CRIPPER

CRIPPER is a ripper band from Germany. If you like your thrash Teutonic you need not look any further. Answers from Britta and the band. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
Britta: Haha, that’s a good question. I am not sure we had any other intention back then other than to write music that we love and play it live. So in this case: yes, it did go as we intended But of course your dreams and plans grow as you start fulfilling them, and things get in the way you did not see coming. So “intention” is an ever changing game. We have learned that the more flexible we are, the more good things are coming our way.

How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
Dennis: Expectations again I think we are all quite satisfied with the outcome. But an album production is a long process, especially when you consider the songwriting being an important part of it. And so it is again a question about the flexibility Britta mentioned – to be open for things to develop and take as much as you can in the whole process as inspiration. Also, on “Follow Me: Kill!” which is our 5th album now, we had a completely different approach on creating the songs, partly because I wasn’t present for a year in between and two other drummers helped us out. But I think the songs came out great, so as it seems changing our songwriting behaviour helped to come up with fresh and good material.
So: the recording will come out, and we love it. I hope everyone of us expected that – and if so, I can answer your question with “yes”.

Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
Britta: I would say so, yes. We are especially happy with the sound of Follow Me: Kill! We have put more and more effort into finding our sound with every record and know by now where to fine-tune, what works and what doesn’t. On this album, we worked again with our long time recording and studio guy Kai Stahlenberg from Kohlekeller Studio. He knows us well, he knows a shit load about sound and how to achieve what we’re looking for. It is always an enjoyable and thankful collaboration.

Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Britta: Message… Above all, it is important two me that the lyrics mean something to me, and hopefully to the rest of the band. From an artistical viewpoint I hate sloppy lyrics, that smell like they have been treated with a lazy attitude. It does not necessarily mean that it needs to take a long time to write decent or even great lyrics, but it needs a certain momentum to write lyrics that transport their meaning well – whatever meaning the author intentionally or unintentionally seeks for. It is important to me that my lyrics transport their meaning as precisely as possible for myself. They leave a lot of room for interpretation, but that only makes them enjoyable more for an audience, who can seek and find their own meaning in the lyrics.
With this new record, we are taking a new step as far as lyrics. Follow Me: Kill! is our most political album so far. You can find a few very personal or autobiographical lyrics on the album, but also a fair amount of political or society inspired lyrics. With how much nasty stuff is going on around the globe, it is about time to speak up and clarify our own standpoint.

How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
Dennis: Christian and Jonathan are graphic designers, Britta has a lot to do with artwork, photography and design aswell – and so a cover artwork is an important part for an album release from our perspective. I don’t think that the aspect of sales is really relevant for us, and you can’t know who is buying a thing for it’s looks or it’s music or any other reasons anyway. We know that we sell a lot more Cds and Vinyl than downloads, and these mediums are only complete with an artwork. Which is great, because it is just another level to tell a story, present your band, put your creativity out to the world.

Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
Britta: Is that the case? I don’t know. What I know about Scandinavia is that music of all kinds might have a higher cultural value than maybe in Germany, where we come from. When you’re brought up learning that music can be a nice hobby but damn get your homework done, you might start taking yourself seriously later than when your parents encourage you a lot to play music and when there are more possibilities to learn an instrument in school or so. That’s all guessing. For us I guess it is that we never really have tried to make a living with the band. We never gave up our apartments, moved into one big hippie house and solely focused on music. And we have never had the luck or maybe not the focus on landing a big hit.

Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
Dennis: I don’t know. Don’t know if we stand out or what that even means. It should be about the music. But metal is live music (at least in my opinion), and if you don’t have enough chances to play live (as a band), or listen to live music (being in a band or not), the spirit, the feedback, the “scene” and latest but worst: the music itself will suffer. I don’t know about being in a new band these days – but klicks, youtube comments, likes, shares and whatnot will never replace the sweat, sound and energy of a live club. Go to more concerts!

What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
Lommer: Our local scene is very cool, but in my eyes a little bit small for Hannover. It’s nice to see some new faces on concerts and Metal-Partys, cause some students came from other cities and didn’t know much about Hannover and the Metal Scene.
The “old-ones” are not explicitly our fans but rather a part of a circle of friends. It’s cool to get support from them, cause they help us with a lot of things like video shootings.
I think, a local or national scene is very important for a band to get support and learn the A’s and O’s for Live Shows (How should i perform on stage? What is cool for the fans?), Merchandise and the appearance on the internet (We laugh about our funny videos, do the fans aswell?). Then you get enough experience and get to know how you should organize some things (How can I travel to the venue? What do i need for the show? What is REALLY important for the show? And, very important: Enough time around the show to relax) you could make the great jump and play with the big boys.

Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
Lommer: That sounds nice, but in Germany (Exactly “Lower saxony”) the Metal scene is just accepted. Some people on the street might look a little bit scared, when they see a Metalhead with long hair, piercings and tattoos. But this happens really rarely in big cities like Hannover (in smaller towns this is a critical problem for metalheads). And cause the “Wacken-Festival” made a lot of promotion for metal, “normal” people were able to have a look in at scene and see that the metalheads are normal too and only want to party on concerts and festivals.
On the other hand, we had some problems with locations to organize shows and metal parties. Some venues are to big and expensive for underground shows and others don’t want to have a horde of drunken metalheads in their locations.
You see, we must fight with a lot of stereotypes in Germany.

What does the future hold for you?
Lommer: Cool Drinks, great shows in Germany and other countries around and a lot of coffee in the morning

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