Soulprison is a hardcore band hailing from Germany. Known for their energetic live shows and relentless approach to heavy music. In a very short time span, the band has made an impact on the European hardcore scene. With a sound that combines elements of punk, metal, and old-school hardcore, Soulprison delivers a fierce and uncompromising attack on the senses. In this interview, we sit down with members of the project to discuss their musical influences, the state of the hardcore scene in Germany, and their thoughts on using music as a platform for social change.
Can you tell us about the origins of Soulprison and how the band formed?
Soulprison was formed shortly before the pandemic hit in 2020. Before we all got together as a band, Louis and Robin - our two guitarists - already wrote some songs together as both their former bands had broken up for different reasons and both were living in the same city at the time. Some of those songs also made it on our first demo. Shortly after, Simon (drums) and Jan (bass) joined, followed by Henry, our vocalist. We all live in different cities in South Germany, and we typically drive close to three hours to rehearse together, but the chemistry and brotherhood in the band are worth the ride.
How would you describe the band's soundscape and musical style?
Soulprison is a band that was initially formed to be a Hardcore band. Once we started writing songs though, we realized that all of us brought some other influences to the table and in order to satisfy our unified vision of a modern Hardcore band, we started incorporating bits and pieces of our very diverse metal and other music influences spanning from classic metal heroes to modern Metalcore acts.
Can you elaborate on the themes and messages present in your lyrics on your latest release “Vision of the Void”?
“Vision of the Void” basically is a theme that can be found throughout the whole record. The topics discussed in the songs all revolve around obstacles and mental issues you face in your daily life. Sometimes you just want to give up on everything and other days you tackle your demons and overcome what has kept you down. It is a cycle that is very hard to break. With our lyrics, we try to convey the message that you are not alone with whatever you are facing and that there is a way out, either through fighting your mind to regain routines that fulfill you, your social network, or a strong community.
How have your home country and European culture influenced your music?
Germany is a Metal country - if not the biggest. We have some of the largest metal festivals on the planet. The metal community is very strong, and we all grew up going to shows and local gigs at a pretty young age. Concerning Hardcore, we were always very intrigued by US and UK Hardcore bands which obviously shape our sound in a very significant way.
Can you share the most memorable experience from one of your tours or live shows?
As we only started playing live shows in April 2022 there are so many great memories, from playing our very first show at Vortex Club in Siegen, being able to support Guilt Trip on their Euro Tour, playing shows around Germany, France, Switzerland, and recently Belgium and the Netherlands. It literally blows our minds that we are able to do this and that people are actually coming to shows and enjoying themselves. We are so happy to play and are more than grateful that people even care.
How has “Vision of the Void” been received by your fans and industry professionals?
Generally speaking, we were very surprised by the number of positive reviews and feedback that we got for this EP. We are very proud of what we have accomplished but at the same time know that this is the beginning for us as a band. We want to keep pushing our boundaries and experiment.
Stream 'Vision of the Void' below!
Bands that had the biggest influence on you as musicians and the Soulprison sound?
That’s very tough to say. As mentioned before, we are influenced by various genres and bands. Naming just a few would discredit all the great bands that have formed us as musicians and people.
How do you approach writing and recording new material?
Our songwriting is basically an ongoing process. We never stop writing and always come up with new ideas and twists. Of course, this means that there is a lot of material that accumulates over time and will not be used, but when we decide to record a new output we have a variety of ideas and song structures that we can choose from. Robin, our guitarist, has a tiny studio at his place and records all the demos. When the time comes, we sit together, listen and tweak on them until we are satisfied. This can happen in the rehearsal room or via the internet. Afterward, we record at his place.
Starting up the project during a pandemic certainly must have been a challenge; can you tell us about some of the concerns you guys had to deal with coming up during the Covid-19 pandemic?
The starting point of the band could have been better, that’s true. We were concerned about not being able to play any shows and struggled a lot with when and how to release music as there was no possibility to promote it.
Playing live and getting to know people still is the best way to dive into the music scene. So that was a bummer, for sure. We can say though that now that it is possible to play shows again people are very eager to go and listen to Hardcore bands. In our opinion, Hardcore is on the rise again and many very talented bands are coming up with their take on it. We love to see this development.
What is your fictional “dream” festival looking like? There are no limits, you can go all out and get creative. Location, line-up, indoor or outdoor, etc.
Tough one: An outdoor two-day festival. The best location would be at the beach with the stage right in front of the sea. Twenty-five degrees and a slight breeze. We would have a lounge area for the people to relax and enjoy their affordable food and drinks. Of course, there would be a bathing area for those who like it salty, in the sea of course, and a large pool. Bands would start playing around 2 pm so everyone can easily enjoy their brunch and get ready for the party. The mosh area would be in the sand right in front of the stage and of course, there would be no wall breakers for an unlimited amount of stage divers. In addition, we would have another smaller stage with electronic music playing all day.
The line-up is probably the toughest question, but it would be a mixed line-up. On day one, we would have Metallica as the headliner. Our drummer loves Lars Ulrich. On the second day, the headliner would be Dua Lipa - we cannot stop listening to her songs while on the road. Other bands that would play are Turnstile, Deftones, Malevolence, Power Trip, Linkin Park (with Chester Bennington) Superheaven, Xibalba, Inclination, Incendiary, Movements, Edwin Rosen, Lorna Shore, and our friends in Guilt Trip.
Any future goals, plans for new music, and upcoming tours that you can share with us here?
We just want to see the scene grow and play with as many bands as possible. It is heartwarming to see how much people care about each other even though social bonds were strained for so long. We feel the energy and we love being part of it and can’t wait to get on the stage again.
Other than that, we are currently recording new ideas and are positive about releasing new material this year.
Thanks a lot for having us for this interview!