Musicscan: Were there any other bands worth to speak about that you guys were previously involved in, or still are as side projects?
Kellermensch: I don´t know if they are worth speaking about, but we have all played in different bands before Kellermensch. None that you would know of however.
Musicscan: The high level of musicianship on display on your CD makes me wonder whether you (or the other guys) took any lessons or theory classes? I ask because you guys seem to me to be one of those bands that knew the rules before breaking them…
Kellermensch: It really depends. I have taken various lessons, guitar, drums, piano etc. But half of the band have never taken lessons. I think Claudio is self taught and had been playing the bass for a year or two before joining the band. Personally I have always felt that listening to good records is the best lesson. I think we all feel like that.
Musicscan: How would you characterize the band’s evolution musically from the start to the current album, you are going to release pretty soon?
Kellermensch: Well, we started with a “blank slate” when we began working on our debut album. We wanted to make an album that was different. We wanted to incorporate our style of playing into the music and to mix the “traditional” rock instruments with older and more acoustic instruments like pump organ, violins and piano. This was very hard to translate onto the stage at first. So I think one of the areas we have evolved the most is our live performances. We have grown more confident and chaotic on stage since we recorded the album.
Musicscan: Who are some of the bands from Denmark you feel the most kinship with? Is it still an underrated scene, or has it finally gotten the respect it deserves for keeping European rock (or/and metal) interesting?
Kellermensch: We don´t really feel a deep kinship with any bands in Denmark. Whenever we play shows with other bands we seem to be the oddity. Whether the Danish scene is underrated is hard for me to say because I live in Denmark. I do think that some good bands are trying hard to get across internationally, and have done so with success.
Musicscan: There are a lot of bands now that are heavy without really using metal aesthetics. Do you feel like a part of that?
Kellermensch: I don´t think of our band as a metal band. I think heavy metal is in a bad way these days compared to earlier. To use heavy metal aesthetics today usually means that you follow a very explicit set of rules. This is not productive and I don´t think that it has to be like that. In the 90´s I think there were bands who put out records that changed what heavy metal aesthetics was (and could be), and some of them still do. Bands like, Rage Against The Machine, Tool, Sepultura, Faith No More and Rammstein. There´s a whole bunch of them. I don´t see us as a metal band, but the genre needs more bands who can push it forward and change it a bit, and not just follow a specific recipe.
Musicscan: How did the deal with Universal come about, and were they sort of your first choice, or did it just sort of fall into place? I would not call it a natural choice or expect a band like Kellermensch to be on the label to be honest…
Kellermensch: I think the idea of us being on a major label is strange, but we try to stay open minded about the industry side of things. The music industry is obviously changing and now we have to take our music outside of Denmark and for that we will need all the help we can get. The idea of Universal taking on Kellermensch is just as odd as the idea of Kellermensch on a major label, however, we were confident from the beginning that, if we were to sign with a European major label, Universal would be the one we wanted. Their work with bands like Rammstein shows that they can work with groundbreaking acts and not influence what the act is about, or at least not in a bad way.
Musicscan: It seems that a strong part of the Kellermensch sound is about experimentation. Of the songs you guys have written and recorded, which one do you feel crosses the most borders? What other borders, musically speaking, do you guys wanna knock down?
Kellermensch: Well, I would say that strong song-writing and experimenting with expression are the two cornerstones of this band. We want to play good emotional songs and to express these emotions in a compelling way. I think that “The Day You Walked” is a song that really captures the atmospheare of the lyrics and does so in a unique way.
Musicscan: Tell me about the writing process for the album and for Kellermensch in general, please. Do you guys write individual and then bring the parts together, or do the songs come out of jamming?
Kellermensch: We write individually and then we arrange the songs together. That is the process that works best for us. Although we try to mix things up every know and then with the occational jam session, but we are not really the “jamming” type of band.
Musicscan: Your music and sound(s) are rooted in dark atmospheres and content. Tell us how important maintaining these overtones are to the band's mindset.
Kellermensch: They are quite important, but it is hard to say why. I guess we have a natural predisposition for dark atmospheres. A lot of the music we listen to is dark, but incorporating hope and relief into our music is also very important to us. I think one of the forces of a dark song is that if you let the light in, it will be brighter than in a song that is haooy all the through.
Musicscan: How was the material selected for your self titled album and were there additional recorded pieces that were consciously kept off (- why)?
Kellermensch: Yes, we recorded an outro and a ballad for the album which were not used. We couldn´t make them work properly for some reason. A shame i think.
Musicscan: Personally what are your favorite and least favorite parts of the recording process? Is the album a good representation of what you guys wanted to achieve?
Kellermensch: I think recording is a mixed blessing. It is a fascinating and beautiful thing which is a very central part of music. It is the birth of music. But at the same time it can be very painful and excruciating. When songs don´t work you have usually gone great lengths trying. It is quite frustrating. But writing and preparation is probably my favorite part. Those first glimpses of a song coming together is the best.
Musicscan: What stands out in your mind about the chemistry of the band during the writing and recording of the album?
Kellermensch: We have all known each other for a very long time which makes communication easier. We spend a lot of time preparing and putting the songs together before actually recording them. The fact that we have two pairs of brothers in the band also influences the chemistry of the band. Although we are close, we are still very different individuals and have different tastes in music.
Musicscan: How did this contribute to the overall sound and feel of the album?
Kellermensch: I think being a band of 6 different individuals made us set aside our personal and selfish hopes and dreams for the band and focus on a sound that would sum up the values that we can all agree on. I think this forced us into unexplored territory.
Musicscan: As far as lyrical themes go, for anyone who's unfamiliar with them, could you give us a little insight into it?
Kellermensch: Well, we wanted to write about things we could recognize from our own lives. Our lyrics deal with feelings of inadequacy, frustration, loss, pain and love. All things that come with trying cope with everyday-life. This is something that is common for existentialist litterature. I like to think of our lyrics as lacking a plot, but being more like descriptions of modern day existence.