Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?
Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?
What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?
These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.
This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.
Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new album “November Red”. But could you please start off by introducing the readers to the band and give a short version of the biography?
MM: Well, DANTE was founded in late 2006, when Markus Berger and I decided that we wanted to make music together again (being pals since school). So thatīs what we did. Over the next weeks several songs were created, then we asked our good friend Alex to sing, later on Chris joined as the drummer. We released our first album “The Inner Circle” in 2008, were signed by ProgRock Records for the next album “Saturnine” in 2010, and are now very happy that we could join the Massacre Records family with our latest release “November Red”.
And now onto “November Red”… track-by-track, what inspired you, what topics are you dealing with, what do you want to express with this song etc.
01. Birds Of Passage (Caught In A Dream)
MM: There are times of change in your live, where you so much want things to change, to get out of all the things that were, that are around you. Itīs about such a moment, a moment of clarity, where maybe something appears in front of you. But moments like that quickly pass away, so you take it now or leave it be.
02. The Lone And Level Sands
MM: Itīs about fugacity, and the humility when faced with it. This applies to both each and every one personally, but also in a much bigger context of great works of art collapsing, of empires fading. Nothingīs forever, and “In the end we will finally stand in the lone and level sands”. That expression, by the way, comes from the poet Percy Shelley.
03. Beautifully Broken
MM: The first appearance of the “gothic girl”. The lyrics are very visual, and the mood is very melancholic, sad and morbidly beautiful so to speak, almost like a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.
04. The Day That Bled
MM: That moment right after you woke up, while youīre still lost in your dream, where everything seems surreal or “strangely” real. Or maybe you are not awake at all.
05. Shores Of Time
MM: An old man, dying alone, reflecting his life. Heīs afraid, but also at peace, thinking about the one big love of his live. Heīs ready, because her smileīs with him. Again, a poetic scene, full of melancholy and hope.
MM: A lone man, falling in love with a woman he sees every day, but sheīs not taking notice. And maybe heīs just imagining all that. Almost some classical songwriter-lyrics.
07. November Red (In Praise Of Dreams)
MM: Once again, the “gothic girl”. Again, very visual, and all about the mood of the song.
Could you please tell us a bit about the artwork – who made it etc. and how important do you feel it is to have a cool artwork?
MM: The complete artwork was done by our singer Alex, and he has been responsible for all the DANTE artwork before that. We are very lucky to have a guy that talented in the band, so we donīt have to let someone else do it
Three years have passed since the release of “Saturnine”, and “November Red” is finally out! What are the first reactions and your own feelings?
MM: It certainly does not really feel like such a long time to be honest. It usually took us 2 years to release an album, like about a year to write, then half a year for the whole production and for finding a label, then you have to wait quite some time until they schedule the release. We would have been able to keep that time span, but the whole sad thing with Markusīs disease and eventual death delayed that quite a bit.
Is there any track that means something special for you on the album?
MM: I wouldnīt say that a specific song has a special meaning to us, but obviously the whole album, as I just said, has become very special to us, as our time with Markus came to an end just before it was released.
Who and what has inspired you musically on this album?
MM: I donīt feel like we had a specific inspiration musically. I think we never really had. Of course, we all listen to so many bands, and there are many things each one of us is inspired by, but itīs not a conscious thing when we write songs. Sure, a part here and there comes up and we later think like “oh, thatīs a Tool-riff”, or “this could be Uriah Heep” or something like that. But itīs not like we say “ok, we need a Meshuggah riff now”.
What’s the biggest difference between your previous two albums and this release?
MM: Well, I think the main difference lies in the approach just described, and though I really feel like we always wrote good “albums” that really work well as such and are not just collections of songs thrown together, we took that even further this time and we made a conscious decision to do so. With the first two albums we wrote the songs and then tried to create the best “album” with the songs available. And that was of course perfectly ok, but we wanted to change that this time. That basically equaled that we would probably not have that one huge epic we used to have (and I REALLY like them!), as they are the logical center of the album. “November Red” to me does not have this one track standing out so much above all the others. I think this is the biggest difference.
What’s next on your list, any tours planned outside of Germany again, maybe say hello to little Denmark?
MM: We have a few more shows to play in March, then weīll start auditioning bass players to close the gap Markusīdeath has left in the lineup. So hopefully we will be a complete band on stage again pretty soon. We then try to support the album as much as possible playing live, we are right in the middle of planning that, and there will be quite few more dates. Whether this will see us play Denmark , I donīt know yet, as much as weīd love to go there itīs all a question of whether this can be realized, if this is financially possible, I mean we are not exactly making millions with Prog!
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?
MM: We just want to thank each and everyone who has showed their support by going to our concerts and buying our albums. Itīs still tough enough to do what we do, but without you, it would be completely impossible! Thanks so much! We really hope that you have as much fun listening to “November Red” as we had writing it!
Tommy Skøtt, March 2013