There's been a lot of changes since Raunchy's last disc, Confusion Bay. In addition to gaining a new vocalist, the band also switched labels from Nuclear Blast to Lifeforce Records. Coming hot off the heals of the release of their newest release, Death Pop Romance, guitarist Lars Christensen spent a few minutes to tell us what has been going on in the world of Raunchy.
Wayfaerer-First off, congrats on the new disc, it floored me the first time I heard it!
Lars-Thank you so very much I'm glad you like this piece of metalwork ;-)
Going way back, how did you choose the name "Raunchy"?
Back in 1995 we decided to change the name to RAUNCHY. It was actually Morten (drums) who came up with the idea. At that time we still lived in Thisted and we were walking around saying this word "snusket" which was a description of things that were rather spooky but in a good way. Morten just translated the Danish work into English and some of the alternatives were the word "raunchy". We thought it was a good and slightly different name and we also chose it because we were so fed up with typical metal names. As time has passed we have considered the name as sooo many people have asked us about it. There are so many bad names in metal today and nowadays people respect the name because were doing serious neck breaking metal.
I always see comparisons to In Flames and Soilwork when I see Raunchy's name (myself included). Do you ever get sick of the comparisons?
Well I think it's fair enough. When you meet a new band you always ask yourself how they sound so I guess everybody put label on bands just to give people an idea of the music. The mentioned bands are great bands so I have no problem with the comparisons even though I think we're more progressive and alternative compared to those bands.
Death Pop Romance was just released last week, how has the response been to it so far?
The response has been absolutely amazing. Since our debut album Velvet Noise we've had good press and a lot of fine reviews. I'm so thrilled that people really say that we make good quality music over and over again. Luckily we still continue to amaze people so things are quite good even though there will always be haters.
The title of the disc, Death Pop Romance, seemed to cause some grumblings on a few websites on the Internet back when it was announced, though I personally think it fits the music perfectly. How'd you end up choosing the title?
YEAH... from the beginning when we announced the title people were so negative about it and made some weird conclusions and opinions. The title works in two levels: lyrically and musically. Kasper´s lyrics deal with emotions, a state of mind, philosophy, life & death, concepts etc. Kasper has a passion for literary theory and criticism, literary history, art history, fiction, poetry so the lyrics on Death pop romance are way deeper than before. As mentioned before we also consider the music on this new album to be: DEATH POP - plain and simple. We're brutal as fuck but poppy so even Backstreet Boys would envy us HA HA ;-)
Death Pop Romance, like your previous 2 releases, was recorded with Jacob Hansen. Is it a pretty comfortable atmosphere recording with him at this point?
We consider Jacob to be the seventh member of the band as he knows exactly what we want. We always feel like going on a vacation when we're recording with Jacob. He doesn't intervene unless he's told to and he also knows that we're that kind of band who will always end up with a killer result. We have so much respect towards each other and the atmosphere is very relaxed and positive. Of course we could use another producer, but why the hell change when you're satisfied and happy with the sound? This time we also used Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Sick Of It All etc.) for the mixing part and a guy named Ziggy (Ill Disposed, Mercenary) for mastering the cd. We have the best 3 producers around Europe on this new album so we've taken our sound to the next level.
Any songs on Death Pop Romance that you are particularly proud of?
I must say that a song like "Phantoms" really makes me proud as the chorus gives me a good feeling. In general I'm very proud of all the songs and the final result of this record and we really took advantage of both singers this time - they suit each other perfectly.
I'm sure I read somewhere when it all came down, but what happened between you guys and former vocalist Lars and how did you end up getting your new vocalist Kasper?
Lars wasn't into metal anymore it is as simple as that. Lars stated back when we recorded the Velvet Noise album that he would leave the band one day as he wanted to pursue other musical dreams. Kasper came into the picture in 2003 as he wanted me to do the artwork for his band, Tribus. It was quite coincidental when he wrote to me concerning artwork as Lars Vognstrup had just left us. I visited Tribus' website and got surprised. We wanted someone who could sing both melodies and be brutal at the same time. I called him after listening to his band and simply asked him to come to Copenhagen to rehearse with us.
Death Pop Romance feels a bit heavier than the last 2 discs, was this a conscious decision due to Kasper's more extreme vocals?
We don't think too much on what direction we should go from record to record we just do our thing and it's up to people to judge. This time we've ended up with a result that may be a bit more black/white. By this I mean the contrasts in the music are more defined. Since we've got Kasper as a new singer I also think we've gained power and his voice is more "in-your-face" and brutal.
Even though Death Pop is slightly more aggressive, one thing that seems to set Raunchy apart from other metal bands is the more upbeat atmosphere present. If you were to pick one thing, what do you feel Raunchy's trademark is?
Original choruses or exploring soundscapes.
The keyboards on songs like "Remembrance" and "This Legend Forever" seem to have an '80s new wave feel to them. Are non-metal bands like Depeche Mode an influence to Raunchy?
I'm so glad you mentioned this ;-) YEAH we are definitely big fans of the 80s new wave scene and we try to bring this new wave feel to our music. We love old synth and a lot of analogue equipment so we like to make a tribute to this great genre once in a while.
You also split with Nuclear Blast after Confusion Bay, what caused that and how did you make the decision to eventually sign with Lifeforce Records?
We simply got fired from NB. They had too high expectations for us and somehow they were not in the mood of building up the band. For a while we thought RoadRunner would be our new home but unfortunately it didn't fit into our releasing plans. Lifeforce are so dedicated and we have become their top priority. The things Lifeforce already have done for us now are way better than working with NB.
Raunchy has some of the most massive choruses I've listened to, how do they carry over in the live setting?
We have bought a hard disc recorder so all the choruses, electronics and weird sounds are on that. Morten simply plays to a click track so you really get this huge sound. We decided to do it this way as our music really deserves all the details. We often have at least 4 different voices in our choruses so it would sound lame if we didn't bring that live.
Speaking of live, you were doing a mini-tour of Germany as support for Soulfly. How'd that go?
It was absolutely amazing. The Soulfly guys are so cool and it was rather nostalgic to see Max every night form the side of the stage. We had so much fun and every night was sold out with a minimum of a 1000 people. Morten (drummer) did the tribal jam with them for 2 nights and on the last night they played in RAUNCHY shirts as they became fans of our music on the tour. We were treated like kings and everything was so professional and cool.
Do you have any other plans for touring in the immediate future?
Yeah, we are planning a busy summer season with a lot of festivals around Europe. We will play festivals in the UK (Bloodstock) and Dynamo (NET) With Full Force (GER) and festivals in France and other countries. Right now we have various offers for some great tours so please visit www.raunchy.dk for further information and dates.
Thanks for the interview and we wish you loads of success with Death Pop Romance. Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank your for reading this interview - YOU MADE IT - .... now go grab a beer, visit www.raunchy.dk and buy Death Pop Romance.