- only tape is real -

Interview: Dresden / Leningrad

Dutch doomsters Dresden / Leningrad’s Vader EP is going to be the fifth release on Breathe Plastic Records. Previously released on cd only it will soon be available on tape. Time to let the band introduce themselve a bit further.

Dresden / Leningrad

I understand you are almost entering the studio for your next release, where and with whom are you going to record and how will this process differ from recording the Vader EP?

We are going to record some new songs together with Marc from Perimeter Audio 3. We have chosen Marc because he has a lot of experience with recording metal. Besides that we are big fans of the bands he plays in, like Herder and Ommission.

The past year we have grown musically and Vader was mainly a learning process for us. The technicians of the studio we used for that recording didn’t have much experience with our genre and the EP was mainly meant as a way to gain shows and take a next step with the band; with the EP we could show bookers what we were about.

What can we expect from this release, is it going to be another EP of a full album this time? Can you give us a title?

It will be three songs, of which two will be long doom songs, a bit like Slaap from our EP and one mid tempo song. So it’s going to be an EP indeed. The theme will be winter and the eastfront. We’ll leave the title of the EP aside for now but we can say it will be more dynamic than Vader. Hopefully it’s going to be another step towards a full length album.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band? How did you start out, and did you play in any other bands before Dresden/Leningrad?

The band started with Lei and Sebastiaan as a bit of a two man shoegaze band. When Gijs joined as bass guitarist and we continued as a threesome a new sound formed. Lei and Gijs already played in several other bands, ranging from hardcore to jazz, but those projects where never seriously developed like Dresden/Leningrad is.

The name Dresden/Leningrad is a special one, what’s the story behind this name?

When the band took shape and the sound was developed we started looking for a band name. Because it was clear the main subject of our band would be war we quickly decided on Leningrad. Dresden was added because it’s more intense. Without pretensions.

Dresden / Leningrad

Besides that you stand out by singing in Dutch, was this a conscious decision and it this something you will keep doing?

Yes, the reason of this is because Dutch is our native language and it’s easier for us to express ourselves through it. We think it’s a nice addition to our music, it’s more mysterious (especially to non Dutch speakers). Besides that the nice thing of doom is that it doesn’t matter which language you use. Most of the Vader copies where sold to people in foreign countries, so it was a good decision.

The fascination with war is also obvious, where does this come from?

The three of us are very interested in war and the history that comes with it. This is because there are so many impressive stories that are suitable for telling through our music. All our inspiration is coming from documentaries, books and stories from our relatives that experienced the war.

Let’s go back to the new EP. When do you expect to release it and can we expect something different from this one compared to “Vader”?

Since the release of Vader on cd we have grown more to the sound we had in mind and the new songs are more mature than the ones on Vader. We have the feeling we’ve grown musically. Vader was recorded within a year and since then a lot has changed within the band. We have our own rehearsal space now and we have invested quite a bit in our gear. Plus we’ve grown as a band. This shows in the new songs, without it sounding completely different from the songs on Vader.

Dresden / Leningrad

As far as i know you mainly played in and around Amsterdam so far. I heard you will be playing in other places as well this coming period, like on the Dutch Doom Days and in France and Germany. Is this something that you go after yourself?

We started playing gigs through contacts within our own network but soon we noticed that we got more response outside our own region. At some point we were asked to play the Bastille Metalfest in Schoonhoven and we played Cab03 with Galvano. And now we are starting to play abroad. We were asked for the Towers of Madness Festival in Stuttgart, Germany. We notice it’s getting easier to get gigs because we get to know more and more people in the scene. But I must say we still have to work hard to get certain things done. Like we are working on booking a small tour around the Towers of Madness Festival. We found an extra show in Lille, France, but we are still looking for two dates on June 13 and 16.

I also read something about you being a supporting act for Saint Vitus and that you were cancelled at the last minute because of the cover of the cd? Can you tell us something about that?

We were indeed supposed to play as a support for Saint Vitus, but because of our connection with the great Lord Satan the management of Saint Vitus didn’t agree to that πŸ˜‰

Satan to us is nothing more than an enlightenment of the evils of war. This is in our lyrics but indeed also on the cover of our CD and we mean the little upside down cross that’s featured on it. The question remains if this was the real reason for being denied the support spot by Saint Vitus‘ management, especially when they stated they rather didn’t have an extra support during their European tour.

Dresden / Leningrad

Something different now. We ran into each other at the Roadburn Festival a few weeks ago. Did you have a good time there? And what where your highlights?

A lot of highlights we had to miss unfortunately because the different rooms were full, a severe downside to this festival. From what we saw Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Herder, Ash Borer, Pallbearer and Electric Wizard were highlights. But despite having to miss some bands we had a great time and we thought it was great to see someone walking around in our shirt!

Vader will be released on tape as an edition printed in 50 copies. Pre-orders are up here. The tape will be available on or around June 1.
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