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Monday, March 2, 2020

Aspidium Interview

1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Kurt: “Aspidium arose out of a solo project beginning of 2017. I already played bass guitar for many years in several bands, but in none of them, I was able to realize my personal ideas of music. Hence, at the beginning of 2017, I started to put my emotions into songs and to fulfil my own musical visions. The foundation of Aspidium had been set with the recordings of the debut album Manifestum. At the beginning planed as mere solo project, Aspidium evolved to a German/Italian band project with the entry of Benni Leiter from South Tyrol on the guitar.
In the course of 2019, I created new song material for the second studio album as a solo project, too. With the entry of Susi Hartmann playing bass guitar and Thomas Altmann on the guitar last autumn and with our new addition at the beginning of 2020, Emil Herrmann on the drums, the former solo project has been developed into a powerful line-up.”

2. You have a new album coming out in April, musically how does it differ from your previous release?
Kurt: “After the first album was more Death Metal with influences from Black Metal, the upcoming album is mere straightforward postmodern Black Metal with influences from Death Metal. However, this “development” was not planed at all, but more or less the natural outcome of our vision of music without any kind of blinders.“

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
Kurt: “Our lyrics are mainly based on socially critical issues that put their finger on the weak spots of our time. The songs on our new album deal with current topics: the brutalization of society, destruction of the environment, intolerance and the egoism of individuals. Mankind is at the crossroads between high culture and decline, it's almost midnight and Harmagedon is imminent if we don't fundamentally rethink our way of life.”

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Aspidium'?
Kurt: “Aspidium is the botanical name of a native fern, which grows in the deep shadow of the forest and reaches to a considerable size. It is fascinating that those ferns need no colourful blossoms nor fruits to survive and reproduce. To my mind, it suits me very well, and my music.”

5. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
Kurt: “For the artwork I could win Dani Hofer from South Tyrol again. I have known and appreciated his work for a long time and his art is completely on my wavelength. The artwork is strongly inspired by the biblical apocalypse, the Armageddon, the world conflagration. It symbolizes the decline of our civilization, the end of mankind and is therefore deliberately kept in black and white. In my opinion it reflects the gloomy mood and the atmosphere of the songs quite well.”

6. Originally the band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind expanding into a duo?
Kurt: “As I started to create my songs for the debut album, I met my long-standing friend and guitarist Benni Leiter in South Tyrol, drinking a beer and talking about our musical plans in the near future. I asked him if he would be interested to record the guitars for the song material and support me live on stage. He agreed and that was probably the birth of Aspidium as a band project. Due to Benni’s variety of musical and family responsibilities, he was not able to continue supporting Aspidium for a further recording. However, my intention has always been to turn the solo project into a powerful band with a fixed line-up because this way we are able to go into a reliable planning for live performances. The simple reason why Aspidium has meanwhile evolved from a project to a physical band.”

7. Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Kurt: “Without a label it is much harder for a band to get gigs. You have to manage everything by yourself and spend a lot of time into making your dream come true. On the other hand, when no label is breathing down your neck, you probably enjoy more artistic and musical freedom. Nobody is telling you what to do and you can take all decisions independently and completely without consideration of dependencies. But if the right label is knocking on the door and the conditions are suitable, I could well imagine signing a contract. We will see what the future will have to offer.”

8. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Since the foundation in 2017, Aspidium has recorded two full-length albums. The debut album called Manifestum was released 2018 and despite the fact that our music does not fit in a preconceived box of genre stereotypes, our debut was generally well received by public and media. For example, we are very pleased that the many magazines and webzines reviewed Manifestum positively in all review categories. Additionally the press and media show a great interest in our upcoming second studio album Harmagedon and we are very grateful for the support Aspidium and our music receive by the public.”

9. Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Kurt: “In the past I was involved in different projects, but if you try to handle the complete songwriting, arrangement, management and self-marketing of a project like Aspidium besides your job, sooner or later you will have to concentrate your forces with a heavy heart. But our drummer Emil participates besides Aspidium in different projects beyond metal music.“

10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Kurt: “Well, at the moment we are fully focused on the release of our second studio album Harmagedon in April 2020. Therefore, it is not the time and space to think about further recordings or musical projects currently. But nevertheless, Black Metal will always remain an essential part of Aspidium and of course I have more rhythms and melodies for new creative song material in the pipeline.“
11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Kurt: “Aspidium is unconventional and does not like to be put into a box. From my point of view rules, stereotypes and preconceived opinions are there to be broken in order to be able to develop oneself further and to create something new authentically. But of course there are artists and bands like Dimmu Borgir, Gaahls Wyrd or Hypocrisy whose music appeals to you personally and therefore influences your own creativity to a certain extent. My favorite music that I listen to nowadays is the complete range that Death and Black Metal offers.”

12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Kurt: “There are so many things happening in the world right now that might be scary. Do not let it get you down, stay courageous and stand up for what is important to you in life. Thanks for your support and who knows, maybe we will meet live on stage one day. Raise your horns!”

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