Interview: German prog metalcore quintet AMBERS on the process behind debut EP COVARIANCE.
SICK AND SOUND presents to its readers an interview with AMBERS, a metalcore / progressive metalcore outfit hailing from Munich, Germany, consisting of Peter Lehmkuhl at vocals, Benjamin Hoti at vocals and guitar, Maurice Ernst at guitar, Felix Baumhauer at bass and drummer Tobias Ernst.
The band has been knocking around since 2017 and debuted on the scene with single Cold Embrace in 2018. Having released two further singles in July and August 2019, Covariance e Meager Skies, the band announced the release of their first record COVARIANCE EP on August 30th, 2019.
Our editor-in-chief Alex is catching up with the quintet who took some time out of their schedule to talk about their journey and sound, the writing process, the lyrical inspiration and challenges behind COVARIANCE EP and a couple of songs off the record.
For our track-by-track review (Italian review) of COVARIANCE EP please check out: www.sickandsound.it/ambers-debuttano-con-covariance-ep-su-una-formula-vincente-di-heaviness-e-catchiness.
- Hello AMBERS and welcome at SICK AND SOUND. Let’s introduce your band by talking about how it was brought together and what your influences in terms of genres and bands are.
The story began in late 2017, Ben (guitar/clean vocals) recruited us out of an extended network of mutual friends and musicians. With a foundation rooted in metalcore that incorporates progressive and djenty elements the writing was influenced by bands like Architects, Silent Planet and Currents.
- How did you come up with the name “AMBERS”, what’s the story behind that?
There is no real meaning or story behind it. We wanted a rather neutral sounding band name, and our drummer came up with “Ambers”. We all liked it – so it was decided.
- Your sound seems to be revolving around a fabulous formula of heaviness and melodic catchiness. So how is this balance achieved and what assets make it up to your sound? So someone can listen and say “Oh yeah this is typically AMBERS’ ”.
We think that balance is achieved by an instrumental backbone that is more reminiscent of metalcore, which is combined with vocals that are more extreme than usual for this genre. This combination creates an immense intensity in the heavy parts and yet the catchiness is preserved when the chorus kicks in. Our sound is achieved by putting an emphasis on progressive riffs paired with unusual yet melodic chords.
- You are dropping your debut EP COVARIANCE on August 30th, 2019, congratulations! What main lyrical themes were discussed in the record?
The lyrical theme portraits a dystopian view on humanity between failure of a species and insignificance of the individual. In a world where ignorance is not the catalyst to our demise but our inability to act in the face of our ruin.
- Let’s discuss the artwork.
We looked for an artwork that could portrait what we associate with the songs. The ominous yet not too gory design felt really fitting for that purpose.
- What was the general writing and creative process approached for COVARIANCE EP? Do you usually start from a riff, or rhythmic patterns..?
Ben wrote the songs mostly by himself, starting from a riff idea, relying more on his gut feeling than using a purely methodical writing approach. On the basis of his pre-production our drummer adjusts his parts and our vocalists writes the lyrics before we practice the songs in the rehearsal room.
- Let’s discuss the details of title track COVARIANCE and heavy hitter MEAGER SKIES and also the reasons behind releasing those two singles in particular to give your listeners a taste of your best output before the record was released.
We choose the two singles to preview the variety that you will find on our record, which is one of the features that make us special. The EP has a broad spectrum between all-out brutality and captivating melodies.
- What were the most challenging aspects working on your record?
Some of us had to overcome minor issues due to their limited studio experience, but the real challenge lays ahead of us – to achieve that next level of songwriting and musicianship we strive for and expect from ourselves.
- Your new record does not include your debut single Cold Embrace dating back to 2018. So what’s the mindset behind this choice?
We were thinking about re-recording “Cold Embrace” for the EP, but decided against it when we had enough new material to fill an EP by the time we hit the studio – so we felt no need to include it and focused on the new songs.
- Was different for this album as opposed to your very first single and how has the sound progressed or changed, if so?
On our EP are actually two songs that are older than our first single, so to speak there was no big change yet. However by now we have a new perspective on our songs and see what is yet missing to reach the next level, which we aspire to realize in the next releases!
- What else do you have in store in 2019 and how you guys are going about the promotion of this record? Shows, festivals, any further projects and revelations you wish to share.
We will play a lot of shows till the end of the year trying to reach new fans and establish Ambers as a force to be reckoned with in the south of Germany! Our goal is to gain as much attention as possible with the EP and to become an attractive support act for more established touring bands that make a stop in Munich as well as for tours. After our experience in July when we opened for Aborted and Decapitated on a big stage we can’t wait to see ourselves opening for further idols of us. In November we will be headlining the “future progression festival” in Munich with many great upcoming bands!
Thank you for your time AMBERS. All the best for the promotion of your amazing record. We fully support your music into Europe and US!
Ambers – Covariance EP tracklisting:
1. Meager Skies
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