It’s very easy to put a classification on bands these days and I must admit IDIOTEQ is not an exception. There are hundreds of diversified extreme music artists labeled with the very same tag, yet very distinguished in their artistry by their restless curiosity about new sounds and sonic structures. Featured on IDIOTEQ in November, Germany’s ÄRA KRÂ are rightfully a metal band with dozens of verious insprations that make it quite hard to label. Their new self-titled EP, the band’s first offering since 2011, touches upon almost every every aspect of metal subgenres, spicing them up with some metalcore edge, and combining this blend’s extremity with softer post rock sounds. it is my pleasue to give you this newest interview with the band, sharing some insights into their background, their approach to art and their newest, incredibly intense and emotional recording. Read the full piece below.
“ÄRA KRÂ” is available now via Through Love Records, one of the most surprising and inspiring labels this year and one of the best sources of music to watch next year.
Hey guys! So, finally, after loads of amazing reviews of your 2011 record, you’re back with some quality new tunes. Why so late?
Benedikt: In the end of 2010 and 2011 I was busy playing for Der Weg einer Freiheit and Hackneyed, but in November I got sick and it lasted about 3 years till I was able to pick up a bass guitar and write new songs comfortably.
Tell me more about other project you’ve been developing between 2011 and 2015? What other bands are you involved in and how does this new era of ÄRA KRÂ fit in your busy schedules?
Benedikt: I´ve started a project called ILLUSION OF STRENGTH with Phil (HACKNEYED vocalist), some blackened death/grind stuff, but nothing too serious. Lately I helped out some friends playing or recording bass for them, but only occasionally.
Are there some plans to hit the road and promote this new EP at shows?
Yes of course. We´re trying to play as much as we can.
Photo by LovePeaceAndRocknRoll Photography.
By the way gigs, how is your local hardcore and metal scene doing? I sense this strange apathy when it comes to local hardcore shows here in Warsaw. How’s that going at your end?
Benedikt: I don’t know, I’m not into the Metal- or Hardcore Scene down here in Berlin. The only people I know in Berlin are my bandmates and 1-2 friends.
Do have much interaction with other local music scenes you have visited in the past?
Benedikt: Not really, we only played 4 shows with ÄRA KRÂ. But back in 2008 to 2010/11 we played many shows with our old bands. In 4-5 years there’s so much room for change, i’m not really up to date.
Photo by Wolford Photography.
OK guys, so back to the EP, can you talk about the context for the ÄRA KRÂ? Lyrics-wise, how coherent is this new record and what issues and subjects you decided to raise this time?
Adrian: Each Song has a different subject. It was kind of difficult to find an album title that represents each tune. Ultimately that’s the reason we decided to release the EP under our own moniker.
Our debut album “Ferne Tage” was more about finding oneself and some person that can complement you – or the wish to find this person in life.
On this EP there are recent very personal experiences and thoughts thematized.
“Strang & Schwert” (ENG: Rope & Sword) for example was written in hospital two days after I had a stroke in summer 2014. The worst year of my life so far.
Especially Strang & Schwert was inspired by Schillers “Der Verbrecher aus verlorener Ehre”, (ENG: “The criminal from last honour”) a book i´ve read in hospital too, “in which this phrase occurs. It fitted perfectly the situation I was in.
This song particular deals about the feeling when you lose control over your mind, body and maybe your life.
With a rope you can hang, either rescue yourself. A sword can murder but also cut a rope. At this time I didn´t know what will happen in the future, eventually there will be a stroke again, or something worse? I felt hovering between life and death.
“Grauer Sand” is about my mother which deceased in 2013. I grew up in a foster family and there was no contact to her since I was three years old. When she passed away it was a odd feeling, because she was like a stranger to me but still my mother. With the death of a person you realize that the possibilites getting answers to questions, especially unanswered questions, is gone forever. I wrote the lyrics for „Grauer Sand“ on mother’s day last year.
“Endlos” – the last song of our EP – is about the infinity of thinking, especially having dark thoughts running in circles – being depressed.
Aren’t you tempted to write at least a couple of tracks in English? What’s your reason to stick to your native German language?
Adrian: Everything is possible, but I´m feeling very comfortable writing in my mother tongue. There’s more freedom finding the right words. Perhaps i couldn´t say everything exactly the way I want in English and I don´t want to use a dictionary writing lyrics.
Considering your artistic nature and your approach to art in general, how did you get to where you are today? How have you guys developed?
Benedikt: Back in 2011 I wasn’t even thinking about what art is, but since 2 years I’m studying museology and I wish I would stop thinking about that topic. I think it helps writing better songs, more original ones not to think about it. For me being a musician or artist is nothing but hard, mostly spontaneous work, a process you have to rethink all the time + knowledge.
How do you stay creative? What keeps you interested both in following other artists and working on your own stuff?
Benedikt: Most of the time I’m not creative, I collect ideas for months and years and out of a sudden there’s a new record.
Adrian: I don´t want to copy myself with doing vocals. I´m always searching for other ways to do new rhythm patterns or try out new variations of my voice. You can always do better!
Ultimately, what is your goal for this band?
Benedikt: None, I’ve no idea which direction this band takes in a creative way and I don´t want to plan thinks like that. Shure we want to play shows, see the world but that answer is so horrible boring. What comes the nearest to a goal is pushing our boundaries, facing our fears, pouring out our hearts and regret as much as we can to grow as individualities.
Thanks so much for your time and sharing your thoughts with us. Feel free to add your final words and take care!
Thanks to everyone who supports our music! Stay open-minded!