KatzKab is a newer band forged from the shadow of Katzenjammer Kabarett. I got the time to interview these shady characters. Vik B, Mr. Guillotine, Mr. Monsterhead and Klischee will stand for today and tonights entertainment on this blog. I asked them about Katzenjammer Kabarett, their new band, the upcoming record and much more. Tune in for some wicked things.
What’s the history behind KatzKab? Why did you choose that name and what does it mean to you?
– After Katzenjammer Kabarett’s death we decided with Mr. Guillotine to form a new band. We tried with several singers, but it didn’t work. At this time, Klischee was also working with Vik B. on another project and during a rehearsal, they tried some KatzKab song and it worked! At the same time, we met Mr. Monsterhead and decided to add him in the band for guitar and more recently our friend Max joined the band as a drummer! We decided to use KatzKab as band name after some brainstorming. We didn’t want to keep Katzenjammer Kabarett for different reasons, so we decided to keep KatzKab. We think it sounds cool.
Did you play in any other band prior to Katzkab?
Vik B: – I used to sing in a punk band when I was 17, in Paris, and play bass in two other deathrock and synthwave bands but nothing really serious. I also performed on stage with the electropunk band Platzblanche as backing vocals.
Klischee: – Katzenjammer Kabarett was the first.
Mr. Guillotine: – Katzenjammer Kabarett. The previous bands don’t deserve to be mentionned here, haha.
Mr. Monsterhead: – I’ve played in garage/horror surf bands, some of them are still active.
Which one of the albums you released back then are your absolute favorite? And what song or songs would be your favorite?
Klischee: – Grand Guignol et Variété was my favourite, because it was the first time I was able to write what I wanted to hear but now I just think I would have done most of everything in a different way (songwriting, recording and production). Well, my favourite song changes really often, I think that I really enjoy a song when I play it on stage. So sometimes it’s “The Crowd Around” because I still have pleasure to play it on the piano and maybe “8 & 9” if I have to play guitar. But I don’t like to look back, and if I have to cover a Katzenjammer Kabarett song, I try to make it better with a new orchestration.
Since you started out, did you gain any hardcore fans?
– Not yet, but we can’t wait to get raped in the backstage, destroy hotels and throw groupies through the window!
Could you tell me about your favorite touring memory and your least favorite?
– With Katzkab, we’ve only played in Berlin and Brussels but it was such a pleasure because we have a lot of friends there. Least Favorite: I don’t remember.
Who made your album-covers? And how did the creative process turn out in the making of them? Did you get what you wanted?
– The EP design was made by Valiero. She have already made artwork for Katzenjammer Kabarett. We checked her last work and we were really surprised about how it was perfectly fitting with Katzkab. We just gave her some ideas but she was free to make it as she wanted. For the upcoming album we haven’t started to work yet on visuals, but I’m pretty sure that Vik B, who also is a talented clothes and accessories designer, will make great work.
Mr Monsterhead: – We were recording the songs for the EP, so Herr Guillotine asked a friend of him, because leading these two tasks simultaneously would have been time-consuming. She did a great job with the artwork and our logo.
What was the general thought behind each album?
– Katzkab is clearly a new project so there’s no direct connection with the previous band. Some songs were originaly written for Katzenjammer Kabarett but the extreme make-over I made on them was quite aggressive.
What was the main reason behind the split-up?
Klischee: – I guess it’s a pain in the ass to work with me because I ask people to work a lot and surpass themselves. Katzenjammer Kabarett started eigth years ago, and it’s always difficult for all members to stay in the same mood and keep the same musical direction. It was a great journey but our ways didn’t follow the same direction.
What album do you believe left the most impact after it was released?
Klischee: – Katzkab’s forthcoming one!
Mr Guillotine: – Hehe, the first Katzenjammer Kabarett album had a lot of success, I still don’t know why, maybe it was released at the good time. But today, I would definitely say that the forthcoming KatzKab album will kick ass!
Do you think that you left behind music history when you split up?
Klischee: – We talked enough about Katzenjammer Kabarett.
Mr Guillotine: – UNE POMME!
What do you think about the music industry in general? Have it affected you in any way?
Klischee: – I jumped into peer to peer when it appeared. And I was really happy when I saw our albums on Soulseek. It’s quite sad that music industry was not smart and strong enough to realize, ten years before, that the world of music was changing. As artists sell less records, they have to go back on stage more often to get enough money to live from music, and that’s a good thing. If you want to sell your albums, you have to create nice packagings (not the classical jewel case), be more creative in your promotion, etc. I’m pretty satisfied that all the MTV shits doesn’t make money as it used to be in the 80s and the 90s. But it’s still too much. Is it so bad? Clearly not, you now have to be more inventive: it is now harder to find a label who can pay the recording sessions, but at the same time, it’s really easy now to have a home studio good enough to make great recordings for half the price it cost five years ago. That’s how we do most of our recordings, and we are happy about that. We only go into professional studios for very specific things.
Mr Monsterhead: – People have new habits, musicians have new tools. But each musical trend has it’s own way to promote its work, so it would be tricky to say that there is a miracle solution.
What is your main aesthetic influence for Katzkab?
– Well, it’s kind a patchwork of differents ideas, abstract and concrete, so it’s really hard to put a name on it. For the KatzKab EP, modern voodoo was the main. For the forthcoming album, it’s a bit hard to say now, it will be clearer when we will have selected the songs that will be present on the record. We recorded a lot of really different songs and the selection will be a really difficult moment.
Tell me more about KatzKab, what is your mission?
Klischee: – Writing music, drinking beers, playing piano or guitar on stage and sometimes singing when I can remember the lyrics.
Vik B: – As the lead singer, I make sure that the audience is sucked up in our absurd crime scene, but I decline all responsibility if anyone get hurt.
Mr Guillotine: – Bass, beer, music production, beer, promotion, beer, bass again and oh, beer!
You’ve recently released your debut-EP KatzKab EP in limited hand numbered copies. What do you think about it and why did you choose to have it limited to 300?
– We wanted to offer a nice packaging for this record, to introduce KatzKab and allow people to get a little taste of our universe. CD-format for four songs wouldn’t have been a good idea, maxi-CDs are so 90’s! In the MP3 era, people are only interested in collector items and they are right. That’s why we chose the vinyl format, the white color for the record and the quantity of 300. Vinyls are really expensive to make!
You released this EP in the middle of February. What do you have going on for the near future, will you release anything else this year?
– We’re working on the album, all the songwritting is done. We started doing voices, guitar and bass recording – and we have planned to go in studio this summer for specific recordings (cello, trumpet, saxophone, drums, etc.) and mix. We hope the album will be ready for fall 2012!
Mr Monsterhead: – It seems that we’re currently working for the upcoming record!
It seems like KatzKab is pretty morbid in its aesthetics. Could you tell me more about the thought behind it?
Klischee: – Morbid? Hm, I would not say that. I think the EP design have something pretty joyful things in it. Maybe it’s: “joyful morbid“? It’s a little bit like the Divine Comedy song “The Drinking Song“:
“We’re drinking to life,
We’re drinking to death –
We’re drinking ’til none of our livers are left!
We’re wending our way down to the spirit store,
We’ll drink ’til we just can’t drink anymore”
Mr Monsterhead: – It’s a kind of Voodoo-Danse-Macabre-Pub scene where our skeletons enjoy their beverages a lot! It’s more of a “cartoon” than the KK-artwork, but the bones were already there (think about surrealist collages). In the other hand, the mood is less oppressive on the new tracks.
Could you recommend any new or upcoming band that you like very much?
Klischee: – First friends: Velvet Condom (from Berlin), Dead Sexy Inc (Berlin), Bloodygrave und die Lust (Berlin) and these last days I’m listening to Automelodi (Canada), Louis Ling and the Bombs (Paris).
Vik B: – I would recommend the Nuclear Family. Their self-titled album and “FUCK MY HE ART” are just everything I need to start the day (and the night!). I also quite recently discovered Die Selektion and Light Asylum, which are permanently in my playlist.
Mr Guillotine: – Well, I don’t know if these bands are “upcoming bands”, but these days, I mostly listen to Hurts, Detachments, the KVB.
Mr Monsterhead: – These days I’m still stuck in 1966, so I guess I won’t be helpful.
What would you say is your strongest musical influence?
Klischee: – I would lie if I didn’t talk about Depeche mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Pulp, Roxy Music, Divine Comedy, Prokofiev, Danny Elfmann, Barry Adamson, The Sparks, Richard d.James, Ultravox, Fad Gadget, and a lot of Post-Punk, New wave, Indie, Soundtracks.
Vik B: – I grew up principaly with the early no doubt songs and with Abba. My dark side (haha) comes from Alice Cooper, stuck on the turntable of my parents since I was born. They are still following me! In a way I could say that I’m made of them. And then came Jack Off Jill when I was 14, they also had a huge influence on me and things I created, in music or fashion.
Mr Guillotine: – Oh, I’d say The Cure, The Virgin Prunes, Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, Christian Death & Family, Fad Gadget, PJ Harvey, and so much other bands, but as you could see my influences mostly comes from new wave/deathrock and such things.
Mr Monsterhead: – Take the Cramps and John Carpenter and everything in the middle, then you’ll get it!
Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Klischee: – This interview was pretty long. I need a fresh beer and need to listen to Mutant Disco like “Aural Exciters – Spook in Space”.
Vik B: – They have been removed, pretty painful but funny. I can tell you about it next time!
Mr Monsterhead: – Give me Fuzz and Theremin!
Check out their latest EP over here:
You can also find them over here: