Interview with COMPLEX 7
Band: COMPLEX 7
By: Zaid Mousa - 2012-12-01
JZ: I am going to start with this question: "What idea began this band? Tell us a little about yourself for the people who don't know you."
Bjorn: We are Complex 7 from Germany. A metal band with progressive influences and we like to play our music in a technical way. We are a four piece with Guido playing drums, Arne on guitar, Norbert on vocals and me on bass-guitar.
JZ: You started in 1999, but members are listed to be in the band quite earlier back in 1990. Could you tell us about that and state the reasons why?
Bjorn – In 1990 Arne, Guido, Marko and I started the band Demimonde, a prog-metal band, which existed until 1997 and released only one demo tape called “Soliloquy” that you can download from our homepage for free. Then Arne and I wrote some more complex music without having a band. In 1998 Guido re-entered the band and in early 1999 Norbert joined and Complex 7 was born.
JZ: Your name is kind of strange. What does it mean for the band and how did you choose it?
Bjorn: After Norbert joined the band, we were forced to choose a new name, because the music changed a bit, but seriously. The compositions got more complex and detailed. So we looked for a name which should reflect our music, should be cool in a way and should make sense. We thought about the “Cassandra Complex” referring to the “Trojan War” of the Greek mythology. First we named us “C-Complex” and changed it soon to “Complex 7” after we recognized that there still were bands existing with this name.
JZ: What is the future of the band? Did you make the band for fun, or are you out there to send people a message?
Bjorn: Surely we make our music for fun. Without fun it would make no sense. We are a band with musical ambitions. We try to combine mostly socially critical lyrics with the music. There are no fantasy themes, but things referring to actual and personal topics.
JZ: You play metal with great harmony in a complex genre, "technical progressive extreme metal", how do you incorporate so many influences in the music? From where do they derive?
Bjorn - We grew up with the 80´s big metal bands like Iron Maiden or early Metallica. Then we listened to more bands like Testament, Megadeth, Fates Warning, Dream Theater, Watchtower, Coroner, Mekong Delta, newer Death and such technical stuff. And we wanted to play this kind of music. Over the years the band members developed their own personal taste of music, which seems a bit different today. I think we have our own sound since our first release. You´ve mentioned the range we are moving in. The sound of Complex 7 is the result of the used instruments, which is mostly very basic with drums, bass-guitar and guitars and the voice of Norbert. We have developed our style since the early 90´s trying to make ambitious rhythm figures and crazy guitar things, where every instrument has enough room to unfold. And also the vocals don´t need to follow the riffs. There are no borders for us, but the result is always Complex 7. And it is seems to be in the range between prog rock and thrash metal consistently.
JZ: Since you were one of the bands that started back in the 90's, what are your thoughts about the worldwide Metal scene now?
Bjorn: Probably the international metal scene is as big as it never was before. There are thousands of bands, but I miss the quality of music sometimes. Big selling bands are mostly marionettes of the record labels and the fast business. Making money is the only impulse of music business today. Of course there are loads of excellent bands and musicians out there playing awesome music. But that's only happening in the underground. And I´m lucky that the underground lives worldwide and obviously also in the Arabian area.
JZ: Since 1999, the band has released two albums and one EP. Is there any album in the way?? And how do you expect the feedback from fans?
Bjorn: We are working on new material since late 2009. We are working some things out now before making the pre-production to reconsider the stuff we´ll have created. The basics for up to 10 songs are finished. The new material will include a higher bandwidth and maybe we will work with interludes between the main tracks. It will be at least a full length album and it will be Complex 7 – style. It will be very heavy and deep with 7-string guitars and so on. But there will be some fragile acoustic things too. We try to make some new things with a combination of the craziness of “Water”, the melodies of “Process” and the heaviness of “c7.09”. We hope our fans will love it and I hope we will win some new fans all over the world.
JZ: So you guys live in Germany, where the best open air concerts are! Did you have a chance to play in one of them? Are you planning on having a tour out of Germany?
Bjorn: The big open airs in Germany are very commercial. As a band you have to fit in their roster. And as a band with no label- and management-deal you have no chance. Look at the billings and notice how much bands are from Germany, there are just a few and they are only the big ones.
JZ: It's been a long time since you've created the band and you are still standing. Is there anything you'll do to move forward a bit more?
Bjorn: We still have fun to play our music and we are very close friends. That keeps the band alive. We have the ambition to create the best music we are able to. Over the years we made some contacts with national and international musicians. Sometimes we get the chance to play some gigs with them. Maybe someone will give us a chance some time. But we are old enough not to wait for it.
JZ: JorZine is a Middle Eastern webzine as you know, and you have many fans from Arabia, do you want to say anything about your views on metal in the Middle East?
Bjorn: Shame on me. I didn´t knew, that there is a metal scene in the Middle East. But I´m glad that you have one. I took a look on your magazine and it´s really cool. I´m very interested in the music of Arabian metal bands. Surely the musicians work with some different musical influences as in Europe or America.
JZ: When we think of Germany, we think tons of styles of Metal, concerts and bands, What's the most German thing about the band, are you planning to stand out any time in the near future ?
Bjorn: There are not too much bands in Germany and maybe in the world, which play our kind of metal music. That's what makes Complex 7 to something special. And we will carry on doing this thing. You have to concentrate by listening to our music – it´s not the simple style.
JZ: Last question: Do you want to add anything else I didn’t ask you about?
Bjorn: I thank you for giving us the chance to make this interview. I thank all of our fans for the support so far, especially the people in the Middle East. And to all of you out there: Please visit our Homepage: www.complex7.de and get an idea of our music on myspace, facebook or reverbnation – discover it and give a feedback.