pátek 4. prosince 2020

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Interview - MESSIAH - I think that we as a band come across as a well-rehearsed unit.

Interview with legendary death/thrash metal band MESSIAH from Switzerland.

Answered drummer Steve, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - MESSIAH - Fracmont (2020):

Ave MESSIAH! Greetings to Switzerland, I hope you are doing well in these difficult times. I have to admit that I was really looking forward to your new record "Fracmont". I first met your band in Poland on the exchange market, where we bought everything that had an interesting cover. I got the album "Rotten Perish". It was a pirate tape recording, a few songs were missing, but you became my heart band. Listening to the new record brought old times back to me. The sound and production are a bit more modern, but otherwise everything is as in the old days. Was that the purpose? 

Hello! This is Steve, drummer of Messiah. Thank you, we are all doing well according to the circumstances and we are healthy. I am glad that you like and support our band for so long. And you had a very good start with "Rotten Perish". I am glad that you like the new album and its production. We deliberately tried to incorporate the atmosphere and sounds of the 90s. Apparently we have succeeded in doing so.:))


I admit that when I saw the new cover for the first time, I was a little shocked. A figure in a hood, with his hands covered in blood. I'm restless a lot, I also listen to brutal death metal, but the motive has something in it. It makes me uneasy, I always have to take the CD in my hands and look at it. The author is Björn Goosses from Germany. How did you get together with him and how does the cover relate to music? 

Sorry, we didn't mean to scare you. Haha... We are absolutely happy with the artwork of Björn. I've been following and marvelling at various works of him for quite some time now, which is why I suggested him for our cover design. Björn had previously dealt very well with the saga of "Fracmont" and with his realization he hit the mark for us. 

Sound of your old recordings have always fascinated me. You were always cold, dark, the one felt like kneeling in icy water and there was absolute darkness around. But times have changed, technology, we have the Internet. How was the album "Fracmont" created? Where did you record? That may not be true, but the recording seems to me be analog, it sounds really "old and fresh at the same time". 

I am glad that you like the special features of the Messiah sound when listening to our albums. We have also taken care to keep our trademarks even after 26 years when creating the new songs. For sure our sound is influenced by the guitar work of Brögi. He has a very own style and this results in a high recognition value. First of all he recorded riffs and song ideas, which we then arranged together in the rehearsal room to finished songs. This procedure was almost exactly the same as with the old albums. The recordings were made in Little Creek Studio with my long time friend V.O. Pulver. I know V.O. for many years and I also play together with him in the thrash band GURD. He also plays with Poltergeist. Also a band from the 80s. The cooperation with V.O. was very pleasant and he knew exactly how an "old" band should sound and still created a super fat sound. We are absolutely happy! 

You are experienced musicians, you have a very rich history, but you have released "Fracmont" after 26 long years. Didn't you feel like to release something new all the time? The urge to create? Am I to understand that you focused on your other bands and there was no time for MESSIAH? Or did you compose to the „vault“? 

Messiah was no longer active since 1994. We got together in 2003 and played 2 shows. After that everybody went their own ways again. Brögi and Andy were not actively making music in the whole time. Our bass player Patrick and I did. We were always active with bands and released albums. We didn't get together again until 2017 when a friend asked us if we would like to spontaneously play a few songs at his festival. At a barbecue party at Brögi's house we decided to rehearse a live set of 50 minutes and play 2 exclusive secret shows. This should be a test for us how it feels after all these years. And believe me, it felt damn good and the shows were a huge success. In January 2018 we decided together to continue with the cast of the 90s.

"Fracmont" is an album that captivated me mainly by atmosphere. I like when good old death metal is combined with thrash and heavy metal influences. The band must have its own expression, own face, and yours is really expressive. How do MESSIAH actually compose new material? I mean the very begin of new material. The whole record is built on really great riffs. 

This is exactly how I would describe the influences of Messiah. Especially the influence of heavy metal of the NWOBHM phase is partly well audible. This mix with also harder influences from Death and Thrash Metal results in the sound of us. As already answered above, the guitar ideas are recorded by Brögi. The finished songs are then created with the complete band in the rehearsal room. Thereby the songs are influenced by all members and get their own stamp. Thank you again that you like our album so much.:))


What did Andy Kaina’s return to the microphone mean for the band? If I'm right, he never sang anywhere else, or at least I don't know about it. Maybe Rotten Perish was my first album from you, I have him fixed with MESSIAH. He coped really well with the new material and gave the record just that special mood, the kind of vibration which I like so much. I think Andy is 51 years old and did a great job. Tell us something about your cooperation after so many years... 

There was actually never any other choice. Through this concert request from 2017, Brögi contacted Andy, Patrick and me and all of us were immediately back. That was somehow a matter of course. Andy has also sung on the EP "Psychomorphia" and the album "Choir Of Horrors", which were created in exactly the same line-up as "Rotten Perish" and now "Fracmont". Yeah, for such an old man Andy really did a great job. Just for your information, we are all the same age. Ha ha.:)) 

Please tell us what the lyrics to "Fracmont" are about and where you get their inspiration for. Who is main author? Do you stick to proven themes, such as the critique of blind faith, the destruction of the human mind? What is the main meaning, direction and content of the text page of the album? 

The title song deals with the story of Pontius Pilate. The story is divided into two parts like the song musically. The first part is about the origin of Pontius Pilate and his terrible family of Pontians. He was Roman governor of Judea, judge of Jesus and persecutor of the Jews. According to the legends, there were various places where Pontius' body was dumped, until it was finally sunk into Lake Pilatus at Fracmont (now called Pilatus). Thunderstorms, epidemics, bad harvests, witches' squadrons at Fracmont characterize the legend. Innocent people who disturbed the spirit of Pilatus on Fracmont were executed by the Catholic Church in the late Middle Ages. In the other lyrics we also deal with themes that are tragically hushed up in the Catholic Church. I'm talking about sexual abuse of children, the brainwashing that is imposed on a child born neutral in faith. It is determined in advance to which faith it will belong. All typical Messiah topics. The ideas for the lyrics are mainly by Brögi, whereas the explanations are mostly written by Andy.

I searched, but what did the word "Fracmont" actually mean? And why did you choose this name for the new record? 

"Fracmont" or "Fractus Mons" is the medieval name of Mount Pilatus near Lucerne and means "rugged mountain". We named the album title after it because we feel a strong connection to this mountain and are fascinated by the history around it. 

I'm an old metal dog and I have fulfilled most of my dreams a long time ago, but MESSIAH is one of the bands I have never seen live. I didn't make it in the 1990s and now we have a pandemic. But when it's all over, can we look forward to some of your tours to support your new album? What about MESSIAH and concerts? 

We will not be able to play big tours even after the pandemic, as individual members will have to take on other commitments such as job or family. But we will definitely play some individual shows. As far as I know, we are also talking about some exquisite shows in Poland and the Czech Republic. We will, if that is possible in 2021, also make up for the shows postponed this year. In any case, we are very excited to finally be able to play live again. 

Of course I like HELLHAMMER, CORONER, CELTIC FROST from Switzerland, but these are all old bands. How does the scene work for you today? Do you go to clubs, festivals to see something good? And can you recommend any of your local bands to us? 

I'm still very active in the scene and often visit gigs and festivals. There are great local bands to see. Check out Requiem, Comaniac, Total Annihilation, Klaw, Poltergeist or Gurd. ;-) 

I don't want to flatter you unnecessarily, but according to the promo photos you look like a bunch of nice guys. You can feel the insight from your music, the mutual chemistry between the musicians. Is that really like this in real life? Do you sometimes go out for beer, party, families meeting for example? 

Thank you. I think that we as a band come across as a well-rehearsed unit. Especially at our concerts we radiate a lot of joy in playing, which also infects the audience. In our private lives we usually get along well with each other. Of course there are differences of opinion every now and then, but where isn't that? We usually settle them over a few beers together ;-) Since we all live a few kilometers away from each other, such meetings are rather rare.

Before we wrap this interview I would like to know what MESSIAH is going to do in the upcoming months? I've already asked about tours and concerts, but what about new music? Are you composing, do you already have any ideas? I hope we won't wait 26 years again, I'll be old and I won't hear anything :). 

We have also asked ourselves this question. After all, we cannot sit around and wait until the pandemic is finally over. Therefore Brögi is already collecting new song ideas. We are also working on a film project. We want to show the story of "Fracmont" in pictures. But this should be more than a conventional video. You can be curious ;-) 

Thank you very much for the interview, I really appreciate it. For me personally, music means a lot and I am glad that I am still alive to see new music from you. I actually fulfill my dreams from a young age with similar interviews. I wish you a lot of inspiration and all the best in your personal life. Thank you for a lot of great moments with your music! MESSIAH FOREVER! 

Thank you very much for the exciting interview. I also wish you all the best for the future. Stay healthy and maybe we'll meet one day at one of our shows.

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