“numbered” is the new album by the German Progressive Black Metal pioneers KLABAUTAMANN released in the end of 2021. “numbered” is kind of a concept album around the topic that all things in life are actually limited, numbered, a contemplation deeply rooted in the songwriter’s own experiences of loss and grief that he had to deal with in recent years.
We invited KLABAUTAMANN to our website to take a small interview.
Welcome to our website. We are happy to have you here and that you allowed us to take this interview with you. I hope it’s the same for you.
Hi there, thank you very much for this opportunity, I appreciate it!
The new album “numbered” will be released on May 1st 2022 in the new vinyl version. Are you excited about this event?
Yeah, very much! Not only because I’m very happy with the album from a musical point of view, but also because the process has been a little adventure: recording with musicians from all over Europe during corona times – including two drum recording sessions in an off-the-grid-house in Hungary with solar power, a crowdfunding campaign for the vinyl version with a very close outcome, a huge delay with the vinyl production and increased costs because of resource scarcity – and now (one week after the announced release) still having to wait, because the LPs have noch been delivered yet … it can only be a matter of days, though.
The main theme of this album is very strong and concerns us all because we are all alive. Life itself is obsolete. Our time on this earth is limited, so are our experiences, victories and defeats. Why did you decide to choose these themes?
The songs were written over many years. When I selected the ones to form a new album I thought about what/where the things that moved me during the time of writing. I lost some family members back then and also many things changed (like Florian leaving the band) – so the topic of everything being limited was present a lot. It’s not all bad though, because it brought me to the realization that this finiteness is what makes life and each moment in it precious and that you should be careful not to waste it!
Is there a song on this record that you are particularly attached to? Why? Can you tell us how it was born?
I guess it is “holding on”, because it was created during a longer trip to New Zealand when my wife and I were staying in a tiny wooden hut with view on a lonely beach. The mood there was mechancolic and very intense. And the view on the sea through the window was the inspiration for the cover artwork of the album.
The pandemic has certainly made the production of this album more complex. Yet this experience was also a fundamental part of the album itself. Can you tell our readers what it was like to work this way?
It was always a bit “suspenseful” because you never new if the recording session could take place. The first vocal session was just the week before the first big lockdown – and Ingo and Chester had to travel from Spain and the Netherlands to Germany. The next week it wouldn’t have worked. And for the drum sessions we were going by car to through Austria to Hungary. We had to wait until short before the recording date to be sure that corona restrictions would allow us to go.
For the mix I could not go to Switzerland, so Anna did the Mix on her own, with one remote mixing session and a lot of communication by email and phone. But in the end everything worked out surprisingly well – and the whole project definitely helped me through the isolation.
Is there any particular moment of this experience that you would like to share with us? A moment that you will never forget?
I think it was when Marlon played “pretending” in a single take, although we had just just discussed what he was to play short before that. He really is an exceptional drummer!
There are some influences on this album. You have been compared to bands like Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Enslaved and King Crimson. How much do you owe these bands in terms of inspiration?
It’s difficult to say, because inspiration is a rather unconcious thing for me. But as I dig the bands mentioned and the type of music they are doing, it’s quite natural for me that my music sounds a bit like them, as I of course tried to make music I’d like to listen to myself.
The LP version of the album will be available soon, but the CD version has released in January. How did your audience respond to this album?
There was a lot of very positive feedback from friends and fans that got in touch with me. Still we sold less albums compared to “Der Ort” or Merkur” – but I expected that and made the editions appropriately small: 100 CDs and 100 LPs. I think they will be sold out during the next months.
What do you have planned now in terms of promotion? Are you planning to organize some tours, live or online events?
Nothing planned so far. With me being the only permanent member working with a lot of session musicians from different countries, it’s difficult to get a live lineup. And also my priorities are currently with my sweet 9 month old son, so there’s not so much time left.
Our interview ends here. I hope you enjoyed spending some time with us even in a virtual way. Do you have something to say something to our readers?
Thanks for the good interview! To all readers who liked our old stuff – and those who are more into prog rock – check out ‘numbered’ on klabautamann.de and let us know what you think! Have a good time!