Rawkfist have just released their new album Chryseus, time to take a closer look at Rawkfist! Thanks to bassist Michael for taking time to answer my questions.
Please tells us how everything started! Why the name Rawkfist? Never feared that it will misled people?
Around 2006 our guitarist, Manuel, re-established Rawkfist after a short-lived experience with his previous group of the same name. After a couple of months the band had accumulated enough decent original material and felt ready to rock the local stages.
Misleading sounds a bit strong. Quite a few people have been pleasantly surprised when they heard our music after reading the name. :)
The band name derives from a song of the Canadian rock band Thousand Foot Krutch. You may also see it as a symbol for creating something powerful, spreading good vibes and rocking out.
Chryseus is your new album, why this title?
Chryseus means 'golden' in Latin. With the album we were aiming at creating something beautiful, shiny and a little mysterious with some well-balanced heaviness, just like a goldsmith ;).
When did you start writing songs for Chryseus?
The songwriting process started shortly after the release of Gardens Of Elysia in late 2009 but we kept on tweaking little things here and there until a few weeks before the CD was released in March 2011.
Do you have a main songwriter? Or do you have several songwriters in the band?
Often Manuel or Felix come up with some basic ideas – riffs, melodies, chord changes, etc. Eventually everything is fleshed out by the band. On Chryseus, our producer, Timon, contributed a lot to the songwriting as well.
You combine symphonic metal with different elements. What are your influences?
Of course classical music has always been an influence. Furthermore you can find a whole lot of different stuff from metalcore to prog rock to Tori Amos in our personal music collections although not everything has an audible impact on our own records.
The band's approach to creating music is pretty much song-oriented and we all have a soft spot for nice melodies and orchestral arrangements. On Chryseus each song took on a life of its own, soon or later, though, there was a main concept for the sound of the album.
You worked again with Timon Seidl, how important was he for the recordings?
Timon is a capable producer and an accomplished musician and has become a friend to the band. He really understood what Rawkfist had in mind and dedicated a whole lot of his time and energy to bring out our best.
Mixing and mastering was in the hands of Olaf Reitmeier. Are you satisfied with his work?
We are very happy with what he did for us! The first test mixes he sent us were already amazing. Chryseus really benefits from that warm, clear, dynamic sound. Olaf has worked on a lot of excellent albums and he showed great intuition when it came to our songs, so there were only few details we wanted him to change before the final mixing and mastering.
Please tell us something about the lyrical inspiration!
Our singer, Sabine, writes all of our lyrics. They are often fantastic stories that contain a good amount of personal thoughts and feelings while also leaving a lot to the imaginative mind of the individual listener. The song topics on Chryseus vary widely - from ghost stories to religious and environmental issues - however, every song circles around some sort of secret.
White Rose is sticking out as it's a duet. How came that Uwe Hillmer was joining in?
Uwe is Sabine's father and has been an active drummer and singer with his own band for over 40 years. She always liked the idea of recording a duet with him and I think this one turned out great.
Silent War is a powerful ballad, have you ever considered to do an acoustic version?
A couple of people have suggested that but we haven't really tried it yet. We'll see.
How was the release party in Nuremberg? And how was the first reaction?
Some last-minute technical problems showed up before the show, but eventually everything worked out great and we had a blast celebrating our new songs live with old and new friends, so the first reaction has been very positive.
Do you plan to play some one-off shows? I guess it's too early to talk about a tour or festivals...
We just played four shows in a row as opening act for the popular German folk rock band Schandmaul. It was a huge opportunity and quite the experience - suddenly playing to audiences of over 2,000 people every night.
No further dates are confirmed yet but we're happily looking forward to playing out more this year.
So if you like symphonic metal keep your eyes open for Rawkfist live.