Since your comeback album ‘Revolution’ in 2004, we were regaled with a new album every two years, but now it has been four years since ‘Infinity’ came out. What was happening in the band?
After ‘Infinity’ our deal with Massacre was over. We had to look for a new label and talked to many people to find out what was best. We wanted a break to concentrate on new material. We decided to go one step further than the ‘Revolution’ album. On that one we experimented with electro stuff for the first time. We wanted to do that again, but more in EBM style. We worked together with Elmar Schmidt from the band Centhron from Hamburg. With him we put down the foundation with keyboards and samples. It took a lot of time. Afterwards we could finalize the songs and start recording the other instruments. Guitars, vocals and drums were done after the keyboards.
It seems like a completely different way of working.
It is and it was a true challenge, but we do not want to make the same record for twenty years like AC/DC. We always want evolution within the band. Surely for my wife it was a completely new way of working with keyboards. But also for me it was strange. The drums were programmed in EBM style and I had to add my interpretation later. We have replaced most of the techno drums by real drums obviously. It is fun to learn about new approaches. Working with an outsider gave us a fresh approach. The mix of everything is interesting, also the interaction between Felix’s growls and Matthias’ clean vocals is also perfected.
Isn’t it hard to build up a proper fan basis when you change style with every album?
Not really. I think every band wins and looses fans with every album they release. We had mixed reactions with ‘Revolution’ as well, but on the other hand it happened to be the first Crematory album that hit the charts and we had success with different club hits from then on. We make this music because we like it. We do it for fun. We all have a family and other jobs to live from, so we are free in choosing our direction. We want to get on stage and have a fine time with the crowd. I am pretty sure we will do odd things on our next album as well. We need that challenge of exploring new territories. It demands hard work and an open mind, but we hate routine or creating a standard record.
It seems that you have gone back to former albums before. Do you always take a previous album as blueprint for the next one?
No, we indeed, we did quite a few times. Before writing an album we sit down and talk about the direction we are going to take. For instance, when we did the German album ‘Klagebilder’, it was ten years after our ‘Crematory’ album with its German lyrics. On ‘Pray’ we wanted a more doom-like approach, as done before on ‘Illusions’. For ‘Infinity’ we wanted a heavier album with the focus on guitars. Now we decided to play with electro stuff and EBM.
But fortunately there are also typical Crematory songs on ‘Antiserum’. For instance clean vocals in the title track reminds us of Amorphis.
Amorphis has always been an influence and a band we like. We have played many songs with them. They started around the same time as we did. Paradise Lost has been another main influence, they are still the godfathers of doom/gothic metal for us. They were echelons and a huge influence for bands like Tiamat, Amorphis, Moonspell and Crematory.
Crematory mainly tours in Germany. What are the plans for the near future?
We have a new booking agency. We have a new label and everybody has different possibilities and approaches, so we will see what comes out of the connection with these new partners. We cannot do long tours, but Wacken is confirmed again. That’s always a highlight for us. We can regularly play at Wave Gotik Treffen too. In Germany it is easy to tour after every album, but we hope to go abroad this time. It has been a while since we have been in the Netherlands or Belgium. At the moment we are rehearsing the new material to find out which songs can make it to the current set list. The single and video clip for ‘Shadowmaker’ is a success and we just shot a new video for ‘Kommt Näher’. We can score some club hits. Well, we can go on for years. We are a big family with few line-up changes.