A friend of mine called Ellen (hi!) taped me the new album of Cataract from Switzerland which will be released on the American label Ferret in late September. To be honest, I only knew the band by name before, but this album really rocks! All you guys into metalcore out there must check it out because itís definitely worth it. So when the guys played a show together with Ensign and Grade I asked three of them (Michi, Bass; Ricki, Drums and Gregor, Guitar) some stuff about the upcoming release of ĎGolemí, that brutal piece of musicÖ

Ok guys, Ellen taped me your album ĎGolemí and Iím really impressed, heavy as shit! The production is really killer! As it is not yet released, what can you tell me about it?

Michi: Thanks! When it comes to the production, the music was basically recorded at Alpha Omega Studios in Italy which is a very nice studio in the mountains, really great. The vocals were recorded in WŁrzburg, Germany, right? Well, they were recorded somewhere in Germany, haha. It was a vocal studio, which means a studio special for vocals, and the whole thing was mixed in the US at Tracks East, New Jersey, and it was mastered at West West, also in the US. So it really should sound good after all these circumstances.

Gregor: About Tracks East, there already were bands like Hatebreed, Buried Alive, Turmoil, who are kind of idols to us, so we thought about doing something there, too, and we are very satisfied with the result.

Ricki: In the beginning I was a little bit critical about the whole thing, to spend a lot of money and fly over there, because Simon went there, our vocalist went there, and Sandro from the studio went there, too. You know, you have to pay all that. So at first I was thinking like thatís a bit expensive, we can do that here, too, but Simon wanted to go there desperately and the others wanted to do that, too. And it really paid off, I didnít think that you can make so much out of it. You know, I heard the recordings from the studio where we kinda mixed it a little bit, like a rough mix, but the difference to that what the guy at Tracks East did and also the one mastering it is incredible.

Michi: Itís really a huge difference.

So did you have to pay the whole recording on your own or did the label help you out? Or did you send the recordings to labels to get a deal?

Ricki: How did that all turn out? Well we didnít really promote the recordings or something, here were interested people who told us they wanted to do the record, but not really definite. We recorded a demo with four tracks that we sent out, but there was no definite offer to that one. But we thought we should do the recordings first for the album, because we could send them out. Because so we have something in our hands to give them and ask them to release. We didnít think that everything would be finished, but the recordings went faster than we had expected. We played together with Nora in Rome on a festival, and Carl (Ferret) liked it very much and came up to us and asked us if we would like to release it on his label. Actually we didnít really have the guts to ask him. You now, it was our dream to have an American label, because we want to gain a foothold in the US, and with an European label that is very hard, the label has to have very good connections to make it work. So it was our dream, and he comes up to us and asks us.

Michi: I mean with Ferret, nothing better could have happened at the moment. There are other bands on that label that will be bigger in the future, and I think thatís a chance for us, too. And also the philosophy of Ferret suits us very much. With that label everythingís great.

Ricki: What I could add is that Relapse, a grindcore label, was also interested a little bit and asked us to send them some stuff, so we had to decide, because Carl asked us if we wanted to sign, and we didnít hear anything from the guys from Relapse, I donít know if they had our stuff at that time, and we had to decide if we wanted that at all. I mean, for us as a hardcore band Ferret is much better, because there are bands on that label that play a similar sound.

I think thatís right, because Relapse is more a metal label in my eyes, and Ferret is more hardcore based, so thatís better for a hardcore band in my opinion.

Ricki: What I heard is that by now Relapse sign hardcore bands, too. I mean Relapse is a pure underground label, and I think a lot of hardcore kids think that itís just a metal label, and I think that thereís probably a lack of acceptance, I donít know if Iím right, because they might think ĎOh, Cataract is on Relapse.í They might know stuff like Dying Foetus or Mortician and then they think ĎThatís not for me.í

Michi: Dying Foetus, haha.

Ricki: I mean with Ferret, we are among ourselves., you know.

Michi: We are all absolutely happy with Ferret, haha.

Ricki: Did you hear that Carl?

(Laughter)

So did you already talk with them about a tour with other Ferret bands in the US or in Europe?

Michi: Well if thatís possible we plan to go to the US in April. I mean the schedule is set, but we have to see if itís possible for all of us, you know with holiday and school and stuff. But thatís the only problem so far. We have the offer and we basically could do it.

Ricki: We really want to do that. You know we talked about that when they hang around with us, during a day off, and we told them what weíd like to have from that deal, which was the he does the whole promotion.

Michi: That was important.

Ricki: That we know the record is out and people know that, and we also wanted that we can go on tour, especially in America. And he said he wanted to make the record and it should sound good.

Michi: I mean for Ferret itís also not that bad, because we are their first band from Europe, and I think we can help each other. So it was cool for both sides. We hope that the US tour will take place.

Gregor: It is also some kind of promotion for Europe. You know, Americans are always intolerant of European bands. Maybe they keep an eye on the European bands, because there are so many great bands here.

When I was on your homepage around two weeks ago, it was quite different than it is now, it had a black background and you some pentagrams here and there. Did you do that because you have a metal background or was that more a joke?

Ricki: It was no joke. I mean you can talk for hours about the pentagram, you know itís a magic symbol that stands neither for something good nor for something bad, how you use it depends on the individual. People just consider us as a metal band in Switzerland, because thereís a webzine in Switzerland where you can find discussions about old school, if metal can be a part of hardcore and so on, but all that doesnít matter to us, because we make music for those people that like this sound, I mean since Rorschach this sound came over, and back then metal somehow got a part of hardcore, and there are bands that are even more metal than us, but that still have a total hardcore attitude. I donít know, on our website itís surely more a joke.

Michi: I mean you can reach so many people with such a page, so it doesnít make sense if you just head into one direction. We try to be a little bit more open. When have you been on our page?

Around two weeks ago, when it still had a black background, but when I checked it out today, the background was white.

Michi: Yeah, right. Now itís like a concept. The layout of the CD will be quite similar to that of the homepage, well, actually itís the other way round, the page is similar to they CD, haha. We hope that one can recognize it and I think itís working pretty good. Maybe it has no longer that metal touch it used to have, but itís more modern now and itís better for us.

The title of the record will be ĎGolemí, how did you come up with that title? Come on, you stole it from Protector, right?

(Laughter)

Ricki: Haha, no we didnít steal it from Protector. We were thinking about thousands of titles, by the way, it was the same with the name of the band. Nothing seemed to be cool with everybody in the band at first, but thenÖ Hey, how did we actually come up with ĎGolemí?

Michi: Hey, it was you how came up with that title, haha.

Ricki: No no, ĎGolemí was one of the first titles, I think Simon came up with it. But then we dropped it and thought about other titlesÖ

Michi: ĎSource of the collapse.í Beretta 2000 also was one of the titles, haha.

Ricki: That was the working title. Then we said something like ĎBabyloní which we thought was pretty cool, but there are so many albums out with Babylon in the title, and there was just an album released called Babylon, but Babylon was pretty much the title, but then started informing a little bit about Babylon, with history books and the internet to find out what it means, and somehow there was no connection to the music. Also people outside the band whom we asked how they like that title didnít like it that much because it is used too often. I think Earth Crisis released something with Babylon in it.

ĎGomorrahís season ends.í

Michi: Yeah, right.

Ricki: Then somehow I came up with ĎGolemí again and that title has a connection to the music. Well, some kind of connection, I mean you can interpret everything, but I think a Golem is something threatening. You know the famous Golem, the monster is something threatening. So I think that fits to the music.

Michi: The Golem didnít take any shit.

Ricki: You now, Golem were some kind of monsters made out of clay, and most people only know the bad monster that destroyed the city, but basically it was different. You know I have an old book about myths ghost and all this crap, and in that book Golems were described as monsters made out of clay that were created to work. When they started working they were able to learn, when they read books they became more intelligent. And then there was this one who became extremely intelligent, because their master gave him more and more books and told him to read them so that he should become like a human being, and when he became more and more human he found out that heís basically just a slave and then he freaked out, smased the city, Golem dead.

(Laughter)

Ricki: In the first place it should sound good and go hand in hand with the music.

How about the Swiss scene, would you say that itís good, are there zines and clubs?

Michi: Well, in Switzerland we play not that much. Most of the shows we play in Germany. I mean Switzerland is a lot smaller than Germany, there are just a few clubs, about 80 people come to a show and itís the same people every time. I mean itís nice to play at home, but it doesnít get us any further, and it doesnít get the people any further, they donít want to see a Cataract gig every week. Our vocalist is from Germany, so he knows more people there than we, and he has some connections so that we can play in Germany. I think we played a couple of times in Switzerland, but for the most part we played in Germany.

Ricki: We think about playing two or three times a year in Switzerland, otherwise itís too much for the people and theyíre not interested. We want that they are happy if they get to see us and not that they think ĎOh God, these guys again.í At the moment there are not that much bands in Switzerland. Well, a year or two ago it was different, there were so many bands. But there are more places where you can play, but on a regular basis there are only one or two places. I mean the network exists, but often thereís a lack of people. In ZŁrich for example itís sad that thereís no club that does shows regularly where people can go to. Some time ago it was different, there were more shows and more people went there if the show was announced two weeks before.

Michi: Itís sad because ZŁrich is a pretty big city, a lot of young kids who would like to see more going on.

Ricki: I mean people are interested, if a bigger hardcore band is playing the club is packed. There are also bars where they play that kind of music, and a lot of people go there.

Michi: Yeah, but there are a lot of guys with tattoos and beer bellies around 40 in there, but nevertheless itís cool to drink a beer with them at times.

The MotŲrhead road crew.

Michi: Yeah, haha, but thatís cool.

When will the new record be released?

Michi: The CD should be released at the end of October, but you know how it isÖ We hope that itís out until then. There will be a vinyl for that record, too, but we donít know yet where it will come out.

So Ferret wonít do the vinyl?

Gregor: No, itís probably on a European label.

Michi: But we donít know which one yet.

Ricki: I mean Carl has to agree. The plan is that some label releases our album on vinyl and at the same time takes the Ferret stuff into their distribution.

Any interested labels so far?

Ricki: There are some people that are interested. We have our favourite label but havenít heard from that one for some time now. So we will wait some more time and if he doesnít respond thatís through with him. But he will be pretty pissed then. Lately weíve been playing at a big festival in Belgium and there were a lot of VIPs. After the festival we had about five or six offers from different labelsÖ

Michi: That was great, haha.

Ricki: The labels said that they wanted to do it. Well we have a label for sure, but we want to make it the way it suits us perfectly. The label should do something for us, thatís our goal.

Cool, I canít think of any more questionsÖ

Michi: Itís good to talk about the new record before itís coming out. You know, normally interview go like this: ĎWhere do you come from, how old are you, Öí. This interview was different, itís good to talk about the record.

Ok, thatís the interview, check out the album when itís out, itís really cool, so donít miss that one.

(Stefan)