MARCH 23rd, 2018

CRIPPER EXCLUSIVE



Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Music Entertainment Worldwide, we are here with Britta, Christian, and Dennis of the metal band Cripper. Forming in 2005 out of Hannover, Germany, the band has grown since their early days of thrash metal. Now with their latest release, "Follow Me: Kill", this five-piece band can't simply be categorized into one genre, they have explored and ventured into a sound all their own. To learn more about Cripper, check out our interview below:

Interview By: Metal Mom

1. You are about to drop your fifth album "Follow Me: Kill!" through Metal Blade records, are you excited for this release?

Britta: Oh yes, very! We are very happy and thankful that Metal Blade has so much trust in us and wants to release another album. The whole team at Metal Blade is very cool and super nice. They are helping us a lot and opened many doors for us so far. Havin' their trust and support without is a pretty comfortable situation for Cripper.

2. What made you name the album "Follow Me: Kill!"?

Britta: "Follow Me: Kill!" is our most political album so far, when it comes to title and lyrics. The album title reflects the impression, that so many media, social media, political parties or other organized groups demand us to follow - follow them and their own selected and tailor-made perspective of "the truth". So many proclaim to be the beholder of this one true reality, while "the others" are all stupid (to say the least) or plain liars. It has become tough these days to find your way all this chatter and sort things out. Especially when there are certain people in charge are behaving so deafening "loud" and overly present, while others are using the surrounding noise to silently work on their own agenda. I'm speaking metaphorically, but I'm sure it's obvious what I am talking about.

3. Tell us what we might expect from your new album, compared to your last?

Britta: For this album, we chose to try a different way of songwriting. At first, we laid down the whole atmospheric curve for the album as a whole and each individual song. We simultaneously wrote on all the songs at once – assigning riffs and licks that we came up with in the rehearsal room to different songs. Slowly the picture sharpened more and more. So, all the music was written a first, the lyrics came last. This has worked very well for us, even though it was an exhausting process. We are pleased by its result. The style of the fresh material is even more unique and sounds just awesome. I would say the songs on this album are more diverse than on any of our previous album, without being chaotic.

4. I personally have to ask, why the band name Cripper?

Britta: Cripper was a working title for one of our very first songs. It is short for "Christmas Ripper", a guy who comes out at Christmas slashing all those hectic and stressed out Christmas shopping people. We loved the sound of the word and that it didn't have a predefined meaning. When it was time to name the band, it was our first choice.

5. How would you best describe your musical genre?

Dennis: Something with metal  :-P

Firstly, our style developed over the last 12 years and there are many things - perhaps mainly (bay area) thrash, (Sweden) death, plus groove and atmosphere (now a days). And secondly, I don't think it's the job of a band labeling their genre. That can be done by the fans and reviewers ;-)

6. I know that the band creates its own artwork, so tell us how you came up with this one for the album?

Christian: It was me who created the artwork for "Follow Me: Kill!". After Britta showed up with these political lyrics on some of the album's songs, I tried to create something that fits this topic. The challenge was to create something that seems loud and calm at the same time... Something that is without any sound but is ready to explode in its upcoming scene. Felt like putting the world in the focus and showing all this in a very direct and iconic way. - Kept it quite simple without dealing with too much elements on the cover. We even killed the band's name and the album's title. Brought this on a sticker instead - in order to keep the cover art blank and without any irritating typography. Luckily our label partners of Metal Blade Records agreed on our strange view :-)

Working on album based merchandise design today. To make sure we got new tees and stuff when we're celebrating "Follow Me: Kill!" release show on September 15 in pour home base Hannover.

7. Where did you record/mix the album? And why there?

Christian: Most of Jonathan's rhythm guitars and bass guitars were recorded by Jonathan himself. Vocal recordings were done by Britta, having some help by Carsten Frank with whom we worked before already.

But to record Dennis' drums, Christian's guitars and most of the leads, we went to Kai Stahlenberg at "Kohlekeller Studio", near Frankfurt / Germany once more. That was an easy decision to make, 'cause Kai did the last album recordings for our band and we are highly pleased with his work. Being a patient and focused guy, he not just engineered the shit outta it and helped the band finding right sounds but also did some guitar leads and added very atmospheric elements, that sharpened the album's character even better. Kai is also responsible for mix and master of "Follow Me: Kill!". Without any doubt, the result is the best, most organic and heaviest sound we had since yet. Right now, he puts his tiny fingers on short live intro to use on our upcoming live shows... So, let's check out what he is doing while we speak ;-)

8. When you go into the studio to record, do you have it nailed already, or do you spend some time fine tuning?

Dennis: That was a bit different for every album, partly because we developed as songwriters, musicians and instrumentalists. And also, it depends on the instrument. The drums are quite finished when I go to record them, as well as rhythm guitars. Soli and guitar leads are often worked out in the studio, the bass guitar this time as well I guess. And as vocal recording might be the most natural, or say least determined part - many nuances are being developed while recording. Although especially on this album, there was for example much more effort put into vocal pre-production than guitars.

9. Was it a long process from start to finish in the studio?

Dennis: The recording process was a bit stretched out over a few months. We didn't record everything in the same studio and the plan wasn't to record everything in one go. Also, what "long" means is of course a very subjective thing. There were some delays to the original plan because of health issues and family things of band members, but that's just how it is.

10. Do you have a favourite song on the album?

Christian: There are a lot of strong songs on this album, he he. To pick out one, I go with "Mother". This is a heavy piece of shit, for some reason fragile at the same time when you think of its content and lyrics. Groovy and dark stuff spiced up with guitar leads that were added in the studio during our recording process.

"Mother" will be our third single, so you might expect a video clip of this one in September... Stay tuned!

11. Who writes the lyrics for the songs, and where does the inspiration come from?

Britta: I am writing all the lyrics in Cripper. Inspiration is a pretty interesting thing. I feel an inner urge to create. Not just lyrics or music, it can be anything. The urge is always there, like a shadow. I can choose where I wanna focus on - lyrics for example, when we're writing an album. Inspiration can really come from everywhere and at every possible time. The rest is a state of mind. The trick is to keep the "receiving funnel" open, then everything can serve as inspiration: something you're going through personally, a phrase in a movie, a speech by a Politian, a car that's driving by, a random sentence you pick up by a stranger, something at work, a line in a book. I like to give in to all kinds of inspiration and try my best to not judge them too early and risk sorting something out that might be worthwhile. So, I draw many scribbles, take notes or talk and sing into my smartphone. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and need to write something down. Sometimes I hum something into my phone while I am on the tram. It can get weird :-)

"Follow Me: Kill!" is our most political album so far, when it comes to title and lyrics. The album title reflects the impression, that so many media, social media, political parties or other organised groups demand us to follow - follow them and their own selected and tailor-made perspective of "the truth". So many proclaim to be the beholder of this one true reality, while "the others" are all stupid (to say the least) or plain liers. It has become tough these days to find your way all this chatter and sort things out. Especially when there are certain people in charge are behaving so deafening "loud" and overly present, while others are using the surrounding noise to silently work on their own agenda. I'm speaking metaphorically, but I'm sure it's obvious what I am talking about.

12. You have played some amazing festivals (Wacken/Summer Breeze/Metaldays + More), do you enjoy playing at the festivals more, or the more intimate smaller venues?

Dennis: Everything has pros and cons. And also, we have different opinions on that. I don't like big festivals overall. Of course, it is amazing to have hundreds or even more than thousand people celebrating your music, and on big festivals the stage crew and equipment is professional, but everything can be quite impersonal and not really suited for a smaller band like us. I like the (stage) atmosphere of a smaller festival or a bigger club more.

13. Tell us something about the band that we might not know?

Dennis: Our first (and only) regular live-technician is a light guy: Kalle from Luminis Stage Lighting.

14. Do you remember your very first guitar/instrument? Do you still own it, and what kind is it?

Dennis: I am the drummer, but my first (serious) instrument is an Epiphone Les Paul sun burst. Still have, never play it. My first drum set was actually owned by my dad: unnamed flee market model with thick black paint on top of a 70s glitter finish. You can see the kick drum of that in our upcoming video release.

15. Did you take lessons, or are you self-taught?

Britta: Kind of both. When I started growling and screaming, I taught myself a lot, asked other singers at shows etc. Later I had singing lessons to learn proper breathing and all the basic stuff. I also took lessons in overtone and throat singing - I even added some overtones to "Running High" on Follow Me: Kill! I am always exploring. Singing doesn't get boring for me at all.

Dennis: Self-taught drummer. A few DVDs (pre-youtube-era), a German online forum for the theory, and being drummer-stage-tourist on concerts as inspiration.

16. Have you ever wanted to learn another instrument?

Dennis: Yes, a lot. I played the guitar and bass guitar in bands, but that's so long ago that i would even touch a guitar anymore when other people are around. A long time I wanted to learn the upright bass, piano and turntables but I think I need to get along with the fact that I just spend my time differently than practicing a new instrument.

17. What do you enjoy outside of Cripper?

Britta: Oh, many things. I love running to clear my head, riding my motorcycle, play with my other and still fairly new band Critical Mess or simply hang out with friends. I don't like many series, but once I am hooked on one I binge-watch until my eyes are red squares. At the moment, I am counting the days until season 2 of Stranger Things is aired...

Dennis: Cycling, reading, sleeping. Like every other 12-year-old.

18. Does the band do things together outside of band life?

Dennis: No  :D. We used to. But the personal preferences for listening to music partly grew apart, there are families, jobs, other things to do - and it's also nice to have your personal time a bit separated from band stuff - which is always mixed up when you meet each other even for not-band-related things.

“Pressure” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvzoQ0xQjM8

Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to Metaltitans, and we wish you much success with “Follow Me: Kill!”.