Not so long ago on the German metal-scene appeared new but great star with gothic spirit. Now this "star" has got new (2nd already) album "Calm The Seas", it appeared thanks to Prophecy Productions & CD-Maximum (in CIS). We, of course, couldn't pass this event and asked musicians to tell their meanings.
Fess: First of all let me to congratulate you with the appearance of your new album. Wish you to stay in the same stream... So for those of our readers who haven`t a lot of information about MANDRAKE, would you please give us a short excursus to the history of your band?
Lutz: MANDRAKE was created in the early 1997. We choose the name after seeing the movie "Flesh and blood". In this movie a young princess eats a plant which is called mandrake. The plant will give her eternal youth and beauty. So it is an nice mythos and so we decided to take this name for our band which was created after playing in a "BOLT THROWER like" death metal band called SARCASTIC. In the first line-up played the guys of SARCASTIC. After the release of a demotape called "Mandragora Offizialis" in 1997 and a debut album called "Forever" in 1999 and after playing some gigs the band stops being active in the early 2001. After some sessions with the band in the early 2002 I decided to leave the band. In the past I have registrated "Mandrake" as a trademark so only I was allowed to use the bandname. Only one month later I had a new line-up which exist till now. In autumn 2002 we released a promomaxi called "Entwine" with the new line-up. Only two month later we got the deal with "Greyfall" which is a sublabel of Prophecy Productions. In autumn 2003 we released our second album "Calm The Seas".
Fess: What is the part of mythology in your band (in lyrics, in music, in personal life)?
Lutz: Oh that's different. The plant mandrake also gives the people who eats it eternal love beside the eternal youth. That's the main idea why we took this name. All our lyrics are written because of the different in life and between the sexualities. And the lyrics are a part of my personal life. I am not very old but in my life there are many causes that made me feel this sad way in the songs and in the lyrics. It is the focus you have in life. I give a shit about my working and business shit. The truth in life is the relationship between the human beings.
Fess: What is the final aim of your existence (as a metalband)?
Lutz: To reach many people with our music. Also it is a great pleasure for us to have a recordlabel which let us do everything we want. It is very nice to get the money for recording your own songs.
Fess: So money is not the last thing in your music? Is there any commercial sides of your band?
Lutz: Yes, I think. It is commercial at that moment when you give the music free for the fans. If you don`t wanna be commercial you never have to release a CD for other people than for yourself. But for us it is important to reach many people with our music not because the money. But it is also a fact that we never could record our albums if there was no money. We are students without any money for such things. So money plays a role in every activity you make.
Fess: Please tell us slightly about a new album. What is the spirit of the album looks like?
Lutz: We have just began writing new songs for the next album. On our upcoming album we try to combinate the old trademarks of mandrake like keys, female voice and melancholic guitarlines with nu-metal grooves. Also we try to reduce the male growlvocals, to put more clean male vocals on the new songs.
Fess: Don't you think, that it will scare some part of you fans? Nu-metal now is really popular, but not been liked by the "old-metal-fans".
Lutz: No. It will never be the main style. We will never be a nu-metalband. We only will use some grooves of this style. No more than that. When you play live it is much cooler to play some grooveparts.
Fess: What is your favorite song of MANDRAKE? Why?
Lutz: I like Entwine very much. The lyrics are very cool. Also Essential Trifles and Distant Shores are very cool (lyrics and music). Essential Trifles has a cool electronic style and Distant Shores is very cool cause the doomy style with a sadly guitar melody.
Fess: What is music for you, money or feelings?
Lutz: First of all music is and should always be feelings. For me music is the way to express my feelings. I try to put my melancholic feelings in the songs of mandrake. In times when I am not down I can not write songs for mandrake.
Fess: How do you think, what is the limit of using electronic effects in metal/rock music?
Lutz: Where is the end? I like using electronic effects but rockmusic without using real guitars and real instruments is no rockmusic. Electronic must always be a part of metal and rockmusic but should never play the dominant part.
Fess: But "where is the end"? With the help of electronic amps, you can make guitar sounds like a violin. Where is the border between "real guitar" and "artificial guitar"?
Lutz: Oh I don't know. For myself I can say that I don't use any guitar effects. I have no effects on my amp. I play a Rectifier Top of Mesa Boogie and a Mesa Boogie Box. It has a nice Distortion and a warm clean channel. And that's it. No more to use.If we are recording songs, we only put on the clean guitars some little delay. No pitching, simulating or what ever, he-he.
Fess: And traditionally you final words for the readers of our webzine…
Lutz: Please check out our new album "Calm The Seas" and visit us at www.mandrake.de' .Stay open minded! "Heavy Metal is the fucking law!" (Flo of Pyogenesis)Hail to the Ukraine metalfans!!!Lutz and MANDRAKE.