WOLF COUNSEL SWISS DOOM METAL Band Questions answer by Ralf W. Garcia
Please introduce yourself and the band members briefly? Hello there, my name is Ralf W. Garcia, Bassist, Singer, Songwriter and Lyricist for the Doom Metal Band Wolf Counsel. We are a four piece band with two guitarists Andreas Reinhart and Ralph P. Huber and our drummer RetoCrola. What does the band name mean and how do you get it? Well it’s actually the meaning of my first name. Ralf derives from the Old Norse Rađulfr or Rathulfr, a compound name composed of the elements rađ, rath (counsel) and ulfr (wolf). The name, introduced by the Scandinavians, was reinforced by the Normans, who brought in the Germanic cognate Radulf, which is from the elements rād (counsel) and wulf (wolf). So when I was looking for a new band it seemed likely to use this name. Where and how was the band founded? Well originally it was my brainchild from the 1990s but then the band finally came into existence in 2014 when Reto (Drums) and I merged our enthusiasm for monumental low-tuned music and a great appreciation of heavy riffs into a new band. How did you get in contact with RiajGragoth who designed your logo and how did the cooperation work? That’ll be a very short answer. I just searched the internet for graphic artists who would design band logos. Have you played in other bands before? The other guys and I played (and still play) in many bands before. We are all veteran musicians playing since the mid/late 80s. Currently I play with our drummer RetoCrola in Poltergeist (Thrash/Speed) and Requiem (Death Metal) as well. I’m originally from Germany so I played in German bands all over the place as well. What are the lyrics about and who of you is writing them ? All the lyrics cover a wide range of topics. Many of them have their origin on personal experiences while others are about historic, philosophical and/or mystical themes. I myself write all the lyrics due to the fact that I’m singing them as well. Just makes the most sense. Which bands inspired you and how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard a sound from you? In regards to inspiration. There are so many bands and artists to name. For Wolf Counsel it would be all the classic Doom Metal bands like Solitude Aeturnus, Cathedral, Count Raven, Saint Vitus, Candlemass etc. Our sound is a fine blend of classic Doom signatures but with a lot more dirt and a 70s approach of building up tensions in songs. But we are definitely a Metal band. A very slow one for sure but it’s still Metal. We aren’t the sludgy or stoner kind of thing. Your last album Age of Madness / Reign of Chaos came out in 2017. how satisfied have you been with it and how was the sale going? In hindsight we would have composed some parts of the album differently but I think that’s just natural that one would change things after a while. That’s probably the curse if you are a creative human being. There are 4 songs from that album we always play live at the moment and these particular songs just work very good with the audience. So therefore we are very satisfied. In matters of sales. We don’t have all the numbers as of yet due to the fact that this album was released in Nov. last year but I can say that the limited edition of the Vinyl LP edition (300) are all sold out at least. Your new album should have come to my ears at came first time of next year! what can you tell us about it in which direction it will go musically and lyrically That’s right. As you mentioned our 4 th  album entitled “Destination Void” will be released early next year. February or March or so. We still have to negotiate some details with the labels that are interested in that new album. Well musically it will go in a more epic and complex direction. There will be tons of harmonies and strong choruses like on the last albums but it will be even more playful. More parts to work with and a lot more guitar soli etc. So it will definitely be an album that holds a lot of surprises and needs time to discover all the details. Lyrically it will cover topics like ancient/cryptic faiths, the destruction of our world, the influence of the digital development on mankind and a song about the first wave of the black plague back in 1346. There will even be a couple of sound interludes in between the songs just to enrich the whole atmosphere of the album. Why should people listen to our music ? In general I think there cannot be just one simple answer to that because everyone of us humans works different. So I’d say that our music is worth listening to due to our nearly 30 years experience as musicians and because we are real and honest with rough edges. We are not a highly polished product. We’re just a couple of veteran musicians doing the thing that we love. When the new album is finished there will be a tour We are already booking shows for after the release. The only definite thing I can say at the moment is that we will tour Ireland and the UK in April 2019. More shows and another full European tour will follow. It’s just too early to really talk about details here. It’s all in the making. What were your live highlights and with which bands did you play? That’s a tricky question because I played so many shows since I started in 1987. Well I remember a show in a football stadium back in 1997 in front of 15’000 people. That was in my hometown as support for Faith No More, Rammstein and Skunk Anansie. There were a lot of shows on tour I remember quite well. For me it’s always a highlight if we travel and play countries I’ve never been before. So the first time in Scotland, Slovakia and other eastern countries as support for the Polish band Vader was surely great and the first time in Ireland with Wolf Counsel was unbelievable too. We supported Orange Goblin back then. Imagine when you’re quite an unknown band and you play in front of 600 people and the crowd goes crazy! And the didn’t even know our songs. That means a lot. There were so many support shows I played with different bands for some well known names like Slayer, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Hypocrisy, Napalm Death, Monster Magnet, DevilDriver, Belphegor, Destruction etc. Have already resulted in friendship ? Well due to my job I meet some one of these musicians every now and then. So we know each other and it’s always great to hang out and chat. With what do you earn your money except with the music? Well with my current bands I don’t earn real money. It’s just not possible on our level. We just can cover our expenses so that we don’t have to pay everything by ourselves. Besides that I’m a guitar/bass tech, stage-/tourmanager for several touring bands and a live/studio/session bassist. In the course of next year I’ll begin to teach music theory and bass in private sessions as well. How important are social media for you as a band? It’s fairly important to us and considering our underground level it’s one of the only means to spread our stuff around the world due to the lack of a bigger label that would work for us. But we still believe that playing live is the most important thing to reach and convince people but social media is a very powerful thing if you do most things yourselves as a smaller, rather unknown band. What would you (her) want to achieve with the band? We just want to create great songs and full albums that make sense to ourselves. Music that has a high grade of musicianship and that is likely to really touch people. What more can you wish for? With us it’s all about the music which I still believe should be the most important thing. Art and creativity comes way before success and everything else in my opinion. Maybe you can recommend some bands from your area? Sure. There are bands like Mirror Of Deception, Ashtar and pur very good friends from Soothsayer (Cork, Ireland). The last example isn’t exactly from the area but a very good live band. PERSONAL QUESTIONS ! Where did you grow up and how was your childhood? I grew up in a city in Southern Germany called Konstanz. It’s at the Lake Of Constance (In German: Bodensee). My childhood was very nice on one hand living at a big lake with lotsp of forests. We always used to play outdoors. When I was a little older things changed due to some very serious alcohol related problems we had in my family. So growing up was at times very difficult and challeging. How was your school time you were rather the good student or the break clown Thinking back I guess both. Not at first but later when I was a teenager I liked to be a clown too. But I was always to nice and too serious I guess. I’m more of an emotional thinker type of guy. How did your parents react when you started making metal music? did they support you and how do you feel about your music today? Well the parents of my mother were both professional musicians before and after the second world war. So I grew up in a rather musical family. Not my father’s side that is. But anyway I guess my parents noticed my obsession with Metal music but they didn’t really care I guess. As far as support goes. No I never got any real support from them. I think they thought it was just a phase that I would grow out of eventually. Well nowadays they see that I travel a lot and play/work all over Europe so I guess they changed their minds about the whole thing but still they never saw me playing live to this day. It’s just not their thing I guess. Would you be successful in making music as a musician? I’m grateful that I’ve come this far. The small boy from Southern Germany came a long way. I never thought back then that I would play, record and tour for over 30 years now. So I think this is success to me. Of course I and most of my musician friends aren’t successful in a   commercial sense. But I learned that the “grass is not always greener on the other side” if you know what I mean. Are you someone who loves the hustle and bustle of the big city? or rather looking for peace and relaxation in nature? I’m not a real nature guy. I like living in a city or travelling to other cities but I really enjoy the countryside and landscapes in Ireland for example or other Northern regions in Europe. So just living in a relaxed place amidst nature for a couple of days or weeks is fine with me too. Do you actively practice sports or are you more of a passive spectator? I used to play Rugby when I was younger but that’s a long time ago but I still train in a nearby center just to avoid any major back problems while getting older. But that’s just about it. When it comes to your physical well you can cook or let you cook for you ? I really love cooking but I enjoy it too if my wife or someone else cooks for me of course. What does your environment tell you about your passion for metal (friends / family / colleagues) They fully accepted the fact that I’m a musician apart from the Metal thing. Most of the people I have close relationships to really like Metal too. So it goes hand in hand I’d say. How do you see the problem with the haters on the internet who have to announce their mental garbage in anonymity always and everywhere? Poor people. I can’t be healthy to be like that. I don’t pity them. I’d rather prefer these people would stop but that’s just how some people are. Over the years I learned a lot about Karma and stuff. So I guess someday this way of behavior will strike back. What do you think about the internet in general? a blessing or a curse? Interesting question but may be a redundant one because it is what it is. I said may be on purpose because   I think it’s really necessary to still question the whole existence of the internet. I think it’s neither nor. It’s both and nothing. Always depending on the perspective and the current individual situation you are in any given moment. For unknown underground bands it’s a great powerful tool that makes a lot of people independent. For really bad crimes it’s a curse because people can do really bad things all over the place in milliseconds. I believe that the internet changed and will change humanity in general. It’s probably comparable to the mankind’s first encounter with fire. How it will turn out will be a pure speculation but as far as I know mankind it will most likely a really bad development. What would you personally like to do in your life? First of all I’d like to stay healthy until I die and I do wish the same for all people I know of course. My goal is to just keep on writing, composing, recording, playing and enjoying my creative path until I’m physically not capable anymore to do it. That’s about it regarding music. On a more personal side I’d like to keep my integrity and honesty forever and I would like to be remembered as one of the good ones if that makes any sense to you. Which question would you like to have answered and why? The question would be: Why does greed and power always control all major decisions (and destroy a lot of good things) of human beings against their better senses? The reasons for this is that I still don’t understand why a lot of people in power are these soulless objects they are. Of course I know the answer to this but it will never make sense to me personally. Austria: Our neighbour/neighbouring country. I’ve been to Austria so many times. Our drummer Reto lives in Vienna for a couple of months every year. A country with great food and good taste of beers. I know a couple of musician friends from Austria very well too like Martin Schirenc (PungentStench) and Helmuth (Belphgor) Switzerland: It’s the country I moved to 15 years ago and the country I met my Spanish wife. So there’s a lot of history going on here. I don’t like mountains and greed. So that’s two reasons against it. But I have a lot of very close friends here which makes it a very good home to me/us. Soccer or Ski: I have a childhood trauma because my parents forced me to take Ski lessons. I don’t like it at all and never will. Family: To me family is more that blood relations. Family is what we carry within our hearts. It’s about people that I have an unconditional relationship with and that I really love from the bottom of my black soul. Cheese or chocolate: I prefer Cheese Poltergeist or Coroner: That’s quite obvious I guess. For me it’s Poltergeist: because I play in that band too. Candlemass or Trouble: Both, because they are just both such great bands and innovators of the whole Doom Metal genre. Reverend Bizarre or Cathedral: I love both very dearly. Metallica or Megadeth: Neither. I did like Kill’em All and Ride The Lightning, Peace Sells… and Rust In Peace when I was younger but nowadays I just don’t care about these two bands anymore. Thrash or Death Metal: Both. I really like/love music from both styles. Your top ten all time album faves: That’s a hard question. There are so many albums. Alright. Black Sabbath: Master Of Reality Rainbow: Rainbow Rising Iron Maiden: Killers Dark Angel: Darkness Descends Bolt Thrower: everything Type O Negative: everything Kiss: everything from 1973 to 1982 Rush: 2112 Scorpions: Tokyo Tapes Saint Vitus: Born Too Late Your five top album in moment Immortal: Northern Chaos Gods Voivod: The Wake Rush: A Farewell To Kings Deicide: Overtures Of Blasphemy King Diamond: Abigail The closing word is yours? Thank you very much for your support and we hope that you and your readers will enjoy our new upcoming album “Destination Void” in early 2019. Thanks & Cheers!
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