„The cats are alright! Or turn to smoke…” On October 22 the mysterious dark rock band from Berlin, (DOLCH) comes to the Ship’s Small Hall. We asked them about the story behind their name,  their latest album, ‘Nacht,’ the process of writing and cats.

Could you tell us a bit about the band’s name, (DOLCH) ? It’s quite unique. What’s the story behind it?

First of all, we never had the intention to call us (DOLCH) but how else can you describe the Logo we have. When we found the original patch on the flea market, even before the band started, it caught our attention. We found out that it was a military sign with the dagger facing up as a sign of attack. We chose to put it down… (Macbeth should have done it.) To us now after thinking about it for such a long time, it became a sign of protection.

What is the process of writing an album like for you? Who handles the music composition, and who writes the lyrics? Do you have any established habits to make the process smoother?

The musical composition is totally in Toni’s hands. On lyrics we both work together. During the last period of recording FEUER and NACHT our guitar and bass player put their ideas.
All three demos were recorded and mixed at home. For FEUER, NACHT and TOD we have been in a studio for the first time. and it was and still is a process.

Your music often combines elements from different genres, such as post-punk, shoegaze, and black metal. How do you approach blending these influences to create your signature sound?

We are influenced by such a variety of different genres in music it seems quite natural for all of them to appear in our songs. When and how they do comes with the intention or vibe of a song. You could say it comes quite natural.

Your latest album, ‘Nacht,’ carries a distinct dark and atmospheric vibe. Can you delve into the creative process and inspirations that led to the album?

The album describes a whole night from evening until dawn. Or metaphorically speaking the evening, pitch black night and the dawn you can find inside yourself… so it might be a dangerous, melancholy, depressive, danceable, joyful journey basically the whole spectrum the night has to offer or covers you up with. In contrast to FEUER it is the view on or from the inside rather than an outgoing process you experience in NACHT.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges for musicians worldwide. How did it impact your music-making process, and how did you stay connected with your audience during this time?

We would have loved to stay in real close contact during that time by doing a tour. Unfortunately we had to cancel because some of us got Covid. On the other hand we managed to play shows under Covid restrictions which felt a bit weird, yet we could play. Since we are and do not want to be the most active band on social media, it was still our chance to keep in touch.

Your live performances are known for their immersive and emotional quality.  Can you share a memorable live show experience or a particular venue that holds a special place in your hearts? Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions that you follow before going on stage?

What a kindful description. Thank you very much! Since there are six musicians on stage, it is rather difficult to speak for all of us. I remember one moment when we played Bahrelied at our show at Turock in Essen, Germany. I felt that the audience and the band were right there and exactly in that moment. Time has been paused. That is what I love as a part of me being in the audience or in the band. We are there together… exactly now. No past, no today, no future.
Yes, we have some one small ritual but I cannot reveal what we do… it might not work anymore… or has to change if it does not work anymore.

What’s the most challenging aspect of maintaining creativity and authenticity in your music as you grow as a band?

In my opinion, since we work on the music and live appearances next to our jobs and all the members live quite far away from each other, time is the most challenging part for (DOLCH).

Is there a song in your discography that holds a particularly special place in your hearts and what’s the story behind it?

I would say it is Psalm 7 which is on the FEUER LP. It is an old Song but it came to full life on the LP. It belongs to Bahrelied as it also thematizes the book of Job. When I listen to it or sing it, I always think of close friends who lost their fight to life. On the one hand I get mournful but the song lets me revisit my memories and gives me strength.

Looking forward, what can fans expect from (DOLCH) in terms of new projects or upcoming releases? Are there any collaborations or exciting plans on the horizon?

There are a lot of things we work on and have up our sleeves…  but we have to get it all in order. As you asked before about the critical or challenging aspects of (DOLCH) it is time. So we would love to go to the studio next year but the challenge already started between playing shows which we love and finding holiday slots where everyone has the time on top to enter a studio.

And lastly, where does your love for cats come from?

Just look at them… spend time with them and you will know.
The cats are alright! Or turn to smoke…