OBSCURA – We are not fret wankers
Folk som ikke liker barne-TV har et fattig liv spør du meg! Folk som ikke liker barne-TV og som samtidig føler behov for å blande PROG og DØDMETALL… ja hva skal man si om dem da? Jeg forstår det ikke (at de ikke liker barne-TV), for humor må de jo ha for å komme opp med en så søkt ide som å diske opp med en så genial, men til tider uforståelig og rotete komposisjon som det Obscura gjør. Delvis vakker og brutal dødmetall, delvis kaotiske lyder satt sammen for å forvirre hodet mitt… Det ene øyeblikket vil jeg riste løs på hodet, det andre slå av lyden for å slippe å høre mer, for så plutselig å føle trang til å slå løs på alle toner som slippes ut… ja… akkurat som PROG får meg til å reagere… alle følelser samlet i en låt… At Obscura består av dyktige musikere er hevet over enhver tvil. At de har lang og god fartstid innen exstrem metall er også udiskutabelt når man ser på medlemmene i bandet. I forbindelse med deres siste plate "Cosmogenesis" følte vi det var på tide å høre hva bandet selv hadde å fortelle om hist og slikt. Vi sendte av gårde et intervju som ble besvart av Steffen Kummerer. Her er hva han hadde å meddele.
Would you please tell our readers who you are? Who are the different members in Obscura?
Hello, I am Steffen Kummerer, guitarist and vocalist of the German prog death metal band Obscura. I founded the band back in 2002 and survived as only one the lineup changes since the beginning. In 2007 Hannes Grossman (ex-NECROPHAGIST) and Jeroen Thesseling (ex-PESTILENCE) joined the fold and in the beginning of 2008 Christian Muenzner (ex-NECROPHAGIST) came into the ranks. Together we worked out the latest album 'Cosmogenesis' which was release via Relapse Records.
Would you try to describe the music you play for us?
We combine our musical background that is in between old school technical death metal in the vein of Cynic, Death, Atheist to name a few, classical music, prog rock, fusion and even some flamenco influences. In the end we write the music we want to listen to by ourself, which mean we don't want to show off what is possible with our instruments – we want to write songs you can remember. So I would describe our sound as progressive death metal, because we are not fret wankers.
Where do you draw your influences from musically?
Personally I had a classical education and started with the piano to practise all the standards you have to know. Besides that I listen to also some different kinds of music. The last albums I bought where the solo album of Steven Wilson, Gorguts – From Wisdom to Hate and Portishead – third, so you can imagine that there are no boundaries. Maybe exept Schlager.
The lyrics… what do they represent? Are there any messages you want to get through to your listeners through your music/lyrics?
No, we are not a band that sends out any messages, we are not political and we are not religious. I work out all of the lyrics by myself so there are different concepts and ideas combined with several personal issues.
How do you go about creating your music? Please describe the creative process behind the music, eg. Who does the text writing, who creates the different aspects of the music…
We are not a rehearsing band as usual cause the different members a living too far away from each other to hold on regular sessions. All songs where written non guitar pro, a midi based program where you can work out all instruments very easy. The ideas and songs are shared via email and everybody works out his own ideas, the arrangements and melody lines. Before a tour or a studio session we meet two days in our rehearsal room, play the songs together and that's it. Obscura works as a collective and we have four songwriters where everybody is allowed to put his input on the table.
If you could choose any three bands, past and present, to share the stage with… who would you choose, and why?
Porcupine Tree – Besides their musical side I really like the combination of visual art, video effects and different moods; a very interesting band.
Cynic – with 'Focus' they brought something really new to the table and wrote a timeless classic of prog metal. The new album is even wonderful.
Opeth – great music, wonderful humour.
Norway is well known for its Black Metal, but do you know about any other bands from Norway apart from the obvious BM bands?
Sure, you have a strong scene besides the black metal clichés; the Norwegian Shining are great, the latest albums of Atrox are very experimental and Ved Buens Ende are no black metal in my opinion. I am always open for new band a browse for new upcoming groups.
What is the vision for Obscura in the years to come?
To be realistic, with extreme metal you can not make out a living anymore. So I would be very happy to keep on working with this lineup and don't loose the fun of making music with friends. There is no more to reach from my side of view.
What is your favourite children TV show?
Well, I don't like children and I don't like TV shows – the combination is even worse.