In words of the own bassist of the band, Chris, ATTIC’s new album has taken almost five years of efforts and struggling to overcome all those things that make life what it is. But when you listen to it you truly realize it’s worth every minute of it. With “Sanctimonious” Attic takes a step forward in terms of composition, a concept album that guarantees fun and great atmospheres.
Hello Chris, your new album is called “Sanctimonious”, due out in August 18th, how do you feel about it?
Hailz, and thanks for getting in touch with us. The Release date is the day we’ve all been waiting for for so long, and we feel relieved. Writing and recording Sanctimonious was an extraordinary tough process and we had to overcome a lot ob obstacles. We got a new drummer, played live a lot, to promote the Band’s name and as well our first album. We spend 2 months in the Studio and then had some issues with the pressing of the album, so that it took us almost 5 years to finish that piece of Art, but we’re all sure, the wait was worth it.
“Sanctimonious” is just your second full-length but you sound as a very experienced band, so mature
Well thanks, I really appreciate that. Well actually we ARE all just old farts, haha. No, but seriously all of us were very lucky to gain experience in former Bands over the past decade. I played in Warhammer for 10 years, as well for a short time with our guitarist Katte, who as well learned most of his skills with Erazor and more Bands. Meister Cagliostro as well gathered experience in a few bands before Attic and Robert too, while our drummer still plays in approximately two or three thousand different bands. At least It feels like that. So all this experience we gathered with writing music, being in Bands, live as such, its all coming together in Attic. As well, the time of 5 years we took for ourselves to make Sanctimonious such a unique hearing experience, was very important to make sure every detail fits and every historical aspect is considered.
“Sanctimonious” is a complete concept album that contains 13 tracks and over an hour playing time, what is the story about?
The Story takes place in an old Convent in the year 1687. You would expect a peaceful christian atmosphere here, but nothing is at it seems. The listener will get to know four main characters, who will guide him through the old walls of which has once been a place to find sanctuary in God. We will see death, murder and utter Horror.
How long have you worked in your new album and how was the composition & recording?
First musical ideas already emerged between the recordings and the release of “The Invocation”. All in all we worked on the album about four and a half years in between extensive touring. The Recordings were smooth and very well observed by our producer Mersus, who already recorded our first Album. Still we took as much time as we needed, to give every song the fine-tuning it deserved. We adjusted the drum Sound a lot, since this was a part of the debut, which most people criticized.
Aha, very interesting, the feedback works. As with The Invocation, in “Sanctimonious” you continue to work with Ván Records…
Yes, and I’m pretty sure, we won’t change that in the future. With Ván records we signed a contract for a few Albums, and we’re still in that window.. And even if we wouldn’t: Ván records combines everything we need and expect of a label. They support us as much as they can, they granted us such a long time in the studio as well. And despite that, they are family already. There is nothing more, that we could wish or ask for right now.
Comparing “Sanctimonious” with your debut album, any especial difference to mention?
Well the main difference of course is, that Sanctimonious is a concept album. The Invocation was the beginning, the summoning of the demon. Now we’re here, we established a musical direction that we still pursue on our second one and will on the follow ups.
Another difference is the sound, which we had more time to find this time. Invocation was good, Sanctimonious is way better. We’re pretty content with the result and worked on it more than double the time than on our debut. One more difference -along with many others to be found out by the fans- is obviously the playing time. Sanctimonious is 20 Minutes longer than its predecessor, which makes the LP a double Vinyl version, with much love for the details in the layout.
If you keep up the level in your compositions probably Attic will be one of the references in the heavy metal scene in the following years
Oh, thank you, that feels really nice to hear. There is this thing going on for just a few years called new wave of Teutonic heavy metal, and Attic is always a name of that. So we feel,that somehow we have already had an impact on the scene, and it would make me proud, if the future generations would talk about us and our colleagues of Stallion, Vulture, Chapel of Disease, Iron Kobra and all the Bands out there, from our Generation the same way, as we do about Sodom, Kreator, Destruction and all these Bands. Even if we won’t ever become that big, I suppose. The time of the stadium Bands is over, and there won’t be anything like it coming after them.
Sure we try to be influences for the younger ones, that just start up, and I hope we’re successful and can keep up with that. Thanks for your words.
There are some clear influences in your music, I cannot avoid to name Mercyful Fate
Sure, when Cagliostro hits the first notes you always think of the King in the first moment, but if you then listen closely, you hear not only Mercyful Fate, but also many more Influences like Accept or as well a lot of the impressions, that Iron Maiden did on us with their two-part guitar riffs. Judas Priest is part of it and even if we don’t want to leave the Heavy Metal to far behind, you’ll find riffs on Sanctimonious, which will remind you of “Denial of God”, “Dissection” and even “Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin” and those Giallo movie soundtracks of the 60s and 70s.
“The Invocation” became “album of the month” in Germany’s Rock Hard magazine, now you have made another big step ahead with “Sanctimonious”. Who is more responsible for that success inside the band?
I think the success that we have is based on the fact, that we are an entity. We write the songs as Attic, and everyone has his ideas on his instrument. When you’re on a movie set, you don’t have one or two guys who do everything. You have an expert behind the lights, an expert behind the camera, an expert as an director an expert writing the story book, and so on and this makes a good movie. When we write our Songs, we just try to reflect on what we hear of the other, but never tell him what to play or to sing. We reflect and give advice. Sure, Meister Cagliostro lets us know, where the story he wants to tell in a Song should lead to, and thus we focus in what kind of Song its going to be. Fast, Slow, complex, simple…. We write Songs the other way round: There is the Story or the Lyrics, and we work around it to create a Song, which is tailored to it. But everyone on his own is responsible to produce his own part as good and close to perfection as possible. That may take more time than usual, but you and the listener are more content with the result as well.
Off the stage we all have our functions within the Band as well, and so we can be an organized institution, which is a benefit for the success and everyone around. Us, the Fans, the promoters and so on.
I love the feeling of Meister Cagliostro’s voice, it takes Attic’s music to another level
Yes, we are very fortunate to have such an Artist on our side. Meister’s voice makes our music unique in this time and age, where we have so many Bands in the underground scene. He is a perfectionist, and I think it was never more important than on this Album and for no other than this Band as well.
Any favorite song in the album?
During the making, every song that was just finished was the favorite and even better than the one before. Now, almost 6 months after the recordings, I can say, that there is no song which I like more than the other. But there are parts in every song, which fill my heart with joy more than other. I think of the Chorus of “Born from Sin”, the carrying Part of Prioress Claire in “Die Engelmacherin”, the Mercyful Fate part in “There is no God” or just the thunderous beginning of the title track “Sanctimonious”. There is so much to find, and every time you listen to the album, you’ll find something new.
Yes, a world to discover little by little. In your album we can find some hints of the dark side of the NWOBHM, represented by bands such as Angel Witch o Wytchfinde, true?
Since we always focus on the dark ages and the dark side of things which may seem normal and peaceful for the other people, I think these hints (as you say) seem obvious. But we did not intent to hint on those bands. We simply have the same interest in the dark side of the middle ages, the Inquisition, Christianity and death.
The occult inspiration flows naturally in your music. How does it happen? You focus on some riffs, lyrics or whatever…?
As I said above, Meister Cagliostro always has an idea of what kind of story he wants to tell in a Song. And thus he knows in which direction the music shall go. So we make up our minds what would fit and start writing and playing. Then the writing process is like gear wheels which fit into each other. You adjust here and there but always with the goal not to lose the dark atmosphere within the song. So every part of the music is written for the dark tales he sings about and vice versa. If there’s a new riff, reflecting the dark atmosphere Attic is about, he knows what to sing in that part. So we don’t focus on something special in a song, we just follow our inspiration and drive Attic gives us in general.
The cover artwork is a good introduction to what we are gonna find inside…
Yes it is. The first thing you will notice, is that we focused on a very white, and bright concept. You’ll see a very peaceful situation on a nice and sunny day, with some suspicious things happening in the Background. But since Sanctimonious takes place in a Convent, where nothing is as it seems, you’ll find very dark drawings inside and the story is Illustrated completely black and white. We are happy that we could again work with Markus Vesper for the cover Artwork. The inside was created by Misanthropic-Arts who as well worked with us in the past, and we knew they would be the perfect people for this Project. And we all are very happy with all results.
You have already played many gigs around with big bands and in great fest as Keep It True, for instance. Are you programming already the dates for this 2017?
Sure, we’re planning a Sanctimonious Promotion tour for the End of the year, and as well contact people for shows and Festivals in 2018, to make sure, as many people as possible get to hear the new material live.
We will be ready for the incoming news. Any specific goals for the near future?
Mainly, to play in Countries, where we have never or almost never been. Portugal for example, but returning to Spain for a second time after a mini Tour in 2015 is as well on the top of our wishlist.
And hear that makes us happy \m/. Thanks for the cool chat Chris and congratulations for your fantastic new album!
Thank you again as well. We’re glad you like it, and we’re sure, Spain will. Be Prepared for utter Horror and pure darkened Heavy Metal starting August 18th!!