Hi Alex, Atrocity is now back with a damned good album which sounds
brutal & modern. What has been your leitmotiv for always trying to innovate
and continue the band through all these years ?
A: First of all thank you ! Well, Atrocity cannot be described in just one special category. We did a lot of different things in the past and we also liked to do musical experiments. We like to combine several musical elements and styles. Atrocity is a band which has been always looking for new and extreme horizons in Metal music and even dared to do things other metal bands wouldn’t dare. The music of the band is not something we just like to do, it is our life and lifestyle, our air we breathe, our deepest passion and expression. I spent more than the half of my life for this band ! From the very beginning the goal was to make music in our own style, to make it different than others, to be extreme and maybe to move something on our own in the metal scene. You could describe Atrocity as a band which creates extreme, atmospheric, bombastic, melodic and hymnic songs at the same time. We are five creative characters in the band the big atrocious family, ha, ha… For us there are nearly no limits which pushes our creativity even more. I think an album like "Atlantis" is a great and varied output after a while and shows the big musical spectrum of Atrocity ! We wanted to create a dark soundtrack of a big myth with metal songs ! We will also want to keep the character of the band in doing follow ups of works like the ethno album “Calling the Rain” with my sister Yasmin and "Werk 80".
What are the reasons for this 3 and a half years of silence ?
T: In these three years we had to do a lot of hard work and important decisions for Atrocity had to be made. For example we signed a worldwide record contract with Napalm records. Also we moved to Stuttgart with our own Mastersound studios and built it up there again. We also produced a lot of bands there in the last two years. And last but not least I was one year away from the band and when I came back in the beginning of 2003 we threw away most of the written song material and started off with completely fresh and new material for Atrocity. So there are no old fillers but lots of new killers on "Atlantis", yeahhh ! So now we are back with more power and energy than ever before, which is documented on "Atlantis" and I promise all our fans will not have to wait three more years for the next album.
"Atlantis" sounds like a mix of some very different influences
like death-metal, gothik and even nu-metal. Is it a natural progression resulting
of all the Atrocity past periods, or a definitive new colour you tried to reach
T: First of all, "Atlantis" is a metal album with a brutal but also symphonic and hymnic character. There are a lot of good metal albums that are only brutal, and they get boring because the melodic sense is missing, and also there are a lot of good melodic albums, but sometimes they have lack of brutal power. So I think "Atlantis" is a synthesis of brutal power and great melodies. And this balance can be seen as an Atrocity trademark.
Why did you choose to sing about the Atlantis lost continent ? What’s
your interpretation of this concept through the new lyrics ?
A: Atlantis is a great story, the biggest myth on earth, the myth of myths ! It has many elements which are fascinating at the same time: Cradle of mankind, Mythology of the gods, mystical, occult and dark subjects, the old wisdom, many legends on earth are connected with Atlantis and the doom of the Atlantean empire itself ! I was getting in touch with some strange things regarding Atlantis when I was together with my youth girlfriend. Her stepmother said she was origin Atlantean and she was reincarnated. Of course I was really confused but
Who did compose the music for these new songs ? Is Atrocity a very
democratic band or Alex the leader ?
A: Basically a lot of ideas came this time from the two guitar players Matze and Tosso, but also Chris had some good ideas, too, like the melodies of the single “Cold Black Days”. We all write the songs together and do the songwiting in a creative process. For that album the concept was made by me and I wrote down the titles and ideas behind it. So everybody could get inspiration by that and worked out great. At the end I have a look on the final result and if it’s necessary I change some things in the arrangement in coordination with all others. We are democratic band but basically it is my part to bring 5 creative characters together which is not always very easy ha, ha…
Why did you sign with Napalm records ? Disappointed by the Motor music
experience with "Gemini" ?
A: We have been signed to the major label Motor/Universal. They do bands like Limp Bizkit, Rammstein or Marilyn Manson in Germany. We were getting a bunch of money and we have entered the german charts again but the pitty was actually that there was nearly no good distribution of our last record "Gemini" outside Germany, Austria, Switzerland. Except Mexico, where we played with In Extremo there was only a very poor distribution situation for us. We have been aware of that before and signed a contract which helps us to get out of this situation. But it took a while and we wanted to have a new partner which can handle us worldwide again of course ! We are happy to be on Napalm now which are releasing the record everywhere. The people there work very professional and we are top priority with Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes !
Before the album, Napalm records released the "Cold Black Days" single. Why did you choose this s
T: We sat down together and had to choose between “Cold Black Days”, “Sunken Paradise”, and “Gods of Nations”. We decided to pick “Cold Black Days” because it is a very catchy song and we had some good ideas concerning a videoclip for “Cold Black Days”, which is also on the "Atlantis" album.
What does the “Cold black days” videoclip look like ? Do
you like to work on this kind of project, on the visual side of Atrocity ?
T: The visual part was always very distinctive on Atrocity albums (for example on the "Blut" or "Werk 80" lp) . The video shows us performing in a very surrealistic dome, almost like in Star Wars, hahaha. In addition there is a mystic story in the clip that deals with themes of Atlantis and mystic symbols. And I think the video looks great.
Do you still appreciate real death-metal ? What do you think about
the "Hallucinations" and "Todessensucht" albums today ?
A: Atrocity was maybe the first real death-metal band from Germany and of course I still like death-metal and all kinds of brutal music. But it has to be done with style ! I think Matze is a die hard death/black-metal maniac ! If it comes to “Halluciantions” and “Todessehnsucht” I have to say that I’m very proud of these two outputs which are still meant to be classics in the death-metal scene. Both albums are great and for that time they have been very unique albums, too. That was exactly what we wanted to do. Of course there are also many great “nostalgic” feelings and remembrance of that period, too like our first bigger tour with Carcass. I was also a tapetrader and doing many other things in the underground like organising concerts, and also starting to produce other bands like for example Sinister’s debut album “Cross the Styx”. One highlight for sure were the “Support the Underground” festivals which I organized with Carcass, Atrocity, Entombed, Pungent Stench, Disharmonic Orchestra and which took place in three different countries. One festival was done in Paris as well !
Being a very popular producer in the international metal scene, what are the albums you’re very proud of ?
A: Oh that’s a hard question because I always give my best and the bands too. Elis got a lot of attention, Sanguis Et Cinis, too- and we talked about extreme metal: Belphegor’s “Lucifer Incestus” is a great opus !
Did you already work with some french bands ? Are there some you’d
like to produce or just appreciate ?
A: I made many international acts but I didn’t have the chance to produce any french band yet, but everybody is welcome to get in touch with us ! Check out our webpage www.mastersoundstudio.de
Are there some summer fests plans for Atrocity this year, or maybe
a eurotour ?
T: We will play summer festivals like the With-Full-Force festival, the Earthshaker fest in Germany or the Skeleton-Bash festival in Austria and then we will do a european tour around october and november and I think we will also come to France to present the new album, too. Quite cool, my first concert for Atrocity took place in La Rochelle/France in 1994. I will never forget that day. So I have very good memories about playin’ in France.
What’s up with your wife Liv Kristine ? Does she have some musical
A: We formed her new band Leaves’ Eyes and we are all taking part of it ! We are like a big family here and Liv and me had the idea to do something with a nice lyrical concept. That was even before Theatre of Tragedy took her out of the band. I think the album “Lovelorn” is a really great album and all fans of gothic-metal will love the album – Liv’s voice is fantastic.
Thanx for your precious time, last words are yours.
A: Greetinx to all french fans ! Dive into the antediluvian world and join our trip to "Atlantis" ! By the way did you know that in France are still many relicts of the megalith culture which is very often connected to the Atlantean culture ? See you all on tour !