RevelationZ Magazine, by Steen -

What is your name and your current position in the band?

My name is Ralf Winzer, Bass Player, translation chief. Additionally I contribute some lyrics.

Tell us about the history of the band. More specifically, when was the band formed, how did you meet, and have there been any particular highlights or low points in your career, any crucial events that have taken you where you are today?

REQUIEM started in the middle of 1997 with the founding members Phil Klauser (Guitars), Ralph Inderbitzin (Guitars) and Roger Kradolfer (Drums). Singer Michi Kuster joined the band in 1998. Back then he played bass as well. Different drummers and bass players came. Reto Crola (Drums) took over the place behind the kit in 2001. He took a break in 2003 from the band and is since his return a permanent band member. I came up in winter 2004 when Phil (Guitars) asked me to join the band knowing me from my work as Guitar/Bass Tech for the swiss band MESSIAH.

We had Line-Up changes that weren't easy at that time. Nowadays our constant Line-Up is one reason that has taken us so far. Highlights were the European tour as support for VITAL REMAINS in Sept. 2005, the Fuck the Commerce Festival in Germany 2004 with bands like OBITUARY and also the Obscene Extreme Festival in CZ.

The first two releases "Nameless Grave" and "Formed By Birth" were released and distributed by two different labels which have a part in what we are today.

Was there ever a time when you wondered if your band would remain just a local outfit and never make it in the industry?

It was obvious that we'll make our way sometime through constant touring, but we'd never thought that we would sign a contract with a big, well established record company. To be honest we had times in which it was not to foresee how it will go on.

What is your latest album and why should people buy it?

The new production is entitled "Government denies knowledge". It's straight Death Metal REQUIEM style that combines new and old styles and leans on old heroes like for example Malevolent Creation, Terrorizer, Napalm Death or Suffocation. If you like real honest, brutal Death Metal this is your record to bang to????

How would you categorize the style of the band? And did you ever consider or try playing other styles of music than the one(s) you are playing now?

Like I said before we combine old and new styles of Death Metal influenced by some older bands. Although we're into Crust and Grind sounds. That makes the mixture of our sound that we love. So why should we change something we love to play?

Can you share with us one or two of your favourite moments with the band?

First of all there was the MOUNTAINS OF DEATH Open Air Festival in the middle of the swiss mountains. All around the stage and the party tent were giant rocky mountains so huge you would'nt believe your eyes. And it was raining that day like someone pours buckets of water the whole day. That was quite impressing. Nevertheless the crowd had a big party and didn't care about the weather. The other thing was when I was the bands Guitar/Bass Tech back then. We played at the Fuck The Commerce festival in germany. The
weather was really bad. Water everywhere and it was ice cold also. There were only a few people that dared to show up before the stage. That was real underground when the people began to mosh around in the mud.

How is the writing process in the band?

Phil and Ralph (both guitars) are the main songwriters. They write all the riffs and set the structures for the arrangements. Afterwards the whole band is rehearsing the new stuff until everyone is comfortable with his parts. Lyricwise Michi and me are writing the lyrics step by step. One new song after another.

What brought you on the path to becoming a musician? Did you ever consider or take any other paths through life besides music?

For me personally it was destiny to play music. I am from a family of pro musicians. I raised up with music and was teached to read notes. In the mid80s I was possessed by rock music bands like KISS. And few years after that I was catched by metal sounds which is and will ever be a very important part in my life. I learned a normal average job but it's absolutely nothing compared to play music and tour around.

Do you have any idols? If yes, who?

I don'have any particular idols but I admire some people for their musical achievement. Lemmy Kilmister for example. Unbelievable that he is still alive and writes music that kicks your ass still today. Steve DiGiorgio is another person, who I never had the chance to meet. An absolute fantastic bass player.
One old hero of mine is D.D. Verni of OVERKILL. Fortunately I had the possibility to met him when I played with another band on a summer Open Air in northern germany.

Do you have any regrets looking back at your career? For example any songs or even full albums that you regret recording? If so, what made you regret it?

Some older songs do not have very interesting arrangements like the new stuff. I guess it's a matter of experience that you get by time. After all there's nothing to regret really. In my opinion it's a normal way of getting better as songwriters.

Are there particular songs in your catalogue that the fans love but you're not particular fond of yourself?

Some people want us to play songs of the first record "Nameless Grave". We are thinking about playing the title track in the near future if we decide to. For the whole band these very old songs do not reach the same quality level as the new songs. And the new songs are a way more fun to play live.

How important do you rate the lyrical side of your albums?

Very important. We see ourselves as band with attitude. In tradition of such bands like Napalm Death. We're writing lyrics about things that happen in the world as well as personal themes. It's a way to process all what's around and inside of us. Nevertheless the lyrics are sometimes just entertainment fun also.

What do you think about the state of the music industry today?

CD sales are decreasing a lot because of mp3 trading and for other different reasons. It seems that the music industry was asleep when new forms of media came up. That's a problem nowadays. They didn't took it serious enough back then. In my opinion the industry has to set new forms of distribution instruments in order to pace with new media.

What do you think is the best way to fight music piracy?

Banishing it or making it a criminal thing is definitely the wrong way. It's still to big to fight it that way. There has to be an invention that's more interesting for the average consumer than downloading sound files from the internet. I don't really know what this would be but the industry has to do something very fast.

Do you have a life philosophy? If yes, what is it?

Believe in yourself and be honest to yourself and others all the time. With honesty you can go further in life.

Can you describe a typical day in your life?

Normally I wake up at 9 in the morning, listen to some cds, read books, write lyrics or rehearse some new songs for myself before going to work. At 11pm I come home from my work as a social worker talk to my girl and go to bed again. Nothing special?..but that'll change in February when I become unemployed.

What do you like to spend your time with besides music?

Definitely listening to music. Old and new stuff and explore new sounds. Additionally I do sports. I used to play in a local Rugby Club but can't spent more time on that, but I look at matches on TV.

What's the craziest thing that has ever happened on a tour?

Craziest thing? There has been a lot. Believe me a bus full of rotten, stinky, drunk musicians from different countries go very crazy sometimes. I guess one of the things I remember very well was when the bus toilet was totally filled up with piss due to an international party during the ride to the next venue. So we had to ask the driver to stop everytime when somenone has to piss again. That was funny because everyone was so full with beer that we had stop every half hour. And the poor driver couldn't empty the toilet on the highway. So he had to stop.

You're heading off to live on a deserted island for a couple of years with your portable entertainment system... Which albums, movies or books would you bring? (Max. 3 of each)

Only 3 of each??? Ok, that might be "Obituary - Dead". The live album and best of. "Overkill - Taking Over". One of my favorite Thrash albums of my youth and "Bolt Thrower - For those once loyal". Still Bolt Thrower, still sounds like a tank riding over your head.

Movies: "Carpenter's Vampires" to laugh about, "Das Boot", a german movie about a submarine in the second world war and of course "Fight Club" with Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.

Books: "Sinuhe-the Egypt" by Mika Waltari, "White Line Fever" by and with Lemmy and a book about how to catch fishes.

What is your favourite joke?

I don't have any jokes to tell. Life is sad??..I'm just kidding.I am not very good in telling jokes, but my bandmates are.

Can you tell us about any future plans for you and your band?

We are going on an european tour with DISMEMBER in february. In addition we hope to play some bigger Open Air Festivals in summer 2006. At the moment it looks very good to achieve that. And personally I'll try to get a new, well paid job inside the entertainment business or music industry.

Thanks for answering these questions. Now you are free to write a few lines to our readers.

Thank you for the interview. Very interesting questions this time. A big horns up to all Death Metal fans out there. Listen to our new record "Government denies knowledge" and visit our shows. You won't be disappointed.

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