Interview: Totengefluster (symphonic black metal)

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Totengefluster is by far, Germany’s best, most recent black metal export.  Their latest album Im Nebel der Verganglichkeit was just recently released directly through the band.  Totengefluster creates an atmosphere that is both cold and vast; powerful enough to freeze the entire German Black Forest.  If there has been a metal band in recent years that I strongly suggest, it is without question, Totengefluster.  They were kind enough to take a bit of time to answer this interview for us.  We thank them for that!  Enjoy!

Could you speak about the ideas behind your album titles?

Narbengrund:Vom Seelensterben“ is about losing yourself, losing your essence, your soul. It is an conceptional album and I think the title track lyrically reflects the theme of the whole album, this is why we chose this one as title – it also was the first Totengeflüster text I’ve ever written, so it’ll always be something special to me, although I’m a bit ashamed of according to simple structure of the vocals and lyrics 😉 We were young… „Im Nebel der Vergänglichkeit“ can be seen as a synonym for „life“ itself. It was quite hard to find a title for the second album, because the songs have less in common, when it comes to both, the music and the lyrics, but in the end, all of them are showing aspects of life. Sometimes the lyrics reflect very emotional aspects of life (I think life without emotions is worthless, because you’re only living not only to die, but to kill everything around you for simply nothing!), sometimes philosophical aspects and sometimes they criticize the way of living in a community and losing oneself in the masses.

Should your albums be considered “concept” albums or do they have main themes?

Narbengrund: As I already said or better written, „Vom Seelensterben“ is a conceptional album, while „Im Nebel der Vergänglichkeit“ at best has a common umbrella term.

Do you find that the decision to make all the lyrics in German makes any difference to reach a more global audience?

Narbengrund: Yes. I think it makes it much harder to reach a global audience. So why do I write them still in German? I like to give my very best to complete the sound of Totengeflüster with the vocals. German is my mother tongue, so I think I can write more intense lyrics and the more personally it gets, the more it gets „emotional“ which is not restricted on just positive feelings…

Totengefluster has some of the most powerful, epic and memorable symphonic black metal out there.  I’d like to know more about your creative process, influences and member contributions to the music.

Totleben: Well, for the musical all i can say is.. it just starts with a certain feeling that i have. It can be a sad, epic, strong or aggressive. I take that emotion and try to figure out how to express that only using musical elements, the result somehow creates “Symphonic Black Metal”. I do not aim to create “a symphonic song” from the beginning, it just turns that way when i write music. I don’t want to limit myself ony to two guitars and a bass guitar. My feelings are more complex and only can be expressed with that kind of extension. I think if you take film scores for example – they also figured out to express certain feelings just through music to paint around the stoy whats happening.

Narbengrund: When it comes to writing the lyrics, I try to drown in Totleben’s creations and when I’m coming back, I try to mirror the thoughts and feelings they invoked inside my mind. It is always a very personal process, because I think art should be honest.

Frostbitten: We all live in the area of the mighty black forest and the beautiful nature there inspires quite a lot especially in winter haha – In the beginning of a new song Totleben write mostly riffs,drums and orchestral stuff, than i listen to it and give my personal style in drumming to it and we compare it to one song.

You put an incredible amount of work into your presentation; album artwork, promotion materials, merchandise…. Are all of your earnings put back into the band?

Totleben: Yes. Everything that is earned by Totengeflüster is what Totengeflüster will have as a base to create new Material from. I do not aim to make a money making just for my own or some specific band members.

What are your thoughts on these “unblack” or Christian black metal bands?

Narbengrund: Well, on one hand they are a bit ridiculous because of using a medium that completely differs from everything they wish to be or create but on the other hand: music is music, it does not sound worse because of any lyrical aspects. Just look at Burzum, Varg is a very… special type of man and I totally disagree with most of his opinions, espacially with his political ideas but nontheless he created some incredibly good  music or take Richard Wagner, no one damns him for being cristian (well…l except for Nietzsche^^)!

Frostbitten: Nothing. Black Metal has to be BLACK!

What artistic ground do you hope to attack and conquer next?

Frostbitten: Going on tour would be nice, otherwise play alot of shows and maybe release another record in form of an EP in 2018.

Totleben: Still writing great music of course 😉

There seems to be a lot of “Nationalism” themes in European neo-folk/martial bands.  Do you find this is also the case with metal bands from Germany?

Narbengrund: No. There are sure some nationalistic Black Metal Bands out there but I don’t know them. I think there are much more left orientated  metal bands in germany.

What tour plans do you have?  USA maybe?

Narbengrund: If we get the chance – why not? But there is nothing concrete planned yet.

Frostbitten: Until now nothing. But its not unreal to play somedays in USA or Canada. Maybe together with our friends in Necronomicon from Canada who knows?!

What’s next for you in 2017 and 2018?

Frostbitten: Playing live shows and writing new stuff so we can maybe release new material.

Most important question; hockey.   Hamburg Freezers, , Adler Mannheim or Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers?

Totleben: Im not interested in sports at all. Except Skateboarding 😉

Narbengrund: Me neither, I even don’t care about skateboarding ;-P

Frostbitten: Im only interested in motorsport, sorry! 🙂

Situation:

Many years in the future, a relative locates a box in the attic of an old home.  Inside the box they find copies of your albums and something to play them on.  What do you want them to know about your legacy, just by listening to the music?

Totleben: Just listen – Metal never dies. Maybe it inspires someone to write their own music – who knows 😉

Thanks for the Interview!

Im Nebel der Verganglichkeit is available now!  Go directly to Totengefluster’s official site.

https://www.totengefluester.de/

https://www.facebook.com/totengefluester/

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