About Me

Interview with Khaima

From Germany comes yet another great album. Khaima is a winning formula, following in the footsteps of bands like Tool, for example. Among such a long-lasting pandemic, the thunderous and powerful echoes coming from “Owing to the Influence” is something to look for. Here’s what Sven had to say.

M.I. - Hello, everyone! Thank you for granting us this interview. How are you doing, how are you coping with this pandemic?

Hi, thanks for having us! Things are mellow and turbulent at the same time around here. COVID still has us in its tight grip and rehearsing/songwriting is currently interrupted by restrictions and social distancing. We still try and meet every time we're allowed to. In general, it didn’t go so bad in our region here as the lockdown came early enough to reduce the spreading. But now people are losing a bit of the seriousness around it.
Seems like the less people they spot with bad cases, the more they question why we are still doing this. 
And, well, yes, we are doing this just because we still don't want to see any of you or your loved ones dying.
But it‘s exactly these in times where dickheads arise and shine with the strangest suggestions, calling themselves the ones which are enlightened and the only ones knowing the truth. How heroic by coincidence.
And then, besides seeing so many people with existential fears or losing people because of the virus, it‘s a pity that the culture is gone. Those things that distract you sometimes from this shitshow or get you out and enjoy life. It‘s really an eyeopener on which thin ice we are actually moving these days. Feels actually like a friendly reminder. Looking at the climate... seems like there’s more things to come. 

M.I. - For those unaware of who you are, do you want to introduce yourselves? How did Khaima start its journey? How did you come up with the idea for the name of the band? Tell us all about it.

It’s a long story of people crossing ways just because they share the love of expression. And, of course, trying to express it in the form of music.
We knew each other from different projects. Those had split up and got reshuffled, so here we are.
It was kind of magnetic, some musicians just snapping together and, then, it‘s the force doing the rest. 
Markus (with which I have played in a band before) searched for other musicians and, luckily, he connected with Toufik. They called me and asked to jam along and after 12 bass players stepping in and out, Jo hits us and we couldn‘t just let him go.
I‘ve played the keys back then, but we actually looked out for some freaks out there to explore sounds and that was the time when Mike and Andreas showed up as they are exactly this kind of people, and I knew them for quite a while. 
Of course, we thought around a name for this band and we have followed the Arabic spring which was still waving around in the News. So Khaima for nomadic folk is much more than just to what it translates: "the tent"! It denotes the tent of life, a symbol of humanity, a symbol of foreign existence. An eschatological dwelling place for humans. 
Just the idea that you can be at home anywhere in the world at any time. And that is exactly what we want to express, given that music is an emotion. I mean, it’s something that is part of everyone and unites us.

M.I. - From what we could gather, Khaima is a band that found its roots in Saarbrücken, Germany. With so many amazing bands coming out of Germany in this industry, how does it feel to carry on their legacy on the days to come?

Oh, I didn‘t know that we are famous for that (laughs).
But we have a bunch of good bands that originated from Germany, and I hope we can share the stage with them someday when things are getting back to normal.
Long Distance Calling, as an example, they’re really great. Flares, they’re awesome. Check them out if you don‘t know them already. But legacy is a big word, so we don‘t want to step in someone else’s shoes to carry on their Legacy. I hope we can build our own.

M.I. - Now, about “Owing To The Influence”, this is your very first album released. What can you tell us about it?

“Owing To The Influence” refers to social, industrial, political and cultural influences that interact with each other. It reflects on consumption and the ever-widening gap between research and resulting decisions, between knowledge and belief. In this, "The truth does not triumph, but its opponents ultimately die out" (Max Planck). The Anthropocene stands and falls with mankind. Our influence is more powerful than ever, but the influence on us is even bigger... as we are facing it currently.

M.I. - According to our records, Khaima has been around since 2013, but the debut album has been released 7 years after its foundation. What is it that made you guys want to release an album now, especially during such a pandemic?

It just felt right to create that momentum and the meaning behind it. Besides the lack of shows... there wouldn‘t be any better time to release it, as it is a reflection of the things that are happening and the source of them from our perspective. It‘s not only the pandemic... it‘s one of the symptoms.

M.I. - Where did you get the inspiration for the tracks on “Owing To The Influence”?

For example, how communication has changed on a daily basis. It seems to me that connectivity is improving worldwide but people are actually drifting more and more apart from each other from an emotional perspective.
Communication has lost the emotional interaction. We are facing a time where right wings are taking over more and more worldwide, dividing society. It kind of looks like a Pollock action painting with a lot of shit.

M.I. - From what we could see, people have already started to compare you to Tool for example, mainly due to the progressive nature of the tracks you have released so far. How do you react to that?

Oh well, you could be compared to something worse, right?
I think it‘s natural comparing us to music that already exists. It provides a frame on which you can focus on. Sometimes people just write in a competitive way, like we are in a wrestling match and the question is: who will be the winner in the end?
Not only that, of course, it‘s one influence that we all share together and we love them. But I would suggest that there are many things that make us unique and then even for the ones that like wrestling to be enough for a coexistence.

M.I. - Unfortunately, a lot of shows have been canceled and the regular tours are still far away from our sight. When you decided to release “Owing To The Influence” did you have any expectations in regards to touring and promoting the album on the road?

Well, that was planned when we wrote these songs but, unfortunately, COVID hit us pretty much at the same time we had finished them. So, we were really skeptical to release it but actually we thought that this is exactly what we are talking about... so let this baby crawl and see if it can lift itself to reach the table.

M.I. - If all this mess with Coronavirus settles down any time soon, can we expect any live shows for Portugal?

Portugal is a beauty, and due to the fact that we are living close to Luxemburg, we also have some Portuguese friends!
We would love to get there and share a moment with you all! Definitely!

M.I. - Is there anything you would like to address to the fans in Portugal?

Stay safe, wash your hands, and be nice to each other.

M.I. - Thank you so much for your time. It’s been an honour. Keep going strong. We will surely keep an eye out for your future endeavors and we wish you all the best.

Big thanks! The honour is ours! 
Stay healthy and all the best to you, your team and your beloved ones!

For Portuguese version, click here

Interview by João Guevara