I had a chance to check out a new band recently via the Finnish label Lion Music. The band Virus, was one of those that caught my attention on the first listen. The music is a bit more modern sounding, heavy, but very catchy as well. I pursued to do a little more with this band as I think that if given the proper attention and promotion, this band is capable of gaining a very sizeable audience. I caught up with Bass player Andreas Baumann to do a quick chat and get more inside on the band. If you get a chance, the band have some MP3 samplers on their website. You can listen to them by clicking here.
Heavy Metal Resource: Hi Andy, thanks for taking the time to do this quick interview. I personally really like the band and the music and wanted to get the word out a bit. I wanted to start off by covering the bands background. There are probably quite a few readers who are going to want to know who Virus is. Fill us in.
Andreas Baumann: We are 5 guys near and from Mannheim between 30 and 37 and Music is our freetime passion. We have all got normal jobs and we have a lot of fun when we meet to rehearsal. Everyone of us have been playing at least 20 Years in music in different band´s. All rock music. Sascha and I have known each other for 17 years and we can say we are the founders of virus.
H.M.R. : Sounds great! Let's move on to the important things like the album you just released. 'Sick of Lies' is pretty cool and we liked it here at the Heavy Metal Resource. Upon listening to the album I noticed some familiar sounding influences such as Godsmack in places. Fill me in on the bands influences or who the band would credit to some of their sound.
A. Baumann: That is funny that you say we are influenced by Godsmack. You are the first. Today somebody told me he thinks a bit to nirvana if he hear our music. Its really funny which different feelings people have. Surely we are influenced by Godsmack and Tool and Metallica (we experienced the 80 ´s) and Queen (I´m the greatest fan of Freddy) and Nickelback and S.O.A.D....many band´s.
H.M.R. : When I referred to Godsmack, the mid-section of 'From the Sun' reminded me a bit of the mid-section of the track 'Awake'. I could also see a bit of the Metallica influence you mention although not quite as strong. I'll have to see if I can hear the other influences you mention next time I listen to the album. Your sound definitely leans more towards modern heavy metal . Does it seem difficult in any way to compete in the European market where the power and melodic speed metal bands seem to represent the larger portion of what we get to hear from over there?
A. Baumann: Our music is a part of us and we have no great masterplan. We are doing music in our small studio from our hearts and we are not in the mood to do only what people may want to hear. Your right, in this point the music is hard to sell, but live is hard. We don´t (can`t) do music from commercial base.
H.M.R. : At the time we are doing this interview the album has just been released. How long was the writing process and what tracks in particular do you think seem to stand out?
A. Baumann: The writing process lasted 3-4 years, because we used old songs and new ones. We got a pool of 25 songs and had to choose 13 for the cd. We did not write only for the album. We the think the songs 'Once', 'Bleeding' or 'Lost' seems to stand out.
H.M.R. : Are there any singles going to radio. I think you have a hit with the track ‘For My Sun’.
A. Baumann: At the moment we are talking with some radio stations and maybe “For My Sun” or “Once” are going to play in the radio.
H.M.R. : Following up with that point, will there be any promotional videos at this point?
A. Baumann: No. Not yet. It´s at the moment a question of money. Will see, maybe the record company spend for one.
H.M.R. : Okay, we'll see if anything swings that way then. Wanted to look at tour plans. Summer touring is definitely upon us. Does Virus have plans to get out on tour, and if so, will there be any festival dates?
A. Baumann: We have plans to get out. There is one gig planned at the moment (cd release party) at cafe central in Weinheim (www.cafecentral.de). At the moment we are talking with some festival organizers about nothing is really sure. In autumn will be on a club tour. We will inform you on www.virusmusic.de.
H.M.R. : If you had a chance to tour with anyone, who would you pick?
A. Baumann: Tool or Nickleback.
H.M.R. : This next point could be important to potential fans. What markets is the album being distributed in? Where can we send fans to go look for your music?
A. Baumann: In Germany you can buy the album online over century media. In other countries you could find out the online order possibility, put in into any search engine (google), the search words “virus sick of lies” and you will find it. Or click www.virusmusic.de and you will be informed of where to buy it.
H.M.R. : A lot of the stuff I see released by Lion Music is released here in the States via Amazon.com as well. Fans can probably look in those areas too. As far as the subject material or what you write about, tell us a little about that part of the writing.
A. Baumann: From normal life. Most ideas are from Frank who writes nearly everything. Themes from things that have happened, past situations, anger, passion, his son, things which annoy or things that are pleasing about life.
H.M.R. : I was also curious about the meaning behind the title 'Sick of Lies'.
A. Baumann: The meaning is about annoying people who lie to gain advantage by doing so. Broken promises. It was Frank's idea.
H.M.R. : Ok, in closing, is there anything you would like to add that I may have missed?
A. Baumann: No I think that's it. The last thing you can write maybe is a wish from our side, we would be pleased to hook up with other bands and booking agencies. Questions, critics? Click www.virusmusic.de and use our guestbook.
H.M.R. : I do appreciate the time Andy! Thanks again!