The Band: Dawn of Winter
Answers by: Gerrit P. Mutz (guitars, vocals)
DAWN OF WINTER’s third release comes with winter and dark clouds, cold and straight to the heart, no posers here. This chat with Gerrit reflects what their music is: 100% true doom, no smoke selling, just doom as it was and music as they live it. The devotees of true doom have a mandatory stop with DAWN OF WINTER new album. Especial thanks to Gerrit for the time dedicated to us and his sincerity.
Hi Gerrit! Dawn of Winter is back with their 3rd album, how do you feel about it?
Hey, this is Gerrit. Thanks for your questions. Well, it feels great to have another album out. It took some years in the making and we are happy that the work is done.
Curiously, the band was formed long ago, did you ever imagine you would reach this long?
We are not suprised really. We exist since 1990 and since 1993 we play with the same line-up. In 1996 we already decided to continue until we die, and that fortunately didn´t happen yet
And long live to it. Correct me if I’m wrong, Gerrit, but the members of the band have not changed since then, how important is that for a band?
Indeed. Since 25 years the same 4 people. Sounds incredible, also to me. It´s amazing how fast time flies. I think that it is very important to keep a stable line-up of friends. Especially when you´re playing in a very unknown underground band where there is no money or fame to be made or expected. Friendship is the most important factor in keeping a band going without any real success impending.
25 years… truly a landmark. Another curiosity: you release an album every 10 years. Coincidence or deliberate?
We are lazy fucks. That´s a fact. But we are also very unlucky when it comes to pushing things. Usually when we try to speeden things up, life slows us down somehow. We wanted to have this album out way earlier but then we had some problems with the recording and then with the mixing which held the release date back. Shit happens and doom happens way, way later, haha. So, I´d say it was a mixture of laziness, misfortunes and scheduling problems
That’s life, yeah. Please, do an exercise of historical review and compare your new album with your other two albums, In the Valley of Tears or The Peaceful Dead
Hmm, well, „Valley“ was a mixture of old demo songs re-recorded and some – back then – brandnew tracks. More a summary of our first years then a real debut album. These honours would belong to our „Doomcult Performance“ album from 1994 which was our first „debut“ full-lenght which remained unreleased ´til 2003. We just didn´t like the production. It is our „Abominations of Desolation“ so to say, hehe.
To me „Valley“ sounds a little dated nowadays but some of the songs are still fantastic. „Peaceful“ was a real progression from that one. The songwriting was more focussed and the album itself is still pretty much flawless in my opinion.
The new album to me sounds like a more darker version of „Peaceful“. It is similar in many ways but has a thicker atmosphere and only a little light in form of „Woodstock Child“, the rest is pretty bleak, nightmarish, dreamy and sinister. We are older and, sadly, wiser, and even less optimistic than 10 years ago and you can hear that in our newer songs.
A good analysis, indeed. When did you start composing your new full-length Pray for Doom and how was the process?
We wrote the first song „A Dream within a dream“ about 6-7 years ago already. Then we tried to rehearse more often to keep writing but got slowed down many times by accidents and other mischief and life just getting in our ways.
About 2 years ago the songwriting was finished but, as said before, the recording and mixing also took way longer than expected. So, one thing lead to another and in total it really took us another 10 years. Again! And 10 years ago we were joking about this. And now it really happened. Tough shit.
The process itself? Well, Like any other band we first recorded drums, then guitars, then bass and then my vocals. Nothing spectacular.
Still surprised about the timing haha. Doom metal is not anymore the minoritary subgenre that maybe it some time ago was, for better of for worse?
It is not as exclusive any more. I can remember when 30 years ago NOBODY knew or cared about Vitus, Pentagram etc. Now even little girls are sporting their shirts. I think that this is great and these bands deserve all the praise possible! They are immortal heroes and should bathe in money, fame and drive big cars, haha. I know that this will not happen though. Only Black Sabbath ever made real money with this kind of music.
To have a festival like HAMMER OF DOOM was unthinkable back then, too. And it´s just great to be able to see and play along such great bands nowadays. With several hundreds of people watching. Not like 25 years ago when it was always only the same 30 people attending.
Your doom approach has a sense of epic or true metal that sounds really cool
It is the kind of doom we like to hear ourselves so we only produce what we want to have in our collection. We are very orthodox and old school. Stripped to the bone no bullshit doom. Nothing else. It is, from an ideologic point, close to true metal. Sure. Doom is the heart and soul of metal anyway. There is no truer metal than doom. Maybe only true metal itself, haha.
Has your work in other bands such as Battleroar, Sacred Steel, etc influenced your music in Dawn of winter?
It has made my singing more mature and self confident. I have now a wider range and I don´t only sing that high anymore. It also shaped my vision on writing songs. I know for sure which topic or vocal line fits to a band and which not. In the older times I used whatever seemed ok for the moment without a second thought. Now I work with songs and melody lines way, way longer.
Personally I believe Father Winter with its duration over 10 minutes captures all parts of your picture. A favorite song in the album?
It is a great ending to a pretty devastating listening experience. If this song would be our swan song it would be a fitting end to our story. It is a funeral chant and my personal epitaph. It is the one song I want to be played at my funeral.
Pray for doom is the title of the album, which together with cover art might be considered a gloomy message…?
Well, it is gloomy. It is sarcastic, bitter, cynical and life denying and defying. Yet there are moments in life where you just want the torture to end and you´ve given up hope totally and praying for the end to come is your only hope, Thankfully usually these are just sad moments and you wake up to better days afterwards. But it can also mean that you are looking for catharsis by listening to great doom music to save you from your misery. And that would be positive, right?
A good point. What are your plans to promote this new album, Gerrit?
No real plans. Just the usual small things that we can do: play some shows here or there and do some nice interviews, like this one, hehe.
Thanks for your attention and interesting opinion, if you wish to add something…
Thank YOU for your support and interest in Dawn Of Winter!
Keep the metal raging and doom on!
Cheers & all my metal best to you.
On behalf of Dawn Of Winter,