Simon – Guitar/Vocals
Tobi – Guitar
Dominik – Keyboard
Patrick – Bass
Mattias – Drums
A majestic site of alpine Austria called Lienz is the base of a modern metal band called In Somnia. Their appetite for work and their dreams about the future are more than abundant among these lads! Spare some of your time and read what does Simon, the guitarist and singer of the band, have to share with us…
Greetings from Greece!
Hi and sorry for the delays! I was very busy with recording meanwhile.
No worries my friend! First of all please introduce yourself and give us a short bio of the band!
I’m Simon and I play guitar and do the vocals for IN SOMNIA, a modern metal band from Tyrol/ Austria. Mattias and me started the band in 2013 since then we brought out our debut, Withered Frozen Perished, and we are currently recording our second work which will be called “For the Harvest”.
How did you choose your name and what does the eye above your logo stand for?
We have lots of irony and sarcasm in our lyrics so we figured out that our name needs its own irony too. In Somnia means something like “in dreams” while insomnia is sleeplessness, so the space changes the meaning to the opposite. The eye in our logo stands for the 3rd perspective of things I guess.
What was the feedback for your 2014 release, “Withered-Frozen-Perished”?
WFP got a lot of good reviews and we got fan mails from all over the world. But it did not succeed from the financial point of few. I think this is the thing with albums nowadays.
Where are the recordings for your second album taking place? Is everything working ok and on schedule?
We have our own studio now in Lienz where we do the whole recording. For mixing and mastering we chose the Noise in your Head studios near Hamburg/ Germany. It is everything ok now with the whole equipment, but we had problems with our console when we started the recording. We don’t have a tight schedule as we are in our own studio but we should be done by the end of February.
In your debut you seem to be balancing between American metalcore and European melodic doomdeath. I’d say that the European elements are stronger though… Do you agree?
I’m personally no fan of metalcore, but I guess you are right though. I agree with you in the point that the European elements are stronger but this was no conscience decision.
It’s rather surprising that you don’t use any clean vocals. It is rather essential in American bands. Will you add any in the new release or do you feel you’re better off without them?
Maybe there will be a few parts with clean vocals in the next album, but I’m just not that good in doing clean vocals. So maybe if a part fits, I get it done. In general I think that the screaming vocals are transporting far more energy than clean vox would do though. So the screaming vocals will always overwhelm the clean vocals in our music, even if I get them managed well.
So, what will we hear in the second album? Will there be any minor or drastic changes?
“For the Harvest” will be a long play for sure. We got 13 very different tracks, so it won’t be recommended for people who don’t like varieties in music. It is a bipolar piece of art, with a few depressing, slow songs and a bunch of quite fast and aggressive, even manic songs in it. We used chromatic and diminished tone scales a lot, which gives a strange dark vibe.
The guitar rig changed too. I’m so in love with this Tesla AH2 Pickup driven through an Engl E642 Invaders chrunch channel. So the guitar sound will be my wet dream on this record if the tech at Noise in your Head is satisfied with the frequency spectrum and is not about to reamp it.
The extensive use of keyboards, which sound kind of symphonic at times, gives a unique style to the band…. Does the composing process start with them or do the guitars come first?
Some parts got written on a piano, the most of them are written on guitar and with one song I even had the lyrics first. So there is no specific order. Sometimes I just got a melody in my mind which I try to lay down on guitar.
The first album was released by 7hard. Will that be the case with the new record as well?
I don’t know. 7hard has the option for a 2nd work, contract wise, but “Withered Frozen Perished” was no commercial success as mentioned, so I don’t think that the label is interested in “For the Harvest”. If so, we figured that we would press only 100 copies, numbered and signed, and give the whole record for free download as well to gather more attention.
Are you planning to give any live shows in order to promote your new album?
We recently got the info that our keyboarder Dominik plans to study one semester in Denmark. So I don’t know if we can play live shows in this time, ‘cause the keyboard is a very essential part of our music. So I can’t promise anything at the moment. We are not gonna replace him by a computer for sure. I think his emotional playing style on his stage piano is necessary for a good live performance and if we would use playbacks it wouldn’t be living music anymore.
My guess is that there are not many bands playing the same style as In Somnia in Austria. Am I dead wrong? If I’m not, how does that make you feel?
I don’t know another band in Austria that plays the same style. But the metal scene here is near death I guess. If you do covers you are good to go, but no one cares about music that’s written and performed out of the heart anymore. I think it’s so untrue to cover a song and get attention for something you haven’t even done yourself, but maybe we’ll have to follow that trend, at a small point, in the future too.
Moreover, I looked up your hometown Lienz and it’s absolutely beautiful, but quite small and isolated. What are the problems that a band like In Somnia has to face by this?
The region has only 50000 inhabitants, so it was hard to get the right musicians for In Somnia. Mattias, Tobi and Dominik had to move away from here to study and if you are no cook or something you won’t get an interesting job here. Lots of young people have to leave if they wanna make something out of their lives. I tried my way in Vienna for a while, but as tyrolean blood I missed my mountains. Meanwhile I miss Vienna for its climate and the metropolitan feel. But what will I do, I always wanted things I can’t get, I guess. So we still have our rehearsal room and studio in Lienz. For Mattias it’s a 6 hours drive just to practice with the whole band, so this is maybe the biggest problem that we have to face nowadays.
Do you think that technology is a blessing for small underground bands which can record and promote their music easier than before or did the overpopulation of bands that it brought just make things worse?
It’s tough. On one hand, I think we wouldn’t exist anymore as a band, if we were not able to record things on our own, but on the other hand, it is very hard now to gather attention, since, like you mentioned, there are so many bands out there. In general I think it is a bad thing since regularly content seems to be more important than good content and since cd’s doesn’t sell anymore the quality of music in general will go down due to high studio and promotion costs. How do you want to pay them if you do not earn something out of it? So artists don’t have the time they used to have in studio and a lack of time usually sets down in your product, but it’s just my opinion.
Have you ever been in Greece? Austrians often visit our country for vacation…
As unknown artists we don’t have money for holidays, because there is always a compressor, an amplifier or new cymbals in priority to buy. In summertime I usually drive to Italy since the sea is only about 2 hours driving from Lienz and I was in Croatia once but I’m looking forward to visit Greece as soon as possible.
Ok, before we close, tell us what releases did stay in the band’s members playlist in 2015 the most?
The rest of the members are quite with hardcore and deutsch rock and all this stuff I don’t like. I personally like everything nordic, excluding the latest In Flames release but nothing specific this year.
Thank you for this chat! Good luck at your next steps as a band!
Thank you for the good interview and thanks for having me.