This winter Germany’s thrash metal veterans, Paradox released their newest neck-snapping slab, “Tales of the Weird“. Before the band even had a moment to bask in its accolades or ready to tour, vocalist/guitarist Charly Steinhauer received a not so subtle reminder of his own mortality. Hospitalized and at times in critical shape, Steinhauer prevailed and soon returned home.
We reached out to Charly to send our best wishes and check on his healing…
Greetings from Metalholic! Congratulations on your latest grind “Tales of the Weird”; it sure “brutalized” and “brainwashed” us to the core.
Haha thank you! I hope you appreciate – we will 🙂
First and foremost: You just underwent open-heart surgery and of course our headbangers faith was with you. How are you doing mentally and physically? And what will you do to occupy your mind until you can get back on stage this summer?
Thank you and all who crossed the fingers for me… It means a lot to me and I really appreciate. It’s called coronary heart disease. I went through a six-hour heavy open heart surgery. I received four bypasses and they had to cut a piece of my heart caused by a previous heart attack I didn’t notice, but I’m still alive. To be alive and fighting for a comeback is reason enough to think positive forward. I’m feeling as well as you can feel six weeks after surgery. It takes time to recover. It will never recover to 100%., but I do what I can. I changed my whole day.
I stopped smoking, eat more healthy, doing sports and I walk out in the fields. Use the right medicaments. It needs a few months for getting back stronger. Physically changes from day-to-day. Of course I am in fear, when could come the next heart attack. Sometimes it’s a weird feeling and my heart rhythm is playing games with me. Not something I wish on somebody.
Summer will be too soon for a comeback on stage. Caused by this we decided to take our focus on the next studio album to build a bridge for recovering. Then after we will see what is possible. May we do exclusive shows, festivals, but no big tours. It’s too dangerous and I’m not the youngest dude. I would like to play 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise or ProgPower USA. New York City would be a dream.
I agree. “Tales Of The Weird” is the first album we are really satisfied with. We had a great teamwork. All who were involved did a great job. We are proud of this album and it feels awesome. The reviews are amazing and overwhelming. We have an average 9/10.
“Tales of the Weird” has a more progressive/technical approach to Thrash. The songs I’ve heard so far sound a lot more aggressive and versatile than “Riot Squad” and “Electrify” too. What made you shift back to your old sound which we witnessed on “Heresy”?
The first song I have written was the title track “Tales of the Weird“. It reminds me of “Heresy“: A great combination with heavy riffing and melancholic sounding melody lines. After this song I knew in which direction it should go. It should sound more versatile in compare with “Riot Squad“.
I couldn’t help but notice that the artwork of the record gives us an image of the infamous Doomsday. What exactly does it indicate, perhaps the prediction of apocalypse by the Mayans?
You’re right. It’s about the Mayan prophecies. It shows the topic of the second song on album called “Day of Judgement”. Now we know they have miscalculated.
“Tales of the Weird” has really surprised me with its advanced dynamics that require really skillful hands on the deck, a job so flawlessly done by Victor Bullok. How did you to go through the tough recording sessions?
It was very simple. All vocals, rhythm guitars, bass guitar were recorded at my home studio. Christian recorded lead guitars with his home equipment. The drums were recorded by Daniel at Brain Damage studio and engineered by former Vendetta singer Micky Wehner. Victor did a great job with the end-mix and mastering. Communication was perfect. The result is awesome.
With Christian Münzner (Ex- Necrophagist) who is one of the best guitarists from Germany and drummer Daniel Buld on board, how do you think this release compares to the other albums?
I can’t compare. Each album is writing its own story. “Tales of the Weird” is unique. I guess Christian and Daniel gave Paradox a new fresh face. I am happy to have them on my side. This album could open some doors for Paradox.
Now this is something I wanted to ask when I had a look at the track list and album details. Looking at the habit carriers on the cover art, it reminds me of “Heresy” and the first track starts with acoustic guitars and thunderstorms, bearing a resemblance to “Heresy”. Looks like you had a plan of creating a sequel to “Heresy” in the form of “Tales of the Weird”. Am I right?
Yes you are. First was planned to continue the story of “Heresy“, but later on we decided to change the topics. It shouldn’t be just a part 2 album, but we wanted to remind a bit of “Heresy”. Giving a memory to our faithful fans.
This is the third album in which you decided to go through with the production yourself. Clearly, this is working for the band, so what do you see as the advantages of handling it yourself?
Because I know how it should sound (volume levels/inner mix). I never had a special technical training. That’s why we use a separate man for end-mix and mastering. Most important is to have “the ear” for that and to know how it should sound. The result is almost a bit different after mix. I did also the complete inner mix of the last three albums and I wrote all music. So I always have the responsibility about the Paradox productions.
Paradox has always seemed like an outcast in the German Thrash scene to me; the music is more melodic and sophisticated, compared to the raw brutality normally linked to Teutonic Thrash bands like Kreator, Sodom and Destruction.
I totally agree. I also think we sound much more American like those bands. The vocals are most different. I’m singing more melodic and I use no harsh or growling vocals. Paradox never wanted to be the heaviest or fastest band. We found our own style and it has not less quality than those bands. I really like Kreator`s last two records. Good thrash.
Germany is known as Mecca of Heavy Metal festivals and along with it, it has also given us some of the best metal bands too, such as Grave Digger, Iron Angel, Deathrow and in more recent times, Metal Witch. Most people think of the Big Four of Teutonic Thrash (Sodom, Destruction, Kreator and Tankard). Who are your favorites? Do you think the Big 4 have a lot of name-dropping because of their success in the 1980’s?
The funny thing is…I have no German favorites. I like Kreator and Destruction. I don’t like the slogan “Big 4”. It’s just name dropping and hype. Well, they put more albums out and tour much more than Paradox. We surely would be a part of the Big 4 if musical quality would be the most important part. Most of those bands sound the same.
In recent years it has been noticed that Paradox have been unfortunately very quiet and you had cancelled most of the concerts including ProgPower. What were the reasons? What are the plans for the near future?
The reasons were bad luck to have line-up changes at the wrong time. We were so happy to get booked on ProgPower USA and then 2 members leaved the band. It sucks. I hope we get a new chance.
About the future… First I have to recover as good as I can. Then we will see where the journey should go. Of course we spend our focus on the next studio album. We will announce, before when we are be able to play live shows again.
What are your plans for the band’s silver jubilee, a special show maybe? If there is going to be one then, bring back those awesome moustache found on your old band pictures for laughs and giggles. Hahaha…
Why not, if I let grow my hair again. 😉 Ohh, that could be a nice idea. No way man… haha… moustache and vocuhila hair cut were in the 80`s. We don’t have thoughts about a silver jubilee. We will rock as long my body works.
Dankeschön Herren! We at Metalholic wish you all the best for “Tales of the Weird” and keep that thrash spirit alive. \m/
I have to thank for your support!! Keep the metal flag high and big greetings from Germany to all readers.
Our thanks to Charly and Paradox and we wish him a quick and positive recovery, and eagerly await even more new music.