!!!HEAVY METAL FROM GERMANY!!!
We had a conversation with Sven Biwo (Vocals/Guitars). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about BIWO (Members, Starting Year etc).
Hi and thank you for the invitation to the interview. I am Sven, singer and guitarist of the band Biwo. Next to me are Hanno on drums, Justus on bass and Finley on guitar. We play great classic melodic heavy metal! If you like Grave Digger, Majesty or Wizard, you will love us (Laughs). Justus and I met at a benefit concert just before Corona. Well, it was actually over before it really started. So I did everything myself for the time being. Now Corona is over again and we want to really take off.
You have recently released your album ''Life and Death''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
The feedback is great and that makes me very happy. It is an album which was created in difficult times. It has its rough edges and I love it for that. If you ever go on vacation in Osaka and find a CD from us, don't be surprised. It's great to see that BIWO is listened to in all parts of the world, we have brought our music to Europe, Japan, USA, Canada and Australia. The reviews are consistently very good and the feedback I get on Bandcamp and co is also great. It makes me incredibly proud! Since we've only made one album and only then play the shows it was especially exciting to know how people react to it. We didn't have a fanbase until then. Normally the way is that you play local shows and then eventually release a demo and then an album. So you already have a certain reach. We start from scratch.
Label or DIY and why?
I can't tell you because I don't know the comparison. But I am happy to do everything myself and to have the overview of everything. I don't know if you really need a label today. I'm glad to have found a mentor in Markus Eck, who supports me in many things and that means a lot to me. I live Heavy Metal and I don't want to leave my music in the hands of some office workers who only see the business and forget the music completely. And there are many good examples that can work. It was always a business, but the music quality was very good.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I prefer to listen to vinyl but the prices are now so high that I sometimes switch back to CD. I rarely get cassettes, but I also listen to them, especially if they are demo tapes. Digital I listen only to test a new album. If I like the first 1 to 2 tracks I buy the album no matter where it comes from. It's like in the past in the music store, you test something and then buy it. Only the selection is much bigger than in a record store, you have the whole music world on your smartphone.
Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
That's a lot, besides the big bands like Manowar, Iron Maiden, Running Wild and Iced Earth also relatively smaller bands like Majesty are among my favorite bands. Especially Ralf Munkes (ex Majesty, Crematory) with his melodic guitar playing has done it to me. Currently I think what RIOT CITY does is great and I like to be influenced by them. Keep the Heavy Metal flame alive. It's nice to see that there are new classic metal bands. Unfortunately I can't do anything with all the newfangled stuff (laughs).
Which things do you think a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your Band?
To really get to the top, you should sacrifice everything. You have to work your ass off to be successful. But unfortunately, you just don't make money with music anymore. The world has moved on and I'm excited to see what happens next. I try to get a good mix of everything to at least not let my family come up short (laughs). The bad thing is that the time we have is just too short, I have the feeling that I have slept half my life away and that I now have to catch up. I haven't had to make any major sacrifices yet, but depending on how things develop, that may well happen.
Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
Not yet, but we are rehearsing diligently. I do not want to say more yet. We just want to bring a lot of energy on stage without a big show or fireworks. Here it is important to capture the energy and not visual effects. Just pure Heavy Metal!
Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
If I had this magic formula, I would use it. In the end, you should always be true to yourself and not bend, the rest will come by itself. Every person is unique as he is, but you always try to emulate others. And that is a big mistake in my eyes. Look at the great metalheads, they are all unique personalities that you can't just copy.
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
It is a curse and a blessing at the same time. The advantage is: you can show your music to the whole world without much effort. The disadvantage is that everyone does it and the market is oversaturated. It is very easy today to release a good quality album. In the end, the one who is successful is the one who builds up a fan base live in local clubs and develops musically. We are only present on digital media so that someone can find us when they are looking for us.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
The scene is very small and at the club concerts you see the same people over and over again. But this core is very steadfast and certainly keeps a lot of things alive here. In the meantime, a lot has shifted to the Internet because there are no longer any real meeting places. The world has moved on, unfortunately not always for the better. For example, I have to drive 20 kilometers to get to the nearest metal club or metal record store.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
It sounds like Greek black metal. I have never heard of it. What is it?
What are your future plans?
Live Now! I don't have any big plans. First we play a few gigs and then we'll see. I prefer to make small milestones instead of big goals that you never reach. That increases the motivation. Many newcomer bands set goals that are too big and then fail because the goals are not feasible.
Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
I have to thank. Guys stay true to yourselves and stay healthy. We are talking here right now while I have fucking covid and it is hell. Stay heavy and Live Now!!!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.
PS. Many thanks to Markus (https://www.facebook.com/MetalMessage.Global) for this interview (Cheers mate!)