Drone  - 03/04/2009

The German band DRONE have recently completed their second album which is entitled ‘Juggernaut’. The album is the predecessor of Drone’s 2007 debut entitled ‘Head-on Collision’. ‘Juggernaut’ will be released through Wacken Records and will be available in stores from March 30. Drone was formed in 2005 and in that very year they won the prestigious Metal Battle at the Wacken Open Air festival, which landed them a record deal. The second album was recorded in the Hansen Studio in Denmark and if you ask me, the result is an album to be reckoned with.

 

Like their debut album, ‘Juggernaut’ consists mainly of modern thrash tracks which remind one of bands such as Machine Head and Fear Factory. According to the Drone members, the names Testament, Mastodon and Pantera can be added to this list.

 

 

It appears there is much to talk about and Moritz "Mutz" Hempel (Vocals, Guitar) was available to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com.

 

First of all, congratulations on your new album ‘Juggernaut’.

Moritz : Thank you!


How did you launch into writing material for ‘Juggernaut’?

Moritz : We started writing pretty early in the beginning of 2007 on a “week-off” in Interlaken Switzerland. The songwriting was completed in the Spring of 2008. We worked hard on an independent sound. ‘Juggernaut’ is much more self-contained than the debut-album ‘head-on collision’ was. During the recordings we gained loads of energy on the vocals. They became more melodic and elaborate and gave the songs a new frame.

 

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

Moritz : Well, it depends J Some songs for example “T.I.A.” or “No Pattern”, were written very fast. Others, like “Motor-Heavy-Piss-Take” took its time. We took our time to let songs grow. Sometimes we changed things after months.

What comes first, lyrics or melodies?
Moritz
: In general the melodies come first. But if a song is written with a theme for example “Chainsaws”, the whole thing gets influenced.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘Juggernaut’, any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?
Moritz : The sound should be more modern compared to the rough thrash sound of Andy Classen who recorded the first full-length album. Although we liked his work and the result of “Head-on Collision”, we wanted to change that time. Jacob Hansen really has the right touch for bands of our genre. He gives every band its own powerful sound. 


What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you? Is there any typical way that a Drone song comes into being?

Moritz : Yes! The songs should be groovy but not too simple, melodic but not soft, heavy but still catchy!


Who was responsible for the lyrics on this album? Where do you get your inspiration from and can you tell me something more about the lyrics?

Moritz : Martin and me write most of the lyrics. We take our inspiration from real things in life that influence you. Emotions, friends, enemies, likings and resentments, social problems etc.. We don’t sing about saving a princess from a dragon, riding on a white horse. The matters must be known by every person: “Boneless” is about nightmares and the feeling not be able to change what is happening. “T.I.A.” is about child soldiers raised in Africa. “Motör-heavy-piss-take” is about religion and its fanatic results. And “Piss-drunk” is about being piss-drunk ;) hahaha (very unexpected)

 

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

Moritz : We like to have words that sound massive, are simple and have a meaning that fit our music. We called our band Drone for these reasons and "Juggernaut" is no diffent. We liked the sound of the word that it describes something very powerful and mighty.

 

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

Moritz : We are pleased, if somebody cares about our lyrics. I mean, music is a way to communicate and to express feelings and opinions. If something is said, it should be heard. Therefore we try to keep the vocals understandable.

 

Did you guys spend a fair amount of time working on the record before heading over to record the album?

Moritz : Yes. We spent more than one year writing the songs. A few were recorded earlier to check if they’d work out on a record.

 


Did you work differently than you did on the previous album?

Moritz : We recorded differently. This time we recorded with Ulf Scheel in Germany and spent lots of time playing the songs tightly, without being forced by limited time.

Afterwards we sent the material to Jakob Hansen for mixing.


The album was produced by the well-known Jakob Hansen, what made him the perfect man for Drone? 

Moritz : He has a perfect feeling for modern metal. As mentioned before he makes every band’s sound unique and fat! He hears everything and before you can tell him what you want him to change, he has already done it.

 

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

Moritz : ‘No Pattern’. This song is a metal/drum&bass x-over with an MC. One break at the end of the song is very concise and he let it sound like stopping and starting an LP. Great!

 

What do you think are the main differences between your debut album ‘Head-On Collision’ and you new album ‘Juggernaut’?

Moritz : The songs are more “drone” itself and the vocals are more melodic.

 

Do you have any favorites on the album?
Moritz
: My personal favorite is “Motör-heavy-piss-take” but everybody in the band thinks differently.

 

Have you received any feedback on the album yet?
Moritz
: Yes. The feedback we got was very positive!

 

Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that matter?

Moritz : It is difficult to assess comments on the band correctly. Most of the time, you will hear positive things only, because people who do not like what you do will not come after a show and say "Hey, I think you suck". When we feel the need to, we ask people what they think could have been better and we listen. If we feel there is some truth in it or if the criticism is constructive, we gladly accept it. But since music and everything related to it is a matter of personal taste, we trust ourselves to be our most important critics.

 

Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
Moritz : Surprisingly we are very happy with the result. I, for my part, wouldn’t change a thing. 

 

What element of the CD are you most proud of?
Moritz : The whole record is great! The songs, the sound, the artwork!

 

Which song is your favorite one to play live? Which song do you find is the most challenging one to play live?
Moritz
: “Piss Drunk” is my favourite live song. The most difficult one to play is “Juggernaut” itself

 

 

Who are your greatest influences - both in terms of composition, as well as your guitar playing?
Moritz
: We are a very diverse band when it comes to influences. Everyone in the band loves different musical styles, has a different background.  Although this makes things harder sometimes, we consider it one of our strengths. Even if I could list some musicians here that I or the other guys consider important to their music, it still would not mean that it actually shows in our music. For example, Martin´s favorite record of all time is "Grace" from Jeff Buckley. I cannot image that someone could establish a connection between this record and any song Drone wrote up until now.

 

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?
Moritz : Life is all about giving and taking. In our way, we give the people energy by playing our songs and get back theirs when they motivate us by moshing and singing. We are guys with a positive attitude. We love to spend good times with good guys and good drinks ;)

Minting experiences, story and beers! Uuuuuuuuyeah!

 

What have been the highlights and low points throughout your career?
Moritz : Highlights: Winning the Metal Battle @ Wacken open Air, playing With FullForce Mainstage and touring for example with Overkill across Europe.

Low points: none yet.

 

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

Moritz : We play 101% sex-metal. Modern fucking neo-thrash!

 

Thanks for your time!

 

 

Members: 

Moritz "Mutz" Hempel - Vocals, Guitar   

Felix Hoffmeyer - Drums   

Marcelo Vasquez Rocha - Guitar   

Martin Froese - Bass   

 

Albums:

Octane [EP] (2006)  

Head-On Collision (2007) 

Juggernaut (2009)