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Emil Bulls - lateral thinker without compromise

Emil Bulls are in town. Just like they say that their music is peculiar, creative and complex so are their opinions about unfulfilled dreams, politics, the meaning of music, different times and other bands. Emil Bulls are Christoph “Christ” von Freydorf (vocals), Stefan “Fab” Grinauer (drums), Jamie “Citnoh” Richardson (bass), Stephan “Moik” Karl and Christian “Chrissy” Schneider (guitar). The whole band except for their drummer who was unfortunately sick faced up to the STALKER-interview.

What’s the best thing about being on tour?
Christ: Surely not the driving but just to play live. A tour is not that exciting, you actually only sit around, wait, do an interview from time to time, your whole day, your whole life consists of looking forward to playing for an hour or an hour and a half and this compensates completely the entire boredom and waiting. That’s how I see it, the others go to some shops once in a while for example here in Hamburg.

You’ve said in an interview that NuMetal is the buck that is passed from band to band. What do you think has made NuMetal an insulting categorisation?
Christ: I don’t see this categorisation as insulting, it’s only that it was called an insult from the press –probably from some magazine. The NuMetal bands are nowadays so big that they will still be there in 5 or 10 years, I can’t imagine that bands like Korn will all of a sudden disappear. The only problem that we have with NuMetal is that we are always put into that category but in our opinion we don’t have anything to do with NuMetal in the proper sense.
Chrissy: It’s just that when you are doing music then it’s more than just a category especially with the Emil Bulls; we are very diverse and multifarious and then it’s hard to say: “Yes, that’s a NuMetal band” It’s about that you don’t like being put into a certain category.
Christ: But what happened to NuMetal? Let’s say the new hype is now Hatecore? (After shouts from the others) Metalcore? This is, I think the most awful invention of music since … I don’t know. NuMetal was in contrast to that very creative because all those bands - I don’t want to say names and I don’t know all of them, but I hear it when I go to the clubs in the evening - they all just write one song that follows the same pattern, everything is shouted then there’s this nice chorus and then double bass and that’s it. I find it awful. NuMetal has to come back because it was still creative and imaginative…
Chrissy: Actually you need simply more Rock
Christ: Yes, more Rock, yeah, yeah
Chrissy: Yes, Rock is important. Rock is unbelievable.

What do you make of that stereotyped thinking in general? Are there any positive aspects with regard to music or is it just annoying for the musicians to be categorised like that?
Chrissy: It doesn’t work for me at all. You are cut down on so many things. It is as if you have a menu and then they only have one meal. This just doesn’t work.
Christ: I think categories were only invented by the press for example by magazines – one is a metal magazine, the other one an alternative magazine – so that they can fit their bands to it and also by record stores, otherwise there wouldn’t be an alternative-, punk- or metal section and one would get into hot water and wouldn’t find anything anymore (general laughter).
Moik: Yeah, in Germany everything has to be well-ordered.
Christ: Exactly in that moment a band is born it is already decided in what category or caste it will be thrown in and from there no one can escape.

Are there any style developments in your band, so that one can say your music tends to get heavier or softer; or does this vary from album to album or even from song to song?
Chrissy: I’d say rather from song to song. I don’t think it is from album to album. We are a quite eclectic band that also makes nice melodies and then it can also happen that a quite song comes up but why not. If it is good every song has its right.
Citnoh: It starts with that categorisation just when you form a band – we were put into the NuMetal category and this of course means that we are a heavy band. “Have to be” actually. I don’t give a shit if a song is heavy or soft, it’s a song and if it’s wicked then it is wicked. And that’s how our band is, that’s why we are eclectic; when we have a song that is wicked we don’t discuss about if it has to be heavy.

What are the lyrics on „The Southern Comfort“ about?
Christ: Pretty much about the solidarity within the band and a very big “we-sentiment” and the newly gained self-confidence of the group.

Do you have any political lyrics? If not, why not?
Christ: We never had political lyrics and we probably won’t ever write political lyrics or at least I won’t write any political lyrics in connection to Emil Bulls because I don’t want to use my music as an organ or I don’t want to be a spokesman that presses an opinion onto other people. The people should when they listen to music just feel it and they shouldn’t be told to do things like I would say: “Hey, you have to vote for this or that, you have to like this or that or you have to hate this or that”, I just don’t like it. Other bands do that often enough and they surely can express themselves better as I could. That’s why I leave it to them.

What do you think is achievable with music?
Christ: One can change lives, one can save lives, one can (hesitates a moment) destroy lives. Mainly I believe that you can produce and create emotions. One can make people aggressive from one second to the other but also in a positive sense, so that they think: “I was stressed the whole day, the whole week, now I go to a Bulls concert or to any other concert that is a bit heavier and just let it all out”. I’ve seen people cry at our concerts. This is just awesome. I think it’s even cooler as if they smash each other’s faces in. They should just cry all together. No, really, this is awesome.

What is for you the most nonsensical or bizarre band at all?
Christ: Woahh, ey woahh, wait a second. Do I have to say something about it, well….?!

That would be nice!
Christ: Then everyone has to say one! Nonsensical in the meaning of useless??

Generally, music that you can’t cherish?.
Christ: All bands that have something to do with Ska or Reggae.
Chrissy: This is what you say now!!!
Christ: Yes, I told you, everyone has to say something.
Citnoh: I think bizarre is some stuff from the 90’s like this dancefloor wave for example there was an act called E-rotic. They had songs like “Max,don’t have sex with your ex” or something. This is bizarre for me and also nonsensical (laughs).
Moik: I can’t think of anything.
Chrissy: Basically I’d say: everything that is not good.

How do you define that?
Chrissy: Well, it has to touch you somehow and if it doesn’t touch you then it’s useless. That’s how I’d say it. And bizarre? I find only a few things bizarre and I find bizarre things are mostly awesome at the same time. (laughs)
Chirst: Then you have to see Deichkind’s new programme, it’s absolutely bizarre and completely insane but dead awesome. In a positive sense.

What would be your profession if you weren’t a musician?
Christ: I think I had become some kind of sportsman.

What sport?
Christ: Everything. I am good at everything. I was good at everything(laughs). Maybe football or more likely snowboarding. God. Don’t know. I don’t really want to know because I only want to do this.
Moik: Yeah, I think either cook or kindergarten teacher.
Chrissy (quick as a shot): Yeah, cook!!! (everyone laughs). I would’ve tried this at least because I think the true Rock’n’Rollers of this world are good cooks.
Citnoh: Yes, it’s the same with me like with Christoph, I would have tried to do something with sports like basketball which I had done before the music.

You can go back in time. What era would you want to choose?
Christ: I would like to be in a 70’s Rock’n’Roll band; I think that would’ve been a hell of a party. There were still groupies and such.

You’ve said in an interview that you don’t like questions about groupies..., because you don’t have any?
Christ: Well, there are no. I also have a girlfriend and that’s why I’m quite happy that there is no such a thing anymore today.

Chrissy: I think I would like to have one day in every century.
Moik: Errrr (after everyone’s prompting): I have several. Wild West would be interesting …yeah, the Wild West just starts behind Hamburg. Yeah, difficult. Wild West in any case and then maybe … (suddenly): Knight! I’d like to be a knight, too (long laughter)
Citnoh: I’d also like to stay in the 70’s but maybe also in the 20’s. Back then everything looked so classy!

You can accompany a person of your choice in his everyday life for one day. Who would you chose?
Chrissy: Dave Grohl, the singer of the Foo Fighters.
Citnoh: My girlfriend but she’s not famous.
Moik: I’d like to accompany Franz Beckenbauer next year to the World championship final.

What’s your strongest character trait?
Christ: For God’s sake! I don’t know if it’s strong but I always want everything to be perfect.
Chrissy: Humour.
Moik: I’d also say humour!
Citnoh: Objectivity.

What are your weaknesses?
Christ: I come first and leave last.
Chrissy: Ohhh… I get huffy too fast.
Moik: I’m irascible.
Citnoh: I brood too much.

If you had one wish free, what would you do with it privately?
Christ: Alas, you have to say that you can’t wish for anything else than to stay healthy and to be able to support yourself independently.
Chrissy: An island!
Christ: Great and then you don’t have any food and no water.
Chrissy: Well, an island, everything’s included then. No, that’s not true, I’d love to have the pub “At Fleischberg’s”.
Moik: I’d like to have a personal cook for lifetime who has to be there all the time when I get hungry.
Citnoh: Something that makes me happy.

Are there things that you absolutely have to see, experience, try out? Is there some kind of list in your head?
Christ: A solo album.
Chrissy: One – many world tours. Only one would be silly.
Moik: Set up a family.
Citnoh: Nope, I wait and see.

Are you getting involved with other projects – musically or socially? Or both?
Christ: Not so much in a social way but I have a solo project called Flamingo. Then we had and have to bring back to life again a Stoner Snot-Rock-band that was very wicked but because of the lack of time is on hold now. Well, projects … yes, we all support the football club MV Pullach who play with Emil Bulls jerseys sponsored by us.
Citnoh: There are several project around the band. For example the “Augustiner Puppenkiste” where Mr. Moik is the bandleader and we do beautiful, nice, good music about the intake of alcoholic drinks.

Is there a certain kind of music that always puts you in a good mood?
Christ: With me it’s Sido right now (general laughter)
Chrissy: I’m always in a good mood when I listen to Morissey’s latest record.
Citnoh: With me it’s also this new booming wave of German-Asi-HipHop at the moment that is extremely successful right now but the best thing is still to listen to Meshuggah really loud shortly after you get up.

Author: Lisa Bruchwitz, Photos: Kim Gerdes Translation: Kathleen Gransalke
Date: 2005-09-15

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