Michael Seifert vocalist for Rebellion/Black Destiny by EC - 02.07.03 --NEW
Let me start by saying what a pleasure it is to interview one of my Top-5 vocalists of all time. I remember when I first heard your voice on Black Destiny's second album, "Black Is Where Our Hearts Belong." I couldn't believe the talent and vocal range that you possess. Your voice reminds me of a cross between Rob Halford and Iced Earth's Matt Barlow. How did you first get started as a metal vocalist? Have you had any voice training?
Thank you for the compliment! I've never had any voice training up to now, only the iron will to become a metal singer, since I was about 13 years old. I joined my first garage band at the age of seventeen and after one and a half years they kicked me out , because I simply was too bad.
Lets look back at the beginning of your career. How did your first band, Xiron, come about it? Did Iron Glory show immediate interest in the band?
As you see Xiron was not really my first band , but the first step of my career as a singer. Before that I sang in a band called 'High Jacker' for eight years. We've had only a hand full of gigs during this time and nothing really happened. The good thing was, it gave me enough time to improve my voice. In 1998 I've had enough and I met some guys to build up something new: Xiron. Soon we made a demo-cd and gave it to some German underground magazines which seemed to be really interested in our music. One editor wanted to support us and gave it to Iron Glory. Well, they offered us a deal. After all the years of fruitless work, for me a dream came true.
After Xiron's only release, "Turn To Stone", you joined a band called Black Destiny. That band had already released one album with a rather rough vocalist. Why did you make the transition from Xiron to Black Destiny? Is Xiron still active?
I joined Black Destiny only a half year later than Xiron, because I was amazed at their music. The day Xiron signed the contract with Iron Glory, I also gave a Black Destiny demo-CD to the label guys, and what can I say..another band , another deal... I couldn't believe it. As I decided to join Rebellion in 2001, I already had two bands, and it was only a question of time when I had to leave at least one of them. I decided to leave Xiron, but we are still friends and they found a new singer to go on.
In my opinion your vocals really improved on your first record with Black Destiny, "Black Is Where Our Hearts Belong". Your vocals on that album are just amazing. Black Destiny is really a top-notch band that reminds me of Iced Earth and 80s style US power metal like Helstar and Agent Steel. What led to the band signing with Iron Glory
Records for that album? Did the record gain much attention from the metal community?
I did the Black Destiny album and the Xiron album almost at the same time, so this was really hard for me. We had a lot of trouble with the Xiron recordings and the result was not satisfying at all. More and more I got the feeling, that my voice fits better with Black Destiny, and I think the atmosphere on "Black is where...." is more authentic than on the Xiron release. According the attention I must say, it depends on the status of a band, means, as a newcomer with a little deal from a small record-company, it's really hard to gain the attention you may would reserve. Sure, there are people who like it, but there are a lot more who just don't care about you. The most attention we got from the metal-underground scene and fan magazines who really tried to support us.
Are you still involved with Black Destiny? Is there any chance of a new album from them soon?
Yes I am, but for the moment we have no record deal, so the chance for a new album is still not clear. Iron Glory seemed to not be interested in keeping up the cooperation.
As many metal fans know, Grave Digger split after the "Excalibur" album. Uwe Lulis took his own "brand" of Grave Digger and formed the band Rebellion. What led to your role as vocalist for the group? Had you been a big Grave Digger fan up until that point?
I met Uwe Lulis in '92 as me and my former band practiced next door to Grave Digger. We became friends and I sang some backing vocals on Grave Diggers "Heart of Darkness" in '94 I was already doing a metal-project with Uwe during this time. So as he splitted with Grave Digger it just needed a phone call to make me join. I always have been more a fan of Uwes powerful guitarplay than of Grave Digger.
How did the members of Black Destiny respond to your idea of joining that band? Were they disappointed or happy for the opportunity you had been given?
At first they were of course afraid to lose their singer but as I decided to stay with Black Destiny as well, they were happy again....I think today they take it as an advantage for them , too.
Who had the idea of doing a MacBeth story for the debut Rebellion album? Was there any worry that American band Jag Panzer had already released "Thane To The Throne", their own vesion of the MacBeth story?
Tomi Göttlich came up with the idea of doing the Macbeth concept. He teaches English at a German school and knows a lot of English literature. He did not know about Thane to the Throne up to this point and the idea (came) from Tomi's Grave Digger Days but he left GD before he could implement it. I think both Albums are very different, so it was ok for us to do it after Jag Panzer.
Obviously Rebellion is the biggest band you have worked with to date. What was it like working with such respected metal musicians like Uwe Lulis, Randy Black, Bjoern Eilen, and Tom Goettlich?
Well, it feels good to work with professional musicians like them,. During the last Year Rebellion really bacame an advanced band with good live experience; and I think the future is looking good for us to rise.
How well has Drakkar done with the promotion of the "Tragedy In Steel" album?
They simply did all what a record company can do to built up a new band. We are really happy with them and like the cooperation with Drakkar. "Together we shall overcome!"
Moving on to the brand new Rebellion album, "Born A Rebel". Can you give any secrets away? What is the storyline or concept of this release? Will it be in the same style as the last record?
This time our intention was to do an album without any storyline, because we don't want to stick to the image of another concept band. I think it's more interesting to keep the way of a band eclectic for each album should be unique and fresh. So this time I can say it's pure heavy metal without compromises.
Rebellion is going on the road in March to support Running Wild. Are you guys pretty excited to hit the road? Any big tour plans for the summer festivals?
The tour was in March 2002 and a great experience for us all. Running Wild has been a nice and very fair headliner, so there is nothing to complain about, especially because many RW-fans seemed to like our music. Tour plans for this year are still open because we're waiting for the release of "Born A Rebel" in April...to make some decissions
After the controversial split between Grave Digger and Uwe Lulis, is there any hard feelings or animosity between the two bands? I know that the German bands are a pretty tight knit family, so I was curious if Rebellion and Grave Digger get along with
Well in the beginning I was curious too, because Grave Digger without Uwe Lulis seemed to be unimaginable for everybody and I wondered if the GD fans would accept Rebellion as well. But bands sometimes split up, that's the normal way it goes and Uwe and Tomi had enough strength to build up something new... so most people and other bands seem to respect that.
With alot of metal collaborations and guest appearances going on right now like Avantasia, Ayreon, and Powergod's recent metal tribute, do you have any side projects like that planned? Can we see Michael Seifert's name listed as a guest vocalist anywhere?
Up to now nobone has asked me to be a guest singer in someone's band or project, but maybe this will change someday ... ok serious, for the moment Rebellion, Black Destiny and my normal days work is really enough for me, but who knows and I never say never.
One last note before we wrap it up, there has been alot of controversy over file-sharing and cd "burning". How do you feel about that? Do you think it is helpful or harmful for the artist?
This story has two sides... for underdogs like Black Destiny it's helpful to distribute the music via internet, because the more people listen to it, the better for the bands promotion. But I understand the record companies in their opinion because they can't exist if nobody buys the records and building up stars really costs a lot of money. Anyway, I think real fans want to have the original album, and that's good for anybody.
Well, its been a pleasure to chat with you. I wish you the best of luck and I am looking forward to the new Rebellion release, "Born A Rebel". Keep in touch with us and thanks alot for your time!!
Maximum MetalALL INTERVIEWS FOR: REBELLION
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