Interview with Marco Volpert
Interview by Kat Knite
We got a chance to catch up with Marco Volpert (bass & background vocals) of European metal band OVERSENSE to discuss their brand new album, Egomania, as well as their writing processes, future plans, and more. Check it out down below, and don’t forget to grab your copy of Egomania when it drops Friday, September 17!
Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new album, “Egomania”! I really enjoyed this record. So much energy, drama, and beauty in the melodies. All four musicians are super tight. What are you most excited about for when it finally drops on September 17?
First of all we’re gonna celebrate it, because it’s been such a long time since our last record “The Storyteller” hit the stores. A lot of work was put into the production of the music, videos and everything surrounding this album and we’re very proud of it. Now, all that remains is to wait how the feedback from our fans and the media will turn out. We’re glad that you like it and the first glimpse we got from our two already released singles shows us that other people like it a lot as well, so that’s a relief for us.
Furthermore, we can’t wait to finally play some live shows with new music again, of course if this stupid pandemic doesn’t put a spoke in our wheel.
How long did it take in total for the album to be written, recorded, and finalized?
The album itself was written in about two to three years, I would say, although it’s hard to give a concrete number, because each song got some more fine-tuning and reworking over the years. The recording process also took a long time, because that fell right into the numerous lockdowns we had in Germany, so we could never meet up and work on it together.
Finalization took place at the Gate-Studios in Wolfsburg, Germany where Miro Rodenberg and Olaf Reitmeier (Avantasia, Kamelot, Epica) mastered our new album and since then we’ve been very busy with everything else.
Who is the main songwriter of the band? How do you collaborate together to come to a finished product?
The composition work in our band usually starts with our frontman Danny, who comes into the rehearsal space with a riff he thought about or an entire chorus and we work from there in a group. We normally take an entire day and work as much as possible in that time frame.
Everybody is included in the writing process, if he or she wants to. Every idea is respected and carefully thought about and then we decide together what is best for the song. Once the rough version of a song is created, we fine-tune it in the studio while recording.
What has been your favourite part so far of the whole process?
To be honest, I think it’s been the recording of the music videos, because they were filmed in the phases of corona where you could at least meet up with a few people and were some sort of escape for me from the dull routine of everyday life.
And to see how great they all turned out put a big smile on my face. Huge shoutout at this point to our video mastermind Mirko Witzki, who filmed and produced the two cinematic videos for “Be” and “Love”.
With an album name like “Egomania”, naturally many of these songs focus on themes of distorted reality, particularly in the digital age. This is something most of us can feel these days, and I think the effect is tremendous. Can you please tell me what is the main message you’d like to get across to the listener?
Each song has its own distinct meaning and purpose on this album, but they are not connected directly to the others, so the album is not conceptional. There are some songs which have similar subjects, but they answer different questions on that subject.
Basically, what Danny is trying to say with a lot of his lyrics is live free and enjoy life, don’t be mean to other people and think about your actions.
There are some songs that don’t fit this description, because they are stand-alone songs that speak for themselves in my humble opinion.
I’d love to be able to see you live – I’m sure you bring the house down. Do you have any plans for touring after the release, Covid permitting?
Actually yes – we have already played three live shows since the pandemic allowed it again. We have a few shows planned in September in October, but no real tour up to this point.
BUT you can still see us live, as one of these shows is gonna be at Stagehouse in Lohr am Main on September, 19th, where we will play a streaming gig, which will be live-streamed on Twitch. Here’s the link if someone is interested: www.twitch.tv/stagehouse | www.stagehouse.tv | www.facebook.com/events/836617426997130
Where has been your favourite place to play so far? Where do you dream of playing someday?
For me, it’s not so much about the place you play, but the people that you play for and how it feels to perform there.
Just a few das ago, we played a live show at a very local festival where the proceeds went to the flood victims of western Germany. 300-400 people showed up, we and them had the time of our lifes and that’s something I can get behind a lot.
Of course playing a whole tour with Doro Pesch was also a highlight, but every show was great there, so I can’t really pick one of them out.
You strive to appeal to both young metalhead and old-school veterans with your music – I can see you being very successful in that! Could you tell me your favourite legendary metal band, as well as your favourite modern one? What is the common thread between bands or artists that puts them at the top of your list?
I’m going to be really boring here and say Metallica is my favorite legendary band, while Architects or Make Them Suffer are the equivalent right now. The common thing that makes bands great for me, is when they have a wide range of music with different genres, styles, melodies and ideally some mixed clean and growled/screamed singing.
I think those preferences also show in our own music, since there are really a lot of different elements on our new album as well. While most people like it, when a band stays with one style of music I tend to say be creative and do what feels right to you !
What is the metal scene like where you are currently based? Pandemic aside, do you feel like there is a sufficient support system for your type of music in your city?
Well, our region has always had a strong metal community, and everybody supports the other as good as they can. Sadly with covid still present a lot of smaller great bands had to stop what they were doing, because time and/ or money was not there to follow this hobby anymore.
There has also not been any kind of support from the government side to keep culture alive and thriving, so it was everybody for themselves.
Luckily, we all still have day-jobs that can fund our project. Without that, “Egomania” probably wouldn’t have the same quality.
We’re still positive though that things are going to get better and music will find its place again.
What has been the best thing about being part of a group? Do you have any crazy stories from your time together? Do you have many kindred spirits in your music circle who you can enjoy being artistic with?
There has been an awful lot of crazy stories surrounding OVERSENSE, for example in our early days we drove to a band contest and were hyped to play there. Arriving in the small village something seemed off. No cars, no road signs leading to the venue. It turned out to be the wrong city, which had the same name, but in another state. Following that came the quickest, craziest drive I have ever been part of into the right city, where we won said contest.
Another great story was on tour with Doro on the way to our gig in Vienna. We drove the entire night through Poland and the Czech Republic to get there. At 5:30 am we made it into the city and were ready to fall asleep in the hotel. Well, somebody was sleeping in our hotel room and so we had to go back to the reception to move to another room, because they messed up.
But all these stories let us bond closer together and I love every minute I get to spend with my friends in OVERSENSE.
Outside of OVERSENSE we have a lot of befriended bands we love to play with and joke around, like our friends from Snow White Blood.
The band photos taken by Stephanie Grass (BlackSally) of you for this era are very striking! How did you come up with the concepts for these? They really show off your expressive natures and creativity.
We didn’t come up with them personally, we let her express her creativity by letting her decide what would look best. She has a lot of cool-looking props in her studio and we had a meeting on what we needed to bring to the shoot, so everything was roughly planned out.
From that point it was just a day of complete professionalism, a few good laughs, some really good pizza 😉 and just being yourself, so the photos would turn out authentic.
Just like the still pictures, your music videos feature a flair for the dramatic. Do you enjoy performing in front of a camera and watching your visual ideas come to life?
Watching our music videos come alive is the most rewarding thing that happens in this band outside of our music. We plan the timelines, stories and roles for these videos really extensively in cooperation with our aforementioned video producer Mirko Witzki.
Our singer Danny has a real neck for succeeding at everything he puts his mind to, and I think that also shows in his acting performances in our two music video singles. Me personally, I like to act too, but I’m not as natural at it as him, I’m still much more of a musician.
I do love to come up with crazy ideas for these videos though, especially our new music video to our latest single “Love” i is a killer example of that. Check it out, we are really looking forward to your comments:
What fulfils you the most about playing music? Do you feel that this is your true calling? What is your biggest wish for your future in this career?
I do feel that this is my true calling, it is my escape from everyday life and I do not enjoy anything more than creating and playing music. I love to get involved in different instruments in the writing sessions, be it the guitars, bass, drums or keys. When we play live there is this adrenaline boost which you just can’t replicate with anything else.
My dream is that someday I get to do this full-time. I don’t need a lot of money, a nice house or nice cars. If I can live off our music and it’s not close to poverty I will be happy in life.
Musicians are inspired to write by the interaction between everyday-life and their inner worlds. What brings you the most creativity? Do you ever have times where you feel uninspired? How do you deal with that?
Since we are always writing the songs together the holes in creativity are most of the time filled by the other band members. Of course that happens, but that’s the beauty of creating music. Maybe all you need to get back on track is one little idea from one of your bandmates and your mind gets flooded by more ideas again.
And if not, you can always get back to it on another day with new energy.
Finally, I’d like to ask, do you have any other passions or outlets that allow you to release and create your life the way you envision it to be?
I do have two other big hobbies. One is sports in general, basketball being the one I spend the most time watching and playing. It also keeps me fit for gigs so it comes in handy.
The other is gaming, where I don’t get that creative, but it still helps to relax and hang out with friends when you can’t meet up in person.
Thank you so much for your time, I’m so excited for you and what the future holds upon the release of “Egomania”. I’m positive it’s going to be a hit! Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
There is a lot to be excited about in these days with OVERSENSE. We just have released three singles every few weeks to hype you for the upcoming release of “Egomania” and we will not be stopping the work on new music as well as clips and developing this project, so we can bring our music to more people around the world.
We can also not wait to finally perform our music live again once this stupid pandemic finally is over, because that’s what we like to do most: make and play music.
We hope you all stay healthy and we will see you in some mosh pits around the world.