SENCIROW - CROWN OF CREATION
SENCIROW - PERCEPTION OF FEAR - AFM
The man fronting the German band Sencirow might be called Kensington, but his command of English is less then perfect as an interviewer will soon discover. That though is compensated by the band's no-nonsense approach to heavy metal, which prompted Metallian editor Ali "The Metallian" to speak to the man - whose name is actually Daniel Seifert - about the group's recent release Perception Of Fear through AFM Records. - 10.09.2006
METALLIAN: Kensington, your debut album shows marked improvement over your past material. To what do you attribute this?
KENSINGTON: We had a long time to produce the Perception Of Fear album. We recorded it in 2004, two years ago, and we had three years to practice between the Crown Of Creation demo and this album. I think we grew together as members. We had enough time to play and enough time to make better songs and the production is also really cool. This is the thing we needed for our band. The demos are OK, but we recorded them in a studio in our neighbourhood. We entered a real studio for the album and I think the production is really cool and we needed it!
METALLIAN: Did the band become faster and heavier in the meanwhile or do you attribute the perception to the production?
KENSINGTON: No, I think it is because of the production. It is not heavier or faster. We wrote the same kind of music, OK not exactly the same, I think we have grown up and in this time we had to write the music and gather influences from other bands and friends. We also did many shows and concerts in the meanwhile and I think that's why and how we wrote the Perception Of Fear and this kind of music!
METALLIAN: To my ears the album is more intense than the demos, but you dispute a connection to the band's style.
KENSINGTON: Yes, the producer in the studio kicked us in the ass and said you have to do, try, you must be better. It was also the first time we played with a click track and weren't live in the studio.
METALLIAN: Here is the question you must have heard a thousand times, but I have to ask what is the meaning behind the name of the band?
KENSINGTON: The name of the band is Sencirow and there is no meaning behind it. It is only a name. There is no translation or anything. We had drunk a lot of Jack Daniels and our drummer uttered this word, which we all liked. So we said OK lets take this name for our band!
METALLIAN: What was he really trying to say?
METALLIAN: If you can't explain the name of your band maybe you can explain you name, what is the Kensington alias about?
KENSINGTON: It's a nickname. Once when we met with some friends we had this German snuff which was so strong that everybody fell to the ground”¦
METALLIAN: A couple of songs on the album were originally on your demos.
KENSINGTON: Yes, title track from the first demo is here. We recorded it because we had enough time in the studio and the boss of the record label said he would like to have it on this new record as he liked it very much. It's OK. We thought about it and we had time to record it so we did it again. It is the same song, but with better production and so I think it's really a good part of this album.
METALLIAN: Any other songs survived from the demos?
METALLIAN: So the song Fear has nothing to do with the song Wages Of Fear?
KENSINGTON: No, the other songs were all written after the Dawn Of Creation demo.
METALLIAN: Let us talk about your lyrics and your point of view. It is easy to notice that you have opinions about real things or events.
KENSINGTON: Yes, that's right. We try to tell stories so when you read the lyrics you can find some things that happened in your life too and not about dragons. That's not our stuff and that's not the things we want to write about.
METALLIAN: Give me an example of something that worries you or concerns you in the world right now.
KENSINGTON: When you take the song War Games for example the lyrics are about the war in media. You sit in front of it in your chair with a beer in your hand and it is amusing for you to watch the war, but we are so far away from the war that nobody really thinks about it and nobody is really in the middle of the war and crime and the problems are not yours. So you can say 'OK I turn it off the TV and the problem is gone for me.' One looks the other way and OK that's it! This is the kind of war games the lyrics refer to.
METALLIAN: You have powerful songs, but your cover artwork for the demos and the album are not very exciting or different or really interesting at all. What do you think about what that opinion?
KENSINGTON: The first demo's cover was done by our bassist. He had to create something with colours which we liked and used. The second demo depicted the Crown Of Creation as the earth.
Now for the album we thought that the eye is the mirror of your soul and so you can perceive things or fears through your eye. We take it in with our eyes at first. We thought that this it's a really great cover for this title.
METALLIAN: So you disagree with me?
KENSINGTON: Yes, we like the covers, but who knows what happens when we record our next one or what will be on the next cover. We have some lyrics and songs and perhaps more time to think about it.
METALLIAN: You will probably not be surprised if I say my favourite songs are Burn It Down and Connection Of Evil, right?
KENSINGTON: I like those song too. We play them every time we play live. I think Burn It Down is a little bit thrashier. I play in another band called Sarx and that influenced me. I wrote this song alone and came to the rehearsal room and showed it to the guys here. It is the hardest song on this album. I created the solo in the studio and I think it was the first take because the only song that didn't have a solo was Burn It Down which we wrote in the studio!
METALLIAN: What can you say about the song Connection Of Evil?
KENSINGTON: It is a really cool song. We had a problem with it because we didn't like some parts of it because it was a little bit different from the recorded version. So we asked Thorsten, our other guitarist, to think about changing this or that since he wrote it and so overnight, first time in studio he came with his recorder and showed us the new Connection Of Evil and our drummer played the song for the first time in the studio and we recorded it.
METALLIAN: Several songs towards the end of the album, like Keeper Of Souls and Storm, are influenced and sound like '80s metal.
KENSINGTON: Yes I agree. We have a lot of influence from bands of the '80s. We have grown up with these bands and so I think its normal that we have some influences from these bands. We all like Accept and grew up with them, Rage and Blind Guardian. I think a few influence and '80s trademarks are in these songs too.
METALLIAN: To many your voice falls somewhere between Hansi of Blind Guardian and Ronnie Atkins of Pretty Maids. What do you think of those comparisons?
KENSINGTON: Yes, there is a little bit to that if you think about the earlier Blind Guardian albums. I think there is a little bit Peavey from Rage there too as he was an influence on me. I try not to sing with such a clean voice. I want to sing a little bit heavier and with more power not like bands like Hammerfall - not so high as them.
METALLIAN: What do you think of the comparison to Pretty Maids' Ronnie Atkins?
KENSINGTON: We don't listen to them so much. I have one of their albums called Future World.
METALLIAN: I also want to ask you about German bands, of which you mentioned a few. In your opinion who is now the best German band nowadays?
Blind Guardian is one of them I think. Gamma Ray, Rage of course... that's difficult because so many good bands are out there. Complex 7 is a really good band and songwriters, but they don't really have much support to get really big.
METALLIAN: What is next for Sencirow?
SENCROW: Next we have some shows here in Germany, 3 or 4 at this time. After that we will record a new album. We are writing new songs and perhaps will record it next March or April.
More on Daniel "Kensington" Seifert, second guitarist Thorsten "Flip" Ernst, bassist Holger Fischer and drummer Timo Schneider can be had at www.sencirow.de.
If you enjoyed this, read Primal Fear