It was already with 2012's eponymous debut album that KADAVAR casted a spell on all fans of solid riff-driven yet doom-like 70's hard rock à la BLACK SABBATH or PENTAGRAM. Marrying this with the spacy psychedelic approach of early HAWKWIND and mixing in a distinct own touch while preserving their icon's warm vintage charm can doubtlessly be considered the trio's key to success - astoundingly high vinyl sales and support shows for bands such as SLEEP, SAINT VITUS, PENTAGRAM and ELECTRIC WIZARD as well as stunning festival gigs at "Stoned From The Underground", "Yellowstock" and "Fusion Festival", among others, underline KADAVAR's status as one of the scene's most exciting acts.
Carrying the experiences of dozens of played live shows as a source of inspiration inside them, KADAVAR entered the timeless space of their studio end of last year to procure supplies for their ever growing fan base that was starving for more - in the form of their second full-length album and debut on Nuclear Blast. "After last year's final show had been played in mid-December, we
started writing new songs", drummer and studio owner Tiger recalls.
"We've already had a couple of finished tracks in May 2012,
but those were eventually released on a split-LP with AQUA NEBULA
OSCILLATOR in November 2012, which is why we started at square one
again. As we knew that there was no procrastination and no going back
for us, we sat down for two weeks straight to finish
composing with total commitment. We're perfectly happy with the outcome
- I'd even say that "Abra Kadavar" comprises
the best compositions we've created to date. The songs are more
diversified, the ideas feel more spontaneous. Moreover, we've tried to
much more of our live energy, which is why we've recorded almost
everything all together in one room, with the amps turned up to the max -
solely the vocals and a handful of guitar solos were added afterwards."
There's time until April 12, 2013 to grow a full beard, resole your platform shoes and iron your bell-bottoms. From then on, KADAVAR invite us to escape the 21st century's soulless musical mishmash once again by entering the realms of "Abra Kadavar" - down-to-earth
handmade classic rock from a time when music still used to be true art!
The production on 'Abra Kadavar' is excellent. All the sounds have space and clarity while maintaining the grit and teeth from the first album that we loved. What did you do different this time?
Tiger: Thank you! We used the same equipment mostly, but I tried to emphasize other aspects this time. We used two amplifiers for bass and for the guitar as well, so you could blend the sounds. Also, I worked with basically only three microphones on the drums, having a fourth on the snaredrum if it wouldnt cut through, so four altogether. I tried to make the sound a bit clearer and more roomy, to get an impression how the band actually sounds in the room that the music was recorded in. The first record is very dry and comes directly out of the speakers, that's definitely a big difference. And also, all the basic tracks, which means drums, bass and guitar were recorded live and loud in one room.
You recorded this in your own studio where you also produced, mixed and mastered. Although this must be great for cost savings and creative control, do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the responsibility?
T: It's not about responsibility. I know I have to give my best and I feel confident about what I do. Plus, I enjoy working for my band. Nobody stands in our way and we can concentrate on our ideas. We don't feel lost without a producer, it's actually quite comfortabe for us to be alone with our work. But the time aspect was a difficult thing this time. For 8 weeks, there was nothing else in my head than working and working and working to finish the record so we could put it out on time.
Have you produced any other bands that we may know in your studio or otherwise?
T: For example, I just recorded a 7" of a band called "The Oath", the other project of Simon, our new bass player. Since people recognize I did the Kadavar records, I get more inquiries from that musical direction. But most of the stuff that I recorded so far is german underground punk and hardcore music, I doubt you know any of them.
We recently posted the “Come Back Life” video which looks to be filmed in Texas. Who directed this video and how was the shoot?
The video was shot by Annikki Heinemann (Oddisee Films) and Nathini Erber. We know them from Berlin and asked them if they'd like to do our video as a part of our roadtrip from Texas to California. Unfirtunalety, the shoot was surrounded by bad luck and chaos. Right after SXSW, we had to find the right car for the video. It took us a week until we finally had the perfect one, so we were already very late. When we had finally bought it and started driving at night, after only 10 minutes the engine blew up on the highway. This was one of the worst moments in my life... So we had more delay but had to do something because our flight back was going from San Francisco. We had to start without our beautiful 1964 Ford Galaxie. In the end, we found another nice car on the way and shot all the driving scenes in a Ghost Town in Texas. On the way to California, most of other scenes were taken. We had some plans where to shoot but also just stopped when we found a nice place.
Does the band enjoy the video making process? Are there any more being planned?
Generally, I like that. This time I didn't really enjoy because of all the bad feelings. But in the end it made us learn our lesson and put us closer together. Except for Mammut, who left the band right after we came back from the states.
You recently played the mighty Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands. Would you say this is one of the highlights so far in your career? How did it go?
It definitely was a highlight. Actually, the reason why we pit so much pressure on us finishing the second record was because we wanted to release it before Roadburn. We had been waiting for this show for more than half a year. It was a good show and it was overwhelming to play in fromt of that crowd. But it was also only the 5th or 6th show with Simon on the bass, so we were a bit nervous before.
Your website lists tour dates until November, how are the shows going so far?
We just finished our European tour, which was nearly five weeks with some days off. We started playing shows with Simon after only five days of rehearsing, so it was really like jumping into cold water. But since the beginning, there was a new vibe in the band that I like, I think our live sound is a bit heavier now and people seemed to like that as well. All in all, the tour was really good and I'm thankful for all the people that showed up.
Do you currently have a favorite song to play live off of 'Abra Kadavar'?
So far, we only play three songs off the new record. Soon as we get the chance to rehearse a little, the number will increase. But from those three, my favorite is "Eye Of The Storm".
What do you enjoy more, recording or touring?
It's a perfect alternation! After a hundred shows, you are like "man, I'd really like to put some new ideas to tape", and as soon as you are done with a record, you are dying to leave the basement and hit the road again!
The “White Ring” split you did with Aqua Nebula Oscillator is pretty hard to find now. Will this be available again?
No, it won't in the close future. It was planned as a limited editn from the beginning and should stay special. However, we are thinking of putting out only the two Kadavar songs in some kind of package soon.
I know you guys sell lots of vinyl, is that how you prefer your fans listen to Kadavar?
T: Of course! I don't wanna force anyone, but my opinion is, if you listen to vinyl, you have a better sound and you don't skip all the time. You listen to the full record and sit at home and relax. This is how you get into the music best!
You guys ripped at the heavy metal pool party at SXSW. Any plans of coming back to the USA?
T: We definitely want to come back in fall. As soon as there is something conformed, we will let you all know!