A Talk With
Questionnaire by Spirit In Black
Photo credits: Katrin Roesner
Before I come to answer the questions please notice that I gave up the lead singing at DARKNESS. Lee is the new singer and I only do second voices and shouts.
Q: Hi Arnd, welcome to Belgium based Metal To Infinity… how are you?
A: Hi Spirit in Black. I'm fine, especially for having the opportunity to give an interview for your Mag.
Q: Darkness has aside from drummer Lacky and your mighty self on guitars as the original band A: members, three new members. Please, give us a background briefing history them.
A: Sure, the guys are Meik on guitars, Dirk on bass and Lee on vocals. Meik is almost something like an original member besides Lacky and me. He is member of the band for two years now, which is quiet a long time if you consider the changes we've had ;-)
Dirk has been our guitar and bass tech and he was substitute on stage for Speesy when Speesy played with Kreator. It was clear that none but him had to become our member after Speesy left the band. He knew all the songs and he is a great guy!
Lee was introduced by Lacky and I think Lee fits perfect! His voice is as desperate and mangy as Ollli's voice was – that's what people expect about DARKNESS. He used to sing in a grind-band called “Yuppie Club” and on stage he goes berserk.
Q: Was it easy to find new blood that have the same spirit of making old school Thrash Metal like both of you are doing for decades now?
A: Absolutely not! We've had numerous of line up changes during the past two years. There was Speesy, Bony, Chris (for a very short period of time) and I gave up singing at DARKNESS for Lee. Before that there were Emma on Bass and Hobie on guitar.
Playing in a band does not only mean concerts, beer and groupies. You have to work hard for success that perhaps will never occur. But I don't want to talk bad at the former members; they are all nice guys though.
It was a little like searching a needle in a haystack but now we've found the most DARKNESS-a-like lineup since “Death Squad”.
Q: Correct me if I’m wrong… In 2004 you reformed again, first as Eure Erben, some time later you decided to continue as Darkness again. What was the reason to re-form and why the choice for a different name?
A: When we started again in 2004 I didn't want to ride the “train of re-unions”. We wanted to create something new and innovative, that's why we founded EURE ERBEN. Don't misunderstand me: I always was proud for DARKNESS but I thought folks would not accept us for we were only two of the original members.
But whenever we played, gave interviews or talked to people we were asked about DARKNESS.
At the time we started anew I wasn't aware that DARKNESS was still a well-known and kinda popular band. EURE ERBEN did not work very well and people always asked for DARKNESS – that's why we decided to re-animate the old roots. Let me say: give them people what they want!
Q: Recently, Darkness released an EP called “XXIX”. How are the responses on the EP so far coming in from both national and international press/media?
A: Great! I don't know a bad word about it.
Q: Why did you decided to re-record the old songs 'Death Squad' and 'Burial At Sea'?
A: To give an idea what DARKNESS sounds in the 21st century. We wanted to show that we still thrash without compromise. You can compare the old songs to the new and I'm sure you don't find a difference exept the fact, that you perhaps knew the old songs before.
Q: The title of the EP is XXIX (29), what’s the story behind?
A: The band was founded it 1984 by Lacky but the real history and everything what DARKNESS is known for started in 1986. That's 29 years ago, so the name is some kind of a reminescence.
Q: Now that the EP, featuring 2 new songs 'L.a.W.' and 'Hate Is My Engine' has been unleashed, is there a new album in the works? Deliver us from ignorance Arnd.
A: Yes. Most of the songs are finished and we are going to record an album in fall of 2015. Unfortunately there are no news about a label or a release date. But keep yourself updated on our site http://www.darkness-thrash.de/ or via our Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/darknessdeathsquad
Q: Many Thrash Metalheads consider Darkness' debut album 'Death Squad' as a Thrash Metal Classic, what are your thoughts about this title?
A: Spirit in Black, I'm a modest guy and I don't want to show off! But it seems it is a thrash classic – I've heard it too many times and too many thrashers seem to know it. That makes me fuckin' proud, really. It is my piece of immortality, know what I mean?!
Q: I saw on your Facebook page you play a lot of shows. According to the pictures you still have a nice amount of fans. Do you notice a younger generation in the audience?
A: Definetly! After shows we often join the audience to talk to the people. Many of them were not or barely born when “Death Squad” was released. A lot of young people listen to Thrash Metal and many of them know DARKNESS. As I said: that makes me proud and shows that we did the right thing.
Q: In between the break up in 1990 and the re-form in 2004, what did you do in the meantime, were you still busy with music?
A: Of course! Lacky played in several bands and I was producing and writing. But that was a very dark time for me due to personal reasons. I really hate to look back or talk about the time between 1993 and 2001. I'm sorry but I'm not prepared to say more about it.
Q: How do you feel about (illegal) downloading of music instead of buying albums?
A: In the eighties there was Tapetrading. Many bands have become famous through Tapetrading. It was an important part of the scene, I compare downloading or burning CDs a little bit with that. But illegal downloading is DIEBSTAHL, nothing more or less. It ruins the bands and has to be STRAFVERFOLGT and punished.
Q: I know for myself it's hard to keep up with all these new bands popping up on a daily basis, do you follow the current metal scene a little?
A: I try to, even because I have to know what the competitors do ;-) But to be serious: it really is not that easy. I try to follow the current music but it isn't possible to overview everything-
Q: Arnd, I want to thank you very much for your time to do this interview. Any last comments?
A: I have to thank you for the interest in DARKNESS, Spirit in Black. My last comment, as far as I am asked, is always the same: thanks to all the Metalheads out there for three decades of faith and support! You folks really rule! Thrash on!