With their aptly named 4th album “Breaking The Silence”, a capella band Van Canto are unique in using their voices to mimic the sound of conventional rock instruments. Shan Siva gets the word from lower ‘rakkatakka’ vocalist Stefan!
1. LOL – who’s sick idea was it to start an a capella metal band and why (not)?!
Stefan: It was started an a project and turned out to be a great band. Why? Because it’s cool to have a band that sells records and plays on the biggest festivals around the world, haha 😉
2. I must confess, that when I first heard about Van Canto I thought it was some kinda joke band – what made you think that it would be so successful?
Stefan: We never expected anything, so we are just as surprised as you are. But we didn’t plan it as a joke. It’s hard work and we are working professional so I think in the end it’s ok to have some success.
3. I saw you guys at the Rocktower Festival in Lubeck in 2010 – I was wondering how all you guys managed to fit onto that little Treibsand stage but there were so many people there it was clear how popular the band was.
Stefan: Ok – thanks – yes, I nearly fell off the stage LOL – but it was a good show!
4. Why did you not also include the drums in the a capella?
Stefan: Because then it sounds like disco pop ;-)!
5. You guys do a mixture of covers (and they are excellent versions if I might say so) and originals so is there a physical limit to the styles that an a capella can handle i.e. industrial, thrash etc?
Stefan: Hmmm, not a physical limit, but a limit of taste. We love melodic metal, so we have to sing melodic metal songs you know?
6. How have your covers been received? You’ve chosen some formidable bands like Manowar and Maiden – guys like Bruce Dickenson and DeMaio don’t exactly strike me as having a sense of humor (or at the very least asking for a royalty) when it comes to covering their material or impersonating them personally?
Stefan: We were invited by Manowar to play on their festival, so I’m quite sure they like what we are doing. All covers we release did get permission by the original publisher or artist.
7. I bet it must be easy for you to tour? Aside from the drums all you need is your mike?
Stefan: No, sorry, you’re actually wrong LOL: we have In-Ear-Monitoring for every musician, our own monitor desk, some effects and bring our own light and pyro with us!
8. What does the term ‘rakkatakka’ mean – it seems to have become some sorta battle cry by your fanatical fans LOL
Stefan: It’s one of the sounds we use to imitate a guitar. So Rakkatakka Motherfucker is a great battle cry LOL!
9. Do the members of Van Canto have a metal musical background?
Stefan: Yes. We all played in regular metal bands before. Bastian and me in Jester’s Funeral, Sly in Synasthasia, Ross in Deadly Sin, Inga in Fading Starlight and Ike in cp rono.
10. With all the technology available nowadays, do you feel more or less limited than your peers playing via instruments?
Stefan: No, we don’t feel limited. The human voice is great and it’s great what you can create by singing together.
Ok, thanks for your time!
Stefan: Thanks for your interest in Van Canto!