An interview with The Last Hangmen about the album “Servants Of Justice” ( 18th June 2011)

Here’s an interview with Simon from The Last Hangmen on middle of Jun. This cool melodic death metal force based Dresden released their first full-length album on this July 1st! I had a great interview with Simon the guitarist, songwriter and the founder of the band. So, here we go.

Q:  The three songs in your free "Promo 2010" are very nice! When did you guys start as "The Last Hangmen"? Could you introduce me about all the members of the band?

Simon: First, thanks for the compliment! Well, it all started with my solo project "The last Hangman" (still singular, back then). My other band had split up and so meanwhile I continued to write songs on my own. After a few years I missed the feeling of kicking ass live on stage, but I also didn't feel like joining an existing band. So I decided to start a new band - I had finished songs anyway...

Simon:  I uploaded my songs to the internet, posted some requests and just after 2 hours I got the first message by a guy who offered his vocal-skills, even though I didn't ask for a vocalist. Well, what shall I say, somehow that dude managed to be our vocalist today...

But seriously, he, his name is Pether by the way, does a great job and right after some rehearsal sessions it was clear that he'll be the third permanent member.The third? Yes, in the meantime I accidentally got to know our drummer Ronny via the internet, although I was looking for another Ronny of whom I knew he was playing the drums. Before Pether joined us, Ronny and me rehearsed a few times and to make it short: from the first note we played together everything felt just right.

This all happened in May of 2009 and a few months later our lineup was completed by our bass player Sören, a good friend of Pether, and Pit (guitar) who later was replaced by Stefan who is also writing songs for us now; you'll hear a lot of him on our second album, which will really kick your asses again! So the actual lineup exists since about May of 2010 and, as it is, everything works out just fine.

Q:  Okay, here's the main topic: You guys finished making the first full-length already and it will be out on July 1st, right?

Simon: Yeah that's totally right! Our debut album "Servants of Justice" will be out on the 1st of July 2011. Actually we planned to release it in fall of 2010, but then just everything lasted longer. Recordings started in March of 2010 and were finished in November, when the material was finally mixed and mastered by a great guy, called Victor Santura (guitarist in the German black metal band Dark Fortress). At this point thanks to him again, we're REALLY pleased with the result!

The first album "Servants of Justice"

1. The Gallow March - Intro (2:40)
2. Lupara Bianca (4:17)
3. The Hypocrite (3:24)
4. Crash Course Dying (5:38)
5. Little Ease (3:36)
6. Hang'em High (3:33)
7. Knocking Tombstones Down (10:09)
8. Cloak and Dagger Operation (6:23)
9. Withdraw the Hangmen! - Outro (1:25)

Playtime: 41:06s


Q:  Could you tell me how the atmosphere of the album is? If you like, I would love to hear about the details of the songs, about the song titles or lyrics.

Simon:  Well, what can I say about the atmosphere and the details of the songs...
At first I've got to say that it's quite hard to describe your own music, you know? At some point in the writing process you're no longer in the place where you can really feel what the music expresses. You just do your thing and you just know "what's right and what's wrong", you lose the objectivity, cause you build up some kind of personal relationship to the song. To be harsh: It's like the phenomenon that all parents like their children, although they're (sometimes) ugly like sh*t. So again and again I'm relieved when a new song gets positive feedback from "neutral" people.

Simon:  Against this background, I'll try to tell you something about our music anyway, so here we go: Our genre would be Melodic Death Metal. In my opinion it's ridiculous to preach sh*t like: "Oh, our style is so new, you can't describe it with the already existing genres, so we have to put some stupid words in front of "Metal" and our OWN new genre is born. And oh yeah! All people will be SO excited what's hidden behind this new genre and everyone will listen to us, because we invented a completely new style".
In SOME FEW cases this MIGHT be right, but you just read things like this too often and too often it's just the 1000th rip-off of band XY. You can't describe one's music in a few words anyway, so I'm holding the view of just using the main genre that fits best.

Sorry, I'm drifting again...

Simon:  The atmosphere of the album diverges widely. I think it's because some of the songs were written years ago and by the time my composing style evolved and my experience in writing metal songs grew. For the intro and outro of the album we wrote orchestral arrangements to frame the whole work. Then we've got songs like "Hang'em High" or "The Hypocrite" which by the way are the two oldest songs and which aren't by far as brutal as "Knocking Tombstones Down". Every now and then we've some really catchy riffs and melodies, "Little Ease" for example is the most melodic song on "Servants of Justice", it's almost one huge melody... Some parts are just evil, partly supported with dark synths, and other parts are bitter sweet like the outro of "Cloak and Dagger Operation".

Simon:  We recorded the whole album without click by the way, which is quite unusually nowadays. We just wanted to catch some kind of live-feeling, what you can hear best in the outro of "Crashy Course Dying". As mentioned before it's really hard to describe your own music, so I recommend everyone who likes bands like Dimmu Borgir, At the Gates, Wintersun, the old Children of Bodom and so on, to take a listen to our music at our homepag or somewhere else - one mp3 tells more than thousand words...

Q:  How is the activity of The Last Hangmen this year?

Simon: Right now we're especially rehearsing for live shows, but Stefan and I are also writing new material for our second studio album. Four songs are already done! We're planning to hit the studio in spring 2012 again, but of course it depends on our progress in the songwriting process (oh, nice rhyme! but it'll surely get lost in the translation, so... never mind...).

I assume that we'll need 6 months again to record the whole stuff. The whole recording process is pretty time consuming, in particular cause we do lots of the work on our own. So when everything turns out well, there COULD be a second Hangmen album by the end of 2012, but I wouldn't count on that!

Simon:  The last months of this year we'll play some shows in Germany - to name a few: There's our CD Release Party and then there's the "Rock im Betonwek" Festival where Amorphis, Exodus, Alestorm and other popular acts will play, too!We're also still looking for a label who signs us. For now we're selling the album on our own. Well, that's pretty much it concerning our near-future-plans.

Q:  Do you have any message to Japanese metalheads?

Simon:  Yeah, of course! You guys rock!! We're SO DAMN LOOKING FORWARD to playing in Japan one day! People coming to concerts directly from work, still in their suits, and just partying hard and banging their heads off,


The Last Hangmen are:
Simon Konze - Leadguitar
Ronny Garz - Drums
Pether Hantsche - Vocals
Sören Kube - Bass
Stefan Beckert - Guitar


Okay, how do you feel about the interview with Simon? Actually, I received their first album ”Servants Of Justice” in my hand just few hours ago and played it, it’s so awesome with melodic guitars and evil vocals! As Simon said, you can check them stuff out on their web site!

18th June – Kumi666