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Kaltherzig - Interview

Interview with: Alexander Krupp

Conducted by: T.V.

Belarus is quite an unknown country when it comes to talk about music... But, still there are musicians who struggle there and create very interesting music. One of those bands are synth/goth oriented Kaltherzig. Kaltherzig was formed in 2008 by Alexander Krupp and released one album The First Cold in 2011 and a couple of singles. Now Alexander, accompanied by Nika Noname and some session members is prepairing a new album which will see the band in different light than before. Kaltherzig is certainly the name to remember and discover, as they offer an amazing sonic experience to every devoted fan of electro/gothic and now even rock music. Alexander answered some questions about his plans, past events, his homecountry and much more interesting things...

T.R.: Kaltherzig is quite an unknown band (at least it was for me) outside eastern Europe... Please give us a short description of the band.
Alexander: Ok. Kaltherzig is synth-goth/darkwave band. We make accent on atmosphere of our songs. It is melancholic, dark and warm at the same time (funny, 'cause Kaltherzig means "cold-hearted"). And also Kaltherzig sounds quite untypical because of using rock-songs structure.
T.R.: Why have you changed your name from KAlt into Kaltherzig?
Alexander: There was a little trouble with name KAlt... We wanted to release our first album on Batleth Records, but they noticed us that there is a band also called Kalt in Germany. So the label gave advice to change our name. I think that it was right. German band called Kalt is a side-project of Garden Of Delight guitarist. Well... I don't think that Kaltherzig name is worse than KAlt name.
T.R.: You started as one man band and later found other members. Why did you took that decision and how much other members contribute to the process of making music?
Alexander: It is quite empty on the stage when you are alone there, don't you think so? Also, I had a need to use female vocals. Or maybe I should change vocal parts and songs concept? So..., there were vocal parts and no one to perform them. That's why I had to find someone to sing them. And this spring we decided make our music more alive, so we've found two sessional members. Now our shows have to be more flexible. I'm still writing most of our music and lyrics, but also Nika Noname is writing some lyrics and vocal parts now. She affects on Kaltherzig new songs too. Also our Dead/Angels single was started from her song "Angels". Live drums use to built some limits. Drum-parts are still close to the original, but drummer plays the songs how he physically can and how he feels them. It brings some changes, too. That's why our demo-songs of the new material sound different from what we are getting now after mixing the songs with live-drums. Oh, and it is inetresting and exciting what we will get in the end.
T.R.: How are you satisfied with your current line-up and can you reveal something more about other members involved into Kaltherzig?
Alexander: Well, Nika Noname joined us in 2010. She didn't know anywhing about dark stage before. She has a big passion to sing on the stage. Our sessional members is drummer Alex. We played together in my first band Saudade. And Daria will play live on keys. She plays together with my friends. I decided to ask her and she agreed. You know together we look better on the stage and the stage is not so empty like on our previous shows.  I think that sound became better. You know, I can't ever be satisfided. I'm not satisfied even with myself. So we shall see how it will work.
T.R.: Tell me something about the lyrics of yours, where do you find the inspirations?
Alexander: Inspiration comes rapidly. It can come from everywhere: own experience, events all around, films, books, nature... And my lyrics describe some unusual situations, also feelings. One of the new songs describes the process of song-writing. Also among our new songs there is a song which tells about social things. Anyway I try to except any definite estimations. Anyone will understand each song in his own way. I don't want to teach anyone... The main thing is to bring some special atmosphere to the people.
T.R.: Your past sound was quite similar to German Blutengel and also a lot of reviews mentioned Kaltherzig as an "eastern European Blutengel". What's your opinion about this?
Alexander: I think that it was correct comparision. Kaltherzigs birth was inspired by Blutengel concept and their early albums. We didn't ever copy Blutengel, but tried to interpret their concept (I don't mean vampiric-style... just how they accent on show and absense of live instruments) in our own way. But day by day it became obvious, that we have not enough possibilities to realize everything we plan on the stage. Also our music develops. We started to think more about how we feel ourselves performing our songs. So, now our shows become closer to the rock-shows, but we have similar elements in atmosphere of music. We have more positive feelings performing gigs today in our new quite unusual way.
T.R.: You have already revealed  that the work for a new album has begun and that there will be a lot of differencies regarding your debut...
Alexander: Absolutely right! The First Cold album was very conservative. I mean, that there were many songs issued or performed before. Also the songs had too similar sound. I think the album wasn't bright enough. It was whole, but maybe quite boring. Now we are recording new songs. The only one thing which will unite the song on forthcoming album is sound of live-drums. New songs are very different. In my opinion some of them are unique. You'll be able to find many things from different styles of music, but it will be 100% Kaltherzig album with special atmosphere.
T.R.: Can you say something about the release date, title and about the songs?
Alexander: As you know, we are still in studio. I don't like that everything delays, but... our sessional drummer plays also in other band.. they are recording album too... so he is quite busy now  and still learning our new songs and recording them. We are quite dependent now. Release date of course is unknown. Also we are looking for some labels to release our new songs. Our contract with Batleth Records was expired, so we decided to get a new challenge. Title of the album also is unknown.. we have some ideas, but agreement still wasn't found.
T.R.: Have you already contacted any label for the release of the new album? Or, did you thought about the possibility to make a self-released album as many artists try to do these days?
Alexander: I told you that we are unsigned. We didn't send any stuff to labels, but soon we will... We are not famous enough to make self-released album. I think without good promo and distribution it will be unheard. Also we have many things to do besides album release. Album release is a serious thing and it will be right that we will trust it to professionals. Also we want to be represented in many different regions, it is hard to make it using only our own forces.
T.R.: Regarding the fact that you'll use live drums, I expect that the sound could be more rock oriented?
Alexander: Yes. We have many songs with rock-construction and rock-like instrumental parts before. And now these constructions will rely on live drums. I think that's how we will find the balance between rock and synth music without guitars or other typically rock instruments.
T.R.: So, your influences must also be varied. I believe that you are listening to rock music as well...
Alexander: I'm mostly interested in rock music. Indeed I'm not a big fan of electro. Once I've tried myself in this way, but my roots are always turning me back.
T.R.: Can you disclose with us some names that, beside before mentioned Blutengel, influenced you in any way?
Alexander: Scorpions, Depeche Mode, Mantus, Entwine, My Dying Bride and some others.
T.R.: Now I'm confused... Your influences (beside Depeche Mode) have almost nothing to do with Kaltherzig. How did it come that you made an electro oriented band after all?
Alexander: You know one day I've bought Blutengel CD... I didn't know anything about the band before. And then I saw that they use no live instruments. Also at the same time I found that there are many ways to make music on PC without synthesizers or other instruments and without any band-members. My previous band was in crisis and I had some practice with the things like this. I wanted to make performances and things like this and the concept of the band with no live instruments permited me that. You know, this kind of music makes you more independent. You don't need to dispute about intrument parts with someone. It was interesting for me then.
T.R.: What's on your playlist right now?
Alexander: During my last trip a week ago I was listening to UFO early albums (1974-1977).
T.R.: When can we expect any teasers or maybe a single of any new song?  
Alexander: A little teaser of some new songs you may find on our web-pages even now. And now we are preparing video-clip to release it together with one new song as a single. I hope we will finish it soon and present this autumn.
T.R.: Recently I watched your video for the song "Nameless Tomb", I found it quite professionally done, can you reveal me more facts about this video and are you prepairing anything new on the visual side?
Alexander: "Nameless Tomb" video is a dinosaur. It was shot in 2008, when we started. There were many troubles with this video.  Our editor had lost 60% of material prepared for the cut. Only 40% left and many good frames said good-bye. So it was released only in 2009 together with Separated double-internet single. It was too late... And in 2009 it wasn't actual. In 2009 there was another girl on vocals and we had different style, more static and patient. Now our visual concept is totally different. We've combined classic elements with glam-elements, piece of 70-80's and a drop of madness. That's what you shall see on forthcoming video and photo.
T.R.: A lot of things regarding Kaltherzig (name, image,...) have a strong link with German kind of goth/synth/wave scene. Are you aiming mostly towards the listeners from Germany and its surrounding?
Alexander: I hope that it will be a kind of fresh breath for the listeners from Germany and as you said its surrounding. I feel something like a bond between me and their culture. Maybe I'm wrong, but anyway I feel something in this way. I don't want to borrow something from their stage, I'm trying to move on my own road. Indeed this road leads Kaltherzig there. I grew up on european music, maybe that's why it is so.
T.R.: What can you tell me about your live shows, have you ever played outside your home country?
Alexander: You know, we mostly play outside our own country. Kaltherzig plays in Russia and Ukraine.
T.R.: Any plans for some future gigs or maybe a proper tour?
Alexander: We didn't plan a tour, but we had some offers. Offers are still in our regions, but I hope we will reach some other places.
T.R.: And what about the Belarus goth scene?
Alexander: Belarus is not a big country and our scene is weak. There are few events during the concert-season (September-May). Sometimes we take part in these events. It depends on definite style of the events.
T.R.: Still, are there any bands that are worth to be mentioned?
Alexander: Hmm..., Cold In May played on Castle Party this year. Diffusion and Ambassador 23 are signed with Alpha Matrix label. So, they are the most known bands from Belarusian stage.
T.R.: The only things that I've heard about Belarus was the stuff with political connotation. Tell me how's the everyday life going on and has recent economical and political crisis affected Belarus as well as most of western and middle Europe?
Alexander: Indeed Belarus is not the best place for living. Sometimes it seems like we are still living in USSR. Dicatatorship, secret services everywhere are ordinary parts of our lives. We are living in permanent crisis. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. This government and economy strongly depends on guys from Russia (Kremlin and Lubianka). Russia is slowly buying our country... Why? Because every dictator thinks that the country is his property. It is sad, but true.
T.R.: Does this political situation that's going on in your country affecting music and art in any way?
Alexander: I don't think so. Maybe somewhere in the depth of our subconsciousness. We don't tell people what is good and what is bad. We just bring some food for thought to the people.
T.R.: Before forming KAlt  in 2008 you were involved in some other musical activities, like you said before...?
Alexander: From 2005 till 2008 I was involved in gothic-metal-rock band Saudade. It was my first attempt to make music. I had some troubles with live-musicians and so in 2006-2007 I've started to try myself in electro music. And that's how KAlt (then Kaltherzig) was born.
T.R.: As I'm coming from Slovenia I must ask you if you ever heard any band from my country?
Alexander: Laibach?
T.R.: Yes, Laibach are probably the most known band from Slovenia. Please give a listen to a song or two and tell me what you think about this Slovenian band (Neurotech)?
Alexander: Well-produced music. It should be popular now. This project has a great chance to take place among other famous bands playing in this style. Pleasant tunes.
T.R.: Is there a band that you would pay all the money that you have (kidding) just to play with them?
Alexander: Hmm... I don't think that I will pay for that. I hope that once we will play with many different bands without any payment, but because of our music. I don't believe that everything can be sold. It doesn't matter with whom you will play. If you are good and known band you'll collect full stadium everywhere, even with solo-concert.
T.R.: How were you satisfied with Bathlet Records and was there no posibility to prolong the contract you had with them?
Alexander: We had an option, but we didn't use it. They are great guys and we are still in touch. But we see no bigger perspectives with them. They tried to do their best, but they hadn't enough possibilities and time. I'm really glad we know each other, but I want to reach more with Kaltherzig. I suppose they understand that and wish us all the best.
T.R.: What's the main goal that you would like to reach with Kaltherzig?
Alexander: It is freedom. I want that all Kaltherzig members can live with this project. Now it is something like hobby, hope that once it will be something more. It is hard and we need a lot of luck, but I believe in this. I want to feel free to create and don't think about how much money left for the project. We are not commercial project, so it will be even harder than we can imagine.
T.R.: Any last words or thoughts that you would like to share with our readers?
Alexander: I'm glad that I've discovered dark scene of Slovenia. And I hope that we will come here to play gigs once. It won't be easy, but we want it so much. Be true to yourself! Best wishes to you, your scene and your country!

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