Between The Buried And Me, Black Messiah, Dark Tranquility, Dennis Baron, Destruction, Endzeit Festival, Entombed, Essen, Essen-Altenessen, Final Depravity, Firefield Records, Gothenburg-Sound, Harasai, Henrik Tschierschky, Iced Earth, In Flames, Jens Basten, KadavriK, Martin Wittsieker, Melodic Death Metal, Nicolas Becker, Night In Gales, Niklas Pietsch, Orden Ogan, Psychotic Kingdom, Sebastian Levermann, Sodom, Tankard, The I-Conception, Vader, Wortmord, Yannick Becker, Zeche Carl
These young fellas started off as a school band, back in the days when the Gothenburg-Sound reached its peak. Now at an average age of about 20, Harasai are just about to release their second full length Album. Their Debut from 2012 has got the Band busy travelling all over the place.
Working on new songs and promoting “The I-Conception”. With the year slowly fading out, vocalist Martin Wittsieker took some time to talk about the present devepolment.
Martin, tell us about the past few months. A lot has happened for you guys: For one Guitarist Henrik quit, but has finally been “replaced”. What do you think about the general developement?
Hey! We’ve been busy rehearsing and learning the new songs for the second album which will be recorded in December/January. So far it seems that it will turn out as a killer of an album but there’s still much of work ahead. Henrik quit the band after the last show of the year 2010 at a festival in Switzerland together with Vader, Destruction and a whole lotta more. He was a great guitar-player and we like to thank him for two awesome years of concerts, tours and recordings. We’ve been sad seeing him leave the band, but for us this was no reason to slow own our future plans. After a while Dennis Baron from Final Depravity joined in as a live-member and finally joined the band as permanent replacement in Summer.
How was the response to the debut, did much change regarding it?
The reactions of the press were great. It’s warming my heart that people still care about the Melodic Death genre, which seemed to be in a hiatus or something like that for some years now. The debut album was some kind of tribute work to the bands we grew up with and still honour today. After the release of the album there was a little gain of popularity which led us to some great shows (eg. with Tankard, Entombed, Iced Earth) this year, what gave us the opportunity to play in front of bigger crowds than ever before.
Will you be working with the same people again (production wise and so on) for the upcoming album and will there be guest musicians as well?
The next album will have a different sound than “The I-Conception” due to the fact that our skills in playing and songwriting evolved to a higher level. Production duties will be handled by Sebastian Levermann from German power metallers Orden Ogan. The mastering will be done at another studio. Right now we’re discussing different master versions we got within the last weeks and then we’ll decide whose hands will give this fuckin opus the sound it deserves. By now I think there will be two of our closest friends adding some guest-tunes: Jens Basten from Night In Gales and Niklas Pietsch from KadavriK.
How soon after the release did the band start working on new material?
We started writing songs directly after the “The I-Conception” was finished. But due to the fact, that we played live nearly every weekend and first concentrated on promoting the album live it took a bit of time to bring the new ideas into form. The songs are developed by Yannick (guitar) and Nico (drums) alone at home before we start playing them and finally create vocal arrangements, lyrics and stuff. The songwriting for the second album started in the end of 2009 and was finished in Summer 2011.
“The I-Conception” as the title implies is a concept album, how about Harasai’s new baby?!
As far as I can talk about this I can tell you that the new album will be entitled “Psychotic Kingdom” and has something like a red line that’s drawn throughout the lyrics. It’s not a concept album the traditional way, but there are a lot of topics that have to do with our everyday life in a globalized world of social poverty, internet addiction, greyness, depression and false ideals. There’s also some kind of a fantasy story how this worlds comes to an end.
What can you say about the working progress at this point?
Everything is great right now. We’re rehearsing the new songs as often as possible, meet up for private meetings with beer and food etc. , prepare other things like the relaunch of the website and band-photos to totally focus on the band work. It’s a great working situation that we didn’t have for a while now.
Is there a release date set allready (by the record company, in case you have it published via Firefield Records again)?
To be honest: We don’t know by now. We’re not that kind of band that gets nervous of the fact that there’s no record company to help us with strong hands and iron will to evolve the band. Harasai is our own brain-child and a way to express feelings, thoughts and anger. But of course we hope to find a proper record label that has the strength to still sell real records and send us on tour.
What are the plans for the next weeks and months, any gig coming up soon?
The last show before we enter the studio will take place at our home base in Essen-Altenessen at the legendary Zeche Carl, which was one of the most important German metal venues in the 80’s and 90’s. We gonna share the stage with Sodom, Black Messiah and Wortmord there.
Anything else Harasai wants to let the world know?!
Between The Buried And Me are damn fuckin’ awesome bastards!! Tightest live band of all times ;-)
Thanks so much for doing this Interview with me!