1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the solo project?
So, first of all it wasn't meant to be a one-man project, but things naturally developed this way and at some point, in the midst of experimenting I realized it was the best way to get things done, and so I continued on my own. Because of the pandemic there were also less distractions around, which gave me time to properly focus all of my energy into this. It became my anchor in the storm.
2.You have your first full length coming out in November, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?
Musically I think it's fair to call it a mix of black- and funeral doom metal. More ambient than technical and I've worked a lot with harmonies which is something that I learned during my education in musical theory. It's very bleak, being mostly written in minor keys. I ended up doing screams/growls as my voice isn't that low pitched and so I didn't see it fit with the rest of the music otherwise.
3.A lot of your lyrics are inspired by the Romantic era of English poets, which poets have had the most influence on your songwriting?
Keats, Shelley, Byron, Blake and Wordsworth to mention a few. Their sublime way of expression through the English language is intriguing to me, and the masterful usage of rhymes creates a natural melody in their poems. Romantic yes, but also very philosophical and melancholic at times.
4.Lyrically you also cover vampirism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
My fascination for vampirism probably began with Anne Rice's book series "The Vampire Chronicles" where she, in my eyes, successfully portrays the ideal 19th century vampire.
To me the vampire's tale is a somber one as a being who is self-aware and while knowing it is dead, it cannot truly achieve a conscious ending and is therefore condemned to damnation.
Humans may find life too short but can we even imagine the opposite; an endless (un)life?
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Der Trauerschwan'?
It means "The mourning swan" and is the unique German word for the black swan. Often a symbol of grief but also a metaphor to unforeseen major events or when life make unexpected turns, if you will.
I came across this rare animal outside a castle when visiting Innsbruck and upon arriving at back home I began writing "Of Broken Vows and Sorrow".
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
The cover artwork is a photograph that was shot by me at the Cimitero Acattolico in Rome where both Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats lay buried.
While it adds another personal touch, the idea is to visualize the themes of the album by connecting them with the sources of influence - bringing them alive.
7.Previously you were a part of 'Hetroertzen', what was the decision behind leaving the band and forming your own solo project?
I never intended to part ways with Hetroertzen, it was simply impossible for me to continue with the band under the circumstances that occurred during this time.
Der Trauerschwan was formed simultaneously but had nothing to do with the split as far as I'm concerned. It did make me more decisive, however.
8.With this project you record everything by yourself but also have experience with full line ups, how would you compare the two?
There are pros and cons to both. While on one hand, working alone gives you full artistic freedom where you're only limited by yourself as far as capabilities and inspiration goes.
On the other hand, you can more easily get tunnel vision this way, so I believe it's important to be able to bring in an outside opinion from time to time. This is normally a reason for people to work with a producer. Playing in a band is always a compromise (for better or for worse), but it is also less time consuming.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and doom metal?
Well, the reviews judgement is still in the future to come, but people seem to appreciate the 90's style production and songwriting from what I've heard.
Reaching out on the market as a brand-new musical act can be a difficult thing today as well, and while building up an audience takes time, I'm very positive with the work that Soulseller Records has done for me so far.
10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
Many have been asking me whether or not I'm to take this to the live stage and it's still unclear. While playing live is a true passion of mine, Der Trauerschwan came to be from an unconditional pool of creativity which I don't wish to discard. There is more to drain from there and I actually have a few new song ideas already.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I'm a big fan of the 90's doom metal acts and My Dying Bride in particular. It's a wide range of influence however, from Cliff Burton-era Metallica or anything Black Sabbath to classical music such as Bach. When it comes to black metal, I feel I get pickier with every passing year, but I've recently been listening to a Canadian band called Spectral Wound.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I'd like to encourage my listeners to also read the lyrics, in order to achieve the full experience, the way it is intended. Other than that, thank you for your time and I appreciate the interview.