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Don´t "Fear the Krampus!" – but rather listen to it! Italy´s most promising newcomers to the Folk metal scene made an incredible impact with their debut album SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, revamping the music with a modern touch, thereby not forsaking its roots. Being awestruck myself by their release, I just had no chance then to have a chat with the winter demon, aka Krampus.

 A.K., 27.08.2012

Wir fragten...
 Being blown away by your Demos from the start, it's a real pleasure for me to do this Interview with one of the best Newcomers to Folkmetal nowadays. For those amongst our readers that haven´t been infested with the Krampus Virus by now, would you like to Introduce yourselves?

Leonardo: Hi there! First of all thanks a lot for all these good words, I'm flattered. Krampus is an eight piece band from Udine, Italy. We play a blend of folk and melodic death metal with a modern taste, combining synthies and electronics with flutes, violins, bagpipes and other traditional, folk and acoustic instruments.

How did Krampus get together? What is the "Story behind the band"?

Leonardo: Krampus is a very young band, so we haven't a really interesting story or any kind of mystical tales about our roots. We're just a bunch of people with the same vision, the same will to spread a message that for us is important to be shared, and of course the same wish to play loud and have fun! We could say that the first sprouts of the band came up in 2010 and after a large amount of line-up changes in 2011 we finally arrived to a new equilibrium with the arrival of Filippo, our singer and songwriter.

The Impact you made could be equaled to a bombshell. Considering you´re going to be on tour with Legends like Koorpiklaani, does it make you nervous or even more excited to get on tour?

Leonardo: To have the opportunity to take part at the Heidenfest tour with Wintersun, Korpiklaani, Varg and Trollfest this autumn is certainly an honor. Of course we're excited and we can't wait to dive in this new experience.

You state that you rather face the future instead of the past. Still, there must´ve been Idols in your past you looked up to. Who do you consider your personal Idols?

Leonardo: Usually talking about folk metal you expect to hear lyrics focused on mythological or historical themes. We're just trying to bring the speech nowadays: to forget our roots would be a shame but first of all we've to face our reality. History is full of examples of great men and women, trying to understand their lives, passions and faults we could improve ourselves.

In the same vein, what would you consider the biggest inspiration for your music?

Leonardo: Well, every event in your life or every melody passing through your mind could be an inspiration; it depends on what you want to be inspired by. As for the musical inspiration, every one of us is listening to a lot of different stuff, but we've a clear idea about what we want to play, despite everyone outside Krampus cultivate his own musical passions.

How would you describe your debut album yourself?

Leonardo: The entire album is dedicated to the Fittest. The Fittest, the Strong, isn't who abuse his physical power, but who deserves what he got, in a society sinking in injustice and corruption. It's not a concept album, the themes dealt are various, we focused especially on our modern society, ecology and sustainability but there's also much more. Musically speaking, we could say that the album is multi-faceted since it includes both new and old songs already comprised in our last EPs. We tried to make it sound catchy, modern and heavy at same time and I think we have succeeded.

Watching the studio diaries on YouTube, made it obvious you had as much fun producing the album as we will have listening to it. But it´s still hard work producing a debut. What would you say where the worse or most nerve wrecking aspects of the production?

Leonardo: When you feel comfortable with the guys you're working with, everything is easier and the time flowing away is not that important. It's pleasant to find yourself late in the evening in the control room working on a new mix with Filippo – who took care of the production of the entire album - and the sound engineers, losing an exact time perception. I really cannot say if there are bad aspects in a production: if you live the studio in a positive way, nothing is too hard to do. Once you get good sounds, instruments and arrangements the difference between a good and a bad product is still given by the musicianship. To play your instrument at your best is maybe the most fragile passage in the chain and the most difficult as well.

Likewise, what was the most fun to do?

Leonardo: Excluding the large amount of bullshits and all the shameful stuff occurred, recording bagpipes, both acoustic and electronics, flutes and the other acoustic instruments was the funniest and most playful moment. It's always awesome to experiment what you can do with a bagpipe in a metal context.

A question especially to Marika: Is it hard to "keep an eye" on the guys, being the only Lady in the band?

Marika: Sometimes it's hard, but being a girl helps to keep everything more tidy and ordered, otherwise the guys would live as a herd of wild animals! In the early days was a bit difficult to see each other every day and to travel together, but now it's easier, I see them as brothers and they're all protective of me, especially because I'm a good friend of all their girlfriends and they know perfectly well to be under control! We're such a big family, and it's beautiful.

Your Demo releases where cheered by fans, having your fanbase grow in a blast. Now looking back at the Demos with your Debut just recorded, what major differences would you say can fans expect?

Leonardo: On the full length we focused more on finding a good mix between folk instruments and electronics. For the whole album the presence of the synthies is uninterrupted, more than in the past. As regarding the vocals we have certainly more clean vocals than in Kronos' Heritage EP. Everything is also in a veiled manner, more Melodic Death and Metalcore as well.

Personally I´d describe your bands “Dress-code” as Mad-Max Style, which is definitely thought as a compliment. Would you agree or is there a certain story behind the bands “looks”?

Leonardo: You're right! Our new scene costumes have originated from the idea that human society is going to destroy the planet. We must understand that we have to change our lifestyle and to act in consequence. No laziness admitted. What would you wear in the aftermath of a natural disaster?

Filippo, being the vocalist doing both the singing and the “screaming”, what would you say is more exhausting to do? The Grunts or the clear voiced singing?

Filippo: Probably the hardest thing is to take care of your voice, I can´t scream, drink too much and stuff like that and that's really a pain since I'm a loud party guy.  The two styles tire the abs muscles like hell after a while.

Also, do you have a certain way to train your voice for a gig or recording?

Filippo: I do some warm up before the gigs and I eat some Italian candy that really helps!

Last but not least. Do you have any special words for your German fans?

Leonardo: Actually a good part of our future shows will be on German soil: can't wait to visit your country guys! Looking forward to see you on September 1st at Wolfszeit Festival and in October and November at Heidenfest to have a beer and some fun together!

I can assure you, we are equally looking forward to see and hear Krampus live. Thank you very much and stay metal.

¬ Krampus
¬ 31.05.2012 deu | eng

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