Beyond The Star's Finn Zierler Speaks Tell's The Story.
From out of the ashes of the band ‘Twilight’ comes ‘Beyond Twilight’ formed by Finn Zierler and Thomas Freden who have created a perfect combination of dark and heavy progressive music mixing the likes of a dark Psychotic Waltz, Dream Theater and other bands makes this new outfit a name that will not be forgotten. Keyboard exstrondair Finn speaks to Jason Brown to find out why ‘Twilight’ broke up and how he came to form his new project ‘Beyond Twilight’ with vocalist Jorn Lande of ‘Ark’ among other bands he has worked with.
Beyond Twilight have just released their debut album for German label Massacre Records titled ‘The Devils Hall Of Fame’ which has been receiving overwhelming response from the press and fans. Check out the album and support a worthy band.
First of all I would like to start the interview off by asking you why ‘Twilight’ broke up?
“Well we went into different musical directions and that is partly the reason why we broke up. Also I laid down the project and I lost the spirit to carry it on. Later on we started with ‘Beyond Twilight’”.
So why did you loose interest in ‘Twilight’?
“I was so fed up with the music industry ‘Eye For An Eye’ was released and then ‘Long Island’ bought the rights to it and one month after they went bankrupt, so we used a hell of a lot of energy trying to get our money out of that stupid fucking label and we tried to get a new deal. We then released the CD in Japan on ‘C.O.’ and a month after that they also went bankrupt. So after that happened I just totally lost the spirit to carry on with ‘Twilight’. We ended up fighting because we would argue about who had the rights to the material and none of the musicians get any money anyway.
I think the band were moving in a different direction and so I went onto ‘Beyond Twilight’”.
So why did Andy leave ‘Twilight’?
“I think he chose to leave and join ‘Lions Share’ because they were all living in Stockholm (Sweden) and he was close friends with them”.
Your debut album was released 3 times, why was that?
“It was purely because we never got that record out properly and people were asking for it. In the end we decided to release our first demo and called it ‘The Edge’ as people were also asking about that as well.
Talking of demo tapes, I still have that demo you sent me a few years ago with a different singer, what happened to those songs?
“Well those songs were the beginning of this new project ‘Beyond Twilight’ and they were more technical and that was back in 1999. The reason why the singer left the band was because I started the band and I made that clear to the rest of the band. With the new record I wanted to find the soul within the music. I felt that those songs weren’t good enough for the material that I’m doing now. In the end I searched for the right musicians and I have now found them and I am happy about that”.
So why did you decide to change the name from ‘Twilight’ to ‘Beyond Twilight’? Was it to do with the fact that there were another band called ‘Twilight’ from Spain?
“Yes I know about that band and it has nothing to do with that. The reason why we changed the name was because we changed the name and also our style of music. I do not think that you can compare both bands from one another as the music is very different. You might still hear some of ‘Twilight's music in our new material which is natural really.”
Did you have any other names for the band, besides ‘Beyond Twilight’?
"There were no other names for the band. We chose the name ‘Beyond Twilight’ to indicate that we had a new line up & changed our music as well?
Do you think that ‘Twilight’ brought the band some success before you moved on?
“I guess you could say yes & no. The album did pretty well as it sold about 25.000 copies and the reason why we started up again was because there were so many fans asking us to carry on, so in one way it did bring a lot of success to the band. In another way it brought us some bad luck because all the record companies that signed us went bankrupt”.
As I only have a promo of the new album, could you tell me if anybody from ‘Twilight’ has also followed you into ‘Beyond Twilight’?”
“Yes the drummer Thomas Freden from ‘Twilight’ came with me to form the new band”.
So just who are the bands influences and how do they reflect in the bands music?
“I would say we have different styles of influences in our music from Classical, Jazz, Progressive Rock to really aggressive Metal. Anything from Frank Zappa to Tori Amos, Dream Theater etc.. I guess some of them do reflect in our music”.
How many demos did you record before you released ‘The Devils Hall Of Fame'?
“I did one demo, but it was not with this band. For this band we made an advertisement and sent it to record labels and we had some good responses from the labels. It took us less than a month to prepare the material for this album. The demo that I did was the one I sent you a few years ago. I don’t think it would be a very good idea to release that material now as there are so many bands playing that type of Progressive music. If I released it back then, then I think it would of probably sold pretty well”.
How would you best describe the bands music?
“I think it is very dark, very heavy and melodic. To me it almost sounds as if there is a soundtrack running through my head. Some people have called it a Rock Opera, but I do not like that type of phrase for our music. I think it could be described as ‘Theme Music Metal’”.
Why did you decide to re-release the ‘Twilight’ album twice after the original release?
“We decided to re-release it again because ‘Seagull International’ wanted to in a lot of different territories which sold 25.000 copies and they went bankrupt in the end. We then re-released through ‘Lucretia Records’ in Italy which was released last year I think in order to get it out for people who found it hard to buy. This made it a lot easier for people to buy this album”.
From the ‘Twilight’ album which songs did you like and dislike and why?
“Well I think that there are bits and pieces on that record that I think could of been re-done or made better. I do not know if I have any songs that I do like, I guess I like the title track & ‘Sail Away’. I don’t think I did not have any songs that I did not like on this record”.
After the release of the debut album you went on to record the mini CD ‘The Edge’ which contained un-released material, why did you decide to release it and did it sell well?
“It was released because the record company wanted to release all of the stuff as a tribute to all the fans as a farewell. We have not seen any statements weather or not it sold well or not”.
So why did you call the mini CD ‘The Edge’?
“Well the first song that we wrote when we were called ‘Twilight’ was called ‘Far Beyond The Edge Of Sanity’, but we needed to shorten the title, so we decided to call it ‘The Edge’”.
OK Finn, now could you tell me how you hooked up with ‘Intromental’ management, also were there any other companies that showed interest in the band?
"Well I heard about Claus and ‘Intromental’ some years ago and at that time I had no energy and time for doing all the business side of the industry. So later on I sent him a demo of the new material, and at that time I never knew he was fan of ‘Twilight’. So after we had a chat we decided to sign a contract with his company. We are very happy with the way things have turned out”.
I’m I right in saying that the members of ‘Twilight’ where from Sweden and you are the only Danish member, is this the case with the new band?
“Yes you are right, I’m the only Danish member, the rest are Swedish and Norwegian”.
How did the deal with ‘Massacre’ Records come about and who else showed interest in the band?
“We sent the demo out to 8 different record companies and received 8 positive replies and we ended up with ‘Massacre’ because they are very much into the music & they gave us a really good response and they promised us that they would release it as a priority and that is something that we have not experienced before, and until now we have been very satisfied”.
Why did you decide to have the cover you chose for the album and were there any other covers in mind?
“Well it took a whole year to make this record and cover is illustrating a bit from the story. I should tell you about the story first, it is a very deep story about when I went to the Sahara desert and I wrote a story book about what is happening in four dimensions and it is a mixture between fiction and reality and it is about a guy who hacks a computer into his brain and he finds out that he has computer chip inside his brain and as the story goes on he discovers that some of his files in his brain have been corrupted and have been either deleted or modified.
So he travels through time to the past and the future and vice versa were he falls in love with a female through time and he also experiences about been dead whilst been alive. As the story continues he starts to wonder if he or we are one big illusion. He wonders if we control the computers or if they control us? The story also deals with the question were philosophy is really religion or the other way around. It is a deep story book and to summon it up it really is searching for the truth.
When he tells people the truth they automatically die and he is the only one that knows the truth and he finds out that the truth is self destructive.
Getting back to the cover I think it illustrates the story. In the middle of the cover there is an eye that foresees things and around it are the 4 dimensions. The female on the cover is the love of his life. The guys on the cover with the computer chips is the main character who is hacking into his own brain”.
So who did the art work for this album, was it Travis Smith?
“No it was not Travis Smith, we used a guy called Robert Sindermann. He did the art work for both ‘Twilght’ re-releases”.
Why did you call the album ‘The Devils Hall Of Fame’? Did you have any other titles for this album?
“I had no other titles in mind for the album. I think the title suits the art work very well as I think it entwines with the story of the album”.
I see that you have used Jorn Lande as the vocalist for this album, is he a permanent singer for the band?
“He is a permanent member of the band.”
Would I be right in saying that you produced the album by yourself?
“Well when Andy left ‘Twilight’ I was looking for a suitable replacement were his replacement would sing in a similar style but with a wider spectrum and I did not know where to find such a person and so I asked my manager out if he knew of anybody that could help me out. So I went down to his house and listened toa lot of CD’s to find a suitable singer and Claus my manager played me a album by Jorn called ‘Menders Impereom’ which was very symphonic Death Metal and we just got in contact with him and the rest is history."
What is your opinion to Jorn’s other band ‘Ark’ do you like the music?
"Well I like the music and they are great musicians”.
Are you happy with the end results of the ‘Beyond Twilight’ album?
“Yes I am!! It is the first time ever that I am satisfied with everything on the album”.
Did you produce the album yourself?
“Yes that is correct. It was mixed together with Tommy Hansen in 3 different studios. Firstly we did the keyboards at my home studio and then we went into a ‘Dance’ studio to finish the rest of the album off. We have never been to a ‘Dance’ studio before so we were a little nervous, but it was really great because the album is very futuristic and we wanted to create a new sound that is why we went into the ‘Dance’ studio and we recorded the guitars through some simulators and some cyber stuff as we did not use any amps. Then we went onto Tommy’s studio to record the drums & vocals. It turned out very well I think”.
Primal Fear recorded their latest album in a ‘Dance’ studio, do you think that it may become a trend for Metal bands to start using Dance studios?
“I did not know that ‘Primal Fear’ record their album in a Dance studio, I thought we were the first - ha!! I think it could be a good idea that Metal bands start to use different studios”.
Why did you decide to write the music whilst in the Sarah desert?
“Well I usually write the songs at home on a keyboard, but this time around I wrote the material in caves and in the desert whilst on holiday. I decided to write everything down on paper with a pen and no keyboard were I just wrote down notes and that was quiet a challenge because I had no instrument but I enjoyed it. I think the music is written in a totally different way because it becomes written like a poem and it becomes a very large composition”.
Do you think that the album would of not turned out as good if you wrote the material back in Denmark?
“No I do not think the album would of turned out as good if I wrote the material back home. Don’t forget that the rest of the band have contributed as well with their styles”.
Are you going to write the next album in the ‘Sarah Desert?
“No I will not write it there again, but I’m thinking of writing the next album under water as it is like been in another world, I think it may work!!”.
So what are each of the songs about on this album.
“Well ‘Hellfire’ is about the main character were he is hacking into his own brain and he is getting out on this trip and he is very confused because he find out that some of the files in his head have been modified and I think it is safe to say that he is dancing in the ‘Hellfire’. Next is ‘Godless & Wicked’, that is a more aggressive song and it is connected to the first song. ‘Shadowland’, that is a very deep song and it would take me forever to talk about it. I think you need to read the booklet if you can get a hold of it - sorry Jase”.
That’s OK Finn, I’ll try to get a copy from Claus.
I guess you have been getting a great response from the press on this album, am I right in saying so?
“Yes you are right!! The response has been overwhelming so far”.
Well Finn, I’d like to thank you for the interview, take care and do you have anything to say before we finish?
“Yes thanx to our fans for their support and thanx for the interview, Jase.”