This exclusive interview was taken from the new Israeli metal blog, Ov Metal.
Read it at Ov Metal or read it below….
By: Omer Barzilai | Date: 19/06/2011
Right under our ears, a new breed of bands has sprouted in the Israeli underground scene, such as SONNE ADAM (“Hater of Humanity”), which went against the tide and didn’t even dip in water, when it came to its musical direction. Until a few months ago, many didn’t know about this band, which began as a project by Davidov (guitar) and Dahan (vocals / bass), but then came the announcement that one of the biggest Metal labels, Century Media, will release its debut album in April. Without much information, we had to wait for “Transformation” to come out, and surprisingly, it wasn’t just another Death Metal album, but something that combined the sound and atmosphere of the early ’90s, with a dark and strange twist. So, to find out more about this duo, the album and their debut concert, we located Dahan and squeezed what we needed out of him.
OV: Hail and belated congratulations on your album’s release, and signing with Century Media. How do you feel about these achievements?
Salute and thanks for your kind words, Omer. What can I say… we’re pretty much overwhelmed! Every few days we get new pieces of information and ‘numbers’ that show us what’s going on with us as a band, it’s all good man. We try to as modest as possible.
OV: Don’t you find it a bit strange (or flattering) that a label such as Century Media, which normally deals with much bigger bands, signs an underground Death Metal band?
It is strange, and in some way we’re the ugly duckling in their roster – but there’s some logic behind it all. I guess we’re the answer to a large portion of metalheads that almost totally gave up on that label lately. Also, there are some signs of a big return of Oldschool Death Metal, and I guess they are simply placing their bets on us regarding this.
OV: Most of the Israeli Metalheads haven’t heard of SONNE ADAM until you signed with Century Media. So to them, can you tell us how the band was formed, what you’ve done so far, and how you actually made it to one of the world’s biggest Metal labels?
Me and Davidov started the project around late 2007. Three months later we recorded our first EP, named “The Sun Is Dead”. A year after we finished our second EP, “Armed With Hammers”, which was much more defined and is probably the first milestone as a band regarding our style and vision. We released some songs on MySpace and pretty much left them there without having any big plans whatsoever. We hoped to get signed, but really did nothing about that… no emails sent and no MySpace spamming.
The songs attracted some underground attention and soon after we got contacted by Philipp of Imperium Productions – a solid one-man underground label from Germany who focuses on Vinyls – and we signed a deal to release the two EP’s and a debut album, “Transformation”. The way we got signed to Century Media isn’t trivial – we didn’t send them demos or even contacted them. Philipp actually works in Century Media as his day job. After we finished the album he gave it to a few folks at work, to give it a spin and get some feedback (no business intentions) – I guess the reactions were pretty good as it eventually got us signed there (to be more precise, they simply bought the digital rights of the album from Imperium Productions, so the CD and MP3 versions are owned by Century Media now, but the vinyl from Imperium Productions). We lately added two new members, Steel and Mayer, so now we can perform live and hopefully the writing process will be more efficient.
OV: What is the idea behind a name such as SONNE ADAM and what stands behind it?
It sounds good and it fits the purpose. It’s not that we’re straight faced misanthropes who can’t sit in a public place (though to be frank, the chances you’ll see us outside are pretty slim), we simply thought about many names, but when this one popped up it was an immediate “Yes”.
OV: Let’s get to the new album, “Transformation”. What can you tell us about the main concept behind it?
This is not a concept album like let’s say “Them” by KING DIAMOND. The lyrics’ themes vary from our own thoughts and personal lives, but we’re using very dark metaphors that fit the musical side best.
OV: How was the recording process for you and with whom have you done the mixing and mastering process?
The studio experience was really good. We had much more knowledge than before and our general concept as a band was clearer. Eli Pikover was our studio master, recording and mixing the album. Later on we sent the album to Maor Appelbaum for mastering. Both of them did a fucking great job. Unfortunately, I don’t have many “spicy” stories to tell about the recording procedure. Maybe the most interesting thing was that we didn’t have too much money to spend on the whole deal, so we were on very strict times. The drums were recorded in perhaps 10 hours, vocals in 5, etc.
OV: Many of your fans heard of the “shelved” EP, “The Sun Is Dead”. Why did you decide to not release it eventually? How is it different from your latest material? Will it ever see the light of day?
It seems like this EP was recorded ages ago. It wasn’t released yet, because we got signed only after finishing the 2nd EP, which was more relevant and critical to release. It will be out on 7″ through Imperium Productions after this summer if all goes well, but people should take it for what it is – a very old experiment as a band. It has some of the characteristics of SONNE ADAM (and some good songs even), but it’s quite different from what people got to hear so far.
OV: Speaking of different material, are there any mutual musical and / or lyrical influences between SONNE ADAM, and Davidov’s Black Metal project TSORER?
TSORER is Davidov’s project which was active before starting SONNE ADAM. The lyrics on TSORER’s album “Return To Sodom” will never be released, so you won’t get a straight answer for that question, sorry. I totally recommend this album, seriously good Black Metal.
OV: SONNE ADAM is going to make its debut concert on June 24th. Why haven’t you performed so far?
We pretty much started as a two-man project… performing live wasn’t on the top of our list. Only after the album was ready things were starting to evolve to that area, probably faster than we expected. We already recruited new members (that hopefully will be a part of the writing process as well), Mayer and Steel. We chose them because they’re good and will probably be tolerable on tours and stuff. You know – the obvious reasons.
SONNE ADAM’ Full Lineup
OV: Why did you choose BARBARA as your support? Do you relate to them because they also consist of a duo?
That’s pretty funny man, no; we didn’t ask them because they’re a duo. They’re old and dark – we like that. Most people probably won’t agree, but we feel like BARBARA is closer to SONNE ADAM than most of the Metal bands around nowadays.
OV: While most Israeli Metal bands turn to more modern / core sound, you went the other way towards “oldschool”, where you basically stand alone. Why, in your opinion, is the situation like this in Israel?
Honestly, I don’t know, but be sure, that we didn’t choose our style in efforts to be different from anybody else here. If a new band will show up and play something similar to our stuff, I’ll be more than glad.
OV: One other thing about your album, the artwork is very unique. Who worked on it and how does it relate to the album’s message?
The album cover was made by Ofer “Pooz” Inbal, the guy who did the artwork for our EP “Armed With Hammers”. It was graphically enhanced by Davidov. The concept is taken from the title track, “Transformation” – which is roughly about a passage through flames, some sort of a test you need to pass in order to achieve a greater understanding. The puzzle is up for the viewer to solve.
OV: Apart from quite visible MORBID ANGEL and old PARADISE LOST influences, could you name a few other artists / bands that inspire you, or do you think that other people might find similarities to what you do?
We like many musical genres, some of them couldn’t be farther from Metal. It goes from let’s say DARKTHONE to horror film soundtracks from the 60′s and 70′s way into fucked up Qawwalis [a form of Sufi devotional music] from Pakistan. We are attracted to the occult and naturally to dark musical efforts from various places.
OV: What do you think about this “new wave” of Oldschool Death Metal in the vein of NECROS CHRISTOS and GRAVA MILASMA?
It’s great! I certainly hope it will go much beyond where it is right now. The “wave” didn’t arrive yet, but it looks promising. Seriously, it’s been years since the last time I wanted to look for new Death Metal bands and actually found something really good.
OV: Will you always aim your music and style towards a certain population of genre enthusiastic listeners, or might you consider doing something more accessible to a larger crowd?
Maybe a big part of our “success” was, because we never aimed our music to anyone? I doubt our music will develop into something consumable by the masses any day. Our home is in the underground, sure – but we never knocked on the doors of the underground and asked to come in. If we wanna do something totally different, it won’t be under the banner of SONNE ADAM.
OV: In conclusion, what are your plans for the future? New album? Tour? Something else?
This summer will probably be our busiest ever. We’re planning to tour Europe and write (and hopefully record) our 2nd album. Also as I mentioned, our 1st EP “The Sun Is Dead” will be out this autumn.