What was the beginning pint for your music career? How did it all start?

I was growing up in a strange type of musical home. My parents being born during World War II and having suffered bomb raids, displacement and separation from their families longed for a peaceful and silent haven to build a family. Imagine an austere Bauhaus-type house, filled with collector’s pieces and antiques, silent in its core, with classical music the only kind to fill the white painted halls every other fortnight or so. We did not have any TV, nor was there any radio culture. I was a clean slate when it came to popular music. First mixtapes from classmates featuring the classic eighties quickly lead to discovering rock music and I was already playing in a cover band at the age of thirteen. 

After having seen The Offspring’s “Come Out and Play” on MTV during a family vacation in the United States I was hooked. The song was not yet known in Germany and so my twin brother and I decided to cover it. That was the beginning of  “Sanity” and it was 1994. And it was not enough. Not nearly enough. 

We were eager to experiment with creating songs ourselves. I wanted to find out how song writing actually works. Can I do it? How do I express what I musically enjoy? How does it sound if I compose these chords for guitar, the harmonic 3rd in bass and a progressive drumming underneath it? I was overflowing with creativity. 

I got pretty quickly into hard rock and heavy metal, starting with AC/DC and G’n’R. But then somebody had me listen to Metallica, my first real heavy metal experience. 

There was a music show on the public broadcast channel “FAB – Fernsehen aus Berlin” which featured a documentary about “Death Metal”. Imagine, a teenager in a classical music-home (we had bought a (small) TV in the meantime) watching in all earnestness an educational television program about death metal –  and the next thing I know, I went to a music store to buy my first death metal CD. Funny but true, the shop clerk was totally lost when I asked him about death metal, so we both went to the “D” section and found a CD from a band called Death and he sold it to me. Luckily, it was death metal and that sealed my fate and the direction our band would be taking from now on. 

Was there any bumps on the road? What kind of challenges did you have to deal with?

Haha, I mean everybody struggles with the same typical issues in a band, are we not? Be it the ever revolving second guitar player, trouble finding a suitable rehearsal room, after you got fired from the last one, sharing rehearsal rooms with bands that just don’t give a fuck and leave the band room in a total mess. You all heard it. Then there is the metal genre’s typical nemesis, the depression. We had our share of musicians laying low for months due to their health issues, but I guess that also is part of what makes us who we are. To end on a more positive note, I hate listening to “final mixes” of our songs before they go into production. The concentration needed to meticulously listen again and again to the same song, to focus your attention to all the different aspects of the compositions is excruciating. I am able to do these things by sheer force of will, but it does not come without cost. Usually after that I am so run-down and I need to recharge in my arcade. If you think about it, it’s actually not to bad, oscillating from my primary vocation – being a musician – to my primary passion – arcade games and pinball machines. 

What was the most fulfilling and satisfying moment so far?

Doing live performances. The energy in the room with so many people cherishing what we create and to see my fellow musicians excel at their instruments. Don’t forget the social aspect, having a beer and and good meal together as a band before the gig or after. Feels like being part of a big family. Awesome.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

The compositions have their roots in black and death metal, but are enriched with massive arrangements of choirs and symphonic instruments. There is an abundance of lead guitars and melodic riffing, the songs feature low growling vocals, intense shouting and screaming but also beautiful clean vocals, from heroic viking chants to high-pitched power metal voices. The drumming ranges from fast-paced blasts with double bass drumming to intense progressive metal rhythms.

What is your creative process like?

Over the past three decades I have come to observe that suffering is a necessary ingredient to creativity. I feel most inspired when in sorrow and distress. I also listen to my inner self and find that quite often music pushes outwards and wants to be composed. For instance, I wake up with a melody or hook line in my mind and am almost driven to sit down to write it down and record it. The songs we create are expressions of our inner self, composing music is a cathartic experience for me.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I really miss the good old vinyl and compact disc days when not everything was instantly available on YouTube or Spotify. I remember dearly flipping through underground mail order catalogs like Last Episode and Nuclear Blast (when they where still black & white prints), reading about new releases and making a conscious decision which CDs to order from my scarce budget. When the package arrived days later, you where overwhelmed by the sheer amount of creativity creeping out of the speakers of your stereo. Waiting and anticipation was a wholesome part of the experience.  Also back then we always listened to complete albums, a trait I preserved myself until today. It’s a totally different approach to music nowadays with the advent of the Instant Society. In my personal life I try to set an example, not losing sight of my values in spite of the world turning ever faster around us.

If you were asked to give a piece of advice to upcoming bands, what would that be?

My advice to the the young artists: stay focused, reliable and stable. Don’t quit. You need years of playing together to become great. Two years in a band is nothing.

What has been the best performance of your career so far?

My brother and me are old hands in the heavy metal business and have been living it actively with Sanity for almost 30 years now. It’s really hard to pick one performance. Looking back to the nineties, we made big shows with torches and intro music and the whole shebang, really dark, really black metal, gladiator boots, lots of jewelry and you know it. Great times. But now we’re older, our audience is also different. We are still making awesome shows, I guess you could ask for an admission fee only to see the drum kit, it’s that huge, hahaha. But no kidding, the way we act on stage these days is really different, less constrained maybe? We are really having fun without the aggression. Back in the days it was really only aggression and intensity to the power of ten. So, just come and see for yourself, and make yourself noticable so we know that you read this interview, hahaha. 

If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing now?

I don’t think there was ever a chance for us not getting into music, this is how we expressed our inner self, the emotional turmoil were we going through back in the nineties (and maybe still today?). Some of my friends used sports to blow off steam, others created drawings and paintings to cope with their situations. Any yes, some succumbed to drugs and lost all their drive. But not us. Composing music is a cathartic experience for me, I wouldn’t have made it without music.

What is new with the band at the moment? What are you currently working on and would like to share with the world?

We have already recorded the songs for third EP to complete the “Revelation” project and plan to release it in 2025. This trilogy will then have a total of 14 songs. The record release concert for the second EP “The Beast” was on 2 March 2024. There will be concerts in summer and autumn for sure, but we are still in the planning phase, nothing concrete, yet. 

At the same time my brother and I are working on a rerelease of our second album “Nocturnal Poems” from 1999. Florian is actually composing completely new rhythm and lead guitars and I will be recording new drums for it. 

Additionally, we are currently preparing the video shoot for our next official music video, the song “Babylon” from our EP The Beast. We are working with Underpaid Mantis Studio (www.underpaidmantis.com) and are currently developing the story line for the video.

Our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/@Sanity.berlin already has a good amount of content and I would like to add more. The official videos for “Seals” and “Throne” were just released. Check them out on YouTube. 

Sanity – Throne (Official Music Video)

Sanity – Seals (Official Music Video)

You see, we got our hands full with exciting subjects for many years to come.


Web: https://www.sanity.berlin
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@sanity.berlin
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sanity.berlin
Bandcamp: https://sanityberlin.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanity.berlin
X: https://twitter.com/SanityBerlin

Streaming Site Links:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/intl-de/artist/0bhXlkSU7XN56kBuUuvXXa?si=ki9IcUitQNyodBXyrq_B5Q
Amazon Music: https://amazon.de/music/player/artists/B0CHHW97WL/sanity?marketplaceId=A1PA6795UKMFR9&musicTerritory=DE&ref=dm_sh_PidIrR7CbqZCj4mwIPm5zpymv
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/sanity/1546091708YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/channel/UCsYZJ2WYArtoGXgBOc-jVNw?si=OmjURhgpG_wSbCHN


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