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Johannes Prem (Deadlock)

Interview with Johannes Prem from Deadlock
by Orpheus Spiliotopoulos at 27 August 2005, 2:58 PM

Being a Hardcore band is one thing. Being a Death/Black Metal band is another thing… But managing to jump from the German Hardcore underground scene into the futuristic ocean of melodic Death/Black Metal is certainly worth lifting an eyebrow…to say the least. Deadlock has more than your usual Melodic Death/Black ingredients and I was really impressed with their debut full length release, Earth.Revolt, through LifeForce Records a little while ago. And if I had any question marks hovering over my (bound to go bald) head, they all vanished as soon as I interviewed the band's singer, Johannes Prem. Here's what he had to say…

Hi and welcome to Metal Temple magazine’s Interviews section. Though I’ve written a small bio of the band in my review of your debut album, Earth.Revolt, I’d like to hear the story directly by you. How did Deadlock come together? What got you started with music in the first place and especially Metal?

Hi, we started Deadlock back in 1997. Tobias \[Graf - drums], Sebastian \[Reichi - guitar] and I didn’t even know who would play which instrument when we started back then… all we wanted to do was hang out together, have fun and make the style of music we liked to listen to in our spare time. Finally we found Thomas \[Huschka - bass] and Gert \[Rymen - guitar] to complete the band and now we are working in full effect. In the last 8 years we’ve played tons of shows, met lots of cool people and new friends and recorded the following material:

1999 - self titled 7
2001 - MCD I’ll Wake You When Spring Awakes (WinterRecordings)
2002 - CD The Arrival (WinterRecordings)
2003 - Split CD with SixReasonsToKill (WinterRecordings)
28th of June 2005 - CD Earth.Revolt (LifeForce Records)

Earth.Revolt is the second part of a theme that started in your split release with Six Reasons To Kill, in 2003. Would you mind talking to us about this - I have to confess - interesting story?

Imagine you are thrown into a world where the greed of humanity and battles dominate everything. War is raging everywhere and creatures are dying in the most brutal ways … but in that story the world pushes too far and Earth decides to send her armies for the final battle and finally a new world arises in total beauty from the ashes of humanity.

OK, if I didn’t know you guys were German, I’d swear you were from Scandinavia (Sweden in particular). Are you influenced, at all, by bands such as In Flames or Dark Tranquillity? I’m not saying that you play like those bands, it’s just that there’s a slight feeling in your music (which music of course has its own character - very nice) bringing in mind such acts.

I would say our music has a lot of different influences although we try to totally ignore musical influences when we are composing new material, because for us it is very important to keep our very own special sound and play our own style. But as we play melodic Death/Black Metal, it is clear that we are compared with the big ones of the scene such as bands like In Flames or sometimes Dimmu Borgir or whatever…it’s an honor to be set in the same row with these bands although I think we play a really different style with much more message in our songs.

How difficult was it to arise from the German underground scene and move into the more commercial zone of the music industry?


Deadlock has never been part of a special scene …we always were somehow out of the normal categories because you will not find many bands that are vegan straight edge and play Metal in such a pure form … Coming from the Hardcore scene it was not very easy to get a foot into the Metal scene but we are patient and i think with Earth.Revolt we could make it also to even bigger Metal concerts, but we will see what the future brings for DL.

What has the response been concerning Earth.Revolt from the media (apart from Metal Temple, hehe) and metalheads, so far?

It seems that Earth.Revolt found its fans and we really are happy to get so many positive comments on our new baby … it simply is the best that can happen to you, when you invested lots of time, ideas and energy on something and people like what they get out of it in the end….

I was also pretty impressed by the guest performance of Sabine Weniger, though I had never heard of her before. She’s probably one of the reasons why I’ve been listening to Awakened By Sirens so much. Is she going to be on your next effort as well? Tell us a few things about her.


The story of Sabine and DL began during the recording session of The Arrival; we were searching for someone to do the keyboards for some songs and finally found Sabine … when we hit the studio together with her we saw that she also had an absolutely amazing voice and so we decided to add some female vocals too … on our split with SixReasonsToKill she also helped us out and now on Earth.Revolt we thought it would be perfect to have one song that was performed by her almost alone. But as she is a professional musician, she’s not able to become a real band member, because she is simply too busy with her other projects. If we will hear more of Sabine’s beautiful voice and keyboard skill is still not clear because we have to decide in which way we want DL to go in the future…but whatever the future brings for us you can be sure that DL will stand as a perfect mix of beautiful melodies and extreme brutality….

Were you lined up for any gigs this summer? Is there going to be any European tour next winter?

We were planning a summer tour, but because of too many shows not booked we had to cancel it. We already had and still have lots of festival appearances this summer and are working hard on our first tour in winter 2005. There are some plans to tour Scandinavia and Europe but nothing booked yet. Be sure folks to check out our homepage www.xdeadlockx.com for the latest news about tours and single shows.

Who wrote the lyrics to the songs?

I wrote all the lyrics for Earth.Revolt and our split CD before that. We spoke about what we expected from our new material and decided to make a concept album and I decided to continue the story of the little soldier that was thrown into the total chaos and so the story of the Earth.Revolt was born. The normal way of creating a song is that Tobias and Sebastian compose the new stuff and when a new track is ready it is my job to make my lyrics fit in.

Since you’re German, I’d like to ask you what your opinion on Wacken Open Air is. Do you personally attend this festival? Is there any chance you might be on the bill next year? Say something good, you know, people from the W.O.A. management might probably be reading this! (Laughs)


Yeah, of course we all love Wacken and would love to play there next year! (Laughs) I think there are really great festivals in Germany and Wacken is one of them. It would be a fucking pleasure for DL to be allowed to play at W.O.A. some day!!!

Describe an ordinary day of your life. What else do you do other than being a member of Deadlock?

We are all working besides the band …. so our days are normally fulfilled with our jobs and that makes it sometimes difficult to find enough time for rehearsals or tours, but Deadlock is so important to all of us that that we try our best to play as many shows as possible.

What was the first Metal album you ever heard? Do you still listen to it?

My first metal album was Metallica’s Ride The Lightning but I don’t really listen to it these days. But I can tell you that my first heroes were Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden….and Iron Maiden is a band I still love listening to.

Do you use the Internet a lot? What’s your opinion on MP3s and people downloading albums off the internet via file sharing programs?

I think the internet is the perfect place to transport your music and message to a worldwide audience. But for bands it is also very dangerous because as you mentioned lots of people download not just samples or teasers but complete albums and I think that destroys the music business and that’s really sad. It’s great that you can upload a new song to promote your new CD but it’s just bullshit if people download the whole CD… because in my opinion it’s more than just the sound that makes it a CD… the artwork, the lyrics and stuff like that… If i like a band, I want to have their CD with all that comes along with it, I want to take a look at the artwork and read the lyrics. So, for me the Internet is the perfect place to talk to people, that share the same thoughts and ideals, all over the world and promote our lifestyle and music and this is so important that I do not care about some idiots that steal the music…

Are you satisfied with your record label, Lifeforce Records?

Yeah, absolutely. With Lifeforce we found a partner in crime that supports both our music and our lifestyle and this is just perfect. They made a very good promotion for Earth.Revolt and we have a very friendly contact, so it’s all just perfect and you can expect to hear a lot of news about this alliance in the future.

Is there any musician from anywhere in the world that you’d like to slap around for some reason?

Hm? Let me think about it … not really. Maybe I would work and hang out with Shakira for some reason… (Laughs)

Which song would you like to cover with Deadlock, if you were ever going to cover a song for a Tribute album for one of the big bands?

My favorite 3 songs to cover would be: In Flames’s Episode666, Earth Crisis’ Gomorrah’s Season Ends or Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell!!!

What are your future plans with Deadlock apart from concerts?

Next will be a video shooting for one of Earth.Revolt’s tracks and working hard on new material for our second output on LifeforceRecords. Besides that we will try to tour Scandinavia and Europe this winter, so you see there’s a lot of work to be done…

Thank you so much for your time in answering these questions. I wish you guys all the best and hope to see you at some show someday, be it in Germany, Greece or wherever! The ending of this interview belongs to you. Send out a message to all our readers, all over the world.

Thank you very, very much for your time and interest in Deadlock. We really appreciate this! Thanks to you ladies and gentlemen for reading this interview and hopefully we will see lots of you on our winter tour!!! Take care, go vegan!



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