DEW-SCENTED Interview (Germany)

Answers by Leif Jensen (Vocals)

Perseverance and dedication are the two qualities that have made Germany’s DEW-SCENTED one of the pre-eminent names on the thrash metal scene. Originally founded in 1992, at a time when heavy music was about to fall out of favor with the public at large, the odds were stacked against the band from the beginning. However, after the release of one demo tape (Symbolization) and self-organized live shows, Steamhammer/SPV released their debut album Immortelle in 1996. The band were still in a primitive form at this time, but quickly progressed and showed enough drive to earn the attention of Grind Syndicate Media/Nuclear Blast, who released the two follow-up albums Innoscent (1998) and Ill-Natured (1999). Although heavy music had a resurgence at the end of the ‘90s, it was generally other forms of music that quickly dominated, such as melodic death metal, black metal and power metal. Despite that, DEW-SCENTED never wavered in their unrelenting march forward, and never dabbled or experimented with different styles. The band kept a purity to their music that earned them enthusiastic fans around the world, allowing DEW-SCENTED to visit Japan for the first time, in addition to numerous live-shows and tours of Europe with the likes of Morbid Angel, Edge Of Sanity, Overkill, Six Feet Under, Deicide, Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth, Immortal, Eucharist or also Death.

By this time, Nuclear Blast had noticed the bands’ upward momentum and brought the quintet to their mother label, releasing Inwards in 2002 to critical acclaim (earning Album Of The Month honors in German metal mags Rock Hard and Legacy). Seizing the chance, the band toured Europe several times with bands like Cannibal Corpse or No Return and won over fans at many of the large European summer festivals, also making it to North America for their first time. As a sign of ultimate respect, the band were invited to open a week’s worth of shows for the year’s top thrash metal package of Kreator, Destruction and Sodom. Barely stopping to catch a breath, 2003 saw the release of Impact, doing the rounds in Europe once more (this time with Nile and Misery Index, and then the X-Mass Festivals with Amon Amarth, Destruction and Deicide) before playing more major summer festivals and making a return trip to the USA. 2005 saw the release of Issue VI, and armed with a well-honed line-up, the group hit the world anew, first touring Japan with High On Fire and Misery Signals, then Europe in support of Nevermore, and finally a 4-week tour across the States with Vader and Decapitated. Undaunted, the band kept on the road in early 2006, playing a tour of 31 shows (in 31 days!) throughout Europe alongside a package that also featured Cryptopsy, Grave and Aborted.

Summer 2006 saw the band spend time on songwriting for what would be the band’s next record, Incinerate, released in early 2007. Three separate European tours (The No Mercy festivals with Moonspell, Napalm Death and Behemoth, a run with Misery Index and Coldworker and finally a headlining tour with Severe Torture and Destinity) followed in close succession, and after an exhaustive stretch and much consideration, the band decided to make some significant line-up changes to ensure the band’s longevity. Vocalist Leif Jensen and bassist Alexander Pahl brought in new drummer Marc-Andree Dieken (formerly of Obscenity), and a new guitar team in Michael Borchers and Martin Walczak. The new line-up kept in closed-door rehearsals for some time until they felt ready to tackle the stage anew. Shows throughout Europe followed, with a response that suggested that the band were in top shape. Once that was completed, the band took time to write songs for what would be their new album, knowing full well the attention they would be getting, to hear if the revamped DEW-SCENTED still had the fire and intensity burning within them. The results are plain to hear: Invocation, the band’s new album, is a blistering assault that will have thrash metal fans everywhere jubilant that one of Germany’s longest-running extreme metal bands is back with newfound vigor. Produced once more by Jörg Uken / Soundlodge Studios (God Dethroned, Sinister, Despondency, etc.), Invocation is the band’s first for Metal Blade Records (Europe) / Prosthetic Records (North America), and the studio debut of the new DEW-SCENTED line-up. Packaged with impressive, insightful artwork from Björn Goosses / Killustrations, Invocation is the sound of a band who yield to no one, who play purely for themselves, and who show no sign of relenting.

Sebelumnya Gw Mohon maaf untuk menghadirkan Interview yang Rada " Telat " ini, Pertanyaan Interview Udah Gw layangkan Via Email sekitar Tahun 2012 hehehe dan ditanggapi oleh Frontman Leif Jensen, karena pas waktu itu DEW-SCENTED Sedang Sibuk melakukan beberapa Rangkaian Tour Panjang Promo Album " Icarus " Tahun 2012 Via Metal Blade Records, dan baru beberapa hari kemarin Leif Jensen mengirimkan jawabannya, karena alasan yang disampaikan Leif Jensen telah kehilangan Pertanyaan Interview ini di File Komputer-nya, daripada Mubazir banget, Ga Dosa kalo Gw Posting disini, mengingat Nama Besar DEW SCENTED adalah band Thrash/Death Metal Kugiran dari Jerman Scene dengan Reputasi Internasional dengan banyak Rilisan Sangar-nya selama 20 Tahun Berkarir !! , dan Gw ga sempat Translate Interview ini karena kesibukan seperti biasa hehehe, mungkin Indonesia Version bakalan gw tampilkan suatu hari nanti di Digitalzine Version.

Hi there guys, thanks for showing interest in answering this interview. How are you? Anything important to start with?
Leif Jensen : Hey there! Thanks for contacting us for this interview…all is cool here. We are still putting out word about our newest album “Icarus” as well as out anniversary release “Insurgent”. We have European tour coming up together with Death Angel,  so I guess all is well?!!! ;-)

We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule promoting your new album
and rehearsing for your tour to take some time out to answer some questions for your fans. What's going on in the DEW-SCENTED camp these days? Any "sensational and Nice" latest news?

Leif Jensen : Well, not really…we always work on something, so it’s hard to pick out certain things. I mean, we had a great run of the year 2013 so far, playing a tour with the mighty Testament as well as many other cool single shows and festivals. The reactions towards the current shape of the band have been very encouraging and positive, so we are extremely motivated about our next steps forwards. Apart from the upcoming tour, we also already started working on new songs for the next studio album which we plan to record early 2014. The new material is touring out really heavy…

I wonder how's the interest from the underground Metal media so far? How did the reviews turn out? How many interviews have you answered and how's the response for "Icarus" from the media and the fans up to now? How long did you orgasm last when the new album was released?
Leif Jensen: The reactions were great! We knew it was some type of new beginning all over once again, somehow. You know some people were skeptical because the line-up had changed pretty severely for the band, but I am happy that the music was granted a fair chance to speak for itself. The new material has been working out great at live shows too, so the band is in a really cool place right now. It’s fun to play again and the atmosphere in the band is really good, so that always helps.But “orgasm”?hmmm, not sure about that one, man…

Now tell us about the concept and story behind this masterpiece. The Cool story behind "Icarus". The story is cool and I mentioned several influences in my review.
Leif Jensen: Well yeah, it’s an interesting ancient tale with plenty of symbolism and a lot of elements that could be as well transported into our current times, so we thought it would serve as nice thread for an album concept. Don’t get me wrong…this was NOT a concept-album with strong depth and accuracy to any certain storyline. It’s more that we took bits and pieces from the story and used it interact in some way between the songs as well as the artwork and vibe of the record. I think it helped making the whole album a pretty tight and challenging piece, also for me as the lyricist. I think it worked out well for us…

An excellent album that should be heard. If you really consider yourself a metalhead, give this band a try. and how the process of making this new material? whether all members are involved in every writing music?
Leif Jensen: Well, for “Icaqrus” it was Marvin (guitars) who wrote all of the songs and also pretty much presented his ideas for how the drumlines and so on.  After we now have managed to solidify the line-up with Koen on drums, Joost on bass and also Rory on second guitar, we have expanded the way how we compose to a full band unit again. The 2 new own songs on “Insurgent” showcase Rory recording with us also for the first time and for this next studio effort that we are currently gathering ideas for, everyone is bringing in bits and pieces. Rory wrote a killer tr4ack the other day all by himself and also Joost is providing some really cool ideas for a new song, so It looks like an interesting challenge for this next release. I think everyone understands really well by now what Dew-Scented is all about and how we best shine through as far as our own musical trademark elements.

The musical approach is certainly ever-changing and pleasingly different. However, I hope you don't mind me saying, your Concept approach on this album is little Changed than before. aren't always exactly what you'd expect. What was the motivation behind approaching the Changed in such an unusual manner?
Leif Jensen: Hmmm, not sure what you are exactly referring to on this one. I personally also think that ”Icarus” showcased some different elements for the band than compared to what we did before, but I guess that’s normal seeing how all of the main members of the band and the full songwriting team were new. Most people seemed to think that it still remained easily recognizable dew-scented styled, just adding a new fresh vibe to things. We like to follow our instinct and not overthink details too much when it comes to the general playing and writing. I mean, if a certain riff idea sounds super heavy and just blows your mind at first listen, then that’s pretty sure to make it a good song in the end of the day. It’s a as simple as that…we like to let the music do the talking. I get a bit tired of bands inflating their approach and proclaiming how thick this and that is for their band…but then you play the record and it’s just lazy songwriting and sloppy performance. Nah…that stuff is boring, hahaha.

How much guitar overdubbing and harmonization do you do in the studio? Is layering a necessity for the DEW-SCENTED formula to work properly?
Leif Jensen: Hmmm, this is an interesting question and a tough one for me as the vocalist. Obviously we try and record the material so it sounds as heavy and sharp as possible. We have the typical procedure for recordings where we mainly have 2 lines per guitar left/right, so basically 4 tracks per song. Rory did his first recordings with us for “Insurgent” and I think his playing together with Marvin make it a killer team. I am sure they will be taking things to a whole new level of height for the next album now that they are even both writing songs together as well. Fortunately we have a pretty good level of musicianship between all of the members, so we try and record the music in a way that we can also guaranty it will be possible to perform it 100% that same way live. I really hate it when you hear these “over perfect” pro tooled records these days and then you see the band s live only to realize the drumming is lame and the others don’t have a good own sound either. WE consider ourselves a hard working live band and wanna make sure you get what you expect from us, so we make it a conscious part of the wringing early on…

To you, what distinguishes this release with the material you before? what if this is for you a blast form the mature concept from material before like " Invocation " and " Incinerate " ?
Leif Jensen: I think “Icarus” has a bit of a darker twist than some of the previous material, but obviously I am too close to things to really have a proper answer here on this one for you. I certainly think the change of line-ups added a lot of new elements for us. Still, we tried not to step away from the general course that the band has taken in the last 2 decades already and just tried to make it a new next chapter in our body of work…

I'm Very Surprise with Sound Production for this album, what Is this already a Trademark for DEW-SCENTED established itself from the beginning? and how DEW-SCENTED still able to maintain all of this until now?
Leif Jensen: Hmmm, again…not really sure what you mean. I guess we do have a certain style of sound. We try to sound heavy, gritty and modern but at the same time also keep a vibe that is realistic in order to be reproduced live fairly. “Icarus” was the third time we recorded with Jörg Uken at Soundlodge Studios and he obviously knows what the band is all about quite well by now. I think he did a fantastic job for and with us, once again. I think the album sounds great and you can easily relate to the power of the songs yb the way it’s produced. I like that…

What result All member Satistify with Hardwork Studio from Jörg Uken in Soundlodge Studio, West-Rhauderfehn, Germany for this material ?? Do with Jörg Uken in Soundlodge Studio will continue to do for the materials that will come for Dew-Scented?
Leif Jensen: Oh yeah, we were happy. There are obviously always things that one could do better, but that’s fine. I mean, otherwise there is little point in moving forwards if you already reached perfection, right?! Hahaha. SO yeah, we as band and also I am sure Jörg as producer will always find spots where things could be optimized a bit more. We did in fact decide to hook up with Jörg again also for the “Insurgent” release, for which he mixed a live recording as well as 3 brand new songs (2 own and a cover).- we did record those in our own studios , as our drummer Koen runs a small place these days. And then we mixed it with Jörg at Soundlodge. I think it came out sounding really goo d too and it was yet another interesting new way of doing things, so it was a good test moving into the future. At this stage we haven’t decided how best to approach the recording process for the next album…we will see soon I guess.

The band has a tradition of every album title beginning with the letter 'I'. what decisions are taken by the tradition band like this? What if you only want do something different just to the other? and I know the tradition as it is also done by Morbid Angel to make Alphabet "A - Z" album title beginning with the letter, Metal till death !
Leif Jensen: Yeah I guess it became a trademark for the band at a certain point and now it is what it is, hahaha. Yeah, I am sure Morbid Angel had a pretty set concept with their alphabet thing (even though “Abominations…” and “Altars” contradicted it a bit at first?), but for us it was originally simply a way to put the album 1 and 2 in a certain relation to each other. I don’t think anyone of us would have expected to see the band go so long-running like 10 releases in and already more than 21 years of what we do, hahaha.  I guess as long as we find a good way of moving forwards with the “I”-theme, we will. Fortunately we haven’ trun the well dry as far as ideas that enhance the content of the album as well as make a solid bridge towards artwork and packaging. To me that’s really important and I wouldn’t wanna put that into the shadow of a certain thread just for the sake of not exploring other, better opportunities. We don’t have a pre-formulated list of title options, so we always start anew and from scratch somehow with a next release. Let’s see where the flow takes us...

DEW-SCENTED is dedicated to the destruction and recreation of the current death metal paradigm, and a return the true spirit of the Ancient Gods brought to light by the vision quests of its progenitors. Please tell something about the lyrics and what they deal with? DEW-SCENTED Wrote the lyrics to the concept of Anger, Violence and Societal Decayof deep meaning, so it will take a pleasure for the listener to be able to digest their meaning. exactly what you wrote all the lyrics on this matter?
Leif Jensen: No man, I am not sure if we really are “dedicated to the destruction and recreation of the current death metal paradigm, and a return the true spirit of the Ancient Gods brought to light by the vision quests of its progenitors”. I think this is some wrong copy/paste question thing in the interview from another band, huh?! or at least I would hope so because I don’t even know who that ancient god is that you are speaking about. Yeah, our lyrics are mainly about real themes and emotions…obviously to best compliment the heavy tone of the music, it’s mainly aggressive and powerful themes and words. Something too sweet and colourful probably wouldn’t carry along the ager nicely enough, so the style of the lyrics always automatically seems to cover the more negative side of things. I like to think that people could discover something to their liking or at least to relate to in our lyrics, but they are not as important as the fact that you better first like the music itself.

Your music sounds really matured, well-structured Technical Riffing and Cool Heavy Modern Sound as damned. Did you and the other band members play in other bands before and how do you see your band considering the musical skills?
Leif Jensen: Yeah, we have all been around for a while and I would like to thin k we know well what we are doing and why we are doing it, haha! We just love the style and enjoy giving it a 110% of a push so it goes its very extremes. I have always been involved only with Dew-Scented since the band’s early beginnings. Marvin is also playing with Severe Torture and was active in a band called Blo.Torch (formerly Manifest) before that. Rory used to play with Blo.Torch too by the way, but otherwise he also plays with I Chaos, next to Koen and Joost as well. Joost also used to play bass and sing for the band Creepmime a long while back. And yeah, everyone likes to stay busy playing, also with other bands or projects.  Why now, as long as it is fun and time allows it….

Overall, it's time to come to an end now. Hope you enjoyed this interview? Thanks for answering my questions and the time you spend on them. I hope I didn't forget anything? If there's something left to say at the end feel free to use this opportunity now. The last words are yours!
Leif Jensen: Yeah, thanks a lot for your support and please again excuse the biggest delay ever with returning my answers. I hope we make it over there to play some shows one day sooner or later…that would rule! In the meantime, please keep checking out or for news and thanks for keeping thrash metal alive. Thrash till death!!!

Official Information Band

Add Notes :
Indonesian Language Interview Available on LIMITED Printed Issue # 24

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