Hard Waves Radio, by Leopoldo Lopes -

If you don't know these four swiss Metal heads who compose one of the most promissing european Death Metal bands, then I'm affraid to say that you're not on the right path concerning nowadays Death Metal scene. We had the pleasure to talk with Ralf and to know more about the future and the past of REQUIEM!

HWR: Please introduce yourself and your band in short.

Ralf: Hello Leopoldo, this is Ralf, Bass-Player of Swiss Death Metal machine REQUIEM. The band has been going strong for ten years now. Founded in 1997 by Phil Klauser (Guitars) we released our 4th record through Massacre Records Germany in March 2007 followed by several european tours and a new record in early 2009.

HWR: Which bands got you into the "Metal Scene"?

Ralf: I was an average 80s kid. Personally I got amazed by KISS in 1982 followed by Iron Maiden a couple of years later. Bands like Testament, Anthrax, D.R.I, Forbidden and the likes of Destruction, Kreator, Death, Possessed and Obituary influenced me a lot back then.

HWR: What do you think about bands like Behemoth and In Flames that are trying to push into the mainstream with their "Death Metal"?

Ralf: Interesting subject to talk about! In my opinion music is a matter of taste and a good song is a good song except some electronic bullshit. Behemoth and In Flames are doing their thing and we do ours. I don`t have a controverse meaning on that. Their sound is not my personal favorite although they might have some interesting tunes as well.

HWR: I'm very curious you know, and being a sound engineer in my country I'm always curious about musician skills and their musical background. I think I've never asked this before, well in a interview, but can you tell me how did you learn to play your instrument and where? Can you please tell me what's your musical background?

Ralf: I grew up at my grandpa´s house in Germany who was a professional musician. So he tried to teach me how to read notes and the theory behind music in general. When I got excited by Metal I had a first attempt on playing Drums for 2 years and switched to the Bass in 1987 having a very good female Bass teacher for he first 3 years. After that until today I always teached myself to become a better player with different technical styles except that funk slapping thing.

HWR: I think you did a very good job on your last album "Premier Killing League". Can you please tell us what was your main difficulties on its recording period?

Ralf: Believe it or not, we had no difficulties during the recording process `cause every song was prepared and planned before entering the studio and with the help of Andy Classen everything went right. Even though Michi tried a more various growling style than on the other albums.

HWR: Please tell us about the recording process surrounding "Premier Killing League" the artwork, and the people who helped making the album.

Ralf: As I said Andy Classen contributed a big part on the sound of this record. The artwork was again developed by Anthony Clarkson best known for his work on album covers for Exodus, Kataklysm and Blind Guardian. It was again the idea of our label to use an artwork from him.

HWR: Who compose Requiem songs?

Ralf: In the past Phil Klauser (Guitars) and our old Guitar-Player Ralph Inderbitzin (no more a part of the band) wrote all the basic tracks. Nowadays Phil Klauser and our insane Drum-machine Reto Crola compose the songs. I contribute my Bass parts in agreement with Reto Crola (Drums). Michi Kuster (Vocals) is doing his vocal lines by himself most of the time.

HWR: And who writes its lyrics? Can you clear us about what you talk about on your 2007 album "Premier Killing League"?

Ralf: Since I joined the band I write all the lyrics on my ideas and suggestions of our singer Michi. "Premier Killing League" is a very social criticwise album concerning subjects of injustice and the greed of well known people that will destroy this rotten planet. Some lyrics focus on personal life experiences as well.

HWR: Overall, how would you describe the music Requiem creates? Are you a plain Death Metal band or are you something else?

Ralf: I guess we are a plain Death Metal band emerging of the sound from the forefathers of that unique style. Sometimes we have some grind and old school crust influences but those were never a big thing for us. We don`t assume to be the most brutal band just playing Death Metal that feels right for us.

HWR: Will be "Infiltrate... Obliterate... Dominate." your already forthcoming entitled album sound like your last year effort "Premier Killing League"?

Ralf: No, there will be some lyrical and sound surprises. Now after ten years of our existence we try to push us further towards more various tempos and melodies as well. Combined it will be REQUIEM as some people now us but with a greater variety. There will be blast parts, typical Thrash parts and all that stuff but with a more darker and heavier approach.

HWR: As you stated before you're going to record and produce "Infiltrate... Obliterate... Dominate." in the Andy Classen's "Stage One Studio" (already producer for LEGION OF THE DAMNED, DEW-SCENTED, TANKARD, HOLY MOSES, DISBELIEF, KRISIUN, CALLENISH CIRCLE). Did you ever record there and why did you choose Andy's Studio?

Ralf: Our last album "Premier Killing League" was recorded, mixed and mastered in Andy Classen`s Stage One Studio as well. So we already know what to expect even though we will be prepared a lot better this time. We already have written and composed four new songs. That`s six or seven more and than we are finished with that and it`s still 8 months to go. So we will have plenty of time to deliver the best record we ever did. We all hope for something that will be "record of the month" in some magazines. At least we try...ha...ha..ha......

HWR: After four full length albums do you feel that with your next album you'll reach your perfect balance between the underground and mainstream stages? What's your expectations about it?

Ralf: Expectations!? That`s a strong word concerning the masses of bands and outputs every month. We hope to sign a more better deal with a different company to get more support. Although Massacre Records did a very good job within the worldwide distribution. What we hope for most is to play bigger festivals in whole europe and get a affordable tour support slot for a big band after the release in early 2009. So to say. In addition more recognition by the media and the metal fans would be a very great thing to achieve. We will see....There`s no way to force that
except on our hard work as a band.

HWR: As you also already stated you're going to tour again between 19th and 28th of September supporting UK's legendary EXTREME NOISE TERROR? It's a great new opportunity to play with these crazy guys. Are you going to play any new songs from your forthcoming album to be released in 2009? Can you please tell us what you plan to be your setlist on those shows?

Ralf: We always plan our setlist only a couple of days before but it will be a good mixture of the two latest outputs with one song from our "Formed At Birth" Album. May be we will play one new song as a kind of appetizer for those who are interested.

HWR: Do you have any recent news you'd like to tell to Hard Waves Radio?

Ralf: We have a new video clip on and on our myspace site Check it out and bang your heads! This video clip will be on the next album as a bonus as well.

HWR: Over the years you've visited many countries and cities around Europe. Did you ever visit Portugal?

Ralf: Unfortunately not yet. We would like to play your country as well `cause I heard that you have very famous Open Air Festivals and a strong underground scene. So for you portuguese promoters we are open for everything and ready to blast your clubs for a short tour or some festivals.

HWR: With so many tours and concerts on the bagage like Vader, Belphegor, Dismember, Vital Remains, Benediction and so many others, which band(s) did you like to attend more?

Ralf: We had very good times with our friends of Vital Remains, Belphegor and Dismember. Even though the time with Vader was great too. For us it`s more on the personal issue to play with other bands than the sound.

HWR: You've traveled a lot on your tour bus, right? Do you have any interesting stories?

Ralf: There are some...ha..ha. It´s always difficult not to mention any names but we had some very weird experiences on the ferry from the UK to France......The truth behind traveling in a bus is that you never know when somebody get`s lost suddenly. Another thing is the rules for the toilet. Never fart too loud or shit at day times....If you know what I mean!

HWR: (ha ha ha ha ha)... All right, the last words of this interview to the Hard Waves Radio readers are yours.

Ralf: Thanx for your interest and your big support. We appreciate that very much. Hope to play Portugal in the next couple of years to show the Metal fans that they have to count on us for another 10 years. Cheers from Switzerland. Ralf & REQUIEM

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