Heaven Shall Burn – Maik Weichert (Guitarist)
Fourteen years in the making with numerous releases to date, demos, EPs, CDs, and DVDs you name it, they’ve likely created it. German metallers Heaven Shall Burn may seem like your typical satanic worshippers but these metal dwellers are none of the above. Heaven Shall Burn just provides the adrenaline and the momentum that metal has been aching to receive. Guitarist Maik Weichert got in touch with me to discuss everything that needs to know about their latest addition to the Iconoclast series entitled “Invictus (Iconoclast III)“.
1. First, why are the one that always get stuck when it comes to the interviews, that’s what I noticed.
Actually you´re very lucky haha. Usually I am, just “doing phoners and our drummer Matthias takes care of mail interviews. But you´re right I do most of the interviews. That is because I write all the lyrics and the songs as well.
2. Can you give me a brief summary on how the band came to be, how the name came to be, and anything else you’d like to toss in?
We´re five friends playing together, rehearsing twice a week and always writing new stuff. We chose the name Haven Shall Burn as statements against false dreams and illusions. One should face reality, so “Heaven” is a picture for a false paradise that people promise themselves. The band name is not a satanic statement.
3. What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record “Invictus (Iconoclast III)”, any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album? How does it compare to Part’s 1 and 2?
Well part 2 was a DVD so I guess the difference is quite obvious hehe. But after the great success of the previous record, we wanted to clarify, that there is no commercial stuff coming up, no effeminacy, and no whimper. I know many people expected HSB to go more commercial, but that would have been a great disappointment for our real and true fans, so we tried to record our most aggressive album so far. I guess, if you´re a fan of the band you can tell after 10 sec. that this is the new HSB album and that is exactly what we wanted. There is new stuff happening on the record, but in a way that is a logical development.
4. What about the sound of the new record, how would you describe the musical direction you are going with this record?
As this is the third part of a Trilogy we did not look for a whole new sound and we´re really happy with the set up we had for the previous record, so we focused more on the way we played our instruments and stuff that was the main improvement this time I guess. If you have somebody like Tue Madsen doing the mixing production, you do not have to worry about the sound anyway!
5. How about the fans how have they been reacting to the new material, you released two songs on your MySpace page, “The Omen”, and “Combat” which to me the intro of “Combat” sounds like a upbeat techno song you’d dance to at a club.
As first song to be revealed via MySpace we chose “The Omen”, which is typical HSB that jumps right into your face. Reactions were very good, but a few people thought it was too much HSB even for HSB haha. But that is exactly the statement we wanted to give – that nobody has to worry we would chance our style too much. Second song on MySpace was Combat and this song is quite different from what we did in the past. But here reactions were overwhelming and even the few people who were a bit bored by The Omen were raving about Combat. We did some electro-beat stuff in the past already, but ´never as offensive and obvious as in Combat but it adds a really cool and brutal new dimension tour sound.
6. What songs and bands do you listen to?
That is so much, really too many to name. But we listen a lot to Black Metal, Hardcore and Melodic Death Metal. But also Rammstein, Kraftwerk and Ministry are among our faves.
7. How about you, Maik? How long have you been playing guitar? What got you interested in the instrument in the first place?
I did start pretty late with playing guitar, I guess I was like 18. But I was always interested in music. I realized that people take notice of songs and lyrics a lot easier than of flyers and articles for example. So voicing my opinion with a guitar in my hand was just a more efficient way telling people what I was thinking. And that is still what HSB is about. Music is the missile and our lyrics are the warheads.
8. So there is a red line that runs through all the songs, can you tell us more about the lyrics?
The red line you´re talking about is the intension that we want to tell stories about well known heroes from a different point of view. So many legacies have been abused for wrong political aims in the past. And on the other hand we´re also telling stories about unknown heroes, people you´ve maybe heard the name somewhere but you don´t know the story behind it. But it´s not only about certain persons it´s also about myths and legends that need to be seen in the right light.
9. What do you and the other members of Heaven Shall Burn do outside of your careers in the band?
We´re always doing something besides the band. Our drummer Matthias studies economics, our singer Marcus is a nurse, our bass player Erica therapist, our guitarist Alex has his own recording studio and I am a jurist on university.
10. Is the music written independently from the lyrics or do you try to reflect lyrical ideas through the music?
Usually Lyrics and music are written separately, but once in a while it happens we try to express a very strong emotions also music wise, like in the song “given in death” on Invictus for example.
11. Has Heaven Shall Burn had the opportunity to perform at all of the European festivals it has to offer?
Of course not, there are porn festivals and gothic festivals, Bratwurst Festivals and Reggae festivals – do you think we would rock the house there, haha I guess not! But regarding metal festivals, we did play everywhere and it was great. The highlight was of course Wacken festival for the third time last year. It´s hard for a German band to get on the bill for the big events in UK like Download for example, but we´re working on it!
When can we expect to see you guys touring in the U.S.?
Hopefully in late 2010, we had a lot of fun on our last US tour!
What does the rest of 2010 have in store for you guys?
Right after the release of Invictus we´re staring the festival season. Also some mainstream festivals this year, which will be very interesting, so looking forward to giving some pop-punk kids some metal. After the festival season there will be an Asia trip, Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan. For the fall 2010 we´re working on a European tour right now.
Any final words for the readers and your fans?
Check out our new stuff and also read the lyrics! Let us know what you think about the new record! Sorry for typos and stuff like that, English is not my mother tongue you know…
Thanks a lot for the interview!
You´re welcome! We really appreciate you´re featuring HSB!