Germany´s legend CREMATORY is going to perform in Slovakia for the first time ever. You can read an exclusive and interesting interview with the drummer of the band Markus Jüllich.
Hey Crematory, so great to have an opportunity to talk to you. How are you? How does it feel to have a new album called Oblivion out?
Thanks and welcome. We are fine. We had a busy time with the release of „Oblivion“ and we are happy that the feedbacks are so positive. Even it´s our 14th album, we are still excited to find if the fans will like it. Especially now, that we have a new line up and some things changed musically. We played a lot of shows with the new bands and the chemistry feels very good. I think „Oblivion“ is a poweful statement of a band that is still the leading one in German gothic metal.
Great reviews so far. Are you satisfied with the results?
We are happy with the album and if you get a positive feedback from press and fans, it makes you even happier. Even for a band like CREMATORY that is around for so many years, it´s always exciting to release a new product. I think that is what keeps us going.
Tell us some interesting things regarding the production of this record. The readers are usually interested in stuff like that.
We usually gather all the ideas before we enter the studio. This time we had about 20 songs ready that we were working with. Most of the arrangements were done, and we knew where we were heading before we started. In the studio we worked out the details and especially on the sound. Soundwise we are more than happy. I think it´s probably one of the best produced albums in the history of CREMATORY. Tosse and Rolf worked out a lot of great guitarparts. „Oblivion“ doesn´t feature any German vocals, as you probably recognised. Felix had all the lyrics ready in both languages. After listening to all the recordings and arrangements of Felix and Tosse it just turned out, that the new songs sounded better in English.
What kind of inspirations did you have while working on this album?
The work in the studio is always very exciting. When we all meet, everybody has different ideas and we decide what we choose. I am producing the albums and I have to make sure we don´t go too crazy with ideas. „Less is more“ was a motto I mentioned in interviews before, and I think that is still correct. The songs are very complex if you listen closer, but they are very straight forward and catchy.
One of the songs is called ´Demon Inside´. Do you have any inner demons? Do you believe that we all have some of them inside of us and they lead us to do bad things?
We all have, I believe. Felix writes a lot about good and bad, love and hate, life or death and I think people have both sides in them. It´s like you can love and hate, maybe at the same time. A demon doesn´t have to be negative always. I take it as drive that keeps people going, and so I surely have a Demon inside. I am a twin, so I have 2 sides in me since my birth.
You have started the new tour off? What to expect from the upcoming live shows?
With the new line up, we had to arrange songs differentely, especially for the 2 guitars now. Tosse takes over the main rhythm parts cause he has to sing a lot. That took time to rehearse, cause we wanted to be well prepared. The setlist will feature 4 or 5 songs of „Oblivion“ and of course some older CREMATORY hits, that we have to play, cause people ask for them.
This time I can see very few shows outside Germany. Why?
After the break we had in the band, we came back with the understanding, that CREMATORY can´t exist as a fulltime job anymore. We all went back to our old jobs, have families and kids today, and therefore we have to plan our concerts long in advance. Playing outside of Germany only makes sense, when we can have shows lined up with a good routing. We have a lot of fans around the world, but unfortunately not every country can be visitied these days. There are also some festivals in summer.
Is it a big difference to give a show at the festival and in a club?
The setlist for festivals is usually different. If we have the chance to play a show at a place we haven´t been, we have to use our stage time wisely to present the best CREMATORY show possible. There are still people who never saw us live. It´s nice that the metal scene today is more open and you can find different kind of metal bands at a festival.
You have played since 1992 with a short break. Anyways, you´ve been on this scene for such a long time. Have this affected your life? What have you learnt?
We are very thankful that we are still able to release albums and have loyal fans. So the first thing you have to learn is to be thankful. Another important thing for CREMATORY was the fact, that we were always a down to earth band. Since the first shows, we always meet people after the shows, to sign stuff, take pictures and have a drink. We still do that, and I know that the fans love that about us.
The most important thing is to be honest and loyal to yourself. That of course is a privelige and not everybody can do it. Sometimes you are under a lot of pressure to decide things, or the record company asks for certain things. In my regular life I am very successful business manager, and so I was managing the band myself. Lucky enough, we grew as persons with every album and every tour. As much as you live and learn.
Have the scene itself changed since the time you started with music?
The scene is more open minded for years. That is a good thing I beleive. In CREMATORY we all have different taste when it comes to metal. Felix is the one, who has 5000 records at home and knows a lot of underground bands, while Tosse and Rolf are based more in traditional metal. I like old school thrash as much as modern bands, like 5 Finger Death Punch. When we write songs, the result is always CREMATORY. So being open and listening to different stuff is a good thing.
What is the future of Crematory? I´ve heard some info this might be your last album. If so why?
I had to get things off my chest and tell the fans the truth about, the sales and the money you are making with downloads and streams, which is almost nothing. Fact is, if we can´t sell enough albums, to be able to get a good studio production, we have to stop. „Oblivion“ sounds so great, but that is only possible, if you spend time and money in the work of it. With every album, we try to release the best possible at the time. If that is not possible anymore, due to money issues, it will be the end of the band.
What are you preparing for the show in Slovakia? Oh, I think this will be your first time in our country. Are you looking forward to it?
I hope you are preparing a cake for me!.....it´s my birthday on the first of june, so I hope it will be great show and something to remember for everybody. The first time in the country is exciting for everybody and of course we are looking forward to it. We know the food and beer is good there, so that´s a good start.
Final words for our readers?
Thanks for your support and I hope we see a lot of the readers on the show. Feel free to meet and talk to us at the merchandise place.