Interview: Michael Masen
Fotos: Kurt Prinz

God of Chaos


(Bestes) Interview (aller Zeiten) mit Weasel Walter

Der erste Teil davon ist bereits in Rokko's Adventures3 abgedruckt worden. Entgegen der dortigen Ankündigung, den zweiten Teil in Ausgabe 4 zu servieren, kann man gleich hier das Interview in vollem Glanz und voller Gänze lesen, viel Spaß:

Eigentlich sollte man eine Band wie die Flying Luttenbachers, diese fantastische Kapelle im Spannungsfeld zwischen brachialstem Free Jazz und präzise dahingerotztem Instrumental-Geknüppel, hier nicht mehr großartig vorstellen müssen. Deshalb zu Beginn gleich mal die schlechte Nachricht: Die Band hat sich aufgelöst. Aber halt, bevor jetzt vom fanatischen Fanvolk – durch „Wenn die Luttenbachers weg sind, gehe ich auch"-Rufe begleitet – diverse scharfkantige Gegenstände zweckentfremdet werden, kann an dieser Stelle Entwarnung gegeben werden.

Luttenbachers-Mastermind und einzig konstantes Bandmitglied Weasel Walter macht natürlich weiter und tritt dabei keinesfalls auch nur irgendwie ein Stückchen leiser, wie man zuletzt beim Impro-Gemetzel, zusammen mit DD Kern und Mario Rechtern, im Fluc beohrenzeugen konnte. Vor diesem Konzert hat sich der Multiinstrumentalist, Komponist und wasweißichnochalles bereit erklärt, einige Fragen zu beantworten, die mit Hilfe der teuersten Computersysteme und der billigsten Biere, die nur irgendwie aufzutreiben waren, erstellt wurden.

Um dem, diesem Magazin überantworteten, Bildungsauftrag auch gerecht zu werden, sind die Antworten hier in englischer und die zugehörigen Fragen in einer Sprache, die man beinahe dafür halten könnte, abgedruckt.

Michael Masen: First of all, I read that the Flying Luttenbachers are history. Why did you quit the band?

Weasel Walter: This is the 100 year old question. I felt increasingly more tortured about the band for the last few years and I got to a point where I realized that I was keeping it going just because I felt some sort of sick compulsion that I had to prove something to people – people I hate, people I love, myself and so on. But I realized at one point that by making the band continue I was punishing myself and I didn't want to do this any more.

I talked to some people about it and one of my friends said that I should do it. He is into death metal and says "death is only the beginning", and I agree. For me it's just a change and freedom too, because now I feel like I can do anything. Whereas with the Flying Luttenbachers there were so many expectations from the fans that I started to feel I couldn't win. There was just no way to win. So I simply made this decision one day and that's it.

MM: But at the core the Flying Luttenbachers were in fact your solo project. I mean, the last record was done completely by yourself as well as "Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder". So, regarding other band members, it wasn't really necessary to make a change.

WW: Well, yes and no. The Flying Luttenbachers were originally conceived as a live band and it was always my desire to have a live band. The few times I did not have a live band I wish I did have a live band. The last album was written for Mick Barr and Ed Rodriguez to play guitar on.

But since I had neither of them I had no choice and had to make this album all by myself. And that was part of the decision. I thought, "Yes, I can make a solo album every year, crying in my bedroom", but this is not what the band was about for me. The band was about being real and being live and taking this kind of complex music and putting it in front of people and setting it to another level of energy.

And we did that on stage a lot of times but to me the Flying Luttenbachers had a mission and that mission is completed now. The last album I put out was very strong and for me to end with this album is a great thing. I think the album gives people clues of what is in the future. I think it talks about the entire history of the band and there are surprises on it. I have no regrets. Since I decided this a few months ago I still feel that it's absolutely the right decision and I am happier now.

I am very busy, busier than ever playing music. I just think there are other ways to make complex music and there's other ways to say what I wish to say without killing myself for it.

MM: Concerning recording music, do you yourself consider as a kind of perfectionist? In that way that you have certain sounds in mind and that has to be put down to the record to 100 per cent. Or to you sometimes come to a point where you can't realize your ideas but release it anyway?

WW: No, I don't have to. The thing is that there is a distance between what you imagine and when you still working on that idea it naturally changes. It automatically becomes something else and all you can do is to really follow this. So, I mean, I am very satisfied in particular with my solo recordings because I didn't have to compromise any aspect. And the way I feel about creativity is that it is not like taking a picture of your brain. It is sort of like you get these impulses and then you act on them but as you try to make them real the change. I don't think they change and become weaker – they just transform.

As far as the Flying Luttenbachers recordings go they are all documents of the people and the ideas of a specific time. And because they are documents sometimes they are not perfect. I would say sometimes they were not even good but over 16 years the point was to constantly transform and to document this transformation.

And now, that it is over, I hope people can look at it as a body of work and maybe analyze it a little more, maybe give it a little more time and a little more thought. I tried to put a lot of information into this stuff and I don't think a lot of people are getting a lot of information out of it because I don't think they are paying attention to what is beneath the surface of this music.

My hope is, that now that this is over, people will be able toy say, "ok, this is done, this is everything, I'm going to listen carefully to figure out what happened", and for me that's part of why I can go. Because I feel like now it is not for me any more, it is for any one else. And I don't have to think about it any more.

MM: Do you think that you, with the Flying Luttenbachers, were a bit ahead of your time so that maybe in ten years people look back and consider this band as something that set standards for many followers?

WW: Well, it is possible but that was never my plan. I don't feel like thinking what people might consider in ten years - that doesn't make me feel any better or greater. But it is possible that as time goes on people will be able to better deal with this kind of information that I put into the music. Because it is very dense it is not really meant to be understood in one, five or ten listens. The pieces are puzzles and I make them puzzles because that is what I like.

I also like this about other peoples' music. A few years ago I started to listen to 20th century composers like Messiaen and Stravinsky and the like and to me sitting with their music and trying to figure out what the fuck is going on was part of the puzzle. And I couldn't be passive, I couldn't just let this music go in the one ear and than out of the other one because than that is bullshit.

You have to pay attention and I think I try to bring this kind of detail to rock music and maybe most people are not ready for it. But I think if history repeats itself in the future a lot more people will be able to understand it.

I don't think that I am above everyone else or some bullshit like that. I just try to make the music that makes the most sense for me to express myself. And sometimes I have a hard time to relating to a lot of people so I am not really surprised that many people don't relate to the music. It is not a big surprise to me. It is not music of the status quo; it is not music of the lowest common denominator.

I hope that people do relate to like the power or the intensity of it, without understanding everything. I don't think you need to understand everything about the music to like it – if you like it you like it. That's all.

MM: Do you think there is something to understand? I mean, everyone listens to music in another way.

WW: I know for a fact that you can educate yourself in listening to music. You can learn how to listen to music beyond "oh yeah, that's a good beat", you know, the most external facets. I know this because I have seen it myself. When I was younger I tried to listen to some modern composers like Xenakis and I was like "oh, that is great", but the thing that I liked about it when I was 16 years old was that it was really noisy and powerful but I didn't understand about the concepts. And maybe when I heard it I didn't really remember anything about it or I couldn't tell you what was happening.

But as time went on and I listened to this more and maybe read about it or I learned more about music I was able to make certain connections like "oh, this is what's happening, this is how the sound is changing,.…" And I think that, especially in America, the culture is anti-intellectual. It is ignorant, stupid bullshit. And people are trained to think that the only good culture is culture that speaks to the dick or pussy or whatever – and that's' fine, but it's not everything. You know, music is not just for fun. It is an insult to music to say that it is only for fun.

Of course, music is fun but it also can be other things and maybe I try to create an intelligent alternative that is powerful as opposed to overly intellectual. I don't think there is a right way to enjoy the Flying Luttenbachers. I think that if you like it that is great and some people will like it for different reasons. And some other hate it for different reasons.

MM: Most popular rock musicians I think are saying that music is for making fun and all the guys making the new music stuff pretending to be the elite are saying "no, you can't put a rhythm into that because it will sound too friendly for the music listener". Do you feel like you are a bit between these two sides – making some rock music stuff but with a different approach?

WW: Maybe. My roots are in rock music so I can't deny this. I started listening to punk rock like The Damned or The Sex Pistols and all this shit when I was 14 or 15 years old because for me it was the next level of intensity, you know, in comparison to the stuff that came on the radio like Foreigner or Journey. Germans love Foreigner – it's all they play on the radio. But I'm good with that.

And then from there I just kept trying to find out more about music. I found about strange music like the Residents or No Wave and then I discovered free jazz and so on. For me this was like a journey – I kept branching out into different directions. All of these things are part of what I do. Those different styles of music, Iannis Xenakis or Albert Ayler and many others, they all have the same weight to me. It is not like one is better than the other. I just hope that my music draws in some ways upon all these possibilities.

MM: Looking back, when you started to discover all this more complex music and started to do it by yourself, was it difficult to find some people who thought the same way as you, people who wanted to be in a band with you? Or were you just seen as the crazy guy who liked the fucked up music nobody else did like?

WW: Yes, and it is still a problem. It never stopped being a problem. I mean, I worked with some really great musicians that I'm very lucky I have met. Working with people like Mick Barr, Ed Rodriguez or some guys in bands you probably don't even know about – those were some of the best musicians I have ever played with. And I surely will play with them again.

I talk to Mick, Ed and Rob all the time. It is just that we can't do it; we can't work together in this format any more because it is killing us. The amount of recognition or the tendency of concerts and record sales – I mean, it's just a joke. Not a lot of people have supported this band and that's why we broke up. Because we put so much energy into this band and we really didn't get anything back.

We have a small group of hardcore fans and those people kept it alive as long as it did. And those people I am grateful for. But everyone else doesn't give a shit and that just got too painful. It is like spending ten years in a basement building a huge model of the Titanic out of match sticks and when it's absolutely perfect coming outside and then someone pours water on it and walks away. That is how I was feeling about the Flying Luttenbachers at the end. So, part of my breaking up the group is kind of a sadistic act from my side to punish everyone.

But right now I have been playing more improvised music. I don't think it is superior to compositions but honestly, the amount of work it takes to write truly complex compositions and execute them versus recognition of money, record sales, attendance at gigs – it is not worth for me any more.

It just feels like I am being punished for being innovative or something. Maybe that has something to do with the album title "Incarceration By Abstraction". It is that I feel like I was in jail because every time I am writing harder and harder music everyone is just walking away up to a point where only a few people are left who want to hear it. It was like the more time I put into it, the less people wanted to hear it.

And I just can't do this to myself. I am not Jesus Christ, I am not going to stay on the cross with these nails on my hands…

MM: Kind of frustrating I guess…

WW: Absolutely; I mean it was horribly depressing. It got worse and worse. And I would wake up every day and go "oh my god, I have to keep the band going, I have to keep the band going". It was kind of permanently whipping myself or something and I woke up one day and just said, "fuck it", I don't owe anyone anything. I don't have anything to prove. It is liberating. Right now, I am not done writing compositions and I'm not done recording crazy solo things. I get a lot of energy from working with really great free improvisers. Mario Rechtern is an example of someone who is just a fucking incredible musician.

But our medium is not to play compositions; our medium is to create the composition as we go. We try to work on a very high level of communication and structure and it is different. I like both but for me right now improvisation is giving me back more than sitting in my lonely room writing compositions no one wants to hear.

MM: Do you compose by writing notes or just playing along?

WW: By notes, especially on the last album. If you look at every track separately each composition strikes for coherence. My method often is to try to take a small amount of material and to transform as much as possible; so that all the material comes from just a few small areas as opposed to just write some stupid math rock where nothing appeals and is just nonsense.

I am not interested in that kind of incoherence; I want each piece to feel like a complete world. So, if you listen to the new album for example, there is eight pieces of a very specific sound world. They all have rules, a harmony, a structure, rhythms and all these things. I think that most people that will listen to this album will feel that; not in the way that they say "oh, that's this and that's that" but I think, I hope, that this comes across the people.

I almost feel like it is bad for me to talk about my method because I feel like it doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter what my method is. If you like it, it is good and if you don't like it, it is shit. In the end all the talking in the world shouldn't change that. Maybe someone would say, "oh, maybe there is more in the music than I thought, maybe I give it another chance", but I don't want people to hear my music and say "well, I don't like this but it must be good because this was the process". I don't have to justify my music like that.

MM: You also work as a producer. First of all, was it because nobody else could get the sound of your record properly or did it just interest you?

WW: That's how it begun, definitely. I felt like engineers were getting in the way – they were just getting in the way. There is nothing more to say about it.

I think the part of my concept has to deal with how music is recorded. And that is as important as the instruments, the notes, everything. So, I mean, I learned it the hard way; I didn't go to school, I learned by making mistakes. And there are things about the earlier Flying Luttenbachers recordings that are difficult for me in this regard. I didn't know what I was doing. But the only way I figured out how to do it was by this painful process so it was, "oh, that's so shitty, how can I do it better next time?"

I wonder if as time has gone on and I have gotten better technically in producing if people think that it was too sterile. I have had one person that told me that he thought the last album was sterile and to me that is a huge insult because to me all I hear on that album is blood. Hell, I hear my blood pouring down the walls. You know, and the thing is it is very tight, it is very clean, no mistakes. There is no bullshit on there. And if that is what he calls sterile that's fine but if you are my friend, don't call my music sterile because I will punch you in the face.

To me, my music is so full of the pain of live. If anyone thinks it is sterile they just can't hear it. I don't know what they are hearing. So, I only produce records because I have to; I don't particularly want to. Particularly other peoples' records but I don't enjoy producing records. Occasionally I work with people who I like, for people that I think I can help, but generally I only produce records for people I like. I don't really enjoy producing records for other people because it is too painful. I understand why it is tough for engineers because you have got these assholes who are trying to make you do what they want, when they should be doing it themselves.

MM: So you couldn't imagine being someone like Steve Albini for example.

WW: No, no way. If you are looking at a guy like Steve Albini, I mean, all he does is to produce records – and I'm not a producer, I am a musician. I don't want to wait seven years to make my next album like that guy. Now I could say worse things but I am not going to.

MM: Was the reason for establishing your own record label the same as with producing, just that nobody else could do it the way you wanted it to be?

WW: No. The problem was that most of these fucking assholes are just ripping off artists, don't know a shit and they demand 50 or 100 % of all the profit. I am sick of working with these idiots. You know, they run those labels and cannot even count. The last real label I was on just made me not want to be on a label ever again. It was so foul to me. This motherfucker ripped me off so bad and I did something about it. I didn't let it just be, I didn't cry about it. I took care of it and after the relationship ended I did some things to rectify the situation. But clearly most of the music I make is very noncommercial so why waste all this time and money trying to become more popular if people don't want it.

If they don't want it, fuck them. I am not going to waste all my time trying to shove doughnuts down peoples' throats. It's bullshit. If they don't want to eat they don't have to eat it. There are a million other bands out there. The most important thing for me is to be able to make as many records of as high of quality as I can and get them to the people who want to hear them. And by having my own label no one is stopping me. I can control the quality; I know I have a connection to the people who order the records. It's not the same people every time but also maybe some new one, so I have a relationship with the persons that are buying my records – and to me that is energy.

It feels good to have people saying, "Yes, I support you; I pay 14 Dollars for this CD". You know, that helps and we have a good relationship. To me, doing things by myself just helps to feel like there's more a point, because sometimes there are so many bands, there's so much music, and no one gives a fuck. Everyone has these delusions of being a rock star and the more assholes that think they are professional musicians the worse we all are.

Some people shouldn't be doing this in public. They should be staying in their basements and having fun. But I don't play music for fun. I do it for a lot of reasons. Fun is one part of it. But just playing music for fun – good luck to you.

MM: But you also want to be heard with your music.

WW: I do want to be heard but I am also realistic about what I am going to do to be heard. I'm not going to compromise to be heard; I'm not going to waste my time trying to convince people to listen to something they don't want to listen to. All I can do is to make the best quality music I am possible and to make it available somehow – that is all I can do.

MM: As a musician as well as the runner of a record label, do you benefit from new technologies like MP3 and other possibilities that are offered by the internet, like Paypal, to reach a wider audience? Or does the more negative side outbalance the positive one, like people are downloading your stuff for free and don't give you the money you deserve?

WW: Well, I think the last point is just a part of reality. I think to really get worried about that is like being in denial because this is the new world and things change. If you allow yourself to become obsolete by no changing and adapting it is your problem. That is why I appeal to my fans. If they care about this music and they want me to continue it really helps if they pay the 14 Dollars for the CD. And I don't think it is much to ask because I think the people who like my music know that I got in great pains to make the best music possible and get them the best recordings I can make and that is good. To me that is very honest; and it is not about selling 10000 copies. It is about selling 500 to people who just want it because they really like what they hear.

And if I can survive it doesn't matter any more if there are 10000 people. It just matters that I can keep going and I don't feel like wasting my time. Every time I make a CD and I'm able to break even and pay back my mother I am ready to do another one.

The internet has made it easier for me in a lot of ways because I can communicate with people all over the world very easily and maybe some people can find me more easily. They can go to my website, find what they want, paypal me the money and I send the CDs the next day. So I think we all get what we want quicker. But I think that the real problem with the internet is how it is changing peoples' attention spans and how it is such an assault of information that most people can't cope with. They can't feel any more and they can't really listen to music because they have got one million MP3s left to listen to and they listen to five fucking seconds of each one.

And I play music that can't be understood in five seconds. So if it is only given to some assholes my music is dead, it is deleted. I see blogs all the time by these little kids who think they know everything because they downloaded every single minute of music by so and so and such and such but just ask them if they can think of one song by this band and you have got a challenge there.

They have the whole thing and I think like a lot of people on the internet, the new generation, they confuse having access to information to actually knowing what they are talking about.

And I think it has created an arrogance that a lot of people think they know everything but knowing all this trivia is not the same as having real experience and I think this is a new period because that won't be going away. What will happen is that there will be a new way of dealing with this and music will change accordingly. And I don't feel bad about this. I don't feel like I am becoming obsolete; I just feel like this is just progress.

MM: You have many musical projects, you run the label, work as a producer – do you have any other interests besides things connected with music, or do you have the time to be interested in other things besides music, respectively?

WW: Barely; I suppose my other interests are largely secondary to music. Music is number one and I think everything else does take the back seat. I mean, I have an interest in creating visual art; I have done most record covers of everything I have ever done but it is not that being a painter is something in particular that I have time for. But I have a big stack of paintings and every couple of years I use one on an album cover.

The cover of the last Luttenbachers album was a painting I did in 1999. It just seemed to fit – the title and the concept. It is sort of this like a person falling into the abyss and behind it you can see the Luttenbachers robot and it is crazy that these concepts come together like this because I didn't plan this. I didn't know how this was going to turn out.

I also like birds, mushrooms, fish, cats, eating food and I like watching really fucked up movies. And I like this weird fifties softcore-pornography with women that wear strange underwear tying each other up…

MM: Sounds interesting…

WW: Yeah, I mean, I have some other interests but they are always secondary.

MM: As you are so deep into music and always pushing yourself to make music that takes place in a very special field, is it difficult to keep yourself interested in music, staying a fan of music and other musicians?

WW: No, not at all; Because I see myself as part of a cycle or maybe something more like a stream, like a river and I'm just another kind of soldier in this war. So the only way I can do what I do is by knowing as much about what came before me as possible. For me the past is powerful. They say that those who do not know history are doomed do repeat it but I think you can know history and be also doomed to repeat it. Maybe I'm doomed in that regard but I love music. I don't see a lot of music right now that I particularly care for currently and maybe that is why I work so hard to make music.

MM: Is it important to you to create a connection between your music and the influences that stay behind it? You made this Albert Ayler tribute record, or on the record before the last one there was a cover of a composition by Olivier Messiaen. Then I found on the internet a recording were you play drums to Cecil Taylor piano pieces….

WW: Well, everyone now seems very obsessed with who are your five or ten influences as if it was some kind of chemical equation what your music is. They are completely unoriginal and all they do is to steal from their three favorite bands and make a new band. I find this a lot that people think that everything is unoriginal. That's a supposed modernist idea that nobody and nothing can go any further. I think this is bullshit.

I relate to modernism which is the idea that the concept is important not the style. When I make music, most of the time I have an idea that I am trying to illustrate and it is not really about a style.

In the case of the Ayler tribute, that was not really my album. That was something that I played on but at the same time when the idea came up I said, "You know, I love Albert Ayler, but why would we make another tribute album. That is bullshit. Are we going to play Ghosts and Bells and all this stuff? Who fucking cares – it is bullshit."

So we got the idea that if we are going to do this record we should make it really fucked up. The concept by Henry Kaiser was to take the later material that everyone hates and try to save it and make it interesting. I think this is a good tribute to Albert Ayler because we were not going to do the same bullshit everyone else does. So for me this was a good idea. But once again, it is not my album; I refuse to take responsibility for it. If I had been the leader I had made it different. Or I wouldn't make it at all. But so it is just fine.

Things like the Messiaen or the Magma cover that I did in the past with the Flying Luttenbachers are more about sort of research and development. It is not about like "hey everybody, we know Messiaen and Magma". That is bullshit; I don't care about that. The idea was if you look at those two pieces, these are very long pieces with a certain kind of complexity that I was trying to nurture in the band at that time. And in the case of the Magma piece I just wanted to see if we could play a longer piece.

With the Luttenbachers covers the whole idea was, "I want to do this, how can we do this?" And the best way to do it is to test it with another model that already exists. That sort of research and development, just like the Messiaen thing too. That was so much about harmony and I feel that is where my music is going now. It is rather working on different harmonic levels than in the past so that is the next step. It was a very good model for me to investigate how to make music that still has tension without playing a million notes and going crazy the whole time. You have to do that for structure and harmony.

Then there are those weird things of me playing drums over free jazz records or like doing these strange covers of rock songs. It's more research for me. I mean, I have a sense of humor. I take music seriously but I also take humor seriously because I think that is important. And I also like to blow out some steam and I like to make jokes. I did 75 recordings of playing drums over free jazz records since 2006 and for me this was sort of like an obsession and that was the point. That was like the 120 days of Sodom – or the 75 days of free jazz. It was more about the mania of having a concept and just going and going and going and going and going and never stop and never stop…. I don't know if I will do any more but I mean I did 75 and that's a lot.

MM: Will these recordings come out on your label?

WW: My way of distributing them was through Soulseek. There is one blog where one guy has posted about 20 of them and you still can find that – I find this great that somebody actually cared. What I would like to do is to putg all 75 recordings on a box set or a DVD. It would be a limited edition with something really special for the true freaks. Because for me it also just was sort of a freakish project. It's almost like saying, "here is more music that you would ever want to listen to in your life", and I did this and now it's for you.

You know, I like these rock covers – I love rock music. One of my favorite bands is Electric Light Orchestra. I constantly analyze this music too and I try to find out why I listen to this 30 years later, what the fuck is going on. So for me the thing is to take it apart and take it back together in a strange form. It is sort of acknowledging my roots but also wanting to tear these things apart and put them back together in a new way – and having a good time, maybe.

MM: Do you also have any dark moments where you hide in your basement and put on some Beatles records?

WW: I am not ashamed of anything I listen to. I know that there are a lot of people who think that listening to such stuff is not cool or whatever. I like the Beatles' White Album; but I didn't grow up listening this when I was a little boy. Actually, in college I was around some kind of hippies. I was not a hippie but I was around them. Someone made me a copy of the White Album and I listened to it and said, "fuck, this is a great album". I can't deny this. Why should I? Because of 20 million idiots liking it? That's fine, I like it too.

I like the bands making stuff that is unexpected; I would rather hear the shittiest band in the world – or the best band in the world – than a band that is just ok. And most bands out there are just ok, and I don't care for that.

MM: Do you remember the drunken guy that spoke the intro to "Gods Of Chaos"? What is the story behind this?

WW: Haha, yes, good question. In 1993 I was in a Mötley Crüe tribute band. That was one of the most popular bands I was ever in. I was Nikki Sixx playing bass. And it was really great; we really loved it and the singer was this really funny guy named Adam and he really couldn't sing like Vince Neil which was kind of funny. He tried to strain and go high and he couldn't do it; but he was a great comedian and he was very good at acting like he was the dumbest person you have ever met. But actually he was one of the smartest people you have ever met.

So we did this band in 1993 and stopped in 1994. One day in 1997, I think, the Flying Luttenbachers ware playing a gig in St. Louis, Missouri, and Adam happened to be there and my other band members didn't know him. He likes to fuck with people and so he went up to my band mates and was making fun of them and acted like he was some drunken asshole. Then we had this idea that we are going to make this introduction to "Gods Of Chaos", and they didn't know that I knew this guy. So when we got this recording back I just thought that it this was extremely funny.

The point of "Gods Of Chaos" was that after "Revenge" we wanted to make the most annoying, boring, fucked up album to test the patience of anybody and see if you could sit through this album. And we did succeed – because it is annoying and boring and fucked up.

MM: So this is the whole concept behind this record?

WW: Absolutely; the concept was the destruction of the earth and the whole narrative of the last hours of it. Going from people being really evil and destroying the environment till the sun raining down on the earth and just like killing everyone; and that is what happens after the earth is dead – that is the whole story of "Gods Of Chaos".

But the record for the most parts was supposed to be boring. Some people hate that but others enjoyed it because maybe it is like watching a movie or something. That was the only album I tried to make boring.

MM: Do you have a record of yours that you like the most? An album where you say that stands out, that is for you personally the biggest step.

WW: They are all so different and that is what I love about all of them. But I would say my favorite ones that ones where I don't have any problems with, where I wouldn't change a thing, are probably, in chronological order, "Revenge", "Trauma", "Systems", "The Void", "Cataclysm" and the new one.

These are the records I wouldn't change anything about. The other ones I think, they have good things about them but there are some things wrong with them and I don't really can change most of these things – It's just the way it was. In fact, some things could be fixed if I would remaster them. "Infection And Decline" I think would be a much better album if it wasn't so shitty sounding.

MM: I also like the "Alptraum" live record very much.

WW: Cool. It is to me that I can see me liking that record better with a remastering job because I think it could sound much better.

MM: No chance that it will be done some day?

WW: Eventually; The next thing coming up is the CD of the "Trauma" album with some bonus tracks and a good remastering job. And maybe a live DVD but I can't really promise that because I don't know what the demand for such a DVD would be. I know some people want it but I don't know if that's enough. It is a little hard because you have to do a thousand of those things and they cost a lot more money. So it is more of a problem if I don't sell them. I almost work on no budget so it is impossible for me to lose money on something.

MM: So it was because of financial reasons that "The Void" was the last of your albums that came out on vinyl?

WW: Yes and no. When I was working with Troublemen Unlimited I was in a position to do vinyl and that was fine. I have some issues with the quality of vinyl in general. I think the production standards are lower and a lot of the guys who cut the masters make shitty sounding records – so I don't fetishize the LP any more. I like them just fine but I also like not hearing all these extra noises and pops and clicks and I like the fact when you have a CD it is an audio standard. It is not going to be so widely different from what you have originally made.

For me as an independent label the profit margin on an LP is almost non existent. You just pay so much more money on postage, packaging and all the film you need to make a record cover. It is just unbelievable. I appreciate that people still like LPs and if I was selling more records maybe I could make LPs too but I am not, so it is not an option.

My attitude is to make the definite version of the work. If more people would support me I could do a lot more stuff – but they do not support me. This is just what it is; I can make 500 CDs. If I was selling 1000 that would make things a lot easier but people don't feel much responsibility to support artists any more because there are too many of us and everyone thinks they are musicians too and everyone's struggling.

It is a weird and strange time. I am not complaining, I am just saying what it is like. It is great to have big dreams but when you are 35 years old and you have no money it makes it very hard to plan these incredible triple LPs with gatefold – you know, they cost 14 dollars each to make and you have to sell for 30 and the postage costs 12 and it is just not worth the hassle.

I am not in this business to make fetish items for fetishists. I am here to make music; it would be nice to make a LP but it just is not practical.

MM: You keep playing and recording music for such a long time now. What keeps you motivated to go on?

WW: Well, I believe that when you look around and you just see bullshit everywhere, you see that you hate this and you hate that in musical life, you can make it the point of your life to offer a real alternative. I feel like it is not my job to sit around and talk about how everything sucks. It is my job to say to myself, "Ok, you think everything sucks, what's your idea, let's hear it". And that is what keeps me motivated.

I believe that music can be better than what it is and for myself I think that if I just sit around and talk shit about how everything sucks I wouldn't be any better. By doing so, you are not solving anything, you are not changing anything. So my attitude is that I feel very strong urges to make music that is part of a very specific aesthetic that I am interested in.

And it is my duty to put my money where my mouth is and make this music. As long as I think there is potential for new things and growth and some kind of momentum it just confirms that maybe there is a need for this alternative and maybe that is my responsibility or my callings or something like that.