Coronatus have been in rough sea lately, some line-up changes they faced and others would have call it quits... Now they play a short tour opening for Haggard and a good chance to catch up.
Drummer Mats Kurth and guitarist Aria Keramati Noori as well as Ada Flechtner were so kind to join me for an interview. I hope I didn't misquote someone, well not Ada Flechtner for sure.
Well, it has been some time since the release of your last album, and there have been some changes. What happened?
Mats Kurth: OK, first of all the main change was, that singer Carmen Lorch got pregnant again, her second child, and this was very time consuming. So she had to take care of her family, so she decided to leave the band.
That's easy to understand. That was just the first change. What was the other changes?
MK: But that was the initial step that made the other changes, because when Lisa Lasch, who was the rock voice on the album Fabula Magna, also quit short time before Carmen did. But this was something we could expect, so it was not so much of a problem for Coronatus, but when Carmen left, of course a lot of things changed. The other members didn't really believe that we could manage to survive this loss. And this was the reason that Jo left, and keyboard player Fabian Merkt got a little bit fed up with the things. But Fabian said: we try it again, and we tried with singer Natalia Kempin. And when it came clear that it did not work, when he said so it's over. So Carmen's leaving was initiating all the other things.
As always to change a singer is the biggest problem a band can face. Because people have to accept a new singer, a problem to find a new replacement, one singer is quite a task and you needed two singers. So it gets even more complicated. There aren't that many female singers in the metal world, even if it's getting better these days, but still there are not that many, and then to find the right replacement... A rock voice are maybe easier to find. Also to find someone in the area, who has the same vision of the music, and everything. So it was a kind of setback from the last album because you couldn't tour.
MK: We had planned a little tour, it was with our booking agency and we had a little tour in small venues. We had to cancel everything of course. Our bass player Todd Goldfinger also left, he was bored a little bit and he did not want to do these gigs, because it was not worth the effort anymore and so on... And everything broke down at that time.
It needs a lot to carry on, and to make money on the music these days as a metal group... Then find daytime jobs and do music, it's time consuming and complicated. There are always changes, so finally you have to make a new band, you're just the last remaining member from the original line-up.
MK: It's true, and the only person that has been a little bit longer time with Coronatus is singer Ada Flechtner, who has been with us two years, and quit. But came back again, so we have really many problems with line-up changes.
You always have to get things right, if you want to play live, adjusting to new people. So it was good that you that Ada came back, because she knows part of the songs. So Ada, how does it feel for you with different counter part of the stage?
Ada Flechtner: It's kind of hard. Me and Carmen Lorch were a perfect team in the end, it worked well between us. It's hard to adopt to someone new, but it's working, we just need some time.
You are on tour now, it will work out faster than just rehearsing. You play together every day. To play 2 shows in a row is not like one every other month, there is still the growing together playing live. Your last show was in two days, so it's only a few days between, it can still make you grow faster together.
Have you already started working on new songs after you get the new line-up?
Aria Keramati Noori: That's a problem, but we have started. We have some rough song ideas that are already there for the next album, but we didn't finish the details of course. We have 5 songs that are grown very far, but not finished yet. Of course we can say that we will make the next album in 2 years or something. But if we say that, and can not make it in 2 years, but in 4 years... that's the reason why we set ourselves a limit, we had a lot of trouble, but we will do it.
You got good response and if you wait too long there is a risk that people will forget about you, with all these other good bands.
MK: Up to the Fabula Magna album we put out one album a year and it was very hard, now it has been two years and this is okay. A normal cycle, but it should not take more time than this, we have planned to release our new album in November 2011, we have booked the studio in August. It's confirmed. After this tour we will start to work very hard on the material, so I'm really sure we will make it.
It's more important that you can play live and that you deliver an new album. Not a comeback, that's not what I mean, but bring back Coronatus to the fans more or less, because now there are people to see you live, you can't do anything else than play live.
MK: For me personally, I think that it's stress, if you limit the time for the songwriting. It's not bad, we need a little pressure to make an album every year and do concerts, that's impossible.
But it don't have to be every year, maybe every two years... that's fine. In this case you haven't had a chance to play live, people haven't seen you on festivals or many shows.
MK: That's the funny thing about us, we already made pictures and after two months there are changes in the band. And the rest of the members are gone.
Maybe you should do no band pictures.... Just single shots...
AKN: We could just put empty bodies and later put faces on them and then release them, good advice. ;)
Or you could work on it on Photoshop or something like that?
MK: It's going to be better, I'm going to hold the band together, even if it is with violence ha ha! There are so many bands that would not survive this, all these band changes, they would have given up. So I think it's a phenomenon that it happened like that, that we are still alive.
You are the driving force of the band, the founding member of the band... What can we expect from the new album? You have already ideas and raw songs ready, with different people in the band, does it effect the music?
MK: I think so, because we have different opinions. I also think that Coronatus songs changed in the past.
That's more a progress, but now with different people in the band... Everybody has a different style, if a band has a stable line-up, there are changes from record to record, it's a progress, but with different people coming in it's probably a different kind of change.
MK: I am not sure about that, because there was also line-up changes in the past, and the outcome in the end was something you can compare. It's not completely different. It will stay the way also this time. Maybe the fact that we have a new keyboard player might effect the sound more than in the past. I don't think that new voices will effect the songs so much.
It's the overall sound of the band.
MK: I think it's clear that there is going to be a little bit of change in the music, this time we will have the most of the songs from 3 persons, and some old songs from past members of the band.
There are fewer people involved in the initial songwriting process in the rough versions, but I know that our fans are going to like it. And more people will be our fans after they hear the album. It's going to be good. We hope our fans like it.
Any chance you play more shows here in the future?
MK: We talked about playing shows in Switzerland, but nothing is clear yet.
It's always a big chance to play in different countries, people become more aware of the band. So I guess we have to wait until the new album for you going on a real tour?
MK: I hope that it will be possible... Even as we are not recording yet, we already have a show in Stuttgart. We hope to get shows at summer festivals, that would be great, but maybe it's too late for that... But maybe if another band cancels.... The problem with us touring is, that we are working. So touring is not so easy in any circumstance. The problem is that we are not selling enough CDs that we can live from the music. It's impossible for us.
Also if you aren't playing live, you won't sell more albums....
MK: It's the circle of the devil. Now we are in between levels.
You just have to wait for the new album, and see where it takes you to.
MK: It's also expensive to do a support tour, but hopefully we get something that fits.
So then we will see when the new album comes and talk again.
Ada, how was it for you to get back into the band again? You left for some reason, what was the reasons?
AF: It was a time problem, and I haven't solved it yet. But it's getting better.
But if you are going on tour, is it hard for you as a woman to go on tour?
AF: It's hard for a woman to go on tour, the men always hang around, but where can women change clothes etc. It's a problem.
A kind of privacy problem?
AF: It's different for women. But we are two girls in the band, so we usually can find a room to get dressed etc.
I'm looking forward to hear the 'new' Coronatus - tonight on stage and hopefully soon on their new album....