JANUARY 12th 2016
VANDEN PLAS EXCLUSIVE

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment Worldwide, we are here with Andy Kuntz vocalist of Vanden Plas, a progressive metal/rock band out of Germany. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.

1. On Saturday you played the Kraken Metal Fest, how was that ?


 Was a great festival in Belgium – the first possibility to see how the new songs are working out live - great experience – to rely on and to change things... ;)
 
2. For some who may not know the band, can you tell us how each of the members came to be in the band ?

We started the band  in a professional way with Stephan, Andreas and me, after a few different line up changes  on keyboards and bass - Günter and Torsten joined the band – so since more than 20 years we are fix in the same line up.

3. You have a new album just released through Frontiers Music called "Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld II", this is a second part, what made you do a continuation for your last ?


The whole concept is based on the rockopera “blood night“ – a commisional work we wrote and  brought out 2013 for the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern. I wrote the story for the play  together with Wolfgang Hohlbein – he is one of the most famous dark fantasy authors in the world (45 million books sold). This rock opera was the basic concept for the complete output netherworld 1 and 2. The second part is simply the second act. We decided to bring out that concept without cuts in it’s full bright and as a double album – but time diplaced – to keep the attention and the suspense high and not overextend the listener !

4. Who created the lyrics for this ?

I wrote all the lyrics for both albums!

5. From what I understand it is more of a story, put into song form, is that correct ?

Definitely! It’s a kind of narration of the main character of the story about what you could see in the stage play !

6. Exceptional way of writing songs, something out of the ordinary, tell us why you decided to do it this way?

It turned out to be – after we sold out this theatre play 25 times with every time 700 fans – we decided to offer the whole concept to frontiers records - they agreed to bring it out –so I had to find a solution to narrate and transport the whole story of this theaterplay in a metaphorical - metaphysical way . So I had to reform the lyrics of the rock opera for this two parted concept album.

7. Tell us what you hope the fans get from the album ?

I hope that they feel abducted in an epic, and mystical cinematic dark fantasy world – I hope that they fight their own inner fight against their black knights and dark god makers – against fears and temptations we all have in real life  - ... to find truth and absolution in the magic of one hour – or two if they listen to both parts...;) of the whole concept.

8. What was the best part about putting these 2 albums together ?

 The famous last words...to bring the whole concept together- and the insight and certainty that its done and fulfilled...

9. Do you have a personal favourite between the 2 albums ? If so why ?

I really have no fave - I think both work with or without the other – each of them is very independent – but together they are a force !
 
10. Did it take longer to put the album together since you had to take a story and put it into song form ?

You cannot compare that – and it’s immeasurable - every birth is difficult .

11. Where did you record/mix the album ?

Again at the basement studio in strinz trinitatis with Markus Teske.


12. Tell us about the inspiration behind the album cover, I like the fact that it has the tree from the first, like a story, but give us some insight behind the image, is the figure the dark Godmaker?

Path 1 –
A tree of life is sucking its energy out of the source of the reflection netherworld

Path 2 –
Netherworld manifests now in the reality and you have to pass the gates - to fight your inner fight – haunted by a bitter temptation ! This “sword of damocles“ is now hanging over your head – in this story incarnated by the dark god maker .
 
 13. "Everyman - A Rock Mystery", this completely through-composed rock opera with lyrics in middle-English enjoyed huge success in Kaiserslautern, where it premiered in the 2014-15 season. It not only be held over there for the 2015-16 season, but will appear in theatres in Münster and Innsbruck in the near future. Did you every imagine that this would be such a sought after experience ?

No never – I’m never pessimistic or I try not to be – but I’m realistic – and the possibility for success is not controllable – so the only thing what you can do as an artist – do and dare.

14. It looks like you have hit something very successful, will you continue on this road ?

For sure – trying to build up an eclectic artistical form which feed one another and hold us artistical and so financial wise alive .

15. Since this is more like a story, do you yourself have a favourite book or author you enjoy ?

I love Wolfgang Hohlbein “hagen“ and Carlos Ruiz Zafon “shadow of the wind“.

16. Tell us something that we as fans, might not know about Vanden Plas ?

The things you don’t know are maybe better not to know...,)))

Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that you want people to know ?

I really hope that we will come over soon to play a few shows in the states...maybe prog power ...and another few selected shows...
 
Thank you (Danke) for doing this interview with us here at Metaltitans, and we wish you much success with your new release "Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld II".

Thank you so much for your very big interest and the nice interview !!