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.:Interviews:.

14/12/2006 – Interview with RECKLESS TIDE

More and more German Thrash bands are popping up: DELIRIOUS, SPELLBOUND, CONTRADICTION (although active since late '80s), ABANDONED.... and RECKLESS TIDE (official website). After their debut "Repent Or Seal Your Fate" in 2005, the follow-up didn't last that long to be released: mid-October this year. Entitled "Helleraser" the album revolves around a story written by the other guitarist, Oliver. You can read my comments on the album at this location. Musically RECKLESS TIDE are comparable to ANNIHILATOR and TESTAMENT (in a way). The special aspects about these German Thrashers are 1) a woman on guitars, going by the of Susanne Swillus (to whom I sent my questions) and 2) dual vocals: rough and more melodic. I was curious about the first thing, as it's not really common to see a woman on guitars in a Thrash Metal band, who RECKLESS TIDE is, the story behind "Helleraser" and more.

Reckless Tide logo

Playing the guitar in a Thrash band as a girl/woman is very unconventional. Is this some sort of statement to show that women can also occupy such a position instead of the usual singing? In additon, was this one of your goals you set for yourself when you were a teenager?

To make it short... I listened to metal music during my teenager days and I played acoustic guitar as well. So it was a short way to take an e-guitar into my hands. There was not more thinking about it. I am sure that it happened to the other guys in RECKLESS TIDE, too.

Reckless Tide bandWho were your heroes in Metal back then and who has joined the list nowadays?

There are not many single musicians. Maybe Jeff Waters or Dave Mustiane. So you can say ANNIHILATOR or MEGADETH. Today there bands maybe like DARKANE or KILLSWITCH ENGAGE who impress me.

Where did you learn to play the guitar? By yourself or did you take lessons?

After my 16th birthday I started to take lessons for the acoustic guitar. At the age of 19 I received my first e-guitar and took some more lessons until now with different teachers. But I taught me most of the stuff by myself. Olli helped me, too.

"Helleraser" came out a couple of weeks ago. How do you feel about the end result? Compared with "Repent Or Seal Your Fate" I'd say it's more polished, but still retaining the velocity and aggressiveness. Personally I find it a bit too much of the same, although certain songs certainly kick ass - "Vicious Circle - Chapter I", "Corrupted", "Madness Within", "Symbiont (Welcome To My World) - Chapter II" and "Helleraser".

We are very happy with the result. Of course not to 100 % but we took another step to our own unique sound wich will be heard on our next CD. We always try to write music wich is entertaining and have variable elements. Many reviews we received noticed that. Maybe we can change your opinion on our next album.

This had to be asked, obviousbly. ;-) About "Kleemähendeäbte": 1) what the hell is this? Who decided to put this on the album? 2) How do you pronounce it and does it mean anything?

If you listened to our debut "Repent Or Seal Your Fate" you surely have recognized the track "Lebende Organverpflanzung". "Kleemähendeäbte" is a kind of logical sequel to it. We sat together and did some brainstorming to collect many pieces of movie-phrases and music-history.This kind of humor is not everybody's cup of tea, but we like it. haha. Metal can be funny sometimes and I think there will come another part on our next record.

Helleraser coverWhen did you start the writing process for "Helleraser" and did everything go according to plan when entering the studios to record the album?

The first song for the album was written on june 2005 and we already played "Madness Within" at the Wacken Open Air same year. All other ideas started to get shape in november and we started recordings for the record in april. Due to our plans for expanding our studio we needed a little more time to finish everything. The good thing is, when you are recording for a longer time you can go back and change some songs if needed or you have a better idea then. I think we will continue this kind of recording on the next record.

Were there songs left out, that didn't make it onto "Helleraser" because of not being good enough or saving them for later?

Yes, we have some songs sorted out. One song was to weak and two others needed more improvement. We also wanted to have a 10-tracker and did not want to have much over 50 minutes. Otherwise the album would be too long. I am sure some ideas or song structures will be used for the next record.

When writing new songs, do you sit together and brainstorm or does it start with one/two person(s), after which the others are told what to play?

Olli and myself come up with the basic songs or riffs. After that everyone takes his part for vocals, bass- and drumlines.

The album seems to revolve around a story written by Oliver, the other guitarist. It hasn't been translated into English yet, which I hope it will although I understand it for the largest part. Could you tell in short how the story goes in connection with the songs?

It is a classical theme about humankind and the apocalypse. Humans are destroying the earth, are corrupted or fighting wars. It's time that some kick their ass. haha.It's about the Helleraser Agatossa who is fighting against all bad in hell until she recognize that there is a place that needs to be cleaned more urgently. Earth. Olli splitted the story into 3 chapters/songs ("Vicious Circle", "Symbiont", "Helleraser"). These songs tell the story. All others have their own story but fit in the concept. The long story can be read in English inside the CD-booklet and the very long version can be read on our homepage: www.recklesstide.de.

You'll probably make a tour, right? What's cooking so far? Which countries are already scheduled and which bands will you share the road with?

Unfortunately we had to cancel some upcoming shows because of Kjell illness. In march 2007 we will start our HELLERASER tour through europe. Some dates together with HOLY MOSES where Olli is playing guitar, too. Some single shows are planned, too. Next year we will know more. :-)

Improving is always key and RECKLESS TIDE isn't on its highest ability yet. What are - in your opinion - the good points of the band and what are the less good ones? (compared with when the band was born)

Yes, we still have many things to improve and we did not reach the end of the way yet. It's always difficult to cover the opinons of 6 really different characters in the band. The teamplay definitely has been improved since our start. Also the songwriting made some big steps forward.

You're under contract with Armageddon Music. How did the deal come to existence and what made you decide to sign with them instead of another label? In additon, how is the collaboration going so far and for how many albums have you signed?

We won the Wacken-Metal-Battle in 2004 and received the contract with Armageddon Music. We signed for 2 studio-records and are very pleased with their work for us. We need a kind of open co-operation. We don't want to write label-influenced songs. We want to write the songs we like without having suggestions from the label. That's defintately possible with Armageddon Music..

Reckless Tide bandAre you familiar with the other bands on their roster and which ones have gained your interest?

Yes, of course. We made friendships with many bands like HOLY MOSES, DELIRIOUS and CONTRADICTION. In general there is a nice atmosphere between all bands. You meet this guy here and that guy there and everyone helps each other. That is how Metal has to be. :-)

RECKLESS TIDE played at Wacken last year. How was it? Did it give the band a boost in sales and popularity?

To play in Wacken is every metalband's dream. We had the luck to play there two times until now. I think it really helps a band to wake the interesst of many people and we definately made some new fans there. It's really unbelievable if you yell "Waaaaackeeeenn" in the crowd and then receive their reactions.

Andrew and Kjell are the voice of the band, each focussing on a different kind of singing. Was it a deliberate choice to have two vocalists to stand out from other Thrash bands? And how is it decided who sings what? Do you practice with Andrew and then Kjell to see whose voice fits best on this or that part?

This line-up simply happens. We started RECKLESS TIDE with Andrew as the only shouter. He is coming out of the punk/hardcore corner and sang that style. That's why he fits on the straight foward thrasher best. On our first EP "Insanity Or Reality" we had songs wich already have more melody in the chorus. Andrew's voice did not fit to these parts properly. Olli suggested to ask his old buddy Kjell to add some melodic backings to the songs. That was the start of this line-up and a solid element in the RECKLESS TIDE-sound. Who will sing on specific parts already arise out of the songwriting process. Giving away the cast is very simple. Kjell is also becoming very variable with his voice.So both vocalists will be more together step by step.

For both albums you used a model. Who was asked this time? In addition, it seems you try to keep everything within the band, since Kai did the graphics.

It's a girl named Alex who is living here arround Hannover. I asked her if she wants to do some test pictures with Kai and after that Kai decided to take her for the Helleraser-role. Kai is working as a self-employed graphic artist and photographer for bands like METAL CHURCH, HOLY MOSES, UFO, SUIDAKRA or ROSE TATTOO. So he is the best choice for all graphic stuff. During the recordings, after Kai finished his parts, he sat in the recording room and worked on the cover while others were busy in the control room.

And there's also a step-by-step guide of the making of the cover, which also needs to be translated into English. A very nice idea, if I may say so. :-) Just like the short explanation with every song. It is a valuable element of the site, in my opinion. Again, translations! (hehehe ;-))

Yes, translations will definitely be there after Andrew has finished his moving into another flat.:-) This is the second making of of a RECKLESS TIDE cover and shows not only the contents of the cover but also the technical side of it.

Hendrik (DEW SCENTED) and Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR) made a guest appearance - Jeff for the second time. Were they instantly positive about lending a hand, eh, riff? ;-)

Jeff and Hendrik became good friends of us. That's why they like to leave their 'scars' on our recording.It's pretty cool for us if other musicians wanted to do a part on our music.And it makes much fun. :-) On our music it has no influence.

About live gigs, which do you prefer and why: small clubs or large podia?

It's not simply to say. We had really great gigs in small clubs (release party at S.O.M.A. in Hannover) or bigger halls (Bloodstock festival). If the crowd wanna rock like we wanna do, everything is cool. So the size of a club does not matter.

How do you relax after a hard day's work or having made a long trip (e.g. 'jetlag'?) ? Furthermore, how do you fill your free time? Any hobbies?

Beside of doing music I am working in a regular job. There is not much freetime. To relax after much work is an important thing of course. I try do other creative tasks but without having a big effort with it.

If you wouldn't have been a musician, which profession would be executing now?

It would have been a creative profession....maybe a graphical artist like Kai.

Is RECKLESS TIDE your only source of income or do you still depend on a daytime job? And how about the others in the band?

All money we earn with RECKLESS TIDE we use to push the band foward. The money for our own needs we earn from our regular daily jobs. But maybe.....sometime in the future... ;-)

What plans or wishes do you still have for RECKLESS TIDE? Any collaborations?

Oh, there are many things flying arround. We are working on a support tour, a new video and a trip into the world of comics wich we started with our new cover. More about that soon.

Next to Metal, any other musical tastes? And what do you find so good about this or that style?

Metal has so much different styles to offer... I don't need to listen to other music than this one.

I'm out of questions, at least for now. Many thanks for replying. Good luck with "Helleraser" and the upcoming gigs and I'll leave you to add the final words.

Oh, already finished ? Damn. ;-)

Like Olli always say... Many thanks for the interesset and we hope that everyone likes "Helleraser" as much as we do. See ya on tour and support the underground!!

Susi



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