By now you have probably realised that I am pretty much obsessed with this band. Well, I do have my reasons. Young (and old..) bands which give out their best in the studio and at live performances and manage to provide to the listener something professional and talented should be supported as much as possible. Ctulu, I believe, is such a band. Although I haven’t witnessed their live “ceremonies” yet, their two full-lengths released so far prove that this band is seriously working their asses off. Released in 2011 last year, their second full-length, Sarkomand for me is one of the best albums released last year (out of those that I listened to). You may read what I think of it right here. In less than a month, I will be attending their show in Limassol, Cyprus and in two months their show in London, UK (…and so shall you!). Therefore, I was obliged to conduct my second interview with guitarist/vocalist Arne. Enjoy…
Dom: Arne! It’s been almost a year since our last (and first) interview! What’s new, any changes took place?
Arne: Good evening, Dom! Well we had to face line-up changes yet another time and honestly I’m tired of talking about that, haha! I hope we will continue with Lasse taking over the bass duties and I’m sure that Mathias and I are able to take over Rolf’s legacy. We will never be able to outrange him, but I’m convinced that we will at least be a good replacement.
Dom: Are you pleased with the results of Sarkomand?
Arne: Definitely. It was a fucked up feeling to play shows over 3 years without being able to offer the listeners what we are really able to do on CD. Freie Geister is a good output though, but it’s light years away from what Sarkomand sounds like, both in terms of sound and the arrangements itself. So the moment when we held the album in hands, when we we’re able to show what we really are capable of, that moment was great. The critiques for Sarkomand where overwhelming, so we can definitely say that we’re satisfied with this record.
Dom: You played some gigs and festivals promoting that album last year. How did that go?
Arne: We released the album at Ragnarök Festival in Bavaria, which was a great thing after we had played there back in 2010. We were able to present ourselves the way we have wanted to for a long time and the album sold very well. For the rest of the year we just played more or less small indoor shows. We had an open air in Southern Germany though, which somehow got stuck in my mind.
Torn Your Ties Festival was a satanic open air with only true Black Metal bands, so actually not really the best audience for us, but they really did celebrate our music and it was a very nice evening. We arrived in the early evening and the sun was burning as aggressively as I’ve never experienced it in my life before. Then we played at late sundown and from the stage we saw the stars in the sky, all those satanic fires burning on the festival-site and we played the only melodies the audience heard that evening, haha! This was very atmospheric indeed and I doubt the sight TO the stage could’ve been as marvellous as the sight FROM the stage.
Dom: Talking of gigs, you have two gigs abroad already confirmed for this year: a headlining show in Cyprus and a slot at the “Infernal Damnation Fest” at the legendary The Underworld in London where Enthroned will be headlining. You must be quite pleased with that!
Arne: Yes, I am! Both shows were kind of unexpectedly taking form for us because we negotiated a lot, then there was months of silence and after that, we carved the gigs in stone in just a bunch of mails. So it’s really great for us to get out of Germany and play more abroad. I want to thank Paul and Elena for making these shows happen!
Dom: What shall the audience expect of Ctulu at both shows?
Arne: Well, in London we just got a kind of a short set, so those guys will be confronted with nothing else but total fury! Cyprus will be able to really dive deeper into our back catalogue and as we’ve already announced, we will exclusively play some tracks of our unreleased album and we will also go back to our first demo “Zins der Zeit” and play something off that. So I’m sure both audiences will be satisfied!
Dom: Will your new die-hard fans be able to purchase your merchandise at the gigs?
Arne: Sure they will! We will also sell a limited amount of “Zins der Zeit”-demos exclusively in Cyprus.
Dom: Are there any plans for other shows this year?
Arne: We are booking some more shows right now, but I don’t want to announce anything yet before it’s really confirmed. Usually, half the plans never get realised.
Dom: What can you tell us about the music and lyric of the album? Will it be a continuity of Sarkomand?
Arne: Yes, the music and lyrics are still written by Mathias and me, so our distinct Ctulu-leitmotifs are still the same. There will be enough of new elements though to keep it interesting for those who already know us. At least the fact that we have a new drummer on this recording and two new vocalists will make it sound a little different. We experimented with some techniques such as recording with 2 amplifiers per guitar and I can tell that the guitar sound will be even harsher than on Sarkomand! We dealt a lot with the Esoteric Order of Dagon in the lyrics, so you will experience a lot of the mood and feelings that “Arckanum der Tiefen” evoked on Sarkomand.
Dom: Ctulu has played in Greece before… how was that experience?
Arne: When Ctulu came to Greece, I wasn’t yet part of the band, but I can tell that they were welcomed very enthusiastically and they sold everything they brought. We’re eager to play Greece again, but it’s harder getting a show there than anywhere else at the moment.
Dom: Which album release are you looking forward to the most this year?
Arne: Good question. I am not following any new stuff at the moment (actually in general), so I could just say our own album, haha. I would like to hear Divide’s or Nebukadnezar’s debut albums but those guys keep taking their time. I don’t listen too much to Death Metal, but I can really recommend these two bands. At the moment, I’m staying up with Ctulu, dealing all day long with Ctulu-related stuff and then I go to bed thinking about Ctulu. The last thing I need to listen to now is even more Extreme Metal, haha!
I like it when songs or albums breathe a certain historical spirit. This sounds a little cheesy, but that’s just the point! It’s a little like a good old cheese. The album has to age, to maturate, to prove that it’s not just good from today’s point of view. It should also be good from tomorrow’s point of view; or even in thirty years. I’m listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull at the moment and that’s already enough for the little time that’s left.
Dom: You recently had trouble with your guitar company? Is there anything you could tell us about that?
Arne: I had indeed. We had an endorsement deal with Emperion guitars from Trieste, Italy and they did absolutely NOT deliver any usable stuff. They rather delivered me with used metal parts (not even the right ones), a horrible finish, a horrific weighting and so on. You can see pictures of this in the sevenstrings.org forum when you search for “Emperion mail?” I do heavily warn against this firm. Use your money to order a decent instrument from a decent dealer. Else you’ll learn a lesson, I can tell…
Dom: Thanks for your time and see you soon in Cyprus and England!!!
Arne: I have to thank, see you there!