XANDRIA, Germany’s Symphonic Metal giants have released their latest album ‘Theater of Dimensions‘, via Napalm Records on January 27th, 2017. We are speaking with the band’s bassist Steven Wussow. He had a lot to share about the band’s latest record, writing, members, various collaborations, and the upcoming European Tour among others. Excerpts:
MJM. Thank you for speaking with us. Congratulations with the new release- ‘Theater of Dimensions’. How’s it going?
Steven: Oh, thank you! Pretty busy times at the moment. But that`s the how it has to be right!
MJM. The recent chart positions were fantastic as well! What’s going in your mind? Did you anticipate such a massive response?
Steven: We knew we had a great record but we would have never ever thought of such a positive feedback. As an artist you can just estimate how the people might react on your new record. It is always a bit like fishing in the dark. This is what we hoped for, but you can`t be sure, can`t take anything for granted. I cannot tell you how damn proud we are.
MJM. Even though the first album Kill The Sun released in 2003; the band attracted more fans especially from the Gothic and the Symphonic side. How important has the sound and experimentation played an important aspect since the initial years?
Steven: You know Xandria has never been a band that stood still or recorded the same album over and over again. That doesn’t work for us. For us, the music has to follow a natural evolution. We always try to add some new influences but it still HAS to sound like a typical Xandria song.
MJM. The latest album- Theater of Dimensions, released last month. What makes this album different from the rest?
Steven: Well, it is just the next step in this evolution I mentioned above. That`s pretty much it! I guess “Theater of Dimensions” is the most diverse, the most colourful album we have ever released. There are so many little details that are waiting to be explored on this beauty.
MJM. Personally, how do you think has Xandria moved ahead in terms of musicality?
Steven: After playing together for over 4 years and more than 150 shows you know your skills and those of your fellow musicians. You automatically raise your own level and by this also the level of the band. This is a quite natural development.
MJM. The new album also had various collaborations. Tell us about how you look at collaborating for a particular record.
Steven: We just had a look where a male singer would add some spice to the soup. “We Are Murderers” and “A Theater of Dimensions” were pretty obvious candidates. Actually only those 2 (Björn & Henning) collaborations were planned upfront; the ones with Zaher (“Burn Me”) & Ross (“Ship of Doom”) came more or less together in the studio. All the singers were really happy to join and help us out on “Theater Of Dimensions”. We just had to ask. I still can`t believe that it was so easy. Hey, I am a huge Soilwork fan and now Björn is singing on our new album! How awesome is that?
Watch the video for the track ‘We Are Murderers‘ (We All) (ft. Björn Strid of Soilwork
MJM. What is the normal writing process like? How is it worked out in the studio? Tell us about what goes prior to the writing? Is it all pre-planned or just improvised on spot?
Steven: The creative process in the X-Camp looks in general is like this. Marco collects initial ideas and takes them to our producer Joost, where they work on some very raw demos. Then Dianne joins them to work on the vocal lines. After this those demos are being sent out to the rest of the band so that we can work on our individual parts. If the basic work is done we head into the studio to record our parts, one after another. So everything is very well planned and well prepared. We are not a band that creates songs out in jam sessions in the rehearsal room. With us everything is a bit more dry and theoretical Hahaha!
Watch the new video for the track ‘Call of Destiny‘ taken from the band’s latest album.
MJM. Has the change of members affected the flow of the band’s process?
Steven: Of course! Every new member brings in her or his own personality. Dianne is a completely different singer than Manu and I am style wise a completely different bass player than Niels was. And you can, as far as I can judge it, definitely hear this too.
MJM. Your European Tour begins next month. How’s the preparation going on for it?
Steven: Oh, well all the preparations are already done. We picked some new songs that will be in the set. We have a completely new stage design. We are good to go! I actually can`t wait to be back on the bus.
MJM. Any plans to return to India?
Steven: Not yet. In 2017, we will be pretty busy here in Europe & the US. Let’s see what happens in 2018.
MJM. All the best for the upcoming days! Thanks for speaking with us.
Steven: I have to thank you! See you somewhere, somehow!
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Harsha Vardhan (Metaljesus Magazine- Owner/ Chief Editor)