Saturday 2 November 2013

Interview with Kadavar

Hidden, tucked away somewhere in the maze-like structure of Manchester’s Deaf Institute, a gig venue, bar and restaurant which itself nestles amongst the hustle and bustle of the city centre, I take a seat next to Tiger. Sat down, the Kadavar drummer’s towering presence is almost non-existent; he is in a tranquil mind-set, beer in hand, the Jekyll to the animalistic Hyde he would later become on-stage. To the other side of me sits Wolf Lindemann, the band’s charismatic frontman who is in equally as cheery spirits. Having released their second album, Abra Kadavar in May to widespread acclaim, this is a band in a good place. Speaking to Sludgelord, the band gives the lowdown on the album that has brought them to Manchester:        

Tiger: “I would say it’s a straight rock n’ roll record without too much on it.”
Wolf: “It’s just three people in a room together, not many overdubs. We work together and we have our ideas but there’s no line we are following with our sound, it just happens. If we like the song, we play the song.”

With Nuclear Blast behind them on the new record, they are reaping the benefits of being supported by a big label, something which didn’t happen with their self-titled debut. It is a critical step on this band’s ascent.

Tiger: “The label we had before [Teepee Records], on a personal level did the same did work but now there’s so many people behind us, not just in Germany but worldwide. It’s such a big company and you can feel that, the record is out in more countries than the first record. That hardly had any promotion but it was a lot better this time around.”

Wolf: “That’s why we signed to Nuclear Blast, to get the worldwide promotion. We want to tour worldwide but that wasn’t possible with our old label because it was just one guy in Germany. We’ve just come back from the States and there are a lot of people there who know about us.”


In an age where iTunes and digital music sales dominate the industry, Kadavar are one of a few bands who are bucking that trend, with vinyl sales of their records outstripping any other format

Wolf: “I think our music works better on vinyl than it does on iTunes or CD. It’s all recorded analogue so it has an older, more vintage sound and I think people know that. People who like that kind of music will already be listening to it on vinyl and there’s kind of a vinyl revival anyway. When we released our first album it was only available on vinyl for the first 5-6 months.”

Tiger: “When we first started buying albums it was just in that transition where CDs got popular. My mum had a big record collection then bought a CD player and started buying CDs so it looked like vinyl would vanish. Then, when we teenagers in the late nineties and we started going to punk rock shows and stuff like that we noticed that people were still selling vinyl and it was cool in some way, so we got our own record player again. It was different listening to vinyl in a way because you listen to whole sides at a time and relax while you listen to it and it makes it more enjoyable.”

Wolf: “You can’t put an mp3 on your shelf at home. We know people want mp3s and CDs and that’s fine but we’re really focused on how it sounds on vinyl.”

In November last year, Kadavar released a split EP with French psychedelic band Aqua Nebula Oscillator, something which Wolf was very eager to do. 

Wolf: “Our friend Shazzula, who used to be the singer of Aqua Nebula played the Theremin Purple Sage off the first album. They were my favourite psychedelic band because they were so dark and evil and still had this Hawkwind style so I always wanted them to come and play Germany but they were too lazy. So I set up a tour for our first album and brought them over to play five shows with us in Germany. We had fun. At the end of it I said ‘this shouldn’t be the last thing we do together’ so we met again in our studio in Berlin in August last year and recorded the album together.

“Simon, our new bass player actually played for Aqua Nebula, he left the band, moved to Berlin and joined us earlier this year.”  

With the tour slowly drawing to its conclusion, the band are left to look ahead to what’s next.

Tiger: “By the end of it all we’ll have been on tour for 200 days and played around 160 shows so we need a break first of all [laughs]. We need time to relax and come down from that before we tour again next year. We’ll try to find some time to write in the spring, then in the summer while we play all the festivals, when we only play on weekends we get spend time in the studio in the week. We try to record as soon as we can but we have to find time because we want to tour as much as possible next year as well.

“On tours we collect lots of ideas, I’ll record them on my computer or something like that, and then after the tour we go to the studio and work it out and see how all these ideas fit together.”  

However, despite having two solid rock n’ roll albums to their name, their beards are one of the main talking points in interviews.

Tiger: “We get asked all the time and it’s boring; there’s no story, it’s just growing. We’d shave it every day if we wanted to, there’s nothing else to it, and it’s just a beard [laughs].”              

Words and Interview by : Phil Weller

Abra Kadavar is now available to buy from all good stockists now including Nuclear Blast Store.

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