Soul Cages interview

"We will never be such famous like DreamTheater or Fates Warning, but we’ll work together with Soul Cages cause we like to make and create music together"

25/09/2013 @ 12:20
After an absence of almost fifteen years, one of the top underground progressive metal bands return with their new, excellent album "Moon" a strong and inspirational return on the spotlight. We spoke to drummer and key member since the beginnings of Soul Cages, Jorg Nitschke, who explained the reasons for the multiannual absence, the recording process, the new album and their special relationship with the Greek audience, which they ‘ll visit in early November for gigs. Soul Cages are back.

First of all, congratulations on your new album. It seems like "Craft" or "Moments" released a couple years ago, "Moon" is absolutely brilliant.
Thanks a lot for your congratulations and praise to our new album “Moon”.It took it’s time, but now it’s released.

Soul CagesFollowing "Craft" album what happened to the band, which had as a result so many years on hiatus?
The time between the “Craft” album and the “Moon” album is really long  we know but we had some changes in musicians. Enrique, the keyboard- player on the last album went away no big miss for us, cause on the “Craft”  album there were too much keys and too loud mixed keys in comparison to the guitars and the rest. You know, if you have a constant keyboard-player in the band, he also wants to play, but we only need the keys mostly for background and fills. So In the end we’re absolutely ok with this decision. A few times later Stephan quit the job as bass-player, what we were really sad about, but he decided to spend more time in his real job and more qualifications in this job, that he didn’t had that much time to work together with Soul Cages. We are still good friends, but met only a few times form then uptil now. Then we searched for a new bass-player for a long time, cause we didn’t only want a good bass-player, but a friendly nice person with a good character, that fits in the band. In a way we are extremely special and different from mostly musicians. During that time some of us had big and difficult personal problems in family etc. so we didn’t spend that much time for the music like we had to and others expected us to do. So we found Jörg and it took a long time to work out the old and new songs also for live performances. In the beginning of 2012 Jörg quit the job as bass-player and we started to search someone again. At first we contacted Stephan again. We met him, but he isn’t interested in to play the bass again. He didn’t do something with music anymore. The we asked Ingo Vieten a very good friend of us for a very long time and the recorder and the producer of the “Moments” album, to do the job and he did. We are very proud about his decision, cause he is a very good friend of us for a long time and fits in our characteristics very, but very well. And he is a good bass-player, too. So we are complete again.

Soul Cages - MoonHow was the recording process?
The recordings of the album were made in our self built-up recording studio called SOUNDCAGES studio in Hemer. We did the mixing and mastering at “Studio 25” together with Ingo, our bass-player. With him we produced the “Moments” album too. The songs of the new album are in the same kind like we always write songs. We use that kind of style, cause we like it like it is. We don’t like to create songs and sounds like other bands only cause of a modern reason or something else. We like the way we do creating songs and will do that also in fourthcoming songs. We hope, that people will like that. The last album “Craft” has too much keys on and the keys were also too loud in mixing. That’s the problem, if you have a constant keyboard-player in the band. So it was the best way to get him out of the band. The sound of the new album is a lot more brilliant and more differentiated like at the last album and more similar to the “Moments”- album. The songwriting process of the new album is the same like at all the albums in before. It is always the same like at the beginning of Soul Cages. Mostly my brother Knut has a good idea and we all create a song of it afterwards. Everybody brings in his own ideas, so everybody is satisfied with his fills, which is very important for the song itself afterwards. Afterwards you have the situation, that all people in the band like all the songs, cause everybody created it in his own parts. Surely, in the end there should be a good song, so everybody has to make a little compromise. The nice thing in us is, that we like to play every song we ever released- that’s really fun in music. We always create the songs for our own and are very proud, when people like them also afterwards. We will never release albums for using a trend, that’s maybe actual at the time- be sure about that. The lyrics are always the last part before finishing a song.

Soul CagesWhen did you decide to make a new startup as a band and why did “Moon” take so long to be released?
The years after the “Craft” album are sometimes boring, frustrated and we weren’t that motivated. We are all very, but very good friends and we love to make and create music together, but sometimes we need a kick from somewhere. We were still alive through the years between “Craft” and “Moon” and meet at our rehersal room nearly every week. We played the songs and change and leave away parts for several times. Cause of different things changed on our private, personal and working life we had stops in creation from time to time. The same way with the recordings. These time-out’s we had with the recording for the new album, too. The songs were nearly ready now long ago and the recodings of some parts also, but it took it’s time to make it ready in the end. Then we decided to built up our own label SOUNDCAGEmusic, which had a lot bureaucracy with it. You cannot believe how much papers you need for building up this label, but in the end we are very happy with the situation right now. The albums is our, we got a lot honor for that album and we are a little sperated from the whole business to go our own way with the label. Surely it’s a lot more work, but we are closer to the fans and can react easily and a lot more directly. We hope that the internet is a good place for us to promote the new album. We still wanted to release this album and will release fourthcoming albums a lot closer now- be sure about that. It’s planned to release the next album in 2015/2016. It always takes us a long time to create new songs- that’s the same situation like from the beginning, but we like to release good quality albums and not a quantity of albums with maybe only 50% good songs. We don’t need to live only from the music in life and we don’t have a record label that force us to release an album every year. That’s a great and independently situation for us.

Soul CagesDo you think now the time has come to make Soul Cages a widely known band, using the power provided by internet?
I don’t really know to answer that. If described situations weren’t going such bad for us through the time between “Craft” and “Moon”, we would have released the album a lot earlier. The moment to release it this years is not especially choosen by us to make us a widely known band. The idea to built up an own label and distribute the album by the fourthcoming webshop on our internet- homepage under was made years before. We like to have a try to do that and hope for a successful work. The internet is a nice platform to use for things like that we hope. Colored promotional advertising in magazines are very expensive to make these with your own small label, so the internet provides a lot more for small bands like us. Today a lot of people use the internet for a lot of things every day and music freaks use it also to get information and news about everything, so we hope, that not that much people have forgotten us from the past and will get in contact with us again. Promotion in every way is very important for us and we’ll be on facebook with a page there soon. For us it’s nice, when the news about the release of our new album goes step by step. We will never be such famous like DreamTheater or Fates Warning, but we’ll work together with Soul Cages till the end of our lives- be sure about that, cause we like to make and create music together till we’re old and grey. And If there will be a few people who like that creations, we will be satisfied and honoured enough. It’s nice to leave a small track in this wide world for fourthcoming generations.

Is there any concept behind "Moon"?
No, there is no special concept behind "Moon". We haven’t done any concept album by now, but I personally would like to do this somewhen in future. Maybe we’ll release one later on- who knows?

Who was the driving force inside the band during "Moon" sessions?
There was no special driving force inside the band during the "Moon" sessions. We wanted to release this album to end another step in the band and begin to work at new material for the next step.  It’s just a normal and important process for everyone.

Soul CagesDo you feel progressive metal fans are aware of your musical contribution during the 90’s, a time where prog metal wasn’t as popular, as it’s nowdays?
I don’t know, if progressive metal fans these days know us by name nowadays or from the past. When our official homepage is ready, we maybe could answer that a lot more exactly, cause now we only got in contact with people that got our e-mail contact address, These days we have nice contacts mostly to fans from the past, that are still interested in us and our music, which is very honourful for us- be sure about that. That really seems unbelievable for us cause we haven’t released or done something official in press etc. We also got in contact with different magazines that were interested in to write reviews about the new album. Right now we are very proud to get such great reviews about the new album. We’ll put on links on our fourthcoming homepage for interested people to read including old reviews from the first three albums. So people may get in mind our musical contribution during in before in the 90’s. I don’t know how much or less popular  the progressive scene really is nowadays. If it is really popular today, it would be very nice to reach interested people to listen to our music. Maybe the youtube- page in the internet or radio- stations will help in promotional way therefor. A working homepage- we hope this will be soon in future- and a facebook-site will hopefully help too. We’ll see.

As you’re already aware, here in Greece you have a strong fanbase. What are you expecting to meet coming for the gig?
Yes, it’s really unbelievable. We got in contact with a lot of greek people uptil now and it seems that there is really a strong fan base there. We always dreamt to come to Greece once  a time for concert, cause a lot of people asked us for coming there in the past. These days we don’t have any contacts to someone that could book us for a club. From here in Germany you have no chance to make it on your own. It’s impossible to arrange that from here including the promotion for a concert. We are really happy, that we’ll come there in November. We hope that the promotion is going well to reach enough people for these two concerts. At first the people, that wait so long time to see us live. We hope that people will have a lot of fun at the concert and hope to keep these concerts in mind, because we never know, if this will happen again in future. We hope to come to Greece to promote our fourthcoming albums too, but you never know, if there will be someone that books us for coming to do that. We hope to have a nice time with the fans of us and our music.

Soul CagesWhat should the fans expect?
We’re always doing our best in live-performance if there will be a crowd of 5 or 500 people there- that doesn’t mater and we’ll play a mixture of songs from all four released albums.

Not a while ago, in we made a special article including some of the best progressive albums of all times, and there is “Moments” of course. Do you agree? If you could include something else what could it be?
Yes, we’re very proud that the “Moments” album is included there. For us it’s really a big honour, that you pick this album up for the article. I personally like the “Moments” album also at most, too and liked to get the sound of the “Moon” album as clear and brilliant like it was on the “Moments” album. Therefor we wanted to produce the “Moon” album only with Ingo Vieten again. We are absolutely very satisfied with the sound of the new album and will produce the fourthcoming albums with him too. The sound and mixing of the “Craft” album for example we’re not that satisfied with. The keys, were too much in front, as we normally use them and the complete sound is not that differentiated like it should be. The songs were also very great- I think-, but the whole sound doesn’t show that to the listener. So I agree, that, if you put one of our albums on this listing, this should be the “Moments” album. It’s a nice album, that really shows the emotions and feelings we like to describe in our songs including the lyrics. What else should I say:”Thanks a lot for that”!

Could you describe some of your main influences for someone who isn’t familiar with your music?
We are influenced by a lot of different kinds of music, cause everybody listens different styles of music personally. There are only a few bands all people in Soul Cages like the same way. There I can mention: Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Marillion and Metallica. The complete spectrum reaches from classic to Slipknot. The most important thing is to be opened to other music during the whole life. I personally think, that music should be close to your mental feeling at every moment. Therefore is a kind of music that can support your feelings. All elements in our music should definitely show different feelings in normal life. All the used elements in our songs show the spectrum and change of different feelings in life situations.

Soul CagesIt seems you have a standard lineup, you just released a new album and playing some gigs. Any new plans yet?
Yes, now we’ve built up a new fantastic line-up again with Ingo as the new bass-player.  We plan to make an official video-clip to one of the songs from the new album and we’re working at new songs for the fourthcoming album. We hope, that we could promote the new album at a lot of places wherever people like us to hear and play. I personally like to make a concept album and a live- album somewhere in future. We plan to release a new album in 2015/2016- definitely. We’re back again and plan to release new albums every 2-3 years, if nothing special will throw us back in normal life. We’re really motivated again to be creative after getting such nice reviews about our work.It seems that there are a lot more people interested in us and our music as we expected. That gives a lot additional motivation to us.

Thanks a lot for the interview, would you like to add something as an epilogue?
We have to thank you for your still interest and believe in us and our music. "Moon" album is self distributed by our own label and is only available at our webshop in our official homepage under: when it’s online next time but now available under: or at live concerts. We hope to meet you and a lot of old and new fans at the concerts in Greece.

Panos Papazoglou