Autumnblaze – Indifferent SunsMonday, 23rd September 2013
Good times (if we want to call them that) for German melodic Goth metal/rock. With End of Green’s The Painstream and Autumnblaze’s Every Sun is Fragile out front, those with a thirst for depressing, yet melodic and song-oriented metal should be quenched for the year. As the band’s first album in four years, Every Sun is Fragile sees Autumnblaze channel hook-based, ethereal Goth into an intoxicating blend of rock and metal. The album is almost chameleon-like in its approach, rarely sticking to a similar thread, but evoking those dreary, introspective feelings that are naturally borne from a band with the sort of depth Autumnblaze possesses. With that in mind, we snagged lead singer/guitarist Markus Baltes for a quick round of queries. Here’s how it went:
Dead Rhetoric: To start, you had a nice little break between The Perdition Diaries and Every Sun is Fragile. What was going on with the band?
Markus Baltes: The break seems to be quite long, but we recorded Every Sun Is Fragile in March 2012 and we already started writing music for this album back in 2010. But we also had to look for a new label because we parted ways with our old record company, Prophecy. Now we are on Pulverised and we are very happy about that.
Dead Rhetoric: The time you were disbanded from 2006 to 2008, what kind of takeaways did you get from it? Did it help the band return more fresh and energized?
Baltes: There was lot of private stuff going on at that time. Many things changed in my life and I was lost somehow. There were amazing moments and also many fears. It made me stronger. Our last album Perdition Diaries was a reaction and maybe a kind of salvation.
Dead Rhetoric: Was there anything you could have done to avoid the burnout you experienced during that time?
Baltes: It wasn’t a classical burnout, I think. It was just the thing that I had to leave the way to avoid the walls in front of me. It was an important time in my life and I wouldn’t change anything nowadays.
Dead Rhetoric: Considering the state of the music industry, what type of outlet does Autumnblaze require? Is it like your “safe haven” from the real world?
Baltes: Autumnblaze is no escape. It’s a way to manage life. It’s not a safe haven but more of a dangerous road confronting ourselves with some of our deepest feelings. We are no part of the music industry. We are outlaws in a world of followers.
Dead Rhetoric: In comparison to when you started in the 90’s, is it easier or harder to make albums now?
Baltes: Well, it’s quite the same but you don’t sell the CDs. The whole music market changed. But we are independent. We can do what we want. We are responsible for our sound, our lyrics and our artworks. Which bigger band can do that?
Dead Rhetoric: How did you end up hooking up with Pulverised Records?
Baltes: Well, we sent the final album to some labels and got a bunch of serious offers. Pulverised Records offered the package and most important they really seemed to love our music.
Dead Rhetoric: What was the approach going into Every Sun is Fragile?
Baltes: We just wanted to write a typical Autumnblaze album without musical boundaries. And I’m quite sure we did a good job.
Dead Rhetoric: Thematically, the title and album cover make a great connection, so is there a theme running through the album?
Baltes: The theme is obvious, it’s already in the title Every Sun Is Fragile. You could also replace sun by child and then it would be called Every Child Is Fragile. There’s no straight story through the album but a red line.
Dead Rhetoric: The album has its fair share of melodic and song-oriented moments, which I’d say are some of your best (such as “Invisible Fields”). Would you say that finding that balance between heavy and mellow songs is what makes Autumnblaze stand out?
Baltes: Yeah, we tend to write very dynamic songs combining heavy and mellow parts. It’s not the intention to do this with each song, but at least it’s an Autumnblaze trademark.
Dead Rhetoric: When you really take a good few listens to the album, I don’t think the band is even Goth metal anymore. You elude description. Is that how you feel too?
Baltes: Yes, exactly. We are not metal and we are not Goth or alternative. I think we have created our own little kingdom when it comes to melancholic rock music. Maybe more people will notice that in a few years.
Dead Rhetoric: Are there any plans for live dates in support of Every Sun is Fragile?
Baltes: No, we are not a touring band anymore, sorry.
Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2013?
Baltes: I’m working on some other musical projects now. Currently I’m planning to record a singer/songwriter album together with my wife. The project is called Everyone’s Waiting and the music I’ve written is some of the best stuff I’ve ever written. Totally amazing!