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Fearancy's Gilbert Dornhofer: "As every country has their own restrictions which are changing nearly every two weeks, it will not be economic for many touring bands to play five out of 20 shows in the end"

Interview with Gilbert Dornhofer from Fearancy
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 17 September 2021, 3:29 PM

New faces, a new voice, a new sound, a new frontier to look for, a new image for an artist to get a hold of. It is a natural process, in particular when fresh blood is recruited. At times to freshen up the efforts, and at times simply because it is a necessity. The Austrian Fearancy as if felt the need that the lineup had to change and their new album “Dæmonium”, proves that point. Furthermore, the band signed with a label, in order to kickstart the buzz and from there on, their only way is up. Steinmetal had a good chat with one of the band's founders, Gilbert Dornhofer, about his side of things concerning the record

Hello Gilbert, it is great to have you for this conversation for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing?

Hi Lior, it’s a pleasure! It’s been a busy year so far for us, but we are all very well, healthy and motivated for the upcoming adventures.

It has been a while since I last talked to an Austrian band. How is the situation going on over there in your city, and in the country overall? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel from what you can conjure?

Luckily 2021 was not that bad as it was in 2020 due to the vaccinations. That made it possible that even some open airs and also indoor shows could take place in Austria. Unfortunately, the infections are increasing again. All in all, we still have no major restrictions as they were earlier this year at this point. Let´s hope the best for the upcoming months…

There has been a slow and easy comeback to a form of reality due to the vaccinations, yet it appears that the variants just keep appearing, most seem to be rather weak, yet there is both the Delta and Lambda that have been taking their toll. Do you see the live scene getting back in full swing in 2022 or is it too early to tell?

In my opinion, all big open air festivals will take place in 2022 again. At least in Austria. I recently talked to some German bands as well and they were not that positive about the festival situation in 2022. We´ll see…

It will be interesting to see if all indoor concerts will take place in 2021/2022 which are already planned. As every country has their own restrictions which are changing nearly every two weeks, it will not be economic for many touring bands to play five out of 20 shows in the end.

As a band that has been quite active in the live scene, it goes without saying that you probably miss the stage, but how has that lack of live activity made an impact on the band’s stability? On a personal note, what kept you going on forward to remain in the band?

Indeed, all of our shows in 2020 has been cancelled or shifted to 2021/2022. On the other hand, we had more time to work on the new album which has paid off.

All of the members putted a lot of effort in Fearancy and the chemistry within the band is outstanding. Those are facts that didn’t even made me think of not going ahead in the Band.

Over the last year or so, Fearancy went through changes, nearly at all fronts. One of those changes is the band signing with a label for its sophomore album. I wonder, what triggered your decision to sign with a label other than remaining as an unsigned band? What drew you to Black Sunset Records? Was it mainly the offer? What were you looking for?

After we finished the production on Daemonium we thought it would be great to have a label to get more attention and promo on the album and the band itself. Sure, nowadays you have many ways to promote yourself as an unsigned band, but you’ll never have the possibilities that an established label has.

So we sent our promo package to many labels keeping in mind that it could happen that no label is interested in our stuff or no label is signing new bands due to the pandemic situation. Luckily there were some labels which offered us a signing. In the end our decision was to sign with Black Sunset/MDD as the communication was honest and professional from the very beginning and we are very happy now to be part of this family.

The arrival of your new album, “Dæmonium”, from my perspective is also a change of the band’s image in a way. Whether it is the logo, and the sheer force, yet also mystery, generated by the artwork, it is as if a new identity was forged. What is your opinion about that?

In a way that’s correct. As you know, Phil and I are the remaining founding members of Fearancy, our musical style changed over the years to a more heavier direction and also having Max and Benji as new forces in the band it was kind of necessary to do a little „rebranding“ which fits the current Fearancy in a better way.

Would you believe that there is a close relation between “Dæmonium”, as a mere concept, to the ongoing state of affairs going on in the world, in particular the social order that took a different shape due to the pandemic?

Yes and no. „Dæmonium“ reflects not just the pandemic situations. Its concept is more to deal with things where you can struggle and suffer from directly or indirect as well as physical or psychological. The pandemic shows now all of those faces to the whole world.

It occurred to me that “Dæmonium” is the opposite direction of where Scandinavian, Swedish mainly, bands took near the end of the 90s, turning to a more Metalcore in kind musicality. Fearancy still shares the contemporary exploration of Metal and Hardcore as a fusion, nonetheless, running high on those old Gothenburg melodies with hard edged deathly form of Thrash Metal edges. How would you describe your musical journey taken on “Dæmonium” in terms of musical development?

As musician you are kind of influenced by some bands or genres you are listening to or have listened in the past and which shapes also your own style of playing in a way. In the end all musicians in a band takes a serious part of what the band sounds like and we are really happy with the style that has developed throughout the composing of Daemonium.

And therefore comes the mighty question of uniqueness. Since the market has been swarming with bands performing a modernized form of Melodic Death Metal, in your view, what makes “Dæmonium” the special kind of fiend that all should notice? What makes it uncanny?

Nobody has re-invented the wheel - why not, actually? Joking aside, we’ve got some reviews of the new album where it comes on the table that we are not that classical Melo Death Band. Some wrote we are Thrash Metal or Death Metal and in one Review I even read that we’re a Power Metal Band. On our point of view, we would us rather see as an Melo Death Band mixing also elements of Thrash/Death and a little pinch of Black in our songs. That’s what Daemonium delivers to it’s listeners.

We talked about it a little earlier, but I would like to elaborate. “Dæmonium” officially introduced a new vocalist and a drummer for Fearancy. In your opinion, what was the two new members’ impact on the material of the record? Were they given free rein to contribute their own vision into the music?

We are very happy to have Max and Benji on board. Their influences and visions made the new songs „heavier“ then we’ve expected when Phil was creating the first awesome Riffs for the new album.

You have been writing songs for some time now, gained experience and I am sure that you are always on the lookout in order to learn as much as possible. When it comes to “Dæmonium”, how would you say that it developed you as a songwriter? How did this record challenge your abilities?

On Daemonium, Phil was the first source of creativity when it comes to creating new songs. He came up with awesome and grooving melodic lines and even fully songs on guitar. The rest was put together in our rehearsal catacombs. As the musical chemistry within the band is better that ever it felt quiet easy to know how the things should sound like. Some songs were really challenging at the beginning, but nothing what can’t be rehearsed ;-)

Sound wise, Fearancy made one hell of a step forward, creating itself a pattern of sound that is a true ignition for both motivation and the utter power of the songs. Working with J-F Dagenais as an engineer surely benefited the band’s new sound. How did the end result fit to your initial vision of how the band should sound? What is your appreciation of the album’s sound?

When the question was raised about the production, J-F immediately came to our minds. The productions he did were all outstanding with a powerful punch in the mix. We’re massively happy with the sound on the album.

The self-titled track, “Dæmonium”, my album’s favorite, is also a common ground musically for the band, turning melodic, yet maintaining its heaviness and roughness, producing a catchy note that is brutal enough for many to enjoy. How do you find the song’s importance, serving as an impact on the entire album?

The title track is the introduction to the whole album, that’s why we also released our Story-Video for this song. It’s gives you a good glance on what is happening during the whole ten songs.

When you sit down and listen to the album, what does it make you feel? Which of the tunes make you feel as a whole? Where do you find comfort? Please elaborate

I prefer to listen to the album consciously with a glass of whiskey being thankful of what we created and the production sounds like. For me, Sacrifice, Daemonium and Voices are the most powerful songs on the record.

We mentioned the happening of shows for 2022, yet I wonder what do you have in the works for Fearancy, as I am sure that you wish to return to the live scene?

For 2022 we’re already confirmed at InnRock Reloaded Festival in Tirol/Austria. There are some more shows/festivals we are currently in touch with the promoters - fingers crossed!

Gilbert, it was a pleasure to have you, thank you for your time and for producing such an amazing record, youthful spirit really taking it to good places. All the best

Thanks for the interview and your support, Lior! All the best from camp Fearancy!


 



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