APRIL 2nd 2013
HEAVEN SHALL BURN INTERVIEW

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal entertainment worldwide. We are here with the band HEAVEN SHALL BURN from Germany. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. 

1: You are about to release a new album, VETO, in April around the globe. I have to ask, why is it not released at the same time everywhere? It seems like we are always last over here in Canada lol.

I don't really know. But I guess it's because an album release needs to be put into a timeline with all of the other releases of a label. Our label is doing some other bands overseas, compared to Europe or Germany, and so there is a schedule that differs from the one we have here. But we even have different release dates within the European continent. It's a business thing.

2: Your genre is labeled “metal/hardcore/death metal”-- is that the same direction for this album?

We developed, of course, but it's still the same. You'll realize within seconds that it's HSB, if you knew the band before. I think we sound like we always did. We found our sound already, but we try to get better and work more on the details.

3: What made you pick the name VETO for the album title? 

There were some other options as well, but in the end, we decided to call it VETO. The title is catchy, it's an “international” term, and everyone can relate to it.

We always had lyrics about people who stood up for something or against something. I guess it was just a matter of time until we would choose a simple title like that. VETO is not really a concept album, but we have something like a “red line” through all of our stuff, lyricwise. So you can put this title above everything we did so far.

4: I have heard that you have some guests on this album-- can you tell us about them, or maybe their influence on it?

Well, we're very proud that Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian did some vocals for our cover of “Valhalla”. It's been an honor to have him and he did a great job. He even delivered some ideas, how to arrange everything. He did even more than we asked him for. It's so cool to see such influential artists be so down-to-earth and nice to work with.

Then we had Rob and Dom of the dutch/ German hardcore band Born From Pain, who did some guest vocals on “Die Stürme rufen dich”. We are longtime friends and BFP is one of the few bands that still got a lot to say. They don't hesitate to voice their opinion. Such bands are hard to find these days.

On “Land Of The Upright Ones” we got a solo, played by the guys of Macbeth. Macbeth is a metal band that has been around since the mid 80s, during the “socialist” times in Eastern Germany, where we come from. Starting around that time made the band go through a lot of oppression and problems. I guess their love for the music made them get through the hard times, and somehow they paved the way for bands like us.

5: One of your songs is dedicated to the late Walter Schilling, a protestant pastor. It seems strange that you have a song dedicated to a pastor. Is he someone that had helped the band at one time? 

He did not help us directly, but gave a helping hand to many young people and other bands. During “socialist” times in Eastern Germany, kids like metal heads, punks or alternative people in general, were almost always outlaws. They did not fit and had to fear oppression.

Like in the 80s, many punk bands only had the chance to play live rooms that the church offered. It was like a shelter for everything that was a bit critical and different from the rest. You can't compare the Church we had during these times with the institution that it is today. Church meant opposition in a “socialist” country, and it wasn't the power and money hungry machine it is today.

You know, there are so many people who believe in God and do good things because of that. How could we ever think bad about them. It's the Church as an institution that we criticize. So, people like Walter Schilling gave shelter and a room to people, who didn't fit in anywhere in this “socialist” society. He also paved the way for the change that we had in 1989/1990.

Sadly he died at the end of January 2013. In January, we had just finished the album, and he passed away in the hospital where our singer Marcus works.

6: You launched a new track, “Land Of The Upright Ones,” in February, with a real interesting twist to get the download. What made you decide to put it into a puzzle to get the link? It’s a very interesting idea, but what made you think of it? 

We just wanted to do something different and make people really listen to the songs. When you normally download something for free, you might give it just a quick listen and then go on to the next band-- but due to this puzzle, you have to listen to it a bit more carefully, to put everything together. It was just the idea that people need to do something to get the song.

7: You have 11 tracks on this album-- who wrote the lyrics for it?

Maik, our guitar player, wrote all of the lyrics – like always.

8: The artwork for this CD-- did you come up with the idea, or did the artist?

Maik always comes up with some kind of basic idea, because he writes the lyrics and knows what would be good as the visual part.

Then a good friend of ours (AZRAELDESIGN) started working on it. We've already worked with him on different occasions for websites and shirt designs, and he really understands what we like. The cover itself is an old painting from John Collier from 1898 and it's called “Lady Godiva.”

9: Are you planning to tour now to support VETO? And what’s after that? Any plans to tour North America? 

We are working on different ideas right now, but it's too early to say anything. I'm sure we'll finally be back to North America sometime in the future. 2008 was the only time until now, and we didn't even play many shows back then.

10: Is there anything you would like to say to people who read this about HEAVEN SHALL BURN, or the album? 

Thanks for paying attention to HSB, even though we don't really tour North America that much. Keep your eyes open, as we will try to do a decent tour sometime. We always get tons of mails or messages, and it's great to see people supporting us. Thank you! Check out our new album called VETO, if you get the chance. ;)

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with Metaltitans. We wish you much success with the new album.

Thanks a lot for the interview!

--Matthias