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Entrevista com molllust

A couple of weeks ago we were pleasantly surprised by molllust's debut album, Schuld. Now we had the chance to ask a few questions to Janika Groß, the band's frontwoman.
Please tell us a little bit more about the band. How did it all start?
The vision to mix classical music with metal came to my mind in my youth, almost 15 years ago. I have already played classical piano for some years and was really into the classical world. But when schoolmates made me listen to the music of Nightwish and Therion, I was really impressed and my mind was inspired to create something new. While listening I always thought that the classical parts in their songs didn’t contain all the beauty of classical music. I was looking for a band that mixed both genres the way I had in my mind, but couldn’t find any. So I decided to turn my ideas into reality myself. It took me some time to improve my musical skills and to find the right musicians. In November 2011 I finally had a complete formation and we started performing.
I have to tell you that I really like what you've done with your logo, visually. Please tell us more about it and about the name's meaning.
To find an appropriate name for our band, we were looking for a compound that describes our music and our attitude towards it. “moll” means “minor”, the mode in which we compose most auf our music. “Lust” means “pleasure”. It shows our love to make music in a bit dark sounding mood. “molllust” is also very similar to the german word “Wollust”, this means “voluptuousness” and stands for our passion in our music. The three “L” are like a roof on top of the logo: A roof that keeps our musical world together. Classic and metal, male and female, different nationalities. The three “L” should also remind on piano keys as one of our main instruments and perhaps even organ pipes. The organ is often called the “queen of instruments”, because she unites the sound of many different instruments in its different registers. And so do we with our music, too.
Your approach to Opera Metal is quite different from previous attempts from other bands, you seem to really make an effort to create opera songs instead of metal songs with some operatic elements included. How do you manage to do that?
I just carry on with what I have learned during my musical career. Remember, my roots are completely classical. For me it was more natural to read scores form orchestra pieces (I played in an orchestra as a teen at school) and later from classical choirs (during my studies I sung very classical works like Bach Christmas oratorio or Mozart Requiem) than to get my hands on guitar riffs and modern song structures. In fact, the classical parts where easily arranged and I had to work on my understanding how to write a catchy modern metal riff. To combine both worlds in the songs was just a natural process without real extra effort. I still write like a traditional classical composer: I create a whole score for all instruments, putting notes into a computer program and sending the result to my musicians. With their ideas, we improve my work a bit, especially the drum line.
That difference really makes you stand out from the crowd, but as refreshing as it may be, it's still a risky move in terms of public acceptance, both metal and non-metal. How's been the feedback to your debut album, so far?
The main feedback is positive. But I think this is natural: Why should someone who isn’t interested in our music come to us and give us a feedback? There is almost no-one who does not have a clear position towards our music – people love it or hate it. Right now, I can’t really see a big difference between the metal and the classical word concerning the tendency of the feedback. In general, our recognition by the metal scene is definitely stronger. But this could also be a consequence of our ability to place our music. Someone who doesn’t know us can’t have an opinion about us, of course.
You started your public performances a year ago, has it been hard playing your opera metal songs live?
For me, the hardest thing was to get used to all the technical devices – all my concerts before I had my voice or my piano, but no microphone and no need of a monitoring system. I’m absolutely no person with fear of technique, but my voice coming from another place than my body and my piano not sounding directly out of its corpus, that was very strange. At the beginning, I always had the impression it wasn’t my voice and my piano playing – but obviously, it couldn’t be someone else. But I got used to it. To play the songs live is just a matter of being well prepared – I don’t think there is a huge difference to other bands.
Looking at your website we noticed some photos where you were playing in what looked like a shopping mall. What was that? How did people react to that?
This was a special event. Actually, it is the main station of Leipzig which in fact has an integrated shopping mall. To get noticed into the classical world too, we decided to take part in a competition called “BachSpiele”. You had to create an innovative and modern way to work with Bach pieces – and so we did. I rearranged the compositions for our band and changed them drastically in some parts to get the metal inside. My goal was to support the meaning of the text and the music in a very emotional and modern way. When we started playing, people were really surprised. You could watch us from all three floors – and we got a huge audience. Many people were really excited about what we did, some got thoughtful, some didn’t care and continued shopping. For us, it was a very unusual audience – we had little children dancing in front of the stage, old ladies listening and smiling delighted – people who would never come to a metal concert. Obviously, our way of rearranging was a successful one – we won the competition. These songs will be published on an EP in spring 2013, they are not included in our recent album “Schuld”.
Getting back to your album, it's only been 3 months since you released it so you'll probably be promoting it for a few more months. What are your plans for that?
We are still in contact with many journalists worldwide to get reviews and interviews in several countries and magazines. Somehow the world has to hear about us. In addition, we signed a contract with a booking agency to get more concerts. We are also planning to make a music video – but we still have problems concerning money and technique to realize our ideas.
After that, what can we expect from molllust? I think I read somewhere that you were already working on some new recordings...
Yes, we just finished the EP with our Bach pieces – I think the CDs will reach us in late December or early January. We’ll release it in March, but press will be contacted earlier. You can also expect concerts. Our next album is scheduled for 2014. Right now we are working on a new website design including an English version. Our English-speaking fanbase is growing and we want our international fans to be able to get information about us, too.
We'll surely keep an eye on what you'll do next in the future, thank you for your time and for your wonderful debut album, Schuld. Do you have any final words or message you'd like to say?
We are very thankful for this interview and the very detailed and skillful review about “Schuld”. I hope we can visit you in the south on tour eventually. We are very happy about every single person that loves our music and supports us. Have a nice Christmas time!