Hello Adriano, how are you doing? I’m doing fine thank you. How is the metal scene in Switzerland nowadays? It’s alive and well, although it’s hard not being able to perform. For many it’s a hobby, but an intense one. Swiss Bands from the Top of my Head: Burning Witches, Gomorrah, Comaniac, Judge Minos and of course, Emerald are still around. Our former Guitar-player Chris just released an Album with his new band “Akroasis”. The scene is very interconnected and we (normally) get to see these people at concerts and festivals, as well as Record Fairs. Please tell us how you, your family and the other bandmembers ‘survive’ the Covid Pandemic? It’s not over yet, I doubt that It will all be over soon. Switzerland never had strict prohibitions. We only stopped rehearsing for a few months. Sadly we had to postpone shows. Fortunately, 3 of us have very good jobs and we could work through everything. The 2 other members lost their jobs, but as we speak, both got new jobs. We hope that normality will return or that we can play the new album for the people soon. Please tell us how the band got started in 2002? After I left Emerald for the first time in 2000, I started a band called “Evil Eye”, we had good start and some awesome concerts. But People left and others tried to take over the band. So I decided to quit and start a studio project ( I just moved and my first child was born). So I founded Distant Past and called some friends to help me out. I wasn’t supposed to be a real band, but a way to produce the many songs I wrote. In 2003 and 2005 the band released 2 demos. Please tell us about these demos? To be honest, these were just there to practice my home recording skills. They weren’t done very well and had a lot of issues. But some of the songs weren’t bad. But I kept the better ones for the first real Album. It kept me busy all year round always working and recording. But I rejoined Emerald in 2007. Then ‘finally’ in 2010 the band released a Full album. Please tell us about; Alpha Draconis, writing process and time in the studio? And how this first album was received by press and fans? So I took a big chance and tried my very best with the songs I liked best (up to that point) and finally had the experience to do something “bigger”. The album then was mixed and mastered by VO Pulver (Poltergeist, Gurd) and self-released. Obviously there were some flaws with the production, but many liked the “apocalyptic” atmosphere and the progressive flavored songwriting. I myself could really fulfil my ideas, for example the Song “The Serpent..” is a 12 min epic Concept piece. Please tell us why some of the members from Swiss band Emerald left to form Distant Past? Actually, as seen above no one really left Emerald to form Distant Past, it was always considered my side project. So naturally, some people from Emerald helped me out. It was only later when I left in 2015 that I wanted to concentrate fully on Distant Past. Our singer Jvo left Emerald around 2010, I had no singer for the new Distant Past Record, so I asked him. The first thing we did together was “Touched by the Gods”, a song I wrote as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio. It was released as a free downloadable single on www.distant-past.ch Then on we went to produce the next album, it’s when the double duty for me became an issue. Then in 2013 a new album Saw the light of Day called; Utopian Void and in 2016, Rise of the Fallen. How these albums where received by press and fans? Utopian Void marked the return of Jvo as a lead vocalist on an Album, after app. 7 years. The guitarists Chris Schafer and Alain Curty were much more involved in the songwriting process. We had 3 drummers on the record, because there was no permanent to be found. But Songs like “Day of Darkness” and “Redemption” were done by Chris and we still play them today. And now the international Heavy Metal Fans start to notice, but there are still some progressive and different approaches on some songs. Album Cover, 2013 I had an idea for a concept album (2016 “Rise of the Fallen”), as the then current Emerald Vocalist Thomas Winkler (now in Gloryhammer) offered me his help. It was a real big project, this is when I left Emerald to concentrate on this. In the meantime, Thomas left for Gloryhammer. So I put both Jvo and Thomas together to do a concept album. Again, Alain and Chris contributed to the songs, but it still was a project, as the songs were divided by the guitarists and they never actually worked together. It was as enormous project and I wanted too much, you can hear that the musicians involved never knew what the others will contribute. I decided to end Distant Past with a concert in 2016, which did not include all of the people on the cd. Now it’s 2021 and the new album was Just released; The Final Stage. Please tell us about the writing process, time in the studio? So, after this first/last concert, everybody urged me to continue. After so many studio work, I wanted to form a real live band. So the second gig was not as successful, we had to separate from some guys. It was really hard to get over the loss of both my guitarplayers that contributed so much in the past. In the meantime, Ben Sollberger joined. Me and Jvo contributed on his “Age of Disclosure” Project, which I also helped to record. So after trying out in other bands. I decided to look for new members, after a while we recruited Remo on Drums and after that we were lucky to find Lorenz on guitars. Enthusiastically we started to work on new songs. The dust of the past associations finally could be put to rest and we just rocked out and the whole band got invested to record the best album possible. As usual we recorded a lot in my studio, but we went somewhere else with the drums and it shows. Ben did all his stuff at home. Mixed and Mastered by VO Pulver, it is our best work to date. But it’s also the first album to be recorded by a real band and we grew as a unit and we can’t wait to play live. Who was responsible for the Front-Cover of the new album? I discovered James Beveridge as an artist on Victor Peraino’s Album (he was in Kingdom Come with Arthur Brown). I liked the album art so much, I found more of his stuff online and I contacted him, he lives in Canada and has received many awards from the science-fiction community. Give him a like: https://www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-James-F-Beveridge-216686498430789 Some reviewer said the cover lets you wonder about and forge your own story, and that’s exactly the intention. The new album is getting really good critics in the magazines like; Rockhard, Deaf Forever, Power metal.de and Oblivian etc. That’s good news..? What is your opinion on the album? We are very happy with the positive feedback from critics around the world and our friends and family. It means really a lot, considering I wanted to call it a day a few times since the last album. We really wanted to do something powerful, I created song that have strong choruses, that everybody could sing along. All in the band gave their heart and soul into this album, and it shows. It’s real, it’s from the heart – reduced to the maximum. Please tell us about the lyrics of the new album. Do you Guys have a message to the world? After the conceptual album and the more dystopian and apocalyptic Song on previous album. I just wrote from the heart, some songs are older (Kill the Dragon, Fall from Glory), some brand new (Power of Evil, Queen of Sin). But they are never about what the title might suggest. “Dawn City” is about a experimental Township in India (Aeroville), “I am Omega” is about the 1973 Movie the Omega Man; and “World of Wires” about a 1971 German TV Movie about alternate realities. So I do like these old sci fi flicks and basically ideas about alternate world and extraterrestrial Worlds. Are there any concerts of festivals planned this year or next year? Many of them got cancelled, I hope we can have a few this summer on an open air Basis. We hope to play Germany next year. Let’s all hope, the dystopia goes away soon. What are some of your favorite bands? So many: I grew up on Iron Maiden, Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Helloween, Running Wild, Lizzy Borden. I enjoy Thin Lizzy, Ufo, Blue Oyster Cult also Tokyo Blade, Angel Witch. But I also like it progressive and psychedelic like Hawkwind, Camel, Van der Graaf Generator and Renaissance. Only to name a few… Do you have a last word to the readers of Bonavox.nl? Please check out our videos on Youtube for “Queen of Sin” and “World of Wires”, if you like them please support us by buying a cd or a T-shirt. We won’t be able to tour the world just yet, so every support is appreciated. Don’t be afraid! Humanity has always found a way to survive. We need to take the power back!