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Torsten Herbert (Dragonsfire)

Interview with Torsten Herbert from Dragonsfire
by Grigoris Chronis at 24 January 2009, 7:45 AM

DRAGONSFIRE indeed plays a good blend of cool Heavy Metal songs with much power and speed, as vocalist/bassist Torsten Thassilo Herbert expresses below. With their Visions Of Fire debut full-length CD already on the loose, you should consider grabbing the chance to listen to some notable Heavy Metal music the German way, won't ya?

Torsten, hello from Metal Temple! So, the fourth anniversary of DRAGONSFIRE is near, how do you feel?

Hi Greg! Actually we're feeling great. Yeah, it's four years of DRAGONSFIRE now. We just had a little celebration; just the band and some beers, haha.

Let's talk a bit about your new album, Visions Of Fire, can you do a little presentation?

Well, our new album was released on December 5th in 2008 and we present you a bunch of cool Heavy Metal songs with much power and speed. Heavy Metal as you expect it. Heavy Metal like it should be.

Did you have any problems with the new album? Recordings, desired quality etc?

No, it all went fine. After all it is almost scaring that really every little thing went just like we planned it.

Who took care of the songwriting and who wrote the lyrics? Everybody comes with ideas and you work together?

Exactly. Every song has its own story. Sometimes one of us comes up with a complete song and we work it out together, sometimes the ideas come up during the rehearsals in jam sessions. And everybody is allowed to write lyrics. In the end it is a lot of teamwork writing a new song, no matter how the first steps where taken.

You released the Burning For Metal demo three years ago, and now you're back with a full album. Why did we have to wait for a new album so long?

Oh, there are different reasons why it took so long. First of all, we recorded the EP with another singer. We decided to continue without him in 2006 and then we where experimenting with some other singers doing the job together with me. We even had a female voice for some few months.

Then our former guitar player Thorsten had to leave the band because of health problems. So Timo Rauscher joined the band in May 2007…and suddenly three years where over.

I already had the chance to listen to Visions Of Fire and I think that there are heavy riffs, enough melodies and little progressive Power Metal parts. Your opinion?

Yes, that's exactly what we want to do. Powerful and catchy songs that never become boring. That is the essence of Heavy Metal. And that's the way we like it.

Truth is we see a great performance by the band in Visions Of Fire. The tempos, the guitars work, the vocals…The vocals, in specific, are rather weird; they may sound kinda irritating in the beginning but they surely win you in the end.

Yeah, thank you. I take that as a compliment. Just ask yourself: Does the world need another heavy/power/true Metal band with high and clean vocals? I don't think so. The voice is different and it is exactly what suits our music. It gives the extra-aggression to our music.

Torsten, let's talk a bit about the production. Are you satisfied, in general? Did you have this sound in mind when you started recording?

We are very satisfied with the production. It was a great time at the Empire Studios with Rolf Munkes. We experimented with different combinations of guitar amps and sounds. We had exact ideas of the drum sound. And we where in the good situation, that Jan just spent a lot of money to buy a brand new drum set with a great sound. Finding a good bass sound wasn't too difficult as well.

And the vocals have become even more powerful than expected. There are great arrangements of backing vocals on the record. Yes, we are in deed very pleased with the record.

Did you have in mind to invite a guest singer or musicians to participate on a DRAGONSFIRE song? Who'd be your best wish?

A guest musician or singer is surely an interesting option for one song. In the case of Visions Of Fire it would not have been a good idea. It is our first album so I think the people should get used to us as a band, not to any other musician. Maybe on another album there will be a guest. Maybe we should ask Kai Hansen!

Why did you ink deal with Pure Steel Records in the first place? Did you have any other offers? Are you satisfied so far from the label's help?

During the last two years there where offers from a few different labels which we decided not to sign any deal with. When it came to Pure Steel Records we knew right away, that this is the right thing for us. And we think it was a good decision. The deal is good, the guys are cool…so what else should we need right now?

What about the cover? Really fuzzy and vivid, right? Did you have any alternatives that you rejected finally?

We started working on the cover before we even knew, when or what will be recorded. After all, a first version of it was finished before we started recording. And we had an artist who made some other covers for us in 2007, but it was not exactly what we wanted or needed although they where really good in general.

The style of Metal you're performing could take a video. You shot a video for Dragonsfire Rockxxx for extra promotion, right?

We made the Dragonsfire Rockxxx video for promotion and - that's the main aspect of it - for fun. It was the project of our drummer Jan. He had the idea to make that video and did all the editing, filming and cutting and - that's most important - he knew the right girls, haha!

Are you or not afraid of al this downloading/sharing music without buying albums? What's your opinion on illegal use?

Well, illegal use is…illegal. Haha. Of course we are not happy, when someone downloads the album instead of buying it. But you also should not think that every download equals an album that's not sold.

Will you plan any gig dates in the days to come? Do you have enough onstage experience?

We are always on tour through Germany. We want to play at least one gig a month. So we are always planning upcoming gigs. We have already gained a lot of experience on stage so that we can really enjoy every gig because we know how the band works together. In live situations we can concentrate on the audience and that's cool.

And of course we'd like to go to other countries as well. Greece would be a great place to play some gigs.

Really, would you ever consider DRAGONSFIRE should deal with a different Metal sound, e.g. more 'modern' or more 'extreme'? The youth of today seems to enjoy aggressive/extreme sounds.

We just do what we like. We don't think of any boundaries that different styles of Metal give you. But of course we won't become a Metalcore band. We have found our way of music but we stay open minded to every kind of music.

Torsten, thank you very much. All the best for Visions Of Fire and DRAGONSFIRE!

Thank you, too. Greetings to all at Metal Temple and all the readers. Stay Metal!



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