KRYPTERIA interview with drummer S.C. Kuschnerus (April 2007)
How did the band get together and how did you pick the name Krypteria?
Kuschi: KRYPTERIA is a German-Korean four piece featuring Ji-In at vocals and on piano, ed Chris at the guitar, Frank on bass and myself on drums. But how did this thing get started ? Well, Chris, Frank and myself first had a band together more than a decade ago and despite not working together all the time we never lost contact. So when the idea came up between Chris and myself of forming a new band in 2004 it didn’t take us long to call up Frank and invite him to join as our bass player. Now all we needed was an creative singer with a multi-faceted voice, a knack for energetic performances and a great character. Luckily Ji-In, who we had met a year prior to that, fit that bill just perfectly so we asked her if she was be interested in jumping aboard – to cut a long story short, fortunately she did and we have been a happy headbanging family ever since (laughs). So far we’ve had quite some success in Germany as well a couple of Asian countries and now we’re hoping to touch the rest of the world with our music. We’ll try to achieve that with the worldwide release of our new album “BLOODANGEL’S CRY” and by touring as much as possible so people can get a first hand impression as to what this group and our music stand for. The name KRYPTERIA originally is derived from Greek and means something like “mystery”. Our primary idea was to pick a name that would reflect our musical style which has been described as a unique mixture of heavy rock and gothic metal with classical elements spiced up with a touch of musical drama. However we also liked the phonetic ring to the name and last but not least it makes for a pretty cool logo (laughs).
Many of your lyrics seem at once epic and personal like “The night all Angels cry”. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Kuschi: You’re absolutely right, there actually is a very personal side to the “BLOODANGEL’S CRY” story. It’s a story of a young woman who faces an important decision in her life, chooses the wrong path and has to suffer through and deal with the consequences. This story indeed has an autobiographical touch to it – Ji-In one day was approached behind our backs by a slick Korean manager who wanted to pry her loose from KRYPTERIA in order to have her pursue an entertainment career on the Asian market. Ji-In, the girl with the golden heart as I like to refer to her, could have made a ton of money agreeing to that offer but probably would also have had to betray some of her ideals and principles. Anyway, she vehemently declined, stuck with us and informed us about the manager’s plan who we later found out was indeed a shady creature with a criminal track record. Anyway, one evening we sat together and started toying with the idea of what might have happened to her if she had indeed taken that offer ? So on “BLOODANGEL’S CRY” we tell the story of her making the wrong choice and follow her on her way down. Because we were so deeply affected by the whole situation ona personal level the lyrics on the album are truly coming straight from our hearts. The lyrics ended up pretty graphic although we put a lot of emphasis on the fact that we’d love the listener to take those lyrics to another level in his imagination and maybe even discover parallels to his own life.
Where did you get the idea to combine what at first seem such disparate music parts as Gregorian Chants and hard rock ?
Kuschi: We just wanted to combine all the different musical influences we grew up on, that being heavy rock, metal, pop, musical theatre and classical music. And since two members of the band, Ji-In and Chris, are classically trained, infusing this particular side to KRYPTERIA’s sound comes very naturally especially with Ji-In who went to the conservatory studying classical singing and piano. As it turned out recording those choir parts isn’t too much of a stretch for us cause Ji-In, Frank and myself all have a ton of experience in doing vocal arrangements and recordings on many different projects, plus Chris being a very accomplished and clever producer really came in quite handy as well, as you can imagine. While it is a very time consuming process adding all those vocal layers to the songs it is also great fun creating these walls of sound. And as it turned out people seem to view this merging of modern and classical elements as sort of the trademark for the KRYPTERIA sound.
Your album was just released internationally is there any plans for your to tour outside your native county?
Kuschi: Oh absolutely ! See, we hope to make music that touches people, and just putting an album on the shelves without showing up we think won’t cut it. Our objectve is to introduce ourselves to as many people as possible in a live setting so that whoever is interested in KRYPTERIA’s music will get a chance to see what this band is all about on stage. We’re excited about our ever-increasing number of upcoming international dates in Asia and Europe, but we also are intent on coming to the USA and perform for the American fans later this year. But aside from the group’s ambitions, every single member of KRYPTERIA loves to visit foreign countries and check out different cultures. So needless to say the four of us hope to cross the Big Pond sooner rather than later cause to us the United States are an amazingly fascinating country.
When you were growing up who did you listen to and what do you feel are the band’s primary influences?
Kuschi: We all love Queen, Deep Purple, ABBA and Metallica and of course appreciate classical music. Actually, that information might also help to somewhat define the musical road KRYPTERIA is travelling. Me personally I also get a kick out of Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, good old fashioned Motown stuff as well as recordings from the Big Band era. But in addition to the aformentioned bands we all appreciate a heavy dose of Kiss, Meat Loaf, Iron Maiden, Queensryche and those type of acts who always brought something extra to the table in terms of the entertainment aspect.
Which do you like better making albums or playing live?
Kuschi: Hmmm, that’s a tough one. While we all enjoyed working on “BLOODANGEL’S CRY”, especially because our record company allowed us complete creative freedom, we always felt the urge to present the new songs to a live audience and couldn’t wait to get back on the road. The feedback you get and the fun you have on stage is just priceless. But having said that it’s actually writing AND performing your own music what we love doing, so as long as nobody forces us to pick just one we’ll just continue to go for the whole enchilada.
If people want to learn more about the band where’s a good place to go?
Kuschi: Reading this piece you’re obviously already at a very good place (laughs). If you like more first-hand information on KRYPTERIA I recommend you go to both www.krypteria.de and www.myspace.com/krypteria. But in order to get an idea what this band truly is about I guess you best come to a show. See, on stage we are a pretty energetic bunch so even when we assume for a minute that musically KRYPTERIA is not quite up your alley there’s something to this band’s live persona that might win you over nevertheless, especially with our microphone-wielding firecracker going wild (laughs).