*When did you really get involved into music in general and into metal specific? Who was responsible for your interest in (metal) music?
-Dominic: It all started with a Best-Of Iron Maiden Tape in the – I think – fourth grade. Somehow I got from Heavy Metal and Grunge to German Punk Rock, the power and simplicity of that music fitted me perfectly during my youth. Around 1998 I listen to the album Destroyer from Gorgoroth (my circle of friends at that time consisted only of metalheads), which was so demanding and at the same time disturbing that I was immediately hooked. After that everything took its course.
-Jens: Like a lot of people I was influenced by older siblings, in my case my older brother and my older sistter. My brother was listening to New Wave, Post-Punk Neo-Prog and Gothic, while my sister opened my mind for Punk Rock and guitars in general. At the same time, I was around 11-12 years old, I was deeply into Gangsta Rap, with Bands like N.W.A, Public Enemy, Ice-T and the like. Finally I got into Hard Rock and Metal, when a friend gave me one of the Use Your Illusion records by Guns´n´Roses and the Black Album by Metallica. Soon after I discovered Nirvana and after this Massacre; Iron Maiden and Sodom. So from early on I was listening to a great range of music. Today, I will listen to everything that is dark and intense, with a special fondness for Post-Rock/Metal, 70s Prog and –of course- Black Metal.
-Sebastian: I think it was around 2005 when my interest in music was growing. My father and also my brother listened to these 70s bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and so on. It was so different to the music my friends listened to and I enjoyed it much more. The first metal song I ever heard was The Trooper by Iron Maiden.
-Christian: Around this age of 15 I was confronted with Metal for the first time when a friend from school gave me two albums, Opus IV by Abigor and A Wintersunet by Empyrium. From that time this musical style became a part of me.
*Which artists or bands did influence you the most?
-Dominic: Definitely Nagelfar and Gates Of Ishtar, even though neither of them is really reflected in my current songwriting.
-Jens: Edge of Sanity, In the Woods, Cult of Luna, Arcturus, Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Depeche Mode among countless others. Most Bands whom I admire are those who are able to atmosphere.
-Sebastian: I think my biggest influence is Led Zeppelin, they are one of two main reasons why I started to play drums. In 2006 I watched a John Bonham solo nearly a hundred times and was fascinated by this power and sound.
-Christian: Empyrium, Dornenreich, Nagelfar, Nocte Obducta and Vintersorg, among many others.
*Which instrument do you play and how and when did you learn to play? Did you had lessons in school or private lessons? If so, was that because your parents expected that from you? Or did you learn to play the instruments by yourself? Do yo still follow some lessons?
-Dominic: I play guitar and bass. I learned to play the guitar quite early (at the age of about 15). I had half a year of acoustic guitar lessons, but in the beginning I just wanted to be able to play simple punk songs with three chords, so I taught myself everything after that. My parents had no expectations of me but at least they supported me in my hobby. Since then I did not take any guitar lessons anymore.
-Jens: Well, I mainly play Guitar and Bass. Plus I used to be able to play Drums pretty well, but I am totally out of practice these days. I am mostly self-taught, started with Bass when I was around 14 years old. I moved to Guitar a couple of years later. Over the years I took a couple of lessons, but not that many. Music was import especially to my father, but I do not think he ever considered the noise we were making in our basement as „music“. Over the last years, I discovered Keyboard Instruments and started to learn how to play them. I played all Synth and Keyboards on the new record except some (very important!) parts of the Intro. This was done by Alex of Dzö-nga.
-Sebastian: My main instrument are the Drums. My parents never expected it. In fact here is the second reason why I started playing drums. My brother started playing guitar two or three years earlier and got his first electric guitar around 2006. It was annoying and I thought about what could be louder than this fucking guitar.
-Christian: As a child I played keyboard for two years. I picked up the guitar 22 years ago. Before Beltez I only played bass for half a year and finally became a Bass player when I joined the band.
*Do you follow other or are you interested in other styles of music beside metal? If so, what is the music you prefer to listen to?
-Dominic: I still like to listen to punk rock, but rather American style. One important exception are the German kind-of-punk-rockers of Turbostaat, which are unique both because of their lyrics and music. Apart from that I like to listen to Retro Wave and from time to time to Indie / Rock / Jazz of the weird kind. Aside from Retro Wave, I like music that is somewhat darker.
-Jens: Yes, very much so! I like 70s progressive Rock a lot. Plus, I am a lot into American Hardcore and 80s German Punk, as well as 80s Dark Wave and Gothic. Also I like Synth-Pop and dark „Post-Stuff“ like Anna von Hausswolff as well as a lot of classical music. Basically, as I stated earlier, I am into everything that is dark and intense, regardless of genre.
-Sebastian: My musical roots are all this British 70s Rock Bands but I am also a huge fan of Progressive Rock and Metal like Porcupine Tree, Fates Warning and Opeth.
-Christian: Besides Metal I like Rock, Classical Music and Songs from 60s and 70s.
*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 successful with music, would you quit your other job?
-Dominic: Music is only a hobby and should remain so, even though we try to keep it as professional as possible.
-Jens: Music is just an hobby of mine nowadays, but one that consumes a lot of time.
-Sebastian: Like Dominic already said, it’s a hobby but a highly ambitious one.
-Christian: I agree with Dominic’s answer.
*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 black metal band? Or would you do something completely different?
-Dominic: Yeah, well there will be a side project with a more Raw attitude in the near future. So for me, still Black Metal.
-Jens: I do have another Band called KILLING SUZY, and we do play very dirty Goth-Metal. Imagine The Gathering would cover the Sex Pistols… My “Dreamband”… well… Dan Swanö would write the songs… a 00years Mikael Äkerfeld would sing them. David Gilmore would play Lead Guitar. Some really good Rhythm Guitar-player would be needed and I would play Bass. For Drums… 70s Bill Ward! And maybe a weird Keys Player… no Idea what music we would make… probably some very weird progressive Stuff.
-Sebastian: I already have a couple of side projects, so there wouldn’t be any time to feature in an “All Star Band” and I think this band would be so professional that they would kick me out.
-Christian: I have been working on my own project for a long time. Maybe I will publish it in the future.
*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?
-Dominic: That would definitely be Atlantean Codex ‘The White Godess’, Nagelfar ‘Hünengrab im Herbst’ and now I’m struggling to choose three more. I just hope that I will never be stranded on a desert island! The two records mentioned above just don’t wear out for me. But this could still happen on a desert island. Counterquestion: How should I play the albums on an uninhabited island? Do I have electricity there? If so I’ll skip the other three albums and take a guitar with me.
-Jens: Though Question… at least it ain´t just three! Well, here we go: ‘Crimson’ by Edge Of Sanity would be one of them, ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ by Pink Floyd, ‘Scenes From A Memory’ by Dream Theater and ‘River Runs Red’ by Life Of Agony. Last but not least ‘By Time Alone’ by Orphanage.
-Sebastian: Let’s do it quick: Led Zeppelin – ‘The Song Remains The Same’, Steven Wilson – ‘Hand Cannot Erase’, Fates Warning – ‘Theories Of Flight’, Dream Theater – ‘Scenes From A Memory’ and Deep Purple – ‘Machine Head’.
-Christian: I would definitely take a mixture of different music genres with me. For the harder taste maybe Drautran – ‘Throne Of The Depths’.
*Every new album (or ep) of a band or an artist is the best one, that’s what they always say. So here is a chance to promote the album. Why should a music lover buy your album? What are the standout tracks for you on this new album and why?
-Dominic: Because this album represents an overall concept, which did not really exist in Black Metal in this form yet. There is a 20-page story written by a writer friend of ours (Ulrike Serowy), then an accompanying audio book read by Dan Capp from Winterfylleth and our album, which tries to capture this complex theme schematically. The songs are more complex, we are very satisfied with the production and overall this is simply our most coherent work so far. So everyone should at least risk an ear!
-Jens: In my opinion, we created a huge behemoth of an album, with a lot of atmosphere and darkness. If you are into that stuff, give it a spin.
-Sebastian: Dominic pointed it out already. I just want to add that this album me personally is a special one because it is the first record I have done with Beltez.
-Christian: Our current album is a Black Metal Concept Album, and it is worth to dive into. I have no favorites, I like all the songs. They are diverse, rough and atmospheric.
– See “CD-Review” for a review (written in Dutch) for the new Beltez album ‘A Grey Chill And A Whisper’ (Avantgarde Music) –
*I suppose you will promote this album through live concerts (when of course everyting is getting back to “normal” after the Covid 19 disaster). If so, would you prefer small clubs or big festivals? And is there a chance we can see Beltez in Belgium?
-Dominic: With Redback Promotion and our booker Joe we now have an established booking company that will support us in the future. Our Concerts works best in small clubs since we rely on sparse light and a lot of fog to create an enchanting atmosphere. However, we would like to play a festival once in a while to show that we can also play a rousing concert far away from the usual scheme of our shows. Since we haven’t been able to play in Belgium yet, this is definitely on our agenda!
-Jens: I also prefer clubs more. You can play longer and it is not that hectic. Plus it is always dark, we are not a band for sunlight, right? Would love to play Belgium. Hopefully this Covid Nightmare is over soon, and then we will see each other!
-Christian: It doesn’t matter if we play small or big stages, the important thing is that the audience enjoys our music. I could imagine to play in Belgium as well, hopefully with Wiegedood.