In June the Swiss metallers of Exit released their new album, titled Traces of Human Existence. Recently DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed Exit’s vocalist/guitarist Beni Sax about it.
Hey, congratulations with your new album, Traces of Human Existence. It’s really nice.
Thanks a lot! We appreciate this.
One song that really stands out, at least to me, is Empire, which sounds quite complex and brutal but also contains a quite calm intro and one of the more melodic parts off Traces of Human Existence. How do you work on a song like this, which combines two quite different aspects?
I like to give the songs an unexpected touch at some point. Sometimes a more calm part can be cool to build a tension before a brutal part punches in and it makes the song more interesting. But I can’t really say how we go about this. Usually there is an initial idea and then we try out different things until the song is as we want it to be.
What would be the most important message you’d want to leave to mankind?
Obviously, mankind is incapable of changing anything. Even though we need to change a lot of things immediately. But as a start, I think it would be great if everyone understands that to give is to have. Sometimes a change means to give something, but on the long run it will pay off for everybody. Today, a lot of people are by far too much occupied by themselves.
Traces of Human Existence was released in June, when the Corona pandemic was already going on. Have you thought about releasing it later? And if so, what made you decide to not doing so?
Yes, we did think about that. But we came to the point that one of the very few positive aspects of this pandemic is, that the people find more time to listen to music. And we are very happy so far with the feedback we got for Traces Of Human Existence. And because we knew that no one can predict how long it will take until live shows are possible again, we decided to release it anyway.
On June the 19th you had your release show under different circumstances due to the Corona virus measures in Kulturwerk 118 in your hometown, Sursee. How was that evening?
We were really happy that we had the chance to celebrate the release at all. At the beginning it was obvious that no one knew how to behave. It was one of the very first metal shows after the lockdown in Switzerland and one could see in the faces of the crowd that they asked themselves: “Am I allowed to bang my head?”, “Is it okay to come to the front of the stage?” and so on. They were really shy at the beginning. But a few drinks later, everybody was relaxed and enjoyed the evening.
This year Exit exists for 25 years and to celebrate that, as well as the 10 year anniversaries from Sickret and Devils Rage, you’re having Helleluja Fest in your hometown, Sursee. Looking forward to that?
Hell yes! It will be a very special evening for us. We have a great line up with underground bands and we will celebrate with all of our friends.
Any special plans for your show that day you can already tell something about?
We haven’t thought about the set at the moment. But we will for sure play some songs from back in the days as well.
How do you look back on those years?
We regret almost nothing. It was a lot of fun and we still enjoy it. Playing in a metal band is one cool f*****g thing!
What’s the best experience you’ve had with Exit so far?
That was definitely the tour with Evil Invaders through Poland, the Baltic states and Russia! We had so much fun and met great people!
And what’s the worst?
In the early days we played a show in a full venue, everything was set, great crowd, everything looked perfect. But we were so devastated already that we could barely stand. It was absolutely awful and we totally fucked up. However, we were young and we learned a lot about drinking and playing shows that night…
What’s something you still want to do with Exit that you haven’t done before?
There are a lot of places we haven’t played so far. And we want to change that.
You’ve already announced two Swiss shows later this year, your aforementioned show at Helleluja Fest as well as a show alongside Irony of Fate and Klaw which originally was supposed to take place in March. Can we expect some more Exit shows as soon as the Corona virus measures are less tight?
Unfortunately all other shows planned for this fall have been canceled. At the moment we are optimistic that the Helleluja-Fest will take place, but the infection rate needs to be stable! We keep our fingers crossed. We try to book some more shows but it’s almost impossible at the moment, because no one knows how the situation (and based on that the regulation) will be in fall.
Maybe coming to The Netherlands?
Dude, we’d love to come to The Netherlands. If someone would like to book us, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Since this time is a difficult time for many people, is there anyone you want to give a shoutout to?
Yes, first of all, we can count on many absolutely reliable supporters who help us as roadies, merchers or die hard fans.
On the other hand we’d like to thank to those fine men who helped us to produce Traces Of Human Existence: Elliot Smith, Robert Hobson, Toni Watzinger and Daniel Thabet. They all did a great job and it was not only a lot of fun to work with them, we also learned a lot.
Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Yes, I tell you what I always proclaim:
Support the underground. Don’t let anybody tell you what to do. Never trust a politician and party as hard as you can!
I’m Tim van Velthuysen and I started DutchMetalManiac back in 2014. I’m 29 years old and I live in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Of course, I like metal, but I can also appreciate other musical styles.
In addition to DutchMetalManiac I also have a personal website on which I’ll post various things that won’t fit on DutchMetalManiac, but might be interesting for you as well. It’s in Dutch though.