Live Interview and Photos Credit: Adrian Hextall (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
Alexander Krull (born 31 July 1970 in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg) is the lead vocalist for the German metal band Atrocity, as well as backing vocalist in the band Leaves’ Eyes. Myglobalmind caught up with Alex on the night of The Garage show in Islington on the final night of their UK tour.
MGM: Alex, many thanks for taking the time to speak to us today.
AK : No problem at all. A pleasure
MGM: So you’re on tour in the UK at the moment, where have you just come from?
AK: Last night was Birmingham
MGM: Birmingham, the Home of Heavy Metal. I saw that you’d referred to it online as that.
AK: I have a lot of buddies from Birmingham from the old school Death Metal or Grindcore scene, back in the day. It was funny, because Liv’s father was recommending, “if you are in Birmingham you have to find Ozzy’s birthplace”. Now it’s a little bit outside of Birmingham but I have to go there and take a photo for him because he is the biggest Black Sabbath fan and Liv as well actually. So that was quite something, we went there, you know, as Heavy Metal tourists.
MGM: So as fans yourself then you must be very pleased with what they have achieved over the last 12 months with new album ‘13’ and the tour as well?
AK: That’s for sure, with respect to them, everyone was doubting them, will they manage it but as I say, respect. It gives us hope as well you know. Our band was formed in 1985 but look at those guys, even the Rolling Stones as well. Times have changed, there no longer that limitation of what you cannot d or what you can do based on age of somebody. It’s just this crazy idea of the models in fashion you know, thin, no wrinkles and shit…
MGM: It’s similar with the magazines as well, they were always looking for the ‘next big thing’ before the current one had faded.
AK: Exactly, now though we, as an experienced band, can continue. You know what I don’t like in the media, it’s where in the media, the reviewer may dislike one album, one song or even just one concert and the opinion is that “no, they are no good”. But now it is no longer the case. If you look at Atrocity, you cannot judge the band by just one album because we do so many different styles with each release.
MGM: And different themes as well I believe? I think that you have 2 more albums to do as part of a trilogy following on from ‘Okkult’?
AK: Yes that is correct.
MGM: How is the writing process going with that at the moment?
AK: Well, we are currently in the middle of the second one. Then we decided we wanted to go out on tour to see the responses to ‘Okkult’ and see if we could grab some of that energy and take it home to the studio. It’s inspiring to go on tour. You start with a blank sheet of paper with just your own thoughts added. It’s like a journey and then you go from one song to the other and with ‘Okkult’ we had so many different stories to tell as well so the music as well has to be different as well, diverse let’s say!
MGM: I imagine it’s not just a case of picking up ideas for the follow up on tour as well. From what I see and hear, the lyrical content required a lot of research. That must have taken up a lot of time. I’m assuming with both follow ups you’ve put yourself into a similar position?
AK: Oh yes, that’s right. The original concept for the ‘Okkult’ trilogy came about when we recorded the ‘Atlantis’ album. It was an album about one of the greatest mysteries of the world and I thought “what if we look at all of the mysteries of the world”. For the research for “Atlantis” I got so much other stuff that was connected so I said that I thought it would be cool to also write about them as well.
My personal passion is history, old history, ancient history and the dark side of it, the dark side of mankind. Also how things, dark things have gone one, always behind the big powers, for example nowadays the NSA! Haha right??
MGM: Totally and of course if we do say any more on this subject they’ll probably know about it as well!
So it’s the last date here today, and then you move over to the states next?
AK: Actually we go , with Leaves’ Eyes, to Puerto Rico next then onto the Caribbean before heading over to Miami, Florida. Then we go through the US before heading to Canada with Moonspell on the bill as well. It’s a great package for the fans.
MGM: Looking at the dates for the tour, it all takes you up to April, May time. When are you going to find time to do everything? You have the tour, Atrocity, Leaves’ Eyes as well. Then of course there is Liv. What do you guys do to find downtime for yourselves?
AK: It is very, very hard for us so when we do find free time we always keep it for our son. It is important to do this because this is of course the lifestyle we have chosen for ourselves. In addition to all of this I also own and run Mastersound Studio where I am producing other albums as well.
MGM: And I imagine everyone else you are working with wants their piece of you as well then?
AK: Yes but I do see it as a gift to me that I can follow my path that sees me able to tour as a professional musician and also be a producer so it would be wrong for me now to complain about it.
MGM: How old, do you mind if I ask, is your son?
AK: My son is now ten years old, he just became ten. Since he was young it became the norm for him to go on tour with us and only now is he that much more aware of what both of his parents do. So he asked me the other day “are you guys famous? We are going again to America and Canada so you MUST be famous?”. So I say to him, yes, yes “we are famous, enough to tour anyway”.
MGM: Back to the tour, I see the second half of the year sees you playing the inaugural Made of Metal festival in the Czech Republic. Both bands are on the bill which is great.
AK: Yes, they asked us to play, so we will deliver! And we hope, we really hope, that we can play maybe Bloodstock or Download at least with Leaves’ Eyes but maybe Atrocity as well.
MGM: Atrocity would be well suited to Sonisphere which seems to cater for the heavier elements of the metal scene.
AK: We played one of the festival shows in Sweden where Metallica were headlining
MGM: And of course they are one of the three at Sonisphere this year.
MGM: So some final thoughts and comments before we wrap up. You’re on first tonight, I assume to give your voice time to rest before joining Leave’s Eyes later on. That must be quite a strain when you are on tour for so long. How do you look after your voice? After all they are some brutal vocals that must manage to blast out every night.
AK: Well I am maybe suffering a bit where it is cold at the moment and then you play on a super-hot stage. I suppose those I’ve been doing it for so long now I am used to it. But to look after it, I use natural remedies only, so honey and also ginger. Also lots of tea and of course I am in the right country right now for tea!
MGM: Alex, our time is up, thank you once again for speaking to us today.