Interview by Öna Helveti
Jürgen Engler (Vocals)
Ralf Dörper (Synthesizer)
Marcel Zürcher (Gitarre)
Volker Borchert (Drums)
Nils Finkeisen (Gitarre)
Jürgen Engler is a visionary who sustained characterizes the German music scene for decades. In the late seventies, he was one of the first German punk with his band and took Campino times on tour, before there was Die Toten Hosen at all. In the eighties, he founded the KRUPPS that then with his congenial partner Ralf Dörper – the “True True wage labor” responsible is also responsible for many texts since – were the driving force of industrial and EBM movement.
As well as this scene was paid to the mainstream in the nineties, integrated Düsseldorf hard thrash guitars in their sound and were in addition to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry for key drivers of the Electro-Metal, which also inspired numerous bands of the new German hardness.
Revive again and are therefore connected at that time unnumbered album “IV – Paradise Now” – (“Fatherland”, “To The Hilt” keyword) let the KRUPPS with the new plant “Metal Machine Music V” at precisely this successful phase after the rather Electro-machine-heavy album “The Machinists of Joy ‘published less than 2 years. – Band official bio.
Hi, thanks for the interview. As of this year, Die Krupps have been around for an impressive 30 years, do you think you have achieved what you set out to do back in 1980? How does it feel having come this far as a band?
I think we have achieved in 1981 what we set out to do back in 1980, we achieved in 1982 what we set out to do in 1981, and so on… Die Krupps has always been innovative and unpredictable, and never repetitive… we have an umbrella concept, but it allows for a very broad spectrum of music, which we helped create… I feel very good about what we have achieved so far.
This September you are going on a European tour launching a new album ‘V-Metal Machine Music’, what’s the concept behind the record and what new themes/sounds will you be (re)introducing?
The concept was to put out an album that picks up on where we left it off with the unnumbered album IV ‘Paradise Now’ in 1997, but of course in a contemporary sound… we perfected the symbiosis of Metal and Machine music with this album, so it is definitely an improvement to the Electro Metal experiments of the 90s… lyrically, the album deals with many recent political topics.
A lot of our readers are metal fans here at the Independent Voice, and I know a lot of your fans would like to know – is V-Metal Machine a metal album?
It is exactly what it says, a Metal Machine music album, also in that running order… it is foremost a Metal album, the most metal album we have put ouit since the 90s, and I don’t think I’m wrong when I say it is probably our hardest album to date!
1. Die Verdammten (Prelude)
2. Kaltes Herz
3. Battle Extreme
4. Fly Martyrs Fly
5. The Truth
6. Road Rage Warrior
7. Vampire Strikes Back
8. Alive In A Glass Cage
10. Kaos Reigns
11. The Red Line
12. Bonded By Blood
13. Volle Kraft voraus
What set can we expect from your upcoming tour? Is it safe to assume you will play lots of tracks from the new album? What else can we expect?
We are going to play 6 or 7 songs from the new album, the harder Rock tracks from the last album The Machinists of Joy, all the classic tracks from our 90s Metal phase, and some selected highlights from our back catalog… it will be pretty much a Best Of DK Rock show with lots of energy!
Die Krupps is unique for incorporating both goth/industrial and metal sounds, do you feel you lean towards either of genres more or do you embrace them equally?
We don’t lean towards any of those genres in particular… we always do what feels right for us to do at the time of the writing of an album… sometimes ideas and concepts for albums exist a long time before I decide when the time has come to follow through with it… at this time, Die Krupps is back in Heavy Metal waters, and I have no intention to change this anytime soon.
It is well known that you have influenced Rammstein, Nitzer Ebb and Depeche Mode. Are there any performers/bands you would name as a stimulus to your style when writing music?
When I started Die Krupps, Lou Reed and Pere Ubu were the biggest influence, and Lou Reed definitely is to this day… without him, Die Krupps would have never been what they are nowadays.
For people who do not know Die Krupps history in depth, how would you describe your connection to Lou Reed’s ‘Metal Machine Music’ and how you came about to adopting it as a name to your music?
His album Metal Machine Music was the single most influential album for me to create the Stahlwerksinfonie, basically a 30 minute long track of noise on 2 LP sides, not unlike Lou Reed’s noise mayhem album Metal Machine Music, and also the Metal Machine music concept, where I basically took the album title Metal Machine Music literal, way back in the late 80s, and created the genre of Electro Metal.
How would you describe your current sound in 3 words?
Haha, Metal Machine Music of course!! That’s the reason I chose it as the title for our new album.
Our of all your releases, which album is your own personal favourite and why?
That would be the new one for sure… I am very happy with the result, because it sums up best what Die Krupps are about and what we stand for… it has it all, the hard Metal riffs, the hard pumping bass sequencers, lots of energy and meaningful lyrics.
Are you or Ralf Doerper or Marcel Zuercher working on any other projects besides Die Krupps?
I work as in house producer and A&R for Cleopatra Records in the U.S., and produce up to 25 tracks for them every month… I also play in Metal Urbain, have released several albums with my Krautrock friends from Guru Guru, Cluster, and Faust… in fact, a re-recording of the Stahlwerksinfonie is going to be released soon, where many of them collaborate… it is an extremely noisy Industrial album, more so than the original recording.
Outside of music, what inspires you in life? What are your passions and interests?
I am fascinated by archaeology, real history and not what we were told in school, and I’m also very interested in politics. I always have the news channels on all day long, so I never miss anything that’s happening, or that ‘they’ allow us to know… all this has an influence on my wok, musically as much as lyrically.
Thanks for your time today! Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers before we wrap this interview up?
My pleasure! I would like to play more shows in England, and I’m really looking forward to our London show! I love England, it’s my favorite country in Europe, if you want to count it in… I spent a lot of time there, during Punk’s heyday, and throughout the 80s… it’s always great to come back! Hope to see you all there!!!
03.09 ATAK – ENSCHEDE (NL)
04.09 NCN FESTIVAL – LEIPZIG (DE)
05.09 IN EXTREMO JUBILAUM – ST. GOARSHAUSEN (DE)
06.09 FZW – DORTMUND (DE)
08.09 NACHTLEBEN – FRANKFURT (DE)
09.09 FEIERWERK – MUNCHEN (DE)
10.09 SEDEL – LUZERN (CH)
11.09 FREAKOUT – BOLOGNA (IT)
12.09 MMC – BRATISLAVA (SK)
13.09 SZENE – WIEN (A)
15.09 DIVAN DU MONDE – PARIS (FR)
16.09 GARAGE – LONDON (UK)
17.09 KUFA – KREFELD (DE)
18.09 TANZRITUAL FESTIVAL – NEUNKIRCHEN (DE)
19.09 K17 – BERLIN (DE)
20.09 PROGRESJA – WARSAW (PL)
21.09 LUCERNA MUSIC HALL – PRAG (CZ)
22.09 BABEL – MALMO (SE)
23.09 DEBASER MEDIS – STOCKHOLM (SE)
25.09 NOSTURI – HELSINKI (FIN)
26.09 KLUBI – TAMPERE (FIN)
29.09 MELKEFABRIKKEN – SARPSBORG (NO)
30.09 KNUST – HAMBURG (DE)