Spotlight on … Tobi (XIV Dark Centuries).

*When did you really get involved into music in general and into metal specific? Who was responsable for your interest in (metal) music?

I’ve been listening to metal since I was 13. I got my first contact with metal through a couple of friends who played me their first metal tapes with radio recordings. At that time there were some heavy metal bands, and already some speed and trash metal bands. In radio where played some metal programs which we listened weekly and recorded the songs on tape. Black and death metal were added later. So we realisted almost the whole development of metal and different metal styles.

*Which artists or bands did influence you the most?

When we started making music (1994), of course, we looked up to the big, mostly black and death metal bands at the time. But there are no band or artist there I can say that has influenced me the most now.

*Which instrument do you play and how and when did you learn to play? Dis you had lessons in school or private lessons? If so, was that because your partners expected that from you? Or did you learn to play the instruments by yourself? Do yo still follow some lessons?

I’ve been playing the keyboard in the band since the beginning. When we started, it was more of a fun project. At some point we thought we had to repeat it again and so one session after the other session came until we presented ourselves live for the first time. At that time, nobody suspected such development. I learned to play the instrument by myself. I had never taken school or private lessons.

*Do you follow other or are you intrested in other styles of music beside metal? If so, what is teh music you prefer to listen to?

Of course I also listen to other styles of music. But I have no special favorites there that I prefer. There are songs that I just like and others I don’t. However what I find very interesting are music styles combined with metal. For example, I like to listen classical music combined with metal.

*Is music a full time job for you now or do you have a job beside music? If so, what kind of job are you doing? If you would be really succesful with music, would you quit your other job?

No, music is not a full time job for me or for the rest of the band. We all have a permanent job and also family. In addition, the music comes to the top. I learned the profession of industrial mechanic and I am still working in a metal processing company today. Today we know how hard it can be when you have to life from the music. I don’t think we would quit our jobs for that now.

*If you could start a band with other musicians on other instruments, which artist would you pick for wich instrument and why? (Something Like an “All Stars Band”.) Would you still go for a pagan metal band?

For me personally there is no other band than XIV Dark Centuries. We have known each other for a long time and for us it is more than the band itself. Another option is therefore out of question for me – also not an “All Stars Band”.

*If you had been banned to an uninhabited island and you may pick 5 albums to listen to, wich albums would you choose and why?

I think I would currently choose the following albums:

-Metallica “Kill Em All” – reminds me of the old days when I started listening to metal ?

-Amorphis “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” – that was a strong album at that time. I heard the album up and down. I could also see them live at this time.

-Bathory “Blood, Fire, Death” – has always been a cult album for me

-Fleshgod Apocalypse “Agony” – I like the aggression of the album combined with classical music

-maybe one of the Amon Amarth album like “Versus the World” or “Fate of Norns” etc.

*Every new album of a band or an artist is the best one (we do know its your first album) So here is a chance to promote you album. Why should a music lover buy your album? What are the standout tracks for you on this first album and why?

Of course, the latest album is also the best. For one thing, we put some older songs on the album in a more modern sound. On the other hand, we also brought completely new songs to the album. Our album is released as a Digi-CD and as a CD in a limited wooden box, which has been elaborately designed mainly by Marley (our bass player). It is also the first time that we have released an album on vinyl. It was also a completely new experience for us, as there are differences to CD mastering. Vinyl lovers know this and appreciate it. The most outstanding tracks for me are “Skogafulka”, “Firratan” and “Sunna”. These songs have real drive and it’s fun to play it. However, this is my personal feeling. But it can also be so because it’s just our most recent songs.

See “CD-Review” for a review (written in Dutch) for the new XIV Dark Centuries album ‘Waldvolk’ (Einheit Produktionen) –

*Is there a chance that you will promote these songs through live concerts? If so, would you prefer small clubs or big festivals? And is there a chance we can see XIV DARK CENTURIES in Belgium?

Of course you can also experience us live. We did start with our album release party on February 21, 2020 in Erfurt. In April we will be represented at the Ragnarök Festival and in September at the Equinox Rite Festivall in Kell am See. A couple of gigs with Eisregen are planned for October.

Whether big festivals or small clubs, both have their own charm. You can’t say we prefer one or the other. Of course it is fun to stand on a large stage, on the other hand it is always nice to play in smaller clubs close to the audience. But no concerts are currently planned in Belgium.