Lommer: A lot has happened in the band: Dennis took a long ride with his bicycle through Europe for one whole year, Cripper played many shows with our friend and drummer Max from the band Scarnival. During this time, new songs were written with Max and and our other friend Phil on the drums, who helped us out. We had played our first show on the infamous Wacken Open Air, that we promoted with a pretty funny video campaign.
In the last half year of 2017, Gerrit (Cripper's former bass player) left the band. His family situation changed (he became a father. Congratulations!!!!) and he didn't have enough time for the band anymore. Britta, with whom I am also playing in our Death Metal band Critical Mess, asked me one day if I would like to play in Cripper and I said yes. And now, since the May 1st 2017, I am a part of Cripper.
Jon: Since then we had a lot of work for the new release. The whole artwork was made by our guitarist Christian, including all graphic designs and merchandise. We also produced two video clips. Direction, filming and editing was in my hands. The whole production, especially for the "Into The Fire" video clip was a massive teamwork together with friend and took a lot of effort. Besides that we had a lot of interviews, photoshootings, release show organisation, website updating etc. So we were pretty damn busy during the last months.
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Lommer: Mmmh, i think the new sound is a little more mighty as the Hyëna. Hyëna was a real dark album and "Follow Me: Kill!" is more like a kick in the nuts.
Jon: I would describe the sound of "Follow Me: Kill!" as amixture of Extreme Metal (Thrash, Death, Djent) with a lot of groove, atmospheric elements and melodic hooks. Modern feel with a straightforward and authentic sound. We always try to sound not too "fat" and overproduced. E.g. we are using just one track per rhythm guitar to make it sound edgy and precise and not too muddy.
In the past we had more typical Thrash songs, solid sound and just a few experiments. On "Follow Me: Kill!" we tried to implement some more crazy ideas, without loosing the heaviness. We recorded a lot of interesting vocal stunts like overtone or throut singing, spooky background vocals, tons of different guitar leads and overdubs, guest solos to give the songs more diversity... I think we used about 7 different guitars to get the best sounds and styles for different parts. Recordings of Cripper were always very extended, but "Follow Me: Kill!" kills it.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Britta: With this new record, we are taking quite a new step as far as lyrics. Follow Me: Kill! is definitely our most political album so far. You can find a few very personal or autobiographical lyrics on the album - such as "Mother" and also "Running High", but also a fair amount of political or society inspired lyrics. With how much nasty stuff is going on around the globe, it is about time to speak up and clarify our own standpoint.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Cripper'?
Britta: That's kind of a neat story. Cripper was a working title for one of our very first songs. It is short for "Christmas Ripper", an imaginative guy who comes out at Christmas slashing all those hectic and stressed out Christmas shopping people. I am absolutely no Christmas person, so I could really relate to this word creation. We all loved the sound of the word and that it didn't have a predefined meaning. When it was time to name the band, it was our first choice.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Britta: Our release show for "Follow Me: Kill!" last week here in our hometown Hannover was epic! I mean, playing many songs for the first time is always very exciting, but on top of that the show was spiked with very special elements. We even invented and built a rain machine and let it rain on stage during our new song "Running High". Everything went super smooth and the whole night was a huge success and a lot of fun for us and our fans. A show that is also etched into our minds is our 2013 performance on Metal Days in Slovenia. We were 100% on the spot that day and played an amazing set. It was also the show we got the attention of Metal Blade, who got in touch with us afterwards cause they liked our show so much.
I would describe our live performance as energetic and authentic. We consider ourselves as a live band - I mean, that's what it is all about, right? Playing your shit live. So on stage is where we feel the most comfortable and ourselves.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Lommer: Yeah, we are taking a short trip to the Baltic States for the first time and will then support Hammercult on their tour in October. In the November/December we will play some single shows in Germany and we are already booking shows for 2018.
7.Currently the band is signed to 'Metal Blade Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
Britta: Oh yes, very! We are very happy and thankful to be at Metal Blade. The whole team is awesome. We have 100% artistical. They are helping us a lot and opened many doors for us so far. Havin' their trust and support without is a pretty comfortable situation for Cripper.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death and thrash metal?
Jon: I would say the majority of extreme Metal fans out there are accepting us as a part of the Thrash and Death Metal scene. The majority of those who knows about us, we are still kind of underground outside of Germany. The female singer aspect is always a topic, even in terms of genre or style.
That means there are more people who compare us with e.g. Arch Enemy than any other Metal band, just because the singer is not a male. I think it's comprehensible but weird, because music-wise we have not much in common with Arch Enemy except for making some kind of Metal style with guitars, drums and growl vocals in it.
Lommer: It was really different, but this is normal (Do you know the Gaussian Bell Curve? ). some People are primary negtive thinking and you could do, what you want, they are always grumpy... You shouldn't give a fuck, and the best way is to ignore that (Everbody had the right to tell what he/she want, but nobody had the duty to react). But this is a small part, the most people are fascinated of the Album and our Videos we had released. That is really awesome and give us more power to make music!
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Britta: That is really difficult to predict. I mean, everything we write and do feels very natural. We do not plan out an agenda when it comes to our artistical output. We are following our inner urges and create stuff we feel is in line with ourselves. There's no point in limiting that artificially. I am pretty sure though that Cripper's music will always be on the intense and heavy side. It is just what seems to be the core ingredient in our music, it's the glue that holds everything together. We love to play the longer and more epic tracks live we wrote so far. That's why we allowed us to write even more of those on the current album. Not sure what's gonna happen during the next songwriting phase, but I can see us exploring those kind of songs even a little more.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Jon: Inspiration comes from everywhere. Everyone of us is listening to different stuff, that range is from Black-, Death-, Thrash Metal, Stoner, Crust, via German Hip Hop, Dub Step to Pop Music and everything in between. No borders in taste here.
That is not new for us and we were seeking inspiration from everywhere since we formed the band. For "Follow Me: Kill!" we tried to write more consistent with the idea of not being limited by the "Metal Genre".
The Thrash/Death aspects are flowing anyway. After four "in your face" albums, we are quite routined in writing heavy or furious stuff. Our goal was to make these typical Cripper-Thrashers more complex, interesting and individual.
To name a few bands, which we often had as examples in our discussions in terms of songwriting: Gojira, Mantar, The Haunted (as usual), Killer Be Killed.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Britta: I love riding my motorcycle. I went on a week long trip this year with my best friends and that was super nice and relaxing. Other than that I enjoy doing things outside, especially in the summer and when it is really sunny. I am a total sun and beach person. Ummm... what else. .. even though I am not watching many series, if it happens that I really dig one, I am binging for days! Terrible, haha! And I love dogs. I don't have the time for having a dog, but my colleague at work has a dog that I am taking care of sometimes. I'm the dog's aunt so to say. That's always a good time.
Lommer: Puh, i like reading books chilling in my hammock, (some science fiction stuff like Phillip K. Dick), and watching movies/series with my cat in my lap *laugh*. I am also interested in science stuff and i study biology and chemistry. It's difficult but I love it and it's more hobby than work. Also, I like to ride my bicycle (for long tours) and in the winter I go snowboarding in Austria with my wife.
Jon: At the moment I'm totally into photography. I'm working as a video producer and graphic designer for about ten years and am into cameras, tech stuff, design, composition, colors and everything.
But the passion for photography is something new. Besides that, I am trying to see as much as possible of the world, I'm traveling a lot with my family and our two kids, this year we made a three months trip through South East Asia and Australia, followed by a trip to Cuba. I'm spending all my money in camera gear and travel, but not only that; I made a diving course in Thailand and tasted blood, so the next expensive hobby is ready to screw me.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Lommer: Öhm, yeah! Don't be shitty, be cool.