Please introduce yourself.
Hello there. I’m Marek, Guitarist and Vocalist from TRAPJAW – the Voice of the Beast, the Pestilence from Bielefeld and maybe the most unmarketable Band from East- Westphalia’s extreme Metal Underground
When was your band created?
At the end of 1999
What style do you play?
We use to call our style EXMAFEBS99, a short form for Epic X-treme Metal Art From East-Westphalia / Bielefeld Since 1999
How could you describe your music by several words?
Basically extreme and epic Death / blackened Death / Thrash Metal, usually brutal and complex, sometimes enriched with disturbing Ideas embedded in multi-layered compositions, usually far beyond any conventions of catchy easy-listening songs. Some people say we belong to the extreme and technical ones
What is the main theme of your lyrics?
In many lyrics we perceive the state of the world, civilization and the struggle of the individual of Life’s absurdities from various philosophical, sometimes occult point-of-views. This can vary, depending on the message of the respective lyric. Some of them are very personal while others are more referred to World affairs. All kinds of Literature, especially controversial characters in Literature are also very inspiring for several lyrics. We are the complicated ones
What would you like to achieve with the band activity?
The most exciting for us is the development and common rehearsal of extreme and brutal but also epic and complex songs, which exercise us musically and make the listener -hopefully- feel he is not just listening to a song only but to a story, told with the language of music to communicate a certain message and to create usually a dark, disturbing or desperate atmosphere. It’s always amazing how some weird ideas of mine successively become a concrete Composition, performed by the whole band. Of course there are also a lot of ideas leading to short and uncompromising Songs, but those are more a bonus, basically for live performances. Our favorite Songs are the long and complex ones with artistic ambitions. They make our music feel like an artistic success. Yeah, that’s’ what we basically want to achieve: artistic success and creative unfolding. We are the ambitious ones
How many gigs you have played so far and maybe you visit other countries with concerts?
Comparatively few. Until now, less than 40 I suppose. Until 2004 we’ve been prevented from regular live- activities due to Problems with building up a solid line- up, then in 2005 – 2010 we were able to cause immense interest somehow. Our CD- Releases were reviewed Europe-wide splendidly, release-Concerts were followed by Interviews on Radio, in Print zines or online immediately. In early 2006 for example we’ve been asked for so many gigs, it really became a short tour for our Debut album, which was released October 2005. These years felt like gifted to us because people were sincerely interested in what we do and we needn’t have to ask for all these gigs, we have been asked to play there without being at any social network at this time! A homepage and an email-address were enough. It was all like a wish coming true: record and release your music, put the most important stuff online, leave your contact-infos and the rest presents itself. Well, this wishful state seems to be over…since 2010 the interest in what we do has either decreased or maybe there’re just too many bands online, who have become active since social media networks deluge the web and now we’re quite going under among the mass. Various people or communities having ambitions to support bands like us attempt to manage concert acquisitions, but until now none of them really succeeds. Unfortunately we don’t have that much time to do many promotional activities by ourselves because we’re all very busy with jobs and family. Further demoralizing is the increasing alienation between our expectations and wishes as musicians on the one side and the expectations of Live- audience and propositions of concert managers on the other side. Let’s be honest! If you have a life with a successfully running career with colleagues treasuring you for doing an excellent job and a family that loves you and a second life with an unsatisfiable, ungrateful music industry with nearly unrealistic expectations, incapable to appreciate all your hard work and having obviously no plan how to cause success nowadays without depraving artists, where would you put your priorities to? We are the consequent ones.
Is there anything very important about your band what fans and labels SHOULD know?
We wish to be perceived as passionate and hard-working extreme Metal Musicians, who put a lot of heart in their Art: Music supposed to reach Fans who admire blackened Death / Thrash Metal, which is mostly brutal and extreme, but not primitive or stereotypical. Courageous, multi-layered, sometimes rich in detail with genuine artistic ambitions and occasionally a little bit disturbing, but not related to any modern core- containing pseudo- subgenres. A deep relation to traditional Metal is important for us. Yet, to us upholding Tradition does not mean to worship the ash, but to pass along the flame! Our Music helps us giving the beast inside us a place, where it is allowed to exist and to unfold. A beast born of rage and disappointments by a corrupt, dishonorable and increasingly jaded society. That’s why we decided to call TRAPJAW ‘Vox Bestiae – the Voice of the Beast’ recently. So don’t expect us being in party-mode when we play live. We are the furious ones
What are the formats you would like to see your releases, CD, Vinyl, Tape…? And how do you see future of physical releases?
We’re used to CD, tape or digital mp3- format. Vinyl would of course be something very special for us but will certainly remain a dream. Manufacturing costs are comparatively high and we’ve become nearly unmarketable during the years. The Story of physical CDs will become comparable with the one of vinyl I guess. It might become less because of more and more stream- and mp3- downloading, but I hope quantity will be reduced to the benefit of quality. Just take a look how popular Mediabook- releases become meanwhile. A TRAPJAW- release in such a form would be amazing for us and our long-time listeners. The hardliner- Fans will always wish to have something physical and exclusive, even if it costs them more and at least our Album Releases on CD are nearly sold out. I think the market for physical releases will become more driven by creativity the next years. Just like Picture- LPs for example. We are the open-minded ones
When you will get a label deal, would you like to help the label with promotion from your side, or do you want the label to do all without your help?
When? The word ‘When’ implicates getting a label-deal would be just a question of time, which has become hard to imagine. I’m not sure how compatible we are with the common Casual Music Consumer, whom we more and more experience as jaded, glutted, unappreciative and unfortunately partly alienated from our perception of how qualitative extreme blackened Death / Thrash Metal can be realized by an unsupported band with only 3 members who have to do nearly all the work. People seem to be a lil’ bit brainwashed by the hype of what nowadays social media can allegedly do for unknown bands: becoming popular without any label-deals or other contracts and so on. They don’t seem to realize these modern media tools can usually only benefit a few easily marketable bands. And not for free. You wanna play live? Pay! You want likes/friends/whatever contacts? Pay! You want possibilities, opportunities to gain attention? Pay! See to us it’s like a monster which distorts our Pleasure for doing music. One that only wants, only takes, depraves artists and mostly gives back nothing but unanswered expectations. Maybe it has always been this way and now this monster is just wearing another mask? I don’t know. Anyway to answer your question: if a label could really offer a smart master plan, which can measurably push us and gain attention in an overflowed metal scene we’d do anything temporally possible. Not do we create and perform all the Music only, we also record our Stuff ourselves in an own Studio since 2007 to limit Production Costs. We may not have that much time in private life, but since 2014 we have a support/promotion- deal with undergrounded.de and expect much more promotional Work from them. So, if necessary there would be human resources / Manpower in store, if this should ever come so far. I’m sure in the years 2005 – 2010 a strong label could have easier gained more attention for us. Nowadays this would require a lot of time, work and as I said before, a real smart plan how to connect with both the few passionate die-hard Fans who sing along our songs when we play live AND the numerous casual Listeners, who may be not the ones who spend money for CDs or merch, but somehow they are the louder voice in the worldwide web and keep Band’s online – Contents viral. To connect with them becomes harder the more sophisticated your music is. In this case we are the realistic ones.
What’s your reaction towards negative opinions about your music?
Reaction?…. hmm… I would say there is no kind of reaction in such cases from our sides. In case of CD- Reviews in webzines or printed Zines I can’t remember any negative opinion at all. In case of live concerts…, well if one says we’re too extreme because he is used to bands like Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Manowar or Heaven shall Burn, we don’t care about it. It’s ok. If one says we’re too complex for him, because he is used to simple-structured Songs like the ones from Amon Amarth or Six feet under we don’t care about it. We don’t perform the music our hearts desire to perform to be liked. We are fully aware about the matter of fact, that we perform a nearly unmarketable kind of music. Respect for what we can do is more important than popularity or numbers of sales, which is a doomed-to-unsuccessfulness- thinking in a society in which music becomes more and more a popularity contest. What’s bothering us more are other kinds of negative reactions like Ignorance or alienation. More and more we experience Gig- Visitors, who just stand around during our performance, look obviously confused, seem not to fathom what is actually happening and just seem to wait until it’s over. Fatally this type has become more frequently during the last years, which causes a lot of alienation between us and at least parts of our audience and we don’t know how to deal with it. A good opinion about us is welcome, a bad one as well, because it is at least sincerely, but no opinion is something we can’t understand. Our style ain’t that exclusive. People should be informed about what awaits them when they visit our concerts. We’re no melodic Death Metal or Metalcore or whatever nice-sounding Band. We are just the disturbing ones
And last question, how do you like our webzine, do you have some remarks towards its look or functionality?
According to the name it could be designed a bit darker *smiles*. I like it anyway and it seems to be a genuine platform for underground Bands. I am also aware of a lot of promotion you do for the bands at Facebook. This is what the underground deserves. But seriously, if a band wants to shine out of the mass it needs more. I really wish I could say I read your zine regularly, but time doesn’t allow so. Besides being the only Guitarist, Lead Vocalist, Song- and Lyric-writer, Contact Person, Main Web-admin, graphics and Merchandise Designer and general drudge of TRAPJAW, I’m a SAP Development Expert in one of Germany’s biggest global-Player Enterprises and family Father in ordinary Life, so you can imagine I’m extremely busy. Anyway, keep the performance and thanks for contacting us.
TRAPJAW! Epic extreme blackened Death / Thrash Metal from Germany for all Fans and Admirers of brutal and sinister Metal – Styles: Death / Thrash / Black Metal! Since their first Album VIRUSHUMAN (2005) the work of this unholy Trinity has not only reached a legendary State among and beyond the Metal- Community in their home area, but was also massively appreciated by several Print- and webzines in Europe (13/15 Points in ‘Legacy’- Mag, 10/12 Points in ‘Heavy’- Mag, 8/10 Points in ‘Terrorraiser’- Mag)!
After various periods of touring and further Gigs in Germany during the next years, TRAPJAW constantly worked out new material and even constructed an own Music- Studio to offer the best Possibilities for upcoming Releases. In 2009 they were finally able to surpass all their former Efforts and released one of the most complex, brutal and ingenious Death Metal- Albums ever: TERROR DIVINE, supported by the Independent Label VENOMOUS PRODUCTIONS and a couple of other Sponsors, Labels and Distributions. According to their Motto ‘Terrorize the Audience’ the band leaves massive impact among fans and Press since then. And more is yet to come. Check Full Biography, free mp3s, infos, links on:
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