Ancient Prophecy is a band out of Germany formed in 1996 and have had released two demo’s, “Days of Doom” (1998), and “New Chapter” (2010, update 2011) in the past. Their most recent effort “Pounded by Our Sins” released in 2015 shows the band playing an interesting blend of traditional heavy metal and power metal with progressive and death elements. In essence Ancient Prophecy is a hybrid metal band.
Below you can read an interview with the members of Ancient Prophecy.
TMR: Hello guys this is The Metal Resource from Holland, how are things going there in Germany ?
Hello Holland, hello Eelco thanks for the possibility to conduct this interview. Everything’s going fine. We are working on the new Ancient Prophecy album and keep planning concerts and festivals for 2017.
TMR: How did you get into metal?
Lynn: In the 7th grade my classmates listened to rock and metal; it was the time of Metallica, Helloween, Blind Guardian, AC/DC, Nirvana, etc. Because of my Christian upbringing, I initially stayed away from it, but the rhythm and power as well as a completely new type of music awakened my interest more and more. I started off listening to power/thrash metal and fell deeper and deeper in love with the metal scene. Later I secretly tried to play the rhythms in my basement with my own drumset and got to know more and more metal styles. At the moment I really like metal core, melodic death metal, and power metal.
Flo: When I was about 13-14 years old, I listened for the first time to “Nothing Else Matters.” This song opened the door into the world of heavy metal. After hearing that song, I was very interested in the band. A friend in school gave me all his Metallica CDs. It was an absolute new and fascinating world I got in touch with. It was a great time because I also started playing the electric guitar.
Tobi: That was a process, which started with listening to blues and rock when I was six years old; I liked the guitar solos in that style of music a lot. When I was eleven or twelve, I heard Helloween for the first time. I would say that was the initial ignition to start listening to metal.
Tim: When I was in middle school, a local rock radio station would play ‘Mandatory Metallica’, which was my first experience with metal. Hearing ‘One’ for the first time, with the double bass drum and rapid guitars at the end was mind blowing. I didn’t know you could play that fast!
Jacki: My family was always fascinated by music, especially rock and hard rock. My father also was in a Christian hard rock band, and my mum and he also listened to metal. So I came in contact with music (not only metal) very early. Also, my brother listened to punk and metal, so I started to listen to that kind of music at the age of 8, I think. The first bands I listened to were Iced Earth, Stryper, Iron Maiden, Inflames, Children of Bodom …. the typical ones, and with time I delved deeper into the different styles. I don’t know why I started to sing in metal bands, maybe because of the friends I wanted to make music with. My voice is not really a typical metal voice, but never mind if it doesn’t fit into the cliché as long as it is fun.
TMR: What is your musical background ? [everyone]
Lynn: I played the recorder (flute) as a kid. When I was 13, I wanted to be a guitar player, but my hands were too small back then, so I learned to play drums instead. Since age 16, I’ve been self-taught without any lessons. I also prayed to God and trusted in His blessing, and His power through the Holy Spirit has enabled me to keep learning and improving. Looking back I can only say, “It was the best thing God could have given me, and I am happy and proud to be a part of this band.”
Flo: I’ve played instruments for a long time. I started when I was 4 or 5 years old. I encountered classical guitar at the age of 6. My career with the electric guitar started when I was about 14-15. Many years later, I began to study the classical guitar at the university as part of my studies to become a teacher.
Tobi: Everyone in my family plays or played an instrument or sang in a choir etc., but at the moment my sister and I are the only ones that have stuck with making music. Other than my family members, I never had lessons. My guitar skills are a gift from our Father, which I try to develop the best I can.
Tim: I trained in piano as a kid for ten years, but I wasn’t all that good. Then I picked up a bass guitar at 17 and have been playing it ever since. I had a year of lessons, but after learning the basics, and knowing everything I had learned from piano, I taught myself the rest. I also picked up a bit of guitar, mostly so I’d recognize what the heck the guitarists were playing while trying to learn my parts.
Jacki: I started music when I was old enough to sing, mainly in church projects. I started learning the piano when I was 8, and my dad showed me the first tricks on how to sing very early, I can’t remember the age but it was during primary school. My first band was founded at the age of 10 – a Christian rock/pop band. Everyone in my family did or does music. So I came in contact with playing music in early life.
TMR: Tell us the brief history of Ancient Prophecy.
We started in 1996 with three musicians, Florian Kraus (guitar), Daniel Keck (bass guitar / vocals), and Michael Slansky (drums). After a while, Michael left and Lynn André Neissner became the drummer/manager. Later, Andrea Busch (vocals) & Tobias Buss (guitar & vocals) joined, and we were complete. In 1998 we released our first demo CD “Days of Doom.” In the ensuing years we spent a lot of time practicing, playing concerts, and participating in interviews and CD reviews. There were some more line-up changes, but now Timothy Bostick (bass guitar & translations) and Jacki Kunz (main vocals) are the most recent members of the band. We celebrated our 20th anniversary this year. It’s amazing that AP still exists, because the band was frequently close to disbanding. Frequent line-up changes, especially with the singers, meant we were only able to put out three CDs in these 20 years, although the first two CDs were demos. Since 2012 we’ve had a stable line-up and were able to put out our first album CD in April 2015. In the early years of AP, it started out playing more of a gothic metal, but the pace and complexity has picked up since then. We would classify our music style now as “female-fronted progressive power metal with death metal influences.” In 2016, we played some concerts and festivals in Europe, especially Switzerland and Belgium. For 2017 there are a lot of festivals in Holland we would be so glad to play as well.
TMR: Why the name Ancient Prophecy? Is there a story behind it?
Ancient Prophecy signifies our trust in the many Biblical prophecies that God and his messengers gave us people. Some have already been fulfilled and others await fulfillment.
Trust is an important foundation for the relationship between us and our God. Our lyrics are about this personal relationship with God and the life of a believer.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in Ancient Prophecy ? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?
Tobi writes most songs and lyrics. Lynn and Flo have written some as well. Tim, a native English speaker, edits all texts and has written a few unpublished lyrics. We want to make good metal music that expresses our faith in Jesus. None of us wanted to be a pastor or study theology; we’re just followers of Christ and want to spread the good news and play music for our Savior.
Tobi: Lots of the lyrics used in the past came from me, but in recent times the others also started to write lyrics, which is awesome because the listener can get a view of the relationship with Jesus from everyone in the band with all its high and lows. People always tell you that when you decide to be a follower of Christ your live gets harder than before. Well yeah that’s true, but you will learn one thing really quickly that the most of them don’t tell you. In a life with the Lord you can never ever fall deeper than in the hands of God.
Florian: In time before Tobi joined the band, our ex-bass player Daniel Keck (also one of the two founders) wrote all the texts on “Days of Doom.” One text on “Pounded by Our Sins” was written by me (Brightness in the Dark). I listen to music, bands, films while driving, or I enjoy the silence until new riffs and ideas to write lyrics pop into my head.
Tim: I’ve only written two texts so far. One was inspired by the Tool song The Grudge and the other was inspired by Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a Changin’.
TMR: What are some key principles or philosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person?
Lynn: I strongly value honesty and dependability. I’m always glad when I can help out in any way.
Flo: I want to be more and more like Jesus Christ, and God does everything to support me in following Him. If people see my life, I know I do parts of the will of God and that gives me an unaffordable freedom.
Tobi: I had a time in my life when I really wasn’t a nice guy or a good Christian (what is a good Christian?) But when I put my life into the hands of Jesus I learned which things are important, so my philosophy is always to ask myself, what would Jesus say or do and then I try to act like that, sometimes more and sometimes less successfully.
Tim: Obviously I hold to the philosophy and values of Christianity. Nonetheless, I think everyone on earth has a basic right to freedom of religion, even if it means rejecting or criticizing someone else’s religion. When I’m confronted with someone who doesn’t believe what I believe, their reasons for not believing challenge me to understand better why exactly I believe. I also think freedom of religion is something worth standing up to oppressive regimes and ideologies for. The free world should be pressuring and forcing the Islamic world and North Korea/China into adopting true freedom of religion and conscience, if you ask me, rather than pandering them because we want their oil and cheap appliances. Our behavior when confronted with these backwards, oppressive ideologies has been shameful and cowardly in recent years.
Jacki: Honesty, love, and trust: these are the keystones to living together with others. Sometimes it’s hard to implement that in every situation, but I’m working on it. I also try not to plan or structure my life, because in the end it’s God who’ll regulate this, so I lean back and be wait to see what will happen.
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of Ancient Prophecy?
Lynn: The best and greatest highlight is that the band still exists. God seems to have a real master plan for us, but the path has not been easy. Frequent lineup changes, especially with the main vocalist and problems playing the songs or individuals’ musical abilities constantly challenged us. Nonetheless, God opened doors again and again and went further with Ancient Prophecy. Since last year when we published our latest album, it has constantly gone forward. The numerous online reviews and interviews, even in secular magazines, the numerous likes on our Facebook page, and the many new international contacts that have arisen have encouraged us to keep on the journey and stick with the band. God is with us; this makes me very glad.
Flo: Every song is a gift from God and we listen to the songs and I am glad about every gift. Thats the first highlight. Second highlight is – AP still exists! 🙂
Tobi: I would say the greatest thing is that this band seems to really be blessed by God because it still exists through all the things we had to deal with and go through.
Tim: Playing internationally in Switzerland and Belgium this year was a highlight for me, even though the road trips were a bit grueling (I hate driving). It was also nice to see the money we fronted for the new CD and merchandise return to us with a little extra. A lot of musicians say they don’t care about money, claiming to not want to be sell-outs, but it’s still a strong indicator of how successful you are. Earning a bit of money means our message is spreading.
Jacki: Haha, it’s a highlight that God put these completely different people together in one band and helps the band to not break at this situation but keeps these characters together.
TMR: And the worst things were? (if there is one)
The worst gig, one of the first ones in 1998, was at a small youth club, and some members of another band did not like that we were a Christian band and tried to intimidate us. One even said that our band was not welcome and that Satan would destroy us. Needless to say, it was a cold atmosphere there, especially after seeing all the empty faces in the crowd. After that experience of feeling like a bunch of sheep among wolves, we pray before we go on stage, asking for security from spiritual or physical attacks and for the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us clearly get our message across to the audience.
Flo: The worst thing is when a member is ill and do not take care in gigs we play.
Tobi: With me leaving the band two times for selfish reasons, and after that realizing how much I hurt my brothers and sisters with that, I would say thats the worst thing that happened.
Tim: We had a break down on the way to a concert a long way away in Eastern Germany. Then when we got there, barely in time for the sound check, the weather went from bad to worse. The band that went on before us had very few in the audience, and then the downpour got even worse as we took to the stage, dead last. I thought there’d be more people on stage than in the audience. Nonetheless, when I finally had the courage to look out, I saw the field was packed with onlookers, and the numbers only went up from there. So nine-tenths of the day sucked, but the final hour was awesome…until the long drive home late at night.
TMR: What is your favorite drink and food ?
Lynn: I’m not a vegetarian, but I mostly eat fruit and vegetables. I’d never say no to various types of fish or a good burger. If you want to make me happy, then give me a cake, especially one with fruit in it. I drink water, coffee, and tea during the week, but on weekends or vacation I like drinking beer, e.g. banana wheat beer or cola beer.
Flo: I prefer chicken and rice. I love Pizza and food from China and Asia. I like cooking very well.
Tobi: Everything 😉 (i think thats a major problem)
Tim: In the US, I prefer hamburgers. Very few places in Germany can make a decent burger, though. However, here I prefer Wiener schnitzel. Oh, and I could literally eat pizza every day for years on end and never get sick of it. My favorite drink, depending on the situation is either coffee, water, or whiskey. Oh, and even though I’m American, German beer is the best.
Jacki: I eat nearly everything, so what I prefer depends on the situation. But my favorite drink is coffee.
TMR: So what makes you laugh?
Lynn: When we’re together as a band, we always have a good time and laugh a lot, e.g. while making videos and then later when cutting the outtakes and bloopers. Besides that, I like action comedy movies.
Flo: Making new videos – Lynn described – on our YouTube channel AP.TV. Every time we produce a new video we need a whole day and we laugh so much and have a lot of fun – I think you will see it by watching the outtakes.
Tobi: Too much to count. But I would say politics most of the time.
Tim: The Simpsons. Of course I like any good comedy.
Jacki: Horror films and insider jokes with my family, sometimes also the behavior of animals.
TMR: What is your biggest fear?
Lynn: That the band would break up and we couldn’t make music together anymore. On Stage, I fear not being able to hear the click of the metronome in my headset, causing the others to lose tempo, or I fear running out of energy and not being able to maintain my speed, especially on the double bass drums.
Flo: Going deaf :-), but with God, I don’t fear anything!
Tobi: Not being able to be in this band to make music for Jesus anymore. On stage, if the audience isn’t having any fun.
Tim: Getting decapitated by Islamic terrorists on video; falling down a flight of stairs and simultaneously chipping my teeth, breaking my phone, and losing my pants in the process; getting mauled by honey badgers; going to the bathroom in a third-world country only to find spiders and snakes crawling out of the toilet while you’re using it… I fear nothing on stage, though (except perhaps falling off and chipping my teeth, etc.). I come alive there!
Jacki: That’s a topic one shouldn’t think too much about 😉 On Stage, forgetting the lyrics.
TMR: What is your favorite album top 5 of all time?
Lynn: There are lots of albums, but I prefer: Inflames, Trivium, Helloween, War of Ages, Amaranthe, and some 80s heavy metal like Iron Maiden, etc.
Flo: I am in conflict between “Of Love and Lunacy” by Still Remains and “Found in Far Away Places” by August Burns Red. Both bands are great!!
Tobi: Way too much (haha). At the moment I like the most recent Theocracy and Signum Regis, Kobra and the Lotus, Defecto, Pink Cream 69, and so on……
Tim: Saviour Machine (1993, self-titled), Linkin Park (Reanimation), Tool (Lateralus), Bob Marley (Babylon by Bus), Circle of Dust (Disengage). There are lots more I like, though.
Jacki: Hard question, the world is full of good music, but very good albums are: Queen (not sure if “the game” or “Jazz”), Iced Earth- Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahnenflucht- K.O. System, Ken Tamplin- Tamplin … and so on. I can’t really answer it.
TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band?
Lynn: Besides the large amount of work for the band and practicing my instrument (drums), I like watching TV series, sci-fi, fantasy, action, and especially cop series. In the summer I like taking long bicycle trips and being out in nature.
Flo: Maybe in some years I would like to do marriage counseling. It’s very exciting to work with people in that field. I do it some now in my church, and God has given me some useful skills to handle so many problems married couples have. It’s a satisfying service. On the other hand I doing sports in the gym. Finally, I also like working on my car 🙂 In the past I trained to be a mechanic at VW / Audi.
Tobi: My family , and radio-controlled helicopters, planes, and cars.
Tim: I have two toddlers at home, so my free time is severely limited. I enjoy kung fu and chess, but I’m also interested in lots of other things.
Jacki: Going out and meeting friends, going to festivals, jamming, hiking, and studying of course.
Most of the songs were written quite a few years ago and could never be fully recorded due to the constant change in singers. The songs were recorded partially at home or in the practice room and then mixed and mastered by a studio technician. Since we as a band still don’t have a label or a promoting agency, we advertise and sell our CD ourselves. There are currently a lot more possibilities to market music online and numerous platforms, CD reviews, and interviews, as well as our videos on Facebook and APTv (YouTube). There are surprisingly a lot of possibilities for making our band better known.
TMR: About the cover artwork. Do you think it is as important as your music? Does it visualize the lyrics of your songs or what’s the actual story behind its concept?
We though a long time about which graphics or pictures to use on the CD and even debated various prototypes. The main thing we wanted to represent was always Jesus, because HE is our central focus. We also wanted to have a professional cover that would be noticed by the masses. The blood on the front and back and the three nails symbolize the salvation, because Jesus washes our sins away with His blood, and we can have a relationship with God. In our fiery logo, moreover, the three names of the Trinity are engraved, which are only noticeable upon closer inspection. We found it important to make a transparent, unmistakable statement.
TMR: How do you promote your band (and shows)?
We primarily use our Facebook page to present our band and any information, e.g. shows, news, and videos. On our website, www.ancientprophecy.de there are additional links to download our CD via iTunes and Amazon MP3; our Merch & More web shop, a link to the song lyrics as well as a summary, the sample player on Reverb Nation, and current concert dates with maps are also there. Furthermore, all our videos can be found in YouTube on our APTv channel.
TMR: Tell us about the hard rock/metal scene in your area please?
There are a lot of small, not famous, but upcoming metal bands in our area. The metal scene has always been a more underground scene, so there are more small gigs than big concerts, but I rather like the small ones, so for me it’s cool, except of some concerts in Frankfurt where some famous bands like Edguy are playing, but mostly they get the bands from other countries. Around here are smaller bands.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
Lynn: Besides practicing the songs right before a concert (due to long distances and time management, we don’t get to practice together regularly), we pray for a smooth concert and for protection for the trip there and back. We also pray right before we go on stage that God will speak through us and our lyrics to the audience. After all, we’re not some party band with meaningless lyrics out to have a good time. Our message is about life and death and the possibility for a relationship with God the Father.
Flo: Lots of practice and praying … and coffee.
Tobi: Mhhh, I don’t know, I usually pray, play the set list, and do some warm-up.
Tim: Lots of practice and listening to the music beforehand. I also insist that we all physically get together (dress rehearsal) to practice and work out any potential technical kinks.
TMR: What is your favorite concert that you saw and what made it so good?
Lynn: Since I usually don’t go to concerts very often, I can only say that a good sound and the way the musicians on stage interact with each other and the audience impress me.
Tobi: Mercenary @ Nachtleben Club in Frankfurt back in 2013; a very small audience and club, but very intense and energy loaded.
Tim: I had the chance to work security at a Rolling Stones concert at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1997. That concert was amazing. Mick Jagger and the band were already pretty old then, but they rocked hard for three solid hours or more. The smell of weed got stronger and strong as the concert progressed, so maybe that contributed to the overall good mood there, I’m not sure.
Jacki: I don’t know, I’ve seen so many concerts, I can’t pick one out. I think it’s important that you as the listener can feel that the band is convinced of what they are singing or playing and you can see their feelings meanwhile playing their songs.
TMR: What is the most embarrassing music on your phone or in your collection and how do you justify it to others?
Lynn: I don’t have any songs on my phone 😉 but I love the old music style of dance floor 😀
Tobi: I am not ashamed of any music, i think when there is someone who likes it it has its right to exist.
Tim: Some people think they can give me music, usually crap they like that I could care less for. I’m sure there’s some of that gathering digital dust in my phone. I don’t understand how someone who knows I like metal would think I’d be down for country, R&B, or praise & worship, but it happens.
Jacki: Hm, I am not ashamed of any music I listen to, there is some music the typical, cool and hard metal-head would laugh at like Turkish folk music, blues, the Kelly Family or Lady Gaga but it’s nothing I would be mortified to tell or show the others.
TMR: If you could pick a band to tour with, who would it be? And where would the tour go?
Lynn: Since we all have ‘normal’ jobs, and some have families, it’s unlikely that we’ll all have the time or possibility for a long tour, so I’d rather not think of it.
Tobi: no matter which band, so long it is fun for all. But Theocracy, Narnia, or Diviner would be awesome.
Tim: I think I’d pick a band that won’t party so hard that they destroy a hotel. I mean, I like having a good time, but within reason. With that said, I’d be down for whatever.
Jacki: Ha, Tamplin or Machinehead would be nice, but I think I would take every gig or tour we can get.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked?
Lynn: There are no dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Tobi: Mh, I think the dumbest thing is not to ask .
Tim: Well, I can’t think of anything specific, and I don’t think I’ve ever been asked a dumb question as part of the band, but I don’t react well to stupidity. I’d likely retort with a very rude reply.
Jacki: Hey have you found any gold, a dinosaur, or the amber room (you don’t have to understand that it’s an insider).
TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands/musicians?
A band primarily wants to write songs, record albums, and perform at concerts and festivals. The difficulty is in finding time, especially when career or family take up a lot of time. As a band with a Christian message, it’s even harder to get recognition or play at larger festivals.
TMR: As a band today, what do you think is the biggest challenge you face?
As a Christian band, it’s our goal to bring the ‘good news’ to the metal scene. We want to let them know about God’s desire to have a loving relationship, but we don’t want to water it down. After all, it’s about salvation and damnation. It’s always a fine line between pounding people over the head or even insulting them with it and explaining the effects of our deeds in regards to eternity. We obviously don’t always encounter a well-meaning and understanding audience. As a Christian you’re always in the crosshairs. Jesus said that whoever loves Him will be hated by the world and that we should consider the cost before saying we’ll follow Him. Nonetheless, we decided as a band to take the path of following Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us when writing lyrics and doing everything else.
TMR: Any plans for the near future?
Tobi: Play more gigs to bring more people in touch with our savior Jesus Christ.
Lynn: The next CD production will be of a higher quality, and I hope we can be invited to more secular concerts and larger festivals.
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview. We wish Ancient Prophecy all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement?]
Tobi: I would say to be more present out there and not only to play Christian concerts and audiences. I think especially in the secular music and metal scene there are a lot people that need to hear that the most important thing is, in whichever struggle or situation you find yourself, stick with Jesus and trust Him to work it out. Go out to the concerts and support the bands you like by sharing their music, and help us spread the gospel to the dark hearted out there.
Lynn: Be courageous and strengthened through the Holy Spirit of God. Metal Is Still Alive, Jesus is at your side.
Tim: Ancient Prophecy is here to make all of your wildest musical dreams come true. 🙂
Jaqueline Kunz – main & back-vocals
Timothy Bostick – bass guitar
Florian Kraus – guitar & back-vocals
Tobias Buß – guitar, main & back-vocals
Lynn André Neißner – drums & management
“Days of Doom” (1998) (Demo)
“New Chapter” (2010, update 2011) (Demo)
“Pounded By Our Sins” (2015)
Video for: ‘Eternity’