Kratein keep busy with the metal in their spare time

It’s been about a year since the haunting debut of ‘Trauma’ was released by black metal’s Kratein, but there’s no rest for the wicked. Each member of the band has been hard at work with their other projects along with working on new material for Kratein, and lately they’ve been preparing for a large festival in July. I got a chance to ask the band questions about their thoughts on their album and where their collective thoughts may take them next as to give fans a bright perspective what to expect, or possible ‘unexpect.’

Hello there. How are things going?
Hey there. We are all a little stressed at the moment to be honest. UTBS is coming nearer and nearer and there are still lots of planning to do .

So it’s been about a year since the release of your debut. What have you guys been up to lately since then?
Well, we have been very busy working with our other bands to be honest. Todtgelichter and Signum: Karg had their latest records to release and Atras Cineris still finds itself in a very intensive songwriting phase. And a couple of weeks ago we started to work on new Kratein material as well, hehe…

For those of us who don’t know, care to share some information on the concept of your latest album, ‘Trauma.’ What influences came about when creating this album?
‘Trauma’ is a pretty contemplative record which deals with our moods at the moment of composing. It has a heavy spirit of escapement from reality throughout daydream-like encapsulation. The whole album carries an ordour of the surreal as I think…

What is your ‘metal’ philosophy that you adhere to when writing music? Any particular ‘must haves’ for Kratein’s sound or lyrical process?
The most important thing concerning Kratein is that we all have to feel a common spirit. This is the only “must-have”, if you like to say so. This band breathes the certain air of an inner-sworn collective, its experiences and aims. Kratein has become some kind of self-breathing construct which leads its parts from itself.

Are there any bands you revere and will admit influenced your sound in a particular way, or are there just a lot of coincidences?
We all like different kinds of music like harsh black metal or extreme metal in general- but also stuff like (post)-rock, electronica , jazz, funk or even pop music. We don´t care about which musical  fields our creativity takes us to- the only fact that counts is that we all have to feel this special Kratein- atmosphere surrounding us.

Have fans been reacting well to the album? Do you think their standards are too diverse and hard to follow because everyone wants something different or has there been some consistency?
Naturally we don´t care about what people expect us to do. This might be a standard-phrase used by every semi-talented or non-ambitioned band over and over again, but to speak for ourselves, that´s a simple fact. Nevertheless there have been a couple of people who really liked the record. That´s nice, of course, but nothing more.

How do you deal with the naysayers, or those that think your music is terrible? Is it difficult not to take it personal when it may be an honest opinion/ review?
Why take anything personal when it doesn´t affect you? Okay, I don´t like being compared to bands like Alcest, Shining or Farsot simply because those bands have nothing in common with us. But if anyone honestly states that ‘Trauma’ is a complete bunch of bullshit, we don’t take that as an offense or anything..

Has Kratein done much touring in the works? If you have, what do you like best about it?
No. Until now we have just played one gig at the beginning of 2010 in Hamburg. We would like to play more, definitely. But bookers don´t seem to be that interested in what we are doing. Okay, maybe the fact that we all are living several kilometers from each other plays a role in that case. Whatever – we like playing live if the circumstances fit our concept. And we are looking forward for the UTBS-Festival in Berlin in a couple of weeks, hehe…
When on the road or meeting fans, has there been any reactions from them that has really made an impact to let you guys know you’re doing the right thing with this music?
Yes, some people still talk to us at concerts or write emails. It´s nice to meet some people who really understood what we wanted to do with ‘Trauma’ and to get to know their views upon the album.

Looking into the future, the CD is slowly going the way of the tape. How do you think the icons of music and the ability to appreciate music in a hardcopy form will live on if this does happen, or will the world instead just be swapping Mp3s?
Society has reached a point where information has to be accessible as fast as possible. Music, as an artificial expression, does not make a difference concerning this fact nowadays. You wrote a song? You publish it on Myspace where millions of people can comment it. You heard about the new Dimmu Borgir record to be released in a couple of weeks? Use google to find a blog who is yet hosting it. So why buy MCs, CDs or LPs when having the opportunity to download the stuff. These circumstances really endanger the approach to music in general, because they let art wither to a simple form of consuming. Most people unlearn to understanding an album as a whole concept, including lyrics, artworks, etc. Of course, that change won´t be avoidable. But it is embarrassing for me.

Kratein is a bit of a young band since you started in 2009 and then released ‘Trauma’ in 2010. Did you guys have an idea of what to do from the start or was it a coincidental process that just came along smoothly. Do you think that you will take more time to create the next album or is the consistency of ideas still flowing?
Good question. Since the release of ‘Trauma,’ Frederic (Guitars) and Ct. Metus (Voc.) changed their living place again and there is a difference of ca. 800 kilometers today between all members. I would be lying if I said that this fact would not disable Kratein, sure. But we are visiting each other quite often and keep working on ideas 24/7. It will sure take more time to release the follow-up of our debut. But it will come, that´s sure.

What can listeners expect in the future for Kratein’s sound?
Hm, I can´t answer that question at this point I guess. There are so many ideas for future sounds which tend to be quite different from each other, but still fit in what we want to do. We lately wrote one completed song which combined rock-influenced parts with more heavy and extreme stuff. We also created a lyrical concept and a working title yet which will be published within the following weeks…

Well, I thank you for all the time you gave to answering questions for BRUTALISM and our readers. Any words of wisdom before we part?
Come visit Under The Black Sun Festival near Berlin July 1st and 2nd 2011 and see Kratein, Atras Cineris, Lugubre, Bethlehem, Impaled Nazarene and Setherial!