THE FANZINE THAT FEATURES SMALL AND UNSIGNED BANDS
Saturday, July 3, 2010
INTERVIEW WITH CREMATORY
Sometimes I feel like I am interviewing all my heroes. Since 15 years I am a dedicated fan from Crematory, these gothmetalpioneers long to my Top 10 bands of all time and somewhere I never thought that one day I could have such an interesting interview with them... Thanks to Tom for making that possible... Well, hello you soon will celebrate your 20th anniversary? For a band that sounds like a million years, not?
On the one hand indeed, because we have worked a lot in these 20 years and we have become older and touring becomes harder. On the other hand these 20 years have passed so fast that we do not even know, where the time has gone. We have had lots of great moments and also a few that we'll like to forget. All in all it has been a great time until now and we are looking forward to the surprises future keeps for us.
In fact if you were starting out in 1991, have you ever thought it would be that serious…I mean that it has become a full time career…
We have ever dreamed to get where we are, but if you'd have told us 20 years ago what the future would have in store for us, we would have called you a dreamer. We have always done what we wanted and have had success with it. This is why we keep on doing, what we do. Our career used to be a full time job. But after our reunion we decided to handle CREMATORY as a hobby. This decision wasn't always easy to fulfill because we are still booked like crazy for concerts and our fans still want to get new stuff. It isn't always easy to slow down ourselves and just do concerts on weekends.
You started out as a doom metal but then you changed to goth metal. Why that change?
Since we started, we always wanted to do something new and different. We tried out a few styles and finally decided to create our own sound. We created the genre “german-gothic-metal” and we are proud that we still are named as one of the founders of this genre. We love what we do and we will always do.
I mean this with so much respect but this was a choice that’s not always been respected, not?
Some of our fans turned away from us when we decided to do what we wanted. But most of them still are our fans and our following is still growing. This shows us, that it couldn't be wrong what we do. We thing that it was the best decision we could ever have done. If we wouldn't have changed, could anyone guarantee us that we would have had the success we had and still have?
I remember I was a gig in Tilburg and a whole venue started to throw beer cards just because they were trash metal-fans (I stayed….of course)…such attitude pisses me off as it’s quite narrowminded….
On this earth you will always meet people that behave in such a stupid way. We don't care about them because they aren't even worth to think about them. If you start to mind about or maybe write something about them and their attitude you give them the attention they want to get. As I said. They aren't even worth a thought!
Talking about narrowminded, I think the musicscene has become too. I used to see Crematory a lot over here, but now there’s no organisator left. I mean I’m dying to see Voices Of Destiny but what was so logic 20 years is like being impossible now…
It is not only the matter that promoters or organisators do not want to book the bands. The main reason is that the music-scene has been damaged heavily by the the so called fans who download the music illegal from the internet. Those people steal money that belongs to the bands and would make it possible to finance bigger tours. Promoters are afraid that a small number of visitors could come to see a band and because of this they don't want to pay the fees bands want to get and the bands don't have the money to pay all the expenses on their own. If people would stop downloading music illegal many more bands would be on tour and even more would be able to make their lives out of music.
You always took risks, I mean there are even clubmixes from tracks like “Tears Of Time”…that’s not a very logic step for a metalband, not?
Now it should be defined what's logic and what's not. We have always done what we wanted and have had success and still do. You have to take risks if you want to reach a higher point. If we wouldn't have done it, who knows if we would have sold the amount of CDs we have sold. And if you want your songs to be played in Clubs it's logic to release a clubmix.
I guess in a way you kind of will agree but for me Crematory always has been Katrin as those synths kill me… I mean I can’t imagine Crematory without her sound….
It is not only Katrin. We all are involved in composing arrange and perform our songs. We put a lot of work into the sounds and we are pleased that you and many other fans like it. They are an important part of our music and makes it recognizable. We love the situation to be in a club one of our new songs starts to been played and we hear people say: “this must be CREMATORY”. This makes us very proud and gives us the sureness that we are on the right way.
Through Karin’s input there’s a huge melancholic sound in Crematory….some will definitely say you’re pussies!!!!
We don't care about what people call us. We have success and that's what counts. Just to name one situation there are a few magazines who always write that, for example, on Wacken Open Air no one wanted to see us and it was empty in front of the stage. But if you have been there or have seen videos of it, you'll see and know that it was exactly the opposite. We do not need any press to push us. We have always stepped forward without their support. And it works.
And yet, the latest one “Infinity” has become a sort of going back to the roots. Why exactly?
The target-settings for INFINITY were harder, faster louder and darker. That's what we planned and did. INFINITY is the evolution of our previous album PRAY. We have always developed our sound have have composed more complex songs. This time we have tried to mix our “historic” sound with new, superior compositions and sounds. And we think that the result is the best we have ever recorded. INFINITY is definitely an album for INFINITY!
You were the first signing on Massacre Records. They’re now a well known label but wasn’t that for an institution like Crematory a sort of risk…
Well it might appear like a risk. But you don't sign a contract without knowing the people behind the label and the scenes. We have checked them well before we signed. They seemed to be on our thinking-level and shared our ideas and that's why we decided to sign. And as the history shows it was the right decision in the perfect moment.
Talking about risks and musicindustry… I have the feeling that the metalaudience stays most close to the real thing instead of downloading stuff….
Not really. Even we notice that our CD-sales are declining. Our newest albums still keep on being sold better than the previous one, but not in the dimension it did in the past. It is sad that the illegal downloaders don't care about that they don't hurt the industry. They hurt the bands – those people they love to listen to their music.
With such a crisis in the musicbiz, can a band like yours still life from its profits as I guess Crematory are more bound to the German market I guess…
We have fans all over the world and our CD are bought nearly everywhere on this planet. As we decided to handle CREMATORY as a hobby we don't put all our power and time into it as we did when we used to make our lives out of music. We take our time to compose and be creative, to record and go on tour. And this time we are able to take now makes our albums better and better. We all have day-jobs and families and try to manage all this in a 24 hour day.
If you see that an act like Unheilig has now become Top 40, what do you think of that?
A couple of years ago, when I saw Unheilig for the first time on stage I said: “This is the future! I bet that this will be a really successful band in a few years! Believe me!”. No one took it seriously. And what happened? Look where Unheilig is now.
Are you still so huge in Germany? I mean I guess you understand me but for me over here in Belgium and for me it’s a surreal thought to see you on television….
We used to be more present in magazines and on TV. But as we aren't professional musicians anymore and we don't take the time to promote our albums as we did before the split, and that's the reason why we aren't as present as we used to be.
When Crematory started out, you were lucky that there was a real boom from the German gothscene (Zillo or Orkus were never that big, and massive festivals), I guess if you should begin now it would have been much more difficult…..
I guess you're right. As the labels aren't able anymore to spend the money they spent 20 years ago to support bands and promote their albums it might be more difficult today to reach the point we are. But we had a great idea in the right time.
Do you follow recent bands yourself or not? I mean if I interview bands I’m most of the times in shock that they answer me that they have no time to follow the musicscene…
As we have our band, our day-jobs and our families it is difficult to find some time to follow the music-scene. We just could talk about our own experiences and the scene we are involved. But we can't have any opinion about the scene in general beause we don't follow it.
What’s in fact your fave record of all time?
If you mean our own records, it changes with each new album we release. As an album is like a baby you always like the newest most... for a while. If you mean in general it is difficult to answer because each of us prefers to listen to different music. So we won't start to list them all because it would take too much time.
Is your music your lifestyle?
If that means if we are evil and strange in private, the answer is quiet easy. No. We are normal humans who have kids and spend our time with them. We go to work, eat normal food, drive normal cars, live in boring normal houses and use a toilet like a civilized human does.
Any change for a gig in Belgium, or not?
I can't really tell you, as our present tour is still being planned and our upcoming tour, that will accompany our Greatest Hits CD and DVD BLACK PEARLS, that will be released in November 26th and will contain all our hits, as well as a complete live-concert an a lot of unreleased video-stuff and some specials, too. This Greatest Hits CD and DVD is a must-have for all our fans and those who want to become one. But we're looking forward to get back to Belgium because it's always funny and nice to be there.
I want to resolve you one of the mysteries of my life… I have thousands of records, I guess 1% of it is metal but Crematory are somewhere in my Top 20 of all time faves, can you explain that?
To be honest, it might be because our music touches you and gives you feelings and memories that other music can't reach. But to sound a bit arrogant: Because we are we and no one can reach our level.
I leave the last words to you………..
At this point we need to thank all our fans that have always supported us and have given us the chance to get, where we are! The fans decide how big a band can get and our fans have got us bigger than we ever expected! Thanks to the best fans of the world!!! And thank you for being our fan too and being interested in an interview with us.