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Britta (Cripper)

Interview with Britta from Cripper
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 31 October 2008, 7:27 AM

There are times when women probably have more balls than many male metalheads. The ARCH ENEMY example is something we are all aware of. What many of you may not be aware is the new Thrash Metal force from Hannover, Germany, with a beautiful, yet devilish frontwoman named Britta. Read below and see what a real metalhead is like…

Hello there! Welcome to the Metal Temple family! Tell us a few things about how the whole CRIPPER story started.

Hi Yiannis! Here we go: We formed in 2005. Our two guitarists Christian and Jonathan know each other from studying graphic design. They started the whole thing. I met them when I was actually in an audition for a different band. We started looking for a drummer and a bass-player and could get Dennis (drums) and our first bass-player Erik on board.

The cool thing is that although we didn't know each other before CRIPPER, we're now really good and close friends. Very romantic, haha…

Freak Inside was initially self released and now you re-released it with the help of SAOL. Why did you decide to make this move? And something else, what exactly is this SAOL service?

Yeah, that is correct; we self-released the Freak last year and re-released it a week ago or so with the help of SAOL. That stands for Service For Artist Owned Labels. We took this opportunity to make our album available in shops etc and not just on our website or live gigs. In addition to that we get all the promotion etc a label would also do for us.

We have no record deal; we are our own bosses :-) That is the biggest advantage.

By the way, how come you didn't release the album through a label? Was it because you couldn't find a label to release it or was it your choice?

Both a little bit. There were a few labels that showed some interest in us and there has even been one signing us… unfortunately the label itself never really came to life and so the contract was meaningless. The other thing is that we didn't just want to have any record deal - CRIPPER is our baby and it would be hard to give it into any stranger's hands if you know what I mean. So this SAOL thing is a very secure thing since all decisions and rights are our business alone.

While taking a look at some info regarding the band, I realized that although you were formed three years ago, you have changed bass players many times. Why is that? Is it so hard to find a good and dedicated bass player?

It is what we call Bass-player's disease :-) They all happen to disappear; we kicked none of them out. Hmm, let's hope Bass-T is immune - to me he is the most suitable CRIPPER bass-player I can imagine.

Why did you choose this name for the band? What does it mean?

Cripper originally was a working title for one of our first songs. It comes from the Christmas Ripper Jonathan and Christian invented around Christmas. He is their version of the antagonist of Santa Claus, killing all those nags who stress you out in the cities during Christmas Time… :-) It was meant as a joke of course!

After having completed our line-up we were looking for a name that sounded cool and also aggressive, but without using words like death, blood or brutal. So we chose for CRIPPER.

You come from Germany, a country that specializes mostly in Thrash and Power Metal. Why do you think your country has this tension towards fast and aggressive music? Are there any new German bands you think people should check out?

Really? Hm, I don't think that German bands are more aggressive and faster than bands from wherever else… But maybe I'm just too close to see that development.

Nevertheless there are many great bands. First to mention the two bands we're on tour with at the moment: HATRED and LOST WORLD ORDER. Great music, fast & energetic. Both bands are good friends of ours! And go check out DRONE if you haven't already, awesome modern Thrash with probably one of the most asskickin' live appearance I've seen.

To be honest, what made a bad impression on me was that your site has everything written in German, something that is a pain in the ass for people that don't know your language, although your MySpace page features an English translation of your bio. Why is that?

Argh, I know and I need to apologize for that. We are working on so many different things at the moment; one is an English version of our website, too. I hope we'll get that done soon. MySpace is a bit easier to edit and so we already have English items there.

Who designed the cover artwork for Freak Inside and what does it represent?

We did that 100% ourselves. The idea was born when we were hanging around at Dennis' place. On the one (more general) hand, it represents the freak inside all of us, that secret, inner world everyone bears. Sometimes it shows up on the surface and then we fill it with more and more details, creating an independent world. On the other (more specific) hand it represents the imaginary world of a guy, who does not really have anything except his fantasy. You can see him on the back of our CD (or his hand at least) building this puppet house. He himself seems lo live in an awful place and that is why he escapes from reality and builds his own world. Since he's not having any super-duper puppet furnishing or something he builds chairs, a TV etc. out of rubbish, old metal stuff etc, even his alter ego, the little puppet model (we call Herr Paschulke by the way).

We collected some old stuff and put it together in a long night's work - the original model is still in my living room. Christian and Jonathan are graphic designers and created this beautiful cover artwork, put the photos together etc…

Which bands have influenced your sound? I guess that you will come across ARCH ENEMY many times when people refer to similarities you have with other bands.

Yeah, that's right. Many people compare us with bands whose lead singer is female. That is okay, but not necessarily always the most fitting comparison… I don't think there is that much ARCH ENEMY inside our songs… We are more influenced by bands like EXODUS, TESTAMENT or THE HAUNTED. Also to mention BOLT THROWER and METALLICA of course.

What are your plans for now? I noticed you will be busy with the 'Triple Thrash Treat Tour' with LOST WORLD ORDER and HATRED. Tell us a few things about this tour.

Oh, it's hell of a fun!! It is our 2nd time on the road with both bands. Last year we did Triple Thrash Treat part one and played 9 shows. This year we are doing 16 shows across Germany. The whole tour is self-organized. Booking, promotion, looking for sponsors etc is done by us 14 trash-addicts. It is a lot of work as you can imagine, but it's all paying off at the moment you enter the stage to play the first show. I mean, what can be more fun than hang around and play live shows with your 13 crazy friends?

If I am not mistaken, you managed to support VADER for a show during their 25th anniversary tour. How did you manage to book this show? How was this experience for you?

Mighty VADER, yeah. We supported them on their show here in Hanover, our hometown. The organizer asked us if we wanted to open the show. He's a friend of ours and the VADER gig was the last show he would organize in Hanover for he now lives in Berlin. So it was also kinda his goodbye.

I remember that I went crowdsurfing the whole time during VADER's show. I guess I was pretty drunk… :-) The whole day was a lot of fun except for the fact that someone stole my backpack out of the backstage area with all my stuff like papers, keys and money in it… that really sucked!

I know that you have a new album that will be coming out in 2009. Tell us a few things about it like where and with whom it was recorded and how it will sound. Is it going to be released through a label or you will release it once again on your own?

Do we? I don't know anything about it… :-) Who's the singer, they must've forgotten to ask me *lol* Just joking!

We are planning to hit the studio in early 2009. The songwriting is still not finished yet, so all predictions are pretty vague. We're really looking forward to it, can't wait to bring our new babies to life! So let's talk again in maybe March or April.

What was the worst and what was the best moment you had during a live show?

Hmm… the worst moment on stage was when we had to kick 2 songs off our setlist during a show because I was ill and just couldn't sing any longer and was about to lose my voice completely. That was horrible!!

The best moment for me was probably when I went crowd surfing during our own show for the first time. I was pretty nervous but they didn't let me fall down *puh*

Who is the main songwriter of the band and who writes the lyrics? What do the lyrics have to do with?

We write all the stuff together in our rehearsal room. Most of the time our guitarists come up with a riff or an idea and then we start putting things together, ripping it apart again, blah - at the same time I start writing the lyrics. So in it's growing together.

There are no rules we strictly follow - I mean, if I have an idea of a certain beat, or if Dennis has an idea for guitar part - we try it out and see if it works.

Writing lyrics is kinda my passion. I write down what I think, love to work out all the details… there is pretty much of my own experiences and point of views in it.

Are there any new releases that have attracted your attention?

Oh yeah - NEVERMORE's new DVD The Year Of The Voyager. And of course THE HAUNTED's Versus. They really thrill me on that album! Besides that I am listening to BLOODBATH and OPETH a lot at the moment. Mika is one of the best singers ever I think.

Thank you for your time and I hope you come to play here in Greece sometime! The last words are yours…

Thank you!! …We'd love to play in Greece and dance a sirtaki with some Greek metalheads :-D


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