Interview With Distant Past

Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith Clement the editorial head, how are you guys doing?

We are doing great. Thanks so much for the opportunity to do the interview. We are very pleased that our new album is finding so much acclaim and we are ready to hit the stage, hopefully it will be very soon.

You released your new album “The Final Stage” on March 26th 2021, can you please talk a bit on the songwriting and production behind the album?

Well, once upon a time we were only three members left, me (Bass), JayJay (vocals) and Ben (guitar). So we searched until we found Remo (drums) and Lorenz (guitar) to complete the line-up. Together we arranged the chosen songs. I looked for songs in my repertoire that had a strong chorus, nothing progressive and a lot of Pure Metal. And getting to know the dynamics of the band we collaborated on some new ones. We worked on them for quite a while to get them perfect. We recorded the drums in a special studio, then we recorded the rest really quickly, so it was still fresh, but everyone knew the songs and did their best. To make it sound perfect, we went to work with VO Pulver (Poltergeist, Gurd) who is the go-to guy for this kind of music. And voila Distant Past 20.21 was born!

What was the concept that you have set behind this album?

There is no real concept this time, except the one that is always there: Lot’s of science fiction and some songs about inequality, standing up for your rights and fighting the oppressor.

The album cover and title can suggest anything to the listener. I wanted it to be open for interpretation. We don’t know what the figure on the cover is and has he reached some important point, has he been left alone? Is this the final album for Distant Past?

I think it is really intriguing, and I hope the real music fans enjoy the artwork. Also, there is more artwork from the artist James F. Beveridge on the inside! 

Initially Distant Past has only been a studio project and in 2016 you guys came live performing for the audience and fans, tell me how was the experience?

What a great experience, for the first time we saw how many people in our hometown kept following us all these years. It was supposed to be a one-off thing. But everybody was on a high, so we wanted to continue. Or I was convinced to continue. We recorded this memorable occasion and it still gives me goosebumps. Fact is that only me and JayJay remain from this Line-up. All those who wanted to continue and those who subsequently joined didn’t have the stamina.

Distant Past has been making music quite a while, and has always been giving quality music, how is the reception of the band in Switzerland and on a global level?

We’re still a very small fish in the pond, even here in Switzerland, although some remember me and JayJay from the old days.  Link any band, you’re only as good as your latest record and your live show. We are very pleased that the album was received very warmly, now we are motivated to storm the stages. We certainly hope to extend our fanbase worldwide.

What would be some of the favourite tracks for you from the new album, and why do you feel that made it so special for you guys?

There are some very special songs on the record. The opener “Kill the Dragon” was the last song I wrote for my ex-band. It’s not about actually killing the dragon, but to leave something behind. Stop following and start leading, so it’s almost autobiographical.

“I am Omega” is a favorite of the band, It encapsules all that is great in the new Distant Past Band. It’s short and has great riffs and solos, even a “oh-oh-oh.” Part, that is a lot of fun. Lyrically it’s about the movie “The Omega Man” from 1971. The beginning of the film is very iconic, when the protagonist, played by Charlton Heston, as the last man on earth is alone scavenging in an abandoned New York Time Square. Then the telephone is ringing, which cannot be, because he’s alone. A good scene is also when he goes alone in a cinema and starts the movie alone. He’s watching “Woodstock” with all these people, hugging and singing. And he is alone on earth. Great Stuff from the 70’s.

What would be the next plans for the band? Do you have any touring plans in place?

First we want to play some gigs as a new unit and play some festivals next year. We hope everything is going to work out. The extra time gave us the possibility to prepare for the stage. In “real life” we would already have played several concerts. A Tour might be possibility for the future. Who knows? Lately, it’s been difficult to plan things.

Tell me a bit of history about Distant Past, how it started for you guys?

It started very innocently, when I recorded some songs in the basement of the house we just moved in. Then I wanted to experiment with songs and recorded some demos. After a while I got a crew of friends and musicians to help me make the best record possible. In 2010 we released “Alpha Draconis”, which was a dark and melancholic record. When Jay Jay joined we headed more into US Metal territory with “Utopian Void” in 2014, where our former guitarplayer Chris wrote a lot of good stuff. In 2016 “Rise of the Fallen”, a concept album about Christianity, we were joined by current Gloryhammer Singer, Agnus McFive. (He’s still just Thomas to us)

Sadly, all efforts to join together as a band we’re not successful. So, I said: What about a one -off concert? 

What would have been some of the greatest moments for the band?

I truly believe the greatest moment lies not far ahead for us: When the crowd will sing along to a song I wrote many years ago, alone in my basement and now everybody joins in, would be an achievement, that would mean a lot to me. 

How distant Past music could be different from the world, do you sent a message through your music to the world?

On the past albums I always wanted my lyrics to be smart and educational. I wanted to wake people up to the lies they’ve been fed by the politicians and scientists. I wanted to show that there are other worlds, other beings around us. But it’s almost scary, that so many of the subjects of theses songs we are confronted in the now. 

Speaking of the new album, if somebody discovers “The Omega Man”, “World on a Wire” and similar movies, that inspired me, I would be happy. “Dawn City” is the longest song on the album, if you like the song, google “Dawn City” and learn about it. 

Finally what would be the message for the fans?

We want to continue to make music for you! If you like our videos to “World of Wires” and “Queen of Sin”, please support us by stopping by our webstore or bandcamp page. Leave a like and tell your friends about this old school metal band from the Distant Past. 

Your support is greatly appreciated….and don’t forget to bang that head ! 

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