Interview with Guitarist and Vocalist Sascha Blach of The Halo Trees

By Mick Michaels

The Cosmick View: Hello, and welcome to The Cosmick View/MBM Ten Pounder! Thanks for taking some time to chat with us! 

CV: Describe your definition of the band’s sound and style and how does that definition uniquely describe the music?
Sascha Blach: I would say we play Rock or Indie Rock with a gloomy atmosphere and a certain melancholy. We like catchy melodies, but also work with chord structures or beat patterns that might be demanding for the listener to keep it interesting. The press has compared us to David Bowie, Mark Lanegan, The National or Madrugada which we regard as an honor because we love these artists. 

CV: Today, everyone talks about artist and audience connection. Is such a level of connection actually achievable for an artist and if so, how have you made the connection to your fans?
SB: Well, also artists or musicians are normal people and I don't understand why you suddenly don't want to talk to other people anymore when you become a little more successful - okay, unless you are a superstar and you’re constantly besieged. Then I understand any isolation. Personally, I'm generally shy, so I don't push myself. But I find it interesting to talk to people after a concert and try to answer everything online, even if sometimes there is not enough time for everything and when in doubt I use the time more for music.

CV: Is fan interaction an important part of the band’s inner culture?
SB: I wouldn’t say so. We are thankful for everybody who likes our music and supports us but in the end it’s also an egotistic thing to make music. And I don’t write songs to please anyone.

CV: Can a band truly interact with its fans and still maintain a level of personal privacy without crossing the line and giving up their “personal space” in your opinion?
SB: I think that’s important and that’s reason why I don’t share things that are too personal or private.My private life is sacred to me and I can't quite understand why so many people post everything on social media so naively. That's why I think it's important that fans maintain respect and don't cross a certain line.

CV: Is music, and its value, viewed differently around the world in your opinion?  If so, what do you see as the biggest difference in such multiple views among various cultures?
SB: To be honest, I don't feel in a position to give a comprehensive answer to this question because I don't know enough about most other cultures outside of Central Europe to be able to judge that. But I have the impression that the appreciation for music here in Germany is very divergent. There are some people who are big fans and who invest a lot in music. But the masses don't really care. And the almost free availability of almost all music on the Internet made it worse. There is also a huge oversupply here, which makes it difficult for smaller bands. The competitive situation is enormous. I can imagine that this is not yet that difficult in other countries - but there will certainly be other problems there.

CV: Has modern-day digital technology made everyone an artist on some level in your opinion? Have the actual lines of what really is an artist been blurred?
SB: Yes, definitely. Not so much in music, but on Instagram everyone’s a photographer and everyone can share their ideas on social media platforms. And of course also music instruments, recording equipment and distribution possibilities became so cheap that many people can afford it. This made the competition bigger and didn’t result in an increase of quality. Often you notice that no producers or A&R managers were involved as a quality control. But well, we are also a DIY band, so I can’t complain, because we benefit from this market that is more democratic and open for everyone.

CV: How would you describe the difference between an artist who follows trends and one who sets them?
SB: It's a fine line. I mean, you have to be in the right place at the right time. There are certainly many artists who do something new, innovative or interesting, but are not noticed at all. Then logically no trend develops out of it. I think the difficult market has not strengthened the labels' courage to promote something really new, because they don't want to take any financial risk. So you need a lot of luck. And I also understand artists who prefer to walk on proven paths…there are many ways to create good music that touches people and is authentic. I think there are a lot of shades of gray between trendsetters and artists who follow trends.

CV: Has music overall been splintered into too many sub-genres in an effort to appease fan tastes in your opinion? And has such fan appeasements, in actuality, weakened music’s impact as a whole by dividing audiences?
SB: I've also noticed that there are a lot of sub-genres. I can only speculate about the reason for this. Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that the music market has become bigger and more confusing and bands and fans are trying to establish their own identity in it? It's not just about music; every genre is also about self-definition. Personally, I don't really care about genres, I like a lot, from pop to electro to black metal, and I also make very diverse music myself.

CV: What can fans except to see coming next from you?
SB: We’ve just released our new album “Summergloom” in early October 2021 and are very proud of it. I think we went a few step forward and I really like the warm, organic sound, which gives all the instruments much space and has lots of atmosphere as well. But besides promoting the album we’ve also working on new songs and hope to release the 3rd album in 2022.

CV: Thanks again for taking some time and talking. It is greatly appreciated.
SB: Thank you!!! All the best!

Dark Clouds Over London:


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The Cosmick Voice
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My name is Mick Michaels...I'm an artist, music fan, songwriter, producer, show host, dreamer and guitarist for the traditional Heavy Metal band Corners of Sanctuary. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me; what I couldn't say in speech, I was able to do with the written word.  Writing has given me a voice and a way for me to create on a multitude of platforms including music and song, articles, independent screenplays, books and now, artist interviews. The Cosmick View is an opportunity to raise the bar and showcase artists in a positive and inspirational light. For me, it's another out-of-this-world adventure.

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