Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Arma Gathas interview with Guitarist: Simon Fuellemann. July 16, 2010.





Vista: Hey Simon. Can you give us the current line-up of the band & who does what?

Simon: Hey John, Arma Gathas is me on Guitar, Che – Vocals, Marc – Guitar, Alex – Bass, Max - Drums

Vista: Give us a brief history of Arma Gathas, year started, ex-members & what has been released so far?

Simon: Arma Gathas started actually out as a project of mine during my last month in Cataract. That was towards the End of 2006. It took me 2.5 years to find the right people to make this a full band. I wrote songs and concepts until like beginning of 2009. I did  some demos with friends. One day I sent them over to Che, just for fun. I didn’t expect anything. He was totally into it and said lets do it. He would know a cool and young drummer that would fit perfect. I said yes, bring him along and I bring Marc on 2nd guitar. He is an old friend. I know him since 2000 I think. He is a great player and guitar nerd. Most of all a great dude. With this line-up we practised as a band for the 1st time march 2009. In this line-up we finished all the songs for the actual record. We have been trying out 2 bass players before we found the right guy in Alex. He is cool and knows how to play. He joined right after finishing the record. In April we release “Dead to this World” On Metal Blade Records. A great moment for all of us, especially for Che and me as we for the 1st time did something together. We talked about this for soooo long. Great feeling.

Vista: As a guitarist, who are your influences? How old were you when you began playing guitar? Any formal training? Also, what was the first song that you learned?

Simon: I picked up the guitar when I was 12. Before I played bass. I was more the bass kinda guy. I love rhythm and heaviness. This still shows in the guitar work, hahahaha. But
after I jammed in my 1st band I realized I want to play riffs, be more creative and write songs. That was better to do as a guitar player back then. I couldn’t really do it on the bass. So I switched. It all came natural. I am not sure if I would switch again today…
My influences are Sean Martin, Slash, Gary Moore, Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrell, Kerry King, James Hatfield and myself. I was always the one trying to find my own style to some degree. I took my heros influences and tried to play it the way I feel it. Not copying a style or a technique. I was taking lesson for like 2 years but that brought me back to the “formal” playing that I see so much nowadays. I want to be free and riff Simon style. My first song on the guitar? Attitude Adjustment – American Paranoia. All songs. What a great record!

Vista: You played guitar for another great band called "Cataract". Why did that band break-up?

Simon: Simply because of the fact I wanted to go in another direction and personal reasons. I don’t want to go deep into that. It was just time to move on artistically and in life.

Vista: You're a guy that has been in the Hardcore scene for a long time. What are the differences compared to the 90's? Is it better, the same or the shits!?

Simon: You can say that John. Well, nowadays its still underground. It was back then and will always be. In that there is no difference. I just feel that the do it yourself character is watered down and jealousy took place instead of support to some degree. Also nowadays there is a lot more “sub-scenes” than back then. Its harder to follow and more diverse. In the 90ies you knew all the bands and most people. It wasn’t like there is 1000 new bands every month. It was easier and more familiar. But that doesn't mean it was better or worse, just different. I don’t like people who live in the past and always says those were the days. You develop and should take your experience and stay true. Take it to the next level but always stay true to yourself.

Vista: Tell us what's up in the Hardcore/Metalcore scene in Germany? Are all you guys from the same country/area? Is the scene strong from where you're from? What bands should we keep an eye on?

Simon: As a band we are multi-national outlet. 2 guys from Holland, 2 from Germany and me from Switzerland. It is great! More cultures, more influences. There is sooo many different scenes today that I feel its hard to follow everything or even be part of one scene only. Those days are over. Germany and Holland/Belgium still has a great scene. Goodlife still puts out good underground hardcore like the new "Nasty" record. Or we have GSR or Let it Burn that put out Black Friday 29. Great bands I really like and would love to grow. But I guess BF29 is breaking up though. There is tons of other cool bands now. You should check the Fluff Fest oder Ieper Fest! Those are the one true Hardcore Fest to me. Great underground line-up and bands.

Vista: What are your thoughts on Fanzines? Do you think they are a Dinosaur? Back in the 90's, fanzines were essential to get the word out on bands, politics, music reviews, etc.. I'm wondering, from your perspective, are there still a lot of people throughout Europe that still do Fanzines?

Simon: I personally love them! They bring something else to the table than the internet. Its just an extra goodie and I still love to lay down an evening long and read through a mag. Reading is important. Yes, back were there was no internet it was the only way of public knowledge to be spread.No, there is not but the ones that are still around keep selling the same No. every issue. I am glad. But there is not many HC fanzine at all. Its more Metal oriented. I think the main fact is that Fanzine make real work. Its not as easy as just putting stuff online. You have to write, edit, photo-shop it, print it, etc. Its real art. It has value. And that’s important to have nowadays. There is too many thing in the artistic world that has no value anymore. Fuck that. Art needs to be paid. Its work like selling bread or painting a building. There has been going something very wrong over the last 10 years…

Vista: What bands are Arma Gathas influences and inspired by?

Simon: Mostly by ourselves to be honest. I would also say bands like Entombed, Integrity, Cro-Mags, old Machine Head or Hatebreed.

Vista: Tell us about the record label you guys are on, Metal Blade. Without a doubt, it's a pretty big label. How did you guys decide on this label & how have they been?

Simon: I love Metal Blade. A true label with history. They have done so much for Metal, its incredible. Its an honor. And yes, it’s a big label. Well, me with Cataract and Che with Born from Pain have both been on Metal Blade before and made excellent experience. Also
between all the labels interested we wanted to keep as underground as possible and being involved as much in everything as we can. Metal Blade asured us to have full freedom and so far we have it 100%. We've known them for years and years. Its like being back in the family again.

Vista: What was your first exposure to Hardcore? How old were you & what bands really grabbed your attention? Also, what was the first Hardcore show that you ever attended?

Simon: Well, I was really young when I 1st got into hardcore or better punk at that time. My 1st bands were Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Ramones. I still love Sex Pistols to death. They grabbed me and still do. Then D.R.I. and the whole Boston scen with SSD and especially Deep Wound made me want to do music. Later metal came along with Venom and Slayer, Mötley Crue, COC and the whole UK scene with Heresy, Concrete Sox, ENT, Napalm Death. I was always open to all kinds of scenes and bands that were true and underground.
Bands that especially made me want to do music were Slayer, Attitude Adjustment, Possessed. Then Pantera, Unbroken and Hatebreed. The 1st show I attended was the German Death Metal band Poison (not to be confused with the poserband) together with Messiah, an old swiss Death Metal Band in 84. After that tons of shows followed like Accused, Attitude, Exodus, Slayer, Ludichrist and and and.

Vista: What are some achievements that you would like to accomplish with Arma Gathas?

Simon: I want to create something I haven't done before. Musically and artistically. I don’t care what other think. We just want to do it for us and create something that is a progress for all of us, not for anyone out there. Then we would really love to play the Metal & Hardcore Festival in the US, Loud Park in Japan and some festivals over here, ahhahaha. I have never ever been to Japan. I toured the US before but not Japan or Australia. Lets see..
Beside that I just want to be happy and be able to put out music on a quality level that has something to say.

Vista: Give us your top 5 Metal bands/albums of all-time?

Simon:
Slayer – Reign in Blood.
Pantera – Vulgar Expression of Power.
Metallica – Master of Puppets.
Hatebreed – Perseverance.
And the almighty Motorhead – Ace of Spades.

Vista: Outside of the band, what are some of your interests & hobbies?

Simon: Music. My life is music. I work in the industry, go to shows and help bands/people where ever I can. I do jog 3-4times a week and go to the gym. Love go to the movies and hang out with my friends.

Vista: Simon, thanks a lot for your time. I appreciate it. Is there anything else you'd like to say? Also, give us information on what that best way to get in touch with the band is?

Simon: John, thank you very much for the support and that you keep up doing the magazine. Good luck with Inner Dam! Check www.myspace.com/armagathas or www.armagathas.com or come to one of our shows.

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