| Line Up:|
Welcome to our website, let's get straight to introducing your band.
Schnalli: Bene (guitar), Schnalli (drums & interview partner), Sven (vocals), Flo (bass) and Ingo (guitar).
You have been active as musicians for a long time, and have played or are currently playing in other projects, what is the reason behind Iron Walrus's foundation?
We have all been good friends for the last twenty years and really like the "old school 80's and 90's", doom-sludge stuff. In may 2013 it was just an idea, and we were really suprised to find a good label in the first twelve months, a good booking agency and played with heroes like: Pentagram, Crowbar, Torche, Union Of Sleep, Mantar and many more…
Listening to your music, one can notice a passion for old school sounds. Also, the many influences mixed on here made this performance diverse and enticing, what were the main difficulties in composing it?
This is the interesting mix of music we like: I'm a big fan of Nick Cave and Einstürzende Neubauten, Flo likes really the "drone" art of doom, Bene loves bands like Eyehategod & Crowbar, Sven listens to a lot of Unsane, Helmet and Ingo is the "pop-dude" in the band and likes stuff like Q.O.T.S.A. or Truckfighters… these are the influences we put inside with our art of making music…
"Insidious Black Sea" is aggressive and heavy, but at the same time particularly enjoyable; was this aspect specifically planned or it just came out spontaneously during the writing process?
It is all real spontaneous and fast in the band. We started in May 2013, in July we played our first two shows and in November 2013 we recorded our first album. now we're working on the next one to record it in december 2014.
What is the "Insidious Black Sea" you have faced, and that the listeners will be confronted with in this album?
I think the answer in already above, all good dark music from the last forty years is potentially an influence for our future albums…
"Erdbeermund" is arguably the most atypical song of the track-list: why did you decide to use the verses of the French poet Francois Villon in such a hypnotizing atmosphere? Does this track convey any particular meaning?
The lyrics are very good, but we do it because we love the art of speaking from the mad actor Klaus Kinski. He was a crazy person, but he was one of the best actors in germany in the last fifty years. I bought his spoken records ten years ago and, as we were writing our songs, I put the vinyl on the player and it worked perfectly together. Thanks, Klaus…
What was the first thought after you knew you had completed "Insidious Black Sea"?
For us was it a blast, because we recorded the whole album in three days in our rehearsal room together with Robin Völkert (Union Of Sleep, The Now Denial), and we were all totally surprised about the sound situation in our rehearsal room…
A couple of months have passed since the album's release, so we can analyze some of the feedback about it. How was it received by audience and critics? Have you received any unexpected criticism?
We played some shows and festivals in 2014 and it was really nice to hear positive comments after the show from a lot of different people, many said they had been waiting for years to hear something like our music. We're a fresh "old school" band, I think that's the best name for it.
What are your thoughts about the contemporary musical scene? Are concepts such as underground, attitude, hard work and support still important to it or the one-click generation bested it? When I speak to people my age (thirty-three years old) and slightly older friends, it seems there is a spreading indifference towards arts not only among young people, but also in the istitutions.
Puah. It's a hard thing today. We'e not intrested in selling thousands of records and getting more "poppy" with our art, we like what we do. We have nothing to lose and all have good jobs in our hometown. However, we also loved our summer 2014, playing seven dates with the mighty Crowbar and feeling like being part of a new family. We really like when a person who doesn't know us comes close and tells us that they like our art of crushing music.
In this article entitled "An Apology Of The Physical Copy" M1 spoke about the need to review physical material in order to provide, if not a perfect, at least a better understanding of a work in its wholeness. Doesn't MP3 mass-promotion harm the bands in the first place? What is the difference between labels that use that ultra-approach and those who do their best at promoting their work?
Everyone knows that mp3s for the labels are much much cheaper, compared to pressing vinyls and sending them to reviewers and magazines. I buy vinyls every month for about two hundred euros, and I'm happy if there is an mp3 card inside to listen to the album in my van as well. Our label does a lot of these mp3 samples to support the scenes in countries with no big distro and few chances of selling it. I'm still a vinyl junkie and i love vinyl, but mp3 is the new generation.
Political instability, economic distress and people's malcontent have often led to musical innovation decade after decade. Do you believe the current global situation could generate something in this sense, or we just got to a point where everything has been done?
Each person has their own problems. respect to people who started fighting against idiotic politicians, respect to people who fight for nature etc. etc. The problem is, that you are nothing more than a minute in a magazine, web or tv blog and the next minute no one is interested in what you say and what you do anymore. For me, the important is to live your life until the last minute: drink a lot of beer or liters of water, be straight edge or take drugs… but love every minute on this planet, it could be your last here. This year my friend, guitar player in "Dampfmaschine" (my other band), died at the age of thirty-four. I'm really proud and happy to have worked fifteen years with him and recorded five albums and three "7 inches" with his gigantic sound forever in my ears & heart. That's why I really love being a musician, because if you leave, your music is not leaving this world.
What are the albums, books, and movies that changed your life? Are there any specific ones you always tend to go back to?
Music: Eric Burdon "Decleares War", the best black-white blues record of all time; Nick Cave's "No More Shall We Part", I hope at my funeral they will play the whole record; ZZ Top's "Degüello", my first vinyl when I was seven and I still love it; Melvins' "Stoner Witch", for me, the most influencial record and the best drummer. Movies: "Carlitos Way", you know Benny Blanco from the Bronx?; "Bang Boom Bang" the best german movie I've ever seen; "Last Days Here", I'm really proud of it, four weeks ago Bobby Liebling was hanging around my local record shop & coffee and he was happy and smiled. Books: "The Dirt", respect to this drug addict; "Fleisch Ist Mein Gemüse", a really nice book about top fourty and professional musicians in the 80's.
How is Iron Walrus live? What do you need to put up a satisfactory show?
All of the four musicians wear a black mask with white teeth. because the audience don't need a smile or anything from our faces – just the music and the tough growl of our frontman (he's without a mask). We stay behind our music and love what we do. The good thing on this situation is that people like our shit, that's what we hear from them after our shows and that makes us proud and give us the power to write new songs and play more shows.
Do you have any dates scheduled over the summer? Any festivals?
Here are our forthcoming dates for 2014: 11/16 Bonn – Bla, 11/17 Erfurt – Tiko, 11/18 Chemnitz – Chemiefabrik, 11/19 München – Backstage, 11/20 Karslruhe – Alte Hackerei, 11/21 Berlin – Wild At Heart, 11/22 Osnabrueck – Bastard Club, after this shows we will record a new album in december, will play the first shows in spring 2015 and hope to play at some nice European festivals in 2015.
May I ask what you know about our country? Is there anything you like about it in general or musically speaking?
I know really well Tity and Corrado from "Hard Staff" in Milano. I have been there many many times on tour with bands like Sick Of It All, Rise Against, Grade, Anti Flag, Dog Eat Dog and Debric Inc. (feat. members of St.Vitus & Trouble). I was at "Rock TV " in Milano and we in the band all love Terence Hill & Bud Spencer and movies with Thomas Milian and Adriano Celentano. I know there is a good hardcore scene in Rome, Bologna and Milano and many bands like Talco, Ufomammut and Klasse Kriminale played a few times in my club in Osnabrueck.
We got to the end of the interview, thanks for your time, wish you the best for the future. I'll let you close the interview as you prefer.
Thanks for your questions, we hope you enjoyed it and we will see you guys in the future in Italy…