DEW-SCENTED

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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

This interview with the vocalist Leif Jensen of Dew-Scented was done through e-mail in February / March 2002.

Hello, how are you doing?
- Hi Vince, I'm doing fine...thanks for asking! It's Sunday around noon and I'm just having some coffee to properly wake up. All is good so far, haha!

Your new album "Inwards" has now been released in Europe, what do you think of the response so far?
- Honestly: It has been overwhelming! We were pretty aware of the fact that we had done a good album and probably also our best so far but we weren't expeciting the feedback to be so positive all over the place. I mean, it seems that "Inwards" is opening a lot of new doors for Dew-Scented, especially since we seem to reach a much wider pool of listeners and audience than ever before. I mean, "Inwards" is our first album to be released domestically in America (NBR) as well as in Japan (Soundholic) and Nuclear Blast is really doing a great job to push this record as much as possible. We are really happy so far, as we have received good exposure and also even some of the "bigger" media / magazines reacted in a surprisingly positive way about "Inwards". I mean, in the end of the day it's still very extreme Thrash and Death Metal, so we were really pleased to discover that a lot of "new" people were finding out about the band now and also getting into the album, even though' they had never herad any music by us before!!! I have been kept busy doing press for plenty of weeks and still enjoying it!!!! We are obviously really looking forward to be able to head out for touring as much as possible with the new songs...

This album is comprised of very intense and tight death metal. How would you say your sounds has developed since your previous albums?
- I think calling it "Death Metal" exclusively would limit the band a bit. I certainly feel that Dew-Scented is a rather a very aggressive Thrash Metal band when it comes to the riffing and our roots. I think we do sound catchier and more direct on "Inwards" than ever before. I think this is based on the fact that the core of the band line up has been working together ever since more than 5 years now (our second album "Innoscent" pretty much) and we have been through a lot of shit together in that time, especially when it comes to a huge amount of shows all over Europe and in Japan. This has definately made us tighter and much more confident about what we want to achieve in musical terms with the band. We get along quite "blindly" within the band members when it comes to songwriting and rehearsals, which is great and makes things quite easier! We wanted to do a record that is straight forward and has the "aggression" as main concept of the track list, so that will explain why "Inwards" sounds so untamed and uncompromising!? Also, a big difference to earlier records is the fact that we are for the very first time a 100% satisfied with the sound production of a D-S album. Andy Classen definately managed to make those powerful songs sound even more powerful with his awesome sound! We are looking forward to recording with him again for our upcoming album...

Who writes the lyrics and what are they about?
- That me, actually! It's really difficult to express the overall concept of the lyrics in "Inwards" with such a general question and I really prefer to answer to stuff like this if I get asked more explicetly about a certain part of the lyrics or a certain passage. I really prefer to leave the meaning of the lyrics "neutral" and up to the people listening to the songs and reading along. I mean, there is a lot of stuff to discover if you like to dig around and juste read between the lines. I hope I'm not saying toooo much if I mention that all the songs on "Inwards" have quite a similar approach (but it's not a concept record) when it comes to the fact that all lyrics are extremely negative and pissed-off, dealing with the fact that we are living in a world / society full of decadence and certaily find ourselves on the way down the drain. The lyrics express my interest for the way we are getting conrolled by technology and also deal with the fact that I indeed tend to observe it as amusing that we more and more adapt and adjust to this spiritual downfall, totally forgetting about our individuality and also forgetting about the fact that we originally are "rich" people on our insides, as we do own a powerful soul and have an unexplored ability to use our inner strenght. Well, that's just to give you somewhat of a hint about the topics...in the end of the day, it's some stuff based on reality and the things that surround my / our everyday lives. Sorry girls, not much gore and zombie stories to be found with us, haha!

The cover art looks very nice but what is it supposed to be...? Who made it?
- Great to hear that you think that it looks good! That's the main part of a "packaging": That it looks good and pleases the "eye", even though it might not have much of an apparent meaning. In the case of "Inwards", the cover was done by a very cool up 'n' coming artist artist from California called Mike Bohatch and he's to be reached at http://www.eyesofchaos.com/ We are really satisfied with the cover artwork and if you follow the different packagings for the dew-scented albums so far, you will see that we really don't have much of a band-typical pattern for artworks, but instead always try to rely on contrasts and on pieces that just suit the title of a record well!? We had given Mike a couple of details about the album (title and the name of some songs) as well as some minor fcts like a general idea and some special wishes from our side of things, like the main colour / vibe, etc. Mike had the vision of presenting something cold, industrial like the machinery / computer tyüpe of scheme in the background of the art teaming up with soemthing warm, human and symobolic as the eye on front. I think the cover artwork turned out great and somehow serves as interesting "entrance" to the album and its lyrical approach. What is it supposed to be then? Just something that looks good but also at the same time intricate and "morbidly" weird with a digital feel. I think that was the original idea....

Your last two albums were released on Grind Syndicate Media. I must say that I am rather unfamiliar with this label, could you tell us something about it?
- That's right! "Innoscent" and "Ill-Natured" were both released on the small german label Grind Syndicate Media. GSM is basically a one-man label that goes through some of the NBR "machinery" for marketing and distro but in the end of the day is separate and rather "limited" when it comes to promotion and distribution, especially when you compare it to the bigger companies around. Then again, I must say that we were extremely pleased with GSM for all that was done with our last 2 albums, as at least somebody was believing in the band and trying to work his ass off for us! GSM only has (or had, as some of the acts have moved over to other labels, in the meantime) a couple of bands on its repertoire like Disbelief, Nocte Abducta, Warhammer, Civil Defiance and so forth! So it's all cool and original bands after all!!!

I don't think anyone wonders why you signed with Nuclear Blast instead but what are your expectations on them?
- I gotta be honest on this one and just voice that our expectations are to be treated fairly and with enough priority so that Dew-Scented manages to move another step forwards abd reach the audience better. NBR will hopefully manage to increase the interest and the visibility of the band, that's basically all we expect! We have been used to do a lot of work with / for the band on our own, so we definately won't ly back and hope for the label to come up with miracles for us, just like some other "newer" artists seem to expect it these days. I think playing in a Metal band doesn't only demand a lot of time and energy but it should also be a motivation to invest as much blood, sweat and tears into it to keep the "level" growing in all sort of sense. I have the feeling that NBR are extremely pleased with the response on the record so far and I guess we somehow have also mnaged to impress them a bit with the fact that the album is apparently doing well all over and therefor I hope that things keep being smooth in the future as well. We have quite some lenghty plans for touring until the end of the year, so we will definately do a s much as possible to get "Inwards" well presented to whoever cares about the album and our music....

Being a metal band in Germany must be to your advantage since you have plenty of opportunities to play live or am I wrong?
- Yeah, there are better possibilities to play live in Germany than in some other countries, that might be right! Then again, virtually everybody wants to play as much as possible here and Germany is just full of touring activity so there is a lot o heavy competition. I think in the end of the day it's really up to how much "work" a band is willing to invest into the live circuit. The early steps aren't easy at all, as you will have to do a lot of calls, send out a lot of promo kits and jut try to apply for all sort of different support slots to get your name and your music out there. I think playing live has always been our strongest point and we have done some +250 shows in the meantime with Dew-Scented, so a lot of people has seen us live throughout the last years. We definately hope to be getting in touch with a "new" and interested audience now with the release of the new record and we can't wait to hit the road as well in places we haven't toured before such as UK (where we tour mid March with Vader and Centurian) or France (where we tour in early April with No Return + Scarve). As long as there is new challenges for us on the road, we are up to go out and give our best....

Are any of the band members involved with other bands?
- No, not at present, really! We try to spend all of our available spare time for Dew-Scented and I actually wouldn't be able to see us doing stuff with different side-projects, as it would definately turn out sounding quite a bit like Dew-Scented after all, so where would be the point in doing that?! I mean,w e are very open minded music fans but when it coms to writing and performing, all of us are doing what we really like best at the moment! Some of the members in the band have done some special guest appearances with other bands that are friends of ours, like Floryan played some tour with Crack Up as session member on guitars and also our drummer Uwe helped out with Night In Gales for some dates in Czech Republic when their drummer couldn't go along and I have also done back up vocals spots on "Nailwork" by Night In Gales and just recently also on the new Holy Moses album, but that's all so far when it comes to being involved with other bands. Maybe some time in the future, we happen to have more time available for other things, but right now, we are extremely busy with all that is happening for Dew-Scented!

What do you do when not playing death metal? I suspect you can't make a living through your music only?
- That's right, haha, Death and Thrash Metal doesn't really pay your bills!!! We all love music and therefor use most of our spare time for musical things like hanging out with frinds, visiting shows with other acts, partying and all that. Then again, we all either work or have ongoing studies happening, so it's always a struggle to get everything put together so that your regular job keeps you financially happy but also leaves you enough time and room for music as fulfilling hobby. Of course it would be awesome to make a living with music but I honestly don't think that will ever be possible with such an extreme approach as we have with Dew-Scented but we really couldn't care less either as long as we are doing what we love!!!

Do you listen to anything but metal and in that case what kind of music?
- Yeah, we do listen to all different styles of music as long as it's well done!!! I mean, it doesn't have any direct influence on the band because that is, has always been and will always be a matter of aggressive Thrash and Death Metal music. Then again, we get into ll sorts of different styles, from Pop music to merciless Noisecore. I personally dig Tori Amos a lot. She is like my fave artist, in general. But I also get into bands like Dead Can Dance, Kate Bush, some 70's stuff or just regular music that is being played on the radio. Whatever, I just don't care as long as it's well done! You can hate my guts for saying this, but in fact I even like Ace Of Base (now that you are from Sweden too, that's a good example). I mean, I just respect that fact that music is well done and even if you personally should hate AOB, you will have to wonder about the fact that yill surely know 80% of the material on their albums by heart. It's like a dance-pop modern version of Abba. Hey, that's pretty awesome, huh?! Well, I knew you weren't gonna understand it.....

Dew-Scented has been existing since 1992, do you think the band will still be alive in another ten years' time?
- That's a tough question, really! I don't think we feel like a 10 years old band right now! As I said before, we have been together in the core of the actual lne up since like '97, so it's definately still "fresh". We have somehow been in the lucky situation that we kept on motivating ourselves by each new step thatw e have taken with the band and also the quality of our albums as well as the response towards them keep growing steadily, so I definately think that the outlook is good when it comes to the future and sticking together for another while!!! We never tried to do longterm-plans with the band and instead just go from goal to goal (album, songwriting, tour, etc), so that we never really even noticed that time kept flying by so fast!!! We are all like in the mid 20's right now and we are very good friends within the members in the band, so I guess none of us would really have a problem about continuing as long as the fun element remains and th quality of the music keeps growing. Ask me again in 10 years and I should be able to tell you better by then, ok?!

Any final words you would like the world to know of?
- Nah, not really!!!! hahaha! well, maybe I should mention that we definately woud like to come over to Sweden some day to play shows. We have a lot of friends in bands over there in your country and some of our fave acts for extreme Metal are from your country so it would be definately fun to be able to come up there sometime. In the meantime, please check out our new album "Inwards" as well as our website http://www.dew-scented.de/ featuring info and all news about the band!!! Take care and keep it heavy!!!! Thanks for your time and your support, Vince!


Links of interest:

Dew-Scented
Nuclear Blast