On the 18th of May, Kontrust was shaking up Zwolle (the Netherlands) with an energetic performance. Before the show, we had a chance to talk to guitarist Mike and vocalist Stefan about their latest album: Second Hand Wonderland. Well, we can tell you, the main subject of the interview was something about walking around naked in the tourbus…
18-03-12 By Michael
Metal Exposure (ME): Thank you for your time and welcome to the Netherlands.
Mike (M) & Stefan (S): Thank you!
ME: So, how is your tour going?
M: Great, we are all a little tired. We have been travelling across Europe for the last twelve hours, all the way from the south side of Poland.
S: It was seriously cold there.
M: The problem was, we did not really have a choice (laughing). We do not decide what the weather is. But we really had fun, it was a great show, but just…brrrr.
ME: Of course you have some great memories of Poland. Is there any news if you will be at the Przystanek Woodstock festival?
M: Not yet. I think that thing is up and running for another couple of weeks. We have just been really lucky with out fans voting for us.
ME: What can you tell us about the general reaction to Second Hand Wonderland?
S: Our fans really liked the album. The press gave us some good reactions too. Especially from metal related press.
M: Metal magazines normally are like: Kontrust, meh. But this time they were quite positive.
S:We have a few people who we (laughing) force to read all the reactions.
ME: you sound satisfied with the reactions. Were there some negative reactions?
S: We hade a few…
M: One in particular.
ME: Now you have spiked our interest.
M: We are not going to tell you who wrote it. But it was something like: “Agatha and her seven dwarfs” or something like that. When you read it, you know that someone wrote it who hates Kontrust. But well, it’s entertaining.
ME: For me, the most controversial bands, are the most fun to review and talk to. You can take Van Canto as an example. A lot of the metal press do not like and respect them, because they are different.
M: Well, if you diversify, it usually is the best thing you can do. People either love it or hate it, and then you have hit the spot. You cannot love every kind of music.
S: It’s the same with bad beer, you know. If you don’t like it, then don’t drink it.
ME:Okay, tell us a bit about the process of making the latest album.
S: It started a long, long time ago.
M: (laughing) in a galaxy far far away.
S: We can’t remember when we started, but we had a different approach this time. On Time to Tango we had the guitars, then some singing was added and so on. This time, everything was based on vocals, there was nothing but vocals. This was really interesting, because this time they had to use their brains (laughing).
M: It was really fun. We only had a vocal line to work with, nothing else to accompany it. That way, I had a million different options to look at it. It could sound like techno, but also totally different. The truth was somewhere in the middle. We have had a lot of influences on this album. There is a lot more electronics on it. Basically we tried to make a soundtrack to every line Stefan of Agatha gave us with their vocal lines. In the end we had like over a hundred songs. This different approach was really fun. We have enough material to make a lot of albums, and also different styles of albums. You can think about a black metal album and things like that. We might be able to sell some songs to other bands.
ME: Time to Tango was released in Polish, what can you tell us about that?
S: We only play the Polish songs in Poland actually. Naturally the main positive reaction was from that country.
ME: I remember you playing Zero at the Dicky Woodstock festival as the Polish version.
M: Sometimes you rehearse the songs with the band, you don’t always pay complete attention to what your band mates are doing.
S: So, did you play the Polish version?
M: (laughing) yeah, the Polish guitar version.
ME: Are there any countries you would like to play in?
M: Japan actually, that would be cool.
S: Any country that is warmer than the Netherlands now would do for me. Well, the weather is better than Poland.
M: I am happy here, I can walk around just in a t-shirt. Earlier it was a t-shirt, a pull-over, a jacket etc.
S: Everyone was sitting in the bus with jackets on. He was naked…..eh….what was it.
M: yeah, I was just without a shirt…
ME: So….everybody was in the bus…naked…
M: (laughing) write that down, that will give everybody a good image of the band.
S: I think he was born in a freezer or something like that.
ME: Right, what gives you the energy to be on stage?
S: (laughing) can we say brand names?
M: It is like a drug actually. without the drug. There is one thing, you have to have your adrenaline ready for just that moment. Then you go on stage and it seems like you flick a switch, you go insane. If I am in the audience, I want to be entertained. That’s it actually, we love to entertain and its fun. It has to be, that is why we do this.
ME: As a follow up to that, is there something you want to give the fans, a certain feeling or emotion?
M: Pure fear, no. First of all, we want the audience going home exhausted. Like: no, no sex tonight. That is actually a good comparison. It’s like after having really good sex, you walk out, you are done for, but you are happy.
S: Who did you hear that from?
ME: (laughing) I remember you saying something about him being naked on the tourbus…
S: Oh yeah…
ME: Thats about it for out questions
S: There was a lot of talk about sex, great.
ME: Yeah, do you want to say something to your fans?
M: Thank you for the support so far. Without that we would not be here.
ME: And thank you for this interview!