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Interviews Metalium

Interview with Lars Ratz (bass)

Interview conducted by MetalMike

Date online: November 11, 2009

Congratulations on the release of your 8th album, Grounded! It is quite an accomplishment to last this long in music. How do you keep it fresh after 8 albums?

Maybe by living APART in different countries.... Half of us live in Hamburg and the other half in Spain on a little island called Majorca. So we see each other not very much...maybe that's one of the secrets, haha

What is the message or theme on Grounded? Your early albums mostly tell the story of the Metalian and then you branched out into some more social topics on Demons of Insanity and Incubus.

We grew up a bit and thought from a specific point of our career on that we don't need any mascots anymore and rather let the music do the talking instead.

Speaking of social issues, Germans are well known as leaders in environmental issues such as recycling. Do you think Metal bands have a responsibility to address those types of issues, for instance with more environmentally conscious packaging?

If it comes to saving the earth it has NOTHING to do with what music you are in, which color you are or what religion you are into. It's simply the question if you want to kill the room you are living in. So this is a matter for everybody!

What is the role of the Metalian on Grounded?

There is no specific person on this album.

The Metalium lineup was very stable from Hero Nation through Incubus. What was behind the decision to add 2nd guitarist Tomo Grimalt? What does he bring to Metalium that might have been missing before?

When I relocated to Majorca, Spain I asked who the best metal guitarist is. I was referred to Tolo and offered him to play in Metalium. He is very relaxed and funny, we always have a lot fun together, same age, same roots, even same guitar model he is playing.

The music on Grounded has a "stripped down" feel to it, like the band wanted to get back to basics. Was this planned or did it just work out that way?

Well I'm just sick of the bands who FAKE their abilities in the studio... they correct the pitch of their bad singers, the timing of their bad drummers, etc.

WE don't need this... a good metal band has to be able to kick ass without all this so we took it to the top with this production and did NOT correct anything... as well mixed old style just as our heroes did in the 80s, Maiden, Priest, Rainbow, etc.

Since there are multiple song writers in the band, how does the process from idea to finished song work? Does each writer show up with an essentially complete song or does the band thrash out ideas in the studio until a song takes shape?

Everybody comes with rough ideas on demo, and then I decide which songs are good enough and then we form it on from there.

Where do your ideas come from? Are you influenced by outside sources (books, films, etc.) or are the lyrics more introspective?

I'm simply using my METAL HEART to be inspired and in wondering every production again how it comes out

Who were your influences growing up?

At 10: Abba, Bee Gees,

At 13:Uriah Heep, Rainbow,

Then: Maiden, Priest, Mötley Crue, Ratt, etc.

In your opinion, what is the future of Metal music? Has everything been done or are there ideas left to explore?

No idea. No need to predict this. It comes as it comes, brother!

What types of influences, either lyrical or musical, would you like to try and incorporate into Metalium's metal sound in the future?

Non specific. It comes as it comes ;-)

What do the band members like to do for fun when the band is on the road? How about off the road?

We are pretty childish when we are together on the road. But it's nice to be able to be simple childish... We are talking such stupid things and laughing our asses off... even if nobody else can laugh about our jokes.

After so many years you learn to trust each other and there is no border in speaking your mind. We respect each other!

Will you be touring behind Grounded? Any plans to visit the US and have you played in America before?

If there would be ANY professional promoter to bring us over to US, we would be in it, man!

Apart from this we are touring Holland and Germany in December.

Where are you favorite places to play live?

So far, Spain.

If you could play with any other band, past or present, who would it be?

Girlschool in 1982, when I fell in love with Kelly Johnson on guitar. They supported Rainbow and it was my first Rock Concert at the age of 14.

Thanks again for taking the time to shed some light on Metalium and the new album. Last thoughts?

Hopefully we will rock US with our fans there one day. Let's have a Metal Party then!

Other information about Metalium on this site
Review: Demons Of Insanity (Chapter Five)
Review: Nothing to Undo (Chapter Six)
Review: Millenium Metal Chapter One
Review: Grounded - Chapter Eight

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