are a five-piece metalcore band from Germany. They have released eight
studio albums to-date, and two split albums with the band Heaven Shall
Burn. The band was formed in Hattingen, Germany in 1997 under the name
Never Again. After six months of playing together, the band recorded
their first two songs for a demo, which was never released. The songs
were sent to several record labels, and Lifeforce Records was the first
to offer the band a record deal. The band's first self-titled EP came
out in the summer of 1998. To promote the EP, Caliban played many shows
all over Europe and a number of support shows for bands including
Morning Again, Earth Crisis and Cro-Mags.
After their European tour in 1999
entered the studio to record their first full-length album entitled ‘A
Small Boy and a Grey Heaven’. The CD received positive reviews in many
magazines and hardcore and metal ezines.
eighth studio album, ‘I Am Nemesis’, was recently released via Century
Media Records. The album features guest appearances by Marcus Bischoff
(Heaven Shall Burn) and Mitch Lucker (Suicide Silence). After spending
10 months writing new material, the band is very excited to get the
record out to the fans. "It was important to us to have an elaborate
album without any fillers," says lead guitarist Marc Görtz.
"Additionally, the sound of the album is the best we've ever had by far:
it is heavy and brutal without being chaotic." Lyrically, "I Am Nemesis"
is a continuation of the band's last record, ‘Say Hello To Tragedy’, and
it focuses on controversial and often overlooked world issues.
Musically, Görtz says, "The album breaks new soil without forgetting our
roots. There are new influences such as shimmering guitar melodies and
technical grooves with Meshuggah-like heaviness."
A European tour with Winds Of Plague,
We Butter The Bread With Butter, Eyes Set To Kill and Attila kicked off
on February 2 in Karlsruhe, Germany.
In order to get to know all about
their latest album, we tracked down Marc Görtz (Lead guitar)
to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to
the readers of Metal-Experience.com.
First of all, how are you doing?
And congratulations on your new album ‘I Am Nemesis’. Of course we’d
like to ask you a couple of questions about it.
I’m great, thanks for asking!! Now since the album is out and the tour
has started I can just relax and play shows! After so long it was about
time! Glad you like the album! Thanks!
Which approach did you choose to
create ‘I Am Nemesis’, did you go for a more raw exposition, something
more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something altogether
I actually can’t tell really, because
I don't really know. I just had an idea in mind how I wanted the next
album to sound, I tried many things until I found what I was looking
for! But since you’ve said this now, a couple of people actually said
that they can hear influences from previous works like ‘Shadow Hearts’
which is actually cool, because I still love that album!
What was the songwriting process
like for ‘I Am Nemesis’? For instance, did someone come in with just a
riff, or complete songs?
I write most of the stuff or at least
the basic song ideas at home. I programme rough drums to show the other
guys my ideas. Then we decide, together with the producer (it’s always
good to have an outside of the band opinion) which ideas are good enough
to get finalized, then we take it from there! First we finalize the
guitar riffs after the drums, then the lyrics. Because we want to know
the vibe of the song before we put lyrics on it, that the mood fits too
etc if you know what I mean….
What were the goals you had in mind
when you started to record ‘I Am Nemesis’, any elements you definitely
wanted to include on the album?
Yeah I wanted to really have riffs and
not only create the heaviness through speed of riffs, a good example is
the song "We Are The Many" it’s not so fast, but still really heavy. And
I also wanted to create atmospheric and epic melodies, like Muse have, I
know it sounds like a strange mix, but it worked out really good! Like
the chorus in the song "Memorial" or parts in "This Oath" etc…
Could you describe the implications
of the title ‘I Am Nemesis’, what does it stand for and is there a
special meaning behind it?
yes, we see it as a soundtrack for the
"downfall of mankind" if you want to see it that way… because we wanted
to show that things need to change!
Can you tell me a little more about
the lyrics, did anything in particular inspire you?
like I said before, we wanted to show
what’s not right and needs to be changed, like racism, the greediness of
companies, corrupted politicians but also personal stuff like in
memoriam, it’s about Andy’s dad who died of cancer last year!
How important is it to you that
people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
To me it’s at least as important to
have lyrics which actually have something to say, what the fans do with
that is up to them, but I hope that some also pay attention and start to
think about certain things!
Can you give us a little background
information on the songs, are there any stories behind them?
Not a background story about the songs
I guess, just the lyrics like I explained. The songs don't have a deep
meaning musically, if that is what you mean… ?!
If someone was only going to read
the lyrics and not listen to the music, what would you hope they would
take from them?
Actually the same as they do with the
music, start to think haha, but I don't know if they will come across
the same way as they do with the music, because we try to match the mood
of the songs to the subject of the lyrics.
How did the recording process
proceed, did you work differently this time than you did with your
previous work? How much time did you spend in the studio?
We spent much more time but were also
more effective than ever! We also took a break between the instrumental
and the vocal recordings, to finalize the lyrics, to make them fit even
better to the final version of the songs. The instrumental part took
like 3 weeks in a studio in Essen and the vocals actually took 4 weeks,
because even in the studio we worked more on the lyrics, I think in the
end we had like 400 pages of lyrics to choose from. It was hard to not
lose the focus, but we managed it in the end! So you can say we spent
around 2 months on recording and after that it got mixed in like 2 weeks
You’ve released eight full length
albums, including the new one so far. What do you think are the main
differences between your debut album ‘A Small Boy and a Grey Heaven’ and
the new one?
Better musicianship, better
songwriting. More variety in the songs and actually I think also that
the songs are more heavy, even with more clean vocals on this album!
With several albums under your
belt, how far has Caliban surpassed your original dreams and what would
you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?
We never thought we would get as far
as we actually did, or even got 4 years ago already. Seeing the world
and also playing our songs to people who want to hear them on the other
side of the planet, which still amazes me! I never thought that we might
do that one day!
Which song is your favorite one to
play live? Which song do you find the most challenging one to play live?
Since we started to play songs off the
new album, I really enjoy playing "Davy Jones" and "Bogeyman" and
challenging but also fun is "Memorial"….
What have been the highlights and
low points throughout your career?
That’s a hard question, because
everybody in the band may have a different point of view. one highlight
for sure was a tour with In Flames and Machine Head and the first USA
tour, because we never thought to get this far from home with the band
haha and the lowest is hard to say, because we are actually pretty
lucky, I mean of course there are always things which go wrong, but we
don't make a huge deal out of it.
Can you tell us a little about
yourself and the kinds of things that motivate you in your writing, your
poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?
I can just speak for my part, the
music and a tiny bit of lyrics. It’s hard to describe, I have to be in
the right mood, kind of in the mood of the songs I am about to write. It
may sound strange but for example, I can’t sit down and just start
writing… one situation could be where I’m sitting with my wife watching
a movie, and in the middle I jump up, run to the computer (she hates
that by the way ;) ) because I have an idea, the reason can be the mood
of the movie we are watching. but that’s only one example… it can be
many personal circumstances…
Could you respond to the following
terms in just one word or sentence?
Metal: I grew up with it, my dad gave
me a Metallic cassette when I was really, really young.
Underground: Where we are coming from,
which supported us a lot!!
Internet: Maybe too important these
Politics: Too much to complain about
to put in only one sentence or word
The Netherlands: My first festival
(Dynamo) and the best mayonnaise in the world ;)
Germany: Always wins in football
against Netherlands: P no, just kidding!! I actually hate football!!
What is your opinion on the metal
scene these days? What do you think of the overload of bands at the
moment and is there anything missing in the scene?
I actually think that the overload is
already over and not too many bands remain! Sometimes I miss the time
and how the scene was when we started out, the bands were more helpful
towards each other, like Heaven Shall Burn and us for example… these
days there seems to be more competition.
Caliban different from the other metalcore bands?
That’s actually for you or the readers
to decide! haha. I can just tell you that we write music we love and
don't try to do something different only to have more people like us! I
think that would be dishonest and the fans would hear that in our music,
because it would sound kind of fake…
Which goals did you have when the
band started out and how do these goals stand now?
We didn't really have a real focused
goal, we were just friends who wanted to play music. One goal was maybe
to get a small record deal to be able to distribute our music better, to
be able to play in more countries and see the world, to share our music.
What does the future hold for
Well who knows, who knows… we don't
aim for anything really, I just usually focus on what I am doing at the
moment! That works best for me! But I know that some tours are coming
up this year, which will take us to places we haven't been for a while
now, so I’m excited about that, that’s for sure!
Anything you want to say to our
Thanks for your interest and reading
what I had to say! Check out our new album, there is a ton of work in it
and I’m sure you will not regret taking time to listen to it, and thanks
to you for the interview!
Thanks for your time,
Andreas Dörner – Screamed vocals
Denis Schmidt – Rhythm guitar, clean
Marc Görtz – Lead guitar
Marco Schaller – Bass, backup vocals
Patrick Grün – Drums & flute
Engin Güres – Bass
Boris Pracht – Bass (Currently on
Robert Krämer – Drums
Claus Wilgenbusch - Guitar
(1999) A Small Boy and a Grey Heaven
(2003) Shadow Hearts
(2004) The Opposite from Within
(2006) The Undying Darkness
(2007) The Awakening
(2009) Say Hello to Tragedy
(2012) I Am Nemesis