В оригинале оно будет переведено на дойч, если приедет "авторский экземпляр" номера - выложу тут сканы :-))
А пока - выкладываю для подписчиков сообщества на более доступном широкой общественности языке. Пожалуй - самое "злое" интервью за всю историю получилось :))
Chris, on your homepage you write, that you fight for the glory of true Metal and all of those who worship this religion. Do you really think that Metal should be seen as a religion? In my opinion religion is the worst thing on earth, look at all these crimes committed in the name of any God. And what is true Metal in your mind, the stuff from the 80ies or the 1997 in the name of HAMMERFALL reborn one?
Chris: Well, first of all, this saying was more of a metaphoric one. It didn’t mean that it’s a kind of religion that everyone is used to. It meant that metal is a way of life and the way of thinking.
JT: I think that really true metal bands they never actually shout everywhere that they are true. Because there are much more interesting themes for them in this world.
Another thing is I think that the real true metal is how much you are honest for yourself and your public but not that heroic poses on the stage.
Speaking about the epochs of heavy metal… In the 80-ties there were many bands that were really honest for themselves and their fans, he-he, I’ve lived a bit in that time, that was great even here on the edge of heavy metal universe, he-he…
But what concerns heavy and power of the end of the 90-ties and the beginning of 2000, it doesn’t inspire me, it seems to me too much produced, over produced, I should say.
But whom I really consider “true metalheads” are those, who played Heavy, Speed or Thrash in the first part or in the middle of the 90-ties whe it was a difficult time for heavy metal. In the 80-ties when metal was in favour it was very easy to “be true” even for those people who were in this style just occasionally, by chance.
But in the first part of the 90-ties under the negative disposition from the mass media and the recording companies, those who didn’t yield for the fashion trends or commercialization, those people are the real true metal warriors!
You are absolutely right, I admire a band like GRAVE DIGGER who dare to release a record like “The reaper” in 1993, when nobody seems to be interested in traditional Heavy Metal. So I asked not without a hidden agenda, ‘cause the founding of HOLY DRAGONS was in the same year as HAMMERFALLs debut, so some people might think, you are inspired from late 90ies Metal. What did you do before 1997?
JT: Right you are! Such bands really helped to get through the 90-ties. But for those people there would be the rebirth of Heavy which we can see in the 2000.
The thing is that the history of Holy Dragons takes its roots in the early 90ties. Exactly it originates from the band “Axcess”, created in 1992. Before that I played in the teenage band “King of Speed” made just to while away the time, but at that time it seemed all very serious but it split up when its members ended school. In “Axcess” we played different music- Hard-n-Heavy, (old school) Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, hard rock covers, lots of things. Our current Holy Dragons singer Holger took part in this project also. Then a couple of years passed and “Axcess” had difficulties with the members and then split up. We couldn’t find people who wanted to play classical Metal and they were not rather qualified for that. Everybody wanted to play MTV stuff, thinking that they could earn a lot of money and easy popularity.
So, in 1995 Chris and I made a decision to create a new band with a different name as I had some very bad associations with the name “Axcess”, it was associated for me with a chain of unlucky events. And in 1997 we managed to get a complete band crew.
Chris: Before Holy Dragons in 1991 I’ve gathered a band GB-5, which also was a teenage band and didn’t exist for a long time. Then, I joined a female band “Lamia” in 1993, but as it was a lame duck project (I mean it didn’t give a single concert during its history and it didn’t record a single album, only one song) I left it and then we created Holy Dragons together with Jurgen.
I never could listen to your first effort “Dragon steel”. Did people in Kazakhstan regard you as aliens, due to the fact, that this was the first record ever in this country and METAL seems to be a foreign word there?
JT: The thing is that we had some special situation in our country. Here in the 80ties there were many bands, which played hard rock on the edge with heavy metal, still not many of them never stepped over that edge.
In reality the first heavy band in Kazakhstan there was “Triumvirat”, the style of which combined many parallels with “Rush” from one hand and with “Led Zeppelin” from the other. This band existed in our city since the 70ties. The stage of our city traditionally was oriented on heavy music – and the main heroes here were “ Led Zeppelin”.
The bands recorded some demo-albums but most often there were in the format of “home-audio”, and almost nobody heard them – we had no music publishing industry in the 80ties.
But “Triumvirat” almost had a deal with the Russian label “Melodia” in 1992, but the collapse of this label had prevented these plans.
Unfortunately, all these “ dinosaurs” couldn’t survive through the difficult 90ties and by the end of the 90ties Holy Dragons turned out to be practically the only active band, playing traditional Metal. Probably there were other projects but I don’t have any information about them.
The appearance of our band in the end of 90ties was a shock. The public of that time go used to grunge and kinder punk rock, when drunk guys crawl onto the stage and just slum the strings without any rhythm and scream some crappy stuff…
The young public considered that bands, playing on the out of tune guitars 3 minute songs with only one type of rhythm and only 4 chords and without solos is normal.
When we had the first release in Kazakhstan, 7 thousand copies were sold in three weeks. But the firm didn’t want to print more copies it, despite the facts that it was well sold, still they thought that “nobody needs that Heavy Metal!” After that we began to look for a label outside Kazakhstan, such label has become “Metalism Records”.
How do you your debut regarding to your last work?
JT: During all these years our playing and composing skills have greatly improved, music has become more technically skilled and more versatile, but actually it is the way it should be.
Another change- till the year 2004 we clutched for the “old-school sound of the 80ties” and only after 2005 we managed to step over this psychological barrier and shift over to the other type of sounding – more up-to-date.
Personally for me the “modern sound” stopped to be associated with nu-metal and other kinds of fashionable American pop-stuff, classic heavy metal sounds really great on the “modern sound”!
More than that, we have got rid from all the limits in the stylistics. WE merge into the style of Holy Dragons everything we want and if we don’t play grind-core or latin-american samba that only means that we have no wish to play it, but not the” desire to follow the standards”, which is thought to be the common fault for the fans of classical heavy music.
And what made you becoming a Metalhead and, most important, forces you into musicianship?
Сhris: Well, first my friends and me (that was at school) wanted to “be like The Beatles” and to become a musician. Then gradually, step by step I came to be a Metallhead. You can not become a Metalhead, it’s somewhere in your heart and this way of thinking is either with you always and it comes out sooner or later. Sooner or later you will come to metal anyway anyhow.
JT: I guess it was somewhere inside from the very beginning, When I became a teen-ager,
first I heard blues and I understood that this music is something that is mine, that I heard hard rock, heavy metal and understood that it was 100 times mine! That it’s a part of me, and I can’t live without it like without air, shall not my word sound pathetic it is really so.
It’s easier with my musicianship. I studied at a music school since I was 6, piano, classical music, Bach, Beethoven, Haydn and all.
As soon as I began to listen to heavy, I understood that I wouldn’t be able just to listen, I want to be inside it, inside it all. Naturally, I took the guitar. I’m not sure if I could express all my feelings with the help of the piano, not speaking about “the king of disco”– synthesizer, despite the fact that now synthesizer had taken the place in the arsenal of metal bands, in the 80-ties it symbolized that you belonged to “false metal”, music, played by guys with the make up on their eyes and in tights, and playing Jane Fonda aerobics music, he-he. I like girls, doing aerobics, but I don’t like guys who tried to look like these girls!
And what separates classic Heavy Metal from all the other subgenres like Speed, Thrash or Death Metal?
Сhris: I don’t think that there is much difference at least between Heavy, Speed and Thrash.
Naturally, Heavy is a foundation in which we can find the beginning of all the other styles.
In the Speed Metal the standard has become the high speed and blast-beat together with the vivid melody, still there are fast songs, which can be characterized as Heavy Metal,
In Trash the riff foundation has become too much syncope-oriented and vocal more straightforward – but stylistic borders of Thrash are notably more narrow than in heavy Metal, which v\can be very eclectic. Death Metal first seemed the next step of development
After Thrash – all these rhythmical displacements, more brutal vocals –but it seems to me that despite the different modifications of this style like “techno”, “melodic’, “sympho” and so on, its borders are much more narrow than the borders of the previous styles, the division of which can be rather conditional. I didn’t have a chance to hear about a death-metal band, which can play equally well, say, blues-rock, celtic music, classical music, shred and so on – the direction of the development of this style has a definite vector and strictly determined borders.
In the frameworks of Heavy we can get more variety, though its fashionable to keep silent about it, it is presumed that the development of Heavy stopped long time ago.
JT: In the most parts of human development, the development itself stopped many years ago. A plate is a plate, a table is a table, boots are boots, and that doesn’t mean that we should
reject all that for the sake of inventing something new, like floating plates with hydrogen engines, tables, resting on the ceiling or boots, which are put on over your head, you can make plates and tables of good and bad quality and that will be their value, but not the degree of their being revolutionary…
I would prefer to eat an old good soup made from the normal products then a soup, made of genetically mutated products with nano-robots in it and I will not care if it is somebody’s “know-how” or not, he-he.
This is exactly what I think! Every important note in Heavy Metal was already written, all that counts is what new bands are doing with the old notes. But unfortunately most bands use keyboards –as you already mentioned –as a surrogate for guitars and destroy the production with technique. It seems you are NOT fans of triggering drums or using ProTools. You even seem to be fans of the analog sound. This is why many Metal fans still prefer vinyl, what’s your opinion to that?
JT: It’s a very wide-spread opinion, like “all the riffs have been already played” and all that stuff. But still, I think one can invent something new, but sometimes I think – why not make “something old” – like there once was such a great band and they had such a great song on the riff like this…In our band I want something of this kind, he-he…
You just remember when your were a teenager and was listening to it and you don’t want all this to go away, you want a teenager like you once have been to come to your gig and to feel the same that you felt at the age of 14, he-he…
Сhris: On the back cover of our album “Wolves of Odin” there is a sign, showing a red line, crossing the keyboards. That was an emotional decision, protest against that fact that in music the keyboards started to push out the basis, to push out the guitars. There are a lot “metal bands” and they are supported by the major labels, in the music of which there is no place for the guitar riffing but instead the keyboards with “disco-kind” are sounding everywhere and there are the same type primitive drums, like in disco-style. What kind of style is that, I wonder? Some people say, that now it’s called “Power metal” but I honestly don’t understand where there is power in that music??? May be it’s a misprint and this music should be called “Flower Metal”?
JT: Well, to tell you the truth, we’re not against keyboards. If they are used approprietly they can add some more colours and emotions. Let’s remember,say, warm tube sound of of John Lord’s “Hammond”, Pink Floyd experiments, exalted chorals in ”Seventh Son of the Seventh Son” Iron Maiden or Hellowenn’s “ Keepers” !
But when a disco-synthesizer becomes the basis of metal music and guitars mean nothing it is ridiculous, but more and more bands are going this way, they don’t have a sence of proportion!!!
About another modern tendency. Yes, I’m a fan of analogue sound. But unfortunatelly we have to use the digital technologies more and more…For example, now we have to record drums, using the drum-trigger, mainly because that we have no finance for the recording of acoustic drums. We have studios that are doing the acoustic drum recording, but it is done on the terrible cave people level. And for going somewhere to Europe or to the Eastern Asia taking into consoderation the big distance and the prices for the air-tickets, that all will demand budget twice bigger than that of any European bands have.
So, on this step we still have to use the drum- trigger but I think we will grow this problem over.
Сhris: About vynil it’s an interesting question. I like the vynil sound, despite all the drawbacks like deterioration or noise, but if you have a good vynil record-player it is really great!
JT: Yes, vynil it’s really great!
It has a more deep sound. All the recordings of old-school underground of the 80-ties they sound really great on vynil in comparison with the way they sounded on the CD. Digital CD presupposes that the phonorgamm would be cleaned from all the not nevessary sounds and etc. Though now there is some very good mastering equipment, imitating vynil to some extent.
And the recordings of the 80-ties were done directly without all these “limiters-supressors” on drums with the minimun of additional layers –they have noise, but it’s a good noise and it sounds well on the vynil.
Listening to your last effort “Black moon rising” I thought to myself, if this were a Western band pushed by a label like Nuclear Blast, they could become a big name in the scene. You’re now by Metalism Records, are you satisfied with their support and could you imagine to tour here in Western Europe? And do you still dream the dream of fame and fortune or are you mature and fucked off enough to do Metal just for your own pleasure, which seems to be the best recipe for the “real” Metal?
JT: Yes, many people say so. But I don’t see any way how to make the major label representatives just to listen to our CDs. Our label sent the CDs to the major labels, we ourselves also did the same, but I guess, the mail to this labels goes straight into the waste-basket.Who needs new bands, when they have HIM and KORN.
Сhris: Right. By now I heard a lot of the same opinions about “Black Moon Rising”. I guess we just have to make them true to life, ha-ha… I mean, people’s thoughts are material, they say, so may be one day these words gonna get true, who knows…
You’re now by Metalism Records, are you satisfied with their support and could you imagine to tour here in Western Europe? And do you still dream the dream of fame and fortune or are you mature and fucked off enough to do Metal just for your own pleasure, which seems to be the best recipe for the “real” Metal?
JT: Metalism Records is a small label,and unfortunatelly it doesn’t have lots of finance. More than that, because of our location we have a status of an “expensive band”, I mean the air tickets and all. Btr for example if we even ageee to play for “free”, say, in Moscow or in Prague or in some other city, the coming of Holy Dragons will cost more than Sonata Arctica
Or Fredom Call. So, whom will the organizers bring?
More than that there is one more problem and it’s more serious than it seems. The problem concerns visas. It’s very difficult to get a visa to many countries for the residents of the post-Soviet space. They want to see in their countires ignorant orhtodox islamic terrorists, who will kill rams just on their streets and impose their alien views of “oriental medeival ages”.
They want to see pakistani people, selling drugs or swarthy guys, who burn cars today and tomorrow it will seem not enough for them… all these people are welcome guests according to the opinion of bureaucrats, controlling the visa regime. But they don’t need competent people, thinking in the European traditional vein. Many people go abroad and get good jobs in the sphere of computer technologies, science, they win grants, they get a sceintific degree – I have a lot of such friends of mine, but at the same time the visa policy hasn’t practically changed since the times of the “Iron Curtain”. Instead, there are no real barriers in Europe for criminals, who have a lot of money, they do what they want there, it doesn’t fit any moral norms…
It’s politics, I don’t want to to touch this subject, but it really prevents the normal development of the band. But I will quote Blackie Lawless: “I’m politically incorrect and very proud of it!” © And that is really so.
Сhris: Actually, we really feel the power and big potential to do a lot and to say a lot in musicon the much more broader level, I mean the level of promotion. What concerns our touring in Western Europe, it’s a difficult question according to many reasons but anyway, I hope that one day such a tour will be possible. We have a proverb “A soldier who doesn’t dream of becoming a general one day, is a bad soldier”.
JT: More for the sake of my own pleasure. If we wanted to be “rich and famous” we’d be playing pop-rock or alternative. Playing in that style it’s not very difficult to find support and finance from the side of rich Easten-European or Russian labels, specilazing on “fashionable” music and the support of such like radio-stations.
But, I mean, I really would like to launch a mechanism, which would allow the band to go into full-time tours and for that taking into consideration our problematic prices for the tickets the band should “cost”. So, I also would like to have an opportunity to spend more time for working with the band, in that case our work would be more productive!
Don’t think it’s better here! I’m not a Nazi, but if I see Islamic terrorists blowing up innocent people in a bus, I could vomit. Why don’t they kill all these fucking politicians? These motherfuckers are responsible for all the terror in the non-Islamic part of the world. But let’s move away from this theme, I don’t wanna waste time with this human trash.
JT: Politicians must carry a responsibility for their actions but often they are deeply bullshit people, thinking about their own and corporate profit. They are fucking bloodsuckers, no more!
The thing is that all these visa games greatly complicate the life of the band, especially adding another negative factor to the very high prices for the air tickets. In my opinion now for the successful development the band must play on the big festivals and make tours not just of local character/ But in reality the things are that all these factors are summed up and they make a big wall, which is difficult to crush, he-he.
When I read the bands history, I can’t help laughing...all these difficulties, if “Spinal Tap” doesn’t already exist, you could be the inventors of it. You did a ballad album to get support from a non Metal firm, what’s the story behind that and what do you think of ballads in general? AXEL RUDI PELL also did three good selling ballad records, but lots of Metalheads think, ballads are just for whimps, would you agree? And what’s your favorite ballad of all time in Metal or Rock?
JT: Well, just there were a lot of negative factors…The thing is that till 1991 Kazakhstan was a part of Soviet Union and all the sound recording and publishing industry was located in Moscow and in the 90-ties we didn’t have any labels here –the market was flooded by pirate production from Russia and eastern Europe and nobody would compete with this wave – pirates are not limited by circulation, contracts, payments of royalty and quality requirements, their production is cheap and penetrating everywhere.
And if we remember the 90-ties all the mass media was advertising grunge and all that primitive pseudo-rock and that wave somehow ousted the metal and classic rock bands. So in these circumstances the recording of a ballad album in return of the help with the releasing of our album was a good chance.
I like ballads and I think that a good ballad can shade tough heavy material and it will look more heavy, ha-ha-ha. Many bands which have made classical metal as it is, these bands played great ballads and these ballads always have been an integral part of the style…Ballad is not necessarily a “sugar-like song about love”, in general, the ballad genre has its roots in Middle Ages, medieval minstrel songs.
My favourite rock-ballad is “Stairway to Heaven”. It’s more difficult with the metal ballad …there are too many of them. I like very much «Prodigal Son», «Infinite Dreams» and «Como Estais Amigos» of Iron Maiden, «The Ballad» of Testament, ballads of Blind Guardian, such songs as «Heart Of Steel» or «Kingdom Come» of Manowar or for example «Fade To Black» of one very unknown American garage band, ha-ha-ha! I like many of Scorpions ballads, old hard-rock bands, solemn ballads which sometimes thrash bands allow themselves to make, he-he… well I like different kinds of ballads… well, really these songs are very few of what I have just remembered on the spot… they are just the top of an iceberg…
Chris: What concerns me my favourite rock ballad is also “Stairway to Heaven” and my favourite metal ballad is “A Tale That Wasn’t Right” by Helloween, then I like Scorpions ballad “Sent Me an Angel”.
All my HOLY DRAGONS records are complete in Cyrillic. Do you see the language as advantage or disadvantage? I like the sound of the East European languages, ‘cause most are very rough sounding ones, which fits to Heavy Metal. But I know that many Metalheads only prefer English as a language.
JT: It all happened so because of some problems with the line-up. I myself prefer English-speaking music and would prefer English for Holy Dragons, I like more the sounding and the rhythm and stock phrases of English. But when the previous singer left we were looking for a very long time for the new one, who would be able to sing our songs, we have rather difficult vocal lines. And when we took Holger into the band, we discovered one unpleasant thing – what holger sings in English, that sounds awful. For a long time we tried to correct his pronunciation but I guess that is not correctable. What he says in English is simply not understandable, ha-ha!!! We have demos of his English vocals and even the biggest opponents of Russian vocals said “Oh, no! Let him better sing in Russian!” , he-he…
Well, really we tried many times to attract with normal English just at least for recording. We had many talks, many variants, but the things are still were they were before…
Somebody wanted a lot, lot of money, somebody was worse than our vocalist, somebody couldn’t do it… there were a lot of different things…but all the attempts were in vain…
Now I think to implement this project we need to find an appropriate singer in our city or to come to a foreign singer personally with a big bunch of money banknotes and with a contract with a major label… I don’t know what is really necessary for that…may be a whip?
But I wouldn’t like to see a fan of SM in our band, though some of them are very good singers and sometimes become Metal Gods, ha-ha!
Chris: From the very beginning we were inclined to be singing in English, because I think that the English language is a native language for rock-n-roll, like the same as Italian language is the native language for opera. And what is more important it’s understood everywhere in the world, I mean English. And many people want to understand what songs are being sung about.
But as Jurgen has already said, we had problems with our singer, concerning the English language. And we had to switch to the Russian language. To some extent it was good, it helped us to win a big part of the Russian public, as it has a great demand in Russian language quality metal. So we had to work in Russain.
Are you familiar with some Russian bands? I like ARIJA, PARANOIA, MAGNIT, CREDO, MONOMAKH, and HELLRAISER. And what about other traditional bands from Kazakhstan?
JT: Hm… I have a strange twofold attitude for the Russian bands
In the 80-ties and in the very beginning of the 90-ties Russian metal scene was very strong. Kruiz, Shah, Aria, Avgust, Tyazheliy Den’, Cherniy Kofe, Magnet/Credo (it’s one and the same band) and many more were dominating. The music of these bands took its roots into the classical metal and they tried to play it on the conventional level. Young bands watching them as an example tried to play up to that level, trying to reach it.
Now the situation is quite different. The biggest part of the bands have either split up or those which still exist are making a self – parody. I can only note Aria from those who didn’t betray their style and spirit. There are some very descent thrash bands – Arbitrator and Mortifier. And some two or three bands, mainly they are from Metalism Records. But in general, for 95% contemporary Russian metal scene is a very primitive pop kind of music only played on overdrive guitars. It’s just a mere pop and of low quality, even Finnish love-metal in comparison with it sounds as a rough old-school thrash, ha-ha-ha. But all these people make a very serious face and they say “You just don’t understand! Here we have a very true real Metal!”
They record awful albums, give bribes to their journalists and they write reviews like “These albums are the best of the best in all the times of Metal history!” . They are singing the praises to each other, all of them have drowned in the pomposity and vanity and I think such an awful metal scene doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world!
If you want to see people suffering from megalomania together with the growing insanity it’s not necessary to go to the mental hospital, you just have to spend a few days in the Russian Metal crowd.
It’s clear that we are separated from these crowd by many thousands of kilometers but sometimes unfortunately we have to get across these people either I want it or not.
In Kazakhstan to from one hand the situation is better from the other hand is worse.
Here we don’t have these crowds of narcissistic posers with their megalomania but we don’t have practically any scene here. In the 80-ties we had, but it didn’t survive through the 90-ties and it hasn’t resurrected by now.
In the interview I usually mentioned a death metal band “Neformat” … It also doesn’t exist now. There are young bands but I’m not sure if they will exist in a year…The young scene here is like a cauldron –something is boiling here, mixing … but it’s difficult to say
what will come out of it all – a stew, a soup or poison.
Chris: If we speak about traditions on the heavy metal scene of Kazakhstan, I want to say that in the 70-ties, 80-ties our city had a very deep hard rock and heavy metal roots and traditions. I would even like to say we had a very deep culture of pkaying rock-n-roll! We had a lot of very interesting bands : “Triumvirat”, “Vist”, “Forpost”, “Terminal”. They played very interesting and quality music, but unfortunately these bands didn’t survive through the 90-ties.
These bands were the same for Kazakhstan like all the bands that you’ve mentioned above.
But unfortunately all these traditions are lost now.
Don’t think it’s better here in Western Europe! What can one think of a clown band like LORDI joining the horrible European song contest? IN FLAMES are painting their nails black, EDGUY are publishing a pop album, for most Americans RAMMSTEIN is Metal. I think Heavy Metal was, is and should always be underground music. If you want to stay in the spotlight, you have to play another style. If you are getting successful, you are getting worse. I dare to say that if HOLY DRAGONS would get into major worldwide success, you wouldn’t play that brilliant, but uncommercial mix of Heavy-Speed-Thrash. It’s quite hypothetically, but do you think you would remain the same person and musician if you had success like METALLICUNT?
JT: During the history of our band we didn’t have any conflict either with the German or Polish band for example. I mean that interests of bands not necessarily should coincide but we have nothing to divide… but if we take the Russian segment of music –there are many very young bands, which haven’t yet done anything valuable, they are always trying to provoke a conflict.
Instead of polishing the skills of musicianship and composing they are endlessly arguing who is the best! All these bands, that I’ve mentioned have the underground status and nobody makes them play commercial type of music! They are their own masters and the music that they play is their own realized choice! But they have a very scornful attitude towards the other musicians despite their location either they are from the Western Europe or somewhere else.
And just because of that I have a very skeptical attitude about the development of metal in Russia, still in remote places in Russia there are very decent bands with very serious attitude but I don’t believe that the corrupted music crowd of their capital will lose the opportunity to destroy these projects as soon as they get out of their town. I don’t think that such a situation exists anywhere else. In the States – still with the domination of commercial pseudo-rock music, in Finland –everything is not so nice as a lot of people would like to think and so on, everywhere there are little nuances, but here the irony consists in the fact that the bands destroy themselves chasing a non-existing prize, which is only harmful for creative activity and it doesn’t make me happy.
Well, I don’t think that belonging to a big label decides anything and if a band getting on to a big label starts to play country folk music instead of True metal that only means that they have never really played Heavy Metal and only camouflaged for that environment where these people were.
If in this environment it is accepted that “true metal”, speed, thrash or heavy it is masculinish, he-he, they would play just this kind of music. Then, after signing a contract, managers will persuade them to play soft and sugary kind of music or they can loose this contract, so and these are the problems of these guys and their listeners.
If we were the same, we would play black metal mixed with rap-core. We didn’t have here any true metal environment, vice-versa – people thought that if you don’t play black or rap core, you’re a looser, ha-ha-ha! So, I don’t think that anything will change in our style if we sign a big contract, whatever the managers would say and would offer, we’ll say a stone-cold “‘No”. Plus we’re not “voiceless trained dogs” ready to dance for some tasty stuff. .
I know such stories, When in the end of 70-ties managers told Rainbow that their albums “had a bad sale” and the final total circulation now has one thousand times compensated all the expenses.
And the bands that were given for Rainbow as examples of successful sale…who remembers them now?
Or when in the 90-ties Rage has almost stopped its existence when Efthimiadis brothers left the band for some “super-pop-project”, so where’s this project now?
Personally I was offered a lot of times to participate in many projects without principals, ideas, but with a “big” contract and I always answered “NO!”
Having played 10 years in the unsigned band, then grown up to the “indie” and playing the same time in this status, you begin to value your FREEDOM very much. And your good name is the only thing that you have. It’s the basis you that can not ever been broken by anything. Those people who think that everything is being bought and sold can put their money and their contract into their ass!
All in all, there are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Gamma Ray and Megadeth. If we carefully read the lyrics for the freshest Megadeth album -United Abominations- it becomes very clear that Mustaine have rather brutally kicked the ass of so-called American “political correctness”, he-he, and no smart guys from metal business could prevent him from making the album the way he wanted it to be.
The problem goes like this: they will get you or you will get them!
In the case with the band where Dave played earlier, before Megadeth, the first variant happened and I don’t think they didn’t want it! He-he-he!
Chris: Well, saying that in Europe is no better than here it will be not quite correct. For example, to make a concert just a little concert here will need to pay a club a lot of money, which we will earn working half a year(and that if we will not waste money for anything at al and only save). We have no label-recording and concert infrastructure here. And if we intend to go somewhere we also need to pay that great lot of money quite the same. Combo amplifiers for us here will cost twice as much as in any European shop no matter if we try to bring it by ourselves or buy them though some dealer. Normal prices are only for mass production for beginners. And our average salary is 8 times lower than in Europe.
And we can not just rent a car and go traveling around little towns and giving gigs in small clubs. Because all these clubs are not meant for live concerts, they only have karaoke devices.
Of course you’ll have better facilities here, but you are also drowned with hundreds or thousands of lousy bands each month, ‘cause simply everybody can record a CD here. It seems no one must fight for a record or a deal. But let’s move away from that, last week I read an interesting article in a medical journal. The author suggested, that every person looses the skill to hear loud music, the older you are. Would you agree to that? I mean I’m 45 years old now. Is my time running out? And what about people like Ozzy or Lemmy?
JT: I think, that the constant influence of the loud sound on the concerts has some certain influence on the ears. Very often after a concert you get a bit deaf doesn’t matter either you play or just came to see the concert. But I don’t think you can weaken your ears just by listening to music at home on your stereo system, but you have to sacrifice something for the sake of that you love, I think it’s just natural.
Chris: Well, I hate to listen to what the doctors usually say. ;) Loud music? Right, you get a bit deaf after a gig, but who cares if that was great?
How important is friendship and cohesion within the band? What would happen if a major company would offer a deal under the condition to drop the singer or the guitarplayer?
JT: I don’t know how it is within the band, working on major labels, the members of which have financial responsibilities for the label or the band like on the normal ordinary working place. I think that there should be mutual understanding as a minimum otherwise it’s a feet of clay colossus. In the case with indie or UG to my mind friendship between the members of the band is the only condition under which the band can exist and function. Otherwise nobody needs anything and each other is trying to grab the biggest piece of the pie… I had the experience of playing in such bands…
We have a little detail about which I was telling earlier, in particular it’s the problem with English of our singer. We have a deal with him, he doesn’t make any illusions about his English, so if we’ll have to change our singer, we in turn we’ll help him to record his album and help in his solo carrier, recording of his solo album and so on. Everything should be honest, I think however we are busy in our main work we can always find time for helping our friends –when there’s a wish, there’s a way.
And what concerns the instrumental part, now we have a very strong and technically skilled crew, everyone is professional about his instrument, I’m more afraid that the labels can try to grab away the members of the band, this is the thing I’m more afraid of.
Chris: Well, friendship and understanding is very important, still sometimes people who hated each other in ordinary life could be great partners in music. Musical history knows a lot of such examples. But I think that it’s very good when in the band there’s understanding and cooperation and it’s even better if musicians are really good friends.
In case any problems with the label which could probably dislike some of our members, in any case we can find another label. But the most probable problem could occur with our singer and Jurgen has already told about what we’re going to do in this case.
Okay, I’d like to find out your opinion to some statements, here we go:
-One dead body is a tragedy, one million is a statistics.
JT: I guess this saying is a crime by itself because it gives the way to the anti-humans. I think it should be included into a psychological test for the candidates for the elections. And those who would answer “yes” should be sent into the mental hospital instead of the senate. It would be better for them there.
-JUDAS PRIEST causes teenager to target their heads with pistols, POISON did the same with hair dryers.
JT: Oh, this old story with the parental committee? At that times everybody laughed at it, but when the 90-ties came I think that in the fact that Metal was ousted from TV and radio there is a part of the direct influence of that parental committee. What concerns teenagers …if one wants, one can find suicidal messages in Shakespeare not speaking about Dante and Goethe. Let’s forbid them too! Let it not sound blasphemously but weren’t these teenages the very guys who inspired the creators of MTV’s Beavis and Butthead?
-Putin is a worse dictator Stalin ever was.
JT: He-he-hem I think just the opposite - Putin lacks harshness. He should have been more tough but he doesn’t make a success in this sphere. The thing is that on the territory of the former USSR in the beginning of 90-ties there happened a strange transition towards the “market economy” –those people who occupied high posts-the plant directors, ministers –having power acquired everything as their private property –plants, mineral deposits, sometimes even the whole towns. It wasn’t the honest way of earning money as in the cartoons about Scroodge MacDuck. These people used the criminal methods, deception and theft. This property is based on crimes.
And besides, the Islamic extremists preteneded innocent and started to shout about “tolerance”. I had some friends of mine who served in Chechnya in the beginning of 90-ties. “non-chechen” would be cut their heads off…
Not all that crimes are forgotten. It’s not “politically correct” to speak about them. And criminals are now free. More than that, they are cynically laughing at everybody, wasting their bloody money.
It’s like if Australia would, say, give Usama bin Laden a political asylum and the opportunity to use all his money.
All these public has powerful capitals and has the opportunity to influence the press as Russian the same as European. And they lobby their interest and they don’t disdain to use any means even the most dirty ones!
-Feminism is just a way to integrate ugly women into society.
JT: Great statement!
-Metal on Metal, the only way, forget about tomorrow, we live for today.
JT: Hm… I even don’t know what to say… I prefer “Feel the power of the steel, we will get the score! We were born to fight and win, it’s our war!” (HD – Glory War)
Allright, let’s move to your new record “Labyrinth of illusion”. Again, a very traditional Power –Speed-Metal record, but I want you to comment two special songs, ‘cause in my eyes each one is the best and the worst one you’ve ever written. First we have the seven minutes Power monster “Salamanders”, which not only contains sheer power, but a remarkable middle part with spheric keyboards which reminds me a lot to a very old German called ELOY, which created an album called “Ocean”, which is filled with this style. What did you have in mind with this song? Concerning the other song “Dark blue rose”, this one is so far away from Heavy Metal I didn’t believe my ears. It even reminds me to FAITH NO MORE with these crappy kinda rap sound structures. What the fucking hell did you think writing this bullshit?
JT: I’m also a big fan of ELOY –it is one of my favourite bands of my pre-metal era.
What concerns the second song, the purpose of it was to show that our band can do work well in any style, even in the vein of the opposing style. You know there are some opinions among the certain people “oh, they can only play that speed metal humpa-humpa. Otherwise they would try and make something else in different style.” This song just pushes the arguments from their hands! So, it was one of the ways to say fuck-off to all these kinds of bullshit-heads, ha-ha! Now our band can work in any style from blues rock till prog metal or brutal. The level of musicians allows us to do that. So if we don’t play in a style or sub-style that only means that we’re not interested in it at the moment. Which doesn’t mean that we’d not make any experiments in future – sometimes it is interesting to see how a music style would sound, being integrated into the characteristic manner of our band.
I really tolerate your attitude, but cannot understand it. Nobody wants to hear a rapping Metal band. I think you proved your musicianship enough with the previous releases and if people would say “they only can play Metal”, just spit on them. Metal shouldn’t be an one-dimensional thing, but it definitely has its limits. Contorted voices, a saxophone or T-shirts for 40 Euro has nothing to do with Heavy Metal. But that’s just my opinion, I cannot force anybody to understand it. Jurgen, I feel a bit sad, but it’s time to finish the interview, ‘cause my editor will kill me due to the length. Please add anything what comes in your mind, what I forgot to ask or just what you want for X-Mas, hehe. And you’ve got one last job to do, name your 10 all time favourite records and don’t mind the genre.
JT: Deep Purple – In Rock, Iron Maiden – Killers, Judas Priest – Painkiller, Rainbow – Rising, Annihilator – Alice In Hell, Helloween – Keeper Of The Seven Keeps I-II, Gamma Ray – Heading For Tomorrow, Led Zeppelin – I, Jettro Tull – Aqualang, Black Sabbath – Heaven And Hell and more, and more and more!
Chris: We’d like to say, to wish that everybody should keep the flame of real metal alive!
And it’s really sad, that we have to finish this interview, as it was a real pleasure to work with this interview and it was the most interesting one throughout the whole history of the band.