Following the demise of their hardcore band Tear Of Phoenix guitarists Max Hufnagel and Sebastian Kollat formed a new band, which was soon named Feast For The Crows. With a line-up of five the band opened for the likes of As We Fight and Maroon and obtained a deal with Germany's own Bastardized Recordings for three albums. Simon and Sebastian are brothers. The debut album was issued in late 2006/early 2007 and was soon slated for a European tour.
FEAST FOR THE CROWS – WHEN ALL SEEMS TO BE BURNED – BASTARDIZED
Feast For The Crows has several things going for it. Then again, the band has to fight several up-hill battles. On the one hand, the band has a fine mix of heaviness and harmonies, but the sound has been done to death as of late and reviewers might turn out to be the pallbearers for the young and cryptic act whose song titles include Cell A Door or Skycleaver. The band – which is as underground as they come – seemingly has a slew of personal and emotional lyrics to draw upon, yet has managed to choose an album title which is grammatically nonsensical, if not outright inaccurate. Be that as it may, the music is well produced, the vocals are on the heavy side of things and avoid the gang-bang-chain-mall-clean-chants and furthermore the rare (hint, guys) leads are well executed and clearly a plus.
A grade of sixty, or above average, should suffice for now until album number two and a more definitive statement from the band that is also accompanied by an indication of development of one type or the other. Fans of everything ranging from Desultory to As I Lay Dying will get into this. – Ali “The Metallian”
Feast For The Crows is a young, unknown, underground band from near Frankfurt, Germany with no name recognition, no profile and little hype that plays metalcore… but don't click the 'back' button. They are good - really!
The fact that the band is not known created an impetus for this interview and also should be reason enough to keep reading. Who knows, you might learn something. Ali "The Metallian" spoke to a forthright and soft-spoken guitarist Sebastian (Basti) Kollat who along with second guitarist Max Hufnagel, singer Simon Kollat, bassist Stefan Kraft and drummer Moritz Jung is a Feast For The Crows. - 16.12.2006
METALLIAN: Basti, thank-you for your time this evening.
BASTI: Oh no, it is great to be talking with you. Please forgive my English.
METALLIAN: It does not sound like it will be an issue, but let me start by asking you about the band and its lack of profile. Do you care to give us the requisite background information?
BASTI: It will take some time if I were to start from the top. We started our first band in 2001 or 2002. We played melodic death metal like At The Gates and Gates Of Ishtar. We had many problems with our line-up. I decided to play guitar in Tear Of Phoenix since I had friends in that old-school hardcore band. I invited Max to join Tear Of Phoenix too because I love to play together with him. He is the best guitar player I can imagine. We entered the Rape Of Harmony Studio to record an album, but we had personal problems and split up. Later on we started a new line-up with a new name.
Tear Of Phoenix was an old-school hardcore band before I joined. I always played melodic death metal and couldn't write hardcore songs so the band became a mix of melodic death and hardcore as time went by. Before that I was in a very old-school death metal band Antagaroth and also sung in By Bleeding Hands. I had to stop the latter act because I did not have time for it.
Simon is my brother, but I didn't even know he could sing. He was in a band - I can't even remember their name because they only played ten shows - as a guitarist and I was surprised he could do these kinds of screams like we do in Feast For The Crows. When we lost our singer Simon suggested he could sing for us. I laughed at first, but he recorded something and it was really good! We recorded the album and we are totally happy with his voice. The other two guys have been good friends of mine and used to play in other bands. Stefan was in The Ear Wix. Moritz was in black metal and grindcore projects like Hiems. We had a demo with Tear Of Phoenix, which featured four songs. We sent that to Bastardized Recordings and got a deal.
METALLIAN: Oddly enough your biography omits all of the information you just recounted.
BASTI: That actually was designed by our label. They didn't want people to think there was chaos surrounding us. We like the label. We sent out our demo and had three offers. We signed with Bastardized because they have great bands. We have signed for three albums with them. We are very happy.
METALLIAN: Is the band's name inspired by the book of the same name?
BASTI: It is. Max is a huge fan of this book and we thought the name was cool and perfectly describes our music.
METALLIAN: How do you reckon?
BASTI: We always had something for crows. We have crows on our artwork and on our T-shirts. It is a cool animal!
METALLIAN: Going back to the music, how would you react were one to opine that the band's music is good, yet largely unoriginal?
BASTI: You are completely right! We have played this music for four years though. We don't want to change our style just because there is a discussion out there about 'metalcore.' They used to call At The Gates 'metalcore.' Hey, we have a few mosh parts and we don't have long hair so now we are called by the same label as these other bands… We will be true to ourselves and continue like this. We also don't have clean vocals, like both metal and hardcore and just want to play what we like. We never wanted to play one style or the other. We never had clean vocals because Swedish death metal bands didn't have them. Really old In Flames, not this Reroute To Remain shit, At The Gates or In Thy Dreams never had clean vocals. We loved clean vocals, but when bands like Iron Maiden, Manowar and Blind Guardian use them. Clean vocals in metal bands sound like Backstreet Boys or something. Put some slow beats under those bands and you get, not metal and not hardcore, but pop.
METALLIAN: Why not have more lead guitars though?
BASTI: We love rock solos, but we didn't want to have a lot of them. We will have more solos on our next album, which will be more 'death metal.' I would say that is our direction. We have started writing already and have four or five new songs. The album will be melodic and more like death metal. On When All Seems To Be Burned the older songs are more metalcore and the newer ones are tracks like Take It Back and Realizing The Demise, which are almost a year old.
METALLIAN: Would you say that you are personally a bigger fan of metal or hardcore?
BASTI: I like metal more. My favourite three bands are At The Gates, Gates Of Ishtar and old In Flames.
METALLIAN: Do you think that Feast For The Crows will ever be as big or popular as any of those bands?
BASTI: I don't think so. Only a few bands are so lucky to become big.
METALLIAN: Given that what is the point or goal of the band?
BASTI: I don't know. There are so many really really cool bands that are better musicians than us out there. I don't know. For sure we want to tour the world and want to be a big band, but we are not dissatisfied if it does not happen. We have music, we have a few people who like our music and that is cool. We would like to go to America, do a European tour and support some bigger bands. We do everything that we can.
METALLIAN: Given that attitude would it not be almost whimsical were you to break it big?
BASTI: [Laughingly] That would be very great. We would love that.
METALLIAN: On another front, what can you tell the readers about titles like A Cell A Door or Skycleaver. Is something lost in the translation?
BASTI: Oh my God! Do not make me say it in English. A Cell A Door comes from our old singer. It is a 'Wortspiel' (play on words) that is political. It could mean a cell and a door or you can just read it fast. That one is an old text. We are a left-wing band, I would say. I would call us 'left-middle.' It is something like SPD party in Germany that we like.
METALLIAN: One has to question the album's title, which is obviously grammatically wrong.
BASTI: Max came up with the title and he did know that it is grammatically wrong. The label told us the same thing. Max didn't want to change the title and said he wanted it that way. I just told him to go ahead.
METALLIAN: Basti, fill us in on the band's news and happenings if you can.
BASTI: The album is being released this month and we are planning to tour in February and March. We then want to record a new album in April or May. We want to play as many shows as possible and hope to go to America. Max and Moritz (laughs)… sorry, I have to laugh because 'Max and Moritz' is a German fable… are students and the rest of us work so we will have to take a year off.
We have just received good reviews in Metal Hammer and Rock Hard. That is good for sales, but I think touring helps even more. We sell many shirts, for example, at shows. We need money to re-enter the studio.
METALLIAN: Finally, and the obvious question, why is Metallian the best source for metal anywhere?
BASTI: Well, you are a cool guy and so Metallian is the best magazine in the whole world.
METALLIAN: Now make sure that one never reads an interview somewhere like Rock hard where you repeat the same thing about them.
BASTI: No, I won't. I was actually just interviewed for Rock Hard. I don't think Rock Hard is a cool magazine. They always try to bring metalcore down. They usually hate metalcore. I don't understand why we got a cool review from them. They like old metal!
For more information on the Counter-Strike playing Basti and his mates head over to http://www.feastforthecrows.com.