Exclusive Interview to Michael Haas, Angizia’s leader member, before the upcoming 7th album: “Des Winters finsterer Gesell".
By Marcela Kruger “McKland” – Volver a la Magia Radio-Show. August 11, 2012
1)What was the trigger, that caused the idea that the new album is a thriller?
MH: Well, first of all: “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” has nothing to do with “modern thriller elements”, which are well-known from several movies and the cinematic thriller-genre itself. “Des Winters…” is much more an old-fashioned and demotic thriller in the Austrian Alps and woods (situated in the early 20th century), during a very mystical winter period and is based upon an old, poetic language. That was my imagination of a thriller plot. Of course I felt the interesting possibilities of a dark and gruesome thriller-script for our individual style, our theatrical voices, the symbiosis of theatre and music, our instruments and our own way of thinking and making music. It fits Angizia very well to exist in a dramatic genre, which could also be connected to film and literature. In fact I wished to perpetuate specific thriller elements which we’ve already used in “kokon” up to a plot, which is throughout dark and gruesome and thus a thrill in a musical form with literary and cinematic influences. Of course “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” will be pure music at all and no criminal novel. The term “thriller” is not that important for the work itself. It’s just an addition, a term for the literary genre, nothing more.
2)What was the essential trigger and inspiration to write the script?
MH:Well, I had the basic story of “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” in mind shortly after having started my script for “kokon” (in December 2009) and wrote it down last winter. There is no special trigger or inspiration for writing down my Angizia scripts. I think it’s always the same proccess:
1)I have a story in mind.
2)I feel very close with this story.
3)I talk about my intentions with Emmerich and Irene.
4)I fix my plot and specify my characters.
5)The plot will be set to music.
6)Then we start the illustration-phase.
3)In your view, as a creator with Emmerich, what would be the points in common and what differences with Kokon?
MH:Of course, “kokon” also had thriller elements, for example in “borstig. schaurig. flackernd”, “Maß für Maß”, “Der Verfall” or “Neigung zum Nichts”, but “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” is a thriller on the whole. It demands a completely different sound than “kokon”. “kokon” was situated in one simple box with a throughout cranky atmosphere. “Des Winters…” is placed among nature, close to woods, snow, storms and mountains. I would say, “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” will be more symphonic, more dark and mystical, while “kokon” was more reduced and “intimate”. The compositions of both albums are very compact. This time (“Des Winters finsterer Gesell”) all compositions have been done by Emmerich Haimer. In general we have found another base of teamwork for “Des Winters finsterer Gesell”. Emmerich got the whole plot in December 2011, then we discussed the musical necessities. Thenceforward Emmerich gave thought to his musical ideas and started intensely with setting the script to music. This time we wished to have all compositions of a piece. The music has been composed and reflected in chronological order from the first chapter to the last one. These days Emmerich is busy with last compositorial updates. Soon the whole work is ready for putting it on record.
4)In each album Angizia shows an limitless evolution, surpassing creativity, one after another work, without the prior loses your own brilliance and masterly. What
factors does work in you when creating a new conceptual work?
MH:Well, in first instance I really have trust in our work and the possibilities of our musicians and vocalists. That’s the basic trigger for every Angizia album. I know that we are able to walk on different paths with the same original punch, energy and creativity. I don’t know if we are brilliant or masterly (thanks for your words), and it’s not decisive if we are that (or not) in the opinion of other people. Our intention is to make something special, something what we would call a “vanguard treasure” for ourselves. We have to be in love with our work. I have to be convinced of my plot and thus the play itself, which should be set to music. And it’s also important to agree with Emmerich, if a plot would be capable for a setting to music or not. The plot determines everything: The kind of music, the vocal characters, the illustrations..., thus it’s crucial to have the perfect base. Equally it’s important that all involved artists (Emmerich, Irene…) have adequate time and energy for permanent work, discussions, ideas and thoughts all around a new album.
5)Could you briefly tell the story of the script?
MH:The plot of “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” is located in a strong, but glory winter landscape in midstream of the Austrian woods and mountains. It’s not that important, in which time or century the story is placed or thought, but if I would make a movie out of it, I would choose the early 20th century (with contemporary clothes and language). The plot itself is based on three different figures: The gloomy fellow (DER FINSTERER GESELL) is a very embittered character, who feels inspired by the gaudiness and force of winter’s landscape in the Austrian alps; but he is also determined to punish sins, to murder and to raze outlying farmsteads (strictly speaking) with a simple hay-fork. He moves as gloomy fellow through snow, ice, and woods, far and wide, through dark and snowbound coniferous woodland. The winter is something like his muse and ANATOL, a clownish servant, is his crazy follower. He is a slave, feels repressed by the gloomy fellow and is part of his atrocities. Visually Anatol is blending in a mixture of “angular servant” and “grotesque clown” with a rouged clown face. The character WALDFRAU is based upon the important figure of the NARRATRESS. She is a legend in the mystical woods and is the only person who is watching the atrocities of the gloomy fellow and his clown and thus the “storyline” of this gruesome thriller script. What I wish to show is a predominant winter glory and a poetic view of death and murder. The clown pulls a wooden sledge with several crosses and has an old grammophone and some Schubert-LPs in his backpack. After the murder the gloomy fellow instructs the clown to dig graves, establish the crosses and play Schubert’s “Leise flehen meine Lieder” afterwards. The winter is always immanent through the whole plot and is the important contrast to all the atrocities in the script. The end of the story will be very crucial.
6)What are the musicians and instruments that are present and which have been neglected as that used in Kokon?
MH:We’ll predominantly make use of piano, cello, viola, accordion, electric and acoustic guitars, bass and drums, but will also involve some horns and radio play sequences for example. The musicians will be very similar to “kokon”, but while we neglected accordion on “kokon” the grandioso accordionist Krzysztof Dobrek will play again for “Des Winters finsterer Gesell”. In fact the sound of “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” will be very different to “kokon”, first and foremost because of the fact, that the plot itself was placed in extensive woods, among winter nature, snow, storms and pure coldness and not in an isolated box (kokon). “kokon” was much more an intimate play with a certain reduced character. Thus even the piano on “Des Winters…” will have another sound than on “kokon”. We will not use contraguitars in the dimension of “kokon”, because we need more electric guitars now. “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” confesses two important parameters (in the same breath and extent): 1)The POMP & GLORY OF THE WINTER LANDSCAPE in the Austrian mountains and 2)the THRILLING PLOT with quite gruesome, dark and mystical tendencies. So during our composition phase for the dark, but also natural plot of “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” we thought of strings, more hall and nature sounds. The thrilling plot itself made it necessary to bring back more power, darkness and impact, which we will do with more metal elements (in particular electric guitars and brawly voices).
7)Although I have not even heard the album because you are in the stage creative, How does Angizia feel Des Winters Finsterer Gesell? How do you think that will be the reaction from your fans?
MH:I think our fans will be probably a bit surprised, but also enchanted and for sure not disappointed. The sound and music of “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” will be different to “kokon”, but also to “Ein Toter fährt gern Ringelspiel” or “39 Jahre für den Leierkastenmann”. But well, as mentioned, we also had some thriller elements in “kokon”, so “Des Winters…” will be the logic continuation. The difference to “kokon” is not founded in the instance, that we are always strolling on new paths, but in the content of the different plots itself. The script of “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” demanded different and more dark and “metallic” compositions than “kokon”, but will also include some very reduced songs with piano or cello and voice for example. Furthermore I have told that in several interviews: We are not interested in making musical sequels or boring copies of our own albums. If someone hopes, that we (for example) make a good “new copy” of “39 Jahre für den Leierkastenmann”, then we answer, that a step like this would downgrade “39 Jahre für den Leierkastenmann” itself. To “repeat ourselves” is not our intention when making music. I’m more than satisfied with the fact, that with “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” we can show really new and maybe unexpected Angizia facets while still establishing Angizia as identifiable musical creature for different music listeners. For sure our fans will distinguish “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” as typical, strong and also necessary Angizia album.
8)Do you expect to bring more audience or followers of other musical genres?
MH:Not really, maybe “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” can inspire more metal fans than previous Angizia albums, but we have no commercial expectations in this connection.
9)How would you define the most representative musical genres or musical style of Des Winters Finsterer Gesell?
MH:Difficult to answer, but I try it with the following representative musical genres (styles): Metal (black metal), classical music, film scores, theatre, radio play, folklore, circus music, avantgarde,…
10)What are the expectations of Angizia with this seventh album?
MH:I think we always wish the same: We have to be satisfied with the final result, then our fans will be satisfied, too. Neither we expect commercial success nor any awards or tons of money.
11)Could you tell us the release date of Des Winters Finsterer Gesell?
MH:We will start with our studio recordings in October 2012 (most probably). For sure “Des Winters finsterer Gesell” will be available 2013, but there is no release date fixed yet.
Here some questions from Angizia’s & Volver a la Magia Radio-Show’s Fans, also Actors of Erebos, Teatro de los Antiguos
Maria Marta Puntis – (Theatre Actress in Erebos Teatro de los Antiguos, Buenos Aires, Argentina) Volver a la Magia Radio-Show’s Fan
· Did you know Irene Denner before Angizia forming or have you called her to form the band?
MH:Well, Angizia still existed as band before Irene Denner became part of it. I have engaged Irene for soprano voices in “Die Kemenaten scharlachroter Lichter” (in May 1996). So we both know each other a very long time and (since then) discuss all important decisions within Angizia. She is irreplaceable.
· * What inspired you to merge theater with music?
MH:There is no certain inspiration. It’s the symbiosis, which I wish to have in Angizia.
· PS: Of course, I do not miss my special mention for "Es ist Leindenschaft" is and will be my header song for a long long time
MH:Thanks for your words & questions, Maria.
Descencio (Theatre Actor in Erebos Teatro de los Antiguos, Buenos Aires, Argentina) Volver a la Magia Radio-Show’s Fan
· What is the meaning you give the name of the band?
MH:ANGIZIA is the name of a snake goddess, who was especially revered by a folk called the Marsi in Italy (some centuries ago).
* Angizia bring us to the theater of the past times even the greatness of romanticism. So can we mention Angizia as a band from another times making great pieces of
MH:Hmm, an interesting question. In fact my plots are situated in different centuries and always in the past. “Die Kemenaten scharlachroter Lichter” was situated in the 17th century, “Das Tagebuch der Hanna Anikin” in the 19th century, “Das Schachbrett des Trommelbuben Zacharias”, “39 Jahre für den Leierkastenmann” and “Ein Toter fährt gern Ringelspiel” in the 20th century and “kokon” had no certain reference to any century consciously. But also “kokon” had a kind of “old touch”. That’s right. The music is always connected with the plots, so…well…I think you are right…
· * What is your favorite dead language?
MH:I think, I have no favorite dead language.
· * What is the spirit of Angizia on Des Winters Finsterer Gesell, and the best feeling you could define it?
MH:I guess, I still have answered this question within Marcela’s interview, but to name my special feelings for “Des Winters finsterer Gesell”…I think it will be a very strong and brumal, dark and also cruel album.
Thanks for your words & questions, Descencio.
Marcela Kruger McKland: Thank you very much, Michael Haas for your kindness to answer this interview. Angizia is in our hearts forever!
Michael Haas:Thanks for your words & for your interesting questions (really serious questions, many thanks for that), Marcela. Hugs & regards, Michael Haas