After putting out one hell of a debut album, Germany’s THE TIDAL SLEEP are back with a new full length and 2 European treks in August and October 2014. I had a chace to sit down with the band’s bassist Thomas, who was very kind to review their recent activity and discuss their plans for the nearest future.
Hey Thomas! What’s up? Finally we meet, haha! As the local rumors have it, you’re readying a brand new record, aren’t you? Let’s break it. Talk to me :)
Yes. The rumors are true. ;) We recorded a full lenght in march, it’s currently getting mixed/mastered. It’ll be released in July, and is called ‘Vorstellungskraft’.
Yeah man. You’ve been keeping the new tracks all to yourself. What has kept you busy since the release of your four song EP in 2012?
We had a major line up change in 2013. our old guitar player played his last show in dec’12, and matthias and marc joined in spring’13. and then without much rehearsal we played the silverstein tour. Everything felt right in the band, but since we live all over germany we barely rehearsed. We wanted to play more in ’13, but work and private live kept us too busy. We started writing for the album in late fall/winter, and arranged the album in January.
Tell me more about this new record and your approach this time. What can we expect?
We’re really really happy how everything turned out. The writing sessions were pretty different. Only three songs were written together as a full band in one room. All other songs were jams recorded on an iphone, and over two weekends the guitar players arranged the songs together with the rhythm section. The songs vary from the heaviest we’ve done, to some really melodic stuff. But due to the recording skills from the dudes at RAMA and our vision how everything should sound, the album sounds like an album not like just a bunch of jams.
What outside-the-band parties joined you in the recording process?
We recorded with Chris and Jens at RAMA studios in Mannheim. They are real wizards when it comes to setting up microphones and amps. Then we sent the tracks to Jack at Atomic Garden Studio in the bay area / sf. He did mixing and mastering. Nic recorded vocals with Dimi at Hellvis Pressplay in Frankfurt.
How about the distribution process? Are you still teamed up with This Charming Man Records? Can you tell us more about this cooperation?
Yeah, we’re still a team with TCM. Chris is really passionate about our band, and he’s a good friend and just an awesome dude.
He knows what he’s doing, and it’s good to be on a label that’s not just hardcore but very very diverse.
Alright man. So how about the lyrical content. Will it be doomy and scary, or rather indulgent and humoristic? :)
Haha. It’ll be none of that. It’s very personal, but there will still be a lot of space for interpretation. Nicolas wrote all of it, and he explored more while still keeping a maritime background.
Ha! So it’s gonna be damn sad, haha. Don’t you think humor’s a very important element of art, and it can be incorporated also in heavy music?
It will be sad. But also quite angry. :)
I love comedy, cartoons, cynicism and nonsense, and it definately is a form of art. But personally i am not the biggest fan of humor in heavy music. Graf orlock are doing it quite well, but who else?
Alright, so what influences your writing these days? Are those influences different today than they were before you became an experienced touring warriors? ;)
I personally don’t care much for these bands. I’d rather listen to people that are good storytellers or got something to say.
Since we got two new guitar players, we do sound a bit different. Marc has been playing in heavy touring bands for years (EAVES, TRAINWRECK, GLASSES), and Matthias hasn’t played in a band for almost 8 years. And their musical taste could not be any different, haha.
But we tried to stick to the old formula (delay, reverb, heavy rhythm section) and incorporate influences that were important to us during writing these new songs.
What have you learned about the writing process in the last 2 years?
I think we learned we all what we’re capable of doing with our instruments and how to use them effective in this bands context. Also I learned that a good song doesn’t need 12 riffs to be a good song. The new songs have a much better flow to them.
How would you describe the evolution of how you perceive both this band and your musical environment?
We started as a band that was jamming and rehearsing a lot, up to three times a week.
Now we’re ‘working’ much more focused. If it’s time to write songs, we write. If we need to rehearse, we do that. Our band involves a lot of logistics since we live all over the place. We can’t just jam on Wednesday, we need to schedule weekends.
Not much has changed for us. we’re still ‘working’ with the same people. This Charming Man is still our label (by choice), and Chris is continuing to push boundaries and release great music. Nanouk at Avocado is booking shows, but so are we.
We’re lucky cos we get approached by all kinds of different bands who want us to play shows with them. We’ve always been a lucky band and always had great opportunities to play shows/tours. Also, we never limited ourselves to just one ‘scene’. We’ve always played whatever we wanted. We love floorshows, but we don’t have any doubts playing big stages from time to time. haha.
Haha, nice! And what were some of the disappointments you’ve encountered as a band?
To be honest – everything in this band has always worked out. We are very lucky. The current mood in the band is exceptionally great :) For me personally, I’d love to rehearse and write more as a full band. But I’m not complaining.
Alright, so let’s hope your upcoming tour will be also a great success :) Actually, you’re booking 2 separate treks, right? Tell me more about these plans.
We already know that the tour in summer will be a success on a personal level cos we’re on tour with our good friends in AKELA, and they are just great guys to be around :) We’ll be on tour from august 2nd til august 16th. Nanouk is currently booking the tour. And we’ll hit the road again from October 2nd til October 18th, but we’re currently just checking options where that tour will take us. We’re gonna play uk in October, I guess.
Have you played some shows this year?
We just came back from a 10 day tour. 2 Belgium dates, one in Amsterdam, and seven in Germany. It was well fun. :) we played with a bunch of different bands, and different types of shows; floorshow vs big stage. In March we played two small festivals in Bielefeld and Darmstadt, both were awesome!
Are there some parts of Germany that are going really strong when it comes to shows and punk activism?
I’d say generally Germany’s a good place to play shows. Either diy or professional music clubs, you get treated very well almost everywhere.
Since we all come from different cities we don’t actually have a homebase scene. But Leipzig and Mannheim (where marc and i live) are pretty rad when it comes to shows and diy punk structures.
Any venues, crews or local bands you’d like to recommend?
I’ll try to include venues/squats we just visited – Ajz Bielefeld and Krabbelgruppe Entertainment, Oetinger Villa Darmstadt and Angeschimmelt Youth Crew, the various people that do shows at privat club/aetherblissment in köln really rule at what they do!
Shoutout to our Belgium friends Kristof/Flood Hardcore and Niek/Mendvile Shows, and our new Belgium friends Cynthia and Stijn from Tongeren.
Now for bands, they’re not local but either friends’ bands or bands we recently played with: RANT, AKELA, FJORT, NEWMOON, ATLAS and DEPTHS from belgium, WE HAD A DEAL, BIRMINGHAM PINES, ROLLERGIRLS … I’m pretty sure i forgot loads.
How do you, as a DIY musician, reconcile your need to be a punk artist as much as possible with your need to earn a living?
That is luckily something that works really easy for us. first off, we never wanted this band to be a ‘professional’ band. which means, every money we make with merch/tours we reinvest into the band, studio time/artworks for example.
none of us have to live off the band. and touring with full time bands, we all learned that it’s not all gold that shines.
The music business is a tough place to survive.
Still, all of us have the urge to do as much possible with the band, which means all of our holidays will end up being tour days. :) three of us are freelancers/self employed, two of us have a part time job kinda deal. which means we can tour about 50-60 days a year if everything works. and we have very understanding girlfriends ;)
Haha, exactly ;) Are your soul mates also into punk rock and all that stuff or not necessarily?
Oh, I think only one gf has a punk/hc background .
but we all, the whole band, have a really diverse taste. come on, who listens to punk rock only ;)
True true. Listening to different genres of music increases your intelligence! :) That’s why we all are super smart, haha ;)
Ok man, what else? Would you like to add anything else here?
Yeah. listen everyone: listen to all kinds of music! hahaha. Thanks for the interview. hopefully we’ll see you at a show in august or october.
If anyone has any question, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or our facebook. Our record’s coming july 27th. hopefully y’all like it as much as we do, let us know what you think! :)
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