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Gerrit P. Mutz (Dawn Of Winter)

Interview with Gerrit P. Mutz from Dawn Of Winter
by Daniel Silva at 01 February 2013, 9:08 PM

While counting thee EPs and two full albums the doom metal band from Germany, DAWN OF WINTER has been around for quite some time. Having  recently released EP named "The Skull Of The Sorcerer“. Daniel Silva sacrificed ouzo and feta to summon Gerrit Murtz, singer of DAWN OF WINTER in the Metal Temple’s inner ritual chamber to talk about skulls, dead sorcerers, Lovecraft and the essence of forging Doom Metal songs.

Hey Gerrit, thanks for taking the time for this interview for Metal Temple.

Hey, you´re more than welcome! You may know that I´m a big fan of Greece anyway, so I always like to doing interviews with metalheads from this blessed country.

How have you been doing?

Very, very good! I´ve just returned from another trip to Greece with my bloodbrothers in BATTLEROAR. Then I had some great days chilling at home. Right now I´m listening to “Master´s Hammer“. Nice day indeed.

DAWN OF WINTER is a great name, how did you guys come up with it and when?

I came up with that name in 1986 when I was fooling around with several ideas for several future projects that I had in mind back then. Back then it was quite unuasual to have a bandname containing "of". Of course there were bands like FILEDS OF THE NEPHILIM or A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS or whatever but in the metal genre this was pretty uncommon. I liked the sounding of the name from the start and I always loved the word "winter" anyway. As a child winter always was the most magical time of the year to me.

What are some of you main influences as a singer? And as a band?

I would never label myself as a real singer. I´m just a metal fan who´s also singing somehow. In 1990 nobody else wanted to sing in my doom band where I was playing guitar so I had to try it myself. I "learned" to control my voice better by singing along to albums like "The Spectre Within", "Meliass", "Awaken The Guardian", "Hallow´s Victim", "Nightfall" or "Into Glory Ride". My best friend then mentioned that my voice is kinda similar to Mr. Scott Reagers so I focused on singing along to old VITUS even more. As a band our main influences are still the same as when we started: old BLACK BABBATH, CANDLEMASS, TROUBLE, PENTAGRAM, old MANOWAR, CIRITH UNGOL, MANILLA ROAD, old JUDAS PRIEST, WITCHFINDER GENERAL andSAINT VITUS.

What can you tell us about the new EP, "The Skull Of The Sorcerer"?

Well, it was recorded with nearly no budget and surely in a rush but it reflects the band as it is now 100%. We love every note on this recording. It´s pure, perfect unadultered underground doom metal. Not too many bands nowadays still play this kind of music the way we do which makes us pretty original in a way, haha.The EP features 4 tracks, from pretty fast to painfully slow. It´s only available on vinyl, limited to 500 copies.

Do you think that this EP presented something new from you guys?

Sure! All 4 songs are brandnew. No recycling here. I think that these 4 tracks are among the finest songs we´ve ever written. I´m pretty proud of them and I love to play them live. All of them.

My favorite song on “The Skull of the Sorcerer“ is the Lovecraftian
Dagon's Blood“, are you a fan of Lovecraft's works?

Sure I am! I read EVERYTHING I could get hold of in the mid 80´s already. I also read some biographies or other articles about Lovecraft and I watched ALL the movies that I could get hold of as well. Lovecraft is simply fantastic in the meaning of the word. Otherworldly!

What are you guys currently up to since the EP? Are you working on a third full-length album?

Nope. We have not even rehearsed more than once since the release. We´re a lazy bunch of old fuckers really. We have talked about writing new songs but maybe first for a 7" release or something. There was no talk yet about a third album. There maybe will be one in 2020 or later. can´t say yet. We don´t make plans. We´ll see what happens.

How is the Doom Metal scene in the band's homeland of Germany?

Mhh, I don´t know really. I´ve lost touch a bit in the last years. We have a great scene for all things metal over here so I guess that the doom scene is alo pretty vivid and strong but I don´t know any new german bands, or at least no name jumps into my brain right now. Festivals like Hammer Of Doom or Doom Shall Rise are pretty successful so there sure must be some people interested in the best music this side of heaven.

What made you want to sing Doom Metal?

That´s an easy one, haha. I always was a slow and lousy guitarist and I´m slow when it comes to learn things so doom obviously was the first metal genre that allowed me to become a sort of musician. Plus I always loved the mood of doom and the lyrics that helped me through many bad times.

Do you have any advices for someone that would like to form a doom metal band? And in terms of guitar playing and singing?

Nope. Not really. If you love doom, playing doom will just come naturally to you as well. I sure can give no real advice to anyone out there, I´m not a teacher. I am a fan in the first place.

How does the songwriting process works in the band?

Most of the times, Jörg our guitarist comes along with 3-4 riffs and then we, as a band, try to get the parts in order and arrange them so that it becomes a song that we all like. Sometimes Dennis, our drummer or I have a song idea, then we try to work on that as well. I write all the lyrics.

Do you need to get into a special state of mind in order to convey the necessary "feeling" that Doom Metal requires?

Yes, sure! You can´t write a doom song and cry about the state of the world when you´re in love and butterflies are soaring through your stomach and head! You sure need to be in a perfect state of mind. Bitter but motivated, desperate but with enough power to be creative.

Do you tour much with Dawn of Winter? Or do you focus more on your other band Sacred Steel?

I always focus on whatever is main priority at the moment. We never tour with DAWN OF WINTER and we rarely tour with SACRED STEEL these days. So there´s no need to cut anything in favour of another project.

Gerrit I wish to thank for the interview, I wish you the best of luck for you and guys. Any last words?

I´ll hold back my last words ´til the day I die. Then I´ll mumble something like "Shit, it´s pretty dark" or "Fuck, I shat my pants", or "Oh no, the monotheistic idiots were right, poor me". For now I´ll just say: THANK YOU for supporting us and thanks for the nice interview. Was fun.


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