Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Interview with Jose Kurtz of Stormwrath/Voice of Hate/Extreme Noise Terror!

I recently reviewed the first and only record from Spanish thrashers, Stormwrath, and was subsequently contacted by vocalist and bassist Jose Kurtz for an interview! Read on to get an idea of the various projects he's been involved in, including a new one that will feature members of Absu and Puissance!

SFM: Greetings Jose! Let’s jump right into things. You mentioned prior to our interview that you have been playing thrash and death metal since 1988. How did you first get started playing this style?

Jose Kurtz: I was a teenager who discovered bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motörhead and I needed to go beyond this sound. I met another guys who liked the same style and I was trying to start a band with them.

SFM: Back in 1988, what bands were your biggest influences? Have your influences changed over the years?

JK: Slayer, Metallica, Sodom, Anthrax, Kreator, Bathory, any extreme band in those times was very welcome, any magazine or information about this scene.

My influence along the years didn´t changed too much, maybe I included another genres or bands into my likes but everything turns back to the roots and this is the example of Stormwrath.

SFM: You spent over a decade playing in Voice of Hate. Tell us a little bit about that band, their sound, and why they ultimately split up.

JK: Voice of Hate was a band with lot of members from another interesting bands, we started in 1992 until 2007. 15 years of releases, gigs, tours, etc… In VOH played members of Assück, Profundis Tenebrarum, Abazagorath, Funebrarum, Citizens Arrest, Extreme Noise Terror, Visceral Damage, Violent Headache, Taste of Fear, and many more. We released CD´s, 7” ep´s, split albums with Cadaver, Taste of Fear, In Slaughter Natives... Our sound was Death Metal but always with this old Thrash Metal influence.

The band died in 2007 because the members had another bands and projects, it was a friendly separation and we decided to stop to continue conquering another fields into extreme music.

SFM: In addition to singing with Voice of Hate, you were briefly a part of Extreme Noise Terror. How did that gig come about?

JK: I was directing their videoclip “Awakening”, their singer Dean Jones listened Voice of Hate and then he invited me to sing in their European tour 2001. That was great times.

SFM: After these two bands, you started Stormwrath. How long have you had you been working on the songs that finally appeared on “Swords of Armageddon”?

JK: We started working on the demo 2009 and the album at the same time, but the album had another direction more solid. We started recording the album in December 2009. Some of the songs of “Swords” was written by Dary Kahan (Funebrarum) and Rob Mikael (Urgrund), these lyrics was for VOH songs that I had abandoned but finally we used for Stormwrath, it was the case of “Beyond Trinity”, “Ascend to Hell” and “Extermageddon”.

We was working on the album before to start recording around 4 months or so. We spent 3 months recording in the studio.

                  Jose Kurtz

SFM: What was the response like when “Swords of Armageddon” was first released?

JK: Seems that we had good response, even in the gigs we played. We featured in some magazines with good reviews. A pity the band dissapeared.

SFM: What can you tell us about the unreleased Stormwrath album that was written? Why was it not ultimately released?

JK: After the release of “Swords” we started composing a new album that never was recorded, it was in one of the process of writing this material when we split-up. This album was going to be faster, more intense, shorter songs and more minimalist. Just like a machine gun spiting fire during 30 minutes!

SFM: Do you think Stormwrath will be resurrected at some point in the future?

JK: Never. And if some old member exhumate the band then it will not be the same that was before.

SFM: Your new project will feature members of Puissance (Swe) and Abazagorath/Funebrarum (USA). What will this band sound like and when will fans be able to hear the material?

JK: I am drawing a plan with Alberto Hellstabber (Stormwrath), Fredrik Süderlung (Puissance) and Proscritor McGovern (Absu) to start a band/Project of Thrash-Black with NWOBHM parts. I have to say that it will be something never heard/seen before. I hope to start working along 2014 into this project, still nameless. But I can promise a overdose of interesting and great material with talented musicians from cult bands.                                                                        Alberto Hellstabber

SFM: Having played in several bands from Spain, how do you feel about the Spanish metal scene, and how has it evolved over time?

JK: In Spain we have good bands, Altar of Sin is my favorite. I think there are undervalued bands that needs to be rescued from oblivion, bands like Legion, Barbarian, Obscure, Estigia… many cult bands.

SFM: Are there any new wicked bands out of Spain that you want to mention?

JK: Sure! The band that shocked me the last years is Litmus (UK), a Space-Rock band that I recommend. I also would like to mention Nachtmystium, Absu, Blood Ceremony, Witchcraft, Aura Noir, Puissance…

SFM: Any final words for the fans out there?

JK: “Without music life would be a mistake” (Fredrich Nietzshe). 

Thanks a lot for the interview!