Hi Steffen. How are you?
Hi, Zsuzsanna! I’m fine! It’s a pleasure meeting you tonight! Thank you very much for your time!
It’s my pleasure, also! Everything is OK? Can we start the interview?
Everything’s fine, cool! Yes, sure!
In the new generation, I think you are one of the most outstanding technical death metal playing band. The best proof is the Diluvium album released last year. The positive reception gave a big driving force to the band, I suppose…
The whole album is a huge success for the overall band. Each record reached higher ranking in all kind of charts in the United States and in North America overall and now it all started in Europe. So, Diluvium for us, that we are able to do playig in more countries we haven’t been before, for example we played the first tour in Australia, in New Zealand this year, aside from playing in North America, playing in Japan, playing in Asia, playing in Europe again, and now finally round out this whole world tour we come back and played the second part of Europe and was that said, we finally come back to Hungary and play in Budapest.
That’s good to hear! What has happened to the band since the release of the album?
So far, the band doing quite well and we finished our recording contract with Nuclear Blast Records while Diluvium was realased so that means now we’re working on new records in the meantime and expect to hit the studio somewhere next year. And, as a partner of Nuclear Blast, I think it gives us more opportunites in Europe. So, over all, Diluvium cycle isn’t finished yet. A tour coming up and aside from all those touring, we’re constantly writing music, we’re doing video shoots, we have a couple of new partners, in terms of PR, in terms of equipment. We’re constantly work with Engl amplification, new amplifiers for bass and guitars. There’s so much going on these days and it’s not possible to have any other bands or a job next to it, so I try to keep everything somehow balanced. That’s the reason of Thulcandra is not so old but barely doing anything since we figured out that takes most of our time and our life. The band simply overshaded everything else.
How much music do you usually do a week without concerts? What’s your priority?
When I’m not on the stage, I’m working on get back on the stage! (laughs) I’m writing music at home. I work on the tour productions, which means the lightshows, the audiogear, everything that somehow has to do with the equipment, that is basically on my table, together with all of technicians. We work out a plan, make a preproduction… But, in terms of music, this is also here my home studio. So most of that work is happening over here. We have a headquarter in Landshut which is not far from Munich, so most of the time I’m working. For example, doing interviews at night, just like today! (laughs)
Let’s jump a bit … to an important event for everyone, including us, Hungarians: from February, 2020 you’re gonna hit 21 stages in a row! Steffen, this is awesome! Please, take it up and tell us everything about this tour!
(laughs) Well, I hope you already saw the entire line-up we choose for that line-up a couple of tens, you know, and we really respect. The opening band will be Fractal Universe, which is a very interesting band for us and really supportive and respective. So they chop early to the venue. This is definitely a band you should see live. A fantastic live band. They’re from more prog and death metal and they’re sound a bit… I mean, they’re from France and sound a tiny little bit like Gojira, so definitely an interesing band. The second band is Thulcandra, basically my second band. We decided to take with us on tour which is playing more like black and death metal. The last time I remember we played in Hungary with this band, I think it was in 2011, for the Metal Fest at that time. So that was a long-long-long time since we’re coming back. And the third band is God Dethroned. I think everybody knows this band, they’re from the Netherlands, one of the first death metal bands in Europe and they’re just announced they’re releasing a new record in February, before the tour. So, check out the new album, it will definitively worth it. I think they’re a little bit forcing, melodic, midtempo elements in their music. So, over all, line-up is completely mixed, and if you see where we are playing, it’s going to be a very-very interesting tour. We’re not playing Paris, we’re not playing London, like the usual cities you would expect. We’re basically separated from all of the cities, we wanted to do the tour is two parts. In February, this year, we played the western part and next year we’re going to play Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. That’s the reason we haven’t hit most of those stages we loved in 2019, we’ll play in them in 2020. That’s the reason why we’re coming back to Hungary! It took awhile!
Those nights God Dethroned, Thulcandra and Fractal Universe will also perform. In addition, you’re in Thulcandra, too. So, you give 2 concerts in one night? Do I think well?
That’s absolutely true! (laughs) I’ll play two shows every night, so this will be very demanding, but at the same time it’s enjoyable. I only play in those two bands and I love to play both style of music and why I don’t play both of it at one night? It’s very demanding, physically, playing two shows a night, but on the other hand, we did this already, on our 15 years anniversary. Live show was for both band, similar setup, and it turned our very good. It was demanding, but if you don’t party every day, it will be possible.
If I multiply those two shows per night with 21 stations, 42 concerts you’re gonna play in just 1 month. That won’t be easy, but you will definitely enjoy it, I think. How can you gather that much power? 🙂
I don’t know, yet! (laughs) No, first of all, we need good preparation, discipline on tour and after our last show in Landshut, our hometown show, I’ll definitely need some holidays! (laughs) At least three days or something. Nah, it will turn out fine and I’m really looking forward for that one. Don’t worry, it will be fine!
Okay, I’m pretty sure in that! The holidays are here soon. What kind of gift would you like to receive? 🙂
I wish I get one point a drummer who is carrying his own drumset! (laughs) Nah, and aside from that, I’m totally happy with that what I have. The biggest gift is being healthy and having a healthy family and friends. I don’t need anything else, I don’t carry about luxury, I’m happy with what I have, to be honest. But thank you for asking!
Oh, you’re welcome and I agree with you, totally! Can you tell us your New Year resolution?
Well, finishing a new record, for both bands in 2020. I hope that works!
Last year Diluvium was released, now you have a new label and the tour is coming and I think then the sixth album’s writing process may begin. True?
Oh, we’re already writing songs for the new album for Obscura. We’re in the middle of writing new songs, while also preparing the upcoming tour and we’re planning to hit the studio next summer. So, right now, we’re negotiating, who’s producing the record and where and when we’re doing that. But our time will be the summer in the next year, when we’re going to record the new album. We’re going to have a busy year, a really busy year!
The good thing about Obscura, in my opinion is that you haven’t been turned too much away from the original direction. What do you think are the main values of Obscura? Who should approach you amongst them that are not familiar with Obscura’s music, yet?
Well, if you listen to our first demo, we every did from 2003, we basically mixed black metal, death metal, a little bit of tharsh, and already put in a small amount of prog pieces, as a work with strings. So, we didn’t change too much, the only difference is we’re now better musicians than back then. We’re simply play we like, but at the same time, we always stick to where we come from. So, we will not become of a female fronted, opera-based, I don’t know, gothic band on the next album. We definitely only play the music we love and like and we just go on and try to keep it more interesting. So, we definitely stay where we are with the band, but at the same time open up a little bit and well, includes couple of other ideas, which other bands don’t. So, if you see the difference between Akróasis and Diluvium or Omnivium and Akróasis, all of those records sound a little bit different. And this is good. I don’t wanna repeat myself and the next album will be the same but, including a tiny glimpse of new music. We definitely keep the sound we have, so over all, bases of this band is always a death metal band, but let’s see what we’re drifting into with the next album. So we try to keep it interesting for ourselves, but also for the fans.
So many of us are waiting for you at the concert in Budapest. What do you say to Hungarian fans?
Since we have played with Obscura a couple of times over there in Hungary, it would be fantastic to see Dürer Kert completely full, since we don’t come there too often. We played in, I don’t know, I think 4 shows there, in the last 15 years, since we exist, so it would be a pleasure to play more shows over there.
It would be also a pleasure for us!
Would be a pleasure to see all of you! And if you want to visit your favorite shop early to the venue, watch all the bands, because we invited all of the bands, also. That would be really cool. Just support all of those bands. That would be my biggest gift you can give them.
Thank you, Steffen, for talking with me! I wish all the best for the band and for you! Happy Holidays!
Thank you very much, likewise, and Zsuzsanna, if you wanna witness the show, you’re very invited! Just drop a message to Philipp, and of course, you’re our guest at the show! Thank you very much for the interview! It was a pleasure talking to you!
It was mine, too! Thank you very much! Have a nice evening! Bye!
Good bye! Good evening! Ciao!
The interview was taken with Steffen Kummerer on 16.12.2019.Contributed by: Zsuzsanna Muszka