Summoning

I had been planning an interview with Summoning for over a decade, but time had always been wrong. Now, the time has come to conduct an interview with Silenius & Protector, the masterminds of Summoning, for their latest album entitled “Old Mornings Dawn”. What came out, is a very frank & in depth interview… Do check it out below…
Summoning band

Hi guys… It’s been a long time so it’s great to see you back with a new epic magnum opus like “Old Mornings Dawn”… It was chosen as the Best Album of June on Grande Rock!
 
S: Thanks a lot. It’s really great to be back again after such a long time. It was not sure during all the past years that Summoning will see the light of day again but finally we managed to do so, and so we are back again, at least for a short time until we rest again for a longer time.
 
 
Hence, tell us what all your fans wanna know. Why did it take you 7 years to come up with a new album? What happened in the meantime?
 
S: After “Oathbound” release, I was very lazy the first time and then I lost interest on the band. Somehow I had no new ideas and I felt that everything was said with Summoning. All in all there was a big lack of inspiration. Some years later I tried to get my head free and worked for the third Kreuzweg OST release. Somehow this had more priority for me and even as everything was done and released I still had no interest in composing for Summoning again.
 
In contrary Protector composed new material shortly after the release of “Oathboud”. We had some plans that he should release this alone under the name of Summoning and I could contribute to the band later again, but then we gave up this idea because Summoning is meant to be both of us working together.
 
Then came a heart infarction that marked the lowest point of my life and it took me half a year to get fit again, but at this time I realized how important Summoning still is for me, somehow this was a turning point and soon after I recovered again & I started to compose for Summoning and with the time the vision and inspiration for this band came slowly back and the more melodies and arrangements have been composed the more clear was the picture of the album and in the end “Old Mornings Dawn” was composed and produced during the last two years.
(i.n.: What an honest reply!)
 
 
Do you believe that artists should be left alone and take their time when it comes to music? Music labels are bit insistent/demanding on that part, huh?
 
S: In our case the label never forced or stressed us to release an album. I think that’s because Max knows we very well and he of course knows that any stress has no effect on us. An album is always the result of the band’s creativity and no other reasons can lead us in this direction.
 
 
Thus, what does “Old Mornings Dawn” hold for the fans?
 
P: The new CD has a clearer sound and even more polyphony than on the last albums. We reduced the massive reverb of the past a bit and also made the guitars deeper and more rough, and sound now more like black metal than on the albums before (also because of the playing style). The whole mood of the albums is now a bit more depressive than on “Oathbound” which was rather heroic. We again could bring new elements inside the music. This time were some kind of field recordings and some oriental percussion.
 
 
What is the “Old Mornings Dawn”? What’s the story behind the album title?
 
S: “Old Mornings Dawn” is no concept album, but this time we mostly experienced the stories and legends of Eärendil the mariner: half man half elder, ancestor of the kings of Numenor, with the Silmarill of his forehead he became an immortal star. 4 songs are dealing with this topic. The lyrics of another two songs come from the poems “city of present sorrow” and “town of dreams”, two very old poems from Tolkien written at a time when the first world war was raging. The rest of the lyrics came from unknown writers or are written by myself and as ever are closely woven to the Tolkien universe.
 
 
Is the cover artwork like a “gate” which can transfer us to a place where the Old Mornings Dawn exists?
 
S: Of course the covers are always a kind of gate that brings the listener to the legendary worlds of Tolkien’s universe. As you may notice, it’s a kind of tradition for us to use frames around paintings of vast landscapes, mainly done by painters from the romantic era. It’s important for us that those paintings are never overcrowded but have a depth so that the listener can imagine his own adventures while listening to the music and watching those pictures.
 
 
Can you give us a hint on a song by song countdown?
 
S: “Evernight”: Evernight is a shadowy region of the sea of southern Aman, that Eärendil passed on his journey into the west.
 
“Flammifer”: Another word for flame bearer, this is of course Eärendil: half man, half Eldar, ancestor of the kings of Numenor, with the Silmaril on his forehead he became an immortal star.
 
“Old Mornings Dawn”: This term comes from the poem “city of present sorrow”. As I said this was a very old poem from Tolkien which originally was representing Oxford during the time of the First World War.
 
“The White Tower”: The white tower is from the poem “the happy marinas” it’s again from the tale of Eärendil and it means the tower of pearl in the twilight islands.
 
“Caradhras”: Also called Redhorn, the highest peak of the misty mountains over the mines of Moria known from the Lord of the Rings.
 
“Of Pale White Morns and Darkened Eves”: From the poem town of dreams, taken from the book of last tales. Also a very old poem which introduced a person called Eriol, and Anglosaxen, who visited the elves and acted like a kind of source or narrator of the later mythology. As we all know Tolkien gave up the idea later and so this figure is just known in the early concepts.
 
“The Wandering Fire”: is taken from the poem “The Song of Aelfwine”….
 
“Earthshine”: Transitoriness and death on one side, birth and formation on the other: the circle of life. Taken from an unknown poem written in the 18th century.
 
 
What about the two bonus tracks “The Darkening of Valinor” & “With Fire and Sword”.
 
S: I think “The Darkening of Valinor” is clear: Feanor swore an oath of revenge against Morgoth after he had stolen the Silmaril. “With Fire and Sword” tells about Morgoth’s stronghold far in the North.
 
 
How did you choose to cooperate with Erika Szucs & David Says?
 
S: Napalm made the connection to the speaker David Says so we tried to give him a chance. We never had heard his voice before and sent him some lyrics over Napalm Records. He made a first try and this first try fitted perfectly.
 
P: Erika Szucs is my girlfriend and had the perfect voice for that kind of whispering speaking.
 
 
Did you both work on the production again? What are the changes that you made this time?
 
P: As I’ve already said, the sound got clearer and the guitars deeper. We also had more expensive equipment and software than ever before and spend especially much time in the studio. This time Silenius got more active concerning the mixing process and also integrated to it. We again checked different sound systems to make sure that it sounds good on all of them.
 
 
I read on your website that you have about six unfinished and unreleased songs from the “Old Mornings Dawn” sessions, which you plan to release only on vinyl (maybe including a download code) in the middle of 2014. Will it be like an EP from the “OMD” album? Will it be a totally new work… what? How come these songs were never completed?
 
S: No it will be like an EP, with unfinished songs from the “OMD” sessions (like we did on “Nightshade Forest” from the “Dol Guldur” sessions) this time we made far more songs than we used on the album. Some of the missing songs are nearly finished, others are just fragments. We will work on them as soon as we have time, and of course this mini album shall be seen as a kind of second part or enhanced CD of “OMD”.
 
 
Do you intend to release any video with an epic/fantasy theme for any of your new songs in the future? Would you go for one if you had the budget to do something that would satisfy you at long last?
 
S: Napalm had a plan to do so. They wanted to make a full length video out of the one minute teaser, but we did not want to do so, simply because of getting not too commercial. But generally we are not totally against a video clip. Maybe there will be one in the future when we have the right idea and when the costs are not too high. If money would not play any role we of would course immediately do a cool clip because I already have an idea about a cool clip.
 
Summoning forest pic

I’ve written: “…I bet this is the music that Sauron listens when he unwinds in his spooky castle!...”. What’s your say?
 
S: When Summoning started we just focused on the dark evil and destructive side of the Middle Earth concept. So for all that releases including “Dol Guldur” you surely are right but since “Stronghold” we include more and more topics stories and legends also from the heroic side, or stories seen from different standpoints so it is not too clear if Sauron would like all of the new songs… smiley
 
 
You have created your own epic, black metal, atmospheric, fantasy music path over the years… which shows the evolution of the band. What’s next for Summoning?
 
S: We never plan for the future. Music just flows when we are creative and it stops when we are lazy. What future will hold for Summoning is still unsure, because after the planned mini CD next year Summoning will again lay to rest for a long time, so we will see when a new dawn is rising… (i.n.: That’s not good news for the S fans…)
 
 
What do you say to those who accuse you of being too melodic and epic and say that you have lost the black metal way of the early days? Some still expect you to be more black metal & raw than epic/fantasy. They probably haven’t got a clue of what you’re up to all these years…
 
S: What you say was very true when “Stronghold” was released. Until “Dol Guldur” we still had a lot more black metal influences in our music, but since “Stronghold” we changed our style a little bit and put the epic side more to the center of our music. In those times it was a kind of separation. We lost a lot of old black metal fans but we got a lot of new fans from a new generation. All in all it was never our plan trying to appeal to all people. We know that our music and the whole concept of Summoning is polarizing even within our fans.
 
 
What do you think about that digital/downloading trend of our time? What’s there for a band when most people are downloading their albums and do not even care to listen to them most of the times? What shall change so as to make it through?
 
S: Of course this is a bit of problem because in these fast times people also act fast and do not take the time of being focused a longer time on just one subject. We are old enough to know that in former times like the 80ties or even early 90ties an album seen as a whole piece of art had a higher priority for the fan and not just songs o album fragments like today. But that’s the situation. it does not help to weep like a child and say "in the past everything was better" we have to make the Best out of the present situation and hope that there are still a few people around who value a physical product.
 
 
It’s time for the Weird Questions now!!! How did you come up with the name Summoning in the beginning?
 
S: As far as I remember the band name was inspired by a Darkthrone LP. I think it was the second or third one. Where the vocals of their lead singer where labeled as satanic summonings or something like that.
 
 
It’s kinda different to have a music file on your pc desktop rather than a CD with a booklet or a vinyl in your hands. Are those things bygones? How do you see the future of music generally?
 
S: No. but I do not think that the physical product will die out. In future there will be even more different possibilities for a fan to get his product. May it be physically like CD, LP or any follow up form, or it may be just mp3, streaming or whatever.
 
 
Which will be the best soundtrack to play in the day we will be forced to evacuate planet earth?
 
 
S: I think it should be the old soundtrack of the seventies movie “The Wickerman”. I don’t know why but this movie immediately came to my mind by reading your question.
 
 
Supposing you could experience an adventure in an unreal-horror world of a fantasy writer (Poe, Lovecraft etc.)…which one would that be and why?
 
S: Maybe I would drown in this crazy world called Zarmonien of the German freaky writer Walter Moers. This writer is mostly known for his “little asshole” stories, but he already has written some fantasy books of this world and they are really crazy and of course not very serious.
 
 
If Summoning’s career was a movie… which movie would it be and why?
 
S: No matter which movie this could be, it would be a very boring movie, because beside making music for Summoning my life is not really interesting and even very conservative, so there would not be a lot of action included.
 
 
Is humanity doomed to fail after all?
 
S: Yes, hopefully…
 
 
Is there a world of spirits that live among us? Do they actually interfere in people’s lives or not?
 
S: Who knows, I really cannot answer this question, and I think no one else can.
 
 
Heaven or Hell and why? What are the similarities and the differences?
 
S: For me neither nor. I would prefer Valhalla, that is even kitschier than heaven and hopefully not as unpleasant as hell.
 
 
I think that’s all for now guys. Thx for this interview. The last words belong to you… Take care!
 
S: All hail goes to our fans who held our banner high over all those years of silence.

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