Released 5/1/11 (and reviewed here and here) Kassel, Germany’s Southern Discomfort put their blend of New Orleans-style sludge and Sodom/Kreator thrash together in the form of a monster called Confrontation. We recently internet chatted with singer/screamer Dave, who very politely entertained our questions.
What inspires Southern Discomfort? What music (metal or otherwise)? Books? Other artists?
Dave: First, our music is inspired by bands like Pantera or Down, but there are also thrash metal influences. For me the biggest inspiration making that kind of hard music is to create a valve for things you can only scream or shout– and I love the energy that is behind that music.
Why do you play the music that you do, and not, say, jazz or classical? What made you want to play heavy metal?
I started playing music (first as a guitar player, now a singer) in a punk band: in those days me and my friends listened to German punk stuff, Nirvana and stuff like this. One day the older brother of our bass player showed me a song from Apocalyptica (Do you know them? They play metal music with three heavy distorted cellos)– it was a cover of Sepultura’s “Refuse/Resist,” and I thought, Wow…I want that heavy sound on my guitar. So I found a new band called “Silent Violence,” and start putting my amp to eleven (you know what I mean) and start screaming and shouting into the mic. That’s my story….
Why do you play music, instead of painting or writing or sculpting or whatever…?
Today I’m a singer in a metal band and I love that. For me there is no better way to express bad thoughts: while you play a song you can focus on the problem which your song describes and you can scream, sing or shout it away from you…it’s a feeling of freedom. This is why I play that kind of music.
Southern Discomfort has seemingly been very influenced by New Orleans’ bands and imagery. This imagery seems very different from “typical” German bands like Sodom, Kreator, Rage, Helloween, KMFDM, Accept, and so on– in fact, there is not much doom or sludge metal coming out of German today (arguably besides The Ocean, Ahab, or Lacrimas Profundere). Why are Southern Discomfort so into doom metal in general, and New Orleans-style metal in particular?
These New Orleans influences came from our guitarist Sascha. He is the one who has this New Orleans sludge/doom style in his guitar playing. Of course, we like the music of Kreator or Sodom, but it’s not our way to express ourselves. Especially for me, the sound of Down or Eyehategod has that heaviness I like and need to express myself.
How do you think Germany has influenced your sound? Or has it?
Hmmm.. I don’t think that Germany has some influence to our sound… because all of us listen to so much music from all over the world and from so many genres.
What’s your favorite part of Confrontation?
There are so many favorite parts for me… the slow intro off “Driven by the Moon” and than that heavy start… the breaks in “Coronis”… the feeling in “Snake Eyes” (which was the first song we played as band together)… the memories in “Storm of the South.”
What’s your favorite song to play live? Why?
For me, it’s “Fuck ’em all,” because this song [says] exactly what I mean about creating a “valve” [to release pent-up aggression]… it’s against so many fucked-up things in our society… and I love it to put this attitude to our audience and see them screaming FUCK ‘EM ALL…!
Do you ever play covers live?
Oh, yes: at our first gig we played Pantera’s “Walk” as [our] last song. All the people totally freaked out… It was totally amazing. I love this song, it has so much power.
With whom would you most like to play?
Of course as supporting act for Pantera… or touring with bands like Weedeater, Eyehategod, Down… yeah, this would be great.
Why did you choose the guitar tuning you did? What type of guitars do you like to play the most? How do you get your guitar tone?
[Guitarist] Sascha plays a Randall transistor amp with many effects, like the whammy, Dimebag distortion and the Dimebag crybaby. He plays Dean guitars tuned down to D. In our new songs, it’s more a chainsaw than a guitar, so we created a very big distorted bass sound to get a kick-ass sound.
If you’re going to worship a guitar player’s setup, Dime’s a good choice.
What questions, during interviews, do you most dislike?
It was fun to answer every of these questions… thank you.
What questions have you never been asked that you’d like to hear?
Only: WHY? Haha.
Dave’s got that German sense of humor that I dig. Second favorite, if you wanna know.
And since Dave’s fave song is “Fuck ’em all,” check that out below, and click the link to hear the whole album.
Like what you hear? Dave gave us 40 free downloads of the album. Just leave your email address here* and we’ll email you back a download code and where you can redeem it.
Free Southern Discomfort! What more could you want at this second?