Celestial Catastophes
Johnathan Carbon becomes the straight man to Obscura's Hannes Grossmann.
Sitcom to follow.

by: Johnathan A. Carbon
In this unexpectedly comedic interview, Obscura drummer Hannes Grossmann manages to cover his favorite topics -- including time travel, Ferraris and He-Man -- with the type of humor that can only be expected from a German technical death metal outfit. Album covers and concepts are discussed, as well as Grossmann's top pick for bedtime music.

CoC: You are either beginning or already on a European tour with Hate Eternal, Beneath the Massacre and Defiled. Is this the largest tour you've embarked on? Is there anywhere in particular you are looking forward to playing?

Hannes Grossmann: Yes, we are on tour right now... in May. We have invented our own signature time machine to be able to play the shows before they actually happen. This is why our stage performance is very strong: because we've played there already! I look forward to playing France and Holland, last night in Paris was awesome!

CoC: Was the writing and recording any different for _Omnivium_ than your last two records?

HG: This time it was more stressful. The songwriting process took about two years in total, but we are very happy with the result. We didn't rehearse the songs as a full band, which, looking back on the recording process again, was a little mistake. Next time, we'll make a demo of all the songs; this saves a lot of time in the real recording sessions.

CoC: The album art for the new record (as well as your last) seems to project a certain astronomical destruction or evil lurking in the recess of space. Are you or any of your band members science fiction fans or avid Lovecraft disciples? What is it about cosmic monsters that interests you?

HG: I'm a big fan of Darth Vader and Skeletor. I actually proposed to make a concept album about Snake Mountain, but the other band members didn't share my thoughts on that. Well, it's actually a great thing that Steffen writes all the lyrics and not myself! Now a bit more seriously: the artwork, as well as the whole design and layout of each album, shirt, vinyl and everything that is related to Obscura, is a very important thing for the band. In general, we work with some kind of color schemes, color keys with each album. _Retribution_ was the red album, _Cosmogenesis_ is the blue one, and with our third release _Omnivium_, we finally reached the green album. With each color I associate several synonyms that are a part of a four album concept. The whole concept started with _Cosmogenesis_, the genesis, the emergence and formation of the universe, which is extremely cold, out of a dark enigma which is a close relation to the blue color. This album represents all those ideas within the artwork I am still very satisfied with.

CoC: In a press release, the band commented the new album was based on the work of Friedrich Schelling. What is it about German idealism or Romantische Naturphilosophie that interests you? Do you think the sound of your music fits that particular school of thought?

HG: The basis for the lyrics is Friedrich Schelling's "On Nature's Connection to the Spirit World". I am pretty sure that talking about lyrics is one of the most boring things for each death metal fan out there, but maybe a handful of people are interested in this. On all of the lyrics everyone can have a personal opinion, a personal preference, and a different view on the topic itself, especially on the point with religions. There is always a link to real life, those ideas never get old. But I do not tell people what to do, what to think or how to live their life. With _Omnivium_ everyone should find his own truth. For instance, the title _Omnivium_ is a black vortex within the universe, an immortal downward spiral annihilating all kind of matter, life and elements to create something new. Somebody may call this a definite god. Destroy to create -- this therm you find in all religions if you search for. And I think this is a very interesting topic, not the usual "dark Satan, destroys earth, black mass, dark spell, evil hell" bullshit.

HG: Your 2006 release, _Retribution_, was given a 2010 re-master (with sci-fi cover art). Was this always a desire, or was it done out of growing success for the band?

CoC: Yeah, you know the business, actually it was the sheer interest of filling up our pockets. With a pop song hit assembly like _Retribution_, it was clear that we could very likely become billionaires after releasing that one. So when I drive around in my new Ferrari, I only listen to _Retribution_.

CoC: I would like you to recommend me an album that could be considered mellow and soothing. Perhaps something the band listens to when winding down or even sleeping.

HG: Cryptopsy: _And Then You'll Beg_.

CoC: I would like you to recommend me a German film from any era and your favorite record of 2010.

HG: German films are crap. Period. My favorite album of 2010 was Anathema's _We're Here Because We're Here_. Actually, this would be a better fit for your previous question, I guess.

CoC: You toured North America in 2009 in support of _Cosmogenisis_. Are there any plans for a North American _Omnivium_ tour? What does 2011 have in store for Obscura?

HG: We have massive plans on touring in the US and Canada. However, I can't speak about it yet -- as always with questions like that, they can't be answered because all the tours are not finally confirmed. But I can tell you that we got a great tour this year.

(article submitted 6/3/2011)


ALBUMS
3/6/2011 J Carbon 9 Obscura - Omnivium
8/16/2009 P Williams 7.5 Obscura - Cosmogenesis
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