Fury in the Slaughterhouse are releasing their first album in 13 years. Here the band reveals why there are no more arguments.
Fury in the Slaughterhouse are not only back on the stage, they now also have new music in their luggage: The cult rockers from Hanover released another album last week – after 13 years – with the title “NOW”. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, singer Kai Wingenfelder (61) and guitarist Christof Stein-Schneider (58) reveal what they think about alternative concert formats in the corona pandemic and why cell phones are “the worst drug”. They also talk about internal disputes – and why they are a thing of the past.
After 13 years there is a new studio album – of all things in the corona pandemic. Is this a good time or a bad time for you?
Kai Wingenfelder: “NOW”, as the album is called, describes the point in time in which we are currently. Of course it could have been postponed, but we didn’t want that. If people stay at home in lockdown, sometimes with curfews, they should at least dance through the kitchen to the music they love. Maybe we can do something good if we publish it now.
What was it like to be back in the studio together for the album?
Christof Stein-Schneider: Actually, we didn’t want to go to the studio anymore because that time always bothered us all. But we had great fun playing live again. Our management then said: guys, if you want to continue playing live, you have to record a new album at some point. We found it difficult. However, our management made contact with the producer Vincent Sorg. During a test session with him, we discovered that it can also be fun in the studio. We kept behind the mountain for a long time with the new record because we didn’t really trust the peace itself. But now everything is wonderful. It has also been confirmed: never say never.
Wingenfelder: Old memories didn’t come up either, everything was new. We also found out on the occasion that we hadn’t quarreled for four years. May it go on like this! We had a really nice, harmonious, very creative and also incredibly funny time in the studio, which you can also hear on the album. We were just in a good mood.
Why is it that there are fewer disputes now?
Stein-Schneider: After all this time and especially now in the pandemic, you appreciate more what you have instead of thinking about what could be and where something could develop. If you lock the six of us in one room, Fury in the Slaughterhouse will just get out of it. This is a great gift. It would be a shame to trample it and not use it any further to bring fun and joy to other people.
Wingenfelder: As you get older, you learn that there are things that you don’t have to get upset about or argue about because they’re not worth it. You focus more on the essentials and focus on priorities. That’s why we can be more peaceful with one another. We used to get into each other over things, now I can smile at it and open a beer.
How is it for you at the moment not being able to play concerts?
Wingenfelder: Musicians only survive by playing live, you don’t earn any more money with physical records.
Stein-Schneider: With the numbers that made it into the top ten today, you wouldn’t even have made it into the top 100 before. The added value for music has changed completely.
Wingenfelder: And now we’re practically unemployed for two years. But it is much worse for us not to have this feeling while playing live. We know our fans miss that as well. There are many people in this country who underestimate what music means to people. Also the shared experience of going to a concert together. Culture is so important to a society. And unfortunately it’s going down the drain at the moment.
What do you think of alternative forms of concerts, such as online concerts?
Wingenfelder: Christof and I played an online concert once. But I don’t like that feeling. You sit in front of this camera and actually don’t even know if anyone is listening to you. I can understand when musicians have to do that in order to earn at least a little change. As a band, we are lucky to be in such a position that we can barely survive all of this. This year we will get the curve financially, only next year we will have a problem if it continues like this.
Stein-Schneider: Interactive formats where you can chat with fans, for example, are nice. It’s fun when you have the feeling of a virtual campfire to chat around. I find that exciting. The positive thing about Corona is that we are finding new forms of communication. For example, I notice that I am re-establishing contact with people with whom I no longer had anything to do with. I hate phone calls. But now I’m suddenly back in a group with several people whom I haven’t seen or heard from for a long time. Despite the virtual environment, I have the feeling that there is a form of closeness.
Could you imagine concerts with a mask and distance?
Stein-Schneider: We would take any chance. I have great hopes for our open air beach chairs. The University of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover has also trained dogs for Corona. If that really works, a swab of the forehead could be made on the visitors, held up to the dog and the dog sniffs out the virus. It’s faster than any test.
Wingenfelder: Who wants to go to a concert with a mask on? Then you are not allowed to sing along. I don’t like such half-measures: either completely or not at all. That doesn’t make you happy either. You spend money there and don’t get anything for it. Sitting concerts are okay, you can applaud while standing. But I don’t want to play a concert where people have to wear masks and aren’t allowed to move.
The music industry has changed a lot in the past few years. Social media have become more and more important. What role do Instagram and Co. play for you?
Stein-Schneider: We missed the most important 15 years in the development of social media because we didn’t exist as a band. What I miss are editorial systems: Controlling who can distribute what. I find it very exhausting that social media are sometimes an uncontrolled rubbish bin.
Wingenfelder: My brother and I have now started our own band and we had nothing but social media. Facebook was our promo machine. We made it into the top ten with our albums. So it also has its positive sides. But when I look at my children, I notice that they spend way too much time with them. Unfortunately, that is missing in personal communication.
Stein-Schneider: The cell phone is the worst drug that mankind has ever invented. I also notice in myself how much I am drawn into the field of vanity. For me, Facebook and Co. are drug dealers. You are not allowed to smoke weed, but they can get richer and more powerful. It’s devastating.
Wingenfelder: It’s really dangerous: this drug works for everyone. You can smoke weed at 17 or 70, the effects are the same. It’s the same with social media. We are not immune to this.