Intervju s folk rock velikanima Feuerschwanz koji su upravo objavili novi album
27. lipnja 2020.
Helena Ernoić (69 Članci)

Intervju s folk rock velikanima Feuerschwanz koji su upravo objavili novi album

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HODI: We try to make it sound easy, funny and entertaining

Over the course of the past 15 years, Feuerschwanz have not only become one of the hottest bands in Folk Rock, but also made a name for themselves as being the most entertaining in the genre. Having paved their way to the top by persistence, relentless touring as well as delivering great album after album, the sextet is now delivering new album Das elfte Gebot (The eleventh commandment) which has been released on June 26th via Napalm Records. We got a quick tour thru 15 years of band existence but also talked about new material with Hodi.

I believe that there is a lot of Croatian audience that has yet to get acquainted with the band so give us a quick tour thru your 15 years. How come you decided to play Folk Rock and have a very unique lyrics?

Yes, basically we started as some kind of parody on the medieval music scene, but that was 16 years ago so the concept has changed a lot thru the years. The lyrics have changed and the music and sound was getting harder and harder, every element was a bit more into the metal, but it is still medieval folk rock band and we love the stuff, re-enactment scenes… That is what we love doing, combining folk with metal.

I know that it is very hard to find a name for the band, but whose idea was to give you a name “cock on fire”? Already reading your name is super entertaining and when it comes to your concert, then it is a blast.

The band name started as some kind of a big joke, that is correct. It’s more about the dragon. “Schwanz” also means “the tail” of a dragon. So, it is some kind of German dick joke. You can think about it as a penis but you don’t have to. It’s more about dragons tail which is on fire. Nowadays, a lot of people get offended by the band name because they didn’t read it before, because with this album we are getting more international fame I think. And people are wondering why we have such a weird band name. People in Germany already know the band name and the last couple of weeks we had to explain it quite often. But that’s ok.

So let’s talk about your new album Das elfte Gebot (The eleventh commandment). What is this eleventh commandment?

It’s the most important one I think. It’s about enjoying your life and doing what you really love doing, what your heart tells you to do. And I think that is more important than those other commandments which are quite restricting. It is about doing what you love. Of course do no harm to other people and that is the eleventh commandment and that is the most important commandment for us.

There is a song named Lords of Powermet”. How come you decided to write the lyrics in English? Was it difficult to write in another language?

It’ some kind of power metal parody combined with the classic Feuerschwanz lyrics we made last year so it’s some kind of weird fantasy stuff about a cult that is praying to its only meat, the holy meat, the power meat. And we wanted to give it such power metal touch. And it sounds more metal if you sing it in English, it sound different. We wanted to give this Manowar power metal sound and that is why we sing it in English. And it also sounds very epic.

Comparing this album with previous one, if we consider you as a band for entertainment, you sound like you are a bit more mature. What pushed you into more philosophical topics?

We sang about drinking and partying I think thru seven albums and it was time for going a bit deeper into things because we did all we can do about drinking songs and all the lyrics and it was just like… I can’t sing anymore about drinking. I used all words I know about drinking and partying so… The eleventh commandment is a song about enjoying the life which we always sang about, and that is 15 years, but now we wanted to use another language for it and that is why we did it. More deeper and philosophic.

Regarding the growth, you also turned your sound into heavier atmosphere, which you started to do on previous album. Am I right?

Yes, the change started on the last album. Even the album before. We just did the next step.

Can we say that the songs are some kind of critic or reflexion of today society?

Yes, definitely. It is critic about society and religion especially on this album I… It’s a story about my life basically. I was educated quite religious, in the catholic family and I’m very disappointed about religion. It didn’t give me the religious promises. That is why I wrote very critic lyrics about catholic religion especially. And what we do, we try to make fun of it. We try to make it sound easy, funny and entertaining. Because we still want to be a band for having fun and being entertained and we try to hack those messages into the songs. Without being too serious.

I know that every member of the band likes different artists and music to listen. How much did that affect in creating this album?

Basically a lot of our music is based on my influence musically and influence of our guitar player so he is the one that brings metal part and I am the one that brings folk part and that is often quite hard to combine because those music parts are completely different in many things. And I think this make them also very special, the differences between those music genres and between those characters, me and the guitar player and the others so yes, this is how we make music.

Beside 11 new tracks, you also did bonus of 7 tracks, representing Seven deadly sins. This is huge amount of work. How did you managed to record all that and how much time did it took to records everything?

By being very straight forward with the process and we didn’t try many things out or do any experiments because that would waste so much time. So this is why we were very straight forward and professional. Yes, it was a lot of work in studio, it was really, really hard, I got sick during the studio recording two times. We had to stop the vocal recordings in January, so it needed a lot of time I think about four months of recordings and I think thru whole year 2019 I spend with my recording software and creating the demo versions of those songs. It was really hard hahaha

Which cover song was the most difficult for you to record?

For me, it was special “I See Fire”, because it was very long and it has a lot of lyrics and slow lyrics in English and I always sang in German and I think I’m not really got at singing in English so that was some kind of challenge, a big challenge for me personally.

Cover of the album looks great and I see your emblem there. Who is responsible for the artwork and did the author had “free hands” in doing it or you had some input how should it look like?

We wanted it to look really epic and to fit into the metal universe so it should look as cool as for e.g. Powerwolf or Sabaton or Nightwish cover. We didn’t wanted to make it look like some old, trashy medieval folk band. We wanted it to make it look real big and also evil in some kind and mature. We had a lot of dragons on our covers and it look always so playful, like a children dragon. And the dragon is now grown old and eat a lot of flesh and bones. That is how dragon should look. We asked a cover artist, I believe from Sabaton, and he made it. It was cool to see how our band could look. It was way cooler than we can imagine ourselves. That was very great.

The new video is called the same like the album. Tell us how was on the set? Did you had fun with the make-up?

Yes, the make-up was very special, especially for our two dancers. And that was also a lot of work. I think they needed three or four hours to get prepared to look like this. And for the man in our band, we always do our battle make-up so we learned to do it ourselves. It’s more about dirt and mud on your face and the girls had this really sophisticated cool make-up.

We are still banned from concerts, but how will you celebrate June 26th and album release?

We will play this on-line concert and hopefully it will work. It’s playing the concert without audio fans in front of us is very strange but it’s the only way you can celebrate it this year. We will celebrate it on-line.

So I believe you are still waiting for the new info regarding your tour, but can we say if everything goes well, we can expect the tour at the beginning of the next year?

I hope it go well and I hope we will go on tour and that we don’t have to postpone it. But it’s the beginning of the next year. I hope it is some kind of restart of the concert season after this dizzy Corona thing.

You tend to make fun of other, more serious medieval bands and that reminds me of Steel Panther. What do you think about the idea of making collaboration with them?

Oh that would be really great um… I was a few times at their show and I think they are really cool. That’s basically really good idea hahaha That’s good, that’s cool.

Are you all fans of medieval period? Like… Do you know how to handle bow and arrow, are you going to the tournaments….?

Yes, basically I spend most of the time making medieval music more than doing medieval battle stuff so yeah… I’m not really good at it. I’m ok with bow and arrow, I’m really bad with the sword but I can ride horses quite ok. That’s really cool and fun and our violin player, she is really good with horse riding, she had her own horse business. We are all some kind of into the stuff, but basically we are more musicians than reenactors.

I’ll leave you with famous “last words” to the readers.

Have fun with the songs, I hope you will enjoy it, I hope you will follow the eleventh commandment and enjoy your life and have a good time.

Photo Credit: Nikolaj Georgiew

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HODI: Trudimo se zvučati jednostavno, smiješno i zabavno

U proteklih 15 godina, Feuerschwanz ne samo da je postao najpopularniji folk rock bend, već su zaslužili i ime kao jedan od najzabavnijih u svom žanru. Nakon što su upornošću, neumoljivim turnejama, kao i izvrsnim albumima utabali svoj put do vrha, ovaj sekstet donosi novi album Das elfte Gebot (Jedanaesta zapovijed), koji će biti objavljen 26. lipnja putem izdavačke kuće Napalm Records. S Hodijem smo se otisnuli na kratku turneju kroz 15 godina postojanja benda, ali i razgovarali o novom materijalu.

Vjerujem da postoji puno hrvatske publike koja još nije imala priliku upoznat se s bendom pa te molim da nas povedeš na kratku turneju kroz vaših 15 godina. Kako to da ste se odlučili svirati folk rock i pisati vrlo jedinstven tekst?

Da, praktički smo počeli kao svojevrsna parodija na srednjovjekovnoj glazbenoj sceni, ali to je bilo prije 16 godina tako da se koncept dosta promijenio kroz godine. Tekstovi su se promijenili, a pjesme i zvuk je postajao sve žešći, svaki element više naginje metalu, ali to je u suštini i dalje srednjovjekovni folk rock bend i te stvari volimo. Oživljavanje povijesti… To je ono što volimo raditi, kombinirati folk s metalom.

Znam da je uvijek najteže naći ime za bend, ali čija ideja je bila da se nazovete „Vatreni kurac“? Već je samo čitanje vašeg imena jako zabavno, ali kad se spoji s vašim nastupom, onda vam nema premca.

Ime benda je nastalo kao velika šala, to je točno. No tu se radi o zmaju. „Schwanz“ na njemačkom znači i zmajev „rep“. Tako da je to nekakva njemačka šala za spolovilo. Možeš o njemu razmišljati i ne moraš. Više se radio o zmajevom repu koji gori. Ovih dana, jako puno ljudi se uvrijedi zbog imena jer do sada nisu čuli za njega, jer tek s ovim albumom dobivamo međunarodnu slavu. Barem mislim. I ljudi se pitaju zašto imamo tako čudno ime. Ljudi u Njemačkoj nas već znaju i u zadnjih nekoliko tjedana sam to morao često objašnjavati. Ali to je u redu.

Porazgovarajmo o novom albumu “Das elfte Gebot (Jedanaesta zapovijed)”. Što je to točno jedanaesta zapovijed?

Mislim da je ta najvažnija. Radi se o tome da treba uživati u životu i raditi ono što doista voliš, ono što ti srce kaže da radiš. I mislim da je važnija od svih ostalih zapovijedi koje su poprilično ograničavajuće. Radi se o tome da radiš što voliš. Naravno, to je i o tome da ne nanosiš zlo drugim ljudima. To je jedanaesta zapovijed i ona je najvažnija zapovijed za nas.

Na albumu je pjesma „Lords of Powermet“. Zašto ste se odlučili napisati pjesmu na engleskom jeziku? Je li ti bilo teško pisati na drugom jeziku?

To je svojevrsna power metal parodija kombinirana s klasičnim Feuerschwanz tekstom koji smo napisali prošle godine i to je neka vrsta čudne fantazije o kultu koji se moli njegovom jedinom mesu, svetom mesu, power mesu. I zato smo htjeli dati daj power metal doživljaj. A i zvuči više metal ako pjevaš na engleskom jeziku, zvuči drugačije. Htjeli smo dobiti taj Manowar power metal zvuk i to je razlog zašto pjevamo na engleskom. A i zvuči vrlo epski.

Kada uspoređujemo ovaj album s prošlim, ukoliko vas doživljavamo kao bend za zabavu, sada zvučite puno zrelije. Što vas je nagnalo na više filozofskih tema?

Pjevali smo o opijanju i zabavljanju. Mislim čak kroz sedam albuma i bilo je vrijeme za ozbiljnije teme, jer mislim da smo učinili sve što smo mogli na temu opijanja i jednostavno je bilo… Ne mogu više pjevati o opijanju. Iskoristio sam sav tekst koji znam o opijanju i zabavljanju tako da… Jedanaesta zapovijed je pjesma o uživanju u životu, a to je ono o čemu smo oduvijek pjevali, a to je 15 godina, ali sad smo željeli koristiti i drugi jezik za to i to je razlog zašto smo ovo napravili. Dublje i filozofski.

Kada je u pitanju sazrijevanje, također je i vaš zvuk postao žešći, što se već dalo naslutiti na prethodnom albumu. Jesam li u pravu?

Da, promjena je počela na prošlom albumu. Čak i ranije. Jednostavno smo napravili idući korak.

Možemo li reći da su pjesme na albumu svojevrsna kritika ili odraz današnjeg društva?

Da, definitivno. To je kritika o društvu i posebice religiji. To je zapravo priča o mom životu. Obrazovan sam u poprilično religioznom svjetonazoru, u katoličkoj obitelji i religija me poprilično razočarala. Nije mi dala ono što mi je obećala. Zbog toga sam napisao vrlo kritički tekst o katoličkoj vjeroispovijesti. A ono što mi radimo je ismijavanje. Trudimo se da zvuči jednostavno, smiješno i zabavno. Jer i dalje želimo biti bend za smijeh i zabavu i trudimo se ukomponirati te poruke u pjesme. Bez da smo previše ozbiljni.

Znam da svaki član benda privatno sluša drugačije bendove i izvođače. Koliko je to utjecalo na novi materijal dok ste ga radili?

U suštini se puno glazbe temelji na mom glazbenom utjecaju i utjecaju našeg gitariste, pa je on taj koji donosi metal, a ja sam onaj koji donosi folk dio, a to je često teško kombinirati, jer su ta dva žanra totalno različita i između tih karaktera, gitariste, mene i drugih članova benda. Tako radimo glazbu.

Osim 11 novih pjesama, snimili ste i bonus od 7 pjesama, koje predstavljaju sedam smrtnih grijeha. Ovo je ogromna količina posla. Kako ste uspjeli to sve snimiti i koliko vam je vremena trebalo za sve?

Tako što smo bili vrlo jasni s procesom i nismo isprobavali puno stvari ili eksperimentirali, jer to bi značilo da bi puno vremena propalo. Zato smo bili jasni i profesionalni. Da, bilo je jako puno posla u studiju, bilo je jako jako teško, ja sam se dva puta razbolio za vrijeme snimanja. U siječnju smo morali zaustaviti snimanje vokala, pa je trebalo puno vremena za sve, mislim da je bilo oko četiri mjeseca snimanja u studiju i čini mi se da sam kroz cijelu 2019. godinu proveo sa svojim programom za snimanje kreirajući demo verzije pjesama. Bilo je jako teško hahaha

Koja cover pjesma ti je bila najteža za snimiti?

Za mene je bila posebna „I See Fire“, jer je bila jako dugačka i imala je puno teksta i sporog teksta na engleskom, a ja uvijek pjevam na njemačkom i mislim da nisam jako dobar u pjevanju na engleskom, tako da je to za mene bio svojevrsni izazov. Za mene osobno, jako veliki izazov.

Naslovnica albuma izgleda odlično, a vidim da je sad tu i vaš logo. Tko je bio zadužen za grafike i je li autor imao slobodne ruke u izradi ili je bend sugerirao kako treba izgledati?

Željeli smo da izgleda zbilja epski i da paše u metal svijetu, pa je trebalo izgledati cool kao kod primjerice Powerwolfa ili Sabatona ili Nightwisha. Nismo željeli da izgleda kao kod starog, izlizanog srednjovjekovnog folk benda. Željeli smo da izgleda zaista veliko, u jednu ruku i malo zlo i zrelo. Na našim naslovnicama smo imali puno zmajeva i uvijek su izgledali tako zaigrano, kao dijete zmaja. A zmaj je sada narastao i pojeo je puno mesa i kostiju. Tako zmaj treba izgledati. Pitali smo za suradnju grafičara, mislim od Sabatona, i napravio je što smo tražili. Bilo je lijepo vidjeti kako naš bend može izgledati. Ispalo je puno bolje nego smo mogli zamisliti. To je bilo sjajno!

Novi video se zove isto kao i album. Reci nam kako je bilo na snimanju? Jeste li se zabavili prilikom šminkanja, koje je ovoga puta bilo kompleksnije?

Da, šminka je bila vrlo posebna, posebice za naše dvije plesačice. I to je zahtijevalo puno rada. Mislim da im je trebalo tri ili četiri sata da se pripreme kako bi ovako izgledale. Što se tiče muškaraca u našem bendu, uvijek se sami šminkamo za nastupe pa smo naučili kako se to radi. Više se radi o prljavštini i blatu na licu, dok su naše cure izgledale vrlo sofisticirano.

Još uvijek se ne održavaju veliki koncerti, ali kako ćete obilježiti 26. lipanj i objavu albuma?

Svirat ćemo on-line koncert i nadam se da će uspjeti. Sviranje koncerata bez obožavatelja ispred nas je vrlo čudno, ali to je jedini način kako to proslaviti ove godine. Slavit ćemo on-line.

Još uvijek čekamo nove informacije vezano za vašu turneju, ali možemo li reći da ukoliko sve prođe prema predviđanjima, možemo li očekivati turneju početkom iduće godine?

Nadam se da će proći dobro i nadam se da ćemo ići na turneju te da ju nećemo morati odgoditi. Ali to će biti početkom iduće godine. Nadam se da je to svojevrstan restart koncertne sezone nakon ove zbunjujuće korona situacije.

Volite ismijavati druge, ozbiljnije srednjovjekovne bendove i to me podsjeća na Steel Panther. Što misliš o ideji da napravite s njima suradnju?

Joj to bi bilo stvarno super ovaj… Bio sam nekoliko puta na njihovom koncertu i mislim da su stvarno cool. To je zapravo jako dobra ideja hahah To je dobro, to je cool.

Jeste li svi ljubitelji srednjovjekovnog razdoblja? Recimo… Znaš li rukovati s lukom i strijelom, idete li na turnire…?

Da, u suštini najviše provodim vremena stvarajući srednjovjekovnu glazbu, više nego što radim neke druge stvari tako da… Nisam baš dobar u tome. U redu sam s lukom i strijelom, jako sam loš s mačem, ali poprilično dobro jašem konje. To je jako cool i zabavno i naša violinistica je jako dobra jahačica. Imala je vlastiti posao s konjima. Svi smo nekako u tome, ali smo uglavnom više u glazbi nego u oživljavanju povijesti.

Ostavljam te s popularnim „posljednjim riječima“ za čitatelje…

Zabavite se uz pjesme, nadam se da ćete uživati u njima i nadam se da ćete pratiti jedanaestu zapovijed i uživati u životu i dobro se provoditi.

Foto: Nikolaj Georgiew