When and how did you first become interested in music? How long have you been playing music?
I play music for more than 20 years. My interest in music started at a young age. If I remember correctly I was about 8 years old when for the first time I conciously listened to the music my dad was playing in the car. It was the Beatles or Jimi Hendrix, something like that. I was very facinated how that music sounded and kept on listening and listening. Then in the same year I started to take piano lessons, but soon discovered my passion for the drums. This was at a friend's house, he owned a drum kit. And just hammering on the kit was by far the best thing I ever had experienced in my young life so far.
What has been the biggest challenge you have come across in your career so far?
To me every new project is a challenge. I find it very challenging to constantly move on and make a living with the strange kind of stuff I play. I find making a living as a musician is the biggest challenge in general. If your question however refers to a certain record or gig, I'd say the touchest one so far was “Blotted Science – The Animation of entomology”. That was a very difficult one to play. Recording “Epitaph” with Necrophagist was a huge challenge too, because time was so short. Two weeks before going into the studio I received four of the songs, which I had to learn note-by-note. Almost impossible, but we just recorded these songs part-by-part. It was a nightmare, but worked out in the end.
What are your better memories about your past in Necrophagist?
Haha! Why are you using the word “better” in your question? Could that be a hint? No anyways, I still remember when hearing “Epitaph” for the first time after having worked on it for so long. It was a revelation musically. And it was a very good feeling to be on a real recording, released by a real label. Made me proud.
What about the new Obscura Album? Why you are not touring now? There are any kind of problem between you?
Actually we're not touring because we write a new album at the moment. A big part of it is written so far, but we still need some time. And we've made about 6 mayor tours for “Omnivium” in the last three years. I just think that's enough for one album.
5 band you love since you were a teenager
Oh, a trivial question. I like trivial questions, haha. Ok, let me check...randomly I'd say: Rush, Primus, Led Zeppelin, Tori Amos and Psychotic Waltz. Or a more metal related choice: Symphony X, Morbid Angel, Iron Maiden, Immolation and (old) Dream Theater.
Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
My musical influences are mainly people I played with. Of course there are bands and favorite musicians who have influenced me, but my drum teacher and the guitar players of the bands I was into had a way bigger impact on my style. It's a big pool of people who formed what I call my 'musical DNA'. That's where I take my ideas from. I never just sit down, listen to my favorite bands and think “hey, let's make a song which sounds like this”. I think that's childish. And non musical influences? Hm, of course my parents and all the people who were surrounding me when I was younger. And the people that I have a strong relationship to, my girlfriend of course. If you're talking about non-musical influences which influence my music, I'd say that the films of Alfred Hitchcock lately had a big impact on me. I also feel very inspired by some philosophical works, mainly by Immanuel Kant. I also think that Einstein was a very inspiring human individual.
Who’s the greatest drummer of all time?
There is no such thing as “the greatest” when it comes to music. Music is art, not a competition. Even when considering my own musical taste, I couldn't give a straight answer, because there are several players I enjoy, all of them have completely different styles and skills.
About your last album as one man band, when you did start to write the songs? Is there a concept behind the lyrics?
I started writing the songs right after completing “Omnivium”. I just felt that this time I just don't wanna compromise on the songs, so it was pretty clear to me it had to be a solo album. The general topic is religion, or like I see it: how ignorant it actually is. All world religions have spread because they had certain social and cultural criteria which people at the time were looking for. And religion always acted with a certain agressiveness and intolerance towards those who were not into it. I was wondering what a comepletely new religion must offer to become a new world religion in a modern "Western" society. To show that basic conception of religion I just made up an own one, called the "Aoen Cult", with god Aeon, who stands for each one's livetime. This cult also has prophets, moral philosophy, spalms and offers the gift of eternal live by rebirth. But the bottom line is: look, religion is man-made. There is nothing holy in it. Anybody can make it up - like Scientology or the mormons. In the end it will be used to control people, to control societies. And this is dangerous!
Thanks for the time spent for us, have a nice day
Thank you for your time! Just one last word: feel free to check out my website www.hannesgrossmann.com for more interviews, pictures, session work, CDs and more. Thanks!