DEW-SCENTED :  interview with Leif Jensen


face to face  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo ___    

at Werk 21 in Zürich - 29.10.2004   Hallowseve - Tour 2004

organized by Hellfire, Dew- Scented  and gryphonmetal.ch

Dew-Scented live in Zürich Hallowseve tour 2004
Dew-Scented live at Earthshaker 2004








Here we are at Dynamo Werk 21 together with Leif Jensen, frontman of the German extreme Metallers Dew-Scented! Hi Leif, what does it means for Dew-Scented to be one of the most aggressive, brutal and fast  metal band of Europe? I mean, Dew Scented play a real Thrash/Death metal without compromises.

Thanks for the words, i mean, i wouldn't have said that about ourselves. Anyway, this is normal, it's natural for us. We basically play the music that we like to listen ourselves. I always like to say, that if there is a band who sounded exactly like us, probably we wouldn't make music, we would be in the first row having fun and listening to the other band. For us...we just grew up with Trash, with Death Metal and happened to be able to make this kind of music and make albums and play shows, and so we don't really think about it. It is part of my life since 12 years, since the band started in 1992 and it became part of my daily business in a nice way. There is nothing fake in Dew Scented to think about, this is just us, some guys taking their instruments and starting to make music. We don't think about "lets make it faster" or something like that. I think , even if we write a ballade probably it would sound like this. 

Which are your impressions and your considerations about Impact , one year after the release?

Actually the album sounds very fresh to us. We played a lot of shows with the album and it sounds still very fresh. We can identify ourselves with most of the songs,... you know, they are very cool to play life, they were written to be easy to perform, more catchy and more direct than some of the albums before, so we're still having a good time with it, but at the moment we have also a lot of pressure and a big challenge to write new songs, because we go to enter the studio very soon, we start recording in January and so we do the last handful of shows for this year and then we will have a break to write songs. We have already 12 new songs and Impact is very inspiring, because that's our minimum gold that we have and we want to reach that level quality and aggression and even take it further, so we are spending a lot of time with the new record right now.

Impact is a bit addictive as well, it remains always on the same level as before. It comes indeed  the desire "ehi, lets listen to "Dew - Scented today..." !...

That is how we do ourselves as well. Our biggest influence in the last five years has been our own music. We don't try to look at  other bands, what are they doing or try to be as cool as them, i mean, it is not a competition, we don't care,.. we are pretty much in the run against ourselves, as we want to progress, we want to make steps forward to make the ultimate record and i think we are getting closer from album to album, but we are not there yet and so we can improve a lot with the same elements and the same approach. We are pretty much looking forward  doing the album:  to see what it comes out like.

The critics about Impact where very positive, and some people talk about you as the new Slayer...

...that's bullshit.....
You know, there are a couples of classes, a couple of leagues, you know, there is the beginning league, the medium size league, the big band league and there is Slayer, i mean Slayer is somewhere on a throne. Slayer were doing extreme Thrash when i even started to listen to music. So this is a very tough comparison. I think there is a certain  resemblance, a certain comparison level because we obviously have some trademarks that they also have, i mean, it's a band that have inspired us a lot during the last ten years, but i would never compare with them, because they are just huge and we are a German thrash band.

...but we live in modern times, so we need new bands...

...i really appreciate your words, and it is always flattering when someone comes up and say "i used to love Slayer, but i don't like their last albums, you guys are taking over"..., it's great to hear, but i myself, being a Slayer fan, but i would say, there is a big, big, long way between and actually i even like Slayer, of course its not running blood and obscene anymore, but i think it is still the heaviest band possible. So I respect them too much to compare with them.

Actually there is a new wave of heaviness coming from the united states with bands like Shadows Fall, Lamb of God and All That Remains. Have you ever played with those bands?

We did a couple of festivals with this bands, we did the New Metal and Hardcore Fest in New Jersey last year and i think there is a lot of common ground between our style and elements and theirs. I think the American scene is happening a little bit later than the European Thrash scene and it has a lot of crossover to the hardcore audience, crossover because of the ethics, because of the background of those bands and the do- it -yourself attitude, and i think that is healthier than the Rockstar thing that happens in Europe, because a lot of the bands over here they record an album and than they are something better:  i think that's bullshit. I think you have to work, work, and work instead of hoping you can live from music. From this music we are playing you can not survive, you can not live from it, only if you put 24 hours a day into music, and nobody does it, so i like the spirit of the American new breed of Metal. We were just listening to the new album from Lamb of God and it is a very good album, it is like a new Pantera, you know.

I think Dew Scented can play very well together with those bands...

...we actually do that, we do tours with some of those bands, even with the European bands like Caliban or Cataract, and these are really good bands, we have lots of similarities in the attitude, so right now we have a good potential to crossovering with that scene as well: it is more than welcome, because a couple of years back there was no link between Hardcore and Metal, i think that was a mistake. We have always been big fans of Hardcore and Punk ourselves and it was always a shame to see the scenes who wanted to stay apart. Why? it's music, it's quality, it's extreme, why not doing it together.

Cities of the Dead... i personally think, it is one of the  hit -tracks of the album Impact. How was it created?

To be honest, we felt in love with two riffs of that song, i mean, it is obviously the softest song on the album, like midpace it is more groovy. It is very straight forward. The song started just with the beginning riff, we liked it and said we gonna take it as long as needed, as long as it feels good, because normally you try to play two time here, two times there and four times there, and with that song, we liked the riff so much that we continued playing it until to its very end . It is a very easy song and a very good song for concerts, because there is not a lot of progressive technical "blub,blub,blub" just like In your Face, its our favourite song and i like the lyrics of this song.

I'd like to make a question about drumming, the drums are very good. Congratulation to the drummer.....

...he is a machine..... 

...that's valid for  all tracks, but... in particular the song Down my Neck, it has a fantastic drumming...

I actually agree, but do you know what happens to this song? It was so complicated and so much, that we never play it live, because this song was getting to a war affair in the rehearsal room, because it was getting always more extreme, more complicated and more rythmical, it is a very rythmical song, and when we finished writing this song we noticed that it is about six minutes, it is a really long song. A normal song is about 4 minutes and for playing it live, it is too long, and so we said, this song is good, but we never play it live.

ohh...the drumming is excellent...

Anyway, we have a replacement drummer since the last six months. 

ahh ...eh?...Did Uwe leave??

No, Uwe is not playing with us since the last six months because he is preparing his exams at the university, so he is doing his exams right now, but he is still part of the band of course and we rehearse with him for the new album, we write the songs with him. But for the live gigs we have Marc from Obscenity playing with us. He is doing all the shows since July, he is doing a really good job... he is a little bit faster than Uwe, he is more of a Death metal drummer, but it fits well and he is a good guy, but its not Uwe tonight playing.

Considering the artists and bands of which you are a fan, you have told, that you are a huge fan of Slayer, but i have read, on the official site of the band ( www.dew-scented.de ),  that you are also a fan of  DeadCan Dance or not metal artist like Kate Bush.

Yes, I like female voices in general. My favourite artist is Tori Amos together with the piano, and i think she is one of the best musician.

Ah well, this combination Dead Can Dance and Kate Bush is not new to me, i mean, there are also other bands that play for example gothic rock,  who listen to this combination too.

It is, ... i don't think they influence our music, it is more a personal thing of mine and i don't think that the other guys from the band have ever heard Dead Can Dance for example, that is just personal for me, and i think opposites are always good. You know, its like,... i like to eat sweet and sour..., just whatever is a good contrast. If we listen the whole day to Cannibal Corpse, we will sound like Cannibal Corpse, for me it is very important to keep a balance, and this music for me is the relaxing music, i mean, metal is a big part of my life and i like it extreme, but when i like to have a relaxing time, a quiet moment, i don't play Panthera or Morbid Angel, i play Tori Amos or Dead Can Dance. Music is for moods, you know, if you feel like serene and quiet, you wont listen to Grindcore. For me it is 70% metal, but i have a big heart for pop music too, i like good songs, and pop songs are better than grindcore songs, no question for me. I'm not a fan of Genesis, but Genesis write better songs than a Grindcore band, we don't need to discuss about that, it is a fact. Even though i prefer Grindcore than Genesis, but the better songs are the pop songs.


ohh by the way Genesis!! What do you think about Phil Collins?

I have no feelings for Phil Collins, for me that is an old guy that plays drums....
but for me he is a good musician too,  he sold lots of good albums,  he was important for the pop history, but i don't have any personal relationship to him.

ehh yes! ...(note: i like Phil Collins too) ...oh Back to  Cities of the Dead and its lyrics,  i have noticed, that the lyrics are not very easy. They are deep and complicated, it is not just some words put together...


The lyrics on Impact are the most easy lyrics we have written, on the other records the lyrics are more complicated and Impact was trying to be more catchy and direct and also with a message, but still i like symbolism. I don't like to say "the colour green is ugly", i don't like to say that, i prefer to say "... red is different than any other colour", and so you can use your own mind and follow your idea. There is a very simple easy meaning in Cities of the Dead, it is all about the big stupidity that every human being has about create and destroy. You know, we build a city to drop a "bomb" on it and that's the whole reason why we build the city. We don't build a city to have fun and a good time, we build the city to destroy it, and i'm not talking about war. The bigger a city gets the inhuman it gets,  i don't know why.

Vanished Future, ...he i have copied a small part of the lyrics " vanished future - preview the past -  Necropolis rise" , this is an involution...

Exactly, this is about the contradiction of doing a step forwards and a step backwards, which means that you do nothing at all, and it is stupid, i mean, history repeats itself.
This is a fact, history repeats itself sometimes after 100 years sometimes after 500 years, but it is always the same balance, the same circle,  i don't know why, because we're becoming more intelligent, we have more possibilities, we are more connected, you know, the internet alone changed the world so much, but still its the same bullshit over and over again. The song is a criticism about ourselves, because i'm the same, i'm also just a human. What do i do?.. Wasting my time , watching TV, i don't take care of my friends enough, i drop my chewing gum on the floor..., we do all this bullshit things and i don't know why... it is not necessary, but it happens.


Consider now this list of totem animals, and tell me which one would you choose as totem for your band : Dragon, Eagle, Bear, Hawk , Lion, Lizard, Wolf, Swan.

I would say Lizard, i don't know why, but i don't like birds, because birds have something weird about themselves, .. i don't think that Dew Scented is a lion, you know, everybody wants to be a lion as it is the king of the animals, but we are not, we are pussycats when it comes to that.  Lizards are a nice animal, nice enough,  shy enough, with  a very own character. They don't go with other animals, they don't go with people. Maybe if i think about it, i would take another one, but spontaneously i would say the lizard.


Could you tell me two things that you consider infinite?

...that  i consider infinite?..... ,jesus,...., i actually think that nothing is infinite. Everything has an end, it is very natural that everything has an ending point, maybe something like emotions can be infinite in certain times, altogether they are not infinite, because emotions are personal and when the person fades away...but maybe infinite are the emotions about the person who fades away,.... and money, money and power. The power of money opens every door and i think that power is really infinite.


Have you ever sung in German?

No, i dislike the sound of the German language, its like the band who is playing upstairs tonight, Subway to Sally, it is a great band, but when i hear German vocals ..... nah!...it just chuckles me. I think German is a nice language for the tradition for the rough sound, but, especially for metal, it is too limited, ... English has much more possibilities to make it transparent, to make it sneaky. When i read books, i prefer them in English, but maybe it depends to the fact that i grew up with Spanish.

So, one of your parents is Spanish?.

No, we lived in South America.  By the way, lots of bands are singing in German, so good luck for them...

The last question, it is our typical gryphonmetal question. It is called the Game of the Tower. There is a very high tower, and on top of this tower there are three bands waiting for you,  you have to go on top of this tower and kick down two of them saving only one.

Which are the three bands?

Amon Amarth, Six Feet Under and Vomitory!

Metal Blade is gonna kill me, they are all three Metalblade bands. I actually don't know... this is just virtual, i wouldn't kick down none of these bands...


well , at least one Metal Blade will be saved...!

...well, i think i would keep Amon Amarth, because we toured with them a couple of times and they are good friends of us and we saw them growing up. Our first bigger tour was even their first bigger tour in 1998 and we toured with them again last year, and so i will keep them.
We toured also with Six Feet Under one time, but i don't like their music, and Vomitory,  i just saw them a couple of times,  i don't like them very much, so wouldn't kick down anyone, but i will keep Amon Amarth for sure.

Would you like to leave a message for your fans?

Actually thanks for the time and the attention they put into the band, we appreciate that, because it is part of the machine which keeps us going, and this interview has been really challenging, like a lot of good questions, you know,  it was a pleasure for me to be part of this, and don't spend too much time in the internet, that's not healthy.

ahhh :D!  it was a pleasure for me too! Thanks a lot for your time, Leif!!

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