As The World Burns

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You can spot Bjorn Gooßes’s voice from a mile away, a visceral, pointed roar that exudes instant charm…in a pure death metal way, of course. After spending the better part of 2011 and 2012 promoting his now former band Night in Gales’ most awesome Five Scars album, the German-based singer has turned his focus to The Very End, his long-running side band which is obviously, a side band no more. Positioned in the same thrash/death hybrid as the likes of Hatesphere and Dew-Scented, The Very End has alongside Gooßes’s vocals, a song-oriented, melody-driven sound that should keep them out of the dreaded retro thrash discussion for the time being. Their latest (greatest) is Turn off the World, an album that with the help of SPV, will provide a broader stage for the band’s fresh and vibrant Euro thrash sound. Plus, to reiterate what we noted above: few can peel paint like Gooßes. Batten down the hatches and read on…

Your decision to leave Night in Gales effective the end of 2012…was it simply a matter of wanting to devote all of your attention to The Very End?

Not really. There has never been any kind of competition of any ‘main band versus second band’issues. The reasons for leaving Night in Gales were both a lot more personal and artistically minded. Five Scars could most probably have been released a few years earlier and I would still have left the band a while after its release. After a few things went down the drain for Night in Gales in 2001/2002 we always knew we will do another record whatsoever. But as time passed by, it became clear for me that this record will nevertheless be my swansong for Night in Gales. No matter if we were put on ice for a while, we all were still part of that band emotionally.

But things have simply come full circle for me. I am very proud of Five Scars and there´s no bad blood, but I just didn´t see myself doing another Night in Gales album. It would not be honest. Take a look at the lyrics of Five Scars and you will understand. Five Scars finally had to be my last Night in Gales album. I left the band with my head up high and think this was the right decision for me. I wish the rest of the guys all the best, may the force be with them!

For such a hands-on guy like you, will it be tough seeing someone else take charge of things such as lyrics, artwork, etc. in Night in Gales?

It will be strange for sure. Indeed I didn´t only take care of the lyrics and vocals lines, but I also did the artwork, most of the interviews etc… So it will be weird to see somebody else doing this, definitely. Yet I know my successor and he´s isn´t only a nice person and long-time Night in Gales fan, but a really talented guy, who already achieves quite some success with his band as well. So I´m also really curious to see what happens with Night in Gales in the future.

It appears that you’ve been steadily building The Very End since its formation in 2004. Is now the right time to strike, especially based on how strong Turn off the World is?

From the band member´s point of view I say: Oh yes, damn sure! But from the behind the scenes point of view I rather say: Let´s wait and bleed. I know that Turn off the World is a damn good album, we´ve spilled a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get it done. And 2013 could indeed hold some changes for us up its sleeve. Yet I know how tough the scene is nowadays, especially in Germany. It´s totally ridiculous, but take two bands of the exact same quality, one from Germany, one from abroad. What do you think which band will get more attention in Germany, more chances being booked etc? Right, the band from abroad. This is something I will never understand and I don´t want to understand, either.

Were you at all deterred when Dockyard I went under? Seems like the first album [Vs Life] didn’t get a lot of promotion because of it

One could even say that Vs Life happened beyond public awareness! We had zero promotion, except for one ad. I repeat, one ad! And you never guess in which glorious magazine this was. The Burger King Magazine. A fucking fast food tab that may have a huge printing but only gets picked up by bored fatties who wait for their plastic food. Well, obviously that elaborate 20-page thingy had a few music ads and interviews back then, but what the fuck? Did anyone think some promo in a METAL mag would maybe make more sense? Well, they chose THE BURGER KING MAG! Can you fuckin´ believe this ha-ha!??

So, what about interviews? Ah well, they got us one… or maybe two. Too many to remember correctly. A tour, or even a single gig? Zero… A royalty statement? Ha-ha nice try… So, after all ‘deterred’ is the wrong term. I wasn´t disillusioned, either. We were simply pissed as fuck! They went bankrupt, shit like this can happen. But how they dealt with it was pretty bad. It was like rats leaving the sinking ship, only one remaining Dockyard1 person talked openly to us and tried to do some damage control. But of course it was too late anyways. We set up dissolution of contract and looked ahead. We have all rights regarding Vs Life and hopefully we will get the album the attention it deserves sooner or later.

Working with SPV is definitely a step in the right direction. What do you hope to get out of it?

Right, SPV is an important step forward. They had to suffer from business problems, too. But they were open-minded and honest, and finally we signed to them whilst they were recovering from the aforementioned problems. They didn´t give up, they still had the will to live and to get back to business stronger than ever. This was a main point for us signing to them. And so far the cooperation is smooth. SPV know The
Very End is a band that still needs to be build-up, so we´re working on that together.

You’re using a variety of voices on the new album and you’re singing more, which is a good thing. Do you think you’ll ever fully transition away from death/screamed vocals?

Not within the realm of The Very End at least. No matter how the ratio of screams and melody will evolve in the future of The Very End, there will always be a certain amount of aggressive vocals within our music. I have a punk rock´n´roll kinda project called The Rules, where I only sing classic kick-ass rock style, so I don´t necessarily feel the need to sing more and more melodic in The Very End. It comes with the music. If a song benefits from screams, I will scream. If not, will sing melodic. Both feel great. As simple as that.

“Infidel” is a song that routinely gets stuck in my head. Which songs seem to be translating best for you these days?

You know, some songs you´ve predicted to be world hits don´t turn out as great as expected in the studio. On the other hand there are songs that seem like fillers when you record them but turn out as the strongest of the whole album. Yet I won´t tell you which songs I mean ha-ha! People seem to have really different favs when talking about or reviewing Turn off the World, and that´s the best to happen. It will be boring if everybody said “Splinters” is the best track, while the rest of the album is flat, right?

You had a fantastic habit in Night in Gales of combining words together (i.e. “Feverfeast,” “Blackfleshed,” etc.). Do you think you’ll ever go back to wording lyrics like that?

As you have said, I had that habit in Night in Gales. And it was one of Night in Gales ´ trademarks. The Very End´s lyrics have other emphases and their own trademarks yet again. To be honest I had to keep myself from using such combinations of words when I started writing lyrics for The Very End, as I have worked with those for years. But I think I have managed to come up with a distinct little world of The Very End lyrics over the course of our three albums. So, most likely I will not resuscitate this Night in Gales style, because it wouldn´t be more like a lukewarm theft.

Some will instantly peg you as a thrash band, but you’re much more than that. Plus, German thrash is generally considered Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, etc. Where do you see yourselves fitting in?

We´re pretty much fallen in between the cracks I think, but our basis is definitely thrash. We come from a very metal region, steeped in history. Kreator, Sodom, Rage, they all come from the Ruhr Area like we do. And many more great bands. This region is the most active of the whole country actually, also in terms of new bands. So, at some point we try to accept our heritage and get the German thrash on the next level. Not in terms of paying better thrash than Kreator or the likes, but in terms of playing open minded, modern, massive metal BASED on thrash. Right, some of our songs are thrashier than others, and finally it all comes down to metal without any prefix. But that´s how we see it. Thus, style-wise we easily could go on tour with bands like Metallica or Kreator, but also with Disturbed, The Haunted or Black Label Society. As long as it´s heavy, I don´t need a concrete thrash environment to tour with. You just gotta have balls. And right, our balls are bigger than Jesus!

Do you think The Very End has a better chance at cracking the North American market than Night in Gales?

I totally don´t know. Both bands haven´t played in North America yet. I really hope The Very End will get the chance to play over there soon! At least we´re not only hoping for it but also working on it. I mean, the more people give us attention, the bigger the chances for sure! So if you wanna see The Very End play some North American shows, spread the word folks!

Finally, what’s on tap for 2013?

Getting as many shows as possible, getting more followers, filming another video clip, writing songs for album number 4, drinking a lot and last but not least – cleaning the rehearsal room, ha-ha!



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