‘t just throw in a guitar solo, just to have one.

 

How did the recording process proceed this time and how much time did you spend in the studio?
 

Udo: We spent about three weeks in the studio (realtime) and although we were working pretty hard it was very comfortable and everything worked out the way we planned it.

 

Did you work differently than you did on your previous albums?
 

Udo: Yeah, I guess. Especially on the keyboards. Daniel and I did them at my home and we spent a lot of time on them. But overall I think it was a bit more professional this time, because we all had a lot more experience.

 

Who produced the album and what made him/her the perfect producer for Emergency Gate?

Udo: Our bass player Mario produced it, and Jan Vacik from the Dreamscape Studios in Munich mixed it. Mario has been doing sound engineering for a long time now and he wants only the best for the band. Jan had already done our last record ‘Rewake’, which already kicked ass. So they‘re the best team.

 

In which elements/songs on the new album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?
 

Udo: Basically in every song. Mario and Jan made the whole fat sound. The songwriting ideas basically came from Matthias and me, and the keyboards from Daniel and me.

 

How would you sum up this album to someone that has never listened to the band?

Udo:
Fat guitars, unusual, electric but very good fitting keyboards and overall a variety of vocal styles from shout over clean to scream. Catchy as hell to sing along, but brutal and aggressive to move your ass.

 

Which element of the CD are you most proud of?
 

Udo: For me it‘s the keyboards. I think it is the right direction to go for us, because no other band I know has done it the way we do it.

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?
 

Udo: I‘m a TV-series junkie. Some inspiration for example came from Dexter. Also I like a lot of different music styles. Some people may hate me, but for example I like Hip-hop, pop music and even some trance or jazz music. It‘s important to listen to different stuff and not to be prejudiced about other styles of music. I wish that I‘d get a dollar for every time Ihear: „What??? You like metal and hip hop??? You‘re so untrue“. Some people should just be a little bit more open-minded.

 

Could you respond to the following terms in just one word or sentence:

 

Metal : Udo: The music I love to play. Pretty nice people, but very sceptical about other music.
Underground :Udo:  I think underground is a good thing, but I don‘t like mainstream-haters ;)

Internet : Udo: Very important for me. Couldn‘t imagine my life without it anymore.

Religion : Udo: Proud atheist. There is not a single thing in the world which can‘t be explained without a god.That‘s what makes the idea of a god useless to me.

Politics : Udo: Too many old people, could use some refreshment.

The Netherlands : Udo: We had our first concert on the Kreator tour there. Stage-fever, but the nice people made it very comfortable to play there. Cheers

Germany: Udo: I like my country, but sometimes the people are a bit spoiled. That makes it hard as an opening act.

 

What have been the highlights and low points throughout your career?

Udo: The highlight for me was the Kreator tour and also every album-release. And there aren‘t really any lowpoints. It‘s just hard for a young band to get up there with the big ones.

 

What is your opinion on the metal scene these days? Is there anything missing in the scene? What makes Emergency Gate different from the other modern metal bands out there?
 

Udo: It‘s definitely missing open-mindedness! That‘s why it needs Emergency Gate. We try to do new things in our music. Though people always compare us to other, bigger bands, we try to do our thing and experiment. I personally don’t give a shit about reviews these days, because in the first paragraph they say „EG should try to do something new“, and then in the second it goes „The electronic elements suck, they should stick to just guitars“. People always want new stuff, and if you give them new stuff, they tell you the old thing was better. We don‘t care, we do what we like.

 

What goals did you have when the band started out and how do those goals stand now?


Udo: I joined the band 3 years ago and I didn‘t even dream about going on tour with a legend like Kreator or having an album out worldwide. Now I think it’s possible to achieve everything, though it‘s pretty hard. But we do our best.

 

How would you describe your own music and what are your musical influences?


Udo: We use many influences, but no special one. Other people say: „Hey you guys sound totally like In Flames or Soilwork or whatever“. That‘s not really our intention. Our music is defined by Matthias’ variety of vocal styles, the fat guitars and electronic keyboards. But we‘re rather influenced by uncommon things, like for example the techno band scooter - they have nice electronic keyboard sounds.

 

What can we expect from Emergency Gate in the near future, any touring plans?
 

Udo: I don‘t know yet. I hope there’s gonna be a lot of touring, but until now we have been very busy with the new record. At the moment, we‘re rehearsing for the first shows.

 

What is the best aspect of being on tour? And the worst?
 

Udo: The best thing is to wake up in another city every day and have cool people around you all the time. The worst aspect is probably, that you don‘t have much time for yourself.

 

Where do you see the band going within the next couple of years, and where do you see the band’s musical direction going for the next album?
 

Udo: Of course, we want to play a lot of live shows and visit some other continents in the future. About the next album - I don‘t really know at the moment. We used a lot of ideas on this album, and we‘re gonna take some time to get new inspiration and new ideas.

 

Is there anything that has been left unmentioned?


Udo: Just wanna say a big thank you to everyone who likes our music, especially those who buy it and don‘t download it off the internet. We‘re working really hard and need the support. See you live!

 

Thanks for your time,

Eugene Straver

 

 

 

Members:

Matthias Kupka - Vocals

Udo Simon - Guitar

Vladi Doose - Guitar

Daniel Schmidle - Keyboards, Synths

Mario Lochert - Bass

Dominik Scholz - Drums

 

Former member:

My T.T. Paster - Drums

Fabian Kießling - Vocals

Chris Wildmann - Drums

Chris Rybak - Keyboards, Synths

 

Albums:

(2000) Emergency Gate

(2006) Nightly Ray

(2009) Rewake

(2010) The Nemesis Construct