I had the pleasure of catching up with Julian Matejka, drummer for German outfit Over Your Threshold. The band’s debut album ‘Facticity’ was released earlier this month.
Can you please introduce Over Your Threshold to the readers, please?
Hi folks, we´re Over Your Threshold from Munich, Germany. We play what is called “progressive death metal”, in the style of Death, Cynic, Opeth, Obscura or Necrophagist. In case you like some of these bands, you should check out our new CD “Facticity” which was released a few weeks ago via Metal Blade.
How did you come up with the idea of the band?
The band was founded in 2006 by Lukas and Leo, I joined them a few months later. In the beginning they had a covers band and as they went along just wanted to play own songs. Then they started a metal band, were looking for a drummer… and so it began. The typical stuff.
How would you describe the Over Your Threshold style/sound?
That´s always difficult to describe, but we try not to be predictable. We started as a melodic death metal band and were teenage metal kids who wanted to party. It was the time when bands like In Flames, Children of Bodom and so on were at the peak of their career. But soon we got tired of doing the same shit over and over and started to take an interest in music which is a deeper and bigger challenge to manage. Our info text says we´re playing a technical style of death metal, with melodic and thrash parts and some jazzy hamonics… in my opinion this fits pretty well.
Do you have a particular writing process for songs or is it different for each song that you come up with?
Usually this is a standard procedure. Lukas comes up with a song idea or some riffs, and then we try together to bring out the best of every song. We add drums and bass to it and then arrange, delete, criticize and try out as long as it takes to get a good song. I’m curious about how the two new members will take part in the writing process.
Long-standing member Leonhard P. left you earlier this year. Did that have an impact on the recording process for ‘Facticity’?
No, “Facticity” was already finished for some months when Leo left the band. He lives and studies in an other country than us, and so it became harder and harder for him to stand the requirements that are needed to run a professional band. This is one of the reasons why we took so long to create “Facticity” and played so few shows in the past few years.
I believe Leo basically knew that his time in the band would end with the finalisation of the album, he simply had other plans for his future. But of course he wanted to leave a good impression, so Leo spent all the time and energy he had to make a good record like we all did.
You brought in guitarist Kilian Lau and vocalist Ludwig Walter following the departure, thus expanding the lineup to five. Have they settled in well?
I´d say yes, but I don´t know their way of thinking… haha! Nah, little joke. Yes, for sure, they settled in pretty well, it feels just like a new band with the old name and songs. When Leo left the band it was pretty hard to handle and we even thought about quitting the band, anyway he still is one of our best friends. But we gave it a shot, and Kilian and Ludwig fitted in so well from the very beginning that we soon got highly motivated again. Now with new members the band is more open minded, and they brought some fresh new influences with them.
Do you have a favourite track on ‘Facticity’? If so, why?
My favourite track to listen to is Desolation Row. I love the epicness of the intro and chorus and the melodies. My favourite track to play live is Facticity. We never played that song together before we entered the studio, so I had to improvise a lot during the recordings. Of course I was afraid if it would turn out well, so the pressure was pretty high. But it did, I´m a little proud of it and funnily it´s the coolest song to play on the record.
Do you have any all time favourite albums or songs?
Of course I have! My all-time favourite album is Damnation by Opeth! The way Martin Lopez and Martin Axenrot are playing drums inspired and drove me over the years. Also the tone and feeling of Mikael Åkerfeldt and the whole groove of Opeth is very musically and not really common in metal. At the moment I´m listening a lot to a Swedish rock band called Crazy Lixx.
Any memorable band experiences that you would like to share?
Phew, there are plenty of them, but almost all of them are nasty or x-rated. I´m sorry, I hope next time we have real memorable experiences to share!
What is planned next for you guys? Will we see you in the UK soon?
We´re working with high pressure to confirm new shows, and some good news may come up within the next few weeks… so let´s see. But for the UK we have nothing to offer at the moment, I´m very sorry… we hope for the next year.
Any messages you would like to pass on to the readers?
If you like death metal in a progressive way, check out our website http://www.overyourthreshold.de and share your thoughts with us! We all hope to be on stage in the UK in near future and we´ll definitely grab the first chance we can get to go there! Thanks for the interview, bye and stay tuned!
Many thanks to Julian for taking the time to fill this out.
Ludwig Walter – vocals
Lukas Spielberger – guitars
Kilian Lau – guitars
Christian Siegmund – bass
Julian Matejka – drums