Trendcrusher recently had the opportunity to have a chat with the mighty Hannes Grossmann, he of such bands as Hate Eternal, Obscura, Necrophagist, and of course Alkaloid fame! A drummer of legendary status to be sure, let us welcome him to our humble abode shall we!
Hi Hannes, great to talk to you, huge fan right here, so very much appreciated. The new one has been hailed as nothing short of sheer brilliance by most of our staff here at The Metal Wanderlust just to let you know!
Thank you very much! I appreciate the praise, haha.
You released your second album, “Liquid Anatomy” last month. How does it feel now after all the positive feedback to the album?
I can say that listening to the album still feels fresh. I handled the production, so I recorded the album and did the mix, so usually at this point I usually wouldn’t wanna listen to an album. With this one it’s different. I feel like this is the album I wanted to make since I started playing drums. So yeah, we’re very happy with the positive reception, since it really mirrors how we feel about the record ourselves.
“Liquid Anatomy” comes 3 years after the release of your debut album, “The Malkuth Grimoire”. What was the writing process for the album ? Did you try anything different?
Actually no. We mainly work on distance, so everyone is writing his songs and then presents them in a more or less finished version. That’s how we did it on the debut album and the process hasn’t changed. But of course we explore each band member’s individual musical DNA more and more, so this album feels more like a unity, even though we didn’t write it together. In the recording process everyone brings his own talent into the songs, so that’s why we’ll always sound like Alkaloid, no matter what style the song is or who wrote it.
The stand out track from the album for me is ‘Rise of the Cephalopods’ which clocks in close to 20 minutes. How did you go about writing and recording the track?
I wrote the music for that song and I used note sheets to write it. Then I gave the finished piece to the other guys to learn and record it. That’s basically how we write most of our songs. For this one I just had the idea to write a long song. That was it, I had no riff, no melody, nothing. Just the wish to write a long piece. So I started to toy around with chords that I took from a Rachmaninov piece called “The Isle of the Dead”. I notated the main chords and lines in his piece and changed it into something that sounds like me. By that I had other ideas which followed new ideas. Eventually I ended up with this 20 minute piece, that has very little to do with Rachmaninov’s piece after all. Recording it was difficult because the song is very complex. But in the end it wasn’t much different from recording the other songs, just a bit longer.
After the successful release of your debut album, did you feel any pressure while writing or recording “Liquid Anatomy”? If yes, how did you deal with it?
No, we strictly write what we like. It’s almost impossible to please everyone, but it’s easy to please 5 guys in a band – well or at least it should be if you’re on the same page. The only pressure we’ve put on ourselves was to produce the best album possible. But that’s a given on any record I do.
What’s currently on your playlist?
Actually my third solo album which I started to mix. I’m gonna release it by year’s end. Now I just have to listen to the raw tracks over and over again, that’s typical for a mix. Other than that I just listen to random stuff. With things like Spotify it’s really easy to create a playlist. Right now I also listen a lot to the 60’s music I grew up with.
With each band member being a part of multiple bands, how do you prioritize time for Alkaloid?
If something feels as important as Alkaloid, then it’s just natural that we want to take time for it. It’s difficult to work out each one’s schedules to match, but so far it has always worked out.
Do you have any shows/tours planned for the rest of the year? If So where so we can all get excited?
We do have some plans, stay tuned for more information shortly. We also get a lot of requests from countries all over the world, so we thought about capturing a live performance and putting it online, so that fans can see us live even when they live in countries where bands usually have a hard time going to.
Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final things you would like to share with us?
Thank you for having me.
Again very much appreciated! Thank you! Indeed folks, “Liquid Anatomy” is a work of art as far as we are concerned, so check it out right here, and also grab the debut if you haven’t already, as it too is a masterpiece!