Sad Sir (guitar) of End of Green
German gothic metal formation END OF GREEN has just released the 7th studio album entitled ‘High Hopes in Low Places’ and in the light of this event I caught up via email with guitarist Sad Sir to discuss the new release as well as some other subjects about the music in general and the band in particular. The result of this discussion you can see below.
Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Hello! First of all, congratulations on the new release! Actually the title of the album as it seems to me contains an allusion to PINK FLOYD’s great composition ‘High Hopes’. Or maybe, it’s a mere coincidence? So why did you decide to choose such a title? What did you want to express?
Sad Sir: No, PINK FLOYD was not really part of that, though we were aware of their ‘High Hopes’. Once we googled it... Actually, we were not thinking about expressing anything in particular with the title. Nowadays there are too many people expressing too many views - we wanted it to be something quiet, something to look at, listen to and make up your own mind. Paint your own picture instead of us hammering information into your brain. Guess that’s how we’re ticking.
RoD: Was the process of recording hard? Are you satisfied with the result? And would you change something about the songs if you could go back in time?
Sad Sir: I’d change nothing. The most important step in songwriting is the deadline. Otherwise we’d never finish a song. The recordings were great and we really had not too much time on our side. So we went in, did it and really freaked out creatively in that amount of time we had. No bullshit and no gimmicks, just a couple of songs and us. Close to insanity, I might add.
RoD: What was the source of inspiration for the album?
Sad Sir: Our main inspiration is life - our lives, your life, stuff we all deal with each and every day. Maybe this time we were a bit more mellow than on ‘The Sick’s Sense’ which was basically driven by a lot of anger. ‘High Hopes in Low Places’ is us writing life off our souls, the life of the past two years.
RoD: What comes first, music or lyrics?
Sad Sir: Music. Otherwise we’d go for poetry. Sometimes the words flow at the same time as the music, sometimes they come after the music and sometimes we have a line in our head and the music grows with it. But honestly, when I buy a record and the songs are lame, good lyrics won’t save that record. I want it all: great lyrics, great songs.
RoD: END OF GREEN was formed in the beginning of the 90’s, so could you please tell a few words about the band’s early years? Do you remember your very first live performance?
Sad Sir: Even before I joined END OF GREEN in 1998, their reputation was outstanding. I guess we were the most dangerous band around (laughs). Definitely unpredictable! We blazed a trail of alcohol, blood, destruction, passion, intensity and honesty. Nowadays we’re a little quieter and chances are good, no one will end up in a hospital... But, and that’s something that really makes me proud: we were still one of those bands that always played solid shows, even if we were totally wrecked by whatever...
RoD: Your musical carrier is quite long and impressive, but are there any episodes you would like to change?
Sad Sir: One is when we met Achim who wanted us on his new label Silverdust, because he got us out of a deep black hole. And the second Highlight was about three years ago. We had the worst crisis a band could have, but we managed to solve it with the friendship we have.
RoD: Could you tell a few words about the concert that you may call the best of yours?
Sad Sir: Sometimes when we play shows there’s some sort of musical connection happening between us, that’s probably the best way to describe it. Some sort of magic, whatever. That’s something very special. Whenever that happens I know: it’s a good show. Sometimes it happens in a small club, sometimes it hits us when there is 30,000 people staring at us.
RoD: How do you prepare for a show? Do you have a special pre-gig ritual?
Sad Sir: Actually, we really should develop one. Usually it’s just like “Hey, see you one stage in ten seconds. Have a good show!”
RoD: What is your worst nightmare on stage?
Sad Sir: No more nightmares, we already had the worst nightmare coming true: that one show, we totally fucked up. It was in Auggen, Germany. I’d call it an accidental substance abuse that made us play the worst show ever. And when I say worst, I mean “really, really worst”. Of course it would way more suck to be electrocuted or shot or some plane crashing on stage... but if you start thinking about stuff like that you’ll never leave the house again. I just remember one bad dream: I was walking in a crowd and suddenly I realized that END OF GREEN is on stage... without me, because I overslept. That sucked.
RoD: What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
Sad Sir: There’s not much space for hobbies, aside for some sports sometimes. Music is my biggest obsession. I like to go to concerts, clubs or sit at home and listen to records - maybe read a book. But that’s about it.
RoD: And how do you usually kill time on tour?
Sad Sir: We used to drink a lot, which wasn’t the healthiest way to kill time. Now we go for different stuff: meeting friends, shopping records, drinking coffee or kicking SUBWAY TO SALLY’s ass at a go cart tournament. But what I really enjoy the most is just hanging around with the dudes, talk and have fun. You know, we’re friends. It’s pretty cool when you get to spend time with your best friends.
RoD: What music do you like to listen to? What was the last CD you bought?
Sad Sir: I’m a vinyl freak. And I listen to everything, as long as it’s heart-driven -I don’t care if it’s punk, death or black metal, soul or indie rock. The last record I bought was the debut album by KVELERTAK. They absolutely rule. Probably one of the most energetic records I heard in the last weeks... great band, killer artwork and an outstanding recording. To sum it up: classic.
RoD: Are there any bands you’d like to tour with?
Sad Sir: Tons of, really. You remember as a kid when you made up your dream concerts you’d like to go to. I’m still like that. Unfortunately, there’ll be no chance to play a tour with the RAMONES or THIN LIZZY with Phil Lynott anymore. PLACEBO, UNDERTOW, SLAYER, METALLICA, JACK FROST... you name it, we’d play it.
RoD: What are your goals for the future?
Sad Sir: To play as much as we can. We’re one of those bands that really love to play live.
RoD: And finally tell, please, a few words to our readers.
Sad Sir: I’d like to thank you for your interest in our band. And hopefully we get to see each other in person some day. Meanwhile feel free to listen to our songs at home.