Kaiserreich prepare for their ‘Christmassacre’
Extreme Black Metal bands are a dime a dozen these days, but few perform it with as much ferocity and passion as a band like Kaiserreich. Hailing from Italy they’ve developed an aggressive, yet more melodic style with their sophomore effort ‘Ravencrowned,’ which expands the former ‘Darkthrone’ clone that they were originally considered without losing any harshness. Despite a late start in the life of Metal, the band is growing in popularity around their home country and across Europe. Vocalist Serpentest took some time with the Brutalism horde to answer a few questions about the band, the latest album, and the upcoming Christmassacre Festival to be held in December, 2011.
Hello there from BRUTALISM. What’s new for the band these days?
Thank you for the interest! Well, not big news here. After a long time, we finally released our new album which was ready almost two years ago! Now we’re promoting the new album and by the end of the 2011 we’ll record the new album which is composed already. The next big thing will be the Christmassacre Festival in Czech Republic, the 25th December.
You just released ‘Ravencrowned’ about three months ago; have the fans been receiving it well?
To be honest, we’re not so close to fans opinion about the album. Since the album has been out, we’ve had very few gigs. By the way, we received very good responses during the live shows and we’re playing the new songs much earlier than the CD release. So I guess they like the album too.
For those who don’t know, how did Kaiserreich come together, originally?
It’s a very boring story. We simply met each other in a metal pub and decided to start something Black. At the time, two members of the band (including me) were almost 30 and we never had former experience into music. This is the only relevant part of the story: we came to the music very late and that’s a shame ’cause it’s easier to play, create and tour when you don’t have to arrange serious things in your life.
What got you interested in black metal as the choice of genre to play?
We started our interest in Black Metal at the very first steps of this genre. The BM was the new thing, the most extreme scene out there. We were also fascinated by the cultural and mythological background. I’m not talking about northern legends but the Inner Circle, the Burzum saga, and so on. Then, we surely loved the feeling of this kind of music more than any other extreme genre can translate emotions into music.
Do you think a lot of peoples’ misconceptions about black metal being completely Satanic and about nothing else are a ridiculous fallacy just because of a few extremists in the 90s and that Kaiserreich is trying to go beyond that, or does it suit your musical concepts perfectly fine?
Well, it’s obvious to relate BM with Satanism ’cause BM was born alongside these themes. Nowadays, you can still talk about this relationship about the underground bands. Most of BM underground bands are formed by young people and you know that devil loves youngsters (and vice versa). The traditional themes in BM are simple, direct, and they work usually well. The bigger bands are refusing close-minded abnegation to the dark lord ’cause those themes are difficult to be handled in the mainstream. Dark Funeral is an admirable exception!
Kaiserreich has never been interested in these themes and we won’t embrace them in the future for sure.
After your debut album, how did you want to improve your style/sound for ‘Ravencrowned? How do you think it shows a more ferocious side of Kaiserreich?
Our first album, ‘KRRH,’ was very close to Darkthrone. Our second release differs from the first one mostly for the reason that we changed the main guitar composer. The new album has more fast paced rhythm, and more riffs in every composition. Now we also have a more epic sound that fits perfectly with our on stage performances.
Any particular songs from the album that you feel deserve special mention, either behind what the lyrics are or how the songwriting process came about?
We really like almost every song in ‘Ravencrowned’ and there is no song that we clearly prefer. Personally, I could mention “A.B. 86” with its great mood. But any song in this album has its reason to be due to the fact that ‘Ravencrowned’ is a concept album and every song depicts a part of the story. I also really like the closing song “Tempest” ’cause it perfectly follows the lyrical meaning.
Much of your lyrics are crossed between Italian, English, and other languages… a lot more than what you did on your debut album. Is there a particular reason you choose to have multi-lingual lyrics and do you think it may be confusing for those who listen to it?
Yeah, I read your review and noticed your interest for this aspect. It’s curious to observe that many looked with interest to the multi language approach. To be honest, the lyrics are all in English except “Cuore Nero” which is in Italian. “Veleno,” an Italian word, has English lyrics as well as “Den Verkschythend,” an invented word created mixing German, English and Norwegian that means “The Blade That and Every Will”. There are no particular reasons for this approach. I simply like the idea to have different language. Also, invented words are great for Google researches!
Where do you get your inspiration to write the music or lyrics, or collaborate on them at least? Does it require just sitting down and contemplating or do you have to go somewhere, like travel to a certain place and just let the atmosphere influence you until everything comes full circle in your head?
We usually start from the guitar riffs then try to follow the music. It’s an instinctive composition, no rites or secret formulas required. Regarding the lyrics I always start to sing with no words, just screaming randomly. Later I used to add the lyrics. I’m sad to admit that sometimes the random screams are better than the final result…
If you could tour, where would you really want to go and who would you wish to tour with…?
Great question! We once started to plan a Mexican tour but for now everything is frozen. It’s a long trip and it’s hard to manage such a thing with our jobs and other duties. We are dealing for a Czech Republic tour and maybe a Russian one. We also have launched our ‘Blackening Europe Masterplan” which is our plan to try to play in every single country in Europe! You can find the details on our website:
We hope that fans will help us in having some gigs in the untouched country of the map.
About the bands to have a tour with, Gorgoroth would probably be the best one. We have lot to share with their band and we surely respect them. Dark Funeral would be a good choice too. By the way, you certainly know that touring with these kinds of band- for a small band like ours- means that you have to pay lot of money to be on it!
Last question: your fans are the heart of the engine that makes Kaiserreich. What’s the best thing you’ve received from one (or many) that has really let you know that you’re at least making some sort of a positive impact on an individual, whether it’s a sort of catharsis or something else?
We usually receive great responses during the shows, probably due to our choreographic impact. It seems than corpse paint and spikes are no longer appreciated by the band but fans still love it.
About our remarkable fans: some years ago, this guy came to a show of ours. We were the opening band and the ticket was 15 Euros ’cause there was a special offer to drink whatever you want for the night. This guy came with his girlfriend and paid 30 Euros just to see our show, than he left the club ’cause he wasn’t interested in the other bands. After that show, this guy sent us a handwritten letter with his greetings for our show. He’s now started his own BM project named Funeral Fog, a one man band similar to Burzum, and he will come with us at the Christmassacre Festival, performing his show alone on stage!
Thanks again for answering all the questions and best of luck in the future!
Thank you, man. We really appreciate your interest and we also thank you for the efforts in spreading underground music. The Gig-Organisers page on your site is great and we surely try to contact someone to cover all Europe in black!