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Hi you lunies out there. Well, as I palaver too much in my reviews anyway I shall be short off this time when I do interviews, hahaha. I have been in contact with Alex, the guitarist and singer of South German Death Metallers CREMATION, for quite a while now. These sickos perform wicked, dark Death Metal that should be supported I think. No matter whether you believe it or not… this is it!!! I promised to be fast and pass over the word to Alex

Just give us some brief associations concerning the following key words:
The music business

Hi there Alex... coping with life and Metal lunacy or what? Well, let’s get into gear and start the inti without palavering too much right from the beginning, hahaha... what’s relevant information when it comes to this circle of frantic madmen collectively know as CREMATION? That is, tell us something about the band’s history, maybe developmental stages and stuff.
"Hails, mate! First of all thanks a lot for the opportunity to do an interview for the glorious Voices From The Darkside Zine! It's an honor for us! At the moment I'm absolutely fucked up! Some bastard sent me a bloody virus on my PC, so everything's gone and I can't answer any emails. I hope that pisshead will rot eternally in hell. Fucking coward! Alright, things are going quite well at the moment. We're not that lazy as we have been the last year just sitting on our asses and getting fat. Three new songs are complete and we are working on new ones for the next full-length CD. The titles of the new tracks are 'Rise From Purity', 'Symbol Of Hatred' and 'Execution Nemesis' and they are partly some of the fastest we've ever done. Another new thing is that we are a three-piece now because our second guitarist, Andy, left the band because of personal, and in front of all time-problems. There won't be any substitude for him because it's much easier to coordinate three idiots instead of four. We want to thank him again for two years of comradeship, blood and sweat on this way. Now the history: Thomas “Tunjah” Burgstaller (drums) and I founded Cremation in the beginning of 2000. The same year in November we released an absolutely terrible demo-CD called “Extermination Of The Ungraceful”. The songs were good but the sound was a catastrophe. In October 2002 we launched our first album on Lost Agony Records entitled “Hate Contamination” which offers blasting Death Metal. We also should appear on this fucking “Only Death Is Real” volume V compilation but it seems that very unprofessional and incompetent people try to get it launched. We'll see nut we won't wait more than two months for it. If the compilation isn't released at that time we want to have our money back. We also played more or less many gigs with bands such as Dark Fortress, Resurrected, Illdisposed, Nyctophobic, Fetus Christ and many more as well as on the first and second Walpurgis Metal Days and the first Fistful Of Metal Festival. I hope we can blast our asses off with Ingurgitating Oblivion one day! So these are maybe the most important stages in Cremation 's existence."

Right then... what’s so special about Metal for you? Could you imagine embarking in some other Metal style or perhaps even a totally different musical way to express your inner dementia?
"Metal is just my life. I'm possessed by it for more than 13 years now and there is no end in sight. I love the feelings it expresses, I love the feelings it wakes in me. Hate, despair, aggression, it makes me sad if I want to to, it makes me feel good if I want to, you know. It's ultimate. Haha, my inner dementia! That's it! I can say without any doubt that there won't be any gay influences like Hardcore, Punk or shit like that in our music in the future. If that day should come it is the end of Cremation . The only influences I could imagine would be dark samples of choirs or massive percussion sounds. For the next CD we maybe make an intro in that vein in cooperation with CROM (the only member of CROM, the new Bathory from Germany!). Personally I'm not interested in playing other kinds of Metal. The only thing I could imagine to play is original Black Metal like bands as Immortal, Mayhem or Burzum did in the early 90s."

What is the world to expect of CREMATION in the future? Any specific plans you guys envisage...?
"Hm, in about a year or so we want to record our new album which will become more malevolent again, like the songs on the demo-CD. The next great thing will be a little tour called “Blasting Bavaria” which will start at the end of the year. The package will consist of Festering Saliva, Cremation, Fetus Christ, Illegimitation and a special local support on each gig. The shows will be unleashed in Augsburg, Munich, Regensburg, Landshut, Ingolstadt and Passau. All in all we want to stay underground because the rest just sucks. Of course we want to grow a little bigger and get more well-known in the scene but it's not our aim to become a formation such as Cannibal Corpse or Marduk. The true plague comes from the underground."

Maybe a bit tedious this question, but for me – being a fanatic when it comes to the purport-related dimension of a band definitely a must – what is the idea behind you band’s name? Do you still identify with it or do you rather regard it as an adolescent spontaneity?
"Of course we still identify with the band's name. I wanted a brutal sounding name with a brutal meaning. I think the burning of corpses or fire funeral is a quite disgusting and also mystique imagination. You can find religious backgrounds as well as aspects of war in that name. There have been many folks in certain mythologies that burned their corpses to cleanse their souls. Or think of the burning of thousands of dead soldiers in times of war and destruction. The only problem is that there are now 4 bands called Cremation (Holland, Switzerland, Canada and Germany) so it could become a little problem in the future. We will see."

OK... now that we talk about it anyway... inform us about the relevance of your lyrics... do you care lots or is it just a component to round the whole thing off?
"The lyrics are nearly as important as the music. I mean the music is what it's all about but if I have to read lyrics about fun-stuff, gore & splatter or social-critical bullshit I could just puke. The music and lyrics should be in harmony but both should unleash disharmony to the listener. I'm very nostalgic concering the lyrics because when I started listening to Metal the occult and lunatic themes were much more fascinating to me than the boring “Zombies slay a virgin cunt” – shit. I think that gore-lyrics are just ridiculous and lack of seriousness. I try to lead my lyrics into a more obscure form in the future. Not that direct as it has been on “Hate Contamination”. O.k., there will be some phrases that are in the same vein but they will change more into insanity."

Hmmmm... please, tell us who your all-time faves are when it comes to Metal... try to confine your answer to, say... 10 acts! Are there any non-Metal influences you’d like to add to these 10 outfits?
"O.k., here we go with ten musical monuments: Hate Eternal – "Conquering The Throne", Myrkskog – "Superior Massacre", Suffocation – "Despise The Sun", Dismember – "Like An Everflowing Stream", Gorguts – "The Erosion Of Sanity", Slayer – "Decade Of Aggression", Fleshtized – "Here Among Thorns", Sinister – "Diabolical Summoning", Immortal – "Pure Holocaust" and Burzum – "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss". There are definitely no influences that come out of another style than Metal. I do not listen to any other kind of music. Maybe once or twice a year I feel like listening to some classic acts such as Beethoven or Bach but as already mentioned I don't give a fuck about any other music. I hate Dark Wave, Punk or Hardcore and nobody will ever convince me that there is anything special about it."

Just imagine you will be given a lot of support as a band in the future (what I personally would approve of!)... which acts would you like to share the stage with? Try to give reasons why...
"Great question, mate! First of all Slayer in times of “Decade Of Aggression” because they were something like the cosmic principle. Then Hate Eternal in the original line-up ("Conquering The Throne" was my absolute fave until Myrkskog released their “Superior Massacre” - album). Furthermore Myrkskog, Fleshtized (R.I.P.), old Gorguts, Suffocation and old Metallica for all their musical monuments. These bands are the ones that impressed me the most since I'm into Metal so it would be great to play a tour with them."

The music business
"Fuck the filthy music business. I shit on these so called true Metal labels. They are ripping off the fans and bands. Not all but most of them."

Nuclear Blast
"Haha, great example for my answer above. To be fair Nuclear Blast released some of the most influental Death Metal albums of all times. Think of Dismember, Benediction, Amorphis, Pungent Stench and so on."

Politics
"Unfortunately a must in our society. It has good sides as well as bad ones. Creative aspects do not count anymore. Only the big business, economy and money are the machines of the world. Has nothing to do with Metal, neither left-winged nor right-winged shit."

The underground as such / German Metal scene
"The true underground keeps the old spirits alive. Just take a look into booklets of new bands. You find guys wearing baseball caps, sneakers and Bermuda-shirts. This fucks me up. I'm very intolerant in such things and I don't want to accept them. But I think the German scene is partly quite good in front of all in the eastern parts of the country."

Literature
"Oh, not very interesting to me. Some years ago I read really a lot of books about occultism, mythology, epochs of war, torture and stuff like that as well as authors like Nietzsche and Lovecraft but I got stinking lazy and my thirst in knowledge is gone now. I also have forgotten most of the things I've read."

The obligatory question (but I am sincerely interested...) – religion
"Politics? Religion? Were is the difference. Just another word for the same thing. Religion is out, politics is in, that's all. Political and religious fanatics are the worst threat in past present and future. These people are the weakest of all and should be executed. I don't mind about Christians but some religions on the eastern side of the map of the world should be kept an eye on…"

How do you guys rehearse? How do your songs come into being?
"How we rehearse? With guitars, drums, bass and vocals in our rehearsal room, haha. I don't think that there is any special thing about our rehearsal-technique. We meet at our rehearsal-chambers and play our old songs to be fit for gigs as well as we compose new ones for the upcoming album. When we write new tracks, Flo (bass / backing vocals) and I compose riffs at home and bring them to the next rehearsals where we talk about the riffs and check if everyone in the band likes them. If that is so we compose a whole song that way and when the music is complete I write the lyrics. As you will know it's sometimes not that easy to play the guitar and grunt at the same time so I have to check out how the words and tunes work together."

How do you – as musicians – make sure that you progress in some way? Do you check guitar / bass / drum tutorials every once in a while or what?
"Well, I think I'm in some sort of stagnation at the moment concerning my guitar-play. I learned the whole thing in an auto-didactive way so I reached a point where it's very hard to improve my technique without lessons or something. I never checked any tutorials, tabulatures or things like that I even cannot read notes so if I want to cover a track of another band I have to sit down and listen to that shit to get it. I'm such a lazy person, you know. I'm not interested anymore in getting one of the best guitarists because it's hopeless. I'm more a composer than a six-string wizard. The other two guys get better and better but I'm on the same level for some years now. It sucks but I don't mind. Of course we would be able to play much more weird stuff but I don't want to play it and noone wants to hear it, haha. There are much better guitarists than I am but there are also ones that are worse."

Is “technicality” a subject of any relevance within CREMATION? I am asking because, in the Metal community, this term has been elevated to a certain relevance in the past?
“Technicality” is not the most important thing. Feeling is what it's all about. The ultimate destruction is the fusion of both aspects as some of the bands mentioned above have proved but we don't have the abilities to play guitar like Doug Cerrito, blast like Dave Culross or scream like Matti Kärki so we have to make the best out of our skills. Take a look at some Canadian technical-overkill-metal. O.k., it's incredibly well played but I don't want to listen to Cryptopsy or new Gorguts when driving in my car because I would collapse. It's music for musicians, not much more. For example Nile are different. Nile is very technical but also catchy. By the way, Tony Laureano is a madman."

Give us some hints with regard to the Metal scene in the southern part of good old Germany? Which acts are outstanding...?
"There are some bands that are definitely worth checking out! Encrusted for example that play the ultimate old-school Death Metal in the vein of old Death, Dismember or Benediction and they are an absolute live-killer act! Furthermore Illegimitation performing more Polish influenced Death Metal or Dark Fortress that kill a with a mixture of old and melodic Black Metal. Other great acts are for example Festering Saliva (Death Grind), Profanity (everybody knows em, eh?), Fetus Christ, Crom (Bathory!), Inch (Thrash Metal) and some more. Try to check these formations out."

Are there any live-activities planned for the near future...?
"Unfortunately we have to concentrate more on songwriting at the moment because we only wrote three songs in 1 ¼ years what is just laziness. So there won't be any gigs in the next months, sorry. But as already mentioned we will come forth burning Bavarian stages in November with the other great bands. The tour will start on Nov. 7th in Landshut with Encrusted as special support, then comes Regensburg, Munich, Augsburg, Passau and finally Ingolstadt. For more information check out the Deathlike Sound Productions homepage http://deathlikesound.cjb.net/. There you will find all relevant info the next weeks."

Well then... I guess that’s it already, hahaha... it’s an honour being in contact with you guys... I appreciate consistency in the underground, and you guys seem to stick to this codex so to speak. Anything you’d like to add at the end of this abysmal interview, mate? Please provide the readers with your contact addresses and stuff as well...
"It's also an honor for us to know you and your awesome band, my friend! Sophisticated fucking Death Metal from the North! We love it! It is really some sort of codex in the deepest abysses of the underground to help each other in any way. I mean that seriously. These are no bullshit words. Young people that now enter the scene should try to understand that and keep the flame burning when old men like us cannot hold our instruments anymore, haha. This was one of the most inspiring interviews I've ever done, that's a fact. Thank you. Support individual bands, support the old ones. If anyone of you out there wants to take a listen on the titletrack of our latest album or wants to have a shirt or something just click www.cremation-deathmetal.de. There you find everything you need to know about Cremation. Thanks again for your appreciated work, mate, and take care!"

F. Cthulhu E.

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