Freiburg, Germany’s hardcore punks from LASTING TRACES will release their new 7″ called “Elements” later this month. We sat down with their singer Thomas to tease you a little before the release and sum up the year 2012 in the interview below.
We published our first interview with Thomas back in March 2012. The interview was conducted by Start Today Agency and is still available at this location. Now you can check out the freshest new from the band in the following chat below.
Welcome again, fellows! [smiles]. Tell us what has happened since the Start Today Agency interview we published exclusively back in March?
Hey fellas!! Yeah 9 months have passed by already, crazy isn’t it?!
Back in spring we had a smaller European Tour which brought us to several countries, and in the summer time we jumped in the aircraft to do our first tour outside Europe in South Eastern Asia. We played Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Probably by far the best tour and thing we ever did as band. Great audiences, really nice people. All the memories still bring back lots of smiles on our faces. After the tour we had to reorganize different things within the band, on the one hand musically we discussed our future development and on the other side, Andy, our drummer left the band, so we had hard times until we could find a new one. But right now everything seems solid and we could record 2 new songs which will be released on a 7” hopefully soon.
Uufff.. A LOT has happened then [smiles]. Do you still remember the spring trek? After all the big happenings that occurred later on?
Yeah of course we still have some memories on the spring tour. It was our first time playing Praha and Vienna and going to Italy again for the 2nd time. our closest friend Marcus did the vocals for a couple of shows, cause I (Thomas) wasn’t able to play the whole tour at that time due to some personal reasons. But the guys had lots of fun, I heard some cool stories from them. Touring and having your best friends around you at the same time is just awesome.
After the couple shows that Marcus did, he could focus on getting wasted again [laughs].
Cool. Soon after that you have announced your South East Asian run. 13 shows, right? What was the best part of it? People? Sightseeing? [smiles]
We played 12 gigs in Asia. We thought that we could have some time for sightseeing and stuff, but we played almost every day, had flights between the shows or overnight bus drives, so it turned out to be a pretty exhausting trip. nevertheless we met so many cool, helpful and really friendly people along the way. Teuku our tour manager did a great job and stayed with us for all shows in Indonesia. I guess the best aspect about touring so far away from home, is that you learn to know so much more about other countries, their cultural backgrounds, mentality, etc…….it really helped me to widen my own horizon for example.
What did you learn about their local music scenes?
Scene over there is not that spoiled as the European one for example. People are really really thankful, if they have the chance to see a foreign band playing in their city. Here you usually have 3-4 bands playing at a show during the evening, in Asia we had over 20 bands playing at one single show during the week. All of them were sharing their heads, Instruments and stuff. Seriously that was crazy [smiles] but it worked out in a way.
Any particular names you’d like to spread the word about?
It’s hard to pick out single bands from all the ones we played it. Every day the supporting acts changed, so it’s really hard to remember for me right now [smiles]. But HOME RUN from Malaysia did a really good job.
Any plans to release a video tour diary documenting this run?
Like ANCHOR recently did? Unfortunately we had no video cameras to tape all the stuff that was happening. Only some pictures. So we have no chance to do something similar. Damn every time I remember those times back in summer, I’m missing it more and more.
Alright, mateys. Let’s change the subject. Tell us about Andy and his leaving your pack. How did it happen?
Sure man! Unfortunately Andy could not make the Asia trip, due to his job obligations, and Steffen from HIEROGLYPHS had to fill in (he did an amazing job btw…) but after the return from Asia we were confronted with the situation that Andy’s job and maybe a lack a motivation forced him to leave the band by the end of this year.
It was a straight and honest decision from him, that everybody of us is totally respecting. He is founding member of the band, an amazing drummer and one of my best friends. So it was obvious that we didn’t let him go without recording our 2 new songs together with us [smiles].
And there are no hard feelings between us, only great memories, and I’m pretty sure we will see him attending future LASTING TRACES shows from time 2 time.
How did you find Felix, your new drummer?
We made the decision to announce it over Facebook that we were looking for a new drummer, cause all the cool drummers we know, are playing in several bands already.
It was a long process until we found the right one. But now it seems it works out pretty good with Felix, a talented and handsome guy [smiles]. I’m excited to play the first shows with him soon.
Has he been in a band before? [smiles]
Yeah, he is playing in LIKE CHASING GHOSTS, but I don’t know whether they are still active or not.
What changes does this switch bring in?
The first impressions showed us, that there won’t be major changes. For sure every drummer plays a little bit different and I’m really excited for his own ideas in our songwriting process.
We have pretty tough circumstances regarding our rehearsals (Dani and me live 300km away from each other for example).
So we won’t meet that often as a four piece. But Felix has an own rehearsal spot, where he can jam with Dani on a regular basis. So they will take care of the major part in songwriting and bring their ideas to Fabi and me, that we can work on new songs together.
Cool. Will it speed up the release date of the new 7’’? Tell us more about it.
We recorded the songs together with Andy before Felix joined us, so the release of the 7″ is going it’s own independent way.
We hope to receive the final mix and master within the next 2 weeks according to send the songs straight to the press plant.
I guess a release in early 2013 is realistic. Demons Run Amok will help us again. We are curious about the reactions from the people when they will hear the songs. It is definitely something different compared to our earlier stuff.
You’ll leave people disorientated someday, changing your style all the time [laughs]. No, but seriously, I guess the first release with Felix will be different, too, right?
I think we have not changed our style pretty often. As a band you are just growing with every release as musicians and songwriters. Cause writing the same record than before was not an option for us. We just have started songwriting for new stuff, but I guess it will go in the same direction than our 2 new songs from the upcoming 7″. I’m excited to see Felix influence on our new songs….
Is there a certain place you’re heading with this development?
We don’t have a certain goal or point that we wanna reach. No limits or boundaries, just moving on to write catchy and cool songs;-) Our roots are based in hardcore, and people will always hear that in our music, but we are not afraid to use new elements like using clean vocals, or working with new song structures.
I was just about to ask you about it. What’s your opinion on abandoning and dissing hardcore bands for heading more progressive way and not staying “true” (which often means cut and dried musically) Do you observe such regularity around you?
It depends on your point of view.
As a music lover, who likes certain records of a band, you wish that their new records sound like the old ones, cause your expectations are leading you into that direction. sometimes you feel disappointed, when band do not fill you expectations and sound different.
But from my view as a musician, I think bands should grow and develop their music. I’m still really proud of our record Old Hearts Break in Isolation, but I always said, that I don’t wanna make another copy of that album. Change and progress are essential in music, it’s not always necessary to make huge steps, but at least a little bit. You grow as a person and your influences may change, automatically it affects your music.
“A great band can stay great band, even if their style is changing on every record”, as long as it is authentic and not an expression of a trend that’s hip at a moment.
Have your inspirations changed since the writing and recording sessions for “Old Hearts Break in Isolation”?
But people should decide how we sound like, we don’t follow any band ideal. If people gonna say, it seems that we’ve listened too much Pop-Rock bands, we won’t deny it [smiles].
And lyrically? Do you take your everyday life inspirations to another level and write like to write about a certain topic in particular? Is there a chance to eventually see a concept album from you?
Lyrically we take our inspirations from everyday life. The words of the new songs are by far the most personal ones we have ever written. Dani and me, we both take care of the lyrics. But most of the time we are not far away from each other when we are discussing the topics. A concept album would be a great idea in general, but writing 10-12 songs where you can connect every song to another is just a really ambitious exercise. And to add a personal note and combine it with a creative idea where everyone in the band is satisfied with, seems to be a really exhausting job. But hey, we’ll see what the future will hold for us.
Alright, guys, let’s discuss touring. Do you guys have anything coming up soon?
Right now, nothing is planned so far. We will start playing live again in February (last show was in September 2012).
But a tour is not really on the agenda 2013 at the moment. We will set the focus more on songwriting within the next months. But if there appears a chance for a cool run of shows somewhere in 2013, we won’t say “no” I guess.
Yeah man, but touring is inevitable [smiles]. You simply have to be on the road, you’re a punk band [smiles].
I’m completely with you. And to be honest, I really miss the time on the road, just to turn off the head and feeling great. But we wanna present new songs. when you have played the same songs 100 or more times, there is just the need and will to create something new and to show it to the audience.
Do you some special ideas for merch or alternative ways of promoting your stuff?
So far nothing special is planned. We’re gonna wait until we play big stages in front of thousands of people [smiles], but I think social media and future will surely bring new ways of promoting to reach a wider audience.
How was your New Year’s Eve party? Did you have fun?
Oh year happy new year, the most Important fact I forgot [smiles]. I was just hanging out with some friends, having dinner. Nothing spectacular. But I enjoyed the time. How was your celebration?
Oh, it was with my family up North in Poland. It was a crazy party, but now I’m having fever for 2 days, so it kinda sucks [smiles].
Alright guys, let’s finish off with your wishes and plans for 2013. Sum it up for us.
Many thanks for your time!
Probably party fever or booze fever [smiles]. I’m just kidding.
Wishes and plans for the new year, first of all health to all of us, it is just a gift you can not buy with money.
Besides that, I wish a continuing growing process for us as a band and as individuals. To write the music we wanna make and to reach a wider audience maybe even outside the usual hardcore scene.
Thank you guys for your interest and patience to do this interview, I really appreciate it.
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