Germ is the solo project of Australian artist Tim Yatras, a gent who has been involved with some incredible projects over the years and who now brings his black metal trance to the world via the full-length record Wish, and the recently released EP, Loss. Scene Point Blank had a little chat with Tim about Germ, the past, the present, and the future.
Scene Point Blank: Hi Tim, thanks for taking a little time to talk to us!
Tim: No problem!
Scene Point Blank: The release of Wish during the summer was a massive relief for fans–no one was quite sure when these songs would ever see the light of day–how did you feel once the record was out there? And how has the reaction been to both Wish and the new EP, Loss?
Tim: It was a massive relief for me too. Most of the material that appears on the album and a lot of the EP was recorded 3 years ago. I was very glad to finally get those two releases out there, and for me this now closes the first chapter of Germ.
The reaction to Germ has been, for the most part, incredibly positive. Of course there’s a few people who remain unconvinced, but I think most people are enjoying it.
Scene Point Blank: Some of our readers may not be aware of how the Germ project came about. Can you talk us through the evolution of Germ and your involvement in bands such as Austere, Woods of Desolation, and Grey Waters and how those acts led you to where you are today?
Tim: Germ is something I’ve had in the background for a lot of years now. In fact, in around ’06-’07, I was beginning to seriously get Germ up and running, but then Desolate and I got together with Austere, and I kind of put Germ away for a while as we did that. It was actually around the same time as the recording of the Grey Waters EP and the Woods of Desolation album that I began the recordings which appear on Wish and Loss. I’m not sure any of those bands mentioned have “led” me where I am today, as such, but I’ll always take something new away from each project or recording I do.
Scene Point Blank: The sound of Germ is unlike anything most black metal fans would have heard before. What was it about these two massively contrasting styles that piqued your interest in combining them?
Tim: I just like them, haha! I didn’t think I was creating anything genre-defying or new or anything like that. I was always involved in more “normal” black metal bands over the years, so Germ was my chance to do whatever I wanted and not have to worry about alienating fans, band members, myself, or whatever. It’s good working this way; I’m not sure how I’d go returning to a more straight ahead black metal sound. I’m proud of what I’ve done in that genre, but I want to move forward.
The cover artwork to Loss by Germ
Scene Point Blank: The sound of Loss is a little different to that of Wish. How new are those songs in comparison to those on the full-length? To me, they sound so much more...poppier (?) than the tracks on Wish. Is that the way you see Germ progression with future output? And are you thinking of a second record as yet?
Tim: Actually, a lot of the material on those two releases was recorded at the same time. I didn’t make a specific choice to keep the more straight forward stuff for the EP or anything like that. I just always had the two sets of material kind of separated as I was recording. I actually considered turning Loss into the second full-length, but I felt it best to keep those songs as the first chapter of Germ, and then begin to create the next chapter with new material.
I’ve actually completely finished composing the next album, and have it demoed onto my computer at home. All the material was written in between about March-October this year. At the moment, I’m sitting with the demos and deciding what changes I’ll make when I head into the studio to begin recording the songs properly early next year. I definitely wouldn’t say the new songs are following along a “poppier” path, in fact, it’s probably kind of the opposite. I think the new stuff is a little darker, and maybe less immediate than the previous album and EP.
Scene Point Blank: As well as Germ, are there any other projects you have going on right now? I've always been particularly interested in the fact that you compose for other artists, most often J-Pop acts. How did that come about?
Tim: Yeah, I’m still composing for other artists. Actually, I’m really lucky to have that opportunity and it was just a case of knowing the right people at the right time that I was able to get into it.
Aside from that, I’m slowly working on a new band with some old friends. I was hoping to have something available for people to listen to by the end of the year , but I don’t think it’ll be that soon…
Scene Point Blank: Do you have a clear idea as to how you'd like to see Germ progress in the future? Do you have any plans to bring Germ to the live arena or would that be too difficult considering the multitude of different things going on within the music?
Tim: Yeah, I definitely have a pretty clear vision for Germ. Having said that, sometimes when I write, things turn out a little different than I expected but, on a whole, I know where I’m going with everything.
I would like to take Germ out live. I’m beginning to get offers from people keen to help me out in a live setting, so maybe it is a realistic prospect for the future. For now, though, I just want to concentrate on making the next album the best that I can, and I’ll think more about putting a live show together after that…
Scene Point Blank: Awesome, that's all from me, anything else you'd like to add, throw it our way!
Tim: Thank you for the interview, and thank you to those who take the time to read it! Please keep an eye on http://www.facebook.com/germofficial for updates regarding Germ, and anything else I may be involved in!
Scene Point Blank: Thanks Tim!