Q: Hendrik, that’s how fast it can be: Your extensive interview from our first print issue is still fresh, and here we go again. I didn’t expect that, but no matter what, here we start with the second round. Not long before we wanted to finish our second issue, we were alerted by news about the new studio album “Schwarze Bande” as well as the Split-EP “Welcome to the Anarchy”. Like many listeners out there, we were caught by surprise. Will the horde Absurd return to their old martial sound?
A: Hails! Yes, that’s quite right, with “Schwarze Bande” you gonna hear Absurd the way you know and appreciate the band. The record was in the works since 2021, but we have deliberately avoided the PR-strategy of “15 seconds teaser” here and “cover preview” there, that’s so overused in social media nowadays. We wanted to finish the album and to release it as some complete work of art: In a way that nobody would expect and thus the surprise would be there for everyone. After all, the fans of the band have been waiting for a new full length-album since “Blutgericht”, and it’d be inappropriate to keep announcing and delaying this release for a long time.
Q: You have been working on the new album in secret and almost no one knew what’s coming. Now with the release behind, please tell us something about the work on the album? Who is rallied behind and marching under the banner Absurd from here on, and what is the new album all about?
A: That’s not quite right; the work on the album wasn’t kept a secret, because the people related to the band knew about it and they kept contributing to it one way or another, but we decided to don’t go public with this album until it’s released. Working on it wasn’t that different from the work any band puts into a new album; we dealt with various ideas lyric- and musicwise, kept brainstorming and rehearsing, until we were satisfied and could begin the recording of the songs. In the meantime, the design and layout for the album was done and once everything was ready to go, the different audio formats were being manufactured and here they are! For the time being, it suffices to say that I am part of Absurd. The other musicians are known from different bands and projects, but we have mutually decided to don’t talk about it right now. Absurd is more than the sum of individual members, and now with the new album being released we want the fans and listeners to stay focused on Absurd and don’t get distracted or sidetracked. The new album is steeped in the philosophy of „heroic realism / nihilism” according to Werner Best, namely, the “affirmative fight for a lost cause”. However, you also find more of the classic Absurd-lyrics on the album.
Q: What about the Split-EP with Abyssic Hate, how came you to collaborate with eachother and is there a concept behind “Welcome to the Anarchy”, as that’s the title for this EP? Judging by the cover artwork, the EP is surely not one of your usual releases, right?
A: Shane is a good and long-time friend and supporter of the band, and we two kept talking about the idea of a split-release for quite some time. Shane is a huge fan of Pink Floyd, hence he badly wanted to record a coversong of this band. Fitting to that, we have recorded a Sex Pistols-coversong. Pink Floyd and Sex Pistols are like antipodes of the British music scene of the 1970ies, yet there was kind of middle-ground between the two bands if you consider their lyrics and message. Considering this history, we made the Absurd / Abyssic Hate-Split happen. However, this EP is not representative for neither band. It was an opportunity for experimenting with sounds and visuals, and we might do something similar on upcoming split-releases with other bands. The band will remain true to itself on any album, though.
Q: I have immediately noticed your vocals on the new record. Someone might think differently, but I feel kind of reminiscence when listening to your vocals. They really remind me on the old works of Absurd. Was this intentional, did you rehearse your vocals?
A: Well, it’s quite natural that I kept refining the vocals during many rehearsals. How else could it be, unless you happen to be gifted with a great voice by default? If you listen to Wolf singing in Wolfsburg, or even on „Werwolfsthron“, and compare it to his vocals for Der Tod un die Landsknechte, then you also notice a tremendous difference. To me it’s important that the vocals fit to Absurd and they remain natural in a way that they can be performed live on stage, too. There’s much tweaking that can be done to vocals in a studio environment, but none that can be emulated live on stage.
Q: During the last days we have receive a couple emails with questions about Absurd. For instance, we were asked how you can do a new Absurd-album if you ain’t the “true Absurd”? Or else, how you dare to use this bandname for making music? Maybe you want to comment on that?
A: I’d like to use this opportunity to say it once and for all, there is only one remaining founding member in Absurd, who was active in the band since the early days and who is indivisibly linked to the band biography for better or worse. And that is me. If anyone questions my legitimation of carrying on with my band now and in future, be it by recording new music or by playing live, lives in denial of the entire early band biography between 1992 and 1999 and he fails to realize that there wouldn’t be the band Absurd, that we talk about, without this history.
Q: What’s certainly confusing to some is the reality of witnessing new records of Absurd coming from two different camps / line-ups. How can this be explained to anyone who’s not an insider? Who’s now Absurd, actually?
A: There wouldn’t be any confusion if you kept informing yourself on the official website of Absurd (www.hordeabsurd.com) that exists since 2007. There, the situation was already explained sufficiently: There is only one Absurd. In this band, different people have played during different periods of time. Between 1992 and 1999, the two founding members DMD and JFN who already at this time have had the help of others in the line-up. Even though Wolf has supported the band right from the start, he never was an active member during this era. He doesn’t appear on any records, period. That would only change after 1999. I didn’t leave the band but couldn’t play in Absurd anymore, for obvious reasons, and thus I have asked DMD to carry on and keep the band alive. He refused to do this and has turned his back on Absurd for good. Wolf kept a folder with songs to which DMD wrote music and lyrics, but never recorded any of them himself. When Unhold agreed to record these songs together with Wolf, there was the idea to continue with Absurd and to use the unreleased songs of DMD to that end. I have supported this idea, because I wanted the band to go on. From this idea, „Werwolfthron“ was born. An album that almost exclusively features songs written by DMD. Also on “Totenlieder“ you have a couple songs written by DMD, and not sooner than when Wolf and Unhold recorded „Blutgericht“ the latter became the only composer in Absurd. After the recording of „Der fünfzehnjährige Krieg“ and „Weltenfeind“, the line-up of Wolf and Unhold kept playing a few more concerts but after 2012 the band went into a hiatus and ceased to exist in all but name. The long-awaited new album, sequel to „Blutgericht“, was never recorded. From 1999 to 2008, I kept contributing lyrics and concepts to Absurd but in 2017 I have decided to reform the line-up and become an active member of Absurd, once again. As you can read in the correspondence between Alexey / Moloth and Wolf (see screenshot), about the edition of Asgardsrei-festival in 2017, the latter explicitly said that not only did he not have any line-up to play live or record music with Absurd anymore, but also did he “lack the motivation to spend the time and effort. Not only concerning live performances, but recording new music as well.“ Later he sold the rights on the Absurd-recordings, on which he once participated, to me and thus closed this chapter for good. Unhold still kept a bunch of unreleased songs by DMD, for instance the songs supposed to go on the never recorded Split with Heldentum, „Kyffhäuserreich“, and when he and Gelal went to the studio in April 2019 to work on the new GBK-album, they recorded five of these songs for releasing them under the name Absurd. Wolf was permitted to contribute vocals to three of the songs later. This sudden activity was also triggered by critical voices such as the one of Rabensang of Totenburg / Hammerbund, who told Wolf in March 2019 (see screenshot, and translation provided below) that he and Unhold could hardly pretend to still represent Absurd if there wasn’t any new record coming from them while I kept playing concerts and announcing new releases. The five songs, that were recorded by Unhold in April 2019, were subsequently released on various formats multiple times, and that’s that. New releases for 2019/2020 were announced in the “Promo 2019 a.y.p.s.”-MCD but they didn’t materialize, at all. In the meantime, me and my fellow band members kept working on the new full length, with completely new songs, that every fan of the band was waiting for. That ought to answer the question who’s Absurd, doesn’t it? Wolf keeps doing Der Tod und die Landsknechte, whereas Unhold is busy with GBK. There is only one band Absurd, and this one has now released a new album.
Q: In the meantime, the new releases are available to an audience, did you receive any feedback already? Either good or bad?
A: I’ve only received positive feedback thus far. However, most fans will be able to listen to the full album on May 11th, 7 PM Central European Time, when “Schwarze Bande” will stream on YouTube. The scheduled live-stream was already reported by the usual suspects and thus flagged and taken down as “hatespeech”, but there’ll be an alternative option anyway.
Now it’s one month after the release of the ABSURD-Live CD, in the past this was the most interesting sales period for selling the bulk of records and afterwards the river used to dry down to a trickle. What is your assessment are you satisfied or not? Maybe most people wait for vinyl nowadays if they expect it to be released very soon. The 7” EP’s released by Hendrik in 2014 and 2015 were limited to 1000 copies each but sold out pretty fast after they were on top on his sales charts, and none included any songs that were really new, either. But maybe all the drama has tainted the bandname Absurd and hurts the sales, I’d be interested in learning if you see any indication for that.
I have sold 300 CD’s of 500 made, including wholesale, and thus everything is ok. I got my money back and the rest of copies will be selling too. No idea if people wait for the vinyl, let’s find out! After your brother decided to call this CD a “bootleg” on Metal Archives two weekends ago, and he and Kojak, who tried to put this CD back to “official”, argued about this on Metal Archives, the Absurd page was locked by the admins. The CD can’t be sold on Discogs either, shamed be who thinks evil of it! Concerning Absurd I am not going to comment on this anymore, because I did a lot of it in the past and now it is a fact that you two, Sven and you, are to blame for the situation with Absurd as it is now. You kept silent and didn’t act and thus Hendrik keeps doing what he does, because you never put a stop to it. Two weeks ago, me and Jens had to explain to a lot of people that it’s not as if you gave up the band to Hendrik, because people from abroad believe he earned any rights to the band anyway and everything is cool between you. A statement from you is long overdue but it never came, and thus Hendrik is now in charge of the band as far as many people are concerned. The Live-CD doesn’t change that one bit, Hendrik is laughing his ass off about it and I am totally serious with what I am writing right now, you know I was always behind you and Sven but the Absurd story has started to be a joke on you if you don’t get your head out of your ass before Hendrik records a new album or one of the 88 split releases of Absurd that he announced. If you don’t act now, then you can call it quits on Absurd for good! After the two not bad live performances in Kiew and France, and if new Absurd-records are released that are good too, the fans will for better or worse acknowledge Hendrik’s band as The True Absurd and you guys not even need to bother recording new songs, because it will look like (and painted by your brother as such 100%) a butthurt attempt to “grab back” the band from him.
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