Jochen “Noel Pix” Seibert (lead guitar, programming) from Eisbrecher
EISBRECHER, the German Metal force, are about to release the new album entitled ‘Schicksalsmelodien’. It’s packed with fantastic music covering bands coming from different sonic mothers - from Punk to Eurodance - and I must say after listening to it a few times it really gives a kick. On the occasion of the said release (the album will be out on 23 October 2020) I took a chance to ask Noel Pix a few questions about the reason for their material selection, inspirations but also about stage fright and what success really means.
Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: When a band decides to release a cover album, then either it means they lack artistic ideas or they are so good at what they do, that they think they do it better. What is it in your case?
Noel: In any case, we are running out of ideas. (laughs) No, just kidding, of course, we wanted to use the Corona leisure time as productively as possible. The band POWERWOLF asked us last year if we would like to cover their song ‘Stoßgebet’ and we thought the idea was great. That was the starting shot for even more. Said and done. In bad times it is always better to occupy yourself intensely than to look depressed into the future, which is actually not that easy at the moment, that’s why we’re going to follow up with our eighth studio album. If we are not allowed to play live, then there are songs till the cow comes home!
RoD: Now seriously, ‘Schicksalsmelodien’ features 15 awesome tracks with the covers of artists such as DIE TOTEN HOSEN, ASP, DIE ÄRZTE, but also MO-DO or FALCO. You did covers already before with ‘Eisbär’ or ‘Das Boot’. So you know what it takes to create a good one. But my question is what determined the choice of artists you wanted to cover this time and what was it that you wanted to enhance in the original songs?
Noel: The songs we cover should first and foremost be fun to produce, and also unexpected, something you don’t necessarily reconcile with EISBRECHER; a journey into the past, songs that accompanied you in your youth. All of this should be transported into the EISBRECHER cosmos. Well, I think we got it right.
RoD: You also picked MEGAHERZ - isn’t that ironic flickofthenose towards them? Why ‘Freiflug’ in particular?
Noel: Our album is called ‘Schicksalsmelodien’ (‘Melodies of Fate’). 1998 Alex and I worked together for the first time, including the song ‘Freiflug’. If we hadn’t run into each other back then, there wouldn’t be an EISBRECHER now, if that wasn’t fateful. I've always liked the song - time to give it a facelift!
RoD: DIE ÄRZTE or DIE TOTEN HOSEN are icons of Punk Rock. I’m surprised to think you feel close to that particular genre?
Noel: In fact, I don’t feel that close to Punk now, but it’s all about mixing different styles into your own mixture.
RoD: Please tell me more about the album cover. It’s like Terminator 2020 version.
Noel: Exactly the EISBRECHER Terminator 2020. For this album we have tried to optically move away from the usual EISBRECHER style. It’s a good thing, and looks chic to go without polar bears and ice elements this time.
RoD: Covid-19 pandemic definitely ruined plans for many bands including the major ones like yourselves with the tours being cancelled - how are you doing? What was the impact on you, apart from, obviously, financial one?
Noel: Covid-19 hasn’t changed my everyday life that much. I am a recording studio person, isolation is my natural habitat. Otherwise, of course, the situation is a disaster for every freelance artist, but I’m really happy to hear that you will be given 50 million euros if you don’t celebrate Carnival 2020. Surreal.
RoD: Your music is definitely a powerful Metal force, your concerts are outburst of total power. At the same time, you’ve been present on the Alternative scene for 25 years. How do you manage to keep that sparkling energy? Either you really love it or you have some sort of superpowers?
Noel: I would like to have superpowers, unfortunately I don’t know if you can get them from Amazon, let me know. You love and hate your work like everyone else, but yeah, it doesn’t get any easier over the years to keep the energy level up. I’ve just produced two records without a break, ask me again in three months if I really love my job. Otherwise - as much fresh air as possible – very, very Rock’n’Roll, right?
RoD: Your shows are exceptional - what does it take to produce such a spectacle?
Noel: I hope for more spectacles in 2021. At the moment it’s very unspectacular. We are postponing the question indefinitely.
RoD: You are professionals in what you do, but at the same time you keep a lot of distance to your work and yourselves. Does such an attitude come with experience or is it inborn?
Noel: I don’t think any artist is really at a distance from his work.
RoD: When you think about what gives you drive to create new songs – is it still the world around? The people you meet, the situations, the books? Or are you rather focussed on what’s in your own minds? Outer or inner world in a way?
Noel: The songs are always about life, it includes everything - an infinite terrain to get inspiration.
RoD: What is your attitude to your fans? Does their energy help you in a way while on stage? And while you create new material, do you think about your fan base or rather focus on the effect you want to achieve?
Noel: Live of course lives from the energy of the people, which makes such a concert an experience. As you can see at the moment, nothing can replace this togetherness. I think it would be a very big mistake when writing songs to think about what people might or might not like. With such an attitude you only trip yourself up. You can only inspire others with your songs if you are enthusiastic about it yourself, and if you are wrong, that’s fine, in the end it’s all about music, sometimes it is well received, sometimes badly.
RoD: With such experienced artists as yourselves I always wonder if you ever experience stage fright at this point? Do you ever get nervous while meeting your audience?
Noel: I always get nervous exactly an hour before a concert, and it will probably always stay that way, and that’s a good thing. Without stage fright, it would be like white sausage without mustard. I’m from Bavaria - that doesn’t work at all.
RoD: What is more important in your view to achieve success in show biz - talent or self-confidence and charisma? I’m asking this because you obviously have both, but currently one can observe the situation when plenty of talented people cannot make it work while the others become famous just because they presented their “what -not” naked on TV or Instagram?
Noel: There is the big question: what is success? It’s probably different for everyone. For me personally, success is being able to live from your music. Achieving that was just hard work! House, car, boat were always irrelevant to me, this definition of success is probably important to others, especially in Germany you don’t need talent, charisma or anything! The world has never been fair, but that’s the way it is.
RoD: What’s your opinion on social media in general?
Noel: I love social media, a gift from God that brings out the united stupidity of the world! But you also take part, it probably won’t work without it, as I was told, that’s why we’re in the boat and rowing in competition.
RoD: When you look back - if you look back at all - do you think it was worth it? Playing in a band, then starting it anew with a new band? Fighting your way through? Had you had a chance, would you have had it the same way?
Noel: I think everything will come as it should, everything was always great, no, it certainly wasn’t, but who can say that about themselves. Lamenting a lot about the past has not helped anyone, so it was probably good the way it is.
RoD: Do you live by any motto? If yes, what is it?
Noel: There may be better times, but this is ours!
RoD: Thank you very much for your time!
All pictures by Holger Fichtner - 360 Grad Design