25 Apr
Interview with AKROASIS

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

We had a conversation with Christof Schafer (Lead Guitar). Enjoy!

Tell us a few things about AKROASIS (Members, Starting Year etc).
The band was founded in 2016 by Marcel Knupp (guitar) and Gerhard Baeriswyl (drums, ex-Anitras Garden). A short time later I (lead guitar, ex-Distant Past), joined them. We decided on the band name "AKROASIS". In Greek, this means both hearing and what is heard and can also be interpreted as the conscious perception of music. Hänsù Zürrer joined the band as bassist in 2017. Robin Hermanek joined the band as vocalist in 2019, but left after the recording of "Ilion" in 2021 and was replaced by Mike Brügger (ex-Hedera). The new album "Hubris" was also recorded with him.

In 2021 you released your album ''Ilion''. What was the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
Most of the reviews were good to very good. Of course, there were also a few critical voices, but we are satisfied for the first album. Our immediate environment was positively surprised and impressed by the album we recorded. The album was also visually impressive, especially as a double LP in gatefold format.

Label or DIY and why?
A lot of it is DIY, we've been hiring people since the first album to ensure the most professional production possible. That would be V.O. Pulver from Little Creek Studio, where we record, mix and master the albums, Mayte C.G., who designs the artwork in collaboration with us, the label Doc Gator, which produces and distributes the CD and LP. Then there's Metal Message, which does PR work and for the new album we produced 2 videos for the first time, which Roman Halva shot and edited.

You are going to release your new album ''Hubris''. Tell us a few things about this project.
It's the first album with our new singer Mike Brügger. Musically we focussed on melodic thrash/death metal, as Mike doesn't do clean vocals. Clean passages were still present on Ilion and other influences such as power metal or metalcore had also shone through stylistically. Lyrically, we stayed true to Greek mythology. In Greek mythology, Hubris denounces an offence committed by mythical figures against the gods. The vengeance of the gods against this wantonness was not long in coming and was cruel. All the lyrics are written by our guitarist Marcel. As already mentioned, we have once again worked with the proven people V.O. Pulver (sound) and Mayte C.G. (artwork).

Credit: Maite C.G. / Metal Album Design

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
It was certainly special that Hänsù, our bassist, broke his leg two weeks before the first concert in Germany. Fortunately, he was still able to come along and played the concert sitting on stage with a plaster cast.

Credit: Wolfgang Haupt

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
I still prefer CDs, but I also use streaming. I grew up with CDs, the artwork is often very beautiful and I also want to support the bands financially. As a small band, you don't earn much from streaming. Marcel particularly appreciates LPs, whereas Mike only uses streaming.

Your music style is Thrash/Death Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
We all actually listen to different genres. The commonality is thrash bands like Testament or Exodus. Gerhard mainly listens to thrash. I myself mainly like progressive metal bands like Evergrey or Threshold. Marcel likes to listen to tech death and Swedish death metal. Mike is often into black metal and Hänsù has the broadest range. He also likes to listen to music that can't be categorised as metal.

Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
I assume that a band like us should go on tour as often as possible in order to become better known. To make this possible, you should be as free from work and family as possible. Nobody in our band has done this. Only Hänsù worked as a professional jazz drummer for a while. We all have steady jobs and, with the exception of Mike, children. Nevertheless, we have invested a lot of free time and money in the band in order to release the best possible music.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
I don't think we've had much discussion about that yet. The previous stages were too small for that. But we agree that we don't want any theatrical elements such as special costumes. It would be desirable to play on larger stages, to use other visual effects such as videos and pyrotechnics in addition to the lighting. However, small shows with simple lighting and no show elements also have their appeal, as you can build up a close relationship with the audience. We've already experienced a few gigs like this.

Credit: Nati

What attributes do you think that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Difficult to say. A unique style or a creative image, but it's very difficult to realise something completely new. We are trying to develop our own style, with all band members contributing their backgrounds and creating a musical identity.

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
Yes, that does help us. We've already been able to reach quite a lot of people via Facebook and YouTube. I think good video clips and a good album review are ideal. Concerts are also very good.

Credit: Nati

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Switzerland (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
There are quite a few metal bands, but only a few are internationally successful, e.g. Eluveite. There are also many concerts and festivals. If you wanted to, you could go to a metal concert somewhere in Switzerland almost every day. Nevertheless, it's not easy for a smaller band like us to get to concerts. I don't know of any fanzines, a better-known webzine is metalfactory.ch. There are also some metal programmes on several webradios.

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Unfortunately not that much. Spontaneously, only Rotting Christ, Suicidal Angels and Gus G. come to mind. But the fans are said to be very euphoric, as our colleagues from Emerald, who once played in Greece, told us. A band like Iced Earth certainly had good reasons to produce videos and live albums in Greece.

Credit: Akroasis

The last 4 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
I can't really mention anything positive. The most noticeable thing is that there are more tour cancellations because tickets are being bought much less in advance. For us personally, we had to postpone the first recordings, which should have started in April 2020. Nevertheless, we finished Ilion in autumn. Also, some band members have fallen ill with the virus, sometimes quite severely.

What are your future plans?
We would like to play as many one-off concerts as possible. Tours are rather difficult for us to organise due to work and our families. But it would still be a dream for me to spend two weeks travelling through Europe in a nightliner. We've already started writing songs for the next album and we'll see what happens with "Hubris" over the next few months.

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you very much for your interest in Akroasis. I hope you'll give our album a listen. And it would be an honour for us to play in the country whose mythology has influenced us so much lyrically!

By Steve the Filthy Dog.

PS. Many thanks to Markus (https://www.facebook.com/MetalMessage.Global) for this interview (Cheers mate!)

Credit: Akroasis






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