One of Germany’s best kept secrets when it comes to extreme metal Downfall of Gaia have reached the full length number five. Ethic of Radical Finitude is finally in front of us, so we have invited guitar player Dominik to shed some light upon it and other features regarding the band…
Greetings Downfall of Gaia and welcome to the pages of Metal sound! How are you guys doing these days?
Doing pretty fine, thanks a lot for having us!
The main reason for this conversation is, of course, your 5th album entitled Ethic Of Radical Finitude! When you look back upon it from this perspective how are you satisfied with its final outcome, is there something you would change?
I guess I can speak for all of us when I say that we are definitely more than satisfied. We are really happy with how all of this came out and very excited to share our new record with the audience very soon and we are looking forward to start this upcoming new chapter!
It’s still pretty early in the process so I guess for now it’s tough to tell if there is something we would want to change. Stuff like this is always something you recognize a few months later when your emotions cooled down, when you are able to see things rational and not emotional.
Ethic Of Radical Finitude features slight changes in Downfall of Gaia’s formula, most notably I would say that this is your most melodic album up to date with some new elements such as clean vocals. What inspired those changes?
I would say that this is just the product of a pretty natural development.
It’s a process that took place and grew for years. But of course it’s also owned to the fact that we try not to get stuck and don’t want to repeat ourselves with every album we write. For this record we were open for a lot of experiments and in the end a few made it to the record. It’s an important thing to keep things interesting, at least for us.
The album is not conceptual but there is a thin red line connecting all the songs here so can you please explain us further about the themes featured in the lyrics?
“Ethic…” is telling a story about discontented minds and the never-ending pursuit for more. I guess everyone in life is trying to find this special ‘warm’ and safe place, their special place. To feel ‘home’, to feel ‘safe’, to feel satisfied. But maybe at some point you need to accept that it may never come, that you will never ‘arrive’. Our given time is limited, limited by death. But even if it death itself has a bad reputation, it’s the only thing that makes the time you have worthy since without it everything would be forever and absolutely nothing would have any value. No one would try to use their given time, no one would ever be on the hunt for their special place. It simply would be meaningless. It’s relentless finitude.
While we are at it, I would say that the band name in itself sounds grimly prophetic in nowadays’ climate. Would you agree here and do you see any hope for our mother Earth?
Absolutely! I think the world is in a really bad condition with how things are at the moment and it doesn’t look like anything will get any better in the near future. Sometimes I really ask myself the question of how things could end up this bad again? If we have a look on the political climate going on worldwide right now it looks like no one learned from history. That’s a really sad thing to see and something I really can’t get into my head. The ignorance and stupidity of a lot of people is making me feel shocked and angry. Talking about the rest: I guess if there won’t be any change soon our kids and their kids will have a really hard time living on such a dying planet.
The members of the band are spread across two continents. It makes the work harder for sure so how do you manage to keep the band activities going despite this geographic barrier?
It’s definitely a lot of planning but I guess we got used to it over the recent years so in the end it’s nothing you recognize that hard anymore. But of course – it’s definitely limiting us on a few levels here and there. For example – We aren’t able to play single shows most of the time because it would be way too expensive and stressful to manage all of this for just one show. That’s why we have to decline a lot of cool shows / offers which is annoying but something we knew before. We simply focus on touring and this works out pretty good. Besides that there aren’t really any other big problems. Luckily through the internet it became so easy to communicate in what way ever.
Ethic Of Radical Finitude features some notable guests, first of all I would mention that you invited some ex band members which is a rarity in metal world I would say. So how did you get that idea and how does it feel to work with ex members once again?
Even if our ways had to split at some point it was a completely relaxed and enjoyable experience working together again! All of us are still in contact and there is absolutely no bad blood. Sometimes it’s funny and interesting to see where everyone is right now in life and how much things changed. So because of that I also thing that the most exciting thing about this is the fact that they brought in their new influences. Not simply playing their old instruments, more bringing in their new path, the more electronic/synthy path they took after they left the band. This really made the songs even brighter, it gave them a very special touch!
Nikita Kamprad from Der Weg Einer Freiheit is also present on the abum so tell us how did you get to cooperate with him, were you friends beforehand?
Der Weg einer Freiheit and us are friends since we toured together for the first time. It was in 2015 when we toured through Europe and ever since we are in contact.
This doesn’t really happen to every band you are touring with but right here it just clicked between the two of us! Adding some guests to the record was something we figured out after all of the songs were written. It just felt right to add these kind of “specials” to certain parts, it was pretty intuitive.
Besides being friends with Nikita and Der Weg einer Freiheit I’m also a huge fan of the way how he is using his voice and how it’s sounding. He came directly to my mind while we were searching for guests and I think his voice was the perfect fit for the melodies. We are really glad he was directly into it!
As I know, you are about to embark on tour with The Ocean so what did you expect there and how do you like headliners, especially their latest album?
To be honest I’ve got no idea what to expect and how the audience will react to our sound but I’m pretty sure it will be a great tour and we will play for a lot of people who never heard from us before. I have to admit that I didn’t listen to their latest record yet but I’ll definitely do before we hit the road.
Since this is your 5th album, can you please look back and tell us something about each of your albums? I follow the band since your beginning at Metal Blade at the growth in quality is evident.
That’s a nice one! Ok…let me think…
Epos: Epos was our very first full length record and it was a really tough birth to get this one released. In the end we worked together with a lot of small labels, each one taking care of 15 – 20 copies. That was the only way to get this record pressed.
Suffocating In The Swarm Of Cranes: First one for Metal Blade Records and we had no idea what to expect. The record was already written when Metal Blade got in contact with us and we were already about to hit the studio. It was the perfect timing. We also didn’t send Metal Blade any demos from the songs before the final product was record. They simply put trust in us and this is still the way we work until today.
Aeon unveils The Thrones Of Decay: First one with Michael who is living in New York on drums.
We didn’t use the internet around that time as we are doing this today within the band, so he came over for two weeks in March and another two weeks in April for the writing sessions. This was a tough marathon!
Atrophy: First one without Peter who started together with us in 2008. It definitely was a shock when he said that he wants to leave the band since all of us were very close. But I totally get this – when goals in life are different and circumstances change, sometimes it’s better to continue.
So Marco joined the band and this was the first one together with him on guitar.
Ethic Of Radical Finitude: Our upcoming record and the one we are the most proud I would say.
We took way more time for the songwriting and that’s something you can hear I think. We put a lot of energy into this one.
What lies in the near future for the band, where can we expect to see you in the next period? Are some more tours and festivals already planned?
We are trying to stay busy. For now we’ve got a Tour with The Ocean in March, another one with Mantar in April, Russia + a very short trip to Eastern Europe in May and some festivals in summer. We are still working on the second half of 2019 at the moment and hope to play another tour later in 2019.
That would be all for this occasion, I would like to thank you for your time and wish you all the best! Your last message…
Thank you very much for the interview! It was a pleasure and we hope to see some of you out there on our upcoming shows. Thank you!
- Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic
Answers by Dominik Goncalves dos Reis