The Swiss band Cataract started back in 1998 as a heavy groovy death/thrashcore band. Since 1998 they have regularly released albums. They still make progress with every album, they have become a mature recognizable band within their genre. They just released their latest album, just called "Cataract". Time for us to hear them out.
Hello Ricky, congratulations with your new record. What makes this record in your opinion superior to the previous one "Kingdom"?
Ricky: The new album is much more versatile, the songs kick more ass and we could improve the production.. I know every band says that about their latest record, but I feel it's really true for us. We've added a lot more detail to the songs, they are not as predictable as they might have been, the breaks are unorthodox. We also vary a lot in speed, from song to song but also in the song itself. It's a much more interesting album.
Two of your members, Michael Schmidt and Simon Fülleman have left the band, why did they leave the band after such a long time playing together?
Ricky: Well, about Michael, someone in the band had problems with him and Michael couldn't be bothered to go through the hassle which is understandable. Simon wasn't happy with the way the rest of the band was going, he wanted to do something completely different. So he decided to leave the band to complete his artistic values, it's been the best solution for him and us as well.
Can you tell our readers who your new members are and where they have played before?
Ricky: Tom Kuzmic has been in the band for more than a year now, he's a fantastic lead guitarist and some might know him from tech-death metallists Disparaged. He also was in Bonedust and Sickening Gore, but that's a long time ago. Nico Schläpfer has joined us a few month ago and he used to play in death-thrashers Timor and some other bands.
At first a guy called Kay Brem would play bass, what happened with him?
Ricky: Oh man. To make a long story short, we kicked him out instantly after we've found out he sold band merchandise and pocketed the money, cheated us with show fees and old equipment we gave him to sell. All in all it's been about 3,000 Euro's that we had to get back from him, using even some less nice techniques. I have no idea where he's staying at, apperently he ran off to Germany, since we're not making a secret of what is going to happen if we ever manage to lay hands on him.
Why did you call the new record just "Cataract"? Wasn't there any title good enough to be the title-track?
Ricky: This record equals a new start for us as the songwriter team has changed and the record is also marking our 10th anniversary - that's one hell of a reason to selftitle the record.
As a reviewer I got the promo of the new record, but there seems to be a bunus-cd also, could you tell something about it?
Ricky: It's our ten year anniversary present to our fans, haha! We spent some very funny days in the studio of our live soundtech guy Martin and recorded eleven cover versions which more or less represent our background. We had a lot more in mind but we had to narrow it down to a nice choice of metal and hardcore tunes, plus we had to leave the ones that we couldn't figure out playing haha! It features songs from the likes of Pantera, Warzone, Agnostic Front, and even Mötley Crüe and The Ramones. it's very punk rock though. And I'm happy to say that Metal Blade has sold them out within a week, which is nice.
When I would describe your music to a person that does not know the band, I would say you are a kind of Slayer with hardcore - vocals. Would you agree?
Ricky: Slayer, very good. I agree.
The record has a very good kind of live, heavy sound, satisfied with the producer Tue Madsen?
Ricky: Tue (as well as ourselves) wasn't happy with the sound on "Kingdom", it was too clean, too nice (Tue called it "polite death metal") and too metalcore. So the first thing we discussed in the studio while setting up the drumkit was - we want more dynamic, edgier, rawer sound and I think we did very well with that. It's not about polishing each and every bit in the recording, taking out every mistake - a record needs that to live. So we rather left the song as it was, when it wasn't perfectly played but rocked and transmitted the energy.
A few years ago the band did already tour in the U.S., are there such plans in the near future?
Ricky: That first tour was a nice experience, we've had a great time and some truly amazing shows, but we spent all our money on it. We had to pay everything upfront, like plane tickets, car rental, food.. it's been a great holiday but it's been very expensive. What we're waiting for now is a genuine offer for a nice tour where we don't have to do everything ourselves. I personally would love to go, but there's also eastern Europe which has absolutely insane crowds who can't wait for some serious thrashing. So I guess we're going there first. My personal dream would be to play some shows in Japan!
I saw that you play With Full Force, looking forward to it?
Ricky: Oh yes, I think WFF is the perfect festival for us, the mixture of the bands sums up what we do musicwise and it's always been great fun hanging out there! But seriously, we're looking forward to every show we play; we just had a small tour in Italy which turned out really well and exceeded our expectations by far. Those shows are the best, when you're taken by surprise and the crowd goes insane.
What do you think of the Swiss metal/hardcore scene at the moment, are there some good bands?
Ricky: Actually, there aren't. We're the only band from Switzerland! I hear rumours about some weirdos called Requiem, Disparaged, Shallow Bloodhood, Kruger, Mumakil, Switchback, Zatokrev Vale Tudo and other monikers, but seriously, I doubt they even exist.
Which 5 records can get you back on track when you are totally pissed?
Ricky: Carnivore - Retaliation; Blood4Blood - Outlaw Anthems; Slayer - Reign in Blood; Hate Eternal - Conquiring the Throne and anything by Hellhammer.
I give you 2 words, you can choose one and tell us why you have chosen it.
Cataract/Kingdom : Cataract - up to date and the sound batters everything else!
Metal/hardcore: Metal. The music is more interesting.
Slayer/Sick of it All: What a question - Slayer!
Clinton/Obama: You said I "can" chose one, I don't want to. But I'd pick a hedgehog over Bush.
South of Heaven/Angel of Death: Angel of Death, the opener for the most important record in extreme music.
Thanks a lot for the interview, you can leave your final words to our readers here.....
Thanks for the support! Check out our new album and see you soon!
Interviewed by Reinier de Vries