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Interview w/Obscura’s Steffen Kummerer on ‘Diluvium,’ the music industry, touring goals and more

Posted by on July 23, 2018

German progressive/tech death metal giants Obscura just released their new album Diluvium on July 13th via Relapse Records (order here). The LP is the last of their four-record concept, which started with 2009’s Cosmogenesis. While the group have some time before their North American Tour kicks off, we were lucky to speak to vocalist/guitarist Steffen Kummerer about the new album, the music industry, and more.

First of all, congratulations to finishing the four-album concept. Was there ever a
time you guys wanted to drift away from it or had a moment of not wanting to
follow-through?
No, drifting away from the initial plan was never brought on the table and was never part
of a discussion. We constantly worked on the four records and now with Diluvium, we
finished what we roughly started 10 years ago. I am grateful and proud that we had the
necessary perseverance to keep the idea fluently from front to end and wrap such a
long-lasting concept with a strong record as Diluvium turned out.

Lyrically, how do you feel Diluvium concluded the concept compared to
Cosmogenesis’ introduction?
It turned out to be a longer journey than expected, that is for sure. The idea and
framework of the four records was pretty clear, but at the same time we kept enough
headroom for new ideas and our progression as a band but also individual musician.
Diluvium feels more elaborate, mature and thought out than the first record. It would be
sad to play on the same level after touring and recording for ten years, in terms of
learning curve. We learned so much in the last and at the state of today we reached the
highest point to far while our path does not end here.

Would you consider doing something this ambitious again?
Who knows, right now we celebrate “Diluvium” and start touring for the next two or three
years which should be enough time to think about a new conceptual idea and work on
new albums. Right now, I am not sure if something similar would make sense – a row of
loose ideas come together as we speak, but this topic might be more relevant in the
future than now.

Overall, how do you feel about Diluvium?
Overall satisfied. The diversity and individual tastes of each member shine through the
record and Diluvium blends a colorful mixture within our signature sound. The production
is by far the highest end recording we delivered so far and contains audiophile
standards. The feedback from fans and press alike seems overwhelming and we are
looking forward to performing all those new songs in a live setting during our upcoming
tours.

Do you watch any crazy conspiracy videos or even science fiction films to get
inspiration, if so what?
No, I rather read a book.

How was your experience at 70,000 tons of Metal?
Interesting and in the end a proper festival to perform at. Preparing a festival on a boat in
the open sea caused it’s tolls and turns out to be more advanced than a regular festival
show, but the experience was nice. The only aspect I missed was a certain form of
privacy.

Over the last decade, have you guys set any material aside for a new album not
related to the last four?
We write music in certain time frames and don’t collect ideas in between to be used on
upcoming records. We do have a few rough ideas stored that might be used in the
future, but not full thought out songs, only skeletons of arrangements, a few rough ideas.

In a recent interview with that drummer guy, you mentioned wanting to
play each record in a different country/continent such as Diluvium in North
America, Akroasis in another country, and so forth.. before working on a new
album. You also said how DVDs and BluRays aren’t profitable anymore as well as
finding a budget for this ambitious touring dream. I was curious if you can
elaborate on this, or maybe share any upcoming touring plans?
The idea is related to many different factors and might collide with the most important
one; budgets. I would like to perform each record as a whole on a different continent and
record the full show for a possible CD / BlueRay format. Aside from this idea we just
published our lineup and tour dates for our return to North America in September and
October. Our headlining tour will be supported by Beyond Creation, Archspire, Inferi and
Exist – four bands handpicked by ourselves and a lineup you shouldn’t miss at all. Within
the next weeks we publish more tours in Europe, Japan, Australia and Asia – watch out.

What changes have you noticed in the music industry over the last decade?
The overall value of music went down to almost nothing while more music is consumed
than ever before. P2P file sharing is not used anymore, but streaming took over the
place. While streaming does not even close ensure any artist to survive the whole
market went a role back to the 60ies and 70ies when only bands that perform live in a
professional and dramaturgic way with a huge stage production survive. Bottom Line;
playing live seems more important than ever for bands of any size.

How do you balance time between music and your other obligations?
I love sports and design aside from having great and close friends.

Anything else you want to add/say?
Thank you for the interview and I hope our fans in North America still remembers
Obscura after such a long absence. Visit our shows and come early to support all bands
on the bill.

 

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