Interview with Requiem (February 14th, 2006)

Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it all?
Requiem -
Thank a lot. We are totally overwhelmed by the brilliant responses on the new album. “Government Denies Knowledge” was recorded in a small studio near Zurich and mixed and mastered by Dagenais of Kataklysm and Belley in Canada.

REQUIEM was founded in 1997 with three CD releases. “Nameless Grave” in 2001, “Formed by Birth” at 2003 and the newest effort “Government Denies Knowledge” on the 27th of January 2006. Now we have a stable Line-up of Michi Kuster (vocals, Ralf Winzer (Bass Guitars), Phil Klauser (Guitars), Ralph Inderbitzin (Guitars) and Reto Crola our devastating Drum Animal.

How has your new album been received by the media?
Requiem -
As I said before we are totally surprised by the fantastic reviews in most of the print and online magazines all over Europe. Death metal fans and journalists seem to like our style of sound and gave us very positive critics.

I know artists don¹t like to put a label on their music - but a spaceship from outer space has just landed in your backyard, and is demanding an answer - so how would you describe your music to an alien from another galaxy?
Requiem - We are REQUIEM and we play fuckin’ DEATH METAL! A mixture of old and new styles combined and developed with precise technical playing of all instruments. Like a Swiss clock. Reliably, brutal and ear piercing sound so to say.

If your music was an emotion, which one would it be?
Requiem - All what’s inside man’s mind and heart. A mixture of released anger, frustration and aggression. Good friendly violent fun.

Who and what inspires you when you write a song? Walk us through the creation of a song?
Requiem - Phil and Ralph (both guitars) are our main songwriters. They usually start by writing the basic structures for each song before everyone in the bands try to fit in with his very own instrument and playing technique. The inspiration reaches from different styles of Death metal to Crust and Hardcore sound. Comparisons are Malevolent Creation, Terrorizer, Suffocation and lyric wise Napalm Death.

Which subjects do your lyrics refer to, and who writes them? And what inspires you when you write your lyrics?
Requiem - We process many themes from political, social criticism and also personal subjects. Once in a while there are some fictional lyrics. Usually I write the lyrics in co-operation with our singer Michi. We are inspired by daily news and even historic themes that caught our interest. On the new record we even wrote a lyric as an homage to famous Band from the UK called Bolt Thrower.

Who has produced and mixed the album? Are you pleased with the result?
Requiem - The new album was mainly produced by Phil (Guitars) the bands head so to say. He is one of the original members and knows exactly how we have to sound. Another reason for this decision was our low budget because we financed all the sessions by ourselves. Afterwards it was mixed by Jean-Francois Dagenais of KATAKLYSM in his origin in Canada. We were introduced to him by Phil Fasciana of MALEVOLENT CREATION.

Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?
Requiem - Anthony Clarkson did it. It was the idea of our record company Massacre. He is known for his work on covers for Hypocrisy, Blind Guardian and Shadows Fall. In my opinion a cover has to be an eye catcher for people who doesn’t know the band and the sound that’s behind the packing. If I look back to my youth I often made my decision of buying or not buying a record by its cover artwork. In that case it’s very important to have a great and interesting artwork.

Do you have any touring plans?
Requiem - We’ll go on tour in February as support for Swedish Death Metal institution DISMEMBER playing in seven different countries. Additionally DEBAUCHERY from Germany and INFERNAL POETRY from Italy will join us as the tour package.

Let’s speculate – you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your own choice – who would be your ideal touring partners?
Requiem - For me personally it would be definitely OBITUARY, ENTOMBED, BOLT THROWER, PUNGENT STENCH and MALEVOLENT CREATION. Not very realistic but that would be great. Even we have to go on tour with every single band one after another for a full year or over.

How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, Massacre Records?
Requiem - We are very glad and satisfied with that. Massacre is doing a great job for us and they have given us the chance to reach even more metal heads by touring Europe now and in the future. It’s a company of metal fans for metal fans in my opinion.

The internet is a very important source for many metal fans – how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?
Requiem - In comparison to the 80s when I raised up with metal the possibilities are absolutely unbelievable. Mainly I use the internet to get info about tours, new records, reviews, new instrument stuff and obviously also to communicate with friends and people all around the world. Nowadays a band without an own website is not possible. It’s given the opportunity to fans and interested people to get all what they want. I personally did get very used to the internet and its comfortable way of working with it. It’s inconceivably to live without it.

And how do you feel about the metal scene in general at the moment?
Requiem - There are many talented new bands and also older bands that put out new brilliant stuff. I think in the last couple of years the underground scene has grown a lot. The use of internet platforms is on reason for that. Death metal is again very popular. Some older bands still hold up their flag high but new bands will replace them by time. In general the metal scene is still very big with commercial streams but the underground is still there to keep the idea of metal alive like it’s used to be in the 80s.

Which song do you consider to be the best one you have ever written?
Requiem - At the moment it’s “Diary of a Damaged Brain”. A brilliant very catchy but brutal song with a great “to shout along” refrain. It’s definitely fun to play it live with the response of the people listening and banging their heads to it.

Name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life … and why?
Requiem - That’s really not very easy to answer. There has been many situations. First of all it was a small concert in my hometown in Germany where I used to visit a show of a local Thrash band that was very famous back then. I saw the show and knew I have to get up on the stage sometime too and play. A couple of years alter I played in that band. Another thing was when I played my first bin open air show with another band in front of 15000 people. I nearly shit my pants J And also the very first DEATH record. I was listening with my mouth wide opened and couldn’t believe what I heard. All my friends told me that is fuckin noise but I loved it from the first time.

Which music do you listen to at home?
Requiem - Very different kinds of music. From Death Metal to old Thrash sound like Exodus and Forbidden and also old school normal metal like Accept. And even rock sounds like Black Label Society or old Kiss songs from the 70s. And sometimes doom sounds like Saint Vitus too. Generally sounds that kicks my arse. My girl likes the Chili Peppers a lot. Some tunes I like most of it I don’t like. I hate songs with slapping bass guitars.

Vinyl has had a small comeback lately – do you still prefer “the old sound” or are you a CD/DVD kind of guy?
Requiem - I prefer CDs and DVDs. They are more comfortable to use. Sometimes I have an old school day and listen to my vinyl records. Mostly because I couldn’t get the CD Version of some vinyl records I own.

Last question - do you have any famous last words for our readers?
Requiem - Watch out for our new record “Government Denies Knowledge” and for further shows in venue near you. You won’t be disappointed by drinking with us after the show.

Thanks for the interview, thanks to everyone that supported us and a big horns up to every Metal Fan out there. Watch yourselves and keep the metal spirit alive.

Requiem - Government Denies Knowledge

Album available on Massacre Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Requiem.