One-man black metal bands are a rarity in comparison to the masses of bands. A one-woman black metal band is even rarer.
But such is the case with our offering today. Gedanken Toten Lebens is the project of Solveig from Germany. She released one album in 2015, a self-titled release. The album is still available directly through her.
While current projects have led Solveig into other arenas, we not only look forward to those but also continue to enjoy the one black metal offering that she has released thus far.
We are grateful that our intrigue was met with her willingness to answer a few of our questions. We hope you enjoy the interview and ask that you go check out her album. It can stand toe-to-toe with the best black metal releases out there.
Gedanken Toten Lebens means “thoughts of a dead life.” Correct? What inspired you to choose this name?
Hello! Yes, GEDANKEN TOTEN LEBENS means literally translated ‘thoughts of dead life’. So death is just another existence and we shouldn’t be afraid of it. It’s a necessary part of life and to rebuild life! Every warrior must be dead before he starts to fight. Just the fear would kill him! I chose this name because it came into my mind during a dream before many years. For me it means an encounter at a mental level. Absentmindedness and reunion. Surmounting of spiritual and material limits, especially because we are living in a material world and we should remember our origins, our roots and the history which lives in our veins. If we want or not, we are connected with everything.
All of your lyrics are in German. For those of us who don’t speak fluent German, can you talk about some of the ideas in your lyrics?
Indeed my lyrics reach unfortunately just native speakers. If you would hear it first time you would think i am singing about typical suicides hit, but this is just half part of truth. Here death is more a positive separation from life. From its bound with body. And body is ‘just’ a materialistic thing. The top of the mountain- the current state of the human race. A vegetating without goal and mind. Through the separation, the mind becomes free and the individual shaping of and true life begins. One could see this as a metaphorical meditation or interpret it as an outlook or exit from society. In any case its a yearning for freedom of the individual. In my opinion people who stick with they mind and soul completely in this material world will disappear one day, because they have nothing to leave except they waste. If consuming and ‘Lifestyle’ is your true ‘religion’ they have nothing to say and i’ am really fed up with all this materialistic egomaniacs. I am the conductive medium or executive leading person in the process. Basically my thoughts go into thoughts after death, virtually as inanimate matter. How it is when we leave all physical and corporal behind us and to some extent also overcome all these things. I’m writing texts and music concepts especially about this theme.
How it would be if space and time didn’t matter and we realized what really counts and why we had a life. Death frees from earthly desires. So what would we think when we are dead? What would you think?
And so the only aim we could reach is to figure out the way of our soul and this is a spiritual question. Are you brave enough to get to know yourself? This is fucking difficult if you start to reflect yourself from other position. If youre not afraid it could become asceticism. The death is just a ‘converter’ and he can for sure also obliterate, but nothing is lost. In German ‘dying’ rhyme with ‘becoming'(Sterben- Werden). And I am not speaking just about our material body…
What artists inspired you to become involved in black metal? What artists in other styles of music have been inspiring to you?
Difficult question. I cannot remember so good anymore which bands brought me to black metal. Long time ago. For me this genre is ‘just’ a part of myself and my way. Also a lot of other artists or people inspiring me, even in short fleeting moments. Bands which had/ have a inspirational effect on me (at the moment) are for example: Rome, Krynitza, Sturmpercht, Mantras, Wardruna, Balmorrhea…….
Your album came out in 2015. Have you been working on any new music?
Yes. I am working on something which has nothing to do with Black Metal anymore. I am working on a ancient spiritual folk project with meditative ritual drums/ instruments.
Your page on Metal-archives.com says that you have worked with the help of various guest musicians.
Yes. GEDANKEN TOTEN LEBENS is more a title of my ideas/of my inward philosophy of life. On this album I cooperated with Freigeist. (Unfortunately he doesn’t want to show publicly). In this case he proved himself as a good and professional instrumentalist to transform all my ideas into music- much better than I could have done. For next CDs I’m probably going to work with other musicians or bands. Thus I am the sole member, but a band should always be more than the sum of their members. The current album originated in cooperation with a musician called ‘Freigeist’. He was able to work with my ideas and produced the music to my thoughts.
You had another project called Aigilas, right? Is this still active? Are you involved with any other projects at the moment?
This band is still alive yes. But without me. I started with this band and i was also a founder back in the days. We split up because of many reasons. We are still friends but in music we wanted to follow different paths. That was the main reason.
I have argued that the German black metal scene is just as good, if not better than that of Scandinavia. What German black metal bands do you think stand as some of the best or most unique?
Personally for me: Aaskereia, Nargaroth, Bethlehem, Helrunar, Rauhnacht, Feuernacht…
Do you think that German black metal bands have a sound that is unique to their homeland?
I think somehow yes. But don’t ask me how to describe this. For sure a deep thing of our fate and a sense of spirit and talent to express seriousness, combat and strength in our mother tongue and play with words. And of course your native language touch you the most. For foreigners our hard vocals in German sounds aggressive probably. I don’t know.
In fact you are a solo female playing black metal. Do you find that women are not treated fairly or with equal respect in this music?
No. But its ok. Equality can not exist, because people are not equal. But i was always treated fairly lets say. Well, women’s (not feminists!) are for sure in some way stronger as men in my opinion. But at end, women should be women and men should stay men, it means, both should have special roles; A women’s role as bringer of life / as mother and the men as provider and of course as father too, both are take care about the normal familial structures and push each other to become better. Inequality exists only where a man does not behave like a man and a woman does not behave like a woman. And its tragedy of our time that we have a lot of chaos in this way.
What plans do you have for 2018? Another release or live shows?
Live shows probably not. I don’t have any musicians for this and in my opinion people don’t need more entertainment and deflection. They should work on themselves and music for me is a kind of way to resolve feelings of inner conflict. Black Metal-music should be limited on stage, away from the party-feeling and sunshine and been more fascinating and mysterious to give the music more a dense atmosphere and I see no sense to perform this kind of lyrics for drunk people. I am going to finish this year my folk project and a video maybe. At the moment i am on my way to get more and more knowledge about vedic culture and this fascinates and impress me sometimes so much, that i am even a bad communication partner. It keeps me busy in my mind that small talk with people who are not busy with this as well, is almost impossible and I never found more answers in something.
Many, many years in the future, a distant relative locates a box in the attic of an old house. In the box is a Gedanken Toten Lebens CD. What would you like this person to know about your legacy, if they only listen to your music?
For me it would be enough if he or she feels that they are connected with the past. That somehow nothing is lost and personal strength can be limitless in some way. We can connect ourselves with a tribal memory and our ancestors made faults to teach us not to do the same and pick up our legacy. But its hard work and difficult to have a clear mind to feel the truth, especially when emotions are involved. This is my way to become clearly about humans. Many things about previous generations and death is not processed. Personal traumata have been passed on for generations. Current youth is missing true identity and often family structures, but no subculture or genre is able to fill this hole.
We bloom and perish. Life, seasons, day and night and even the sleep. That’s nature: everything is connected. But we are often blind to see it. I want to feel and recognize the ‘truth’ in everything and myself. But this is most difficult part. In my opinion everyone is splitted in their personality. Some people more, some less. ‘You can know a lot, but not even the bare essentials.’ Leo Tolstoy
Thanks for your time. These last words are yours…… Also, where can people buy your album or find you on the internet?
The ‘good’ people are actually the worst and these who are never inconvenient. I remember Nietzsche and he defined the ‘good’ ones in ‘Zarathustra’ as ‘the beginning of the end’. ‘If the fellow traveller shines in his own virtue- the except human must be marked down as an evil person through them. If the hypocrisy in all costs takes advantage of the word ‘truth’ the actually true must be found among the worst names.’ It dreaded him about the humans and the recognition of the good ones or the best. Zarathustra said that his type of a human being will be called ‘devil’ by the so called ‘good ones’ and ‘righteous’, cause the ‘superman’ is alien to them with his soul and his fineness and quality. It’s a lack of nature and contempt of the primal power esteem creation as sin to search evil principles in selfishness
You can get my CD when you contact me by personal message: firstname.lastname@example.org
I`m working on my own without a label.