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Thomas Muster (Shakra)

Interview with Thomas Muster from Shakra
by Maria Kallinikou at 27 April 2009, 8:17 PM

By the time that you will read this interview, SHAKRA's brand new album will have already been released. Before that, I grabbed the chance to talk with Thomas Muster, getting ready for being on the road again, and hear his opinion about Everest and not only.

Interview with: Thomas Muster from SHAKRA

Hello Thomas, greetings from Metal Temple magazine. You have a new album ready to come out from the oven. Are you satisfied with the result?

Hello! Oh yeah, absolutely! You know, we always work about 5 months on an album in the studio. So we can take our time until we're completely satisfied with everything. Every guitar track, every vocal line, every drum beat. I really love this album!

Your upcoming CD Everest hasn't been released yet but the single Why is already in abundance. What is the feedback you have received until now?

Hey, I read some wonderful reviews the last days! The journalists seem to love the album also! Of course we do not have many feedbacks of the fans so far because the album isn't out yet. But a lot of people like the single. A lot of radio stations play the song here in Switzerland.

How did you guys end up with the Everest title? Did you have a number of ideas for the title? Which were the options and, finally, how did you go for Everest?

We had some other titles like Grand Slam, Energizer…Well, that sounds OK in a way, but we were looking for something really big! Something that sounds just huge! I remember we were on the way back from a show in Germany last summer when we were talking about the album title once more. Our sound engineer suddenly said it should be something big like the Mount Everest. And we all said: Everest! That's it. Just Everest!

Would you like to tell us a bit about this new release? The production, the driving force in creating it, who is responsible for the lyrics, who contributed mainly in the music?

I wrote 11 songs for the album. Sometimes I really don't do anything else than recording song ideas at home. I love to do that! Mark cares about the lyrics and Thom has produced every SHAKRA album so far; also Everest. I guess Thom and me are the driving forces in our band. But, hey, we couldn't create such a strong album like Everest without Roger and Dominik! These guys are fantastic players!

You have had a release party recently. How did it go? How did the people perceive the album? Is there any moment worth mentioning?

That was yesterday! Yeah, the people seem to like Everest! They even acclaimed between the songs. Hey, if all the people out there have that much fun listening to Everest I'm very happy!

Shortly you will begin the European tour. Tell us a bit about the countries you are about to visit and also what is on the schedule as far as summer festivals are concerned?

Well, we will play in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Italy. And then, Switzerland of course. We'll play a lot of festivals in our country, also a few of the biggest ones here! We'll also get filmed at 2 or 3 festivals by the swiss TV. I think a wonderful summer is about to come!

You are planning to shoot two video clips for this album. The first one, Why, is already out. When is Ashes To Ashes planned to see the light of the day?

I'm not sure about that…I guess in Germany it comes along with the album release, here in switzerland a little bit later. Just visit our website from time to time (www.shakra.ch)  and you won't miss it!

Love Will Find A Way from Infected, was as well a ballad. Now, the first video is also a ballad. Is there a ballad thing that SHAKRA fall for?

Well, that's funny! We always record 2 ballads for an album and we do that because we love ballads! It's always good to have slower songs on an album because there's more variety if you listen to the entire album. And the radios here in Switzerland, well, they only play ballads, not the heavy SHAKRA stuff. But when we play live our fans don't like it if we play more than 2 ballads! They want to hear the real rockin' songs! So we're definitely not a ballad band!

Both of these clips have been recorded in Paris. How did you come up with this city? Or was it the company's decision?

We shot both videos at the same day last January here in Switzerland. Only the scenes with Mark and that girl were shot in Paris because we worked with a French video crew and they wanted to work at this location in Paris.

At the end of 2008, you confirmed your co-operation with Sony Music Switzerland. How did this happen? What are your feelings about this co-operation, and moreover do you have 'extra mile' ideas since that happened?

Well, I can tell you more about this co-operation as soon as the album is out. Then we'll see if they do a good job or not!

No, of course everybody in and around the band is high motivated because of that deal with Sony Music. By the way, when AC/DC played here in Switzerland last week we had a 50% chance to support them. They were looking for a local supporting act and because AC/DC is also a Sony act they were asking the record company to name two bands. Unfortunately they wanted to do it with the other band, any strange pop band. Well, shit happens, maybe next time!

For you as a musician, what is the driving force for making an album?

Well, it just happens! You know I'm always composing when I'm at home. The release of Everest is still to come and I already have 15 new song ideas for the next album! I'm not sure what the driving force really is…it just happens! Maybe it's because I love what I do! I love my job in the band!

As a music fan, which artist/band would you say that has influenced you mostly?

AC/DC. My first AC/DC album was Let There Be Rock. My parents bought me an acoustic guitar with nylon strings. I had a few lessons at the local music school. I had to play this finger-picking classical stuff. Then I started to play Bad Boy Boogie, Whole Lotta Rosie and all the other songs from the album! That was much more fun for me to play! So that album showed me what Rock 'n' roll means!

Comparing Everest with Infected, what in your opinion is different, in means of production, ideas and musicianship? Is for you Everest the sensible continue of the SHAKRA chain?

I think the main difference is the production. Everest has a better sound than any other album before. It sounds much warmer though it's still heavy! And the songs, well, what can I say; it sounds like SHAKRA and I like all of them! Maybe everything is a bit more mature this time, it sounds perfect in a way. We created the perfect SHAKRA-style on Everest.

Thank you very much for this talk. I wish you every success with the tour. The last words belong to you.

I would like to play in Greece soon…Hey, I spent my last vacation in your country and I just love the Greek food! And the Mythos beer…Cheers!



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