In December Austrian melodic death metallers Vinegar Hill released their new album called Ghost Flowers. DutchMetalManiac’s Henric van Essen reviewed it here. Now you read his interview with Vinegar Hill’s drummer Tom below.
Servus, wie geht es dir?
Servus!! Danke, sehr gut! Und selbst?
Mein Deutsch ist leider begrenzt, deshalb mache ich jetzt weiter auf Englisch. Whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?
Ist doch gar nicht so schlecht, da gibt es wahrscheinlich Österreicher die schlechter Hochdeutsch können! 😉 Just kidding…alright, I´m Tom, the drummer of Vinegar Hill!
I can only assume Vinegar Hill refers to the hill where the famous battle in Ireland against the British took place. Does that place hold a special significance for you and can you tell us a little about Vinegar Hill and its history?
Yeah, that´s correct. But there´s no special connection to that place. Back to the first days in 2007, as we founded this band, we where searching for a bandname, as every band does someday. Mike brought “Vinegar Hill” because he was reading a book about this famous battle and we all liked it from the first moment on! It´s kind of a unusual bandname, especially for a metalband, and you don´t know what to expect. Many people asking us about it and are interested where it came from, so I think we did a good job with electing this one!
I heard a female voice on Ghost Flowers, yet your line-up consists of only men. Who is the mystery lady and can we expect more of her work in the future?
It´s not that big mystery, we promoted it before the release of the album! The beautiful female guest voice is our good friend Margie Gerlitz from the german metalcore-legends Deadlock. We´re really proud of this cooperation and really thankful for her input and help on this record. She also did the female voices of the choir on Void, by the way!
I’d like to congratulate you with Ghost Flowers. I liked it so much it made it into my top 10 of best releases of 2017 (here). Can you tell us about the creative processes around this release?
Thank you very much, we really appreciate that! The songwriting to Ghost Flowers began in late summer 2016 I guess. Mike is the musical mastermind of the band, he writes the most of the songs or, in the first step, song-constructs. And we finalize them together, doing the arrangements, everbody brings some input and ideas. That´s how we work, we got a pretty cool homestudio at Mikes Place and this is the place where all happens. We´re doing the whole recording process in this studio. From preproduction to mastering. This is such a comfortable way to work and we take the time we need for every single step to get the best out of it! I think it worked pretty good on the last record, we are really happy with the result!
One of the most striking features is the huge amount of different influences that have been woven into your music. What, if any, is the reason for that?
We all have different roots as musicians and have different preferences in music, and we are pretty open-minded to all kinds of music, not only metal and rock. We were never afraid of trying different styles or mixing different parts together and experiment with song structures. I think we found a good mixture for the songs on Ghost Flowers!
What is your vision on the music you make and what is your inspiration?
For me it´s very important that there is a message behind the songs and our music. Meanwhile we reach many people with our music and we need to use this opportunity to tell the people what´s our point of view on the things that happen or, more importantly, on the things that went wrong in our society. So this is also the reasons why we became a official Sea Shepherd Supporter Band and we are really proud to be part of this great and important association and to support the great work they do every single day!! For the oceans!
What song best represents that vision?
I think, every song is a small part of this vision.
I found it hard to choose a favorite song, which is not a bad thing of course. If you had to choose one single song from Ghost Flowers to perform live, which one would that be?
It´s pretty hard to choose just one single song, there are so many songs that are fun to play live. But I think, if I really had to choose just one, it would be The Shift Of Reasons. Great song on the album and also a killer live song!
Speaking of performing live, do you have any touring plans? And if so, where can we expect to see you play?
Of course, we´ll perform at Metal over Malta in March and are going on tour with Dark Tranquillity and Equilibrium from April 1st to April 7th with shows in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Germany. Find details on our homepage!
Danke für ihre Zeit und alles Gute für die Zukunft. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Vielen Dank für das Interview, hat Spaß gemacht!
Support your local scene – no YouTube-video or Spotify-playlist can give you that feeling a live show does! Talk to the musicians, have a beer together, support them with buying a CD or a shirt or something like that…it´s so important for young bands to receive this support. Even the big ones started in a small club or something like that. And let´s be honest, a beer at the club is way better than the canned beer on your couch, isn´t it?!