Czar of Crickets Artist- Wolf Counsel Interview is up
1. Love the mix of Gothic Doom Death, Dirty Bluesy rock and Classic Heavy metal were did the mix of harmonies and despair come from?
Ralf W. Garcia: Thanks for the positive feedback. Well I constantly write little bits and pieces of music and lyrics and once I have enough material I start completing full songs in a solely instrumental version at first. Then I hand it over to our drummer and he creates his drum arrangements. Sometimes I even start with a song title or some verses before a song is written finally. These harmonies and despair often derive from the lyrics and overall topics that I write and sing about. There’s a lot of personal stuff there and questions about life in general and the awareness that this earthly existence is definitely finite.
2. I'm sure for the band I way out of place but I hear elements of bands like Paradise Lost, Zodiac Mindwarp, Anathema, Antimatter, Katatonia, Kyuss and Type o Negative . What bands have inspired you ..
Ralf W. Garcia: It’s always interesting what other people hear while listening to our songs. So no it’s not totally way out of place. It’s probably what reminds you at first. When I first started to think about doing this band I was influenced by a lot of end 70s and 80s traditional or prototype Doom Bands. I was in my later teens during the eighties so there’s a lot coming from there. Saint Vitus, Trouble, Cathedral, Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass had a bigger impact I assume and of course Black Sabbath. I’m totally aware that thousands of bands refer to Sabbath but it’s just what it is. They invented almost everything. That’s just fact even though we included a lot of our own little details and personal notes into these songs.
3. Age of Madness album has just infected my soul and makes me want to listen. What albums have done the same to you?
Ralf W. Garcia: Again thanks very much. We appreciate such things very very much. It was exactly our intention to write music that touches people in a way. If you’d ask all of us there would be so many different styles and albums but when speaking for myself I’d say Saint Vitus – Born Too Late, Candlemass – Nightfall, Solitude Aeturnus – Into The Depths Of Sorrow, Bolt Thrower – all albums including Those Once Loyal and the very first Type O Negative album. There’d be a lot more from other genres as well of course.
4. If you could make a proper video off of new Czar of Crickets album what song and why?
Ralf W. Garcia: Well we actually will have a proper video for the first song on the album called WolvenEarth. The reason would be that it represents the current state of the band regarding harmonies, lead guitars etc. besides that the topic of the song is very convenient to translate into a visual art form. My second choice would be Eternal Solitude because of the same reasons. But as an underground band we can only afford one real video and a lyric video and that’ll be for the song “Remembrance”.
5. Is there a theme behind Age of Madness . The cover has a very darknened Fantasy theme?
Ralf W. Garcia: At first I didn’t realise that the whole album contains topics that are entwined around all the songs. Like a red thread. The repeating theme is the short period of time in our human shell. All songs examine that theme from different perspectives. The title Age Of Madness / Reign Of Chaos could be interpreted as a symbol of our current state of the world if you think about the words literally. But it’s way more than that. I believe that mankind always was in an Age Of Madness collectively and individually and if we’d consult history it’s quite obvious that that was always the case and may be is just the way mankind exists.
Being a Doom Metal band emphasizing the “metal” part it was quite elemental to reflect that symbolically into a fitting cover artwork by our fifth “bandmember” Roberto Toderico who creates all of our artworks.
6. If you could cover any one song and make it Wolf Counsel . What song would that be?
Ralf W. Garcia: I’d love to do that. Some of my band colleagues aren’t into cover songs very much but I guess if we’d make it our own than it’d be easier to persuade them. The song I’m currently thinking of would be “White Room” by the band “Cream”. That’d make an epic Wolf Counsel Doom hit I guess.
7. Where do you see underground music in 2017 ? I would say it gone more back to the real diehard fan days were we are looking for new music and crave it .. Whats your thoughts?
Ralf W. Garcia: Well that’s a good question. One thing I observed over the past couple of years that there are so many new bands coming up all the time which is great thing but on the other hand it’s a lot more difficult to get attention in that flood of releases each month. For underground music in general I think it’s a very good and fertile thing that’s happening. The creative freedom is omnipresent which forms new and evolving stuff all the time. Every now and then we have the chance to talk to a lot of people at liveshows and the vast majority is the kind that rather searches for new bands and new (even older) albums to listen to rather than just consume what the major metal mainstream offers them. So I like that but as I said on the other hand like us being musicians in underground bands for some odd 30 years it’s not getting any easier to pull people to the liveshows and getting attention for our albums.
8.How has Czar of Crickets been so far as this isn't your 1st journey with them. They seems to be promoting you well ?
Ralf W. Garcia: Yes this is our second album with them. The work they do for us is fantastic so far. The people behind the label play in bands too so they know what it’s all about. Well we’ll see in a couple of years from now how this album promotion will turn out in the end. It’s only been released for just a little over 2 weeks now.
9. If a label like Century media or Nuclear blast came along and offered to release youre next album is it something to interest you or are more mid size indies the best place for more left of center bands ?
Ralf W. Garcia: Another good question. I mentioned before that we all played in bands for like 25-30 years and in the course of that time we had our fair share of contact and contracts to various record labels. So with this band if the conditions would be alright we probably would be interested yes. One thing I learned in all those years is that bands never earn money (or other forms of adequate compensation) with the art they create. So it doesn’t’ matter if it’s a big label or an indie label. In the end it’s all he same. We just would have to figure if the people with the offer are really interested in our music and concept of this. That they can honestly stand behind this band. That’d be the most important part. Well at least for me. So far we haven’t been into such kind of a situation but one does never know. May be with our next album that is planned for an early 2019 release. We’ll see.
10. Do the members of wolf counsel have other projects or bands they work with and like to let us explore them ?
Ralf W. Garcia: There are various other bands and projects. Our drummer and I play in three bands together. There’s this band Wolf Counsel of course and Requiem (90s Old School Death Metal) and Poltergeist (80s Tech Thrash Metal). The others played or still play in a band called Punish which is very Tech Death but in a 90s sense and then there’s Neolithic Regression. It’s a project that solely was written. I played bass and screamed on that album and the guitar players did their thing. It’s really crazy fast stuff with a lot of mixes between Crust, Thrash, Death, Sludge, Punk and Ambient. Finally I have a singer/songwriter project going on with the female singer that can be heard on the song “O’Death” on this album “Age Of Madness / Reign Of Chaos”. It’s just two voices and an acoustic guitar. But we haven’t released anything yet which is only a matter of time.
11. If you could perform and tour with any band what band would this be?
Ralf W. Garcia: Well there would be two things to consider. A strategic side meaning what would get us the most reach to a wider audience and I’m being very honest here and of course what would be a personal favorite. In a perfect world or a best case scenario these two factors would in unison. So I’d say Candlemass would be great or Saint Vitus both personally and for us as a band would this be the most perfect tour I guess.
12. In 5 words describe your sound to someone about to listen to you for the 1st time.
Ralf W. Garcia: That’s a hard one. Alright let’s see. A neverending soundwall that drags you down to your most inner feelings. That soothes your soul, activates your thoughts about your own life, gives you power and hope and strength for your daily struggle. Or something like this.
13. What is the Swiss Scene like in 2017 I know bands like Coroner , Celtic Frost from there .
Ralf W. Garcia: There are so many bands here in comparison to the small size of this country. Most younger bands are influenced by general trends like Old School Thrash or that NWOBHM thing. Every now and then there are some surprises amongst these bands. Our label is very dedicated to find the more unique and special ones even if that means that it won’t sell good. It’s more about creative expression which is great. There are currently no names that made a name for themselves on an international scale. It’s still the old bands like you mentioned that have the ability to tour every year like Samael, Coroner, Triptykon etc.
14. When the band comes to the end of it's run how do you want to be remembered?
Ralf W. Garcia: I hope that day won’t be too soon. We are all in our mid 40s so we might have another 15-20 years I hope. I’d like this band to be remembered as the most authentic and honest as it gets. Just plain and simple pro musicians with decades of experience and music studies under our belt doing their thing in a way that’s honest to ourselves and reflects us as the human beings that we are. That’s about it. Nothing more nothing less even if I know that that’s probably not going to happen.
15. Why do you think Dark , Depressive music has such a fan base still and seems to be growning with Doom metal going on for over 40 yrs now ?
Ralf W. Garcia: There are various reasons I think. That kind of music speaks to us as living creatures. It reflects our emotions. May be more than other genres where as there’s the energy and aggression part in the front. One of the strongest and most important human emotions is fear. That’s what kept us alive as cave mans etc. Nowadays fear sometimes hinders our decision or blocks our way. That kind of music might be a kind of a catalyzer to these emotions. So there’s the very basic human reason why this genre is still alive and blooming after all those years besides that it’s one of the most diverse metal genre in general I believe. There are no real creative boundaries and so many categories to choose from. It’s obviously a lot more than just playing slow and having a wall of amps and cabinets.
16. How has social media changed the game for bands for the better or worse?
Ralf W. Garcia: The answer to that question might change in the course of the next 10 to 20 years but in these days for underground bands it is a very important part. It’s a way to get your stuff out there and to draw attention to for example single songs or full albums on YouTube or whatever. From the standpoint of a up and coming artist or band it definitely changed the game to more independence where as when we were in our late teens and early 20s we had to rely on a proper label offering us a contract. These times are gone now. On the other hand the hourly output of these social media channels are that high that I have problems to follow up to be honest. So there’s the thing with the limited human attention capacity I guess. For a music fan like myself it’s quite comfortable to filter things I’d like to know about but of course there’s so much going on. It’s crazy. So I believe a more final answer to that question will have to wait another decade or so when we know how this will all turn out. But may be that’s just my generation talking like that.
17. Thanks for the time any closing thoughts here.
Ralf W. Garcia: Thank you very much for these very interesting questions. We appreciate these in depth talks. It’s not that often that we have the chance to talk about these topics. So the pleasure was mine. Thanks again. Hope to talk to you again once the next album is released.