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.:Interviews:.

18/12/2006 – Interview with CONTRADICTION

And after SPELLBOUND and RECKLESS TIDE, it's time for CONTRADICTION (official website), the third Thrash band on Armageddon Music, to answer some questions. :-) Building on the road to Thrash heaven, CONTRADICTION has been struggling and fighting for it since the end of the 1980s, with the usual line-up changes, break-ups and whatever more. So far they managed to record five albums and one EP. Armageddon Music thought they were great and offered them a contract: "The Voice Of Hatred" (2005) and "The Warchitect" (2006, see the review at this location) were the two logical results. With this new record a new era has started and hopefully this can increase their popularity among Thrash fans. A tour with a bigger name - KREATOR is on the wishlist - would certainly help a lot.

I asked vocalist/guitarist Oliver 'Koffer' Lux about the band, their popularity (or lack thereof), upcoming Thrash bands in Germany, happenings in the world, the new CONTRADICTION album (duh! :p) and some other smaller things.

Contradiction logo

Hi Oliver, how are you? Satisfied with "The Warchitect" or do you feel certain things should have been done differently, but couldn't because of budget, time or any other reason?

Yes, I am satisfied with "The Warchitect", because we've reached the best result we can get with the budget we had for the production. In fact the costs for "The Warchitect" have increased, because we decided to remix the album after the first attempt. But in the end, we are satisfied with the outcome. I guess you too.

contradcition bandHow would you compare it with the previous works? In addition, looking back in history, which is the record you're most proud of and why?

I think that we just have perfected our style, our vision of how Thrash Metal has to sound. During the long history of CONTRADICTION we made 5 albums and 1 EP. Most of them are sounding different and we made some experiments, especially in the times when new musicians joined the band but with "The Voice Of Hatred" we decided to play more faster songs, with more melodies and more aggression. I am most proud of the new album, because we made it very fast and we have a couple of very strong songs on it. I think more than on our previous releases.

Do the songs on "The Warchitect" all cover the subject 'war' or is there a red line throughout the album?

Yes, there is a red line throughout the album, I would like to say, there is a red line throughout the whole lyrics we made on all our albums. But it is not a concept album. And not every song covers the subject war, but nearly every song is about a society related subject. E.g. we made the song "The Warchitect" about George W. Bush, we tried to write the lyrics as the thoughts he might have in his mind, when he sends soldiers into other countries. "Tunes of War" is about the social problems we have in Europe and that I think that it is time to fight against them. Joblessness, lack of education and increasing poorness in a colder society are problems we have to fight. If you don't have the lyrics in your booklet you can read them on www.the-warchitect.com

A somewhat related question: I just read that in Offenburg an 18-year old boy was found dead. Suicide or killed by someone else. He seemed (!) to have posted a message some days ago on the internet threatening to cause a riot in a college on the 5th of December. The boy was armed, with a family's weapon. Maybe you read it too. What's your opinion on the violence in the world and especially in schools where one student suddenly decides to shoot several fellow-students (see also USA, Canada, ...)?

I don't know why this guy has done this. Maybe he was just lonely, left alone by his family. I don't think that our world is becoming more violent, it's just that we recognize the violence more by omnipresent mediareports through TV and internet. There were more violent times in the past. Just remember the dark ages... In Germany politicians say that computergames, esp. egoshooters are responsible for such deeds, but if 25 million germans, who are playing this games will start to become killers we will have a really big problem. It will happen from time to time and nobody can prevent this.

Going back to the album... How do you link the artwork of the new album with the songs?

Ohh, the artwork shows an image of aggression and our lyrics. Even the songs are angry and aggressive. I think that the artwork, the skull, as a symbol of death, the destructive industries, as a symbol of environmental damages and the dark mood, as a symbol of the negative things happening on this world are very well linked to our sound.

The Warchitect coverWhen was the material for "The Warchitect" written? For the recordings, did it all happen in one shot or did you take breaks from the studio to do some gigs or something else?

The songwriting started in August 2005 and was finished in october 2005. We started with recordings in february/march and finished in april/may. We didn't the recording in one shot, we just made takes for it, when we had the time, that means after work and family duties. In fact "The Warchitect" took 3 to 4 weeks recording time. In June I recorded the voices during 8 days and in july Joachim made the first mix. The second mix was made in the absurd studios in Hamburg in august/september 2006. And of course we played a couple of shows in the meantime.

When composing/writing songs, is it all for you or do the others also contribute with ideas for the lyrics or the music? In addition, what inspires you to write songs about? (books, tv, stories from people, ....)

At first Oliver and me are composing the songs in my small homestudio. We make some riffs on guitar, we edit some rough ideas for the drums. Then our drummer starts to learn the songs with a rough mix I make for him. When the songs are fixed and arranged I start with the lyrics. I'm inspired by books, TV, newspapers and by stories I've heard or I've lived. "Your God" is, for example, inspired by people I know through my work in a hospital. It is about drugs, about what drugs are doing to them.

How important are reviews for you when composing new songs? Do you take certain criticism to heart and adjust your musical course or do you make music the way you want to?

Reviews, hmmm. When we are writing songs we remember what people said to us, but reviews. No, they are too different to take them to adjust our course. When you read the reviews about "The Warchitect" you will find opinions between "this is crap" and "this guys are the new Thrash Metal gods". Who is right? A review is the personal opinion of the writer, that's it. When we are writing songs we want to fix that the song must work during a CONTRADICTION liveshow and of course: THAT WE LIKE IT!!!

CONTRADICTION has been active since 1989. Was it always your desire to start a band and did you expect it last until and beyond 2006? Related to this question: which artists/bands were your 'idols' and/or gave you the imaginary push to carry on forming an own band/becoming a musician?

When we started CONTRADICTION it was impossible to know how long the band will exist. We had no expectations into it. We just started with the wish to play metal. I had a few other bands in the same time I played with CONTRADICTION and now I wonder that we are still at hand. For me, I expect that I will make music as long as I can hold a guitar in my hand. Our idols were bands like MEGADETH, METALLICA, SLAYER, KREATOR and many other bands, but the ignition to form a band was that we needed something to spent our time with.

A lot of vocalists have taken lessons to improve their singing, growling, screaming, etc... Did you ever do this too and if not, would you consider taking them?

No. Yes, hargh, hargh, hargh. That will be funny, to go to an old mummy in a music scool to take some lessons in growling. Maybe, if I have the time one day I will do something like this, maybe I will take some lessons to get more into music theory.

When talking about the German Thrash bands, it's always the big three that pop up: KREATOR, DESTRUCTION, SODOM. It seems your career didn't go as 'easy' as theirs, right? Or am I underestimating things?

No, you don't underestimate things. From the early eighties ‘til 1990 a lot of bands got popular in the Thrashscene. It was something like a boom. The bands you mentioned are hard working musicians and they had a good career. We started the band in '89, after the boom of Thrash Metal, when most of the bands were established. And we had some reverses to deal with. Between 1996 and 2000 we tried to push the band into the market again and again and it was very hard to get a backstroke again and again, so that we decided to make a break for a year. We just made rehearsals and wrote some songs and released in 2001 "Contraminated", our first self recorded work. Than we had a break again and started in the beginning of 2003 with new songs and a lot of liveshows. From this time CONTRADICTION gets more and more known in the metalworld.

The newer generation is also getting more attention: ABANDONED, DELIRIOUS, SPELLBOUND to name just those. What do you think of them or other upcoming Thrash bands? Do they have the same potential and strenght to last as long as the big three?

Of course they have the same musically potential, but I think that they won't get as popular as the big three. Today there are thousands of bands and every band wants to play live, wants to sell CDs and all this in a time when many old bands start their reunions and as if that's not enough CD sales are collapsing. You can imagine how many CDs bands like ABANDONED, DELIRIOUS, SPELLBOUND and CONTRADICTION are selling, when you know how many units a band like SODOM or DESTRUCTION have sold of their last releases.

Any plans to shoot a video for one or more songs on "The Warchitect"? If so, which songs are good picks?

At the moment we try to make a deal with a company, to make a cheap video. Good picks are "The Warchitect", "Your God" or "The End Of All Things To Come".

What's cooking in the Touring department? When are you going to hit the road and with whom, or with whom would you like to do a tour?

We hit the road nearly every weekend. We try to get supportjob for spring next year. We are looking for a good deal, if possible with bands like THE HAUNTED, HATESPHERE or KREATOR. We will see.

Speaking of touring: in those 17 years the band exists, what are some of the most memorable moments concerning the gigs and were there moments when things weren't going as planned?

The best thing happening to us was the tour with OVERKILL last year. It was very nice to be on the road for 2 weeks. We played a couple of short tours in our history and it's always a good experience to play a couple of shows in a row, 'cause the band is getting better every night. Things are always going another way as they were planned ;-) ! The point is that you have to know how to deal with that.

You occupy two positions in CONTRADICTION: singer and guitarist. Which do you prefer?

I prefer to play guitar.

The band's signed to Armageddon Music. Did they offer the best conditions compared to other labels and for how many albums are you under their wings? Furthermore, how is the collaboration going so far?

Armageddon is giving good conditions to us and we have signed for 1 album with 2 options, so that we now released the second album on this label. The collaboration is as good as possible.

In a couple of weeks it's Christmas, followed quickly by New Year. Are you going to celebrate on those days and how? And how do you feel about the commercial aspect of these days?

Of cource I am celebrating Christmas with my family. I am married and we have two little boys. We will celebrate the holy night with a Christmas tree and lay presents for the boys under this tree. Before we start the distribution of the presents we will sing christmas songs with them. Then we will have a good meal, which I will cook. And when the boys are in bed, our neighbours will come around and we will play cards and have some beers. New Year's eve we will spent with good friends at their house. Think, we will make a barbecue and have a lot of drinks. No rockets, no fireworks. I will give that money for a charitable purpose. The last both years we gave it to the victims of the tsunami in South-East Asia.

What I think of the commercial aspect of these days? As long as I live there was a commercial aspect into it and I don't know it another way. Maybe most of the people forgot why we are celebrating Christmas or the new years day. We try to celebrate these days in calm and peace. I don't believe in God, but I know that Jesus has lived and that he has tried to give something good into his world, that is still remaining. It's not the church or the people calling themselves Christians, but his original idea of peace he put into a part of mankind.

Downloading is a sensitive issue. 1) How do you feel about, which solutions to the problem do you have in mind? 2) Do you see any effect on the sales or popularity of CONTRADICTION? 3) Should bands put some kind of pressure on the labels to stop flooding the market / should labels be more critical when signing bands? Nowadays the choice of albums is legio and therefore - as for example Gus Chambers from SQUEALER A.D. and John Perez from SOLITUDE AETURNUS said in an interview - people don't know anymore what to buy, so they download it.

1) If there is possibility to get something for free, somebody will get it. I have no idea in mind how to deal with that problem.

2) Music industry has failed in the past: CDs are too expensive, downloads are too expensive, relating to what a CD costs in store artist are paid badly, too many bands are on the market. The only solution they seem to have is to say that downloads are illegal and downloaders will be punished by law with prison from 2 to 5 years. For example: somebody who has raped a woman will be punished with prison from 1 to 3 years. That's a really bad joke, isn't it?

3) Bands have no possibility to put pressure on the music biz, except if they are as big as METALLICA. But METALLICA and bands in the same position never will do that. Could be that Gus and John are right, but they can't tell me that somebody who is downloading e.g. 1000 songs a month will listen to the whole stuff and: 1)!

Next to music, what keeps you occupied? How do you fill your free time?

Depending on the next question: I fill my free time with making music, reading, playing with my kids and some other things.

Are you making easy money with CONTRADICTION or do you still depend on a daytime job?

Everybody in the band depends to a daytime job.

Which question(s) have never been asked before about CONTRADICTION, but could give a special twist to the interview or reveal something interesting concerning the music or anything related? Without going too personal or private, of course.

Nothing! Sorry, but I it's not possible to remember all the questions I have answered in interviews. Your questions are very detailed and there is nothing left to say.

What would you still like to accomplish with CONTRADICTION? Any plans for a live album, certain collaborations, re-recordings, ....?

I want to record a livealbum, maybe a livealbum with a second disc where we can put some new versions of CONTRADICTION songs like "Lie", "Chains Of Misery", "The Hunter" ("ROP", 1993), "All We Hate", "Red Line", "Scars On My Soul" ("All We Hate", 1995) and "Demon" ("Contraminated", 2001) and a couple of coversongs we used to play during the last years.

That's it for the questions. Many thanks for taking the time. Good luck with "The Warchitect", the accompanying gigs and further developments. If you would like to add something, be my guest

If you see a poster or a posted message anywhere that CONTRADICTION will come to your town, and if you like melodic Thrash Metal with aggression and balls: Be there!



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