Interview : Crematory

Markus Jüllich, founding member of the German Gothic/Industrial Metal band Crematory, answered some questions about the upcoming release of Inglorious Darkness, the band’s sixteenth album.

Inglorious Darkness review

Version Française ? – bientôt disponible chez French Metal

Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Crematory without using the usual “Metal” labels?
Markus Jüllich (drums): Unique band with an unique style, played by some strange guys and one girl. Melodic Dark Metal from Germany since 30 years with 16 studio-albums released worldwide.

Do you remember where does the band’s name come from, and what is its link with your music?
Markus: Crematory sounded extreme and dark, we were so young at this time. We just thought it fits the music. Our singer Felix had the Idea and the logo for it at the beginning of the band.

You are about to release Inglorious Darkness, your sixteenth album, how do you guys feel about it?
Markus: Extremely excited and confident. This album is the next chapter for us. We developed our own style from Album to Album. This one is a mix between real old Gothic Metal and new influences with orchestral and electronic elements.

How could you sum Inglorious Darkness in three words?
Markus: Gothic, Metal and darkness.

How does the composition process happen? Was it different from your previous releases? Did you have some guidelines for the artwork?
Markus: We did it since every time. We are professional and work with red lines from the beginning of the songwriting. The artwork was made by Stefan Heilemann from He is an extremely great artist with a lot of good ideas for us.

You recently decided to part ways with your second guitar player, who also did clean vocal parts. Was it hard to “go back to Old School”, as you announced on social media?
Markus: No, absolutely not, it was a logical decision for us. We did many albums experimenting with clean vocals, it was about time to go back in time. We gave Felix the possibility to sing also the clean vocals  and he did a fantastic job!

How do you decide which voice to use? Same question for English and German lyrics.
Markus: The voice have to fit the song, that’s all. We experimented for hours in the studio to get the best version. We love the mix between both languages – it makes it more interesting for us.

The band has been alive since 1991, which means you’re literally older than me (I was born in 1993). Did you think at the beginning that your journey will last this long?
Markus: What we achieved with Crematory was a big dream of every band member when we started. Then this was getting bigger and bigger from album to album. We were by all means mostly surprised by the success and very thankful to our fans.

The song Zur Hölle really caught my attention, do you have a story with this one?
Markus: The song is about false, negative people, talking shit behind your back. Very personal stuff from our singer Felix

I also felt an intense contrast on the song Not For the Innocent, can you please explain its creation?
Markus: Everyone should interpret our lyrics for him or herself. Most of the lyrics are really personal stuff from Felix experiences.

Since 2020, Covid-19 crisis fucked a lot of things up, how did you face the situation as a band? Did it have an impact on the album?
Markus: Of course it had an impact on the album. The complete situation was really frightening at first. But we decided to go on, we had time to work on that album and on the direction we want to go with the band.

Do you already have plans for the future after the release of the album?
Markus: Most important, play live as much as we can. See old friends again and destroy some festivals in 2022. In 2023 we will play a tour all over Europe.

What can you tell me about the evolution of the Metal scene around you?
Markus: Metal for the younger generation is something totally different than it was in our days. Far more experimental, beyond borders, sometimes not easy to understand for old farts as we are, but it’s really interesting.

Do you think you still improve yourselves as musicians?
Markus: Absolutely, you learn every day, stop learning is always a step back. 

What are your best and your worst experiences as a musician ever?
Markus: There are so much, it’s difficult to remember. But mostly good experiences. We love to play and create our music.

What led you to the Metal universe back in time? What was the very first album you ever bought?
Markus: I grew up in a very musical family, so during school, age twelve or thirteen, 1982/83 l saw the first guys with some strange patches on their jackets. Then I went to my uncle’s home and asked him…he handed me stuff like Deep Purple, (Black) Sabbath, Led Zeppelin…. Afterwards I was infected. First album I bought on my own…. Iron Maiden’s Killers.

What do you know about the French Metal scene? Which French bands do you know and like?
Markus: Some really great bands coming from France, Trust, Sortilege, Massacra

I know some people have already asked this a million times, but maybe you plan to play in France?
Markus: It will happen for sure, maybe next year for our European tour. Would be a true pleasure for us to play again in France. 

What if I ask you to compare Crematory’s music with a dish? Which one and why?
Markus: That’s really difficult, I think the best comparison is with a pizza… different toppings, but together it’s delicious.

Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with?
Markus: For me personally, Devin Townsend, a true genius and musical maniac.

Last question: which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour with Crematory as opener and three other bands!
Markus: Rammstein, Paradise Lost, and Metallica.

That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Markus: Thank you very much for this interview, hope to be soon in France again. Stay healthy, stay Metal!!

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