Misanthropia – Interview
Interview with Ronald Stiefel (Guitar) and Volker Pusch (Vocals/Bass) of Misanthropia with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Ronald: MISANTHROPIA is a traditional four member underground metal band, two guitars, drums, bass, vocals…
Volker: oh and of course we are not like anything you have heard before and are going to know you off your socks! *smile*
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Ronald: MISANTHROPIA was founded in 2004 by Eddie Stübner (Guitar), Volker Pusch (Vocals, Bass) and Markus Tretter (Drums). I joined the band in 2010 on second guitar. We released our first album „Soul Cancer“ in 2007, our second album „Everdark“ followed in 2011. We took a break in late 2015 but re-joined forces in early 2018 when we all realized that a life without MISANTHROPIA is possible but senseless.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Ronald: We all have grown up in the 80th hence our early musical influences are the heroes of those days like Metallica, Megadeth, Blind Guardian, Rage, Kreator, etc. Over the years of course many different bands and musicians inspired each one of us. But in general it‘s mostly metal music.
As regards to non-musical influences Volker was all into pen-and-paper role playing games, heroes and villains, fantasy stories which also reflects in the songs and lyrics.
On the other hand I‘m a complete petrolhead, addicted to everything that goes fast and rushes my veins with adrenalin. That‘s probably why I‘m more into the fast paced uptempo metal music.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Ronald: We are an underground band and that‘s fine for us. We don‘t fantasize about headlining major festivals or doing stadium tours – we all have our regular lives and music is more or less a hobby (the best hobby in world). But of course we want to reach out with our music to as many people as possible. And there are some festivals we would love to play, like the Summer Breeze Festival which we all grew up with since the festival was born more than two decades ago.
Mainly our goal is to have fun in what we‘re doing with the band, writing good music, playing some shows, hanging out with other metalheads and having a good time together.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
M: Almost all music is written by Eddie nowadays, he‘s the musical mastermind of the band. The lyrics are mainly written by Volker, who has created his own vast and complex fantasy world many many years ago. Some of the songs tell stories from this fantasy world like „Anvil of Hate“, „Soul Cancer“, „Everdark“, „The Seer“, or „Bloodpack“ on the upcoming album. The other songs tell stories about personal experiences or situations in life that influenced the music at that time.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Ronald: We had to learn the hard way that promotion is not something that you can do sporadically. The music world and the audience behaviour is evolving at a speed where you constantly have to deal with new situations and new media platforms. We made the mistake to just rely on having a website and a facebook profile. Surprisingly we never really gained too much attention outside a 50km radius from our hometown for some time.
We recently joined forces with Markus Eck from Metalmessage who is a real professional with PR. With him we achieved a much much better attention across all platforms. Getting professional help in PR was probably the decision we made in a long time.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Ronald: Growing up in the 80th and 90th it‘s the greatest thing to finally hold the long expected CD of one of your favorite artist in your hand and reading through the booklet and enjoying the artwork. A lot has changed, especially since MP3 came out. It‘s a bit sad that as an underground band you really have to decide if you invest so much money in artwork and a whole booklet and a good old jewel case CD. Or if you just publish your music online on all the streaming platform or download stores.
To be honest nowadays whenever I buy CD I just briefly check out the booklet, put the CD into my computer and rip it to mp3. It‘s just more comfortable – fact.
Volker: As we have little ambition to get rich making music I think for us as artists it’s the best thing to reach out to as many people as possible. If it is convenient and fast to get in touch with our pieces we certainly appreciate that. It’s all about sharing. We are happy for any feedback we get from an audience – good or bad. If we were to just create for ourselves we wouldn’t actually feature this very interview *smile*
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Ronald: There is this one song from a fairly unknown band. It has this awkward offbeat rhythm also like a metal polka, but it‘s so straight forward, fast paced and has those powerful vocals and a great guitar solo – it‘s simple straight in your face. I just love that song . I think it‘s called Everdark from a band called Misanthropia – hey wait a second… we actually DID write that song!!!
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Ronald: One of the pet peeves as an underground band is that some people come to a show with 3 or 4 underground bands and complain about the entry fee of maybe 8-10€. For the price of popcorn and a coke at the theatre they‘ll get up to 5h of hand made music played live on stage. Those same people on the other hand have no problem at all to pay 200€ for a Slipknot show – even the parking ticket at a show is more expensive than the entry fee of an underground show.
Volker: Also the big festivals are sucking on the regular metalhead – 400 to 500 € are the annual holiday budget for a young person. No regrets spending that on a big festival with of course many acts but most of your favorites are maybe just playing for 30 minutes. The scene has changed and even if there is more metal music out there than ever before the commercialising of this genre is stronger than it has ever been before. Not to the best of all – old heroes that have left their footsteps in metal history 20-30 years ago are still hyped to excess although the have not contributed to the cultural development of their arts ever since. Metallica is one of the most prominent to mention here.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Ronald: One of the greatest moments as a musician was when we played the Rock am Haertsfeldsee Festival. The festival featured Blind Guardian and Rage and some other bands that are our heroes from day one. It was so great to hang out backstage and get to talk to these guys.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Ronald: Currently we‘re working on our third album which is about to be release around easter 2020. The song writing is almost complete and the recordings will start in October. It‘s going to be a bit different than the first two albums, maybe a bit darker but it‘s definitely still MISANTHROPIA.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Ronald: Our next show will be a christmas party in our hometown in a small club.
We play together with a another band we always have the greatest fun with. The last two times we played with them in exact the same location. The place was packed and we had such a blast hanging around with our friends and fans. Just come out to the show, drink a beer with us and see for yourself!
Band/Artist location – Aalen Germany
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