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I'm pleased to share again a couple of thoughts with Wilhelm of The Gardnerz. The artist, in fact, has already been our guest at the time of release of the debut "The System Of Nature" and we had deepened our knowledge of the band. Where they are now? Let's find out.
Wilhelm, welcome back on Aristocrazia Webzine, how are you?
Wilhelm: Hey! I'm doing great, I just finished my Portuguese course, so finally I have some free time. Been a bit too much with a fulltime job, fulltime studies and trying to do some band stuff as well.
Two years have passed away from our first conversation, what has changed in this time? What did The Gardnerz do?
Fuck, has it been that long? Shit man, time fly's. The biggest change is that we have a new drummer, Vedran Benčić. Besides that, just keeping on with our deadly doom. We have been busy creating new music and just trying to promote the band and our releases as much as possible. When Vedran was living in Sweden we rehearsing like crazy, but now when he is back in Croatia that is kind of tricky, ahahah.
Thanking Francisco, your bass player, I was able to listen the EP "It All Fades" before its official release and what surprised me was particularly noting more details in a sound more less enclosed in its extreme influences, do you want to talk about it?
For you I'll talk about anything! I guess what you are talking about has its roots in that I listen to and enjoy playing all kinds of music. And I really enjoy when music is dynamic and ever changing. So I think it is fun to play around with all kinds of influences and ways of writing music. With this band I have a sort of anything goes approached.
Why did you choose a sound so clean and a big room dedicated to acoustic section? It's an appetizer that anticipates further development leading up to the second release?
I really love clean parts in metal music, as a listener so I think it is only natural that I incorporate those things in my music. And I think having the clean and mellow stuff helps the heavy stuff become even heavier, sort of giving the listener a breather and the just a smack in the face when the heavy shit kicks back in. I would have to say no, the new songs I have, has clean parts for sure but not more than "It All Fades", we are not changing our style or something like that, just more of everything. I want to keep all the parts that I have had in the songs. Hopefully we will be cranking out this doom 'n' death when we are old and grey. Of course I always try to evolve the music and play around with it, but I want to keep the main idea: deadly doom! Or as my friend Martin put it brutal doom.
Chapter "Transilvanian Hunger": why the choice of covering this song? How did the version that you created born, and especially from where it comes out the angelic voice of Paulina Strihavka?
I have to give some of the blame to our bassist Francisco, he asked me if it wouldn't be cool to make an acoustic version of a metal song, sort of like a bonus track. And I thought why not, and after some thinking I remembered that had figured out the main part of "Transilvanian Hunger" way back when I was working as a guitar teacher. And creating my version of it by accident while I was learning the Kansas song "Dust In The Wind", (requested by some students of mine). While I was learning the song, I fucked up with the chord changes and all of a sudden I was playing "Transilvanian Hunger"! My original idea was to just do it as a little interlude, like a minute or so, but when I had done it like that I liked it so much that I decided to do the entire song. Pauline is a friend of mine that I have been doing some acoustic covers with, standard rock, blues and country songs. She had already agreed to do the stuff on the track "It All Fades" so she was happy to do the Darkthrone cover as well. It was a bit funny since she is not a metal fan at all, and when I was playing the original version of "Transilvanian Hunger" she was like hmm, okey. But she really nailed the vocals and I think her voice really made the song.
The album, from self-produced, became an official release under Abyss Records, and the EP has followed the same path. We will have also the second album released by the label of Daniel Ferguson? How is working with him?
I can't really say to be honest, I enjoy working with him and he has done us very good so far. But we don't have any contractual obligations with him, so who knows. If someone else comes dangling a super fat contract, we might take it. We have been talking about releasing a single with him this year, so that is what is in the pipeline right now. Waiting for it to be mixed and mastered and then it will explode in your face like a nice canon blast of epic doomy goodness.
What's the status of The Gardnerz now? Have you unlocked the live situation? Have you had the opportunity to play the songs of "It All Fades" in that area?
We are mainly writing new songs and trying our darndest to promote our albums. Well we have a lineup now that we could do live shows with, now that our drummer at least is fairly close. We actually had a tour in the works for September of last year but it unfortunately feel through. We have been talking about getting our act together and really push for some shows this year. So hopefully something will turn up, since that part of the bands life has been very tricky for us. Stuff falling through and unreasoned offers.
In the last five years, the doom scene has had a considerable emphasis, the quality of the releases has held steady at very high levels and there are more people with a passion for this often overlooked style. What is, in your opinion, the reason of this window that has been creating? I think for example to the Nuclear Blast that start by signing bands like Witchcraft and Orchid: this is only a trend cycle?
Fuck man I don't know, haha! Maybe it is that the garage rock scene has really exploded and some of those fans have been turned on to some more heavy shit. To be honest I have no knowledge about that scene at all, since I'm more of a death metal dude anyway. Just always been more into the more slower death bands. Never really been into the doom scene that much. I have always preferred the growling vocals of death and black metal. It is only in the last few years I have been listening to more real doom bands, like Trouble and Warning (fuck, they were good thou). I have always been a huge Black Sabbath fan, so I have always looked at it like I have Black Sabbath, so I don't need any other stuff like it, since they are the best anyway. Regarding the bigger labels signing more doom bands, I would say that is more them wanting to cash in on a trend. I'm not saying it is a bad thing since that is what a corporation is supposed to do, and since it is great for the bands, everyone wins.
As a listener and music fan what are the albums that you mostly liked in this year? And there are a couple of names wherewhit you would like to collaborate, perhaps giving rise to a split album or imagining them as guests in your album?
To be honest I haven't bought that many new albums, I did get the new Dying Fetus album, Woods Of Ypres album and the latest Bob Dylan album (which is fucking amazing). Some albums I bought that aren't new but that I really enjoyed and listened to a lot this year are: Funeral "From These Wounds"; Chemical Disaster "Third Wound", thanks to Luiz for sending me this one, "muito obrigado"; Warning "Watching From A Distance", I have to rank this album as one of my all time favorites, and I have been wanting to buy it since our vocalist Niclas played it for me, and earlier this year I finally did it. And while writing this I'm rocking out to Fleshless "Hate Is Born", which Earache for some reason included in my Woods Of Ypres order, fucking killer, such a amazing band Fleshless, an insane mix of brutality and melody! Regarding collaboration I can't really say, I haven't given it much thought.
What's boiling in The Gardnerz's pot? Are you involved in songwriting process?
Right now the single I mentioned before is the main thing, it is two soon to be The Gardnerz classics! Believe you fucking me! Well since I'm the one writing all the music I would have to say yes, haha! So far we have ten-eleven new songs and two new creative cover songs!
There are also other projects around the current members of the line-up?
Yes! Niclas has his amazing band Vandöd, which has some killer stuff in the works. Francisco is involved in with almost all known bands in existence, No Francisco Martín, no music scene period! He is playing with Sacramento, Inner Sanctvm and a few more that I can't remember. Vedran is not involved with anything that I know of, and I play bass in the black metal band Pandemonium, and we have some killer shit coming your way soon!
We thank you again for your time. Let's close our conversation, waiting perhaps for a future opportunity to update us, I leave you one last time the the word for a greeting addressed to our readers.
Hailz fuckers! Hope you enjoy my ramblings and if you haven't done so check out The Gardnerz in whatever media that fits your listening needs.