Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Meeting Metal… Differently – Interview with Burden of Life

Yes indeed – when you listen to Burden of Life for the first time, you probably think “Yey, that’s metal, quite good metal but ….. somehow …. different?!” In a great way though ;-) This four-piece gang from Regensburg really sound just a bit more than metal.
They sound like five guys who enjoy great music of all kinds and who want to take the best out of all their influences and mix it with their own tremendous musical talent to smash your ears with a death-metallic music cocktail that has no peer – and maybe even some cheesiness ;-)
In this amazing interview with their front man Christian “Kötti” Kötterl, I found out why this is not only their sound but also their philosophy as well as probably their recipe for success.

So hold on tight, guys – this is Burden of Life!

Interview: Burden of Life

Kötti, when and how did you originally get together as a band?

The story of Burden Of Life goes all the way back to 2003 when the idea of playing together was originally conceived. Most of us went to school together back then, so that is how we know each other. But in the beginning it was more about fooling around and hanging out than seriously making any music. From 2006 on we went into a direction that was more akin to what we are still doing, meaning it was some kind of metal music at least. In February 2007 we released our first demo so we are right now celebrating our 10th anniversary! Crazy how time flies.

You call your musical style “melodic death metal plus” – how does that “plus” sound like? What are your most important musical influences?

Whenever we promote ourselves in any way we tend to face the issue of not fitting in a certain genre and people in the music business usually do not like that too much. When we tell the people we are a Melodic Death Metal group, we are told that we are way too melodic and not enough death. If we leave out the death-part all the Melodic Metal fans complain about the harsh vocals. Apart from this hodgepodge, there are also elements of progressive, acoustic and classical music in our songs. So we just thought that adding a plus to the genre would indicate that it is not the usual thing and that certain twists and turns are to be expected. Talking about specific artists, we are influenced by all the stuff we listen to, from Iron Maiden to The Cardigans and back to Daft Punk.

What can fans expect from your 2016 album “In Cycles”?

Certain twists and turns and things that are not to be expected… *smiles*
I think the album covers a wide array of styles within the boundaries of metal music and even expands upon them. There is only one rule for what goes into our songs: the four of us have to like it. In Cycles shows that. It contains more typical MeloDeath songs like the title track or “Kafkaesque”, more progressive material in “Devil In The Detox” and “At The Heart of Infinity” but there are also ballads like “Amour Fou” or “Lantern Slides”. This variety of styles has become typical for us as we are not only metal fans but music fans in general and we do not believe in navigating through the world of music – or the world in general for that matter – with blinders on.

Burden of Life album: In Cycles

Personally I very like the variations in musical elements you present in your tunes. As you already mentioned: acoustic guitars, choirs, piano and more can be found on your albums – all combined with solid (death) metal and big-time musical talent and ingenuity! But: wherever you find new ideas you also have critics. What do you answer listeners who might call your songs too cheesy? Even more, was some cheesiness intended after all?

Thank you very much! Believe me, there have always been people who have called our music cheesy and we ourselves know that there is some truth to it. As I said, we like all kinds of music. Some of the stuff we listen too has nothing to do with metal at all and can be very poppy and cheesy at times. On some level, I, as the main songwriter, incorporate all the stuff I like and I know that especially some metal fans can feel that there is too much melodies or that this stuff is cheesy. But to us cheesiness is not necessarily bad and after all we do not really care what the critics have to say. If they like it, great. If they don't, who cares? We love the stuff we do and that is the most important thing. Otherwise we could just quit.

Live-gigging on stage or recording at the studio – what do you like better?

Both are awesome. We love being creative in the studio, recording the stuff and then bringing it to the stage. Seeing a song you wrote take form and working out all the details, adding new ideas as you go along; that's all such fun. But of course, presenting your songs on stage to a screaming audience is also an absolutely unique and exhilarating feeling.

So, what was the best thing ever happening to you as a band?

There were a bunch of events that I would count as highlights. Gigwise some of them were our shows at the Out&Loud Festival in 2014, the Metal Invasion Festival in 2011 where we got to meet the guys in Soilwork, who are absolute heroes of ours, and of course the show at the Metal Hammer Awards in 2016, including the after show party of course. Landing the deal with Noizgate Records was of course another highlight and recording our two albums “The Vanity Syndrome” and “In Cycles” with Rolf Munkes is also an experience we will never forget.

And which tour dates, new releases or videos should your fans look out for in 2017?

We are still planning some stuff for 2017. A first highlight will be our show on February 17th in our hometown. It will be the 10th anniversary for our first demo and we will play a lot of old songs together with some our ex-bandmates. I'm sure this will be great fun. All else can be checked on www.burdenoflife.de and all our social media accounts (like Faceook and others for which you can find the links on our website).

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