This time MetalRecusants talks with a Black Metal band hailing from Northern Germany. In about a month you will be able to listen to their brand new and second full-length release “Sarkomand”.
Here’s the chat with Ctulu’s guitarist Arne:
Dom: Ctulu are not a very well known band (especially here in Cyprus)… tell us a bit about how the band came to life!
Arne: Good evening Dominic!
Well, Ctulu rose from the depths of the oceans in the last nights of December 2004. Mathias, the lead guitarist, is the only founding member to take part in the band. The rest of us constantly entered the cult one by one until the end of 2010. We had a lot of line-up difficulties caused by impotent members in the past, but now Ctulu and its line-up seems to be as strong as never before and I hope it’ll last. This is the discography until now:
2005 Zins der Zeit (demo, self-released)
2006 Freie Geister (demo, self-released)
2008 Freie Geister (full-length, Northfire Records/Twilight Distribution)
2011 Sarkomand (full-length, to be released on April 24th, 2011 via Godeater Records)
Dom: Some bands usually have a “main composer”; while with other all members take an active role in the writing process… How does it look with Ctulu?
Arne: The leads and structures of every track are arranged by Mathias and the other instruments are more or less up to their masters. The lyrics are added in the end when the whole track and its mood is able to evoke certain visions.
Dom: Are you all Lovecraft fans?
Arne: Quite frankly, I’d say we’re all, at least, gathering inspirations by Lovecraft’s works. Some read more, some less. Those who write the lyrics read more of course. But there are also a lot of other influences that inspire us to write lyrics.
Dom: A question I had stuck in my mind from the beginning when I discovered you guys: Why “Ctulu” and not “Cthulhu”? Is it something similar as to why Metallica named their song “The Call of Ktulu” instead of “… Cthulhu” as they were afraid that Cthulhu or the Devil would appear? (At least that’s what rumours say)
Arne: Haha, no we’re not afraid of Cthulhu’s appearance, which by the way may occur in 2012. The Maya calendar will be at its end and rumours say Cthulhu shall awake on December 21st, 2012. In that case, we’re of course obliged to prepare a certain “welcome” and how should that be better done than with bone crushing and seastorming extreme metal?
The spelling of “Ctulu” was written last when the band was started and was easy to transform into a band logo. Luckily, we were able to create a very good one which constantly earns us peoples’ appreciation.
For the thing with the devil, I can just tell you I don’t believe in the devil, haha!
Dom: Something I really appreciate is Ctulu sticking to writing lyrics in German – your native language! Although some foreigners might not like this as they prefer to understand the lyrics, I believe it demonstrates Ctulu as non-conforming to the international metal language. Is this so? Are there plans for English lyrics?
Arne: Well thank you, but I don’t think the international metal language is English. I think the international metal language is international! I cannot imagine any other musical genre where there are so many artists who write lyrics in their native languages. And this is great! – Especially when you see bad English lyrics. But not only because of that as I cannot express the right feeling of a track in English. Not because I am bad at it but because I’m better in German, which is quite logical.
And at least for me, being interested in languages, listening to foreign metal is a great opportunity to learn more about a country and its culture without being bored. ‘Cause the key to a culture is and will always be the language. I was led to learn various languages more or less directly by listening to certain metal tracks.
And I think it’s also possible for those who are not able to speak German to at least get the bottom line of any track we write. German is very much linked to English and there are plenty of words that can be derived from it. Besides, a lot of people still learn German at school. You just have to deal a little with it and it was never easier than today with translating machines and so on.
There are no plans for English lyrics at the moment.
Dom: I noticed that Jan is also drumming for the Greek thrash act Released Anger! What caused his departure from the band? Is he now only a “live” member?
Arne: Jan moved to Athens about two years ago and we had to replace him with Martin for the distance was simply too far to still play and rehearse with Jan. At the moment, we’re talking about a farewell gig to officially close this chapter. But Jan will always have the opportunity to work with us again if he should return, no matter how this cooperation would look like. But at the moment, he feels quite good over there and he also plays in another Attic Black Metal band called Vigour.
Dom: Another change in the line-up is the vocal and bass duties. Any reasons, which we could know about, that caused this change?
Arne: The vocalist and bassist had to leave the band due to various reasons. After all, this was the right step as can be clearly seen and heard when Rolf enters the stage or is heard on a recording. He is such a great frontman and fits just a hundred per cent in the band. Also the vocals sound way better than they did on “Freie Geister”. A new bassist is still not found and the live ceremonies at the moment are held with a session player. We owe Paulo and Benny our deepest thanks for helping us out in 2011.
Dom: So you are releasing a new album titled “Sarkomand”… When can we get our hands on this album? What should we expect from it? Is it going to be of similar lyrical theme as Freie Geister?
Arne: Yeah, “Sarkomand” will arise from its ruins on April 29th at the Ragnarök Festival in Lichtenfels, Bavaria! You shall not expect any less than fast, melodic, but yet dark and atmospheric arrangements without any keyboards.
It’s going to have a red thread based on Lovecraft’s dreamland themes and almost every track is linked to the ocean. Prepare for seastorming extreme metal from the depth of your worst nightmares!
Preorders can be done via firstname.lastname@example.org!
Dom: Thanks for your time Arne! We hope to see you raise Cthulhu from its underworld sometime soon in Cyprus… Anything you would like to say to the Cypriot Metalheads?
Arne: I’ll have to thank you for these interesting questions!
Well, there are already some plans for storming Cyprus in 2012, but nothing is confirmed yet so you maniacs still have to be patient. Other than that, I can just say that you have a great festival with Metalmorphosis in Limassol – go there! I would if I could…