Interview: OBSCURA in 2010
As you may already know Obscura is a band from Germany (München) and was founded in 2002 by Steffen Kummerer (guitars, vocals). The band was named after the Gorguts album Obscura and that says a lot about their music. Obscura plays highly skilled, technical death metal, and among the members of the band we find ex-members of great old school death metal bands Necrophagist and Pestilence. After the show at Hatework fest. 2010, Ancient Beliefs made a short interview with Steffen.
Rep: First impression about Romania…
S.K.: I’ve never been to Romania before, we did a Balkan tour in 2007, when we started in Greece, we played everywhere, we just missed Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania, so it’s a pity, but it was some years ago. Romania is very impressive, we saw the “Big Palace” (n. \”Parliament House\”) which is one of the biggest building ever.
Rep: Yes, it’s the second biggest building in the world after The Pentagon.
S.K.: Yes, we’ve heard about it from the organizers (Hatework fest.). The whole organization of the festival was super here in Romania. Also, the Arch of Triumph is very similar to the one in Paris. It’s very sad that the inner city of Bucharest is…there is only a small part of the old Bucharest left.
Rep: When I talk about OBSCURA, I say that if Chuck Schuldiner would still be alive he would be a big fan of OBSCURA. What do you think about that?
S.K.: Thank you very much, but I guess Chuck Schuldiner listened to power metal and heavy metal, so I’m not sure he would like our stuff.
Rep: Why not? You covered their song “Lack of Comprehension” on the first album. For me DEATH represents the beginning of the technical progressive death metal.
S.K.: I have to agree, in the end we can all say that all of those old bands from the 90’s that started to bring something new to the technical metal bands, we can all say it was the basis for our songs.
Rep: It was a surprise for us to see you wearing a DISSECTION t-shirt…
Rep: Yes, because technical death metal and DISSECTION don’t have that much in common.
S.K.: Well, if you see the harmonize, what DISSECTION made harmony wise is really really interesting; we have 3 die hard DISSECTION fans in the band, both the guitarists and the drummer. I have a DISSECTION tribute band – THULCANDRA. The last album was released by Napalm Records and we even have a Necrolord painted cover; and it sounds like one to one like DISSECTION. Also there are some slight influences into the OBSCURA sound. Rep: In a way… S.K.: In a way, if you just see the middle part of “Anticosmic Overload” you know, those guys listen to DISSECTION and you will remember it.
Rep: So, what is next for OBSCURA? Are you preparing a new album?
S.K.: We already recorded the new album, at the moment we are just mixing it, and mastering it, so I guess it will be out at the end of February, early March.
Rep: So, do you plan to come back to Romania?
S.K.: Yes, we do, at the first release of the album we will do a regular European tour, at the moment we are discussing a small east – European tour for one or two weeks. We want to do something like we did three years ago, but this time we want to go from Greece to Turkey, so we can play in Bulgaria and Romania as well. We would love to play here again, and I would love to work with the guys from DOR DE DUH. For my personal taste, it was the best band tonight; I really think they had the best sound the whole evening. I really liked them, I saw NEGURA BUNGET many years ago in Munchen. I like the avant-garde black metal stuff, it was like ENSLAVED… DOR DE DUH sounds like ENSLAVED with a good singer.
Rep: It is very interesting that you like DISSECTION, ENSLAVED and DOR DE DUH.
S.K.: Well, everybody listens to different stuff. I listen to a lot of black metal.
Rep: Do you listen to music outside the metal area?
S.K.: Yes, as well. Inside the metal area I listen to a lot of the old Swedish, Scandinavian metal bands like DISSECTION, I’m a huge fan of UNANIMATED, EUCHARIST, SACRAMENTUM all of those.
Rep: Most of them don’t play anymore.
S.K.: Yes, it’s a pity. Besides the metal area listen to PORTISHEAD, it’s a huge influence. I think it’s boring if you listen to only one kind of music.
Rep: Any jazz?
S.K.: Sometimes, as well. I am not familiar with jazz artists, but I like them.
Rep: When I look at your base player it seems that his music comes from the jazz area.
S.K.: yes, from jazz but also flamenco. We have some different influences from every sides, like the drummer, Hannes, comes from folk rock mainly, and Christian, the guitarist, did two studies, one for fusion and jazz guitar and the second was for jazz and rock guitar. We all combine it. It fits somehow.
Rep: There are some influences in your vocal style from brutal death metal.
S.K.: Probably, death grunts…
Rep: There are different types of death metal vocalists, and you somehow manage to combine styles.
S.K.: It’s just screams and growls (hahaha)… I also do clean vocals as well. It’s only a small color you can add, it’s not something I do throughout the song, and it’s more of a soft song which is why I have to grunt.
Rep: How much was the influence of the new members on the second album?
S.K: Pretty much. We are writing as a team; I am not the only song writer so we share.
Rep: But you write all the lyrics?
S.K.: Yes, I do, but music wise we share everything, everybody brings in what he has, so I would say that the drummer Hannes and I, we write most of the music, and the others contribute with ideas; it’s working like a team, it’s not a single person who writes everything.
Rep: In the end of our discussion, would you like to say something to Romanian fans?
S.K.: I hope we can come back pretty soon, I expect May next year, 2011, we would love to play again in Romania.
Rep: More than one show?
S.K.: Yes, maybe in Timisoara, Cluj, we will see, but I am not sure right now, but we are planning the south east European tour, so we would love to play in Romania again.
Rep: Thank you.
For Ancient Beliefs: Brindusa & T. Evi.