Power of Metal.dk Interview

Interview Cripper, July 2012


I guess the first reviews of your new album ‘Antagonist’ are coming in, how are the reactions so far?

Most of them are really good, some even overwhelmingly positive. Our development as songwriters is recognized positively, they love the sound of the album and also point out the artwork. Of course there are  people who do not like the album, but that is just the way it goes.

Who is responsible for the song writing in the band?

All of us. All lyrics are written by Britta, and almost all the riffing-ideas come from the guitarists, as you can imagine. But we write songs together with all the bandmembers in the rehearsal room. These processes can be quiet exhausting, but most of the time, the songwriting-session are inspiring and funny.

Can you tell us something about the lyrics, what subjects you write about and where you find the inspiration for it.

 Oh there are no limits, inspiration is more or less lying around everywhere. It depends on how you look at things and not what you are looking at. The lyrics are mainly dealing with personal experiences, and what can be more inspiring than life itself?

In my opinion the earlier albums have more influences of the band Grip Inc. than this new album, what is your reaction on that?

That's an interesting comparison. We always try to mix our own cocktail of music, chosing ingredients we like the most and try to arrange it as coherent as possible. Our goal is to sound like Cripper. Many reviewers see strange connections with other German Old-School Thrash bands... cause we're Thrashers from Germany, maybe...I don't know. Of course there are a lot of influences from other bands. We're all into hearing music and can't hide from these musical inpirations... "Cool riff Dude, but Testament already wrote it...", "And that was The Haunted, sorry..." Sometimes we try to give a song a new feel, then we communicate with examples from other bands: "Try this Lamb Of God Breakdown", or "play an Exodus highspeed part" or something like this. From time to time, Christian comes up with a proposal to try a drum-part like Grip Inc. In general, this fails, because Dave Lombardos percussion work is unreachable... then we concentrate on doing Cripperish crap. We really can't say, if the earlier records are more influenced by Grip Inc. as the new one, I think that's impossible to say, cause it isn't our focus at all to sound like Grip Inc.

Britta Görtz has a throat even a lot of men will be jealous of, how on earth is she doing it without getting harsh?

In the exact same way men are doing it without getting a sore throat. She's using her false vocal chords, rehearses a lot and keeps herself fit. That is is the official statement our management forces us to say. The truth is, that she gargles with gasoline in the morning and had a throat-lengthening for making her voice deeper.

The album has a tight and clear production, how did the band do this without a big budget?

Depends on what you call a "big budget". Now that the album is done, we are srewed! Honestly, we put a lot of effort, time and money into this album. To save as much money as possible we did a lot of stuff ourselves. Jonathan even recorded his guitars at home, Dennis and Britta did the guitar editing, the whole artwork is self-made... that saved us a couple bucks.
Kai Stahlenberg from Kohlekeller Studio is our man in charge regarding the sound. We worked with him for Devil Reveals already, and again he did a great job! It's people like him who make it possible for upcoming bands to create a perfectly fitting sound. Without hard working people who support you even a little beyond their own limits, an album like Antagonist is impossible to bring to life.


Hasn’t there been interest in the band from a metal label like Metal Blade or Massacre Records after your second album ‘Devil Reveals’?

Simple answer: no. And we weren't looking for a label – I don't wanna say "no label" in general, it all depends on the contract. But so far we are happy to be our own bosses, be in charge of everything and keep as much control in our own hands as possible. It's important that we have a good promotion agency, an almost worldwide distribution and a very good booking agency. On top of that, we still run our online shop on cripper.de ourselves. So no matter where you live, as long as you have an address we can deliver to, we get the stuff out to you.

The band already joined the stage with Overkill, how was that?

What can I say... it was awesome! It was our first European tour, we had so much fun and learnt so much. Overkill have a good reputation of treating their support bands with a lot of respect. I can approve that 100%. No affectations, no ado. And not boring to watch even after 19 shows in a row. Though I must say us support bands were a little disappointed when Overkill didn't show up for the snowball fight.

After the Summer the band will be touring with Onslaught, after Overkill another old school thrash band with which Cripper joins the stage. How do you arrange that?

Our booking agency, Redlionmusic, has offered this tour to us. Onslaught is a great band with Old School roots and a modern heavy sound. On the Overkill tour we were lucky to receive a great feedback from the audience, with Onslaught we hope to be received that well, too.

There are a lot of new thrash bands at the moment, but lots of older bands are still there and releasing top albums too, do you think that your band will survive this revival?

We'd never consider something from the outside, like a trend or revival or whatever, a reason for starting or ending a thrash metal band. Cripper will either come to an end because we screwed up as friends or it will die a natural death and rest in peace with it's bandmembers. We are not earning our money with this band and most likely never will. We are a non-commercially motivated band.

Why should a thrash fan check out your new album?

'Cause it will rock your socks off! Modern Old School Fuckin' Thrash in your face. Twelve highspeed groove monsters from hell. We have guitars in it, vocals, ...drums... and even bass guitars! Unfortunately we can't offer Dave Lombardo-like drumming, as we mentioned before, but Dennis Weber-like percussion-stuff as well! We even used Congas for one song. We never did that before.

Is there already anything you would change on the record if you had to record it again?

Fortunately there isn't a thing we'd change. But we are not that kind of a band anyway, that would want to change anything afterwards. Being satisfied and happy with the end product is probably the best motivation for making the next album: Make it even better.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Beer! Cheers to all metalheads in Denmark!

Thanks for answering the questions!

Cripper - Antagonist

Label: SAOL/H'Art/Zebrulation

Link: www.cripper.de



Britta Görtz (Vocals)
Christian Bröhenhorst (Guitars)
Jonathan Stenger (Guitars)
Bastian Helwig (Bass)
Dennis Weber (Drums)

Antagonist (2012)
Devil Reveals (2009)
Freak Inside (2007)
Killer Escort Service EP (2006)


Interviewed by Reinier de Vries