Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sanitys Dawn Interview

My trips to NY aren't complete without cornering a bunch of bands for interviews. To whit: Hanover's Sanitys Dawn, who I saw on a night at Saint Vitus packed with grindcore goodness [courtesy of Catbomb NYC]. I snagged them that night to do an interview for my podcast, but after they told me that it was the first interview they'd done in 6 years, I promised them a follow-up. Here it is, finally, the second Sanitys Dawn interview in 6 years, which vocalist Tobias "Topsy" Sarnetzki and drummer Sven "Holm" Horl took turns answering.

Dreams of Consciousness: For anyone who doesn't know Sanitys Dawn, please introduce yourselves - who are you, where are you from, and what kind of music do you make?

Topsy: Hi everyone, Sanitys Dawn is a grindcore band from Hanover, Germany, founded at the end of the 80's. Today we are Holm: Drums, Michael: Guitars, Baumi: Bass and Topsy on Vocals.

DoC: Please give a brief history of the band - what led to Sanitys Dawn forming? What inspired you at the time? What did you set out to do?

Holm: In 1987 I was hanging around with an old friend of mine, named Karo. We knew two other guys who were into music too and on some drunk evening we started the band just for fun. We just want to have something to do, hang around with each other and have our own room where we could drink and sometimes make music. It was kinda rock music. Nothing special but through the years it got more serious.

DoC: Sanitys Dawn has been around since the early years of grindcore and death metal. What are the biggest changes that you've seen from then and now? What are the biggest challenges for grindcore bands in 2016?

Holm: After the first line up of Sanitys Dawn split up we made our change to more death matal and hardcore influenced music. We liked bands like Suicidal Tendencies, Sepultura, Prong, ... . We tried to find our own style which ended up in the first demo tapes like Mortal Consumption and Preachers Of Blood. Through the years the line up changed some more times and I was the only member of the original line up from 1987. Prändy and a new guitarist joined the band and we recorded our first full album Cryptic Menu.

After that we were looking for a new singer and met Topsy at a concert from Sanitys Dawn in 1996. Our style was mainly grindcore with some death metal influences but with punk or HC influences too. The attitude never was metal - it was more the punk “we don`t give a fuck” attitude. No posers or guitar solos or crap like that. Through the years and albums the style progressed to the style Sanitys Dawn are playing today.

Topsy: It sounds funny, but the scene seems to grow and fall apart at the same time. In the earlier days we had a smaller Scene, less bands, but a bigger family feeling. No one gave a fuck about [the difference between] HC, Punk, Metal or Grind. Just play and party together. Today you get tons of bands in each miniscene, like Gore, Porn, Cyber and whatever; and everyone is in competition with every other band. And the gigs are too much with the same style of bands, too. I miss the feeling from the old days...

The challenge for new bands is just the same. You have to came through millions of other bands and make your mark. Without contacts it's very hard to get a gig.

DoC: You have had several releases over the years. Where should new listeners start? Which release do you think best represents Sanitys Dawn?

Holm: I think Cryptic Menu is a good record to start with. It is from 1996 and it contains some good songs, with real different songs. It's brutal, it's sick and sometimes funny. [Reminds] of early Carcass, I think. The split LP with Yacöpsae is another good record. And I really like our last output The Violent Type. This is typical Sanitys Dawn in 2016.

Topsy: Impossible to answer, 'cause SD was ever subject to change and every record remarks the band in that period. Death Metal, Gore, Grind, Power Violence, HC Punkgrind...

As musicians, we say our last record, The Violent Type, of course...

DoC: Tell me about your new EP The Violent Type. Where was it recorded? How does it compare with your previous releases?

Holm: The music is similar to the previous releases. It's typical Sanitys Dawn. But we have a new bass player (and second vocalist) and his voice is really good and perfectly fits the new [songs], and to the older songs too.

Topsy: We entered a new studio after decades [of] recording in the same one, so everything was new. Two other members, a new producer, and a long time since the last recording. It was very exciting.

DoC: You just played this year's Maryland Deathfest. How did it go? How did the experience compare to when you last played MDF back in 2006?

Holm: It was great to play there ten years after our first gig at MDF. The fest is very professional and well organized. There was a giant stage with giant amps and lights. The audience seemed to like us. That's a nice feeling after such a long time [since] we played there in 2006. Normally we play smaller gigs in small venues like squats or something.

Topsy: I saw an old shirt from us in the pit! It was awesome!!! Most of the people didn't know us before, so we got a bunch of new friends and fans. And they seemed to like it. No one ran away when I jumped from the stage, harharhar...

The Fest grew much bigger in the last ten years, and changed the focus from DM and Grind to more metal and mixed bands. But it was a very good mix. Old fellows like Haemorhage, cult bands like Doom and Infest, new great shit like Sick Fix and Dead Church.

And I had to fly 8000 Miles to see my alltimefaves Samael [for] the first time, haha.

DoC: As we talked about on the podcast, we had a memorable encounter while I was taking photos of your set at Saint Vitus. What do you think the proper etiquette at grind shows should be with regards to using phones and cameras?

Topsy: Yes and no. Of course we like to get pics and videos of us after a show. But as we said there, when half the audience watches the show via phone the punk feeling dies. Drink, Dance, Fight, Laugh, Party with us. It's probably the last time you see us playing.

DoC: Any luck setting up your Bandcamp Page?

Topsy: Yes, now it's online!

DoC: When we last talked you mentioned that Sanitys Dawn had not been interviewed in 6 years or more. Is there anything you want to talk about that you haven't had a chance to?

Topsy: Support your local scene, buy direct from the bands, go to live gigs!!!

DoC: What's next for Sanitys Dawn?

Topsy: Playing some shows in our neighborhood, working with our new guitarist. ( Michael will leave us in a couple of weeks, sadly). Drinking more fine, German Beer.

For ordering I just remind our Brand new Bandcamp Page...tada!!!

Or drop us a Message: sanitysdawn[at]

Thanks to you for coming to the gig and asking us things, haha.

Sanitys Dawn on Facebook

...and yes, Sanitys Dawn on Bandcamp. [You're welcome - Dreams of Harping On-ness]