Interview with Tom Zorn (vocals)
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: February 8, 2003
What made you form Fearer? How did you guys meet?
Frank and I left Vomiting Corpses in 1995 to start something new. Karsten had been playing with Corpses before my time and we were have then been able to have won him back for Fearer. Alf is from a neighboring town where he has been a drummer in several smaller projects since 1989. We met him through a common friend. So that was our first line-up!
Why Fearer? Who came up with the name?
Karsten was the one who came up with the name. It has always been difficult to find a pithy, more succinct kind of name for a death metal band, and when Karsten came up with it, we agreed right away, of course, because Fearer describes our music quite accurately.
How do you write your music? Is there a set guideline or do you write what you feel as you go along?
It's quite simple. Since Alf and I have been playing together for such a long time, our songs are always created within just one session. Besides, we both have the same ideas on how the songs are supposed to sound in the end.
How do you get the inspiration for writing your lyrics?
That differs. Half derives from books I read, and rest I have to drag out of my sick mind.
You have Satan's Blood as a side-project and are about to have a split-single come out with a Swedish band. So do you consciously think about staying in Fearer style or music?
Fearer has nothing to do with it! It will always be our the main band! It is very easy to coordinate things for us, seeing that all members in Fearer are also involved with Satan's Blood! The split album of Satan's Blood will be with Kult ov Azazel from the USA, which will come out under Merciless/Autopsy Stench Records, February 2003.
Would you say that the Black metal band comes through in Fearer?
No, it´s absolutly different! Only with the same intense!
How would you describe (or categorize) your style of vocals? Who have been your role models?
I have three vocal characteristics. First, there are the deep growls, then the higher notes like John Tardy, and finally, spoken vocals. My idol has always been no other than King David of Morbid Angel! Unfortunately, he had turned away from death metal! But I'm still hoping that you will come back!!!
The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
Hundreds of bands! But mostly I should mention Malevolent Creation! They have always been my gods of death metal!
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
To mention a few: The older Sodom, Kreator, Slayer, Metallica..Protector, Massacre, Death, Testament, Malevolent Creation, Sinister, Napalm Death.....
Which cities have you played? Where do you play most of your gigs?
It's rare that we play live since we all have jobs. For the most part we play within our vicinity. We have, however, played Berlin, Bremen, and Rotterdam as well!
Any plans to go on tour? If so, where and when and with whom?
We would really like to do a tour, and we are hoping that within the next year our record label will make it happen for us! Or, if any of you would like to see and hear Fearer, get in touch with us on our homepage!( www.Fearer.de). With a lot of luck, we'll be playing Europe with Benediction this coming February, 2003!
How do you compare the Death and Black metal scene here in the States and in Europe?
I would describe them as equally intensive! They are all fighting for the same goal--to play the coolest and heaviest music on earth and to have a lot of fun doing it!
When did you start playing and how old were you when you became interested in metal?
I started to play guitar at the age of seventeen, which is now, unfortunately, twelve years ago. The first contact we have probably all had at around thirteen. (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, WASP etc.) Very cool time !!!
Have your parents and friends always been supportive?
In no way!!!
Besides Metal, what other types of music do you listen to?
If I were to write this, they would stone me!!!
Outside of playing Metal, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
I play ball in a super cool club! Besides that I have to build cars for Volkswagen every day. I really don't have time for anything else. Perhaps to play one woman or another!!!
What kind of books do you read? Any good books you would like to mention?
Right now I'm reading Das Parfum! A cool book that takes place in Paris in the 18th century and tells the story of a killer. I would also like to recommend books by Dean Koontz and Wolfgang Hohlbein.
So far, I have only heard and read good things about you. Are there any critics? (How does all this make you feel)?
We just play the music we've been playing for years and we know best. Pure fucking death metal! When others like our music, it only strengthens and reassures us to continue the way we'd been going.
Do you feel that Death and Black Metal bands have it more difficult to gain recognition compared to those who play other types of metal?
If you never intend to make money with your music, you won't have any problems! It really doesn't matter nowadays whether you are good or not; someone will eventually jump on your music! That way, however, even very talented bands continue to have problems to grow the way they should.
Who designs your CD artwork and who has the final word on what actually goes on the album cover? Does it have any special meaning?
The cover is by T. Westphal, the author of Necromaniac-zine. We just gave him the title of the album (at the time, The Grinning Face of Death) and let him go at it. We had given him pretty free reign!
What happened to the title The Grinning Face of Death? I thought that was pretty neat.
The record label wasn't particularly pleased with it and we both agreed to change it to Confession to Hate.
Noticeably, your lyrics are very strong and straightforward in content. I have just recently read an article (on anus.com) about boycotting Christian metal. What are your feelings about that? What does "Metal" actually mean to you?
Death metal allows you to emerge into a role and to play out your feelings. You can compensate for the daily stress, which you accumulate all through the week. Metal is a way of life and not, as many might think, a brief epoch which had only existed for a little while.
How is the music and being Fearer connected with the person you are? Is your band image a reflection of you or completely separate?
We also identify privately with our music(Fearer). As mentioned, metal is a way of life!
Now that you're with Autopsy-Records, are you happy?
We found out that Harry (Autopsy-Stench-Records) is a big fan of Fearer. That is, needless to say, totally cool that someone who puts your album on vinyl also stands a hundred percent behind your music. We really do get along well with him, which naturally is not to be downplayed.
How do you pick your instruments? Do you have or hope to have endorsements?
Endorsements! Sadly, we don't have any as of yet, but we haven't exactly been worried about it. We do have a good store here in Emden where we can get most of our instruments! One of my great passions is to collect guitars! The ultimate death metal guitar, however, is and will always be, the B: C: Rich series.
What are the future plans of your band?
We hope to be recording our new album in April and with it gain a bit more resonance. Perhaps at that time we will then be able to play at a somewhat larger festival!
How is your latest album different from your previous recordings?
It is definitely of better quality than the other releases! In the past, we had only been doing 8-track-recordings which makes it just a bit more difficult to get good write-ups with the press. Also, the songs have gotten a lot straighter, which consequently lead to a more aggressive sound.
Why did you remix and remaster No Compromise? Is Confession to Hate working better for you?
Like I said, No Compromise was barely an 8-track-recording and we really couldn't use it to get a deal with a record label. Therefore, we rerecorded the songs professionally!
How many copies have you printed? Are you satisfied with the sales thus far?
We, ourselves, never have made a whole lot of copies. Only for friends and acquaintances. According to Remission-Records und Autopsy-Stench-Records, sales for our latest CD are doing pretty good. Especially considering that so far not too many people have seen or heard us!
Is there any specific label you may be using?
The next CD will again be released by Remission-Records and the vinyl version by Autopsy-Stench-Records. Don't change a running system!
How do you see yourself as a role model (or idol) to many young people who listen to and who get into your music?
I don't really see myself as an idol, but rather the metal genre as a whole! In what other musical genre can you see such togetherness as in ours? This is what we always try to show life! We fight as a group, and when it gets the same way in the audience as it does on stage, well, is there anything cooler (more kick-ass!)?
You are from Ostfriesland, Germany. I understand that Germany is pretty much the place to be for Metal bands. How is the scene where you guys are? Is it pretty active or a continuous struggle?
Our town has the best metal scene one could hope or wish for. We have a great number of bands such as Tears of Decay, Despondency, Obscenity, Anasarca, Meatknife, Satans Blood, Morsgatt, Penis Juice, Mordrak, To Kill, among others. The bonding we can experience here has over the years positively developed! We always try to support each other.
They say, "A poet is never appreciated in his own town." Do you see some truth in this or what is your take?
When, over some time, one fights for one and the same goal, it is not without possibility to convince, or should I say, silence even the last critic. Never let them throw you off the train!!! There will always be moments when you just want to quit. It is during these moments, however, that you need to pick yourself back up and you then continue to fight!
Any hope to see you on tour in the El Paso, Texas area???
I think in 20 years or so!
Any last words to fans?
To all death metal maniacs out there! Listen to our FEARER Confession to Hate and stop by our website (www.FEARER.de) and download one of our songs! I'm sure we won't disappoint you! Was that arrogant? We see you guys! Tom
Thank you for a very "short" interview! If you are as persistent during sex as you are with your questions…poor man!!!
"Oh, what a lucky man he was!" -Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Hope I didn't kill you with all the questions, but thanks, Tom, for the good job answering them. Wishing you all the best!!!!
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