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Lynx's Marvin Kiefer: "I’m not a trained singer. I often came to my limits, and you can hear that too"

Interview with Marvin Kiefer from Lynx
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 22 January 2022, 9:06 PM

It starts with a direction and from there, it takes off into new borders and beyond. It the beginning of nearly all artists around the world, no matter the musical genre. The story of the Hard Rock band Lynx is more of the same, and it appears that it is still developing, constantly seeking to make the best possible within their own beloved spectrum of musical choice. Following the release of their new album, “Watcher Of Skies”, where a means to escape is presented, Steinmetal had a talk with vocalist, Marvin Kiefer, and it seems that things are simpler than they appear.

Hello Marvin, happy holidays, it is great to have you for this interview with Metal Temple online Magazine. How are things on your end, considering the pandemic we have been going through?

Hey, thank you very much for that, I wish you a happy new year! Unfortunately, we are all stuck in this shitty situation, and we have to do the best of it.

Talking about the pandemic, it has been a mental hell for a lot of people out there. The levels of uncertainty, and lack of knowledge of what comes next, at least in the first year of the pandemic, were highly evident. How were you able to cope with it all? What would you say saved your mentality so to speak?

When the pandemic began, no one knew what to expect. when the first concerts were cancelled, we had no choice but to create something new. I think that saved our mentality.

It may be possible, correct me if I am wrong, as we discussed something to cling to, your new band, Lynx, came to the rescue. Would you say that the pandemic actually gave you a boost to start the band or were there other reasons entirely?

In fact, we formed just right before the pandemic began. The idea came from our guitarist Tim and me in a drinking night. (haha)

Since I felt the list of songs as cosmic, and sci-fi, throughout your debut album, “Watcher Of Skies”, lyrically, what forms of messages did you try to convey? What is important to you that you felt the need to share your inner emotions with the listeners?

The text of "watcher of skies" was written by Tim. I think he can answer them better: “The lyrics for “Watcher of Skies” are about dreams and escapism. Actually, a lot of songs on this album gravitate around these concepts and it felt natural for us to use our admiration for sci-fi genre in order to convey these thematics.

What I liked about the artwork, other than the cat gazing up at the sky, waiting for something, the overall artwork has a beautiful side. It looks like an old comic book’s cover, minus the ads. What can you tell of the vision of the one that made this artwork what it is? What is your take on the artwork’s meaning?

We call our music “Heavy Rock”! We are between classic rock from the 70s and heavy metal from the 80s. I think the label and our music harmonize wonderfully.

Following that vibe that I have been getting from the lyrics, the music completes the picture quite nicely. “Watcher Of Skies” provides a great combination of the vintage years of Hard Rock dating back to the 70s, yet without leaving out the proto-Metal period of the early 80s. Let’s also add a little bit of early progression of both Rock and Metal to the bowl of soup, and we have ourselves an intriguing dish. What is your take on this? Was the album’s end result fitting to your initial vision of how the musical direction would be?

For us it was clear that we wanted to stay in the area of the 70s and 80s. We are absolutely satisfied with the final result of the album, but the finding phase is not yet complete.

While being observed as hard riffs driven, “Watcher Of Skies” takes on dynamic forms, being an atmospheric creature. The guitar work is magical from my end, it shares simplicity, yet also having the listener sink in a creative world of ideas, sharing with the listener a time period long gone. What can you tell about your approach towards the arrangement of the songs?

The whole song is written by our drummer Franz! He had played the song to us in the rehearsal room, and we were impressed. We didn't have to change much about this song. Tim wrote the lyrics, I wrote the vocal line and it was done.

We talked about the atmosphere, there is the vocal line. You surely showed your abilities with a wonderful performance, setting the vibe of your voice to fit with the enchanted musical end. Nonetheless, when push came to shove, you knew exactly how to give that extra soar. What did the record demand from you vocally, in terms of effort?

Thanks for the kind words! Of course, I’m not a trained singer. I often came to my limits, and you can hear that too. Nevertheless, I’m generally happy with my performance. That was the first recording on which I sang by the way. ;-)

Another aspect of “Watcher Of Skies” is its sound. I can only guess that there is a mixture between digital and analogue sound, but nowadays, one cannot be too sure. The sound of the record is phenomenal, capturing the decisive power of how a vintage Rock album sounds like, whether British or American oriented. What can you tell about the process of how the sound pattern of the record was found?

Thank you very much! The album was recorded by the great Robin Wächtershäuser. We had the absolutely right man with him. We recorded the album at “Cocobolo Studios” in Gießen. There we could work with a lot of room, which was good for the real sound. Robin makes as few cuts as possible during the recording, so that it sounds almost live.

Did you have prior experience as a songwriter in other bands or was it your first time as such on a record? Whether you are a veteran or just a first timer, what can you tell about the experience surrounding “Watcher Of Skies”?  What can you say that you have learned from this process, on how to approach raw material and form it into a song?

I have been with the heavy metal band Blizzen for 8 years and was able to bring a bit of experience. Nevertheless, I learn more and more with every song I write with a band and that's fun.

Since it was really hard for me to pick songs to discuss, and since I don’t really want you to comment on each and every track, I'm going to leave that to you. Which of the songs on the album would you care to talk about, maybe discussing its importance to the record, or simply a favor of yours that you simply enjoy its company?

Every song has its meaning. Listen carefully! ;) My favorite song is “Beyond the infinite”. This song has no vocals in the chorus, it only has twin guitars. And towards the end the song divides into a kind of "second half" where it becomes very dramatic. I think that's what makes the song!

Even though it is a bit tough to truly know what the future holds on the live scene, and with my estimate that Lynx is a live band, what are your plans to support the new record?

We have confirmed some concerts. Unfortunately, we can only hope that we can play more concerts this year.

Marvin, thank you for the great effort made for this interview. I wish you happy holidays and all the best. Thank you as well for a great record, may you continue to flourish

Thank you Lior for the kind words and the good interview!  Keep the Lynx alive!


 



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