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Interview with

Joe (Bass) of Disbelief

The German Death Metal group DISBELIEF is just celebrating their 20th anniversary and released a small album, ‘Heal’ for this occasion. After having written a review about this piece, I had the chance to ask Joe / Jochen some questions.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): First of all, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer these questions. After twenty years of existence, how’s the mood in the band these days?
We are really in a good mood, with our guitarist Witali, who produced the new CD in his studio we found someone to integrate in the band perfectly and with his knowledge in recording we are able to be independent and develop our sound, this is perfect! Although we are still searching for the fifth member we are happy with the now situation, and someday this search will have an end, I am sure about this!!

RoD: Looking back upon the last years, were would you see highlights or low points, concerning concerts or other moments/reactions?
It’s difficult to point out special concerts as high – or lowlight, for me our last tour with Lay Down Rotten and Gorilla Monsoon was a highlight, because this tour was initialized on our own, the bands are friends of us, the crew as well and I think you can imagine how much fun we had during these 2 weeks, and by the way it was pretty successful with an average of 140 people, which none of us expected! Low points are always the business-shit happening, frustrating stuff which is beyond our control, this is always counter-productive!

RoD: You are about to release your “anniversary” record ‘Heal’. How content are you with the result and why did you chose those three cover versions and the remake of ‘Shine’?
We are really happy with the result, it is the first time we produced a CD on our own and I think we managed to fulfil all our expectations on this new record! It is homage to Metal, and to bands that influenced us a lot, the 4 new songs are tributes to bands like Bolt Thrower, Death, Slayer and finally Crowbar!! We chose the cover versions because these are songs we like a lot and we had the impression to be able to put them to a new level with our interpretation! King Diamond is a fantastic songwriter and singer, and Jagger did his best to make his vocal-version, same with Crimson Glory, it is tribute to Midnight (R.I.P.), an outstanding singer, and I think we transformed Red Sharks to a real Death Metal-hymn, Love like Blood of Killing Joke is a song with a dark atmosphere, this is perfect for the DISBELIEF - sound and it was easy for us to make this song sound more powerful!!

RoD: Is there a special meaning behind the title ‘Heal’?
A lot of fans contacted us and told us that our music helped them in difficult and dark moments of their lives, this was very impressive for us, and because it is the best you can reach as a musician! Music as a kind of medicine, we thought the expression “HEAL” is perfect word to sum all this up!

RoD: You are also going to celebrate the release with a concert at the Nachtleben in Frankfurt. What are your expectations towards this show and is there a particular reason why you chose this venue?
Joe: It is a pity that in our area we do not have many possibilities for doing a release-show, in Frankfurt you have those big venues with a capacity 1000 and more, too big for DISBELIEF; the NACHTLEBEN (cap. 250) is the only club we can choose for doing a release show in our home-area! We are looking forward to play some of the new material and of course lots of the old as well!

RoD: Are there any plans for a future record and/or a longer tour?
In October/November we are going to do a headliner-tour again, maybe we can manage to do another one as support for a bigger band! The next record will probably not be released before end of 2011/2012, but you never know, I already started writing songs for it!!

RoD: Where would you see the differences between today’s DISBELIEF and the earlier one?
Joe: We grew as a unity, Kai, Jagger and me are the core of DISBELIEF, blind understanding, we have gone through all highs and deep down-lows you can imagine, but we are still together and enjoy being in the same band, the music is the link between us and the reason why we survived for such a long time!! It is difficult to compare this with the old times, a lot of line-up changes happened, even in these times we had fun, of course, but compared to the 20 years it was a short period of time! With some of the guys we are still in contact, with some not, that’s life!

RoD: Is there any album which you’d point out to be an all-time favourite and are there any pieces that you dislike?
I would not call it my favourite album, but WORST ENEMY (2001) was an album that represents the new DISBELIEF-sound and all the albums after this were influenced by this kick-start of the new band-era!! There are some songs of the first 2 records I do not like that much, but from there on I do not regret a single song, maybe it is because every album has its own story and background, different chapters of the whole book of DISBELIEF!

RoD: Are there also any songs which you are eager to present live? Maybe from older albums or from ‘Heal’?
Joe: We feel enthusiastic of any song we play live, but of course new songs from ‘Heal’ like ‘The last Force:Attack’  or ‘The Eyes of Horror’ will blast like hell and are real fun to do!!

RoD: Are you still open for external influences and could you name some favourite bands of yours?
Every musician is influenced by something, mostly by the music of other bands! At the moment I listen to bands like HOLLOW CORP., still SLAYER, JUD, SICK OF IT ALL, DREDG and many, many more, I am open minded to any good sounding music!!

What do you think about the current metal scene?
Metal arrived in the centre of our society, I am not sure if this development is good or not, sometimes I miss the revolution in the sound, the will to sound different and to create an own style!! There is a flood of new bands and releases every month and it gets more and more difficult to survive in this ocean, but the only way to manage this is your own style, being patient and the power of conviction, and DISBELIEF has these attributes!!

RoD: Are there any other plans for your future?
Playing live as much as we can, and in the future founding our own label to feature and support artists and their development!!

RoD: Is there anything you would like to tell your fans and our readers?
Join us on one of our concerts, if you are not already a DISBELIEF-fan, and for those who are: Thanks for supporting us for such a long time!!

RoD: Thanks a lot for the interview!
Thank you for showing interest in DISBELIEF! Cheers, Joe and DISBELIEF


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