Centaurus- A Interview
1. Tell us a history of Centaurus- A for those of us new to the band.
Hello Absolute Zero Media-readers and metal heads out there, we’re CENTAURUS-A from Cologne/Germany and we recently released out debut album SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED.
Our band history goes back into the year 2000 when CENTAURUS-A was formed by Maik Matanovic (guitar), Patrick Schroeder (drums) and Michael Ahlgrimm (bass/backing vocals). Only a few months later, the demo "Last step Line" containing the band's first songs, was recorded. With the same line-up, we went on to write new songs and recorded our second demo entitled "Nimbus" in 2002, as well as started playing our first live shows supported by a session singer.
In 2003, the band's line-up was completed with the joining of guitarist Hernan Martinez and permanent vocalist Johannes "Jojo" Henke. This was a great leap forward and we continued to develop our unique and advanced mix of technical Death/Thrash Metal. We wrote new songs which were released on the first studio-recorded demo "Narcotic" and got positive feedback and reviews from fans and the metal press. In the following years, we played numerous gigs all over Germany.
We felt ready to take the next step and started to work on our debut album SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED. The recording of the album took place in several sessions in the HANSEN STUDIOS (Denmark) with producer Jacob Hansen and is now available! Check it out!
2. You have just released you Debut CD on Listenable how did the deal come to be?
After finishing the recording process of SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED in early 2008 we were spreading our promotional CD’s to a bunch of record labels in order to find the right partner. Beside some interested labels, LISTENABLE RECORDS got in touch with us last summer. We were thrilled when LISTENABLE REC contacted us and are glad to have teamed up with them because we highly appreciate their work and their intuition for promising and unique bands. We really feel well taken care of and Listenable has done a great job so far and support and promote us as much as they can.
3. You sound is a mix of Technical Death metal mixed with Prog and Avant sounds. You have a very modern sound the production is huge. Are you happy with the out come?
Oh yes, we are! In the writing process of SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED we were already thinking a lot about the sound and the appropriate studio to record. Finally, we decided quite fast to go to Denmark into the HANSEN STUDIOS and the recording with Jacob Hansen was a great experience. Jacobs’s references and experience are huge, he works absolutely professional and knows what is best for the production at any time and we trusted him from the beginning. So in the end, we are more than satisfied with the result and our debut album SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED got the powerful but clear sound we wanted.
4.The guitar sound has a strong Melodic Swedish sound do you feel this style played a large role in the band sound.
We all listen to different music in both metal music and nonmetal genres. So everybody brings in his own influences and CENTAURUS-A is influenced by various metal genres like Death, Thrash, Melodic, Progressive, Metal and Grindcore and other music we are listening to...but without a doubt, we can’t deny the inspiration of thousands of amazing Swedish bands, but I would not say that this “Melodic Sweden Sound” plays the main role in our music. We much more try to stretch the limits of extreme metal music and combine different elements and influences in our songs. We love to surprise the listener with some unpredictable tunes. But our overall goal is to compose a coherent song that balances technical brutality, weird and sick themes/rhythms with catchy and comprehensible grooves and melody.
5. Is there a running theme on Side Effects Expected?
SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED is not a concept album or something like that. But the lyrics of the album which deal with the dilemmas and necessities of our everyday life as well as with global nuisance can be concluded with the words SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED. Some lyrics are very personal while others are kept more abstract but the title SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED can be understood as a warning: don’t believe and accept everything which is going on our planet and rethink your own daily routine and habits. That was the reason to choose it as the title for the album and also to integrate it into the introduction of the first song.
6. There is a video for Dropped off tell us about that?
Yeah, we shot a small promotional video for the song DROP OFF but there’s not so much to tell about. The video contains some rehearsal room footage and was intended to promote the forthcoming release of SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED.
Much more interesting is to report about our first official video for THE PRAYING MANTIS. The shooting took place in a hulk of an industrial manufacturing plant. The hall with its raw and fucked up atmosphere was the perfect surroundings for the live footage. Even though the video is not coming up with a story, we can proudly say that we can offer you a varied video that is well worth seeing. Meanwhile, we are done with cutting and editing and the video is now available on our website (www.centaurus-a.de) and our Myspace profile (www.myspace.com/centaurusa).
7. Will the band be touring outside out europe at all or stay on the european shores?
With the release of SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED in Europe a few days ago, we are looking forward playing and performing as much as possible the coming months. We’re still busy with booking shows and working on possible touring activities later this year. Right now, we’re confirmed for several club shows and summer festivals in Germany and Europe.
Nothing is yet planned regarding shows outside Europe but of course we would love to play all over the world and are ready to go out as soon as we will get the opportunity.
8. Are you fans of t he digital age (Myspace, Blogs, Mp3's Internet radio and press) or do you miss the fanzines, tape trading and radio days of old?
The digital age is kind of double-edged sword. The web 2.0 offers a lot of advantages and benefits by making it so easy to spread ones band name and music and to attract more attention via all the different communities and networks. The cost- and time-efficiency is the big pro and allows also small and unknown bands to reach interested listeners all over the world. But beside all these pros we also face some drawbacks. Just keep the unmanageable information and data overload in mind; it’s quite impossible to keep track of all the bands, communities and media. Also the way people consume music changed dramatically. I still have tons of old demo tapes and collecting and esteeming music was different 15 years ago…receiving a parcel with a demo tape is incommensurable with downloading some mp3’s.
Anyways, we don’t want to turn back time and the digital age which enjoys all the advantages.
9. Are your demos very different in sound from the debut CD or just a natural progression?
Our music and sound definitely evolved and matured over the years. Not only the individual capabilities improved but also to play together as a band and writing songs got better and better. So, of course the demos sound different from our debut album SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED. First of all, the work on and recording of SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED was completely different from the older demos and is not comparable at all. While the first two demos were recorded and produced by our own in our rehearsal room on an 8-track-recorder, we recorded our third demo “Narcotic” in a small local studio within only 3 days. For the work on our debut album SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED we first focused on the songwriting process and took our time to arrange the material. As mentioned, the recording of the album took place in the HANSEN STUDIOS in Denmark and for the first time we’ve been in a state-of-the-art studio working with a well-known producer.
Anyway, we see our third demo “Narcotic” as starting point of our current sound but only the various songs of SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED show what CENTAURUS-A is about today.
10. As a new signed artist do you have any words or thoughts of the Current Independent Extreme music scene. Is it thriving or dying?
I think the independent metal scene is still alive and agile. Despite some coming and leaving trends within the metal scene, the diversity of the metal genre is growing, people become more open-minded and bands mix different styles and sounds.
11. Were do you see the band going for the next release or is that just too early?
Right now the main priority is to promote SIDE EFFECTS EXPECTED and to play as much shows as possible. Meanwhile, we also start writing new songs for the follow-up album and gather ideas that came up during the last months. But it is definitely too early to report what the next album will sound like. Anyway, you can expect us to go onwards with the typical CENTAURUS-A sound and keeping our trademarks.
12. Tell us about your website http://www.centaurus-a.de/ seems to just be a basic portal to myspace and merch to you feel this is the best way to give bands these days are myspace pages ?
Sorry, we don’t understand this question.
13. Do the members of Centaurus-A work in other projects metal or not?
Everbody of the band made his experiences before CENTAURUS-A and the one or the other recorded at times for some projects. Recently Hernan finished an album with Misticia. But CENTAURUS-A is definitely the main band for everbody as there probably not enough time for another full time band.
14. Thank you for your time any closing thoughts here...