Zur Deutschen Version geht es hier.
While Germany is barely coping with summer and the heatwaves, we are presented with hot new content by KAMBRIUM. Their new single Ghost of the Machine was released today and during the shoot for this video I had the opportunity to interrogate Maxi about their upcoming album. The result? A lot more excitement for this unusual release!
The new KAMBRIUM album with the fitting name Synthetic Era will be released on July 9th 2021 and can be preordered here.
Thanks again to lightinmirror.de for the amazing impressions of this interview!
Shieldmaiden’s Voice: How did you get the idea to combine your style with Synthwave?
Maximilian Werner: We were searching for something new and we are big fans of Cyberpunk. When the hype around Cyberpunk 2077 emerged, we were hyped as well. Jan was very passionate about the Cyberpunk genre and suddenly had some ideas and it went in a very different direction from our last album. From stone-age Aztec myths to…well… future, dystopia and the question of how a futuristic world could be like? We also thought a bit about Blade Runner.
SV: You could have continued with the Aztec theme, don’t you think?
MW: We could have, yes… It’s not like we haven’t already planned the next three releases which is why we did this first. Originally, it was planned to do something different, not really in the Aztec epoch, but rather looking at technology and we put this forward because it was and is kind of cool. It would have been even cooler if it came out at the same time as Cyberpunk, like it was planned originally, but it’s not really a problem because, in the end, we wanted to do a great album and if we had rushed through it, it would have been very difficult.
SV: Aren’t you afraid that the Synthwave elements will soften your style to much?
MW: No, at our core, we are always KAMBRIUM and we will always play Epic Death Metal. For every new album, every new topic, we look for new inspirations and it’s basically just a new coat of whitewash. A new type of „spice“ is always added but we the core stays. There is no need to worry and we like to experiment after all.
Martin programmed all the Synthwave-Parts and made the sounds. It is thrilling how much he engulfed himself into that.
Jan had the general overview of the topic. What kind of sounds you can use, how they should sound and how you can use to really give the impression of being in a dystopian future.
SV: In what way did the songwriting for this album differ from the last one? Especially when looking at the pandemic?
MW: The ideas were there before the pandemic. We always make demos before we go into the studio. This time it was a bit different, because Jan had all the ideas and we all liked it which is why everything, that he has done so far, has been put to use. Me and Martin didn’t contribute as much this time. Maybe I did write one or two lines for a song, but more wasn’t possible because I was finishing my education. After Jan composed everything, we recorded our demo tracks in our own homes and because of the pandemic we had another reason to do it on our own. For example, I recorded my stuff in Dresden, sent them to Karsten in Magdeburg and after that everything was put together piece by piece.
Then we started playing all of the songs during our rehearsals, which is a main difference to the last album. We did that after our demo recordings and by doing that, we were able to see where the pieces didn’t quite fit yet, where we had to make improvements, where it wasn’t exciting enough and where it was lacking drive. By that, we made the album „live-compliant“ even before we went into the studio and therefore it was more cohesive, at least in our eyes.
SV: Which stories do you want to tell with this album?
MW: It’s very critical of society this time. What is technology able to do these days? What will it be able to 30 years from now? Or in… one moment…. 56 years? You experience individual fates in a dystopian world in a future in which countries and democracy have been replaced by corrupt corporations and virtual reality. You can connect to this virtual reality, spend your life there and leave your body behind like a lifeless shell. But we also talk about intelligent weapons, machines that have a heart – which is what Ghost of the Machine is about -, artificial intelligence, but also how you can totally drift apart by using drugs and how you can lose yourself in a swamp of internet, red light, drugs and things like that.
SV: What are your plans on how to go forward with this album? Especially since there is a big uncertainty on how thing will proceed in this pandemic?
MW: The pandemic has been (partly) okay for us, because we couldn’t play any concerts and could concentrate on the album instead. That means that in approximately one month we will most likely have the first gig [at Helmfest]. The question is how everything will go on. We have to establish a set for the concert. That is a bit complicated because it’s just this one concert but in the end we would have done that preparation anyway. It’s all about having a good gig, no matter how many will follow after that.
We also try to do as much advertising as possible for this album and will try to play a lot of songs and if there are no other live gigs then maybe we’ll be able to have a concert stream. We thought about this already. However, there will be no release show as such.
SV: That is a pity… What were the reactions like for the already released songs?
MW: My friends told me that they liked it a lot. There were a lot of releases this year already and everything was kind of similar and now there is something new, which was different from the usual sound of our band but was still our band. I think that this is the fine line which we maybe, and hopefully, have met between continuous growth and doing what has paid off in the past.
SV: What is something your fans can look forward to with the upcoming album?
MW: They can look forward to good old KAMBRIUM-style Epic Death Metal.
They can look forward to new songs.
They can look forward to a new topic, new locks and new music videos.
We do all that by ourselves now, Jan has really emerged himself in this. Due to that, we can do these things how we want them and Jan, who basically wrote this album by himself, has such a good overview that this is works so incredibly well. Additionally, we will also release a whole Synthwave-Album. The whole metal album in Synthwave and it’s not like we took the Guitar pro sequences and put them through other midi-devices. There are other sounds in it which we will also use live and which will be played during intermissions. We needed something for those intermissions and we came to a „second“ album because of this need. Cyberpunk is also Electro in a sense and we really liked these sequences. Martin experimented on that and had already done some Low-Fi before, it became so much more and thus a new album was created. By the way, there will also be a Low-Fi song on this album.
If you buy the vinyl, you will also find a song that is not the regular album.
SV: What is a reason to buy the album if you’re not a fan of Kambrium yet?
MW: If you like imaginative music, if you like Metal, if you like heavy Metal, but also if you like more melodious Metal. We are, I think, very varied, with our vocals. Martin with his growls, Karsten with his clean vocals, which always sound very angelic, we will also have some guests on this album and this is a good mix, I think. There is also a lot of guitar and keyboard action, so if you like the solos you’ll have no complains. The album doesn’t promise everything, of course, but it promises a lot, which I really appreciate. For sure, there will be a lot of variety.
SV: If you had one last message to the fans, which would it be?
MW: Stay healthy, stay stable, come to our concerts, stray loyal to other band and visit concerts because it is important and take care of yourselves!
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