Ahead of Atrocity’s incredible show at Sound Control in Manchester (read our review here), we caught up with the band’s awesome frontman Alexander Krull to talk about what’s in store for the band this year, necromancy and even Atrocity cars!
So 2014 has just begun – what’s in store for this year when it comes to Atrocity?
Well the new year has started with a UK tour! It also ended pretty cool in 2013 as well.
So what went well about last year?
We started the world tour – we’ve been touring in Asia, China, Taiwan, Thailand…then, the funny part, we had like 35 degrees in Thailand and then we went to Russia, and it was -15! So it was quite demanding! (laughs) We also released the new albums for both Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes and it was very exciting that we had such a massive feedback for both of them. With Atrocity, we started a trilogy and after a few perhaps more experimental albums, like the more acoustic one with my sister Yasmin, it was time to come back with a more brutal one.
Was there anything that wasn’t so good?
Sadly, my father died in the middle of touring. So I came home in the middle of the European run…I made the funeral speech myself and then the same night, we left again on the tour bus. That was not so nice.
Last year you released your eighth studio album Okkult. Could you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process?
For us, it was a long-planned idea to do this trilogy. You can’t just do it from one night to the other, you know, with the orchestra and choir and all the other stuff. We’d actually planned this for years, we did the Atlantis album which was really cool and had a good concept, but we thought maybe we can make this bigger, about all the mysteries in the world rather than just one unsolved story. So that concept, we knew it would be from the dark side of history of mankind but not only in a religious way. People always think “oh, is this all about Satan?” and I’m like no! It’s just about politics, controlling people by fear and all that stuff…it’s a very wide field and like I said, there’s really a red line in between the individual stories. People are controlled by fear; primal fear is darkness and that’s Okkult.
Were there any tracks that were more of a challenge to complete?
Yeah, the ones with the orchestra and the choir – Necromancy Divine, Pandaemonium and La Voisine were quite demanding with the whole recording process and putting everything together.
Are there any interesting stories from the studio?
(laughs) Yeah, there’s lots of them! Bear with me because this is a long one! Necromancy Divine is about the witch Erictho, who was an ancient witch and she was a necromancer. People believed that in the otherworld, or in the world of the dead shall we say, that the dead can tell the future about the living. So she was requested by Pompey in the Roman civil war when Caesar and Pompey were fighting, and he asked her who will be the new Roman emperor, so he sent her there and found out that Caesar would be the next one – and then he was stabbed to death! It was very interesting…it was this painful ritual where she brought back his dead body, she grabbed him from the battlefields. It was a very horrifying story – and it’s all true!!
So all this detailed ritual and sentences that she spoke, we reproduced in the studio – not for real, obviously! – but all the sentences are spoken in the original Latin language. On the night we recorded it, it was really foggy – it was a dark and mysterious night! And Sander came over and went “if you continue like that, there will be a zombie attack on the studio because the studio wasn’t too far away from a battlefield from that time! We could have done our own horror movie! (laughs)
And finally – if Atrocity could put their name to any product, what would it be?
It would probably be a very interesting, spicy meal! It would have all kinds of stuff in there. Or maybe a German car! A Porsche, of course! (laughs) I’m actually a BMV guy! But maybe a black Porsche that just looks really scary, like a Batmobile or something!