10.09.2018 • Samuel Sámel
BEYOND THE BLACK
Symphonic metal – many different bands might come to our mind when we hear it. Probably most of times from Finland or Netherlands. This might be changed really soon as new player is on the scene. It´s name is BEYOND THE BLACK and its face is young Jennifer Haben. She is also the best to ask questions about new album Heart of the Hurricane. So how does the new album sounds like and why we spoke about totally different band in the end? Those questions would be answered in lines below.
Even though you already released two albums you are still a little unknown in our lands. Can you introduce the band to those who might not know you?
We were formed in 2014 and we are getting to the world now that we have international deal with Napalm Records. We are doing symphonic metal, but not the kind with opera vocals but more like rock voice. We do many different styles that are fitted in single album. We have some very emotional stuff, acoustic songs and also very heavy songs like Freedom from upcoming album which is actually heaviest song ever. We always try to surprise people. (Laugh)
After previous album, some personal changes happened in band. Can you introduce your bandmates to those who might be confused of who they see on stage with you?
We changed line-up in 2016 and it was before upcoming album and after the second so this album is the very first album with the new line-up. We have Chris Hermsdörfer on guitars, Tobi Lodes on guitar, Stefan Herkenhoff on bass, Jonas Roßner on keyboards and Kai Tschierschky on drums. Those guys did really a lot for that new album and I am very proud of that album because we had a lot of time to do it, we had a lot of time for songwriting and that is really good for going to details in everything. We didn´t have to compromise a lot and that´s that I am really happy about.
So the guys also did they part in writing new material for this album, right?
That´s right. Most of all it was Spefan and Chris ... and me, of course. (Laugh)
So you are releasing new album. Can you tell us a little more about it? Some background stories, highlights, ...
It´s hard to say because as I said before it is very important to me to surprise people. Therefore there are very different songs. One very special song for me is Breeze because it´s just with a piano and choir, very emotional. That is very special song for me along with Escape from the Earth but that is very personal song because I had very special moment with it in studio. I wrote this with Chris and it was meant to be more heavy in the end and more like mid tempo thing but the intro, the verse and chorus was the best of the song ideas so we decided to make whole song about this intro and it somehow got to this whole piece of art with this song. When I sang that song in the studio I ... normally I jus tsing the verse and then chorus after that and this time I sang from the beginning to the end so ... this song is about one horror thing I don´t even want to think about in my real life because it´s about moment when everyone you loved left you and you just want to escape from the Earth just ... you want to die so ... and because I am such a big family person this is just nightmare for me. And when I was singing this song and came to the last sentence, it is „to leave my life in the end“ and then there is silence. And I was standing there, not breathing and it was overwhelming and I never had such feeling before. It is very special song for me because that moment and always when I talk about it I feel the same emotion again and I have to say I love it.
We already mentioned it but the album with bonuns tracks has over 60 minutes which is pretty rare nowadays. Metal albums these days have mostly 45 minutes tops ... What was your inspiration that you made so long album?
Actually on every album we had 13 regular songs – it´s obviously special number for Beyond the Black. It also has something to do with fact that when I asked guys to write songs for next album one year ago. I just wanted to know what they wanna write and how they want to do it. After few weeks I had 30 song ideas so there was lot to decide. And there were a lot of great song ideas! Then we wrote songs in small groups together and we came with some new song ideas so I think that is one of the reasons why there is so many songs we could release.
What was the main inspiration for you to write stuff you did for the album?
I think the new guys. I think that was the most inspirational because it was like therapy to find out who wanna work how. Because we never worked on song ideas together before and we get really closer within the band so that was very inspirational. It wasn´t that difficult and in the end it turned out to something we are proud of.
From what I heard from the new album, I heard some medieval-ish intro in song Song for the Godess. Where does that came from. It was kind of surprise for me, you know?
Good to hear! (Laugh) That song is completely from our bassist Stefan and we wrote that on acoustic guitar and I am not really sure if that´s bulletproof fact but we all are big fans of Game of Thrones (TV Series) and I don´t know if you´ve seen photo from my birthday last year – we did theme party witih Game of Thrones and he looked exactly like Khal Drogo. You have to see that! So maybe that´s the reason. But I love it, it sounds perfect! He did everything, production, sound, it sounded just right. It was just amazing.
What bring you to metal music? What was inspiration for you to start doing such music?
Tough question. I never had band or something that I heard and said „OK, I have to do this!“. I was always listening to everything I could. Every genre, a lot of songwriters, singers, ... When I was young I was listening to Whitney Houston a lot, Amy Whinehouse and that stuff, then Evanescence and I think Bring me back to Life was the first song I listen to in that genre. It was great because I was in the band when I was 9 years old and my brother was in that band as well and he wanted to sing that with me together. And it was amazing to hear that very emotional part in first seconds. After that I heard Within Temptation. But it was not only symphonic metal. When I started to search for what I wanna do, at first I started with rock music and after that I searched for the right thing and in the end it came up a little heavier and that was more like me. It was showing every side I have a little more. I love it when I am on stage and everyone can just freak out and then we have those very emotional parts. That is really everything that is inside me. I am extremely emotional person. I just love extreme emotions. I think that is reason why I do what I do.
I might go a little off the track from Beyond the Black but I would really like to hear something more about the band you played in when you were 9. What do you think?
Yeah! We can do that. It was originally meant to be just for after elementary school party. I was doing it with some classmates and my brother. But after that party we decided to do some other shows because somebody asked us to and it went on and on. We did some shows and I don´t know how it all happened actually. My mom was managing us, my father was doing the sound so whole family was involved and family of the other members as well. We did this for some 5 years at the time. First it was just covering songs like I will always love you from Whitney Huston, some Amy Whinehouse, AC/DC´s Highway to Hell – I was playing guitar and screaming „Highway to Hell!!“ That´s actually really nice to see on videos we have. After five years I had other project to do and we broke up. Sadly. But I am very very proud that we could do that. I learned a lot and I will never loose what I experienced with that band.
I think this is pretty expected question right now, but is it possible to see those videos you spoke about somewhere? Youtube or something? Can you also tell us the name of the band?
(Laugh) The name of the band – it was called SPEED because when we were rehearsing we always played everything too fast. Always! (Laugh) So we decided to call us SPEED. And the videos – I don´t think they are somewhere on the internet. Maybe one or two but I don´t think so. It was always local things. But we have like thousands of videos at home... but maybe someday I will release something on my Instagram channel or something. Let´s see.
Good to hear! But let´s go back to what we originally were supposed to talk about (my mistake). You are releasing new album with Beyond the Black. What are tour plans for promoting the new album? Is there already something you can tell us?
We have some release dates in Germany there would be much more. We have big support tour and it´s already confirmed but sadly I can´t tell you yet. But I belive we would be able to do so very soon because it´s gonna be amazing and very big! That would be this year in Europe. Then we are planning headline tour in 2019 in Europe as well. But that is just the plan right now. We don´t have dates yet.
Any plans for Slovakia maybe?
It depends - if people would listen to our music in Slovakia. But we would definitely go to the countries where we would be wanted. (Laugh)
Even with first album, Beyond the Black was successfull, right with first piece you hit the charts. Can you give some advice for starting bands how to get success?
I would say follow your heart, do something that is unique and most of all – find the team around you that is beliveing in you, that really belives in what you are doing and that really belive in you. That is very important because just when somebody really likes what you are doing that is point when he is talking about it everywhere so everyone will listen to it and will hear your name and be excited as well as you are. I think that this is must-have.
That was the last question I got actually ... now this is your space to say whatever you´d like. To your fans, our readers, possible haters, whoever you want!
I am really looking forward to (maybe) play in Slovakia. I belive that our new album is really something new, something that is definitely Beyond the Black, but new and hopefully everyone will be surprised at some moment when you listen to it and I would love to see you all guys when we´ll play in Slovakia!