Reviews from "The Final Stage"

Interview Behind the Veil 14.05.21 - Posted in The Final Stage reviews Here's an interview Adriano did with the greek "Behind the Veil" Webzine

1) Hello. How are the things at the DISTANT PAST camp at the moment?

Hello! We are incredibly happy on how well the new album was received by press and Music Fans. We certainly took a risk of modifying our style and approach to the Songs. We are rehearsing to hopefully soon be able to play live.

2) You have recently released your new album entitled “The Final Stage”. How do you feel about it? Are there any things that you would like to do differently?

No, it was the right thing to do. Somehow it’s like a fresh start with new musicians, who all gave their best. We wanted to move a step forward and present a new era for the band.

3) I think that “Final Stage” is a more straight forward release in comparison with your previous works. Do you agree on that? According to you which are the new elements that this album brings to the sound of DISTANT PAST?

Of course, it’s the new people and the work and dedication they put in it. We rehearsed as a live band so the songs could breathe and be tested. Previously it was a project and at the first stage (no pun intended) the songs were already shaped, with only slight modifications possible. And some of the musicians never saw each other, a manufactured album. Now, the new one is a organic one. Funnily enough, I still contribute most of the songs. This time I chose the songs that have a singable Chorus and avoided progressive elements. Some songs like “Queen of Sin” and “the Power of Evil” I wrote with the new band in mind and their contributions. Others like “Fall from Glory” and “Kill the Dragon” I had for some years.
After the weight of the Concept Album “Rise of the Fallen” I needed to do something different, more accessible. Move away from the Past ????

4) On a conversation we had you said that you were very close to disband DISTANT PAST. Can you explain us the reasons why and of course what made you to change your mind?

After the last album we did a farewell gig with some befriended musicisans to help us out. Then all wanted to continue, so I had to find some people to replace the ones departed, with this line up we did a gig, that wasn’t so great, so I had to let go some members. I joined another band, and searched tried to form band, that never came to fruition. When I changed jobs, I wanted to concentrate on work and leave music behind. When I was disappointed with the way these other band worked and they we’re lacking some musicians. I decided to continue with Jvo and Ben (whose “Age of Disclosure” was another project I participated) and went on to hunt down a drummer and guitar player and never gave up until I found them. I was determined. Besides work isn’t all in life…..

5) By the way did your thoughts about disbanding was the inspiration for the title of your new album?

In a way you can think that, yes. Like the Cover Art, the Title leaves room for interpretation, which I intended to do. In Reality, I wanted to find a title that  non-english speaking people would understand, that wasn’t overtly negative and fit the album Cover Art.

6) I would like to stand a bit on the lyrics which are a bit dark and pessimistic, at least most of them. Why is that? Did the whole dark situation that we live in our days played a part on that?

It is a reality that my lyrics tend to be dystopian and warn about the oppression of the elite. But these topics are not new and are always to be found in my lyrics. We just learned “Single Warning” from our Album “Alpha Draconis”. It was released in 2010, the song was created well before that. And the lyrics describe a situation that is, to some extend happening now.

I try to move away from overtly pessimistic stuff, so when I try to do something different, I write stuff like “Queen of Sin”, which is about a woman mistreating you. That’s the closest to a love song I can get ????

7)  “I am Omega” is one of my favorite songs in the album not only because of the music but also because it is based on one of my favorite novels by Richard Matheson. Who decided to write the lyrics about it and why?

As I write all the lyrics, this was just one of these songs that was chosen to be included on the album. Just recently found a demo of the song that I conceived in 2014. I often use old Sci-Fi Movies as an inspiration point. I love the fact that this Short Story has been made into a major Motion Picture in three different ways, in three different decades.

8) By the way which movie adaption of the book “I am Legend” by Richard Matheson you consider as the best?

Easy, you might remember I used a snipped of “Planet of the Apes” on “Breath-The Spell” a song on 2014’s Utopian Void. So this snippet that opens up the song is from “The Omega Man” again with Charlton Heston, so this is my choice. Most people only remember the Will Smith movie and some don’t even know who Vincent Price is anymore, but it’s the 70’s movies that capture my imagination. So I guess I’ll write about “Solylent Green” next….

9) In the song “World Of Wires” you express a strong skepticism about the abuse of modern technology by the people and how this drives them to disconnect from reality. Do you believe that this phenomenon will become bigger after all this measures for the pandemic? Do you believe that human social live will be affected even more for the worst?

Funnily, this song is also based on a book (Simulacron-3 by Daniel Galouye), which was made into a movie in 1971 (“Welt am Draht” by R.W. Fassbinder) and also remade in the 90’s (“The 13th Floor” by R. Emmerich). And it’s pure coincidence that two songs inspired by 70’s sci-fi are on the album. I tried to mix the meaning of the source material with Plato’s allegory of the caves.
Again, I wrote this song well before current world events. And it was clear that the digital world will affect the social live, destroy jobs and leave people stranded that do not have or do not want access to the digital systems. It’s fascinating how many of my lyrics came closer to reality in the light of recent events. But they have a source in books and movies that are older than me. History does repeat itself after all.

10) There are some new band members in the new album. Can you introduce them to us?

Next to me and Jvo we have Ben Sollberger, who I mentioned before. We worked together on his project “Age of Disclosure”, which has a melodic metal approach. He just launched the “Ben Sollberger Project” which goes in another direction musically, more Hard Rock oriented Sound, on which he plays, sings and programs everything himself.

On the Drums we have Remo Herrmann, he is a litter younger than the rest of us and is the only one who has a true musical education. He used to play in a Thrash Metal Band, quit, did some experimental suff and was looking for a band again. We are very happy to have him, not only is his playing and musical understanding great, he is a fine human being.

The last piece of the puzzle was Lorenz Läderach, who live to play guitar. He was not quite sure of joining a metal band he had some resentments, but quickly saw that we are “normal” after all. He always wanted to join a metal band, listened to metal when he was younger, but played lots of other stlyes. Goes to show that when you know your instrument you can play awesomely in all styles. We share a similar sense of humor, so he fits right in. And you can feel his enthusiasm on the new record.

11) What kind of reactions did you receive mainly from the metal fans about your new album? Which is the most common comment that you receive? 

Most discovered the band with the new album. Some reviewers and fans think it’s the best we ever did and welcome the new style. Only few are disappointed that the progressive and thrash elements are gone. I just recently discovered how good “Rise of the Fallen” was received, I never noticed, I guess this album is a grower.

12) I know that is too soon, but will we have a new album from DISTANT PAST in the future?

Never too soon. People who know me, know I’m like Rod Smallwood in these things: Always one album ahead. ???? As you might have guessed, I have many songs lying around, ready to be brought to life. We want to keep the momentum and will soon rehearse new songs. So, there will definitely be another album, somewhere in the near future.

13) How did the measures against the corona virus pandemic affect you as persons and musicians?

Yes, we couldn’t play live, we had shows planned, a real bummer. Imagine: Distant Past was a studio project until a few years ago, and then we finally got a stable and good sounding line up that can perform these songs. And then the world goes apeshit. But fortunately, here in Switzerland, we have not as drastic measures as other places in the world. I personally don’t think that the world will every be the same again, we all do hope that some normality will return soon. There’s only so many times that you can postpone an event…..

14) Thanks for your time answering my questions. I wish you all the best and hope to see you here in Greece for a live show. Please end the interview in any way you like…

To play Greece would be a dream come true. We did a show at the Up the Hammers Festival with Emerald in 2010. I love the passion of the Greek Metal Fans, I they all check the new album out and watch our videos on youtube. Thank you very much for the continued support to behind the veil and Nick! You all Rock!