Interview done by:
USBMS would like to thank Minenwefer for this interview.
1.Can we start off by having you introduce our readers to the members of the band and there roles within Minenwerfer?
Generalfeldmarschall Kriegshammer - Bass/Vocals
Wachtmeister Verwüstung - Guitars
Oberst Gemetzel - Drums
2. Give us a bit of history on when and how the band got started and the meaning behind the band name?
The band started as a solo project of Kriegshammer's in 2007, eventually it just evolved into a real band. 'Minenwerfer' means 'mine thrower' in German. Essentially it was a trench mortar used extensively in the First World War.
3.The WW1 concept is not as widely focused on in the metal genre as opposed to WW2 themes, explain to us how the band choose this particular war theme as a backdrop for the music of Minenwerfer?
The decision for a WWI theme was due to WWII being represented enough already. WWI seems more or less forgotten, and so we decided to focus on this era. It was a time of emperors and empires, new technology, and is just as interesting and important as the war following it.
4.You guys have an excellent forum up about WW1 history topics and discussions, Tell us who is the War buff within the band or do all members share the same enthusiasm about this era of war?
The forum has been dead for a few years, and didn't really lead to any insightful discussion. Then again, our fanbase is made up of black metal fans, so I suppose that's the reason why. Kriegshammer is responsible for the themes of the band. He has a BA in History.
5. What are some of the bands you guys grew up listening to, did they at all influence your decisions to play music, also do you draw any inspirations for your music outside of the Metal genre at all?
We all grew up listening to different things, but eventually found our way to Black and Death metal. We all have different influences though, Oberst Gemetzel's influences are mainly Death Metal for instance, while the other guys are pretty well rooted in Black Metal and Thrash. There are plenty of influences besides metal that can be found in Minenwerfer's music. Neo-folk, martial industrial, and classical musical all have left their mark on Kriegshammer, leading to it being incorporated into our sound.
7.You guys have a pretty extensive discograpghy dating back to 2007 consisting of a few demos, a single, an EP and a copule of full lengths, Can you tell how has the music changed over the years and has it evolved the way you guys had envisioned when first starting the band?
The early demos were recorded before Minenwerfer could be considered a serious project. The early stuff was just for fun, with a lot of poorly written German, until Volkslieder when the band became serious. Stylistically the music has changed a bit from the early demos. A lot more effort and time is put into the songwriting, and of course with the entrance of new members into the band, more changes became welcome.
8. How has the feed back from people been about Minenwerfer's most recent release "Nihilistischen", and how did the relationship with Christian Annihilation come about and were you satisfied with the distribution of the release?
Most people seem to have enjoyed the album. To us, there is a lot wrong with it, as it could have been much better. It suffers from weak production, and some German that could have been translated better, but we think the songs hold up pretty well. Christian Annihilation kind of just promoted our self-release. At this time, there is no true official release of Nihilistischen through any label, and is the album is currently out of print. Those people that got the self-release are pretty lucky to have even got one of those.
9.Is there any interest in you guys by any labels at this time or are there any current deals in the works?
No label seems to want to pick us up. Much of our material ends up being released in very limited quantities though various small labels that have been willing to do so, but we haven't had any luck securing any label support. We figure that most labels think our subject matter is questionable or too dangerous or something, so they distance themselves from us. At the moment we have a release of Nihilistischen coming out on cassette through Satanik Wolfchamber Productions. We have two different splits with possible label backing that have yet to be negotiated. Our new EP that we are in the midst of finishing up recording has no backing of any kind though, and will most likely end up being a self-release due to that, but we'll see what happens.
10. A lot of times bands who choose to use WW2 or WW1 topics and themes in their music often get labeled racist, fascist or an NSBM band. I read somewhere that you guys have had to deal with this issue and at times have been labeled NSBM. My question is, how has Minenwerfer handled this issue, also do you guys have an opinion on whether or not NSBM should be associated with the BM music genre?
Most people are ignorant and jump to conclusions, especially if the see an iron cross, eagles, etc. in the imagery of a band. In the past, various allegations have led Kriegshammer writing various blogs and postings defending the band and the imagery, and usually some sort of background on the symbols or flags being used. It isn't our fault that most people don't know history, and are (especially in America) uneducated or undereducated. Then again, if our subject matter did have to do with WWII, that doesn't mean we condone the actions of the past. Why does a band like Hail of Bullets or Marduk get to write song after song about Rommel and panzer divisions, yet no one thinks anything of it? As far as NSBM goes, we're not a part of it, but believe that whatever a band wants to say in their music is their own prerogative.
11. How is the black metal community in Sacramento are there decent venues to play, and how is support for metals of all genres in your area all around ?
The black metal community in Sacramento is pretty pathetic honestly. There are a handful of bands of varying quality, and about the same 8 to 14 people that come out to every show. We don't really play hometown shows anymore, because we feel it's not worth the effort, especially when we have to work all day. We have about 3 venues that we can play here, and that's about it. Metal in general is not really Sacramento's strong point. Sac is kind of a cesspit, if you started here, you're lucky if you make it out.
12. How would you guys best explain a live performance by Minenwerfer for someone who has never seen you live before?
We play pretty raw as a power trio. Usually flags, bullet belts, and helmets are around the stage. We try to be as loud and dirty as we can, coming from the Motorhead school of thought.
13. Were there any goals set by the band when you guys started out, have you reached those goals yet and give us idea of what Minenwerfer would like to be best known for in the long history of Black Metal?
There weren't really any goals when we've started out. As time has progressed we've set out to do more, but have had various obstacles in our way hindering us from our true potential. Despite this, we've managed to continually keep on going.
We don't really care if we're remembered for anything. Hopefully we'll inspire some people to open up a book about the First World War and try to understand what this period of time has done in the scope of our history.
14. What can people expect from Minenwerfer in 2014?
Hopefully two splits, an EP, and a cassette rerelease. We have a couple of shows booked for the Spring so far. We'll continue to work on more new material as well. Hopefully our other band, Chronaexus will also be working on the material for our 3rd full-length album also.
15. Are there any final words that you guys would to say to our readers before we finish up this interview?
Thanks to USBMS. All updates and contact info can be found at http://minenwerfer.blogspot.
Minenwerfer's FB and Bandcamp links