Glare of the Sun – Soil’s SongThursday, 23rd February 2017
“There will be doom” is Glare of the Sun’s calling card, a line that could be used for countless purveyors of ungodly heavy music. The Austrian/German outfit have been a functioning entity since 2013, and were subsequently snapped up by Germany’s Lifeforce Records for the release of their –Soil- debut, an offering that leans heavily on post-metal dynamics and the burly vocals of Christoph Stopper. The album is a welcome entrant into the doom/post-metal derby, but Glare of the Sun go about their business like a band who has been doing this for years. Such things were on our mind when shot over some email questions to Mr. Stopper, who was too kind to respond…
Dead Rhetoric: You formed in 2013. What were the band’s early days like?
Christoph Stopper: The early days were pretty cool. Cage five guys into a room with a lot of beer and pizza and you know they’ll have a great time ha-ha. But seriously, we had endless jam sessions in the dark, focusing on creating our sound, you know, just letting things happen and finding that spirit, binding everything together. So all of this happened very naturally, as we all immediately felt a strong musical connection.
Dead Rhetoric: Obviously, getting a band off the ground in this day and age is difficult. What kind of challenges has the band been presented with so far?
Stopper: We wanted to get our asses out of the rehearsal room into the studio and onto stages as soon as possible. We all didn’t want to be a band, spending years in rotten rehearsal rooms. So we really worked hard and set ourselves challenging time limits to achieve this. We booked the studio, when we had finished like two songs, not even knowing if they’d make it onto the album. But you know, we had a lot of very intense sessions, we grew as a band and everything came together as it should. This was a great experience for all of us!
Dead Rhetoric: You play many different styles and blend it all together. Was it decided from the beginning the band would have no limits on its sound?
Stopper: Definitely! We all have different backgrounds and preferences in terms of music and sound. This is a great thing as we all influenced each other, shared ideas without giving a fuck about genres or boundaries. Every one of us played a big part creating the sound of –Soil-. One thing we all have in common though is, that we all love melancholic and dark music, so it was clear this wouldn’t suddenly turn into some party stuff! Ha-ha
Dead Rhetoric: How did the deal with Lifeforce come about?
Stopper: Oh man, this was a cool thing. We only sent our stuff to a few record companies we liked and wanted to work with. Stefan of Lifeforce Records immediately replied! So we talked and sealed the deal. We’re really happy about that, it’s great working with him and his team.
Dead Rhetoric: You recorded –Soil- with Martin (Schirenc) from Pungent Stench. What was it like working with him? Any funny stories to share?
Stopper: Well, Martin is just an awesome guy! Working with him was a blast! Actually he was the only one we asked to produce our album. We knew from the very beginning he was the guy who would be able to transfer our ideas of the sound and the songs to a record. We wanted to capture the intensity of our live and rehearsal performances and he did exactly this. As soon as he turned on the amp and we played the first riff, this was our sound. He also found the perfect balance between letting us do our things and guiding us when we needed it. The place where his studio is located is also just awesome. It’s a huge, old slaughterhouse in Vienna, which was abandoned and occupied by punks in the 70s and it’s a place for creatives, musicians, punks, artists and subcultures of all kinds ever since. There are enormously large walls around the whole area, so you are in the middle of Vienna, with all the hustle and bustle of a capitol, and as soon as you walk through the door, you enter kind of another world with large open spaces, old industrial buildings and so on. Almost like a park, but not the kind of park your granny wants to go ha-ha. Imagine Johnny Rotten, Lemmy and Johnny Cash building a theme park.
One day during our recording sessions there should be a concert at this place. So the staff there prepared a BBQ and we all were invited, which was really nice. We had great fun drinking and eating with all the guys there, while waiting for the bands to play. Seems they enjoyed the same things we did, because they started their gig at about 2 a.m.! Of course everyone there was drunk as fuck at this time but man, they were serious about their riffing and played an awesome show!
Dead Rhetoric: Is there an underlying theme to –Soil-?
Stopper: -Soil- isn’t built around lyrics, it’s the music which is dictating the themes. The vocals and lyrics are like a picture, supporting the main atmosphere of the individual song. The struggle of being is what’s driving the music, with all its beauty and all its cruelty we’re facing day to day. You can spot a lot of different emotions, only by listening to our songs. Take a step aside and look at yourself. Soil is like a line, you could either be above or beneath. The question for the listener is: Where are you right now?
Dead Rhetoric: There are some clean vocals on “Degeneration,” which work quite well. Will this be territory you’ll explore in the future?
Stopper: Actually I don’t know! Ha-ha. We’re definitely open for things like this, but I really can’t say what’s going to happen. “Exploring” is a good word though, we like to experiment so anything could happen. But I’ll promise, no matter what we do, it’ll always sound like Glare of the Sun.
Dead Rhetoric: Are there any live dates planned in support of Soil?
Stopper: Oh yeah, we already announced some gigs and there will be more coming soon! We’re going to play as many shows as possible. Expect some intense performances! You should definitely come to see us!
Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s on your agenda for all of 2017?
Stopper: We’re gonna play our asses off and already started to work on new material for our next album. I can tell you: There will be doom!