ButWeTryIt: Rising Above The Dead Lights

From the same area in Germany that brought the world such renowned acts as Kreator and Caliban arrives a metal band who goes by the moniker ButWeTryIt.  An absolutely thrilling amalgamation of thrash, metal and hardcore, ButWeTryIt has just unleashed their debut full length for the Massacre Records entitled Dead Lights.  The band has played shows in their hometown opening for the likes of The Ghost Inside, Cryptopsy, and First Blood and had their album produced by none other than Waldemar Sorychta (Lacuna Coil, Moonspell, Caliban).  Here is a recent interview we conducted with two of the ButWeTryIt members to find out more about this promising new collective…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in ButWeTryIt, and how long the band has been together.
Dominik: First of all thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to do this interview, Ken. It’s an honor for us!
The bands consists of Jörn Preid (Vocals), Mark Brückmann (Drums), Stefan Trautmann (Bass), Tim Marxcors (Guitar) and Dominik Ballreich (Guitar).
Stefan, Tim and Mark started the band in late 2007. Around that time I was searching for a new band and found their Myspace page by coincidence where they were searching for a second guitar player.
I contacted them and got invited to a rehearsal. That was in 2008. Jörn joined the band shortly after that. A friend of Tim gave us the tip to try this guy out, who screams like a “dying pig” (-: .

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Dominik: We all come from cities around Wuppertal/Germany, but our rehearsals take place in Wuppertal. That’s the reason for why we consider this city as our home base. This area is part of the “Ruhrgebiet” which is the heart of Germany’s former coal mining industry. At the same time many of Germany’s most popular metal bands, such as Sodom, Kreator, Blind Guardian and Caliban come from there. Therefore the Ruhrgebiet traditionally has a huge Rock/Metal/Hardcore scene which is pretty alive with lots of concerts and festivals.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Dead Lights?
Jörn: The idea behind the title is that we live in a anonymous world. There is light everywhere. In the cities today it’s never dark at all. But when you look behind the curtain you see that it’s empty. So we have to start a fight against all this superficiality and create values that go deeper again. Today everything is about consuming and having fun. But we are manipulated by our governments and the companies. And Dead Lights stand for this, they shine but they are empty inside.

Please select two songs from the new CD and tell me what the lyrics are about/inspired by?
Jörn: First of all I think the lyrics mostly can be divided in two categories. The more personal ones and the ones that deal with today’s society and social critics. “Cruel World” is one of them. I am inspired by the things in today’s politics. There is so much that goes wrong. I don’t have any solution to this but I think through my lyrics I can show the people what is going wrong in my opinion and maybe some will think about it for themselves.
The Gift And The Curse” on the other hand is more a personal song. It deals with the problem that you act in a certain way and only have good intentions behind that. But everything you do turns into the opposite and in the end you ruin it at all.

What is a live ButWeTryIt show like for those of us who have yet to see you play?
Jörn: We are a live band in an absolute way. So it’s furious, but we deny to let it seem like a choreography. In the end you have to come to one of our shows to see whats about. Mostly it’s all about having a good time on stage and share this with the audience.

Have you ever played in the States or plan to do so in the future?
Dominik: Of course we would love to play in the states, but it’s not planned, yet. The only chance for us to come over would be going on tour with artists, who are renowned in the US. Because we are newcomers with very little name recognition this will, in most liklihood, not be possible in the near future.

How did you wind up signing to Massacre Records? They have some pretty legendary acts on that label.
Dominik: We did it the old fashioned way, what means sending out demos with written applications to many record companies. Most people tell you that sending out demos nowadays would be senseless. Generally that’s true but after all, this approach was the only opportunity which we saw for ourselves. The more we were happily surprised by the positive answer of Massacre Records. It’s like a dream coming true for us to work with a record company which so many great bands like King Diamond, Legion Of The Damned and Sinister are signed to.
The guys at Massacre are absolutely down-to-earth, listen to every demo they receive and do not just write rejections without listening to the music, like many other companies do.

What was it like touring with The Ghost Inside? Some of the members are actually from the Los Angeles/OC area where we publish the magazine.
Dominik: We didn’t tour with The Ghost Inside but just played a local support show in Cologne. Getting to know the guys was a great experience. It was absolutley fun to hang out with them and also with the other bands: For The Fallen Dreams, Suffokate and Lower Than Atlantis. They’re all really nice guys and we are really excited to meet them again in the future. Maybe then at a whole tour.

Is there any story behind the band name ButWeTryIt?
Dominik: We have all played in various bands in the past with little success. That’s why we all really wanted to get somewhere with this new project. So we decided to make our motto “but we try it” the band name. As everybody knows it gets more and more difficult to make a name for one’s band. First of all we all get overwhelmed with music through the internet.
In general this is, of course, a positive development, because the result is a nearly unlimited choice of different music styles for the listener. But it also leads to the fact, that being recognized as a band is getting enormously hard.
Second of all, the importance of individual bands or songs is being diluted, because thanks to illegal downloads, music has become a low cost mass-consumption item. Mainly young listeners hardly buy CD’s or mp3’s anymore, maybe because the appreciation of music, with regard to the willingness to pay for music, has diminisihed.
It is like it is: Hard Times… But We Try It.

Who did the haunting cover art and how much input did you have on it?
Dominik: Our drummer Marc has his own design company (www.mb-darkside.com) and so usually he is in charge of the website and design stuff. We allowed ourselves a little too much time before we started to bother about the cover art and at the time where we had to decide on how it should be like, Mark was at full capacity with external orders. So we made the best of the situation and started a cover competition on myspace. The only task was to make a design on the basis of the album title “Dead Lights.”
We got by far more submissions than expected with really interesting and partly funny interpretations of our album title.
At the end the cover art by “Heavensend Design” won the competition.

What are your plans for the New Year? Any touring coming up?
Jörn: For this year our primary focus will be on playing a European tour and as many festivals and shows in general as we can. We recently started to work with a well known booking agency (Go Down Believing Booking), which is very helpful.

Any final words of wisdom?
Dominik: We want to encourage young people to start making music and to not letting setbacks discourage them. Particular in recent years it could be observed that more and more ever-younger kids started rock/metal/hardcore bands and that the average musical standard, what means technical abilities and musicianship in general, has increased considerably.
That’s an awesome development.
Furthermore we hope that listeners stay interested in new bands, give them a chance and maybe, without wanting to sound arrogant, value the work behind the music a little more.

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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