After a summer of festival appearances, your’re about to start your mammoth tour – with Scorpion Child, Gypsyhawk, Mothership & Wilson in the USA THEN the European leg starting over in your home country Germany, then Austria, Switzerland and France before hitting the UK for 6 dates and onto Scandinavian countries. 9 weeks of relentless gigging! How do you physically and mentally prepare for such a demanding tour?
It’s difficult to prepare, actually what you do is trying to get all the other shit done before you leave your home. Paper work, studio work, seeing my friends for a last time… In a way it’s always like jumping into cold water – but I like that.
This will be your first time over in the UK and we’re looking forward to coming to see you, which other parts of the world will you be visiting for the first time as part of this tour?
There are a bunch of countries where we’ll play for the first time. There’s one show in Luxembourg, some gigs in Sweden – we’ve travelled through Sweden but didn’t have a show there yet – and Finland, where we’ll play in two or three cities.
Where on the tour are you looking forward to playing most? and is there anywhere in the world you haven’t yet been that you would like to play?
In Europe, UK and Scandinavia are my favourites, because we haven’t really played there much. And I’m looking forward to our the Australian part of our tour this November/December. Not many German Bands manage to go there, and this will be my personal highlight of the year. Especially because we will play this tour with our friends from Blues Pills!
Kadavar’s first release, your self-titled album, was in 2012. How and when did Kadavar form? How long have Christoph ‘Lupus’ and Christoph ‘Tiger’ known each other and what made you decide to form the band?
We got to know each other when we started the band. We had met before, but only briefly. After we had jammed for two or three times, we felt really good about the music and had a lot of fun hanging out – so decided to write real songs and get a band name and all that.
You lost your bass player Mammut back in June this year, how disruptive to your schedule was this and how easy/difficult was it to replace him?
It might sound crazy, but it wasn’t too difficult. After having written and recorded “Abra Kadavar” in such a period of little time we were used to extreme stress. He left five days before our record release tour started. Simon was the only person we could imagine joining our band. He said yes and we rehearsed for five days and went on tour straight without having to cancel a single show. That was in April already by the way. I’d say we were lucky, it could have been much more difficult for the band without Simon.
You’re often compared to 70s-era doom style bands such as Black Sabbath and psychedelic bands such as Hawkwind – would you say these are your main influences as a band? or who would you cite as your influences, individually and as a band?
These are definitely named most when people talk about our music. In the end, it is always a reduction. Sure they are an influence to our music. But it’s not like you sit at home and listen to Black Sabbath and Hawkwind for three years and then meet in your rehearsal room to imitate that. There was a feeling in the band that inspired me. When I play the drums along with the others. This is bigger than one single band.
Is your style in terms of your physical appearance deliberate to match the vintage style of your music?
No. Just deliberate to look good.
Which bands did you grow up listening to?
Mostly Beatles. I’ve been liking them since I was a child. As a teenager, I came across punk and hardcore music, started to see concerts, had my first band and all that.. When I moved to Berlin with 21, I really started listening to the whole 70s rock music.
How does the song writing process come about? Is it the writings of an individual in the band or a team effort?
Both. One of us would come with a more or less worked out idea and show it to the others. Then we play around, add and remove or change parts until it really works together.
Where do you get your inspiration from when writing songs? Do you make time to sit and write or do they just pop into your head?
It’s a matter of the daytime. In the morning, I can sit and try to get something out of my fingers. Often when I’m going to bed, I have melodies in my head and sometimes I try to capture them. But all ideas from my side which landed on the record are morning ideas.
Do you ever perform cover songs at your gigs? What can we listen out for when you come to the UK?
Normally, we don’t. We used to play Pentagram’s “Forever My Queen” on our first gigs. When everybody told us this was our best song, we stopped playing it.. Ha ha.
Is it likely that any new material will be written whilst touring?
We collect lots of ideas on the road. For example, I capture my ideas on the telephone and start working them out back home.
Abra Kadavar, the follow-up album to your debut self-titled album, was released in April this year, how well has this been received by the media and how does the public response compare to that of your first album?
Don’t ask me… I don’t read too many reviews and I prefer to see what’s going on at our concerts – the public response was great so far. No matter where we’ve been, I was really happy seeing all those people… It’s a big honour if you come e.g. to Portugal and people are singing your songs!
How important to you is it to receive such positive feedback?
I don’t wanna lie, I’m enjoying it. How important it is? Difficult. It definitely makes the show better if people are freaking out. Do I write better songs thinking only about how much everybody loves me? – Probably not.
You’ve released official videos for Doomsday Machine and Come Back Life from Abra Kadavar. How important do you think it is in this day and age to make videos, and is it something you enjoy?
I think it is still an important thing to combine pictures with music even if there’s more music television like 10 years before anymore. I always liked watching MTV in the afternoon as a kid. Now it’s YouTube, but you still wanna see official music videos I guess…
You have a recording studio which is very handy! How likely is it that you would have got your 2 albums together without this resource?
It helped us a lot. At a point where we yet had to find our sound, we could just mess around and take the time we needed to get everything the way we liked. We didn’t have to explain anything to people from outside. This is a big advantage to me. I think it wouldn’t be the same if we’d just booked a studio somewhere
You sell a lot of vinyl, is this how you prefer to listen to music?
Definitely. Vinyl has a bigger artwork, so you have more to look at. You will probably listen to the whole record more often because you don’t skip – and of course it does sound better. I have produced some records in the last years and to my ears, the final version on wax has the best sound.
I think the Abra Kadavar track requested most by our listeners is Doomsday Machine. Which is your favourite track to play off the latest album?
Doomsday Machine is one of my favourites to play life as well, I love the groove of that song. That one and probably Eye Of The Storm, which is also the most difficult for me to play.
Is there anything you have done in your career so far that you wish you had done differently?
Little things, for sure. You are never totally satisfied. But generally, I am happy with how it all came together and I don’t want to change anything.
What’s next for Kadavar? What are your plans after the tour?
We’ll be on tour for two months now – after that we’ll get prepared for the last show of the year in Berlin. Then, for the first time in more than two years, it’s time for some holidays in January.
Finally, we are always on the lookout for new bands to discover, are there any bands you can recommend for us to watch out for?
At the moment, our favourite band are Blues Pills from Sweden, who recently joined the Nuclear Blast family. You should also stay tuned for our brothers from Heat, who will record their second LP in 2014. My personal discoveries from last year were also Dean Allen Foyd and the Dead Skeletons.