DEADLOCK Interview

5th September 2013 1 By Mark Booth

Mark interviews JOHN GAHLERT from German death metal band DEADLOCK.

AATR: Thank you for taking the time out to do this interview and congratulations on the recent release of your 6th album The Arsonist and your first release on Napalm Records. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Deadlock before, can you introduce yourself and give a brief bio of the band?

John: We are a five-piece melodic death metal band from Germany. The band was founded in 1997 by our guitar player Sebastian and our drummer Tobias, just to kill some free time. In our early years we played true death metal since the moment our female singer Sabine joined the band at our third studio album Wolves. Since that time we describe our musical style as a mixture of technical, melodic metal with the harsh atmospheric nature of today’s modern sounds. In a nutshell ­ catchy metal music with pop elements.


AATR: The Arsonist is the first Deadlock album to be released on Napalm Records, you were previously signed to Lifeforce Records. Was there a
reason for the label change?

John: We used this in another interview, but we think the answer fits perfectly: Napalm Records was interested in DEADLOCK for more than 2 years, but we had to fulfill our contract with Lifeforce. Don’t get this wrong, Lifeforce did a lot for DEADLOCK and we highly appreciated this, but you can compare it to the girlfriend thing ­ even if she’s perfect you think of somebody else sometimes. DEADLOCK and our girlfriend Lifeforce decided to split in a good way after 8 years of relationship. Our new girl Napalm might be a bit older and speaks a horrible dialect (they are from Austria), but it has the experience and the power to push us on a new level.


AATR: I must admit The Arsonist is the first Deadlock album I have listened to, I have now checked out some of your previous songs and you seem to evolve and change your sound. How will Deadlock evolve the sound on the next album?

John: On the next album we will do something completely different from all songs and sounds we did in the past. Just kidding ­ maybe just ask this question at the beginning of 2014 when we’ll start to write new songs.


AATR: What is the story or concept behind The Arsonist and who did the artwork for the album and did you have much input?

John: The artwork was done by our good friend Niklas Sundin ­ you may know him from his own band Dark Tranquility. We bought the finished illustration, because we think it fits perfect to the sound of the album – offensive and nonconforming. We deal with each meaning that the word arsonist has. The aim of the DEADLOCK lyrics is to be  catchy and easy to grasp on the one hand and heavy with meaning on the other hand side. We like the vision of a first view meaning combined with a hard-to-find second meaning, which depends on individual interpretation of the songs.


AATR: Are all the members of Deadlock still vegan? Is it becoming more easier to find food outlets that sell vegan friendly food when you are touring nowadays as veganism has become more popular with UFC fighters turning to veganism and other celebrities embracing veganism? You have WWE wrestlers like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan who have been vegan for years and they are role models for a generation and inspiring them, just like you might have inspired people to turn to veganism.

John: Yes we are and bless god we live in 2013 where veganism is becoming more and more accepted and ‘normal’. To me it’s not important which celebrity turns vegan, but you are right – especially younger people do need role models as top athletes to find themselves. Hopefully this ‘hype’ is persistent.


AATR: How is life on the road when you have a female in the band? A few of my friends who have toured have told me how cramped and disgusting it can be and you see more of your band members than you really want to! Does Sabine banish you when she is changing and getting ready or is she the one who has to get ready in public toilets etc?

John: Believe me – sometimes male band mates cause a higher drama level and unfortunately we are banished when she is changing, but in fact we are lucky, that Sabine is very tolerant when it comes to bad jokes, after show parties or sleepless nights at the venues. On the other hand we do our best to give her enough privacy as well.


AATR: Where has been the best place you have played and have you played on any line ups were you were surprised Deadlock had been asked to play? Also any plans for a UK tour in the near future?

John: Each stage (no matter if club or festival) is the best place to play and each other band is great to play with. This has been one of our internal dogmas since we started the whole thing. Of course there are highlights, such as Wacken Open Air or Graspop Festival, where we had the chance to share the stage with our childhood heroes but we take it as it comes. A UK tour 2014 would be awesome ­ we only did 2-3 shows in the past and we would love to come over again.


AATR: Which band or artist is your guilty pleasure that people wouldn’t believe you listened to? Also if you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, which albums would you choose and why?


John: There are too many to list them ­ let¹s keep it that way. I’m really into all kinds of music, but I have to admit that I hate Bono as everybody should from the heart. My three albums for eternity are: Reign in Blood, ­Slayer (pure violence), The great Cold Distance, ­ Katatonia (for fragile moments) and please give me self-made Iron Maiden Best-of CD (it is too hard to figure out their best album).


AATR: What¹s next on the agenda for Deadlock and is there anything you would like to add as a conclusion?

John: We will do some more festivals in summer and have our third headlining tour throughout Germany in winter. There are some plan for heading over to Japan and Russia again by the beginning of 2014 and hopefully a longer European tour at summer of 2014. So watch your back and hopefully we see you around.
Final conclusion of the interview: Bono sucks!


AATR: Thank you again for your time and all the best for the future.

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