Fear My Thoughts - 08/07/2008

FEAR MY THOUGHTS is a melodic death metal band from Rheinfelden Germany, founded in 1997. It was meant to be a funproject by some people who used to hang around with each other and listened to Slayer, Integrity, Negative Approach and Dismember but it resulted in a more serious approach when people seemed to dig the band's musical output.

 

After 5 Full length Albums and 2 MCD/Split Releases on labels like Let it Burn,  Lifeforce, Scorchedearthpolicy and recently Century Media Records, FEAR MY THOUGHTS will release their next effort on July 18th 2008. With this 6th full-length “Isolation”, FEAR MY THOUGHTS are uncompromisingly evolving from their past efforts, daringly advancing into a way more organic, dynamic and honest sound that proudly defies every trend and musically marks a quantum leap beyond any stylistic limitation.

“Isolation” is the first studio opus featuring new singer Martin Fischer who delivered a stunning live-debut on the Hell On Earth tour 2007 . On the new album itself he succeeds in expanding the band’s sound with nothing less than an entire new universe of versatility and expressiveness.  Driven by the desire to be their own masters and stick to their DIY-ethic s , “Isolation” was recorded at the band’s own Black Halo Studios by guitarist Patrick Hagmann, the artwork concept and design was done by Markus Ruf (guitar) whereas vocalist Martin composed, played and recorded all synthesizer and organ parts. Furthermore, FEAR MY THOUGHTS were overjoyed to be able to work with legendary producer Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, In Flames, Soilwork, Strapping Young Lad), who handled mixing duties and vocal recordings.

Music’s history always profited from acts not submitting to conventions, traditions, and stereotyped thinking and only accepting their own inventiveness and ideas as the boundaries of their art . FEAR MY THOUGHTS has both the guts and the conviction it takes to live out this attitude and “Isolation” consists of ten statements in favour of progress and unconstrained musicianship.

 

 

So, just before the release of ‘Isolation’ we mailed Patrick Hagman (Guitar) some questions,  here you can read what he had to say:

 

 Your latest album ‘Isolation’ will be released next month, so of course we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it!

 

First of all, how are you doing?

Thank you, I'm fine!

 

How did you launch into writing the material for ‘Isolation’ after your previous album, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

After we released ‘Vulcanus’ (2007), we started to collect ideas for new songs, jammed in the rehearsal room etc. After a while we realized that most of our ideas were really different to our previous stuff. But we liked the songs and kept on working on them. After a few months we already had 8 songs. So the songwriting went really smooth.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started writing the album? What inspired you and did you have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on your new album, any elements you definitely wanted to have on it?

The goals were to have everything what we like in it. We don´t like limitations. That means everything is possible. If someone would come up with a cool electronic song, we would use it as long as we think it is good enough.

 

Was it a conscious decision to do it this way and how did your new singer Martin Fischer influence the way you wrote the songs and the way you worked on this album?

Like I said before, it was a conscious decision to work on the songs without any limitations. Everyone could bring in his ideas and his influences ,no matter if it was Jazz, Rock, Prog, Metal or Punk. When we decided to work that way, our old singer Mathias didn´t want to go that path with us any longer, so he decided to quit. Our old friend Martin was our first choice and since he´s also a great Guitar and Piano player, he also had an impact on the songwriting.

 

Last year vocalist Martin Fischer joined the band, in which things/songs on the new album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas? Can you tell me a little about him?

Hmm, there are no specific songs, I guess. When he joined us, we already had 5 songs. Indeed, we changed some parts cause his vocal style is totally different to the old one. But there are no songs that are “Martins” songs. Martin is a really special person. He teaches guitar and piano at music-school and besides that he´s also a graphic artist! He´s really dedicated and enthusiastic when it comes to music and arts.

 

How hard was it to come up with a follow-up for the well-received album ‘Vulcanus’?

We felt that there were some expectations, but tried not to think about it that much. We just didn´t want to write a Vulcanus Pt. 2, cause that would be really boring.

 

 

On the new release you have switched from a more thrash orientated sound to a more melo-death sound, was this change a conscious choice or was it more of a natural thing?

When we write songs it´s always a natural thing. We don´t think in business or money terms. The only conscious choice was to do what we wanted without limitations.

 

What do you think are the main differences between your last album ´Vulcanus´ and the new one ‘Isolation’?

The vocalstyle, indeed. And also the whole atmosphere is much warmer and more alive, not as “cold” and sterile as on Vulcanus.

 

Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics on the new album?

Like always, the songs were written by all bandmembers. Martin is responsible for the lyrics.

 

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

The lyrics are important, but they don´t transport a certain message. They are supposed to support the atmosphere created by the music.

 

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

We recorded the album by ourselves in our own studio. So the recording went kind of smooth. Sure, there are times of trouble and it´s a lot of work, but on the other side it´s really cool to record the album in your area and then go back home to your girl in the evening.

 

Was the recording process for ‘Isolation’ different from the rest of the albums you did and how can we imagine you’ve worked this time?

We recorded the albums before far away from our homes. This can be really cool but after a while you get homesick, and don´t want to hang around with your band mates 24/7 in a small place. So this time it was really cool to do it the other way.

 

Anything you didn' want on the album?

This time we wanted to keep the album really basic and alive. That means no 4-6 layered rythmguitars and 5 layered vocaltrack, but just 2 guitars, 1 bass, a drumset and one voice.

 

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to Fear My Thoughts?

The Hookline I would say. I love melodies, they´re the most important ingredients for me.

 

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

The title comes from some lyrics on the record, but there´s no special meaning behind it.

 

So tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing? Are there any particular bands who’ve been a big influence in your song writing, metal or otherwise?

My name is Patrick, I play guitar and I´m 33 years old . Besides the band I'm running a small studio and I'm also working part time as a social worker with handicapped people. This is actually the job I studied for. Since 4 years I’m married to the most fantastic person in the world. Personally I´m into many kinds of music and all these artists I like are indeed an influence for my songwriting. Some of my favorite bands are: Neurosis, Radiohead, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Mastodon, Porcupine Tree, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Death.

 

 

What was your incentive when you recorded ‘Isolation’ in a time where a fan would rather download than buy an album?

Illegal downloading is indeed a big problem for bands like us and I really don´t know what the future will bring.

 

You produced the album yourself this time, would you ever work with a producer external to the band if your label asked you to? who would be your first choice?

Yes, I produced the album, but we´re always open to everything. If we would have the chance to work for example with someone like Steve Albini with the next album, why not?!

 

Did you try to to preserve the vision you have for Fear My Thoughts by taking control of the production?

Having control over production, layout, merchandise etc. is something we really like!

 

The album was mixed by Daniel Bergstrand, what made him the perfect man for this job and are you satisfied with the result?

We are really happy with the result. Daniel is a really special person with tons of visions and ideas and an almost philosophical view on music and art. He´s so great and dedicated. We love him!

 

Are there things from the past that you would have done differently with Fear My Thoughts if you had the chance to do it all again?

The past is the past, so it wouldn´t make sense to think about that! That´s how it is in your daily life. Every thing you do has a meaning .

 

Have you received any feedback on the new album yet? How are fans responding to it?

Some fans are hating us now, haha. But we expected reactions like that. We ´ve never been so happy with an album like we´re now. Sure, we´re also writing music for the fans, but first we have to like what we do.

 

What element of the CD are you most proud of? Do you have any favorites on this album, songs that you think are somehow above the others?

No, I don´t have favorites, I like all songs equally.

Where does Fear My Thoughts go from here or do you not think of the future too much?

We don´t think about the future that much. We only want to play shows and have fun.

 

Now some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better:

 

How did you get involved in the music business, what are your influences and how difficult is it these days to sound original ?

I started playing in a Thrash-Band 17 years ago. My influences back then were bands like Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Voivod, Metallica etc.

Every bigger band back then had it´s own specific sound. Nowadays everything's sound pretty much the same. That´s sad! It´s really difficult to sound original in these times.

 

With all the touring and several studio albums under your belt, how far has Fear My Thoughts surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?

With Fear My Thoughts I'm at the point I never imagined to get to. It is still like a dream that we can release albums on a big label, go on tour etc.. But there are also downers like the whole business thing and all the fake trends and fashion people. In this case, the metal-scene is not much different to the mainstream one.

 

What songs and bands do you listen to these days?

Right now I’m listening a lot to Radiohead, Thrice, High on Fire, Neurosis, Mastodon, Opeth, Amplifier,  Oceansize, Textures, The Ocean, The Mars Volta.

 

Is there anything you like to do besides your music?

Yes, much more travelling and working as a producer.

 

What is your opinion on the metal scene these days, is there anything missing?

I´m missing feeling, energy, innovation, progression and open-mindness.

 

Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?

RADIOHEAD-OK COMPUTER

 

Okay, if you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?

Porcupine Tree

Pink Floyd

Iron Maiden

 

Any last statement...

 

A message to every music fan: Don´t limit yourself! Fuck Trends, cause they come and go! Do what you want and listen to what you want!

 

Thanks for the interview and take care!

 

Thank you too!

Bye, pat

 

 

Current Members:

Markus Ruf - Guitar

Patrick Hagman - Guitar

Bartosz Wojciechowski - Bass

Norman Lonhard - Drums

Martin Fischer - Vocals (since 2007)

 

Former Members :

Marco Allenstein - Guitar

Lisa Graf - Violin

Alexander Kovats - Drums

Mathias Benedikt von Ockl - Vocals (1998-2007)

 

Studio Albums :

Sapere Aude (EP, 1999)

23 (2001)

This Machine Runs on Fear (Split, 2002)

Vitriol (2003)

The Great Collapse (2004)

Hell Sweet Hell (2005)

Vulcanus (2007)

Isolation (2008)