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In Words: Flowing Tears

- Flowing Tears - February 2000 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Flowing Tears: Stefanie - live in Cologne
© Claudia Ehrhardt

Flowing Tears - Cologne (Germany), February, 13th 2000

I think most of the people who came to see The Gathering and My Dying Bride were a little bit surprised and probably disappointed that Opeth won't play. In Frankfurt and Cologne the German band Flowing Tears opened up. I hadn't heard of them before, but these days it's almost impossible to know every band... Later that night I had the chance to talk to two band members. I wanted to find out about these sextet and the first surprise for me was that the guys told me that Jade is their 3rd album which soon will be in the stores. "The founded the band in 1994 and in the early days we recorded 2 demo tapes. Afterwards we recorded our first CD. In that days line-up were: Frederic on bass, Beni played guitar and me. In that days I was also singing... After a while we signed with a small label and released our 1st album. Then we found out that there is something wrong and our line-up changed. At that time Stefanie joined us" I got told by Flowing Tears six-stringer. "In 1998 we released Joy Parade through this small Italian label and more or less nothing happened!" The Italian label didn't made enough promotion and so nearly nobody realized that the Germans released their 2nd album. Frederic continued the story "With Joy Parade the contract was fulfilled and so we had to look for another label. We recorded an EP which is not really an official release, even if it got sold!" On that EP the band had a cover version of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart. Probably not an obvious choice and so I learnt that it was just a fun thing to try to do a cover version. This song was recommended by drummer Eric Hilt who is into that kind of music and the band tried it and liked it and so it ended up on the EP. Looking back the guys see the EP as kind of a filler between the albums which doesn't mean that they didn't try to do the best. But that's the reason for choosing 2 old and 2 new tracks and add a cover version. Frederic confesses that Joy Division is not really his kinda music, but Eric is into them and as a democratic band they decided to take this song. German metal magazine Rock Hard is doing more or less frequently a compilation with unsigned bands and the sextet from Saarbrücken made it on this compilation, but that days they were still named Flowing Tears And Withered Flowers. "That way we got in touch with several record companies And we ended signing with Century Media which was the best choice for us." I heard from Century Media's promotion lady Yvette before the interview that Flowing Tears will open up at the Therion tour. So what happen that they're play here tonight... "Opeth had to cancel about a week before the tour start and so the company called us ad ask which shows we would like to play. Due to the fact that we had just one week to arrange everything, we were just able to play Frankfurt and today in Cologne. Job-wise it wasn't possible to arrange to do more shows." The band was in the unlucky situation that the fans waited for another band and most didn't know them, beside that they had to play in front of a very critical audience, but they survived and the reactions been good so far. Probably the different influences make their music interesting, even if it's not an obvious mixture... Musically they fit to The Gathering, but sound a little bit heavier and it rocks more. So I was curious to know which bands they are listen to... The bands musical taste is very different, the founding trio is listening to almost the same stuff which includes MDB and The Gathering as well as bands from the gothic scene like The 3rd And Immortal or Anathema. The drummer is more into ethno music and jazz while singer Stefanie is listening more to a kind of 70's music. This mixture makes them sound different from the bands they named as their main influences. The songs basis is almost from Benjamin, but the songs were developed from the whole band. The same about the lyrics, usually the lyrics are almost written by the singer, but the whole band is behind it and writing lyrics, too. In the gothic rock scene there are more bands with female singers than in any other rock / metal genre. Due to the voice of Stefanie the band has a different sound. "In this scene there are categories like The Gathering / Lacuna Coil and on the other hand bands like Theater Of Tragedy. Stefanie has a different voice which makes us sound different." And I agree, Stefanie has a decent and powerful voice which you almost found in the rock and R&B genre. She just turned 20 and so she has the possibility to grow and train her voice. The future will show if the gothic rock scene will accept them. My first impression of the band was positive, even if I hadn't the chance to see the whole set... I missed most of their show while I was doing the interview with Gathering's bassist Hugo, but I won't miss them when they'll tour with Therion and in the meanwhile I'll listen to their newest release Jade....

Claudia Ehrhardt


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