Metalcore, much like every other style of music, appears to be a universal language. Regardless of the nationality of the band or the language it’s communicated in, the genre has always been able to resonate the same emotions of rage and unity across the globe, with countless bands from all corners the planet approaching the genre and applying their own spin on it. One such band that have embraced the genre and are now making a pitch for the big leagues are Germany’s own Tenside.
If you where lucky enough to catch the titans that are Killswitch Engage on their latest European run there’s a good chance you’re already at least acquainted with the Munich bruisers Tenside. Last Autumn saw the band tearing through the UK and mainland Europe alongside the genre pioneers, bringing their honed sound to new audiences and heights. With a horde of new fans to their namesake, Tenside are now on the cusp of their releasing their most detailed and accomplished work to date; the crushing Glamour & Gloom.
Their seventh full length record, Glamour & Gloom see’s Tenside breath new life into the sound they’ve spent the last sixteen years engineering. Released this Friday via Ivory Tower Records, the record is bursting at the scenes with lacerating riffs, massive harmonies and all those big melodic moments that made the genre so massive in the first place. To understand more about the release and the expansive history of Tenside we got in touch with drummer Johannes Jörg.
For those new to Tenside, how would you personally describe yourself?
“It's always hard to describe the band you are in. At least that's what I feel. I guess you can describe us as a modern Metal band with a focus on catchy hooks and pulsating verses. We don't want to rewrite the same metalcore songs over and over again.”
Tell us about how you found your sound, what bands inspired you as a collective?
“We all love different types of music. Our singer Daniel Kuhlemann, for example, is into US Rap and Hip Hop, Michael Klingenberg (Guitar) loves rhythm-driven music like Funk and Soul as well as a good portion of Metal. Jonas Hölscher our bassist is into a lot of Country, Hardcore and Deathcore. I generally tend to listen to math-rock, alternative and punk as well as German Hip Hop. That mixture of all those different styles helps us creating our sound. Most of the time Michael keeps track of the foundation. Once he has finished several riffs and a chorus we try to put the parts together as a group. That somehow seems to create our sound.”
“If we had to choose bands we all love the list would look something like this: Parkway Drive, Deftones, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Trivium and Rage Against the Machine.”
You recently went on a mammoth tour with metalcore legends Killswitch Engage. What was that experience like and what was the reception like?
"The opportunity to be on the road with Killswitch Engage for a whole month through Europe was nothing but unreal. We got the confirmation pretty much 3 weeks before the first show in Norwich. There was next to no time to set everything up like you normally would do. Somehow we managed to get us a bus, order merch, get off from work, put a crew together and all that stuff you have to have ready before heading out. When we first arrived in London and met Revocation we finally started to realize that this is finally happening."
"Killswitch, as well as their crew and Revocation, were such a nice party to travel with! Just great guys and musicians all around. We got along so quickly and had nothing but a great time!"
"From day one on people in every city were waiting in long lines hours before the show. We would have never expected to play in front of packed venues almost every night. People enjoyed our set wherever we went on stage. So many first times on this tour as well. First time in the UK, the first time in Sweden, the first time in Norway, and so on! Playing Brixton academy was always one of our main goals as musicians. This venue is something special in Europe. I could talk about that tour for hours."
You honed your sound in your hometown of Munich. What's the metal scene like there and in Germany as a whole?
"Munich has a pretty vital music scene. The complex where we have our rehearsal/studio space, for example, is the home to around 100 - 130 bands. There is a lot of Hardcore, Metal and Punk going on. Some bands we always mention when it comes to Munich would be Emil Bulls, Dust Bolt, Panzerballett and Heruin. There is a good connection between all Munich metal bands. That's what's cool about Munich."
"Germany has some quality metal bands such as Heaven Shall Burn, recently revived Neaera, Callejon, Caliban and of course Rammstein. Some of the biggest festivals in Europe like Wacken, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park have their battlegrounds in Germany. I guess the situation for metal and rock could be way worse haha."
Let's talk about your new forthcoming record. Glamour & Gloom was recorded with a new lineup, talk to us about that.
"That's correct. I joined the band three years ago and Jonas our new bassist joined the band a year ago. Jonas and I have always been friends with Michael, Daniel and the former members Florian and Max. It felt just right from the first day on we were together writing these new songs. The new lineup helped a lot to evolve the songwriting and sound on Glamour & Gloom. I think that my more punkish drum parts helped Michael a lot to try new things with his writing. Daniel always wanted to add some cleaner vocal parts, Michaels new approach to riffs and my drumming all helped to create space for Daniels vocal ideas. We worked so good as a team on this one. It feels like Tenside is now stronger than ever."
Some may not know this, but Glamour & Gloom is your seventh record. What was the creation process like in comparison to your earlier records?
"Since Glamour & Gloom was the first creation process I was completely involved in I can't really compare what it was like back when Tenside started in 2004. As you can imagine when you start a band as a teenager you have to learn a lot about how this whole band thing works. Daniel always wanted to push the limits. With every record and every live show Tenside gained experience for upcoming endeavours. Since Nova came out in 2013 Daniel and Michael have not changed much about the creating process. Michael is writing almost every riff and helps me a lot with finding fitting drum parts. Daniel writes all the lyrics since day one. Never change a running system i guess haha. That is what worked best in the past and felt totally right for Glamour & Gloom now as well."
What are the key inspirations behind Glamour & Gloom?
"The themes for Glamour And Gloom are quite dark."
"Daniel went through a very dark time in his life… He lost someone very close to him who took their own life due to mental illness. Shortly before that, he also went through a difficult time with someone very close to help him fight cancer, luckily this was successful. The extreme difference of seeing someone fighting the good fight and seeing someone who simply can’t go on because they see no way out has inspired him to write a lot of the lyrics for the new record."
"Glamour & Gloom was Influenced by these times in between… Between wars and misery and so close to pomp and circumstance. We all can relate to these themes and situations in one way or another."
There's a sense of resilience in Glamour & Gloom. Was creating it a cathartic experience? "It was definitely some sort of cathartic experience! To be honest it was a clearance kick to create G&G after all that happened to Daniel personally. When he went through the darkest time of his life he felt that he had to write this album and share his emotions lyrically with our music."
"I guess that is what makes Glamour & Gloom so special and inspirational for all of us. We're all glad once everyone can hear the album in its entirety."
The record is out March 20th. What do you want people to experience when listening to it?
"You go a lot through dark places and times in your everyday life. Glamour & Gloom is about that and overcoming those phases to set yourself free again. Glamour and Gloom has its uplifting lyrics as well as some pretty dark stuff on it. We want people to think about what is going on in the world and in their daily lives. Sounds pathetic but that's the thing we care about the most."
Finally, what's in store for Tenside this year?
"First of all, we are heading out for some release shows in a couple of weeks. There will be some UK shows as well as festivals and some more touring this year. Updates will follow as soon as everything is fixed. Stay tuned for dates, they´ll be outright after we are back from our release shows. Hopefully, we’ll see you there."
Glamour & Gloom is released March 20th via Ivory Tower Records. You can pre-order the record here.