We recently had the pleasure to publish the review of "Sarkomand" second album of German Ctulu. They are with us now for a chat and get to know better, let's see how it goes.
Welcome to Aristocrazia, guys. The initial step is dedicated, as is known, at the history and the line-up of the band, so I leave you the word to give you the opportunity to present yourself as you prefer.
"Sarkomand" sounds very Swedish and, not having had the opportunity to hear the debut "Freie Geister", I can only ask you: what are the characteristics that differentiate this two albums? In these three years elapsed between the publication of the two disks you have changed the musical background in the line-up, also considered the permanent entry of Paulo and Rolf?
"Sarkomand" goes back to what Ctulu began with in 2005, that means a more melodic and varied style of Extreme Metal while "Freie Geister" was a very raw and direct album which earned us a reputation as a "true Black Metal band", something that we definitely are not! So we put our focus on creating a better mix between the particular genres and the production on "Sarkomand" is way better than it was on "Freie Geister". Last but not least, the conception of the band was worked on a lot and I think we get more to the point than we did before. As for Rolf and Paulo, I can say that we got a deeper voice which, at least in my opinion, fits more to our style than Stefan's did in the years before. Paulo did not participate on "Sarkomand", he entered the band just for playing live. Both have already left the band.
What is the modus operandi used to compose a song? There are divided tasks or is a team effort?
The music is written by Mathias and then the lyrics are added by me and Mathias while the other things more or less are a team effort.
Who takes care of the texts and, starting from the fact that the figure of H.P. Lovecraft is an important icon for metal, what was the reason that caused you to consider a sort of leitmotif which would contain his works, primarily from the monicker Ctulu?
As I said, the lyrics are written by me and Mathias and we chose to bring back a more basical focus on Lovecraft because we thought that such a thing is rare in the metal scene, at least considering a band that only writes about Lovecraftian themes. We are aware that other bands also are inspired by Lovecraft, but I think there is no band who lives it as we do.
"Sarkomand" has two faces: one aggressive and edgy, the other atmospheric, there is a good balance that prevails throughout its duration, is this the result you wanted to achieve? After hearing him several times and have read the critical received is something that you would change?
This is definitely the balance we wanted although I think another slow track would've also fit very well on the album. But in general, except for tiniest details, I wouldn't change anything on it. We are really glad that this album turned out the way it did.
The German scene has always been one of the most active, as are your links in it? On can speak of scene or, as often happens in other nations, there are realities that are driving and others that simply use the word to fill his mouth?
Ctulu don't really put a focus on being part of any scene or such, not at least because we mix so many styles in our music. So if you ask if we are proud of being a German True Black Metal band I can answer with conviction that we are not. We are not aiming at satisfying any Black Metal police or something like that. We're just a Lovecraftian Extreme Metal band and anyone can and/or should listen to our art, no matter if black/white/man/woman/whatever.
Black metal in the past few years is reliving an increasing splendor due to the extent and the bastardization of the style, which has been in the introduction of variations, in some cases even ugly (to the limit with emo), new life-blood. What is your thought about this phenomenon?
I would say I don't really care about such things. I listen to the bands I like and that's it.
Black metal is again under fire after the Norway recents events, it is possible that every shit happens in the world is always the metal and metalheads in general to be the only authors? It is not that it was us that we have invented religion, the crusades and the wars for domination of the masses, without there be realized?
I didn't even know about this and all I can say is: nothing is easier than pulling away the guilt from yourself… Such things will happen over and over again. But the only thing people can talk about is to forbid metal or computer games or whatever just fits. I cannot understand conservative minds that are trying to forbid everything rather than to find out what the source of the problem is.
How you started listening to metal? What was the driving force that made you think that was the path you wanted to follow up to be part of it as musicians?
I was brought to metal by friends and skateboard videos (this is no joke, haha). Before that, I thought music itself was shit, because I only knew hip-hop… Then I realized how much I liked ACDC and WASP and so on and I was almost shocked about this fact. But then I went to Wacken and saw Satyricon and after this incident, I decided to start a band. Then I joined Ctulu in 2008 and here we are!
If a guy asked you, as a counsel, to tell him five albums that have characterized your artistic growth, which albums would you indicate to him?
I would say Danzig brought me to rock music itself with "Danzig III", then WASP followed in a time when I had a bad injury and couldn't walk for eight months. This was the time when I really dug in into metal. The album was their first self-entitled one. Slayer showed me how much I like fast metal with "Show No Mercy" and Satyricon inspired me to dig into Black Metal when i saw them at Wacken. Then Behemoth showed me how to really work professionally as a musician.
How was it to bring the pieces of "Sarkomand" during live? What are the feedbacks you got?
We've played those songs already since 2008, partly with different lyrics and without any details in them, so it was a long way until they were really finished. But playing them after the release with a real live show and on big concerts was a total blast!
The on stage experience that you remember with greatest pleasure?
Ragnarök Festival 2011, definitely!
There have been anecdotal, funny or not, it gave a bit of pepper in those days?
I can't think of something particular at the moment, at least not concerning live shows.
What are the projects in the pipeline now?
We are already shooting band pictures for the next album, booking the studio, working on the album cover and rehearsing with our new members, so you can definitely expect something from Ctulu in the next time!
Who are the members of Ctulu outside the band? Passions? Work?
I think our biggest passion already is Ctulu and you can trust me that it's work too [laugh]
Thanking you for the time shared with us, I leave you for the last time the word to bring to an end our interview, to you then.
I have to thank you and I hope we can make it to Italy sometime in the nearest future! We are eager to play abroad as hell!