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In Words: Katanga

- Mario - February 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Katanga

Mario - February 7th 2011 (by email)

Katanga just releases Moonchild via Massacre Records and even if they made quite a few fans through the years, they will be nobodies to many others. Singer Mario answered my question to enlighten you about Katanga!

Katanga - got you inspired by the British movie? Did you know that it's not just a part of the democratic republic of Congo, it's also a feeder river of Tunguska?

Hi Claudia, we might invent a nice little story now, but, truth to be told, the name Katanga is derived from a movie called Gattaca which premiered shortly before we named ourselves. We liked the sound of it but had to change it somewhat for legal reasons. This being pre-Wikipedia times we never checked if it had any other meanings. All in all, the name had to be easy to remember and we did not want it to pre-label our music.

You play shows not just in Germany, also in Poland in your early days, at a time only few bands did. How was it to play there?

It was absolutely awe-inspiring. Polish people seem to be much more open and tolerant than Germans, for example. We shared a stage with bands playing all kinds of music - folk, beat, rock, pop and even death metal – and the people were enthusiastic.

In 2006 Darkkchild was released. Now it's 2011 and Moonchild is out! What took so long?

This time around we wanted total creative control over the finished product and did not release the album before we had it sound exactly the way it does now. So we had to learn about the processes involved in the production of an album, recording techniques, etc. To find the right producer and the right people to master the album proved to be more difficult and time-consuming than we had previously thought.

Please tell us a bit about Moonchild! What inspired you? And how does the cover ties in?

It is not easy to pin us down to a musical genre, which can be a problem for people. We love to create a mixture out of different styles of music. All the same, our tunes must be melodic and danceable as well.
The lyrics are influenced by movies, books, and our very own personal experiences – Metropolis is influenced by Chaplin's Modern Times as well as, and this may come as a surprise, Lang's Metropolis. The title track Moonchild deals with solitude. The cover, which was created by Stacey Ann Borg, not only very nicely invokes the atmosphere of the title track, but the overall melancholic mood of the album – a mood that did not preclude us from including some upbeat songs as well.

How important was producer Ron Thiele for the result?

Ron proved to be extremely important for the result, as he managed to make the album sound warm and 1980s-like. For our next album we plan to include Ron in the process of composing our material.

The lyrics are in German and English, at what point of the creative process do you decide which language you use?

The first step in our creative process is almost always a hookline devoid of meaningful words, but an acoustic pattern that has to be retained. If this acoustic pattern fits the German language it becomes a German song, if not, an English one.

What's the story behind Mörder der Erinnerung?

The lyrics deal with alcohol – memory's murderer speaks to the addict.

At Lemuria Doreen is adding some words in French, can we expect more next time?

Yes, you can, but it may probably not be French. We do not plan to restrict ourselves to English and German in the future – there are so many wonderful languages to explore...

At the moment you are doing the majority of the lead vocals. Will Doreen get more space in future?

Yes, definitely. But we will not become a copy of Nightwish or Within Temptation or any other female-fronted band, even though many people may expect just that when they see our pictures.

You have 3 new versions of old songs on the album. How did you choose the tracks? And how much do they differ from the original versions?

All three songs have been corner stones of our shows for some time now and they represent three of the best pieces from our first album. Doreen adds her vocals in the new versions, we added some keyboards and improved their overall sound.

Are their any plans to do a video clip(s)? Which song(s) would you choose?

That all depends on how much time we will spend on new material this time around, and our budget as well. If the recordings are as time-consuming as those for Darkchild we might consider shooting another clip – we really enjoyed making the first one!

I guess with the new album you'll update your website, will you add an English version?

A fabulous idea. Our bass player will be delighted, he is responsible for the translations.

Any shows on the way? Festivals?

Yes, we have upcoming shows with main point, a well-known Gothic-Metal-Band from Rostock, Germany, and another show in Lübeck the same month.

What else is on your schedule for 2011?

The seemingly never-ending search for a new drummer all over again. Many, many more shows, and especially having fun playing music.

Good luck for finding a new drummer, and hopefully one who stays for long, and to play live. If I get the chance to see them live, we hopefully can continue this conversation face-to-face.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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