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Interviews

http://www.abysszine.com/rozhovory/2012060029-christian-muenzner-prvni-cast/

http://www.abysszine.com/rozhovory/2012060030-christian-muenzner-druha-cast/

Find the english version of the interview at the bottom of this page.

http://www.truthinshredding.com/2011/06/christian-muenzner-laurie-monk-and-jace.html

http://www.guitar9.com/interview163.html

 

Abyss Zine Interview english version:

 

Hello Christian. At very start, can you describe yourself as a person? I mean all the non-musical stuff.

 

Hm, I guess I am a very normal person. I live on the country side. I would describe myself as a very quiet person, but I think I can also be quite funny and extroverted if I’m around people I feel comfortable with. When I’m not on tour or recording I’m either teaching guitar or writing music. I’m not much of a party person, hobbies I do when not being busy with music would be reading, going out in the nature, mostly by bike, and watching cheesy 80′s movies haha. And I like to play playstation at times, although I get bored of it quickly. I also like to spend time with friends and like minded people, but I also need a lot of time where I’m just on my own. Being surrounded by people all day when I’m on tour is very exhausting to me. I try to stay away from big cities or places which are crowded wih people.

 

You are really busy musician. In last 18 months you’ve participated on many records, so let’s talk about them.

 

Last year you released your first solo album “Timewarp”. Why did you decide to make this sort of release? It doesn’t sound like your active bands at all. Was this the purpose – to make a really different piece of music by your own, which is close to your heart?

 

That album was something I mainly did for myself really. It’s the fullfilment of a dream I had for many years. People think of it mainly as a guitar album, but to me it is a lot more than that. I’m probably known to most people as a death metal guitarist, but I had so many ideas in my head that I couldn’t apply to that genre and that I felt needed to get out, as it would have blocked me otherwise. I like and study so many different styles of music, but I never really presented that in the format of an album. In a band setting I’ve always been more of a sideman, although especially Obscura allows me a lot of creative freedom, I can do whatever I want in the solo spots, and at times I also write stuff, like the song Universe Momentum, and the majority of the riffs to Vortex Omnivium, Transcendental Serenade and a lot of Septuagint, as well as a chord progression for a solo here and there, but mainly also Obscura is Hannes’ and Steffen’s brain child. The main thing I add to the band’s sound are the solos, and of course my main concern there is to support the songs with them, so a lot of the time those 16 bars or something are like the only spot in many songs which have my voice, and live it’s sometimes not even heard. In order to have a band function properly, it’s sometimes necessary to také your own ego back a little bit, and this is also a lot easier for me if I have a platform in which I can fully express myself freely withut having to worry about stylistic limitations or anybody’s expectations. I think out of all the recordings I did, this is the one that shows my true self the most.

 

 

You invited a lot of musicians to guest on this album – like guitarists Vic Santura (DARK FORTRESS,  TRYPTIKON), who was also a guest on two OBSCURA’s albums, Derek Taylor, Per Nilsson (SCAR SYMMETRY), Alex Guth (STORMWARRIOR) and Ryan Knight (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, ex-ARSIS). Then bassists Jacob Schmidt (DEFEATED SANITY), who played live with OBSCURA, and legendary Steve DiGiorgio, then keyboard players Bob Katsionis and Daniel Galmarini, and of course my favourite drummer Hannes Grossmann. That’s what we should call a list!

Can you tell me, why did you chose those very musicians? Is there anyone who declined your request?

 

Well Hannes was the most obvious choice for the drum spot, because he is simply the best drummer I know and ever met, especially since he is also capable of a lot more than just metal drumming as he is also very expeienced and educated in many other styles of music. And we are so used to the exact same work flow since we did so many recordings together before, so I also knew it was gonna be the least time expensive option and that I would get a perfect result. Jacob and Steve both toured with Obscura before as session members, and I love both of their styles, although they play very different from each other, so I wanted to have them both on the album. Daniel is not a very well known player, but he is an incredible musician. He works at the same music school as I, and at first I only asked him to do a few solos, but he’s also really into arranging, and then he sent me the demos back with all those huge, epic orchestrations, and it just blew me away, so I was like okay, can you play on the whole album haha. Per Nilsson is probably my favorite current guitar player, and we’ve also known each other before via mail, as he taught me a lot of theory stuff in conversations, and I definitely wanted to have a solo by him on my album. I just sent him the demo of Wastelands, he loved the song and then did this amazing solo on it. I’ve also always been a huge fan of Derek Taylor’s guitar playing, I guess I stole more licks from that guy than from anybody else. I just found him on Facebook and asked him if he’d be interested, I never thought he would even answer, but he was totally into it, I was honoured. I always adored Bob Katsionis’ synth leads, and I really love synth leads, all the great guitar albums had that, I always loved those solo battles on those old Yngwie and Vinnie Moore records. Ryan Knight is a long time friend of mine, we also toured together twice and exchanged so many licks, so I asked him to play on 2 songs. And Alex is also a very good friend of mine, and I thought his style fit perfect to the song I chose him for, with the wild vibrato and the fast picking chops he has. Victor produced the album and helped me with the rhythm guitars on 2 songs. I tried to get some other players into it, like Jeff Loomis and James Murphy, but they didn’t check their mails on Facebook. Both got back to me later and apologized and said they would have loved to do it haha, so hopefully next time. I also tried to get Jeff Waters of Annihilator for a solo, and Greg Howe, but I didn’t hear back from any of them. I don’t blame them though, those players must get a shit ton of requests.

 

 

Are you an author of all the music, or the guests have written their solos and parts by themselves?

 

I wrote all the music, except for the title track. I wrote the tapping progression in it, but Daniel wrote the progressions before and after the arpeggio section and then I improvised on top of that. And he added a lot of extra orchestrations to most of the other songs. The solo guys all wrote their own solos, but I wrote the chord progressions and rhythms under them. Per added some synth pad triads on top of the chords I wrote to make it sound even jazzier.

 

Why has been “Timewarp” self-released? Have you tried to offer this album to any record label?

 

The only label I thought of releasing it with was Relapse, but I didn’t even hear back from them on it. But then I knew that instrumental albums in general don’t sell that much and that I probably wouldn’t get the advance that I needed to make it sound the way I wanted it to. So I decided to finance it myself, as I thought the chance of getting that back would be higher if I sold it by myself. Plus, most labels for instrumental guitar music always really try to safe money on the artwork and mostly have those boring 2 page booklets only, but I wanted to have a really nice and informative booklet, as I think this is important in times where everybody rips music off the internet. I think about licensing the album to some companies now though in order to make the physical copy easier available in many parts of the world, epsecially in Asia there is a lot of demand for that style of music.

 

2011 is also the release date for your next record – “Omnivium”. In my opinion it is the best OBSCURA’s album, what do you think? Would you describe this release in your own words? And has it any weaknesses?

 

I agree that this is the best Obscura album so far, at least for me. I think it has a more unique sound than Cosmogenesis, there are more riffs on it that sound like Obscura more than like another bands, in other words the influeces aren’t as obvious. I think the album is very agressive, dark and extreme, a lot of the songs are very fast. It is definitely not as catchy and accesable as Cosmogenesis, it doesn’t have as many hits, but therefore the compositions have a lot more depths and last a lot longer, there is always new details to discover. I’m very happy with that record.

 

OBSCURA is conceded as one of the most influencing bands in modern technical death metal. Do you realize that this is a huge responsibility for you and your bandmates? Your music can simply make young people start playing and OBSCURA is sort of shapping their style.

 

I don’t know if I would call it a responsibility, because everybody is responsible for himself, what to get out of the music, what to learn from it, how to interpret it. But it is definitely a huge honour for me/us to see that we influenced and inspired that many young musicians. I’m especialy amazed at how many guitar players learn our stuff and do it really well, and some of them actually move on to making their own music, and when you then detect some of your own infuence in somebody else’s playing, and this person takes it to another level or uses this influence to create things in a way that I would not have thought of, this is a huge compliment. Hearing from others that you have been a positive infuence on them is the biggest reward you can get as a musician.

 

OBSCURA also released a new compilation called “Illegimitation”. I Won’t ask you why did you pick DEATH, CYNIC and ATHEIST for covering, because it’s obvious – they’re legends. But i’d like to know why those songs. And did you record it during the “Omnivium” recording session?

 

No those songs were not recorded during the Omnivium sessions. We recorded them in late 2011/early 2012 right between the US and the EU headlining tours. Well we chose those songs as they represent those bands best I think, or because we all agreed on them that we liked them. How could I is for sure my favorite Cynic song.

 

You’re known as a new member of SPAWN OF POSSESSION. “Incurso” is really great release. I’ve heard you did ‘only’ solos, but your solos are really notable and making the album better. Is it hard to step in when the record is almost done, or it’s not so different from your usual recordnings?

 

Well I did not just step in when the record was almost done, I joined Jonas in 2009, when he was still in the writing process, but that was still before Dennis came back to the band and Henrik joined on drums. Erland was already in the band. The reason I only did the solos was that it was just not possible otherwise logisitcally for one, cause they live in Sweden and I live in Germany, and then Jonas wrote all the songs, I just wrote the solos, so it just made more sense that he did all the rhythms, as he knew best how certain parts were meant. It’s also always better if one person doubles himself, so many bands do it like that. On Obscura usually I record all the rhythms on some songs, and Steffen records all the rhythms on other songs. I recorded my leads for SOP in my home studio, just like I recorded my Obscura leads, so no, it was not different in that sense.

 

What is the main difference between playing with and composing for OBSCURA and SOP?

 

Well the main thing is as I said before, that in Obscura I also contribute riffs to the songs, while in SOP I only write the solos. Musically the biggest difference is that the parts to play over are very different. In Obscura it’s usually chord progressions which are very open, as the chords stay for a while. I often write those chord progressions myself and they’re mostly like standard baroque progressions or fusiony parts with key changes, but usually everything fits in a certain tonality in a classical sense. In SOP it is often a lot more complex, some of the riffs underneath the solos are pretty busy and do not fall in a certain tonality in the traditional sense, so often I came up with artificial or symmerical scales for example that would fit the mood of the riffs. Of course the SOP riffs also outline chord progressions most of the time, but they’re hard to detect at first, while some stuff is very chromatic. Of course in certain parts there is also the traditional harmoic minor stuff used and the progressions are quite classical, those were the easier ones. I think on Incurso I came up with a side of my playing I haven’t showed before, like a lot of that wild wah wah stuff and the use of really weird scales, or even some leads that do not fit into any tonality and are rather chromatic. I also improvised some stuff which I rarely do, like the first solo in Servitude Of Souls which actually was an improvised one take.

 

I guess you probably hate this kind of questions, but i have to ask you anyway. What about NECROPHAGIST, are you still in contact with Muhhamed? Do you know something about his plans with this band? And if he ask you one day for guest solo on his new record, would you say yes at the moment?

 

No, I’m not in contact with him at all anymore, I know nothing about what this guy is up to. Last time I spoke to him was more than 5 and a half years ago. We met briefly at a festival where both Necro and Obscura played 2 years ago, but we didn’t speak apart from a brief hello. We didn’t really part ways on the best terms, but this is so long ago that we probably both can stand over that by now, I don’t think though that he woukd ask me to do a solo on a new Necro album, and I probably wouldn’t do it, that era of my life is gone I think. It kinda pisses me off though that so many people think that he wrote my leads on Epitaph, which is just bullshit, because you can hear a big difference in style. I don’t know if this is something he said once in an interview, I never heard him say it, but somehow people seem to believe that. He helped me with some ideas back then as I tended to overplay and my phrasing wasn’t as good as it is now, but to 70% the leads were the way I wrote them. I even wrote some of the basslines, for example for Stabwound, all those tapping licks in there were mine.

 

On GOROD’s latest album “A Perfect Absolution” you have another guest solo. So does it mean you are a “solo guy” type? I personally love french metal and “A Perfect Absolution” is almost perfect. If I compare it with Incurso and Omnivium, GOROD made their album kind of “more human-ish”, it’s not just about technic, there is somethinq more. How do you feel it?

 

I wouldn’t consider myself just a solo guy, I’m a guitar player, and I think a good and kind of complete player always has to be a good combination of rhythm and riffing skills and solo skills. It’s just more normal to ask someone for a guest solo. But even my own music on my solo album has a lot of emphasis on rhythm and riffing, it’s just as important. It’s probably even more important in fact, as especially live I play rhythm 90% of the time. In my own and Obscura’s music, the leads are usually the last thing I think about when recording.

I agree about Gorod’s new album, it is amazing, especially the various influences from different genres they incoorporate into their sound, it’s very well done. However, I have to say that Omnivium and Incurso are not about technique at all, this is NEVER the main focus in any of those bands. SOP is mainly about the harmonies, the changes, the rhythms, and most important of all, the overall dark, barqoue, morbid death metal atmosphere. Sure it’s technical as there’s weird changes and everything is super fast, but it’s not the focus of the music, it’s rather a necissity to bring the point across. Obscura is totally the same, although the sound is not as dark and brutal, as we draw a bit more from a mid 90′s scandinavian influence as well.

 

Another paragraph in your biography is a project called TERRESTRIAL EXILED. You, Hannes, Ron Jarzombek and Pete Perez have recorded a single called “Duodecimal Levorotation”. Do you know something about the concept and idea of this project? It’s a bit hard-to-find kind of informations.

 

Yeah that is a funny story. The concept came up very spontaneously. When Watchtower played at the Keep It True festival, which is close to where I live here in Germany, I hung out with Ron for a day in Würzburg to show him and his wife the city a bit the day after the festival. We went to an Italian restaurant, and I asked Ron to explain the circle of 12 tones system to me, so he dug out some empty papers and a pen and started explaining. Then as he saw I got a hang of it quickly he said, hey, why don’t we record a song together? At first I thought he was kidding, because I thought why would this amazing guitarist and composer want to record a song with a lousy death metal guitarist haha, but he was serious, and of course I said yes. So it was basically a project where he was teaching me the circle of 12 tones. Ron, Pete, Hannes and me all wrote riffs to the song using that systém, although it’s a bit different to Blotted Science, as in the song we did 2 notes are placed in the center and the other 10 notes move around it. We don’t know for now if we’re gonna do more songs for that band, I would for sure love to, but it’s more of a fun thing and everybody’s schedule is always so busy.

 

Speaking of Ron, what do you think about last BLOTTED SCIENCE release? It was in my top 10 for last year, but this release needs a huge amount of concentration, it’s complicated and complex record to listen to it.

 

Ah, I like anything that Ron puts out, and this one makes no exception. He also gave me a DVD with the movie scenes they scored along with the music, and that way it makes most sense. It’s a great effort, and if I’m in the mood for it, I enjoy it a lot watching those clips and listening to those tunes. They’re also enjoyable without the scenes IMO, those time changes and weird tonalities are fascinating. Ron is a genius.

 

Your another guest appearance was on “Wicked Wine And Weeping Willows” – debut album by RAVENBLACK. Who are those guys? I’ve never heard of them.

 

That is the solo project of my friend Dirk Schmitt, who is also the singer of the German band „Edge Of Thorns“. We did a band project together with the name Daemon’s Gate, which is in the vein of old US Heavy Metal bands like Vicious Rumors, Racer X, Sanctuary, Queensryche, Savatage etc., but no label picked it up and due to my hectic current schedule it’s on hold unfortunately at the moment. Ravenblack is his solo project, which can be desribed like dark rock like Sentenced or Paradise Lost meets 80′s Heavy Metal. He asked me if I would like to contribute some leads to the album, since we’re friends and I liked the songs, I did 4 solos on the CD, and I’m very happy with them. They show another, more rock based site of my playing. I think the song „Rising Demons“ has one of the best solos I ever recorded, I’m really proud of that one. It has a huge Uli Jon Roth influence and is one of my most melodic and emotional moments.

 

Late news – you are an official member of veteran band PARADOX. I guess you have listened to them as a kid, right? And now you’re one of them.  How did this happen?

 

Yes I’ve been a fan of that band for many years. Cool thing is that they come from the same area where I’m from too. I already applied for the guitarist’s position in Paradox in 2001 or 2002, before I joined Necrophagist, but it didn’t happen back then due to different reasons. However, I played in a band with the new drummer many years ago and he remembered me when they were looking for a new guitar player. Charly then checked out all the stuff I recoded in the last 10 years and really liked my style, so it all came together nicely. I’m excited to be a part of that new album now, it’s very intense, technical thrash metal, and judging from the pre-production, this could easily be the best Paradox album so far. They have always been my favorite German thrash metal band as they are closer in style to the more progressive Bay Area scene (Forbidden, Heathen, Metallica, Megadeth etc.) than to the rather straight forward European scene.

 

As a teacher, what do you think about BandHappy project? And did you ever think about joining it, or are you satisfied with the way how you’re doing it now?

 

I thought about joining them as they have bigger marketing possibilities than I have on my own, but then they charge a big fee and it would get more expensive for the student probably. I can reach enough people via Facebook and get enough feedback on my own, so for now I’m ok with the way I do it.

 

What yout your feelings and impressions of Omnivium Europe tour? I have to say one thing – performance of EXIVIOUS was the best one I’ve seen for last two years. Honestly, it was beautiful! Great move by the way – taking them and GOROD with you.

 

Yeah, Exivious are something else, truly world class musicians. They sound so perfect every night, although they play different every night as they improvise all the solos and stuff, still they sound as perfect as a CD. Gorod and Spawn Of Possession delivered an excellent flawless set as well every night, it was truly an honour as well as a challenge to play with those bands every night. The reason we chose those bands was that we wanted to make a tour we would love to see ourselves as fans, so we chose bands we all repected and are fans of.

 

Is your hand OK now? What was in your mind during SOP’s set – to see your band playing without you…was it hard in some way for you?

 

No, my hand is not ok at all, and I think I have to explain a little bit better what I have as it is being misunderstood a lot. I have a neurologic disorder which is called „Focal Dystonia“, which manifests itself as a loss of voluntary motor control in extensively trained muscles. I seem to have had it for many years already without really kowing what was going on as all regular doctors I went to couldn’t help me, and I had no clue what was going on with my left hand before I got to see the best specialist on musicians diseases in Germany last October, and he diagnosed focal dystonia, I already had it when I recorded Omnivium, Timewarp and Incurso, but I didn’t know it. I was struggling with a lot of things that had never been hard for me before during those recordings and didn’t know why, which is why I had to re-finger and change a lot of stuff during the recordings. It is not psychological, and it is neither comparable to somethig like tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome as it’s a painless movement malfunction, it’s neurologic and officially incurable medically. In my case my left hand index and middle fingers are affected. Both work fine on their own, but when they’re used together, it doesn’t work. Since the index finger is mostly on the strings when playing guitar, my middle finger cramps back into the hand and I can’t use it, and the most simple trill functions between the first 2 fingers became impossible and un-doable for me. This is why I now tap a lot more with more fingers of my right hand and I use more slides with the index finger and the pinky. There are many different cases and degrees of focal dystonia, most people who develop it never get rid of it for the rest of their lifes, and in some cases it gets worse and spreads on other fingers so playing becomes impossible for them. This does not seem to be the case for me, as it is pretty constant for the last 2 years or so, but I still live in constant fear that it starts affecting other fingers. However, although it is medically incurable, I know people who had it and got rid of it, but it took them many years, and you have to be very careful. I’m currently learning the Feldenkrais method with a violin player who had to stop playing completely because of focal dystonia, but is now back on her old playing level, as she gained her old ability back after learning the Feldenkrais method. I have to reduce my performance and practice amount to a healthy degree, which is why I chose not to perform 2 long and super technical sets in a row every night, not to mention the amount of hours a day to memorize and perfectionate 2 setlists like that. I shouldn’t have done the recent tours at all, but they were booked and I didn’t wanna leave my bandmates hanging without the 2nd guitar. We even tried to get a replacement in Obscura for me for the last US run we did, but we didn’t find anyone in time. Hoeẃever, I’ll be off any longer tours for at least a year now, so I really have the time to focus and learn with the FD and hopefully make some improvement once the pressure is gone. I’m staying very positive and not loosing hope. Considering the SOP set, I didn’t mind that at all, especially since Danny Tunker played for me, who is one of my best friends and one of the most phaenomenal guitar players this world has ever seen, there was no competitive feeling between the both of us, as we respect each other’s playing a lot. The only awkward moments were when people wanted to have SOP CD’s signed and asked me insetad of Danny, although he rocked the house with Spawn every night. I will hopefully tour with SOP myself in the future, but for now it is too early to tell as I have to see what I can do and what not because of the FD.

 

 

Do you prefer intimate clubs, big arenas or open air venues?  I think the band-fan bound comes out in small clubs in it’s best, right?

 

You are right, and in many cases I prefer the club atmosphere, as you can interact with the crowd a lot better and the energy level is a lot higher. It all depends though, when it’s too small and there is no distance at all since you kind play on the floor and have to walk through the people in order to get to the stage, it seems a little unprofessional to me though and can take away the magic for the audience, so I prefer mid sized to bigger clubs.

 

Do you have some favoutite clubs and festivals?

 

No not really, I do have favorite cities to play in though, such as Paris which is always awesome, London, New York, LA or Tokyo.

 

You’re actually not a technical death die hard fan, right? You told me before you prefer heavy-power-speed metal. How does this happen – highly respected as a member of great technical death bands, but deep inside a fan of  traditional subgenres of metal.

 

Yeah you are right and it is kinda weird that most of my career was able through death metal, as my background is way more rooted in 80′s Heavy/Speed/Thrash Metal, Power and Progressive Metal, and of course all the technical guitar stuff in Neoclassical, Fusion and Shred, and even lots of 70′s and 80′s hard rock and even hair metal. I got into more extreme forms of metal through Children Of Bodom’s „Something Wild“ album in 1998, which is closer in style to bands such as Stratovarius and Symphony X, apart from the vocals. That was when I noticed that not all extreme metal is primitive and boring so I became more open minded and discovered the band Death when the album „The Sound Of Perserverance“ came out. I fell in love with it and then bought all their albums at once. Then I saw an announcement in Rock Hard magazine that the technical death metal band Defeated Sanity were looking for a lead guitarist, and they were from my area, so I applied for them, although all I knew in that genre back then was the band Death, and then Lille of DS introduced me to all those great 90′s death metal bands like Immolation, Disincarnate, Monstrosity, Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Gorguts, so I fell in love with that style. Defeated Sanity were featured on a german underground death metal sampler along with Necrophagist, and when I heard them, it blew my mind, as they combined death metal with the more advanced and melodic style of guitar playing that I loved so much before already, and actually Lille told me one day Necro were looking for a guitar player, and the rest is history. Nowadays I don’t have a favorite genre anymore at all, my listening habbits are all over the place, from hard rock and hair metal to the most extreme death and black metal and everything in between, and also a lot of stuff outside of metal such as jazz, blues, classical, Frank Zappa or even pop stuff like Michael Jackson, for me there’s only good music and bad music, and I think it’s very important for every musician to keep an open mind. Maybe I managed to create a unique voice in death metal because I play that style but have different background and do not just listen to the same 10 bands all the time.

 

Can you unveil your personal top ten for 2011/2012 in music (in general)?

 

Alright, there’s no order to it though:

 

Paul Wardingham – Assimilate Regenerate

Stéphan Forté – The Shadows Compendium

Symphony X – Iconoclast

Jeff Loomis – Plains Of Oblivion

Beyond Creation – The Aura

Alarum – Natural Causes

Jarle H. Olsen – Quadrasonic

Brett Garsed – Dark Matter

 

I couldn’t even make it 10 unfortunately, for my personal taste it wasn’t really a good year in music unfortunately. There’s some stuff I’ looking forward to, like the new Kaipa album (featuring my guitar hero Per Nilsson) and the new Testament.

 

About two months ago you posted on your fabecook page something about situation in music industry. What did you mean by that  specificly?

 

That was about a political party we have in Germany who call themselves the pirates. They try to achieve that there is no copyright anymore and that music should be freely available for everyone. I’m really tired of that discussion as people don’t see that when you give music for free to everyone, it becomes impossible for most to create new music, as productions cost money too, and the internet alone does not work for marketing if you don’t have a name yet. The thing is that we live in a form of society in which it is difficult to survive for artists anyway and musicians are treated worse than hookers, and now you have people trying to make it even more difficult for reasons I do not really understand. Then on the opposite site you have the GEMA institution who say they guarantee the musicians rights, take care of the copyright and make sure you get paid for the songs you write, but they don’t and they also rip musicians off, especially the small ones, but this would go too far to explain in an interview, I could write a book about that. All in all the music business is a sad joke, and it does not seem to get any better in the near future.

 

Few weeks ago Warner Music forced Roadrunner Records to close all the international offices, including the Germany and UK ones and Majors are the bad guys again. Do you know something from background about this? And what is your opinion?

 

Well I’m pretty sure that the background and the reason for this is the progrssive decline of record sales, which gets worse every year. One independent label after another are forced to close their doors because they can’t survive anymore. I think it’s sad and dissapointing, and something needs to change soon, because otherwise the music world won’t be the same anymore for music fans. I know a lot of people who are extremely talented musicians and they just can’t afford it on their own to produce a decent album. People always argue that the musicians don’t see money from record sales anyway and that way they justify it for themself to steal it, but this is so wrong. Record labels pay advance money which allows it to produce your music, which is a lot more expensive than most people would think, and they pay for promotion and give tour support. But they can’t do that when they can’t sell albums anymore. I think people feel guilty for stealing music and to make themselves feel better, they tend to support parties like the one I mentioned. I know people who have not a single original CD at home and have hundreds to thousands of albums digitally, but never paid a single cent for them, and are actually proud of it and have no conciousness for doing something wrong at all, and they give you weird looks if you spend money on music that you could also get for free. Every human has the right to eat, and you could get away with just putting stuff in your pockets in the super market and probably noone would notice, but you don’t do it because you know it’s wrong. But with music people don’t see it like that. It takes so much time and dedication to write a good song and so much money to produce it well, but it’s not even worth the money for a can of coke for most people. A few years with that progression and attitude and all that is left is Lady Gaga and American Idol, but people don’t see it. It pisses me off so much.

 

I appreciate the fact that you are trying to stay in touch with your fans on facebook. Everytime I’m so glad if someone famous is not acting like some sort of celebrity. Can you name some pros & cons of this facebook communication with fans?

 

Thank you! Well I communicate with people on Facebook because I’m a music lover myself, I don‘t see myself on another level than those people who have no career in music. It’s good getting feedback for your music and to be in touch with the people you make music for, if it wasn’t for my fans, I would not be able to be a full time musician at all. What I do not like is when people want to advertise their stuff on my wall all the time or everyone wants me to check out their bands or the 10.000th cover of the Anticosmic Overload solo, I just don’t have the time to do so, and sometimes people get angry because of that or because I don’t answer all messages that come in within a day, and that’s quite annoying at times.

 

Well, it seems like all of your time is dedicated to music. What are you doing in your free time, if you find some? I mean – can you put the music away and just relax with a book, watch and/or do some sports etc?

 

Yes I can put it aside and do something else, and I try to do that at least 1 or 2 hours every day. This is very important also for the brain to relax and get a little distance to everything, it’s not very healthy or beneficial if you live in a bubble 24/7, you also need to live a life. I like to read a lot, watch movies or funny TV shows, and I like cycling, in the mountains and forests here at home.

 

As a full-time musician, with all your tours and bands and projects and guest appereances, what about  family life?

 

Well I live here with my girlfriend, but I do not have kids, and at least for the moment, I can also not see that happening, my time is occupied so much recently. I also don’t think I am a family man.

 

Many of bands are promoting straight edge life policy. What about you and alcohol, smoking, eating habits?

 

I’m not a straight edge guy, however, I do not drink a lot. Mainy because I don’t like the taste of alcoholic drinks, but also because I don’t like the feeling of being drunk, loosing control over what you say and do and the painful feeling afterwards. I don’t mind when other people do it, but it’s not for me. In general I also find the hard drug culture and mentality in rock’n'roll since the 60′s disgusting, everybody is so proud of being drunk and doing drugs and acting stupid all the time, and then when somebody dies of it, this person becomes the victim. So I can get a long well with that new generation of musicians though,I prefer the straight edge hardcore people to those who puke and piss on the tourbus because they can’t keep it under control because they are impressive drinkers.

 

So thank you a lot, Christian, keep doing what you can do best and see you soon I hope :)

 

 

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