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Today Aristocrazia hosts Carsten Lutter, a veteran of the German thrash metal scene and the man behind Entera, a band that has been active for over two decades. Let's see what he has to tell us:
Hello Carsten and welcome to Aristocrazia Webzine, how did you spend your summer? Have you performed around?
Carsten: We had to change our line up in March because our guitarist had some medical issues and had to leave. And our session drummer had to leave also. That`s why we didn`t perform in summer and spend our time writing new songs. After we thought some of our old songs to the new band members we were able to perform again in September.
Entera is your band, could you please tell us how it started and what were the high spots over its course?
It all started back in 1989 in a small town called Homburg. I was looking for people to form a band and finally found them in early 1990. We started off with five people, a bass player, two guitarists, a drummer and a vocalist and had our first in 1993. Right on time for the release of our first EP two members of the band left us. So we became a three man band and stayed one ever since. This release was our first highlight followed by every other release and of course concerts like the festival in St. Ingbert (1993), the farewell concert in 2003 in Pirmasens before we moved to Nuremberg and concerts with bands like Master, Malevolent Creation, Fleshless and Debauchery. And our latest highlight was the song "Sanguis Humanus" that was featured in the soundtrack for the horror movie "Suffer And Die".
I've noticed that the line up has gone through many changes, is it so tough to reach a stable situation?
The line-up changes were not intended. I would prefer if Entera stayed in the same lineup from the beginning until today. But that wasn't possible. When we started in "Saarland" (state in Germany) it was difficult to find musicians that wanted to do Thrash Metal, too. For some time I worked with session musicians that come from totally different genres. Sometimes people move, sometime their music taste changes, sometimes they start a family and have no more time for music. Sadly one of our guitar players even died. Afterwards we thought about splitting up, but we decided to continue with another guitarist.
You latest album "The War Goes On", was released in 2012. I guess the title is very topical, do you think war is a wheel that will never stop? Does the word "peace" just define a stupid delusion?
I think as long as there are humans there will be war. It is human nature to wage war. There are planty of reasons. The greed for money and other things and faith caused so many wars.
This album oozes with passion and commitment to a sound which is getting more and more sidelined in recent years. This is raw, with no frills and straight to the point, thrash to the bone. What do you think about the current situation of this genre? Did it get cheesy or worse? Too much plastic around?
I am really happy that trash had a comeback but it changed a lot since the '80s. It feels like the bands back then tried to be original and fresh, but today everything sounds kind of the same. The sound and structure of the songs seem to be very similar most of the time and there is little innovation left. Sadly that applies to some old bands too, like Exodus, they still write great songs, but the sound from their last couple of albums was pretty horrible, drums sounding like e-drums and triggered to death or the guitar sounding like it was created by an amp-simulator directly on a PC.
The tracklist just features one headbanger after another, did anything change in your composing process compared your start with this project?
I think everything in this process is always in flux because of the ever changing line up, but the basics will always be thrash metal. Our songs are formed in rehearsal-room together with all band members. Every member has to agree with every riff, otherwise it won't be part of a song. In this way everyone stands 100% behind the songs and the complete album. Only with the texts for the songs it behaves a bit different. I write all texts on my own. But the other musicians still have a veto right.
The CD also includes a multimedia section with a lot of extra materials (pictures, interviews, tabs, etc…), Why this choice?
We want to offer our fans as much as possible for their money. Because of that we put as much as possible on the cd rom parts. Every of our CDs is full with music or with music and a cd rom part. The feedback for the Multimedia parts were always very positive. That's why we will have one on the next cd, too. As a special appeal for our fans, we put things on it, like Interviews or Pictures, that can be found nowhere else. We don't even put them on the web page.
Let's talk about Carsten himself, when did you start listening to metal and what were the first bands that got you into this form of art?
I was 13 years old when I first listened to metal. I startet with bands like Iron Maiden and Venom. The first thrash metal bands I heared, were Slayer, Holy Moses, Anthrax, Exodus and Sodom.
The first and the latest album you bought?
I think the first one was either from Queen or Venom, but I am not sure and I can't remember the titles. The last one was "Feast" from the band Annihilator.
What do you recall from your first times playing an instrument, from the rehearsal room to the release of your debut EP "Crossing"? Basically from the late '80s-early '90s, what were the best moments and the ones that, although disappointing, pushed you to go on?
I started off as the vocalist for Entera, but as we weren't able to find a bass player the guitarist at the time "forced" me to pick it up or we would've to split up. So I became the bass player for Entera around 1993, but I didn't have much time to learn it before we started recording "Crossing" so I had to practive daily and put lot of afford into learning how to play. The best moment was the first concert in 1993 – standing on stage for the first time was just an amazing feeling and I really wanted to continue doing that. And although disappointing, every time a band member left us it pushed me to make it better in the future and not to give up just because of a minor bump in the road.
What do you reckon are the differences between the German metal scene of that time and that of today? What is the aspect that you would like to bring here from the past?
In the early/middle '80s there was a greater Solidarity in the metal scene. There wasn't that kind of stereotyped thinking as today. I liked especially that you had to occupy yourself more with the music. You met with fellows to order LPs from mailorders. You ordered albums from new bands just knowing the description in the catalog; there wasn't a way to listen to them before.
We frequently hear people talking about the Internet, saying it is a democratic means through which culture should be able to reach everyone. Ideally, this is true, but unfortunately reality has proved that it helped increasing an empty-headed approach to any works of art, discouraging attempts to further understanding of them. Do you think it is the evil of our time?
I wouldn't call the internet the evil of our time. Of course there are many negative things in web. Starting with people having nothing to do than writing a virus. Or "bands" that upload only one song but don't exist really. That's especially frustrating while searching another band for a gig. On the other side it is fantastic for finding bands or booking gigs. It's not such a bad thing for advertising either.
For a while, there had been some rumours about the chance of getting rid of physical supports altogheter, does it seem a viable proposal to you, especially now that tapes and LPs are back in fashion? Or we should say, since they never left the field in the first place, did they manage to attract some attention again, as valid/better options if compared to CDs?
I think LPs and CDs will last in the metal genre. Neither of them ever completely vanished. I couldn't image to release our songs only as mp3. For the sound I prefer the LP, but I gave up on that and collect only CDs now because it's easier to handle. CDs don't reach the sound of LPs but are much better than mp3s. I can't understand peoples affinity to tapes. There are vulnerable, change very quickly their sound and finding a specific song seems to take forever.
What was the first show you attended? And the latest?
In the mid-80s I was at a concert of a mates band which name I can't recall. The last concert probably was the Testament concert in Nuremberg.
Getting back to Entera, what are you plans about playing live? Do you have anything scheduled?
We have worked in our new Guitarist, so that we can play as support band now. The first gig with the new line-up we had 2 weeks ago nearby Frankfurt. Now we try to get some more. The next five are already confirmed. We have not had the chance to play in Italy. Maybe you can arrange something.
Are you already working on the follow-up to "The War Goes On"? Can you give us any news about it?
There is already a follow-up in the making. Six songs are done but when an how they will be published, I don't really know. Maybe we will do a single or EP with 2-4 songs first, and afterwards a full CD. Hopefully right on time for 25th band anniversary. We wanted to make a DVD too. But the opportunity to film at a fitting location hasn't arised yet.
Who is Carsten Lutter, the man behind the musician? What are your interests and what do you do in your everyday life?
In "normal" live I am radio and television technican and work for a messurement and control technology company. Furthermore I collect CDs and have a second Band besides Entera (Andabata, Death Metal).
I guess we can stop here, back at you one last time to conclude the interview as you like.
Many thanks for the interview and greetings to all Readers. Have a look at our web page www.entera.org.