Ravenheart Music: Interviews
CORONATUS - INTERVIEW
Two female singers with very different voices are still the very brand of Coronatus! Rock-brat Mareike Makosch and soprano lady Ada Flechtner share the job being the new front-ladies of the coronauts since early 2011. With their fourth long player ‘Terra Incognita’, a new phase of this bands history has been started and it takes the willing listener along a unique musical journey! I have been given the opportunity to interview the band, so here goes!
For those of us that have been living under a stone for the past few years, can we be introduced to the current members of the band?
Dirk: The current members of Coronatus are mostly experienced musicians between 19 and 46 years of age. This is an interesting combination, since decades of experience meet new blood. Founding member Mats Kurth behind the drums, long year member Aria Keramati Noori on guitar, are the only two from earlier albums. After the release of Fabula Magna, myself came to the band. Originally, I am playing guitar, but the “job” on Bass Guitar was open, so we made a few rehearsals, and I got the job. At that time, Coronatus had no singers, since both left a few months ago for various reasons. Now, with Ada Flechtner and Mareike Makosch, Coronatus is equipped with two outstanding singers with different voice timbres.
The band has undergone some changes in the past in the vocalist department. What are the reasons for this?
Mats: After Carmen got pregnant the second time, she felt, that she would not be able to go on with Coronatus, and so she left. About the same time, also some other members left, because they did not see any more future in Coronatus. This was very hard! One simply has to start from zero over and over again. This takes a lot of power and time from everybody involved. However, we are very happy with the troup we have now, and the chances that this line up will stay for a longer period of time is better than ever!
Can you fill the readers in regards your past releases, and give those who have not heard it, an idea as to what they can expect on your latest release?
Dirk: For Terra Incognita, we went new ways, well, at least new ways for Coronatus. Mainly, the songs are written by Aria, Mats, and me, but also the girls had a great influence. And not to forget our keyboard, Simon, for “Fernes Land”. Terra Incognita is much heavier than previous albums, and it contains also some thrash and power metal influences. You can hear that clearly on songs like “Saint Slayer” or “A dead mans tale. “ Aria did a helluva job on the guitar parts, he has a really heavy style of playing his instrument. For me it was clear, that the bass guitar must be more than just a filling below the guitar frequencies, and so for the first time in Coronatus, we recorded the bass different, with a distorted and clear sound. All in all, the album comes out very sophisticated and virtuos. I have to admit, that some songs have to be heard a few times, before it jumps into your head, but it is worth listening!
And taking into account all your releases, how would you describe your music to those that are unfamiliar with your band?
Dirk: A touch of gothic, a touch of symphonic, a touch of melodic, but finally Coronatus! Coronatus always had their own style. Some people compare it to the older Nightwish style. I would not do that, because it is different!
I know ‘TERRA INCOGNITA’ has only recently been released, but have you had any media reaction to the record so far?
Dirk: Oh yes, some really good reactions! Our first video, “Fernes Land”, was viewed more than 50,000 times within a few weeks, we receive great reviews, did tons of interviews, and received good articles in many print magazines.
Do you have any personal faves on the current album?
Dirk: Oh, that is pretty hard.... there are many favorites, to be honest, I like almost every song on the album. Maybe there are some favorites like “Fernes Land”, “A dead mans tale” or “Saint Slayer”, but these just slightly pop out between all songs. What I like most, is the chemistry in all songs, which is bundled by our dreamteam Ada and Mareike. Some of their voice work is just amazing!
‘TERRA INCOGNITA’...Can you explain it's meaning?
Aria: “Terra incognita” means “the unexplored land”. We named it like this because this album was like an experiment for us. The only members from the past, which remained, are Mats, me and Ada, who was with us at the production of our second album “Porta Obscura”. So a lot of things were new and we didn’t know how everything is going to come out, and if the whole music is going to sound totally different. The artwork shows this special condition by comparing it with a ship, which is arriving at an unknown land, that has to be explored. Nobody knows, what is going to be on this land, and what they should be prepared for. The songs on this album deal with different subjects in general, but they do have a certain connection. They mostly deal with dark and sad stories which are connected by the evil, controlling mankind sometimes.
Your music follows in the style of established groups like Nightwish and Epica. Your lyrics are in German, English and Latin. I like the way the albums are recorded using those languages. With English however, being the main language of many European bands, have you ever considered recording an album using just the English language?
Dirk: To be honest, during the songwriting of Terra, we thought about doing the entire album in German! By then, Aria was insisting of doing his songs in english, so we agreed to do another mixed album. Since we do not have an entire latin song, we added some latin choir parts and prayers to the songs.
And how do you determine which songs are sung in which language?
Dirk: This depends on the feeling of the song. German is our native language, and our expression in german is more detailed than in english. I could not think of a german text for “Saint Slayer”, this one has to be in english!
Musically, who or what are your musical inspirations at the moment, and what/who do you listen to when you are chilling out or relaxing?
Ada: Musicians/Bands that influenced me the most are probably Linkin Park, Evanescence and Pink, which also represents parts of my musical taste. I like most kinds of metal and hard rock, but also bands like Paramore are inspiring me.
Mareike: I like Metal of course. Mainly the scandinavian stuff, such as In Flames, Soilwork, Amorphis etc.... but I also love classical music, Jazz, Blues.... I think it’s important to stay openminded for all different kinds of music, because everything can have an influence and help to develop your own style.
And do any of you have time for any hobbies when not making music?
Dirk: Not much, to be honest. Music is our biggest hobby... and it will ever be.
If a magic wand was waved, who would you just love to tour and hang out with?
Dirk: I think, Nightwish would be a good opportunity to tour with. The new material is just great! And personally I like to hang out with my band mates.. We had some reeeeaaally good parties... :-)
And what are your band's plans for the future regarding future gigs?
Dirk: Doing gigs, checking for a new tour, playing, touring... We are working on several occasions.
Well, thank you for your time and good luck in all your future endeavours. We wish you all the very best for the future. Finally is there anything that you would like to say to anybody across the world via this website?
Aria: Keep on rocking like hell and never stop believing in god :) just kidding! I just wanted these two sentences to stand beside each other only once :) Guys check out our website to be always up to date and listen to our new album, because I know, you’ll like it. Hope to see you soon on our concerts and to scream at each other for metal.
Dirk: Thank you so much for giving us the chance for this interview, see u somewhere in the world soon!
Mats: Keep on rocking, metalheads, buy the CD and lets meet on our shows!
Ada: Rock on and hopefully see you at some festivals next year!!!
Mareike: Buy our new album, come to our show, have a nice day, enjoy your life!!
Dave Smith (Dec 2, 2011)