About Me

Interview with Schandmaul

It’s not every day, that a band accomplishes 25 years of activity. Schandmaul does, but what better way to celebrate, than to release a new album, via Napalm Records? On the 10th June, “Knüppel aus dem Sack”, was the day this masterpiece was released. The band talked about music, guests, medieval instruments and more. Read the interview and listen to the album!

M.I. -  Hi there, mates. Thanks for the interview. How are you doing and how’s life in Germany?

Hi there. We´re doing fine. Today is a special day. It´s the release of our new album: “Knüppel aus dem Sack”. We´re very much looking forward to the fans’ reactions and to the concerts today and tomorrow.

M.I. -  You released your eleventh studio, called “Knüppel aus dem Sack” on the 10th June, via Napalm Records. For those who don’t understand German, could you, please, translate your album’s name and tell us in what way it is related to the Medieval culture?

In Germany, we have the famous fairy tales, collected by “Gebrüder Grimm”. In one of those tales, the “cudgel out of the sack” appears as a magic weapon, that jumps out to defeat you, when you´re threatened. So, the title refers to old german tales.

M.I. -  This new album is the follow-up of your previous one: “Artus”, from 2019. Care to tell us what the subject of this new album is about and will it be a trilogy?

The new album is a lively mixture of old tales retold and a description of personal experiences and emotions. It does not refer to one of the previous CDs.

M.I. -  This album is like a ray of light and hope in these days. How did you prepare yourselves, lyrically and musically, for this album? What were your main inspirations for it and did you discover a new inner self, that you didn’t know you have?

Due to the pandemic, the writing process was already finished in 2021, but we had to wait for the release. Our personal inspirations are personal experiences, autobiographic happenings in our lives, but also books, movies or old tales. As we simply wait for the inspiration to come up, we don´t follow a concept, so it is always a surprise, what will come out in the end. We are happy with the result. Songs like “Glück auf “ or “Irgendwann” can really give hope after the pandemic.

M.I. -  Two bonus tracks: “Der elfseitige Würfel” and “Long John Silver” were added. Tell us the story about them, please.

“Long John Silver” was inspired by a book called “Die Schatzinsel”, by Stevenson and talks about an old seaman, telling the story of his life to the audience in his pub at the harbour every night. Our singer Thomas invented the story of “Der elfseitige Würfel”, which deals about challenging your fate... and lose in the end.

M.I. -  Folk medieval instruments are known for their beauty and, yet, their complexity. Do you agree? Did you use and find any new instruments for the album? Which ones were played here?

In some cases I would agree. The hurdy gurdy, for example, is technically very complex. In the case of Bagpipe, it is rather the complexity of getting in tune. On the new album, you can find the medieval instruments we have been using for quite a while like hurdy gurdy, bagpipe, shawns and lute. There are a lot more bagpipe songs than on the previous album.

M.I. -  Musically, every song has its own identity. “Knüppel aus dem Sack” is very Metal, “Niamh” very Folk. Was it very difficult to write them in that way?

“Knüppel aus dem Sack” is a very special song as it does not represent the Schandmaul style 100%. It was a little like a musical experiment, also with little fun factor. I think the diversity of musical influences is typical and important for us, you will never get bored on a Schandmaul album (hopefully).

M.I. -  Past meets present here and choruses are very catchy, specially with the help of Thomas’ voice. How did Thomas prepare himself this time, vocally, for this masterpiece?

Thomas is a “natural singer”, he starts singing and is able to express himself with his voice perfectly without thinking too much about it. During the recording session, he worked with his vocal coach Marco Klingel, they have been a great team for some years.

M.I. -  You also have great special guests: Saltatio Mortis, Ben Metzner (Feuerschwanz) and Fiddlers Green. How did you contact them and why these ones?

We have known each other for a very long time and a very long friendship connects us. “Glück auf “ includes some Irish folk elements, so it seemed convenient to us to invite Fiddlers Green. “Königsgarde” tells the story about knights living a loyal and honest life together, so this is the perfect metaphor for a cooperation with our friends and colleagues. Moreover we think that Ben’s voice and the musical influence of Saltatio Mortis fit perfectly to this song.

M.I. -  You’ve played on several important festivals, such as Wave Gotik Treffen, M'era Luna and the legendary Wacken Open Air. Each of them has a particular environment. Which ones did you like the most and think that captured the essence of your music? Did you discover new bands?

It is hard to choose a favourite one, because every of them has its own charmy and edgy style. My personal favourite is WGT and I think, the medieval side is represented most there.

M.I. -  You are almost completing 25 years of activity. How will you prepare the festivities, while promoting the album? Which festival and country are you excited to visit? Curious to know Portugal?

Unfortunately, we don´t have plans for touring in foreign countries, due to our personal situations (small children, other part time jobs), we are running out of time. But who knows, maybe in the future?? We will celebrate our 25th anniversary with the jubilee festival in “Amphitheater Gelsenkirchen”.  But now we’re busy with the summer season 2022.

Listen Schandmaul, on Spotify

For Portuguese version, click here

Interview by Raquel Miranda