Sophicide lead us into happiness

interview with alan of sophicide

Please give us a short introduce yourself.
Hi, I'm Adam, 22 years old, guitarist and singer for Sophicide, which I started as my solo project in 2009.

Sophicide isn't a one man project anymore. Who are the other recording artists?
Actually we're just now in the process of adding band members and becoming a full band. So concerning the recordings so far, I've played all instruments, except for the drums which I sampled. Besides my friend Sebastian Bracht joined me as guitarist and backing vocalist, while I'm taking care of the other guitar and the main vocals live.

Why did you start Sophicide? Is it a complete band now? Or are you willing to work with guest musicians?
As mentioned we're not complete yet, we're still in need of a drummer and a bassist, we got some candidates though. Originally I started Sophicide as my creative outlet for my death metal ideas, that didn't fit any of my bands at that time. So it was rather for my personal enjoyment and improvement of course. But since the reactions were really good the whole thing became more and more serious.

Your role as main composer is obvious as a great emphasis in on the guitars, melodic and lots of leads. Do you build songs around a riff or lead?
Well, sometimes I do, it really depends. A lot of times I just write almost with an improvisational character, not caring about song structures or anything in the first place. So I'm kind of letting the song "evolve" and eventually come back to some kind of main riff or chorus. Other times I just have an idea for a nice drum intro or the first 2 bars of a song and then continue. So I have no real "recipe" for my songwriting.

I like leads so enjoyed them a lot. How do your leads develop? How do you start? Are they well thought or just improvisation?
Actually they're not thought out at all, at least not in a traditional way as far as concerning music theory. I do have a really basic education in music theory, but I found that a lot of this simply doesn't work for me that well. So usually I just put notes together that sound well to my ears, really.

Listening to the album "Perdition Of The Sublime" the melodies are very nice. Do you get inspiration out of other musical styles? Which ones and what other music do you listen to?
Besides all kinds of metal I also like classical and baroque music, also movie composers, like John Williams for instance. I have no boundaries to what I like concerning genres or anything. There's just too much good stuff that's worth listening to, I think.

The album describes the state of modern society and it is not very positive. Are you so negative towards our society? And what is your biggest problem with the present?
I try not to be too pessimistic about society, but there's a lot going wrong obviously and to ignore these things is not the right way in my opinion. Not everything is negative about our society, obviously, there are a lot of great people who "enhance" society, but one must take a look at the other side, too. We live in a world where greedy corporations practically own the government and stop at nothing to make more profit. It seems that money is the only value in this system and we don't give a damn about anything else. The point is, we could do a lot better I think. We have so many possibilities, we've gained so much technological progress, but ethic-wise there's a lot room for improvement.

Do you think it will be better in the future or will we go down hill? And what would help to get us on the right track?
I really hope things will get better. What we need in my opinion are awareness and empathy. We have to acknowledge our problems and also care about finding a solution. I believe humanity has a lot of positive potential that only has to be unleashed.

Think the 60s were better? Could you see yourself as a hippie, smoking pot with flowers in your hair?
I don't know if the 60s were better, really. I mean I have no first hand experience obviously, but people seemed to have a different mental attitude, which may be closer to my world view than nowadays consent. But generally I think it's pointless to linger in old memories of past decades too long. People always say things used to be better back in the days, well, there probably were times where things were better, other times were a lot worse. The world is changing and we're too, but it's up to us to change for the better.

You state that people are stupid ignorant and they seem to be proud of it. Why do you think so and what could be the cause for this?
In this case I'm referring to anti-intellectualism which seems to gain importance lately. One example would be creationists, who look down on scientific methods and sceptical thinking, while blind faith and piety is something to be proud of for them. I mean, in a world where intellectuals are no authorities but only a minority, you can easily see why they are frowned upon by many.

Do you think metal is the right music for these topics and why?
I think there's no musical style that's particularly "right" to address these topics, but in my opinion the harshness of metal fits these topics quite well. But I mean, folk music can be socio-critical as well so after all it's a matter of taste, I guess.

One more thing to close this topic. You quote Charly Chaplin in the booklet but wasn't he an awful person too?
I'm not sure what you're referring to, as far as I know, he was one of the most influential comedic actors of the last century. The movie I took the quote from was "The Great Dictator" which was a satirical attack on fascism including one of the most inspiring monologues I know. Not to mention the film was released in 1940 when the nazi regime still reigned, which was a pretty bold move. I don't know about his private life though, there are some rumors but I'm not sure about those.

The focus on the album is the thankful subject religion. So you don't like mankind and you don't like religion. What is left for you to enjoy?
There's a lot to enjoy! As I mentioned, I think mankind has a lot of positive potential, so I haven't given up hope yet. I really love life, on the other hand I hate to see so much evitable suffering in the world. So I'm trying to do what I can to make things better, or at least not make them worse, and I enjoy that.

Beside online promotion, do you want to go on stage to spread Sophicide to the crowd? If so you need musicians or do you dare to play with a tape?
Yes, the plan is to go live, definitely. My friend Sebastian Bracht joined me on guitar and backing vocals, while I will be taking care of guitar as well and main vocals. So we're still looking for a drummer and a bassist, we already have some candidates though.

You used your house to record the album. Can you give an impression how it looks like? (Don't mention all equipment in case of burglars reading this interview)
Haha, there's really not that much equipment to be stolen at all. It's nothing fancy basically, just an ordinary room, usually pretty messy. Besides my instruments and microphone, I'm using an interface and a preamp. Everything else happens inside of my computer and that's about it. So really nothing exceptional. I had to practice a lot though until my recordings sounded somewhat decent and I'm still just learning and improving.

Obvious you put the ladder high for this recording. How can make the next one better? What do you do to improve yourself?
To be honest, I don't know yet. But I really don't pressure myself, I don't think that helps. I'm just listening to a bunch of music, writing music and trying to broaden my horizon. That's what I did for years and eventually I improved, so I think I'm going to continue this way.

What are your plans for the future with the band? What would you like to achieve? And how do you see your personal live?
The plan is to go live and play a lot of concerts as soon as possible. We're looking forward to meeting great people, musicians and fans and to play our music live. Concerning my personal life I'm trying to make a living out of music, which is simply not possible at the moment for me. So that's my biggest mid/long-term goal right now.

To enclose this interview you can do some shameless self promotion so go ahead.
I usually take these opportunities to cite one of my favorite quotes: "Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness!"

Interviewer: twansibon
Oct 1, 2012

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