Greetings to you and the rest of the band! Thank you for taking the time to answer a couple of questions; I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who would like to know what the band's current status is and what the future will bring. Could you give us some insights?
Hi! First of all thanks for the interview. Our new album fear is finished and ready to be sold. It took us quite a long time to record this album (almost 3 years), and in these 3 years we also hardly played concerts. This time we needed a longer break to take care of personal issues. Four of us have recently bought themselves a house. There is much more work in a house than you first think. We also split up with our former label Massacre Records, and we came to the conclusion to do this album without any label support. I mean it's not that there is no label interested in our music, but we realized that it is better for a smaller band like us to take care of our stuff by ourselves. As a small band like us, you hardly get support from a big label and the small labels don't have enough money and staff to support you. In addition of hardly getting any money from your own CD. I mean a DigiPak gets sold in shops for 17-18 Euros and the band gets 1,50 Euro per CD but only after paying back the advanced payments for the studio. We don't think that this is the right way. We have got all the work and hardly earn, the fans get ripped off in stores with high CD prices and others earn the money? I think we will see how it works out for us without label. We are also playing a few concerts in the next time. So I think stuff is starting to roll here again.
CRYPTIC WINTERMOON has been around for quite a long time now. 16 years after you started with making music and putting out only three full lengths with your band, how do you feel?
I donít feel so bad about having only 4 albums released. I mean 2 more would be O.K., but I think rather take more time and do it right. We also do all the studio stuff by ourselves. We have an own studio and we also have to develop as producers and not only as a band. But it pays in the end. We can hold the costs low, the sound rocks and we are proud that we have managed to do it all by ourselves except for the mastering. Also it's great that we are still around after so long time. 90% of the bands we've started with are non existent anymore. So I think itís ok The way it goes. Of cause we always try to release the next album much earlier.
What were/are your influences current and past?
My influences haven't really changed over all those years. I still listen 90s Swedish Death Metal like ENTOMBED or DISMEMBER stuff like SLAYER some Soundtracks from time to time and sometimes when vodka gets a grip on me I listen to stuff like PRODIGY.
How do you feel about the current state of the Heavy Metal subculture? How did you feel, say fifteen years ago?
I think the subculture is growing. There are more different Metal styles and Metal starts going mainstream more and more. I always see more Metal bands signing with mayors like Sony. I think itís because the labels know that Metal fans still really buy CDs and not only download them, but on the other side the amount of Metal bands is growing. Festivals like Wacken are starting to become more mainstream now too. It gets shown on MTV and more and more visitors on big Metal festivals are not Heavy Metal. I think itís just a matter of time when Metal will end up like pop. Old Metal Fans stick to their fave bands like I stick to SLAYER, but the younger ones listen to that band one day, and the next day to another. You are a star today and nobody knows you tomorrow.
You have had a lot of genre changes in your career with the band, yet you always managed to shift fluently, without causing much protest or resentment with your fans. How so?
I don't think that here was so much genre change in our music/band during our career. In 2000 when we released "The Age Of Cataclysm" it wasn't a pure Melodic Black Metal album. We had Thrash parts, Death Metal and Black Metal. We had clean vocals, grunts and Black Metal vocals. The only thing we did from album to album is that we focused on those different styles without losing our "CRYPTIC WINTERMOON vibes". I think that you could hear that on each album that it is CRYPTIC WINTERMOON, and I think that is also the reason that nobody protests about changes. We always try to do something new without losing our roots. I think that is the way. Nobody wants that one album sounds like the other, but also nobody wants to have a completely new music style on each album.
Is there a more complex theme to your upcoming album "Fear"? What does the CD mean to the band? If you like, you can each give your own statement.
The album "Fear" is more or less a concept album about mainly World War I. It should show the inhumanity and horror of industrialized war without standing on the side of any country that was involved in the war. Doesn't matter if they were Germans, Americans, French or any other. It's more about the soldier. We donít want to glorify, we want to show what it really was like. So the music is written in a more dark way with a few more disharmonic melodies and the guitars tuned down six halftones to get an even darker atmosphere. We really like this album. We are happy about the sound, the artwork and how the album finally turned out and I hope the fans will be too.
I've seen you guys perform last year at my home city and it was a great show, packed with energy and also performed very authentically, in a very traditional heavy metal way. Will there be more shows coming, can we even expect a tour or a festival gig?
I hope there will be more shows this time. There are 2-3 shows planned up to now. We also want to play on a few open air festivals gigs in 2010. In the moment we are sending out promo material to festival organizers, and I hope they want us to play there. I donít think there will be a tour, because we all have regular jobs and it is very hard for us to get off for a few weeks at the same time in order to play a tour.
The "metal-archives.com" suggests your lyrical themes to be "war and anti-religious". Maybe you could tell me and your fans what you think about religion in general and please, don't be shy.
We are very tolerant about religious stuff, but I think nobody in the band is religious. We donít have anything against those people who think that they need a god to survive or to solve their problems, but we donít believe in things like that. They should do what they think is right for them but leave us alone. I don't like people coming around and trying to tell me what I should believe in and how bad my life is when I don't go to church, but I also won't run around and tell them. If you really look at our vocals there are hardly anti-religious lyrics except maybe for "Messiah". I would describe our lyrics as "Epic, anti war/war".
What are your professions? How does the band earn its money?
Well , Ronny got his CD/DVD shop, Andrea has got an office job, Andreas is chimney sweeper, Nico studies for being a teacher, Micha is an engineer and I am chief-secretary at a textile company. So that is the way we earn our money. We could never live off the music we are making, especially in times when ten times more people download your album instead of buying it.
The fourth track on "Of Shadows... And the Dark Things You Fear", "Bonegrinder 1916", I've been wondering what the opening song is called and which audio samples you used. Could you provide more information on how it's called and why you chose to use that as an intro?
The song was recorded by John McCormack in 1914 and was a typical WW1 soldiers song and very popular at those days. We did choose it because it fits the song "Bonegrinder 1916". The song starts with this intro and sounds pretty happy and then song fades in and it turns dark, just like real WW1. The soldiers left home and thought it would be an easy weekend trip to the frontier and after a week they would return back home as heroes, but in the end it turned out to be hell.
What are your sentiments towards human conflict, do you think it is about human nature or rather, human behaviour?
I think it's because humans are never pleased with what they have and the ambition to always have more. They see what other people have and want the same or even more. On the one side those ambitions bring progress and on the other side they bring conflict. Thatís the way wars start. Two countries claim one territory or something like "they have beaten us in WW1 so lets go back and beat them in WW2". I think that conflict will always be as long as there are humans.
Which ideological beliefs do you support?
I think all in this band are pretty much settled in the middle. We hate extreme right wing ideologies as well as left wing. We think that a system can only work if the community works together. We all are working for our money and not living on welfare. If you want to get somewhere you have to do something for it, and if you canít manage it, then blame yourself and not the others.
What's your favorite animal?
My favourite animals are monkeys. Don't know why but I always liked them. I think because they are a lot like humans.
Okay jokes aside, how do you think Heavy Metal will develop in the future, we had glam in the 80s, "Nu-Metal" in the 90s and currently a great number of "-core" bands have sprouted seemingly out of nowhere, how do you feel about this "evolution"?
I think clean vocals will increase. You will have hard guitars with melody and clean vocals. The bands will try to get more mainstream. I think that trend will develop futher. A lot of bigger bands already do that. Take IN FLAMES for example. They are trying to break into the American market and reach more mainstream folks, so the vocals get softer. But like it always is, some day the people will fed up with that trend and then maybe another Black or Death Metal-like music style will rise again.
In the age of "mass information", as I like to call it, people seem to have lost all perspective and are entertaining themselves with various mass media garbage. What do you think about our time?
Yes it is like you say. If you look at the Web, there is 70% garbage, but here are two sides. Each person can upload and much of it is shit but there are good things too. When I see it from the view of our band, then there are much more possibilities to promote our music, but also much more other bands. In the past you had to rely on labels and distributors, radio stations and on printed media to promote your music and now you can do 90% on your own. On the other side those institutions filtered the most of the garbage. I mean you have to see how the Internet works the best for you.
That about wraps up the philosophical and cultural part of the interview, thank you all for your time and hope to be seeing you very soon, maybe at a concert or festival. Do you have and last words (don't worry, I won't shoot you)?
Thanks for the Interview. I hope you like our album. People with interest can visit us on www.cryptic-wintermoon.com
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