2016.11.23 – SERIOUS BLACK – Dominik Sebastian (interview)

Serious Black - Band

Now, when you’re after another tour, I got no doubts… but when your formed supergroup, back with Roland Grapow and Thomen Stauch… did it suppose to be a project or a real band?

Dominik Sebastian: it was always supposed to be a real band and no project and it originally was also supposed to stay in that first line-up. Now we are established as a band and now we got the best line-up we could wish for to conquer the world.

Nowadays, is it hard for you guys to match the schedules?

DS: Due to the different countries and continents we’re living in it’s indeed not that easy to get it all together well. We just can’t fly in / fly out everybody for just one gig somewhere – it’s about time and money of course. But we got the best manager/booker (Mario) you can get – so it works.

Do you do rehersals, or mabye you act in much modern way (via Internet for example).

DS: We do rehearse, face to face, but only right before the festival season begins or a tour starts. These rehersals are first of all only to practise our live performance and to see which song fits after an other to get the right setlist.

The name of the band is a wordplay… and remains of Harry Potter series’ character.
Didn’t you affraid that the brand of the band would be treat as… unserious? 😉

DS: No, not at all. It’s a great name – great for a metal band.
And to avoid any questionings about theft of trade mark we changed the name into SERIOUS.
But the important thing was not to do some fantasy stuff too. Then it could have turned out to be rediculous somehow.


Let’s talk about the new album…
Why did you decide to make regular and deluxe versions of your albums so different (9 songs / 16 songs – almost twice longer)?

DS: For this decision I actually have no proper answer. I personally would have done it different but trust me, there were surely reasons for it. At least the special edition is much more worth it to buy – there are so many great songs on it.

Was it hard to pick the tracks for regular edition, when you had so much more material?

DS: Well, when we had to announce which songs we wanted to put on the regular record, we had to choose from those which were almost ready to record. And at this point we couldn’t even imagine what other great ideas and songs would come on top!

And then, how did you pick tracks for a singles?

DS: Quite easy: The lyric video „As long as I’m alive“ is the first song of the record. And „Castor Skies“ has a great story to tell – and it’s perfect to film.

First you did lyric-video, and after that traditional clip, for „Castor Skies”.
Did the members of the band took part in creating, or suggesting parts of scenario for a clip, or was it completely commissioned?

DS: Just some of us were involved in the creation processes. I can’t say who did what and where or why. For the video clip: The story is Urban’s lyrics. Rainer ZIPP Fränzen did the story board and directed the whole thing. I have no idea who else exactly was involved too and what for.
What I do know exactly is: I did nothing than play 😉

If you had possibility, which new track would you pick for another videoclip?

DS: I never wasted a thought of that because there will be no videoclip for any song of this album any more. We are already working on new material for the next, our third output.
Maybe there could be done another live-video. Therefor it always depends on the quality of the film material … But for this I would prefer „Mirrorworld“ or „This machine is broken“

I consider new album as a little bit… softer than debut (I mean sound). Is it only my impression, or maybe was it intended?

DS: It is indeed a bit softer than the first one. It was done to be a bit more „mainstream“, or radio like somehow. But it’s also because of different musicians who were playing on them. Bob has a complete different style than Roland and so it is between
Alex and Thomen. This also makes a difference! For me personally it could have been a bit more edgy as well but I do like it the way it is.

How do you feel differences between first and second album material?

DS: Different musicians have different ideas. We grew together the last year (2015) playing two tours and some festivals. Now we all know more about the other and what skills one has. „Mirrorworld“ is no more the product of an idea to form a band. It is the product of a real band.

Was the process of making new material different than in case of debut album?

DS: Yes and no. The main difference is more of the people who were involved and their way of working. The rest was similar. We put together our ideas and decided on which we would work. Urban wrote (most of) the lyrics and melody lines and recorded in US, Bob played the rhythm guitars in his studio in Greece, the drums were recorded in Munich, Keys in CZ, I worked in Austria, etc. Then all the files came together in Dreamsound Studios in Munich were the record was finished.

Avenged Sevenfold announce new album 1 day before premiere… Metallica did a clip for every new song… What is your opinion for such untypical ways of promotion. Is it possible in case of non- mainstream bands? Is it needed?

DS: Specials make you special in some case. At least people talk about your acting, about your band. And that is the best promotion you can get. And of course you want people talk about your band!
But for the way to announce a release just one day before you need your band to be already well known. Who would really care when I would say I release something tomorrow? For this you need a big and good fan base. In case of Metallica: if WE had the money they have for producing and to promote a record we would do the same I think.

Thanx for your time, all the best, I hope to see you guys at the concert in Poland during next tour.

DS: Thank you for your interest in Serious Black! I’m sure we will come to Poland soon!

Interviewer: Piotr Spyra

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