The latest release from German metalcore veterans Caliban is Zeitgeister. It’s an EP that includes one new track along with several of the previous songs re-recorded with the lyrics in German. Frontman Andy Dorner fills us in on the EP.
Chad Bowar: What led you to re-record some of your previous songs in German?
Andy Dorner: We never really wanted to do a full album in German, but because of the pandemic we had time for an experiment. We wanted something special and not just an German album, so the idea came up to reinterpret old classics of ours and translate them into German.
How did you go about selecting which songs to redo?
Everyone picked some songs, most of them were songs we played a lot on our shows, some others were singles or just favorite songs. And than we chose the ones which fitd the best together.
Did you change any of the arrangements, or just translate the lyrics?
We had to change the arrangements to fit the lyrics on the new tracks.
How challenging was it to make the German lyrics fit into the songs?
It was very challenging, but also very interesting and fun. First we checked the topic, than checked on the new instrumental if anything could maybe fit if we`d just translate English into German, but it never did, except for a few times. So in the end it was pretty much like writing completely new lyrics.
How did Matthi from Nasty’s guest appearance come about?
We’ve known Matthi for quite a while now and he already did a feature on Elements for “Ich Blute Fuer Dich” and the part Matthi did on Zeitgeister was perfect for him and his rap alter ego. He did an awesome job like always.
What will be your strongest memory of recording this EP?
Being apart from each other due to the pandemic and the writing sessions we had for the lyrics.
Tell us about the new track “nICHts” and the video you shot for it.
“Who am I, where do I belong?” Disorientation, hopelessness, fear, helplessness,the feeling of depression, feelings that can have multiple reasons. It’s feelings that many of us can relate to, especially these days and during the ongoing pandemic. “nICHts” is dealing with these really dark places that are reflected by our protagonist who is dreaming about taking his own life, because he feels empty or nothing at all. But let me say this: suicide is never a solution, so if you feel like getting lost, or losing your grip, there are always people/friends ready to help! You’re not alone, please reach out!
The album is also available on vinyl. Are you a vinyl collector?
I like vinyl, but I’m not a collector. Marco, our bassist is a huge vinyl collector.
What led to your particpation in Oceans’ “We Are Not Okay”?
They told me about the idea of this special EP which deals only with mental health issues and stuff like that. They asked me if I wanted to be a part of it and I said yes because I think it’s very important to speak about these problems, even more in these hard times.
How has the pandemic affected the band, and you personally?
We’re still affected by the pandemic, because there are still no shows going on. We’re not really allowed to see each other, so everything’s fucked I would say. It sucks big time. Personally I’m okay, sometimes a bit bored, but right know I’m at the studio again recording new songs for our upcoming album.
When do you think you might be able to play live shows again?
I guess in 2022, maybe in the end of 2021.
How did releasing Caliban wine come about, and how has the response been?
Patrick and I are huge fans of wine and one of the heads of the winery is a huge Caliban fan, so it was pretty obvious that we make our own wine. (laughs) And the response was very good. We had a limited amount of 500 bottles and they were sold out in under 24 hours.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I like to play PS4 or watching TV shows, but I also like to go out for a walk or a little hike. I love nature and the little haven in my hometown.
What is currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Fever333 (all of it), Bjork (Debut and Post), A Perfect Circle (Thirteenth Step).
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Thanks for reading this and your interest in Caliban and Zeitgeister. Hope you’ll enjoy this and be safe out there.
(interview published May 13, 2021)