Interview by Demitri Levantis
Christoph Stopper – Sounds & Vocals
Martin Baumann – Guitars
Tobias Schwab – Bass
Hey and thanks for your time today.
Hey Demitri! Thanks for having us!
Since it’s now June, how do you feel 2019 has been for the band so far?
Chris: Oh it’s been great! We really worked hard the last two years to create “THEIA” and now it’s going to be out there. That’s a great feeling when your work comes to life!
Tobias: We’re looking forward to release Theia and of course to put the songs on stage. Let’s say, 2019 begins now for GOTS… 😀
Martin: The first 3 months we were busy, doing all the graphics, photography and video stuff – we are doing this all on our own.
Let’s talk about your new album, Theia: what lyrical themes did you explore, and does it have an overarching concept?
Chris: We didn’t actually plan to make a real concept album and I wouldn’t really call it one. When Gerry and I finished the first lyrics, we realized we pretty much had the same topics in our heads. So we continued creating apocalyptic scenes. We worked on different views and scenarios of downfalls on many levels – emotionally, morally, ethically – until the world is coming down for everyone.
How is Theia different musically to your previous releases?
Tobias: Soil was meant to be rough and pure, straight to your face, mostly changing between loud and quiet parts. “THEIA” offers more variance, different kinds of music / atmospheres, melting together to more complex but matching songs, without losing the GOTS-Sound.
Martin: “THEIA” is more meant to drag you below the surface, taking you somewhere else – to let your mind flow into our universe of soundscapes and human abysses. GOTS is always evolving, it’s more of a living organism that feeds on experience and emotions.
What was the inspiration behind the album’s name and artwork? Were you all involved in the writing and music?
Tobias: It’s Martin (our guitarist), who is responsible for the artwork. I’m glad, we have such a creative mind in our band! I think it matches the music and atmosphere perfectly.
Mostly Gerri and Martin show up with new ideas and song-fragments. Later, during the rehearsals, everyone is finally involved of course and it leads to the typical GOTS-Style.
Martin: The cover art shows a rendering of “strange attractors” – You can find strange attractors everywhere. Regardless of whether one observes the motion of stars in galaxies, the flow of a liquid or a wind over an airplane wing, the mixing of liquids or another dynamic system: And with it comes the chaos … – so we thought that this image would perfectly fit for THEIA and Glare of the Sun.
Are you going to be playing any shows or tours to promote the new album?
Martin: Sure! At the moment we are booking shows.
Chris: We’ll start in Salzburg with our friends of Anderwelt and Les Lekin in July. We can tell you, our shows are intense! You should definitely check us out live!
Seeing as you’ve been on the road now for six years, how do you think Glare of the Sun has evolved as a band?
Martin: We are not just bandmates, we’re friends and taking care of each other – we only work as a whole, if one part is missing it’s not Glare of the Sun – it’s something else.
Have you been to any countries or festivals which you never thought you’d get to play?
Martin: Not yet
Chris: We hope coming to UK soon. Japan would also be one of our favourite destinations.
Are you playing or attending any festivals this year?
Chris: We’re already talking about 2020 plans by now. I’m sure, we’ll be on some 2019 festivals as well.
Do you have any particular touring anecdotes that you’d like to tell us about?
Chris: Our drummer Frebert has a very “complicated relationship” with earplugs. One time, we had to remove them with a pair of tongs…
What are the best and worst things about being on tour?
Tobias: Best thing is to get in touch with the fans and have some beers together. You’re focused on nothing but the music, which I like very much. Worst thing is to take all the heavy gear with you and build up/dismantle it every fuckin’ evening… 😀
Chris: Yeah, definitely the intense feeling when the band and the music is connecting with the fans!
What is your view on the Austrian metal scene, how do you find it today and has it changed over the years?
Chris: The Austrian scene is small, but very active. We have a lot of cool and talented artists and a lot of nice people coming to concerts. We’re really happy how it developed over the years! It’s always been a nice little scene and it seems to grow bigger and bigger, while still remaining familiar.
Your sound is normally classed as doom metal or post metal, would you say that’s accurate? How would you describe your music to someone who’s never heard it?
Tobias: When someone listens to our music, they will get their own images, categories and thoughts. This is what it’s all about while consuming music.
Martin: We really don’t give a fuck if it’s doom/post metal/blues rock or whatever – we don’t even know exactly what post metal or post/black/doom means – you know all those genre designations are kind of funny – who needs someone to tell them what it is? Listen to the music you like, and don’t be scared of some cryptic definitions.
What are the biggest non-musical influences on yourself and Glare of the Sun?
Chris: Nature, life and the world itself! Dealing with all the love, hate and shit that happens every day. That’s enough inspiration for all we could ever write.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
Tobias: To express oneself and to affect other people!
Chris: We can buy instruments and gear without a reason!
What advice would you give to any fans wanting to start their own bands?
Tobias: Just do your thing, and enjoy being together with other dudes who all share one common passion!
What do you like to do outside of music? Do you have any hobbies?
Tobias: Reading, watching a lot of football and spending time with my family and friends!
Chris: 4/5 of the band are riding motorbikes; besides that, we’re all trying to deal with the world around us.
Finally, are there any bands that have recently caught your attention and would recommend?
Tobias: Currently I am listening a lot to “Latitudes (UK)” and “Celeste (France) and “The Black Heart Rebellion (Belgium)”. Give them a try!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to add or say to our readers?
Thanks! Grab your favourite drink, go to your favourite place, open your mind and listen to “THEIA”!