Minions! Recently, we did an interview with Mr. Steffen Kummerer of Obscura. This was his 4th time in Serbia! He recalls Obscura’s show with Death DTA as "the loudest show of the entire tour". Of course, we had to ask him whether Obscura is working on a new album. "With Obscura, we are planing to enter studio this summer, with a tentative release by early 2021" – said Steffen. "I wrote five songs so far, the other guys four but we don’t know yet what is going to end up on the album. We’re in the middle of the writing. It’s kind of mixed songwriting as usual. There’s no only that one guy writing everything. It was never the case. We always...you know... Everybody has its influences and together we merge at a certain point, write an album and then it’s that record from the band." However, Steffen confirmed that the band has finished their 4-part concept albums: "Well, we just finished a ten year lasting concept of four albums, with the latest released Diluvium so now we are able do do something completely new. But to be honest, I’m not sure if I want to do another long lasting concept or if it’s just an off album…I’m not sure at this point." Steffen also explained the concept behind these four albums (Cosmogenesis, Omnivium, Akroasis, Diluvium): "The entire concept is based on the circle of life, starting with Cosmogenesis, being like Big Bang, adding over to Omnivium which is more or less evolutionary theme. Akroasis is based on finding your own conscientiousness, while Diluvium, because it’s heavy metal concept is just apocalypse. And everything ends with a Big Bang before it starts again. And all the four records are connected visually. With the colors, like blue, green, yellow and red."
We also made sure to ask Steffen the questions we got from the fans. Therefore, he talked about his first guitar – a used Jackson. He stated that a guy who played with him in Illegitimation (pre-Obscura) owns that guitar today. "I put EMG magnets in it when I was 16 or 17 and I started to play. It’s a solid guitar, but I wanted to have something else…more pointy." One of the fans asked: How did they choose and record a tight sound of Diluvium and how was the recording calendar? "We worked with the same producer, for many, many years. He’s called Victor Bullok (V. Sentura). He also plays in Tryptikon, Celtic Frost, Dark Fortress. I would consider him as one of my best friends, for a decade. And together we grew on working on the Obscura sound. We had the same idea as in the early 90s, those recordings from the United States. They always had like a certain sound, that Morrisound recordings (and Scott Burns). Everybody knows that sound. We also wanted to stick to that and also grow together with a producer. When he started, one of his first productions was our first demo in 2003. And together we started building up everything. And comng back to the question, Diluvium is simply a result out of that. We as musicians grew. Of course, we were better musicians that we were 15 years before. And he as a producer also gained so much expirience working with many, many different artists. And that is simply the key, you have people you know, exactly what kind of sound you want to have, and the result is simply emerges out of that." Another fan asked "What is his favorite song from the Gorguts’ Obscura album?" "I think the entire album is a piece of art. It’s nothng you listen to every day. And seriously, it’s a headache music if you’re not in the right mood for it. But it’s so special…I love it… I had the chance to tour with Luc Lemay of Gorguts some years ago as a part of Death to All tour. And we talked about that. We both came to the conclusion that the Obscura record was ahead of its time. Like, people weren’t ready for this and it also may have been the reason why or had hindered the band of having a real break through into the death metal scene." When asked why did he name Obscura after the Gorguts’ album of the same name, Steffen Kummerer stated: "The album itself was so original.... You can’t get it out of your head. If you like it, or even if you don’t like it, or if it takes a while until you to like it, it’s original. And it’s something really special. And on the other hand, the name Obscura was catchy and nobody used it so far."
Steffen also shared some details about his musical background. He started playing the piano when he was 9. He was also in a school for musically gifted kids. He learned to sing and even sang in the choir (hehe). "I left school a couple o years after and couldn’t make new music for many years." He stated that his musical background shifted completely when he bought his first guitar at the age of 16. He stopped playing Bach or Mozart on piano and started playing "real music" like Death, Pestilence, Atheist, Dissection, Unanimated, At the Gates. Steffen continues: "We as a band sound little bit more melodic and catchy here and there than Gorguts’ Obscura."
Steffen also discussed robotic vocals in the song Sermon of the Seven Suns. Then, he talked about Obscura’s covers of Death’s “Flesh and the Power it Holds”, Atheist’s “Piece of Time“, Cynic’s “How Could I?” He even said that “Flesh and the Power it Holds” was the very first song he learned to play on the guitar. Kummerer says that it’s a "shame" that nobody gives any attention to Atheist nowadays. "They combined latin drumming and latin rhythm parts into death metal so they also made something groundbreaking." Kummerer also underlined the jazz fusion background of Steve DiGiorgio, Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert on Death’s Human album. He stated that Sean Reinert (RIP) was his friend, but that they weren’t close friends. And shockingly enough, "he was supposed to play on Cosmogenesis album as a drummer. He left us a big loss. Not only for a music scene..."
In the last part of the interview, Steffen Kummerer talked about the Death tribute in the song The Origin of Primal Expresion. He then talked about Watchtower’s Ron Jarzombek’s guest leads in the song Cosmogenesis. He also named some of the bands he’s listening to nowadays, such as Mastodon, Fractal Universe, Ghost, Gojira, Meshuggah. When asked about his top 5 favorite old school albums, he said: At the Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul, Dissection – The Somberlain, Death – Human, Cynic – Focus and Metallica – Black Album. When it comes to the albums that he’s listening to currently, he named the following: Mastodon – Once More Round the Sun, Ghost – Prequelle, Fractal Universe – Rhizomes of Insanity. And for the end, he recollected a time when he played a guest solo on Disdained’s song "Shreds of Nothingness" from their 2010 EP The Last Opus. (Serbian Death metal).
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