Reizēm notiek arī neprognozētas lietas dzīvē. Nesen parādījās ziņas, ka tepat leišos KILKIM ŽAIBU festivāla ietvaros koncertu sniegs slavenā progresīvā thrash metal komanda no Vācijas - MEKONG DELTA!
Sakarā ar to, ka šovasar pie mums Latvijā nenotiks neviens vērā ņemams metāla festivāls, mums ir jāskatās uz tuvākajiem kaimiņiem, ko tie piedāvā. Un jāatzīst godīgi - uz vispārējās nabadzības fona, kad pie mums nekoncertē katru nedēļu dažādi metal grandi kā rietumEiropas pilsētās, tad jāsaka, ka MEKONG DELTA vārds šīs vasaras Baltijas festivālu kontekstā spīd kā maza, spoža zvaigznīte.
Apvienībai nesen apritēja 25 pastāvēšanas gadi, kopā izlaisti 9 pilnformāta albumi un uz mūžiem godam nopelnīta vieta thrash leģendu Olimpā.
Lai iepazīstinātu mūsu vietējos klausītājus ar šo lielisko kolektīvu, piedāvājam interviju ar RALFU HŪBERTU, kurš ir ģeniālās apvienības basists un runasvīrs jau kopš 1985.gada. Lai tulkojumā nepazustu Ralfa atbilžu savdabīgums, interviju publicējam oriģinālā, tas ir, angliski. Paldies KARAMETĀLA korespondentam Mindaugam Peleckim par sniegto atbalstu intervijas organizēšanā.
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# Could You please tell the background of the band? How and when exactly the band was created? Who’s idea was it? Why Mekong Delta?
The starting of Mekong is a real funny story. I got to know Jörg Michael (grupas bunģieris 1985-1990) and I noticed that he’s got a lot of talent, so I started arranging various occasions for him to play drums, I got him involved in various projects that I was working on, so we were often together, and talked a lot about music. The thing is that he was deeply into rock music, and I was into classical things and stuff like for ex“ Yes “. We came up to discussing this, he taught me something about rock, and I taught him something about classic.
One funny evening, I think it was late 1984 or early 1985, he came in with a tape by a band that nobody knew at that time. Do you know which band was that? Metallica ! He played the first song from the tape to me, it was called “Fight Fire With Fire”, and there was a rhythmical anomaly in it that’s not so common. He was deeply impressed by that, and I also found it interesting – this combination between punk and very fast rock. I said, “Of course, it sounds good, but you can do it much more complicated and better.” He looked at me and said, “OK, do it!” I said, “OK, why not?” So I took my bass and in the evenings of the following days I composed four songs within a week. Of course, they were not real finished songs, more like ideas and riffs, but I played them to Jörg, and he was so enthusiastic that he said, “Let’s go to the rehearsal room, I have to play that.” This actally was the rehearsal room of Avenger, where Peavy Wagner also was at that moment, and we asked him to play the guitar to get a better idea of how it would sound. We tried it together, and for them it was a bit strange, because I put in some more abnormal rhythms than Metallica. But Jörg is a really big talent, so he got it very fast. We played these songs, and Jörg was again amazed by that, so he said, “You must make a whole album of such stuff!” It’s he who is responsible for the birth of Mekong Delta.
There have been 2 reasons for the pseudonyms. The first, very simple one, was that we all have been under contract with different companies, and after they heared the stuff everyone says this has to come out here. So to get rid of this problem we used Pseudonyms. The second one is that I believed that nobody excpect german musicians to play such things cause they all the time think that only american musicians are able to do that. No german name, no discussion.
But anyhow, people should anyway concentrate on the music, not on the persons beyond.
The name has direct contact to our 1st album, which deals with people in extrem situations, for example war. So I tried to find a name which was provocant and also stand for something extrem done by human, so I choosed Mekong Delta. But I had to find out that historical knowledge seems to be not very popular, most of the people do not know for what this name stands – one of the hardest massacres in Vietnam. I am quite happy that I did not go for the second name which stands on my list „Höhe 13”, the first gas attack in history. Zardoz was an other option, but was not choosen as I like to use something which was more close to the real life.
# What are the main influences of Yours (music, books, films …)?
Main influences, hmm.. Would say expressionism ( Prokoview, Schostakowich etc. ) and modern concert guitar ( Britten, Walton, Brouwer etc. ) stuff.
Furthermore a big portion of 70-s giants like, Yes, Genesis, E,L & P and so on.
Religion ? Before I start with that lets simply go for a sentence of Lennon :
„Imagine there is no religion...........................”
Things like this should be discussed if one sit together, to complicate and the riscs
of missunderstandings are quite high if you do it in an interview like this.
# You are not only the ones who create a very sophisticated metal music but also You interpret classical one. Why? What composers are the best for You and why, f. e., You’ve chosen Mussorgski
It is the fact that Mussorgski's harmonies and composing was way above his time, normally such music was done while the expressionism. I love things which are way ahead their time, you need a lot of courage to do this if no one really understand what you are doing. On the other hand for example “ The Hut of Baba Yaga “ was like really composed for a rockgroup and - from the technical point of view- was not to complicate to play, so it actually was a good piece for first exeperiments in adapting extreme classical music.
What he did with harmonies was incredible in his time. If you read to what Rakhmaninov and other guys said about the music he was making, they at least said it is bullshit. But it’s not bullshit, it was a vision. I like those kind of harmonies so much, that’s what I like the most in the works of all Russian composers. If you listen to a good Russian composition, especially played by a Russian orchestra, you can hear this vastness of the country.
But I got no favorites at all, I am open minded for all kind of interesting music.
# One of the best albums of Yours is conceptual “The Music of Erich Zann”. What was the main idea behind the album? What inspired You?
The idea behind was to cretae an concept album that was quite different to those already made. As I love Lovecraft, think he's a great writer of fantastic literatur, much better as for example Poe, I got the idea to transfer this tiny little story of Zann who tries to fight the evil with his music to save our world into nowadays. Our whole story is a big metaphor. If you read deeply into it, you will find a lot of references to what is happening in our world today. Once again it was Peavy who was handling the lyrics, I explained him the story and we start to transpose it into the present time. While sitting together with some beers, we decide which parts we could put into present time, and in our story Erich Zann is fighting against the media, lies and all this shit.
# How many side projects do band members have, could You name them and tell a little bit more about them?
Oh, thats a good question. All of them are quite busy with side projects, especially Alex, our
drummer who also represents several drum companies worldwide. For more details you have to
# Which album Yourself You consider the best and why?
I am satisfied with all albums done so far and could not make a kind of top 3 as I like them all the same. Each album was the maximum possible at the time we recorded it.
# "I, King, will come…" Was it a messianic message to the humanity, or just an irony? What message do You carry with Your music?
This songs mirrors the process our protagonist went through. While he tries to fight the evil
as already mentioned in 7, he is going mad recognizing the ignorance and stupidity of most
humans ( a sad feeling what I unfortuatenitly have to share with him ). So he got the feelimg that he and only he alone is able to save mainkind, so he got the feeling to be a choosen one. The message everyone has to find by himself as their is lot of room for interpretation, depends on the way one see it and which background you have.
# What are Your plans for this year? Maybe You already work with a new album?
We got a lot of live shows throughout Europe this year, so we are quite busy with that.
On the other hand I already work on the re – arrangement of the classicals songs
from „Visions..” and the complete arrangment of „5 Fragments for Group & Orchestra”,
where already 2 Fragments have been placed on „Lurking Fear”. As you can simulate an orchestra
much better nowadays, I like to release those compositions again end of the year.
We are also planning a live DVD which will content parts of different shows and also will include
the old ongs we play on live as a new studio version ‘cause a lot of fans asked for this.
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MEKONG DELTA arī neguļ uz vecajiem lauriem, jo pagājušajā gadā izlaida lielisku albumu "Wanderer on the Edge of Time". Jācer, ka daudz novērtēs šo reto iespēju redzēt šos lieliskos mūziķus dzīvajā.
Grupas vietne internetā: www.mekongdelta.eu