My first encounter with the Swiss death metal squadron Requiem was when I heard their new album "Government Denies Knowledge" late last year. A ripping and powerful album, it doesn't offer much new, but is delivered very well and convincing, and doesn't show any mercy at all. Just like we like our death metal! I got in touch with the bass player Ralf from Requiem, and got him to initiate us into the world of the band.
Hi there, will you please start off by introducing yourself?
My name is Ralf Winzer, bass player and translation manager in Requiem.
A small introduction of the rest of the band will be great as well, together with a bit about what they contribute to the band with!
There we have Phil Klauser (guitars and main songwriter) the so called head of the band. Ralph Inderbitzin (guitars and songwriter too), Michi Kuster (Vocals and co-writer for lyrics with me) and finally Reto Crola our unbelievable drum animal.
You are now ready with your new release, how do you feel about it?
All of us are really glad with the final result. Also because of the very positive responses by press and the fans.
What do you expect from it?
Through our deal with Massacre Records, we now have the possibility to reach death metal listeners all over the world. And additionally we hope to play even more shows than before to convince the metal crowd of our fucking metal sounds.
When you started out to write/compose new material, what did you then want to accomplish with it?
Compared to the older material the new stuff reaches a higher quality level.
The song-structures and arrangements are better, and even the sound of each instrument is better. The biggest aim was to combine old with new death metal styles in our typical way.
Do you feel that you have accomplished that?
Personally I think we did. The new production, the mixing and as the most important thing of all, the new songs are fulfilling our plans, that we had in the beginning when we wrote the new stuff.
Where do you find inspiration when you write music?
Phil and Ralph (both guitars and main songwriters) are inspired by old stuff like Malevolent Creation, Suffocation, Terrorizer and lyricwise by Napalm Death. All the basic ideas and song structures are their way to express what's inside of them. In addition the inspiration comes from the fun that you have playing your instrument and standing very close to the cabinets of your stack of amps.
Is there anything specific that have influenced the writing process to the new album?
Not really. They wrote the basic riffs and formed the main structures. All what happened afterwards is just the combination of us playing together in our rehearsing room. It's more a natural and emotional thing than a planned progression.
Can you mention 3 bands and 3 songs that have meant the world to your way of writing music?
Terrorizer - 'After World Obliteration', Bolt Thrower - 'Cenotaph' and Napalm Death - 'Suffer The Children'.
What do you want to bring the world with your music and how do you want people to receive your music?
First of all, fun at our shows. Good friendly violent fun. In addition we try to suggest people lyricwise. To think and care about today's problems and themes that influence all of us. And in any case to have a god time 'banging around in the living room, outside the normal working life.
Will you initiate us in the lyrical universe of the band, which themes do you touch etc??
I mentioned before that we really do care about quality lyrics. There are different themes from social and political subjects out to very personal themes that touch us. We have for example lyrics about wars, crime and the lies of modern governments, which try to make us believe that they are pure, innocent, honest and serious.
Where is the inspiration for the lyrics usually found?
Daily news as well as movies and themes that happened in our lives. I guess everyone on this rotten planet has to deal with certain kinds of problems.
Be it financially or emotionally.
Will you pick out your 3 favourite tracks from the new release and guide us through the music and lyrics, and tell us how you got the idea for the music and lyrics, etc??
'Signal Zero' is a song about a soldier that has been separated from his platoon waiting for the next enemy attack. It's written in his own stream of consciousness and explains his fears. Musicwise it's a kind of an homage to a well known UK Band called BoltThrower.
'Two Sides Within' is a Florida death metal styled song, very fast and brutal with interesting breaks to listen at. The lyrics treat the consequences of alcohol abuse and what will become of someone that fells victim to addiction.
'Diary Of A Damaged Brain' is a very catchy fast blast song with a shout and a long refrain. It's about sick people's minds like for example mass-murderers have.
How important is the lyrics compared to the music?
Very important. The lyrics are delivered with growls and shouts, and are the state of attitude that we share. It's not just the sound, it's a statement. The songs are nothing without the lyrics and vice versa.
Do you have any touring planned in support of your new release?
We'll go on tour in February with Dismember, the death metal institution from Sweden, Debauchery from Germany and Infernal Poetry from Italy. We are going to play in seven different countries all over Europe.
How do you look upon the future of the band?
We are hoping to, play another tour this year and to show up at bigger open air festivals this summer. As far as these plans go, it looks very good for us at the moment. And additionally we will write new songs throughout this year to record at wintertime once again.
Will you share your 5 all time favourite albums with our readers?
Overkill - Taking Over
Obituary - all of the albums
BoltThrower - For Victory
Exodus - Another Lesson In Violence
Dark Angel - Darkness Descends
Thanks a ton for answering my questions, if you have anything to add, feel free to add it now!
Thanks a lot for the interview. Thanks to all that supported us so far. Watch out for the new CD "Government Denies Knowledge" coming to a record dealer near you on the 27th of January. And visit our shows in a venue somewhere.
You won't be disappointed by drinking with us after the show! CHEERS!