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Bernhard "Bernie" Lorig (Godslave)

Interview with Bernhard Lorig from Godslave
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 07 April 2011, 1:00 AM

Once called SLAVERY, this German Thrash group has the tools to become one of the dominant bands in their local scene, and in Europe. After the release of their second album, "Into The Black", that for the second time revealed their talents and their awesome sound production, one of the band's founding members, Bernie, sat down to talk about the band's new album, future and past.

Hello Bernie, It is great to have you interviewed for Metal Temple on behalf of your band GODSLAVE. How are you doing?

Thanks much for the support, we really appreciate it! I am doing fine :)

First, let’s let the Metal-Temple readers get to know GODSLAVE. You have been around the band since its former reincarnation, SLAVERY. What made you guys change or it was all summed up by changing the title?

Well, we reached the point where in particular Thommy (singer) and me weren't at all satisfied with the situation, there was nothing to expect from SLAVERY for the future. In addition to that, we also weren't satisfied with the outcome of our other band ICON and so we decided to do something about it. To begin a new era you have to have a clear cut and that's what we did by changing the name. The music changed in this process too and we finally got to where we always belonged: Thrash Metal!

After three years since your amazing EP, “Out Of The Ashes”, you guys came through with your second release, “Into The Black”. What can you share with us regarding the album’s work process?

It was tough shit ha ha. That's a good way to sum it all up. We really worked our asses off for this record! Collecting ideas and songs over more than one year, than the actual and final songwriting from summer 2010 on to recording everything in October and November 2010. Within “Out of the Ashes” and “Into the Black” we released two split CDs called “Thrashed Vol.1” and “Thrashed Vol.2” with our friends of IMPACTOR and THRASHTANICA to show that we're still alive. They are limited to 222 copies, the first one is already sold out, when someone is interested in the second one: hurry up and write us he he.

Before I will ask more about the new material, I have to know something that has almost an equal connection but from a production angle. How did you guys came along with such a hefty sound? It is one of the most crushing Thrash sounds I have ever heard.

Finally someone talks about the sound ha ha ha. Thank you! We're so proud of how the record sounds. It was a long and very hard process together with our producer Phil Hillen ( that finally led to “Into the Black”. We recorded our Split EPs with him and always tried out new stuff soundwise to finally find the sound for GODSLAVE. And what can I say: We found it I think the guitar sound is one of the best and most aggressive and powerful that you can hear at the moment and the funny thing is: it is nothing but anENGL Blackmore with a little OCD Fulltone pedal in front of it – that's it! We needed about 2 to 3 years to come to this point and hell we are satisfied with the result he he. So it was all a struggling to find the right sound together with our producer Phil Hillen over quite an amount of time. We talked about how it should sound a lot and what we have to do to reach the goal and that certainly payed off!

As for the material on “Into The Black”, do you think that you guys progressed since the debut and the EP?

Definitely!! Would be sad if we didn't ha ha. No, seriously, I don't want to sound cocky here but the development is really a big one. The song from our debut were all old SLAVERY songs that we tried to fit in the new context but we did not really succeed in doing so in my opinion. The EP songs were the first GODSLAVE songs and they are pretty cool but now, we finally came to full power with “Into the Black”, this is what we really are! I mean, there has to be a progression, right? Otherwise you derange totally as a creative person… or you sell millions of records likeAC/DC ha ha. And who in the hell wants that??? ha ha. All kidding aside: listen to “Into the Black” and you know all you gotta know about GODSLAVE in 2011!

What about the fine guest appearances you had on the release. How did you came up with such strong Metal starlets to do you the amazing service?

We just asked ha ha. Bene from MEKONG DELTA has been a friend of ours for several years and we always wanted to have him on the record so that has been set some time before already. Same with Manni from CELESTA. We got to know the DESTRUCTION guys at a festival we both played and met them several times after that and some day we just asked Mike about it and it worked out.
Same with Gerrit of SACRED STEEL, we thought about the idea to add some clean vocals to the title track and we had his voice in our heads all the time so it just had to be him ha ha. Luckily he did it!

Did you intend on sending out a certain message with a certain meaning to your fans and new listeners?

Yes: kick some ass ha ha, no, actually I don't care about any messages and I really don't like bands forcing their opinions about things onto their fans. I don't like politics in music and so there isn't any general message in our music, no concept. Sure, when I have something to tell, I'll tell. Same with Meyer (guitarist). We write about things that touch us, things that move us in any way, good or bad. Be it entertainment like Horror movies (“Uncut, Unseen, Unrated”, “Zombie Panic Holocaust”), be it more serious topics like in “Scholar Eclipse” or “Blood O The Innocent” or very personal stuff that is written more cryptically like “Into the Black”, “Why I Hate” or“Anvilised”. The lyrics are very very important to us, because we want them to fit to the music, so they have to have a certain quality standard. Well, there is at least one message on the record I must admit: “Anvilised”, read the lyrics and you will know, at least the ones who feel the same will certainly feel what I wanted to express :)

With the album’s release, you signed a newly contract with SAOL. How did you came in contact with them? Did they came to you?

That was totally awesome because we did it all in about two weeks. That was very very off the hook because we had the release party planned and finally wanted to to something with the record. We had this thing in hands and we had to put this monster out for everyone to hear. We read about the service of SAOL before and we wanted to contact them for the next record but knowing what  power“Into the Black” possesses, we had to do it right now! So we wrote them and came into contact very quickly and we are so far very satisfied with everything, big cheers to the boys and girls, we don't regret it yet hehe.

How are the work relations with SAOL?

We work well together, it is a real partnership. Together with them, we form the label. We got all the rights and the control about our music and they supply the connections, promotion and distribution. A normal label which enslaves you for several records, taking all rights and control and then doing nothing for your promotion would not be the right thing for us. So SAOL is the best alternative for us! Great company!

The newly “Into The Black” will probably drag with it a tour or festival shows. What do you guys have next in line?

Well, we really hope so… at the moment there are not that much gigs scheduled and I am afraid the summer will not see us live as much as we would want it to do. But, we are planning a tour in autumn and you will surely know about it as soon as we have some news!!

What do you think of your local Thrash scene. Do you think it has evolved or devolved in comparison the amazing 80s years?

Well, in the 80s I was way to young so I really can't compare this adequately. But naturally it has evolved because everything evolves within a time span of almost 30 years. Today many metalheads want to look exactly as the pioneers in the 80s which I personally think is the stupidest idea ever! They want to breathe the spirit of the 80s instead of creating a new spirit! That so damn ridiculous. Copy instead of create, just totally ridiculous…What made the scene, the music, the sound and everything else in the 80s so special was the pioneer spirit and nothing else! Why do you think all the so-called old school bands want to sound like in the 80s? Because they want to revive the spirit which they can’t! Because the most important part of this special feeling was that it was never been done before! That's why the sound is so glorified. Not because it sounds better. I would like to see that metalheads begin creating their own spirit of 2011 and not always trying to live what others lived 30 years ago…So, evolution or devolution? Copying is devolution, creating is development, so, something in between ;-)

Bernie, I would like to thank you for your time and effort on this interview. I wish you guys good luck and with a hope for new material soon. Cheers dude!

Thank you very much for the support!
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Thanx man!


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