Tephra speaks to SonicAbuse

K: First of all thanks for spending some of your precious time on answering questions for our readers. Let’s get straight to the point. Could you tell a few words about yourself  to our readers as you unfortunately are not as widely recognizable as Metallica. What’s your history, who plays what, and stuff like that.

Alex: Tephra currently consists of five people, Aaron bass, Alex guitar, Ercüment guitar and vocals, Vinod drums and Matthis GPS and merchandize.Well, to begin with we met in Salzgitter, the city where we all lived years ago. Everyone was playing in bands before Tephra, actually always the same group of people playing in different bands and because the scene was not that big our paths crossed and we started playing in a band together.

K: Your name comes from a volcanic substance. Was any other of those substances like dust or lava ever an option?

A: I guess not. I think it was Aaron who came up with the idea. We did not think of something like that at all. I rather preferred Bubblegum Experience or Starlight Orchestra but I was soon convinced that Tephra was a better name for our band. Maybe in the future you will read about some of the other bands and you will know where it comes from.

K: Congratulations on “A Modicum of Truth” as it’s a great album. I know that you’re working on a new one. What are going to be the factors that will make it the best album that you ever wrote, cuz it’s going to be, isn’t it? When can we expect it?

A: First of all, thanks a lot. Modicum was hard work and we still think it is the best we could do at that time. But the next record will definitely be different. I guess it will disappoint some of the people who like the other records but we try to move on. The songs will be shorter because we suffer from memory loss. They will be more straight forward but somehow more complex. It will be darker but at the same time it has some danceable moments. As you can see, we have  schizophrenic tendencies. We do not know when we will be able to record it. We have already written a couple of songs and do have a lot of ideas but we can`t tell when we will record it, hopefully soon.

K: How does your work in the studio look like?

A: Basically, just recording the songs. That`s it. We do not have a big budged in order to be creative or experiment in the studio.

K: I’ve read that some of  your lyrics are based on mythology? Which one?  Are there any other influences? Are lyrics of any importance to you, or they just an addition to the music?

A: Well, I do not know what Ercüment really refers to but I think he expresses what he feels at the time when writes them.

K: Is there any message behind what you do, that you would like  to communicate to your fans or you’re doing just for fame, fortune and groupies?

A: Since we are not famous and broke all the time we must do it for the groupies, right? We are just doing something we like and it is a lot of fun and we get to know a lot of places and people. So the real message is, you don`t have to be a genius to play music. So, if we can do it you can do it as well. Start a band!!!

K: Why do you guys sing in English? Rammstein did quite ok sticking to their mother language.

A: I don`t know. Seriously. I have to ask Ercüment. But I think it would not make a difference since he screams all the time

K: In one of your interviews I’ve read that you were determined to avoid being put in the same pigeon hole as Isis. What’s so wrong about being put aside such bands?

A: That was a time when everyone was always just seeing Isis in our music. Yes its true, we listen to Isis and like their music but we do like other bands as well and are influenced by them, too. No one ever wrote that we sound like MC Hammer. I have read an interview where Isis complained about being compared to Neurosis. I think it is naturally.

K: How would you describe your music and next to which bands would you catalogued it if you had to?

A: I would say Isis. Haha… Every time someone asks us we make something up like, its Hard-Rock, Power-Folk, Space-Rap. I don`t know. It is a tough question and it always will be for us since the next record will be different. I always liked the term independent music but nowadays you can`t say that you are an indie band because they would think we sound like Block Party.

K: Ercüment left The ocean Colective as I presume. Was it hard for him, and what made him leave?

A: Ercüment was never a part of the Ocean Collective. He just sang on one of their records, that`s all.

K: What’s your opinion on the mp3 and sharing music via p2p or torrents as a beginning band, and would it be any different if you guys would be as popular as, lets say the already mentioned Metallica?

A: I always recommend people to download our music before buying our record if he wants to know what kind of music we play. If someone is really liking the music the one will buy it anyway because the sound is much better or they think that we should buy us some food or clothes because we look like jerks. What is happening now is, bands are forced to go on tour to earn money. As far as I know musicians in the past did not get a dime for their records so they had to go on tour. That is great because you can tell if they are really good.

K: You guys said in one of your interviews that you like playing alongside bands from various music genres. Is there anyone or any genre that you would refuse to share stage with? Can you recall any situations worth mentioning that occurred during gigs on which you shared stages with bands that didn’t stick to what you play?

A: At some of our last interviews we said that we would love support Michael Jackson. A few days later the management of MJ really asked us! We were really excited. Now you can imagine how sad we were when he died. I would not say that we could play everywhere but I can see us at the next love parade banging our heads.

K: Is there anything that you would like to say to our readers?

A:Have you ever wondered why Biff came back to the future he had left and after that disappeared? I mean, we spent hours discussing how this is possible since it seems impossible to me that one can come back to the  same future after altering the past. Think about it…

K: Thanks again for your precious time and all the best!

A: Thank you for your interest in our music. We really appreciate it!!

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