- Hi there, Thanks for accepting our interview. To ask this one, we had to wait a long time and finally, we can ask: How is it going with Messiah?
Hello, this is Steve Karrer, Drummer of Messiah. We’re doing fine so far. We had a very good start with our reunion about 2 years ago and were allowed to perform at famous festivals like Brutal Assault, Way Of Darkness, Maryland Deathfest. We are happy with the situation that our fans haven’t forgotten Messiah after all these years.
- About the reunion of messiah bandmates, how did it happen, how was the conversation between you and how did you decide to do this?
In 2017 our guitarist Brögi received a request from a friend and promoter if we would like to do a short gig with 3-4 songs at his festival in December. Due to the request we all got in contact again and met at Brögi’s home for a barbecue. It was a very joyful reunion and the old magic was suddenly back between us. We decided that evening to play this show but with more songs. Otherwise, the whole effort would not have been worth it. In the end, it became a 50 minutes set. We booked another show and did the whole thing as secret gigs. Thrilled by the great success, we sealed the Messiah Reunion in January 2018 in the 90’s lineup.
- Last days, besides a new song named “Fatal Grotesque Symbols – Darken Universe” you have released an EP including two old messiah songs. One from your first album “Hymn to Abramelin” – 1986, “Space Invaders” and from the second album “Extreme Cold Wheather”s title track. How did it happen to release this EP with two old songs?
Since the drum recordings went so well and there was still some time left, we spontaneously decided to re-record these two old tracks in the current versions. We did this more or less live. We also had the idea to record something with guest singers we knew, which we did with Sven Gross (Fleshcrawl) and Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie). Since we had recorded more new material than would fit on an album, the idea came up with an EP. Fatal Grotesque Symbols – Darken Universe is the fitting song to the two old classics. It contains a lot of old school riffs combined with the new Messiah.
- And finally, the new album “Fracmont” will be released on the 11th of September. We will be pleased if you tell us about the recording and writing processes.
Yes, we are really looking forward to this day! Probably none of us would have dreamed that we would release an album again after 26 years. In the beginning, Brögi recorded a lot of song ideas and riffs. From there, we created the finished songs in the rehearsal room. It was a very creative and intensive work phase, which we always did together. We had to split the recording into two sessions because with so much material it was not possible to do it any other way. But that wasn’t really a problem because we were working with V.O. Pulver (Poltergeist, GurD, Pulver), an old friend of the band on the controls. He did a fantastic job in my opinion.
- The date is significant! Is it a coincidence or is there a message to be given?
Haha…The date 9/11 is really a coincidence. Since we originally planned the release party for September 12th, the release was set one day before. Unfortunately, we now had to postpone the show due to the current Corona situation, which is very frustrating for us.
- Fracmont is, as your fans await, a powerful sample of Death/Thrash Metal. Congrats! That one includes interesting tracks like Urbi Et Orbi, Singularity, Fracmont, Throne of Diabolic. Also includes influences of NWOBHM, I like them! What would like to tell you about your new release?
Thank you very much! I’m glad you like “Fracmont” We’re also very proud of our work. It’s amazing how we managed to still sound like Messiah after all these years. We think that a good mix of all decades came out of it.
- Despite being an elder metal band from Swiss Metal scene, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Excruciation are on the front. You remained underground while you were active. Was it a choice and have a reason?
To be honest, we never really thought about it. It surely also resulted from the fact that we all always did regular jobs and therefore couldn’t put all our money on the music. You surely know that Switzerland is an expensive country. You have to make sure that the bills are paid.
- However we say that you remained underground, many bands influenced by your music. For today, when you look back, how do you feel and what do you think of that?
It makes you proud when you hear from fans or other musicians that we have shaped or influenced them with our music. But you also have to see that back then the scene was much more manageable than today.
- As you know, 90s were experimental and there was not that much interest in the extreme metal scene. Like many bands, you did an album named “underground” in order to keep pace with those times and that album was you’re the most criticized released, then the band collapsed. Your Story about convincing Christofer Johnson from Therion to handle the vocals and you released an album that can be considered as Groove Metal and the bands split… In Messiah, what happened those days?
Oh, yeah, that was a tough time. Andy had decided to leave the band and we could not find a worthy replacement for him in Switzerland. At a festival in Poland, we got to know the guys from Therion and the contact remained mainly with Christofer. Later we asked him if he would like to join us. The songwriting for Underground was of course strongly influenced by him and also by our bass player Oli, who joined us in 1993. Especially he came more from the rock corner and contributed many groovy elements. By the way, I like the album quite well. But it is not really a Messiah album. In this time the personal and musical demands of each individual have changed. On top of that came the distance to Christofer. He had to be flown in for a lot of money for every show. So it soon became clear that it could not go on like this. In autumn 1994 we played our last show and disbanded.
- Again, in that year – 1994- “The Ballad of Jesus” was off your style and several bands did relative works in the 90s, as Avulsed as I remember now. Why did you want to do an EP like this??
Well, that was probably one of the trends of that time, to press some remixes on a CD. We thought it was a funny idea back then, which was pushed by our label.
- Since Messiah was inactive the world has changed too much. Old analogue styles and new digital styles, how do you talk about the pros and cons?
Sure, things have changed. But the digital age also brings with it some advantages. Music is accessible to everyone and can be shared. That also helps with songwriting. You can quickly send yourself a new idea or apart. But it can’t be that the work is not paid for by all the artists and musicians. I have to pay for my beer in the shop as well. Of course, I think it’s nice that there is so much vinyl to buy again for quite some time. Especially our label High Roller Records always brings very high-quality products on the market. For all the collectors among
us a blessing.
- Let’s talk about your plans a bit. Anyhow, how is it like to make plans after covid19… I guess you are warm enough to tour for a long time. Most likely, you will throw small-sized gigs for some time. How are your general choices, where do you want to play?
It is really very difficult to make any plans at the moment. No one knows how long this virus will keep us down. We’re not making any plans for this year. For 2021 we have so far confirmed for the Schoonebeek Deathfest in Holland and in Germany for the PartySan Festival. We are currently working on bookings. However, it won!t be possible for us to go on tour for a long time because we all have a regular job. But we definitely want to play a few shows in a row or single festivals or club shows. Preferably all over the world of course.
- Thanks for the interview. At last, what would you like to tell your fans in Turkey?
We would like to thank all Turkish Messiah fans for their loyalty and hope that we will finally be able to play in your country. See you soon!