Where did the idea to use two female vocalists come from?
Mats: This happend in the early days of Coronatus, end of 2004. We had to play a gig, but no singer in that time. In the casting, two very good female singers, Carmen and Verena, convinced us both, although they had completely different singing styles. It was very hard to decide whom to
take into the band, so we simply did not decide. We took both.
When writing songs has the conflict of “This song would be better with just one vocalist, but we got two” ever come up?
Mats: Sometimes it would be easier, just to write for only one vocalist. However, in the end, the result is always much more interesting using both voices.
How do you write songs for Coronatus?
Dirk: Usually, one of us comes up with a song idea, more or less structured and predone. I, for myself, do a lot of home recording. After these ideas have been collected on a server, we all have access to, and can work on them at home. With more and more ideas collected, we meet at the rehearsal room, and work on the rythm and guitars. Then lyrics come up, and finally the vocal melodies. Sometimes the rythms section has to be changed or edited, to fit to the vocal lines. When all songs are
pre-finished, we meet again for so called “pimp rounds”, where we go over the songs, and add more ideas and thoughts. All in all, it is a pretty long process, from start to finish!
When you work with two different voices, male or female, how easy/hard is it to not fall into a formulated way of writing songs ,verse-chorus-verse-bridge-verse-chorus, where the different voices get used equally?
Dirk: Due to the nature of our music style, we try to be different, even if it is not appreciated by many reviewers. They mostly like the usual pudding, verse-bridge-chorus-vers-bridge-chorus, and so on. Especially on Terra Incognita, I came up with the idea of doing some kind of mini musical, a 3-piece with an ongoing story line. In all of these 3 songs, there is no real chorus, but more like catchy hook lines, and various parts. This is for sure very different to the usual pop song style, and we hope, fans will appreciate, what we do. On the other hand, there are also some “normal” structurized songs, just as Fernes Land or Saint Slayer.
You write lyrics in German too. How does using different languages fit the concept of the songs? Do you intentionally write songs with different languages in mind or is that something that happens
Dirk: This is more a spontaneous thing. Depends on the story we have in mind, sometimes we write in German, and sometimes in English. Since German is our native language, the lyrics are more developed. And also we love our native language, it gives us more opportunity to express
ourselves. Huge main players, just as Rammstein for example, opened the way for German songs all over the world.
What is it about Germany and the middle ages? Bands like yours, Haggard, In Extremo and countless others seem to find this time fascinating. There’s even magazines devoted to this whole sub-genre.
Aria: Metal and the middle ages do have a big connection nowadays. For me this kind of music is definitely getting more important and famous with the time. For my taste it’s a good combination and the dark atmosphere one can build through the usage of old legends and myths in combination with heavy riffs sounds really good. It maybe has to do a lot with the fact of soprano vocals in such kind of music too. This started to get popular through nightwish i would say. There are so many
fans for this kind of music in Germany now that it is kind of getting its own section. This symphonic, middle age, heavy metal still isn’t that wide spread like thrash metal or regular heavy metal but as we see it’s on its way. So we will remain connected to the middle ages with our music because we like what comes out of this kind of song writing and our fans like it too.
How hard/easy is it to fall into a compartmentalized an pre-categorized position based on what the media write about your music and how do you get out of it if you want to reach a broader audience?
Aria: It is pretty easy to be compartmentalized through the media in a certain section. It’s like that most of the time when you do something new. If it was the regular black metal for example you would just say Coronatus does black metal and that’s it. But now it’s interesting when we hear how people categorize our music style. Always something different in it (laugh). An example for unwanted categorisation is the fact that our music is often referred to as gothic metal. Although it’s really not similar to it. This categorisation just came up through the media. What we do to reach a broader audience is the extreme variety on our albums. On our newest album “Terra Incognita” ,which is going to come out on november 18., it’s really clear to hear this varity. We have songs which have small pop influences like “Fernes Land” and on the other side songs which are pretty dark like “Saint Slayer”. In this way I believe you have certain connection between all the songs which is
because of the fact that they are made by Coronatus and still you have a bigger audience you focus on. You know my thought in this subject is: ” I even want a rapper to like our music even though he hates metal actually” (laugh)
You’ve been through a couple of line-up changes but still stuck to your initial concept. How hard is it to keep the vision going when people leave for various reasons?
Mats: It is very hard! One simply has to start from zero over and over again. This takes a lot of power and time from everybody involved. However, we are very happy with the troop we have now, and the chances that this line up will stay for a longer period of time is better than ever!
You are on your fourth album now with “Terra Incognita”. When you started the band did you ever think you’d get to album number four and what has the journey to this album brought with it?
Mats: I always hoped that Coronatus will not only be a single shot, but in the early days this was nothing I thought about too much. Simply going forward step by step. Nowadays, I really wish to grow old with Coronatus. It might change, it might rise and it might fall. But I do not want to give it up. Trying out something and leaving everything behind if it does not work is not the way I am convinced of. What did this journey bring with it? Satisfacion! The satifaction to have the possibility to realize your own ideas of making music and playing your instrument in the context of a good and very creative band. And to distribute the result of doing so to an audience placed all over
What do you envision for Coronatus in the future? How will you go from album number 4 to album number 5?
Aria: In Coronatus the future was always something unpredictable. A lot of things changed really fast in this band. We are working on stopping this and having a planed process and a certain consistency in the band. This starts with the fact that we already had thoughts about the next album while we were recording “Terra Incognita” and i think we will start with the song writing of the 5th Coronatus album in the near future. We will play a lot, too. All in all I envision more concerts and tours because the big line up change we had, did stop us from playing a lot of concerts. So now it’s time for it!