by MythofRock

Hailing from Freiburg, Germany, Inner Sanctum is a melo death force, which should be reckoned with. Myth of Rock, shocked by the band’s furious and easy-to-distinguish material, spoke with Christian “Farms” Brand (guitar) and got some really interesting answers! Get ready for the great  … odd ones!

by Alex Nikolaidis

First of all, give us some information about the early days of the band. How did the band start, and by whom?

Hey Alex, thanks a lot for having us on Myth of Rock! This is Farms, guitarist of Inner  Sanctum. The band was founded by school friends. Our drummer Jay and me are the two remaining members of that time. There was no vision other than hang out, drink beer and make heavy music together. I guess many aspects of that still remain today.


Which are your influences? How do you incorporate them into Inner Sanctum’s music?

I would say our influences have changed over time. The early days were undoubtedly affected by our love for the early Amon Amarth. I can remember watching their liveset in Reykjavik that came as a bonus CD with “Fate of Norns” together with our back then guitar player Adrian over and over again. We were intrigued by the raw energy they put on the stage and the wall of sound they created. With the change of our lineup different influences came with it such as Decapitated, God Dethroned or even Turbonegro.

Has your music evolved after twenty years? Are there notable differences between “The Great Odd Ones” and previous albums?

I would clearly say yes to this. We still embrace the fusion of haunting melodies with neck breaking death metal but our new stuff is generally faster and leans more towards the heavy side. We actually believe that makes melodies even more captivating if they are framed with violence.

How did the songwriting process go? In your new endeavor, have you tried to compose differently?

Not every song followed the same pattern. While most songs were almost entirely written by either Yoric or Farms, major parts of “Era of the Idols” were the result of jam sessions. We believe it is reflected in the result and we actually like it a lot. I guess a future record would probably incorporate more of this combined effort.

What’s the lyrical concept of “The Great Odd Ones”? Judging from the song titles and the artwork, someone should say that it deals with Lovecraft’s cosmos and nautical horror. Is that so, or is there some sort of parallelism to other societal/philosophical issues?

Of course the title is a clear reference to Lovecraft and the nautical horror theme as well, but our idea was to create our own absurd cosmos of weird gods. Hence the title Odd Ones. This band has always embraced insider humour and this album makes no exception to this. There are plenty allusions to personal experiences hidden in the lyrics. From an outside perspective it seems like a regular death metal album with typical death metal lyrics but for us it is definitely more than that. A common theme throughout our lyrics including old records as well is human hybris, anxiety or incapacity. “Thalassophobia” would be a good example for this on “The Great Odd Ones”.

Until today, you’ve written four independently released albums. Why do you prefer to self-release your albums? Is it a matter of choice?

Being independent gives you the freedom to do things the way you like to do. Bands like Shadow of Intent have proven that it is possible to achieve goals without the help of a label. We never really put effort into getting signed by a label but it is also true that Labels haven’t reached out to us. If Nuclear Blast came around with an offer maybe our opinion would change.

There are considerable time intervals between one album and the other; for example, “The Great Odd Ones” occurs eight years after “Metric Genesis”. Why does this happen? Do your everyday obligations prevent you from dedicating more of your time to the band, or do you just prefer to take your time and enjoy a rather slower rhythm of the songwriting process?

We are all taken in by jobs and two of us are father to children which of course effects the time you can put into a band. Another factor is the success you have. Our growth as a band can be described as slow and steady and not explosive. We never really felt the interest in us would demand a higher commitment. We now have a really good setup with Farms having build his own recording studio, which will probably speed up the process for a new record. But only time will tell.

Why should someone listen to Inner Sanctum’s music? Is there a peculiar element that differentiates your stuff from countless other bands who play melodic death metal?

We should distinguish between live and non-live here. If there is one thing that people have been telling us throughout the past twenty years then it is the mesmerizing energy of our shows. This actually makes me quite happy because it resembles the very aspect what made me form this band. Of course this will not help us get more listeners who have never seen us live. What makes our music stand out can be seen by the struggle of reviewers to classify our music. Some reviewers have questioned the melodic tag within melodic death metal, others have complimented the incredible memorable melodies on the album. I think we stand out because we have our very own understanding of how we want to incorporate melodies into Death Metal. It is not the classical melo death from Sweden or the Bay Area but it is also not the classical often monotonous death metal. It is a wonderful blend of the best features of both.

Inner Sanctum were founded twenty years ago by a group of teenagers. Did you expect, back then, that Inner Sanctum would still exist after two decades of making music?

To be honest, I kind of expected it because the band has never been a purposive relation but rather the result of very good friends doing what they love. We hang out a lot outside Band live too so I see no reason why we should stop as long as we still have fun at what we do.

Do you think that Inner Sanctum have achieved their vision so far? Would you rather accomplish certain things in another way?

Yes and no. We would definitely love to get more people to listen to our music because we are sure there are more people out there who would appreciate our sound. We kind of regret not having promoted our earlier records more. We just put them out there and waited what would happen which of course is very naive considering the vast amount of Metal Bands out there. Without a label it needs more effort and I feel now is the first time we really put effort into promotion.

What are your plans for the near future? In the long term, do you intend to keep the band active for another twenty years, maybe?

Our plans are to play our new stuff live because this is where we are best and have the most fun. And then if we feel that people want to hear and see more of us I am sure we have a lot of creative potential to do more albums in the future. The Songwriting process for new songs has actually already been started. But let‘s enjoy “The Great Odd Ones” first for a lot of passion has gone into it in the past years.

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