Raymond Westland recently caught up with Gert Rymen, guitarist of German melodic death metal band Deadlock. Read what Gert had to say about the new album “Bizarro World” and the exciting things happening over the next few months for Deadlock.

Your latest album, entitled Bizarro World, has just been released. It has been met with generally favourable reviews. Are you surprised the way the album is received?

Well yeah, I am a bit surprised actually. I am surprised by how many good reactions we got on the new album. This really blew us away, so we are really happy about it!

The album has even entered the German charts, which is quite an achievement for a melodic death metal band.

What does this mean to you?

Well it means a lot of course. It’s something where you can see that your music has been appreciated by a lot of people. For myself, I never would have thought that something like this could happen. Again, this new record is the best thing to happen to us! We hope we can top it with the next one… ha ha.

Let’s move on your new album, entitled Bizarro World. It’s a concept album of sorts. What is the concept all about and how does this link all the songs together?

Bizarro World is about the idea to take our world as an organism – with all its body parts as society, nature, world views and virtues … as they should be and as they are … and sophisticate it. Which world is closer to the reality we live in … the way it is or the way it should be? Dealing with this question is the central theme in Bizarro World. Basti came up with this name and it also comes from the DC Comics. I think the name fits perfectly with the new CD and explains best what the lyrics are about.

What I like about Bizarro World is the fresh combination between later In Flames inspired guitar work and elements from pop music and dance, yet you managed to keep a metal edge to your music. What are your own views on this?

I think it’s brilliant. I don’t want to stick to just one specific style and play that the whole time. For me it would get very boring. So why not try to mix a lot of things together and make something special, even if it’s different styles that might sound weird to mix them. Just try and see if it works out. And that’s what we did, and I think it worked out fine!

How does the creative process works within Deadlock. What were you aiming for while writing the album?

Basti, the other guitar player in Deadlock, is the mastermind behind the band. Every process passes him and he gives everything that final touch, even if it’s the guitars, the vocals or the drums. So I guess this question would have been better to be answered by Basti… ha ha!

Bizarro World has a heavy, yet very modern production. It enhances the pop elements, but also the metal parts. How did you manage to create such a sound?

I guess Deadlock is a band with a lot of different influences. We all listen to different music in our private time and I guess this might be the reason why. But in the end Basti, our mastermind, is the reason why we have a sound like this!

I would like to play the devil’s advocate here. On Bizarro World the band walks the thin line between metal and pop music. Aren’t you afraid that your music may be too heavy for the mainstream crowd, but too poppy for the metal crowd?

Well, I guess we’ve walked this thin line before. The time when I got into Deadlock (6 years ago), we used to play shows together with a lot of metalcore bands and a lot of hardcore bands. We were a vegan straight edge metal band, so we played on shows with a lot of bands who were also straight edge minded or vegan or vegetarian minded. I think we didn’t really fit in there, we were too metal for that scene, but we were not metal enough to play in the metal scene, because nobody booked us on real metal shows. It was some years later that we started to play on bigger hardcore/metal festivals, and on some metal shows and then we jumped into the metal scene. So I am not afraid about this time. I think it’s cool to be like we are now.

Some of the songs would do great in clubs if they get a house remix. Would you ever consider doing such a thing and venture into musical scenes which aren’t your own?

We already made some remixes of songs, also two new ones on the new album. I think it’s cool if they play remixes in other musical scenes like the electro music scene. The more it is spread, the more people can hear it and if they like the remix then maybe they will also want to hear the real version. But I don’t think we want to do it all the time. We want to try and do new things, so we don’t want to do the same thing over and over again.

It has been confirmed that Deadlock will play on Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze. What are your expectations?

Wacken will be our first time, so I am very excited about that. For me it will also be the first time that I have been to Wacken, so I don’t really know what to expect. I am a very big fan of festivals so I am sure I will have a great time there, and I am sure that we will have a great time with Deadlock there. Summer Breeze is a really cool festival too. It will be the third time that we will play there. Two years ago we played a really cool show and I never could have imagine that we would play in front of so many people, and I never thought so many people would put their fists in the air and bang with us! That was cool! So I am really looking forward to play there again. I will probably take my tent with me and stay there the whole festival.

Time for the final question. What will the coming months look like for Deadlock?

Well at the end of this week we will play some German shows with Ill Niño. And then we will play some really great festivals in summer. We are planning to play some more shows out of Germany and we are also planning a bigger European tour after summer.

Thank you for doing this interview. Have you got any final thoughts or comments?

Yeah thank you very much for your interest and hope to see you all at a live show soon!!! Don’t hesitate to say hello!