EMQ’s with STILLERS TOD
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with German Avantgarde Black Metal band, Stillers Tod. Huge thanks to vocalist/founding member, Kargáist, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Kargáist, singer and founder of the Avantgarde Black Metal band STILLERS TOD. I started the band in 2006; after several line-up changes, we released our first full-length album “Katharsis” in 2009. As our next step, we planned to release a cycle of three concept albums and worked for some years on this project, but due to different reasons we decided to cancel it. That was the reason why we didn’t release more than a split album and an EP in many years, but in 2020 we came back with our second full-length album “Jupiter” which was released via the label Schattenpfade.
How did you come up with your band name?
The name is German for “The death of Stiller”. Stiller is the name of a character from Max Frisch’s novel by the same name. Stiller tries to leave his past behind by giving himself a new name and a new identity instead of facing his past and his conflicts. I believe that when we want to evolve our character, we shouldn’t run from something within us; we have to face the parts of us that we want to get rid of, so that they can finally leave us. And every time we lose these parts, an old version of us dies and a new one gets born. So, the band name is a metaphor for character development.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re lucky to live in Germany, since Germany has one of the biggest Metal scenes in the world. That makes things easier, like finding musicians or other people who share your taste in music, but sometimes it’s a little bit boring, because Metal is so mainstream here that it has lost all of its subversive character.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
It’s our second full-length album “Jupiter” that we released a few months ago.
‘Vater Mond’ (Lyric Video)
‘Angstbeißer’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Obvious influences are other (Avantgarde) Black Metal bands such as Dornenreich, Nocte Obducta, Urfaust, Lunar Aurora, Grabnebelfürsten, Nagelfar or Sabbat (JPN). But we are also influenced by other, less obvious bands, such as old school Heavy Metal acts like King Diamond, Manilla Road, Iced Earth, Bathory, Atlantean Kodex, Warlord, Cirith Ungol, Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. In our new album, there are also very obscure influences like Gothic/Dark Wave, Classical music or Portuguese folk music.
What first got you into music?
I listened mainly to Classical music when I was a child and wasn’t interested in modern pop music since it didn’t have the emotional impact of Classical. When I grew up, my sister gave me some Heavy Metal CD’s and that was the first time I heard modern music that thrilled me in the way that Classical music did. Later, I started to write poems and lyrics and felt the need to put them into music, so I started writing my first songs.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Oh, so many, haha! I always dreamed of using the strance, psychedelic, oriental-like vocals of the Urfaust singer Willem for a Stillers Tod song. Also, doing something together with political bands like Dawn Ray’d or Feminazgul would be great.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Bang Your Head in Balingen, Germany. Just because it’s my favourite festival ever.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We never got any gifts from fans. Seems they don’t like me enough to send me gifts, haha!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you for belonging to the few ones who love our weird music!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Lemmy Kilmister, of course!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I enjoy watching the ideas in my head becoming reality; it’s such an unbelievably great feeling when you’re in the recording process and see a song taking form that existed only in your head before. Also, sitting together with your friends, working on music, drinking and talking about musical ideas is great. And I also love to meet fans who tell you what they like about your music.
What I hate is that you put loads of money and effort in something – composing, recording and all the promotion stuff – without getting much back. We’re underground and we don’t play live, so the main feedback we get is to see how many people ordered our records or clicked our songs on Spotify – and, of course, the reviews. I hope that we’ll play live one day, because that gives you a completely different connection to your fans.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The money lies in the hands of big corporations. This problem even increased since the record companies lost their influence due to the rise of music downloads; bands don’t sell records anymore; they upload their music for streaming and downloading. But all the money for clicks and downloads goes into the pockets of the streaming companies – even the biggest bands don’t earn much money with streams. So, I would either create streaming platforms that help the musicians to earn money with their music or we should just destroy capitalism to solve the problem.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
One? Not enough, haha! I’ve got my two all-time number ones: Iced Earth’s “Night of the Stormrider” and Dornenreich “Her von welken Nachten”.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Depends. I love Vinyl, but I think they should always come in combination with downloads so that you can have both – the physical copy and the digital version (yes, all of the Vinyl of our bands come with a download code!). With CD’s, you already have a two-in-one-package, because they are both digital and physical; but to give you the beauty of a Vinyl record, a CD version should come in cool digipack, with a big booklet and with passionate artwork. In the times of downloads and streaming, no one needs these shitty jewel cases anymore.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Since we always had problems with finding a drummer, we never played live, sadly. But I hope that this will change in the future.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I work as a graphic designer and illustrator and create logos and artworks for bands.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Manuel Trummer (guitarist of Atlantean Kodex), Victor Klemperer (philology professor, famous for his critics about the language of the Nazis), Hermann Hesse, C. G. Jung and Evíga (singer and guitarist of Dornenreich).
What’s next for the band?
We’re working on a new split album. We don’t reveal yet what the other band will be, but I already can tell you that the songs on the split will have a concept about political subjects.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Seems to be a British thing, I had to google it. So, I might not be a Jaffa Cake expert, but if they call themselves Cakes, they seem to identify as cakes, and if they identify so, I won’t question it.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you too!
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