AGONY ATLAS – Interview english

This Future…

The sun shines through the window and its rays slowly warm my face. I look out of the window and enjoy the blue sky, where some clouds follow their weightless activity. Afterwards I watch the news. The world is at peace with itself. There is hardly any bad news left. There is peace in the world since all countries had joined together to form a strong world community. War and terror belong to an almost forgotten time.

The resources of the earth are distributed fairly, so that hunger and misery were banished. The primary goal of the world community is still to reverse the harmful effects of the longstanding exploitation of Mother Earth. Nature is to be brought back into an ecological balance. „Connecting man with nature and not the suppression and exploitation of nature by man“ has been the motto for some time now, under which leading scientists all over the world are trying to turn the earth into a flourishing green planet again.

…is only a dream

It is the year 2095 and the world is indeed on the brink of the abyss at this time. The apocalypse is imminent. That’s why leading scientists are putting all their hopes in a kind of task force called AGONY ATLAS, that will be sent back through time to the year 2020 to shake up humanity. And with what? With

Extreme-Metal

With their mini EP „Retrogression Part I: Egomania“, AGONY ATLAS have produced a remarkable debut album and have made a damn good start for their mission. A report about the EP of the talented newcomers was already available at ‚metal-heads.de'(Link). We want to know a little bit more about the band and their mission. Let’s go…

Interviewpartner:

Markus (drums) & Christoph (guitars, keys/synths & programming)

A good-mixed creative team

MH: You can tell from the songs that there are no beginners at work and you could easily think that you haven’t done anything else. But you are not all from the extreme metal scene, are you? Where are/were you already active? Why did you choose the genre Metalcore?

Markus: Thank you for the laurels! Actually we are musically quite broadly based. Liane, for example, was already on the road with INCERTAIN in the Death-Thrash area. Andreas was recently in the studio with his Jazz-Trio. For my part, I do a lot as a session musician, supporting choirs, music clubs and big bands and I’m on the advisory board of JAZZ RLP.

A couple of years ago I was a member of the Melo-Deathern AT DAGGERS DRAWN and I’m currently also on the road with HENKŌ KANŌ in the progressive area. At ROCKIT you’ll find some of my own songs and mainly soul- and blues-rock-covers and a few weeks ago I was in the studio for my indie-rock-band. I can’t tell you more about it, it’s all still under the cover. But I can tell you this much: The songs are really great!

Christoph: I play with the synth-heavy alternative rockers KARABOOZA and was previously on tour with TIMESHIFT PASSENGER in the alternative metal area and with SIXFINGER in the metalcore corner. I am also a guitar sub for the Cologne rockers StadtRand.
Besides my rock and metal projects I also do commissioned compositions here and there and have even written German Schlager. Metalcore is just fun for all of us and we like to hear the style, so it just came up that way.

Formation of the band

MH: How exactly did your team AGONY ATLAS finally come together?
What qualified you for this mission?
How long did it take from the idea to the start of the mission?
Is there a master plan for this mission?

Christoph: I had many song ideas in my head, which were just too hard for my band KARABOOZA. Felix – the drummer of KARABOOZA – established the contact to Liane and Markus. Liane had Andreas in tow a few days later and the line-up was complete. It was important to me that it not only fits musically, but also humanly. We pursue the same goals, are equally committed and share the same values in environmental protection, sustainability, etc.

Markus: Once we were all on board, it took about another year before the mission could really start. Final recordings, mixing and mastering, logo and EP design, pressing, videos, storytelling and planning the promotion – it all takes time. And then, to top it all off, Corona came in between. But I think we mastered it quite well.
Is there a master plan? Sure there is! We will take over the world domination! Well, I guess not. But we wish that we can and will make a difference with our songs, lyrics and stories. The climate and our beautiful blue planet do not protect themselves.
So we will continue to release meaningful music and hopefully change things for the better.

The world burns

MH: Our world is coming apart at the seams. It’s burning in every nook and cranny.
In your opinion, where are the biggest problems of our time that need to be solved most urgently?
Are they already the subject of your EP „“Retrogression Part I: Egomania“?

Markus: Well, that can’t be answered so sweepingly and simply. The climate is definitely at the top of the list, and so are the social problems worldwide. Those who don’t have a lot of money and have to look at every cent, buy what he or she can afford – and that’s usually not the climate-friendly option. And if you don’t know why climate protection is important, what it is and how it should work, you don’t worry about it. And anyone fleeing a war zone has completely different worries anyway. There are so many construction sites, all of which are interlinked and important for us as humans and our planet to survive with flora and fauna.

In the meantime, there is a change of thinking in many places, but in my opinion it is happening much too slowly. The window of opportunity that remains for us is closing faster and faster. In addition, the prospect of change is scary, because you don’t know what’s coming.
That is why those who deny it or refuse to believe it are becoming more and more and louder. Above all, because they are losing many of the securities they had previously enjoyed.

Hobbes (English philosopher ) has already noted in the 17th century:

Homo homini lupus – Man is wolf to man.

Daran hat sich bis heute leider nur wenig geändert. Und ja, das alles findet ihr auch in unseren Songs.

The Beast Human

MH: What exactly are the individual songs about?

Christoph: Our songs are very critical. Among other things, they deal with how people deal with their environment, social imbalance and human abysses.

Markus: „Economy Class“ refers to the current way of dealing with our world. More and more at ever lower prices, the increasing influence of corporations on society and politics and the advanced greenwashing that does us and our world a disservice. It seems as if we are doing something good for the environment, but in the end it is not enough and yet it only serves our own interests. No matter what it means for society or the social fabric.

„Egomania“ goes in a similar direction. Man likes to see himself in the center of the universe and even walks over dead bodies to satisfy his own interests, needs or simply for amusement. The way into space is only the next logical step. There are still unused resources and potential space for expansion and settlement. Not only the empty, consumed planet is left behind, but humanity also falls by the wayside. We expressed this beautifully in the video for the single. Who has not seen it yet: It is worth it in any case!

And last but not least „Hymn of Hatred“. This song is about the abysses of the human psyche. Man does the most terrible things to himself and to all other species. Whether directly, in the sense of brutality and physical violence, or in the sense of decisions within companies, that is, on the corporate level and beyond that also on the political level. There are some current examples, but also in human history some cases can be found.

Solutions?

MH: Do you see today’s solutions for combating global problems, injustices and grievances? What has to change?

Markus: There are many possible solutions. „Fridays for Future“ or the „Mein Grundeinkommen e.V.“ are only two examples. Also in the science a lot is happening, the signs of the time were already recognized and predicted several decades ago and have now occurred in many respects. For one
overview it is worthwhile to visit `MaiLab´ on YouTube, for example.
The problem is that far too much would have to change, but in the democratic process it only progresses and works step by step.

And the politicians are very careful not to scare away their group of voters. That’s why for far too long nothing or very little has changed. What should definitely change is that politicians and corporations in all areas listen more to the scientific community, trust their advice and implement it conscientiously and promptly. Studies commissioned to support the own interests of corporations and also in politics are of little help in dealing with our current problems.

In principle, this is what Greta Thunberg has been calling for from the very beginning: We should listen more to what the scientists have found out. This is done by considering the scientific discourse as a whole – and not just the voices of individuals.
Science is complex and can also be contradictory. This is simply due to the nature of science and scientific discourse. There are many opinions that compete with each other. The decisive factor is the amount of coverage.

Humour

MH: Let’s look in the opposite direction, from darkness to light. A great event is for example the release of the first three awesome songs of AGONY ATLAS. Could you all or any of you also tell us about a positive or even funny thing that you have experienced or heard about lately? What made you happy or what could be laughed about?

Christoph: Thank you! We are very happy that you like our songs so much. Even if our music is serious and dark in itself, the people behind the music are not. We are very humorous with each other and at every rehearsal and every band meeting there is a lot to laugh about!

Markus: Ohhhh yes! Humour is definitely not missing out, the sayings like to fly very low. And the usual dose of Goran Bregovic (Bosnian musician and composer->Author’s note) should not be missing either.

Plans for the future

MH: Finally, of course we want to know something about your plans: For when are more songs planned? And are you already making plans for live gigs next year so that you can send us your message personally?

Christoph: I think we already have enough ideas to fill two albums. The task now is to filter out the „best“ ideas and work them out. But we haven’t decided yet whether we want to release single singles, one or two EPs, or maybe a classic longplayer. There are strong arguments for each variant. But what we can definitely reveal already now: The new material will be much more experimental and also a bit more extreme than what we have released so far. So you can be curious!

Regardless of this, we are already preparing for the time after Corona and working on our live program. We want to offer the audience more than just „band goes on stage and plays their set“. Our background story should and will be reflected in the look and the show.

Markus: That’s why we have also increased our equipment accordingly, so that everything can run smoothly during the show, and we have been rehearsing for a while now. So we will definitely stay on it and are really looking forward to playing for you.

On our own business…

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Bildquellen

  • nature- RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ auf Pixabay: Thanx to RÜŞTÜ BOZKUŞ auf Pixabay
  • Egomania-EP-Cover: Cover EP über AGONY ATLAS
  • earth-Pete Linforth auf Pixabay: Thanx to Pete Linforth auf Pixabay
  • Agony-Atlas-Promo-Pic-1-skaliert: Bandfoto über AGONY ATLAS

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