Interview with Empyreal Sorrow

Hey, and thank you for your time! Please state your names and positions in the band.
Sebastian Moser – Bass Vocals
Martin Hofbauer – Guitars

You’re a recent band and only began early last year. How did your recent lineup all meet?

Martin: The formation of the band was more or less a natural process as at first, it was just me wanting to record my ideas I had collected and written over the years that did not fit into my other bands. Our vocalist and bassist Sebastian helped me out in his studio and when it came to the point who should do the drumming he suggested Julian (Osterried), which already had done a lot of recording sessions at Sebastian’s studio. He instantly agreed as he really liked the material. This was around the end of 2018, beginning of 2019.

Sebastian: Yes, natural is the right term, I think. Because every member has a more or less long connection to one of the others. And as we met for the first time all together, it was as if a bunch of longtime friends was meeting. I would say, that the most important part with this band is that we don’t have any stress or egoism problem – we do what everyone is comfortable with and this leads to a very easygoing time and feeling within the band.

Is there a story as to how the band’s name came about? Have you been in bands previously?

Martin: The name has a strong meaning to me personally. Most people believe in love as the strongest emotion and bond between one another. But I think that sorrow and pain unites us even more and can push you to grow beyond your own limits. I believe in this out of own personal experiences. Sorrow is more honest than treacherous love, stronger than fragile valor and more divine than hypocritical forgiveness. But with the acceptance of pain as one of the most important parts of life, you can really reflect on your own self and see through other people’s actions. Sorrow is our leader through life and our band is deeply inspired by this emotion. Concerning my previous experiences in bands – I was the longtime guitar player in a Bavarian Death Metal band called Dead Alone with which I released a handful of albums and did a lot of concerts as well. Our drummer Julian is also playing for a band called Meister Ehder and for the Post Black Metal project V/Haze Miasma. And he also played together with our second guitar player Markus in a band called Trepidation (also Death Metal).

Sebastian: I began my career as a musician at the age of 16 with the bass guitar and since then was in a certain amount of different bands. Be it Stoner Rock, Thrash Metal, Heavy Rock or Death Metal. For around seven years I was playing with the Heavy Rockers from Gloomball, signed to German label SPV and had a bunch of tours with bands like Motorjesus or Hämatom. With one of my bands, called Arsirius, I also had the chance to play at the Summer Breeze Open Air in front of over a thousand Metal freaks.


When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to join a band?

Martin: As a Metal fan you always feel the energy and power coming from this music and many times it drives people to also wanting to make music. That’s the way it was with every one of us in the band. We felt the inspiration coming from the music we were listening to and quite naturally tried to do something artistic as well.

Sebastian: That’s right, so you try to achieve something similar to the bands you admire at first and as you grow as an artist you – hopefully – develop your own style.

You’re about to release your debut release. What is the concept behind the album?

Martin: The concept behind the album is manifested in the album’s name PRÆY; it is – like the cover artwork – a symbol for the black and white thinking of a lot of mankind. A symbol for the pain, fears, and division of humanity. The artwork of „PRÆY“ is also a perverted adaption of the Vitruvian Man drawn by Leonardo Da Vinci – the destruction of the ideal of the perfect human being. It is the logical visual interpretation of our lyrical topics on this record and of our view on today’s society acting like a human swarm, blindly following and consuming the feces of the overpresent (social) media.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?

Sebastian: That’s easy – it’s Melodic Death Metal with stirring groove, energetic riffing and catchy lyrics that instantly will make you bang your head. Bands from the Swedish Death Metal scene like At The Gates, In Flames or Dark Tranquillity are our main influences. Be it obvious or more subliminal. The main factor that these bands achieved is this great combination of aggression and melody. It’s always “songs” they have written. Songs that you can remember and relate to, with memorable lyrics and melody lines. That’s something we really look up to  and try to achieve as well.

Who does your artwork? Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with, be it an artist/photographer or producer? Etc

Martin: The cover was created by Björn Lensig (www.lensig.com), a very talented and amazing artist who has also worked for artists like Amon Amarth and is doing lots of illustrations for games. His style was perfectly fitting for our artistic vision for this album and he totally understands to transfer visually what we want to achieve with our music. We definitely will work together with him again on future releases.

Have you enjoyed the process of producing an album? Did you have a set way of doing things?

Sebastian: It was a quite relaxed way of producing an album. From the beginning on there was never any pressure, because we always did the music just for ourselves and the songs had to please our own expectations only. The music grew with every step we took and every new instrument that was added. We started with just riffing around and in the end, we had some massive beasts of songs we are really proud of.
Maritn: The only set way is maybe that I come up with most of the basic ideas and then we start arranging everything at Sebastian’s studio. But every song is totally open for rebuilding and even to be thrown away. In the end the only guideline is that every one of us is happy with the outcome.

Do you have a favourite track from the album?

Martin: They are all hits – just hits!

Sebastian: You get a good impression if you listen to our singles “Quiet Depression” and “Source Of (In)Humanity” at first – that’s the essence of EMPYREAL SORROW!

Has the craziness of this year provided you with a lot of inspiration?

Martin: The craziness of this world is a constant inspiration …

Sebastian: I agree – this planet and humankind is a constant mess. It does not even need a new virus to realize that.

What do you think of the music scene like where you are based in Munich?

Martin: We have a very vital scene especially the Metal scene. A lot of bands from different genres but mainly Death Metal is very strong here in the Bavarian region. Bands like HAILSTONE or PEQUOD are long-serving members of the Munich Metal scene.

You’ve mentioned before that you draw a lot of influence from the Swedish scene, are there any local bands that you have looked up to and admired?

Sebastian: The German metal scene is really fantastic, there are so many good and awesome bands throughout many genres. Take a listen to bands like BLACKEVIL (Blackened Thrash Metal), STILLERS TOD (Black Metal), EISENHAUER (Heavy Metal), WOLVES DEN (Black Metal), or V/HAZE MIASMA (Post Black Metal). All of those bands have something really unique and are creating music on a professional level even though you can still count them as Underground.

How have bands been surviving in your area since the start of the pandemic?

Sebastian: A lot of the local bands just really do nothing … There are some that adapted to the new reality and also tried experimenting with things like Livestreams or “From-Home-Concerts”. But most of them seem really dependent on the live situation and are not that much into the Online world. So you do not get to see that much from the local bands right now even on their Social Media channels.

Would local collaborations help the scene out and would you be willing participants?

Sebastian: I think that is a perfect approach. Right now we are stuck in a situation where no one knows when we will be back on a stage again. So you have to rethink your role as an entertainer – your fans want to be entertained, that’s our job, I think. So we have to look into new ways of creating content and also find new ways of challenging ourselves artistically throughout this whole situation. Collaborations with artists from every possible segment are good ways to do keep the excitement alive.

Martin: Right now we are already working on such collaborations, so stay tuned 😉

Do you think image is important when being in a band?

Martin: Simple answer – yes. But to the point where it feels natural. Putting on masks just because Slipknot are selling records this way is not an option. You have to find something that feels good for you as an artist. Then it will also feel and look natural and appealing to your audience.

Are you guys looking to tour next year and if so, what are you most looking forward to?

Sebastian: As you know, the current Corona situation is not an easy task, especially for the entertainment industry. There are certain chances to do live shows, but we have to see if it is worth the risk at the moment. So right now we are mainly looking into how we can reach our potential fans in other ways, via Social Media in particular.

Have you been able to play together live since the inception of your band?

Martin: Until now the band has just come together in the studio for playing the songs. We did not have any live appearances with EMPYREAL SORROW until now. But we all have a decent long background as live musicians, so we know what each one can bring to the table, so to speak. The most important part of playing live shows is to give the audience an entertaining experience. With that in mind we try to avoid the stereotypical stage presence of so many Metal bands – just standing around, moshing and boring the crowd. We know that activating the crowd counts way more in the end than playing every note right.

Any new bands that have caught your attention recently?

Sebastian: I am constantly flooding my ears with new stuff, I could list so many bands. But one that caught my attention enormously is KAUNIS KUOLEMATON from Finland. They are also playing Melodic Death Metal and their stuff is just majestic. And I also would like to recommend every one of the bands I mentioned above like V/HAZE MIASMA, BLACKEVIL or STILLERS TOD.

What do you like to do outside of music? Any hobbies?

Martin: What every one of us has in common is the love for nature and the calm moments in life. So we all are fans of hiking and traveling.
Sebastian: Besides that – music is our passion. Our drummer Julian is so in love with his drumset and drumming that he could not even think about leaving it alone for longer than a day. Myself, I also have my studio in which I constantly work with other Metal bands.

What are your plans for next year?

Martin: We already have a massive stock of new material for the next album. So next year we will invest a lot of time in arranging and recording new songs. And we also have laid out plans for an EP that will be released in the first half of 2021.

Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Sebastian: Drink beer and turn up the volume! Enjoy life and stay healthy!

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