Todtgelichter’s Tobias and Tentakel Parkinson: The Gun Shy Email Interview


Yesterday, we brought you an exclusive album stream from German avant-garde black metal band Todtgelichter, a band you should get to know. To that end, we sent the band — who’re like nothing you’ve heard before — a couple of questions by email, and vocalist Tobias and drummer Tentakel Parkinson gave us some pretty cool responses.

I’d imagine your influences are varied, but could you give us some sort of idea where this amazing sounds of yours came from?

Tobias: You’re right; they are and thanks for the compliment. I think that the various influences every single one of us brings into the band make out the sound we are able to present. They start in a good sense for Scandinavian black metal we all share (like Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Emperor) run through melodic death (In Flames, Soilwork), more modern stuff like Killswitch Engage, more moderate bands like The Gathering (early years) and some progressive music like Neal Morse. But that’s now just a short glimpse at some of my faves. But Tentakel surely would like to mention some more, right?

Tentakel: Just let me add that I for once, with being born in 1980 AND my old man owning an impressive collection of vinyl, was able to still inhale a good amount of 70′s rock such as Pink Floyd, Genesis, Colosseum, Jethro Tull, Iron Butterfly, and the like: music from which I draw strength even today and which shows in my other preferences, the aforementioned The Gathering and Enslaved being two of them. Which doesn’t mean I can’t also appreciate such beautiful and technical brutality as with the new Fleshgod Apocalypse.

Your music is so unique, and very technical. You can hear the work that went into crafting these songs. That said, where do you feel the band stands in the current scene? Obviously, metal elements are there, but there’s much more to it than that.

Tobias: Tough question! Yes, we are somewhat rooted in metal. But as the years passed our personalities developed, we discovered more and different kinds of music and they influenced what we do now. We actually don’t like to think in categories too much. We play just exactly that kind of music that feels natural for us. It is a melting pot and metal is a strong part in that. It is progressive and yes technical to a certain extent but on the other hand emotional. Thoughts about how to built up a single part should in my eyes never be driven by the technical rather then the emotional point of view and by the crucial question of what in the end suits the song best.

Tentakel: We are not 100-percent metalheads. Metal is our biggest passion, yes; but as mentioned above there is so much more to music. We are influenced by so many bands and musicians that a certain technical level comes naturally; you hear something, you want to be able to do that, too, so you practice — it’s a constant flow of inspiration that drives you forward. I don’t know where that places us in the “scene” and to be honest, I don’t care much either, but I certainly know that by letting go of all borders or restrictions you are able to create the music you want. If some people like that, even better!

What is the music scene like in your area?

Tobias: Talking about Germany and Europe we still do have a strong music — and metal scene. Here in Germany the possibilities for underground bands to play live are still given at least in the bigger cities (i.e.; Berlin and Hamburg where we come from). But it is a recognizable trend that people buy their music more and more often online. The good old record store around the corner is hardly to be found and that’s sad in my eyes as I personally like it a lot to wander through the hallways to discover new bands after a good time in a record store with headphone covered ears.

What are some bands you feel my site’s readers would benefit from knowing? Who would you suggest we listen to?

Tobias.: When it comes to modern metal I suggest Mutiny Within, a band I love for their technical skills in combination with great melody lines. In post black metal I have to point out our dear friends of Agrypnie with their latest record Aetas Cineris. Besides that I love the new Soilwork record, The Living Infinite and shortly discovered the band Witchcraft with their ’70s inspired prog-rock mélange.

Tentakel: Our old singer Nils recently joined Negator and their album Gates To The Pantheon will be out in April, anyone looking for fast and devastating Death/Black Metal in the vein of Behemoth and Belphegor should check this out! And our female voice Marta together with our guitar player Frederic have another band about to release their first three-track EP, that band is called About Fading, and plays soft and calm Indie Rock(-ish).

Will you be playing shows live?

Tobias.: Sure we will! We yearn to return on stage though it’s too early to announce the detailed facts. But we will keep you updated via our homepage and facebook account.

The album art is intriquing. What can you tell us about it? And what does it mean to you?

Tobias: It is designed by Y, a free artist the band already worked with for Angst. In my eyes the cover artwork points out how isolated one can feel even when surrounded by many people in society. The band pictures were taken at the coast line of northern Germany on a sunny yet shivering cold october day. But I think they were worth the effort and the cold afterwards.

Tentakel: The artwork perfectly represents what the music on Apnoe is all about: An intimate, calm and melancholic portrait of us.

Whose an author we should check out?

Tobias: Well, not really an insider’s tip but I love Simon Beckett’s “David Hunter” series. Especially because the medical / forensic facts are based on pretty well research (I’m a physician myself, so I have a little insight). Besides his story lines are amazingly thrilling. And for all of you who like to cook Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” might be interesting. I’m reading that one right now…

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