This interview with Timo and Thorsten of Sencirow was done face to face by Juliane John on April 29th, 2006.

Sencirow is a German heavy metal band that could be THE newcomer of the year – if just more people took notice of them. Already with their debut album “Perception of Fear” they have the potential to play in one league with big bands like Morgana Lefay or Iced Earth while adding their own fresh twist to their sound. As I was absolutely thrilled about the album, I wanted to get to know more about the band so I took the chance to sit down with drummer Timo and guitarist Thorsten (who goes by the nickname Flip) prior to a local show of theirs in Wuppertal (GER).

First of all, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the founding of Sencirow?
Flip: Hi. Well, I’m Thorsten, guitarist of Sencirow. Next to me is our drummer Timo. Sencirow have existed in this line up since 1996. Our singer Kensington formed the band and I myself have been in the band for quite a long time. You could say that Timo and Holger are the result of a natural selection process because earlier band members either couldn’t keep up with the technical standard or had personal problems, so in a way it’s about finding the best for the band.

Can you please describe the other band members with three words!
Flip. Well, how would we describe our… (laughs)

Timo (interrupts): Kensington is watching TV (both look at Kensington who is sitting in front of the TV).

Flip: Ehhm, that’s a hard one… Kensington: absolutely nuts but in the positive sense, our blond guy, a very pleasant person who is a little crazy in terms of music.

Holger: He’s the calm centre in the band… actually it’s hard to categorize people if you haven’t known them for long, especially since we hate labelling.

Timo: Flip is our centre of tranquillity. He’s very grounded.

Flip: Now Timo: He’s got his hands everywhere. He’s focused, determined and what I can say, a drummer.

So, how do things work with you guys? Does everyone have a certain job in the band or do you organize everything together?
Flip: We do our songwriting together, either in jam sessions or someone comes up with an idea and then we work on it together. When it comes to organizing stuff, it’s usually Timo’s and Kensington’s job because we don’t live that close together. But we’re trying to find a manager so that we can fully concentrate on the music again.

Power Metal divides the metal scene into two camps: those who like and those who hate it. How do you feel about that?
Flip: I think it’s not that important whether you call it power metal or heavy metal. The main thing is that people like our music. There’s always this let’s-put-labels-on-everything kind of thinking: one says, it’s power metal, the other one says it’s heavy metal. Personally, we don’t care. We call ourselves a heavy metal band though.

What was it like for you to professionally record your first album?
Flip: Amusing (laughs).

Timo: It was an important experience for us to work on a professional level. What we recorded before were simply demos with the respective quality. So it was definitely the right step.

Flip: …and the next logical step. After the second demo, which came into being in our neighbourhood more or less, we all knew that we wanted to try and work with a more well-known studio and someone who knows his stuff.

How did the recording itself go? Are there any funny stories to tell?
Timo: The recording was really relaxed. There are many stories but I guess we’ll keep those for our best of in 20 years (both laugh).

“Perception of Fear” is an incredible debut album and therefore you’ve received many good reviews. Did you expect that at all?
Flip: We hoped for it but did we expect it? That’s always such a thing you know. We are rather careful with that. We prefer to stay grounded than raising any high expectations on ourselves. A lot depends on the Zeitgeist though. When Hammerfall released their first album, everyone was like: Yeah, that’s heavy metal! Now half of the people bash them. So let’s say we’re very content with our work. Of course we we’re hoping that our first album would get more attention than the demos, especially since we’re lucky to have a partner like AFM Records which is supporting us well.

You’ve probably heard of the comparisons to Morgana Lefay or Iced Earth. Does that make you feel proud or does it rather annoy you being compared to other bands in general?
Flip: Being compared to Morgana Lefay is surely an honour for us because those guys are simply awesome in terms of music. You always have to see though that’s it is other people’s perception. We’ve for example been compared to Watchtower in the first reviews, which we couldn’t quite understand. But we can live with those bands that we’re compared to.

What was the weirdest comparison you got?
Flip: As I said the comparison with Watchtower. That’s just a quite different league.

I heard that you threw your demo on stage during an Iron Maiden concert. Was that your way of getting recognized? Did it actually help you get signed to a label?
Timo: Well, we had been in contact with AFM before. Unfortunately, Henner, the boss, died in an accident and he was the one I had been in best contact with. No one else of AFM knew about us which almost made me want to quit. The record deal had been almost sealed but no one knew about it. Then we came up with the idea that people who like Iron Maiden might like our music as well so we handed out our demos at their concerts.

Flip: It’s a pretty unconventional way of getting attention. I guess no one else would throw their demos on stage at Iron Maiden concerts and even hit them on the head.

Timo: Well, I didn’t plan to hit on the head.

Flip: Oh, you really did?

Timo: Yeah (everyone laughs).

Did you ever find out if they listened to it?
Timo: Unfortunately not.

You’ve already been the support act for Grave Digger and Doro. What about the future, are there any plans for a tour?
Flip: Yes, a world tour next year (laughs). Just kidding. We try to keep some options and wait what happens. Right now, we’re trying to build some contacts to other bands to play as many live shows as possible. Playing with Doro and Grave Digger was more or less luck.

How did you come up with the band name Sencirow and what does it mean?
Timo: We were called Deranged before but that name already exists somewhere in Scandinavia I believe. Before we recorded our demo Dreamspace we needed a new name so I came up with Sencirow.

Flip: We then tried all sorts of different ways of spelling but there’s no deeper sense behind the name.

If I get your lyrics right, you’re partly dealing with social and political issues but also war. What inspired you to write about that? Is that your way to put criticism across?
Flip: Just read the newspaper or watch TV for inspiration, you’ve got enough craziness in the world. It doesn’t have much to do with criticism because if you criticise something you also need to have a solution. It’s more about drawing some attention to it. “Wargames” for example is very cynical. The song was written when the war in the Iraq and the whole media stuff started. I just made a game show out of the whole thing.

Which are your musical influences?
Timo: Many. It starts with Maiden and Slayer and ends with Watchtower and Dream Theatre.

Flip: Accept, Savatage, Morgana Lefay. But we have a broad range. Everyone has his favourites, be it movie soundtracks, power metal or death metal.

Let’s say you’re having a party at your rehearsal room and you could invite a few musicians and/or bands. Who would it be?
Timo: Maiden! And Slayer.

Flip: Accept, The Restless and Wild Side.

Let’s play a little game. I will name a few words and you please tell me what comes to your mind first: Metal:
Flip: Cool!

Timo: Don’t need one.

Flip: Sometimes crazy, sometimes pleasant but always worth living.

Timo: Many

Flip: Life would suck without them.

Flip: Sometimes very necessary soul food.

Best band in the world:
Timo: Maiden and Slayer.

Flip: Accept and Morgana Lefay

Timo: Welcome.

So, we’re through with the questions. Is there anything left you would like to say?
Flip: Yes, we need 2 million euro each in unnumbered bills.

Timo: Seriously. Come to our shows. If you want us to play at your venue or at a venue you know then contact us

Note: Even though Sencirow are still new in the business, they have a heart for the needy: the band sells these little toy trucks with their picture and logo on it and donates the money to a charitable organization.

Links of interest:

AFM Records