We’ve interviewed one great bassist already in Hugo Doyon-Karout (of a billion projects) and now can add another one. Ironically these two are some of my favorite bass players of recent memory, believe it or not. The second one is Linus Klausenitzer of the mighty Obscura. I can say I thoroughly enjoy both gentlemen’s work on the bass. Now if I could grab an interview with Forest Lapointe, I’d have a trifecta of 3 of my personal favorite bassists. It’s a huge honor on our behalf to present you this! Respect the low end!
TMR: What is your favorite Obscura song you have been a part of since you joined the band?
Thanks for having me! My favorite song changes quite often. Right now it’s „An Epilogue To Infinity“ I guess. It has a lot of different vibes, it’s groovy and it’s heavy.
TMR: To my knowledge your father was involved in the recording of the latest Obscura masterpiece. Tell us what influenced it, why you did that and how it turned out. It had to be very special to say the least.
My father is a classical musician. He has a long career behind him collaborating with artist from all kind of musical style (Santana, Pete York and many others). For whatever reason we have never recorded music together. After Rafael and Sebastian composed string sections for the song „Ethereal Skies“ we thought about possible musicians to play on those. It was a pleasure to take my father into my crazy music world. Fortunately he enjoyed it a lot as well.
TMR: You’ve had your own custom bass for a year or two. How did that opportunity come about? Tell us about it and it’s specs!
I have a very good relationship with Ibanez. There are very supportive and open for new ideas. On the new Alkaloid album „Liquid Anatomy“ I used the BTB1896F Premium a lot. I like it’s aggressive and powerful sound a lot. I wondered if it wouldn’t be a great idea to translate this sound to a fretless bass with Nordstrand Pickups. So Ibanez built this bass for me and as usual I am more than happy with the quality of this bass.
TMR: You’re such a proficient bassist who can play a lot. What led you to the path to play some form of death metal?
This is very flattering. Thank you. I started to be a metal head when I was 14 years old and I still am. Metal is just the most extreme and intense music for me. Metal can be very conservative though so I am very lucky to have ended up in such a progressive scene where I can still reinvent myself.
Linus and a koala bear. A motherfuckin’ KOALA BEAR.
TMR: How has your music taste evolved from your youth to modern day Linus? And when did death metal rear it’s ugly head and suck you in like a vortex?
As a teenager I listened a lot to classical heavy metal like Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. I have always been a person that is hungry for new impressions and experiences. When I started to play in my first Death Metal band I didn’t really know a lot of the Death Metal icons. The intensity of the live shows made me enjoy it a lot though. Fans of our music share this desire to search for new musical developments. This is why I love this scene so much.
TMR: What factors and people influenced you to be a musician? Who also motivated and encouraged you to pick up bass?
My musical parents had a lot fo influence on me. They have always supported my wishes a lot. When I was 15 I played trumpet in a big band and realized that the bassist had a more likeable role than I had. So I asked my parents to buy me a bass guitar.
TMR: What’s it like being in one of the bands that pushed the limits of death metal to a more complex and technical style? You have been a part of the growth of Obscura and have made music that’s very different and appealing than the same old recycled death metal.
It’s always a hard challenge to not repeat yourself. You need to force yourself to think in different ways and use alternative methods to write songs. But this is what makes it still interesting. Every time we go on tour with a new album it’s a different experience.
TMR: What are the plans for Obscura in the near future and even 2020? Anything cool in the works you’d like to share with our followers?
In less than a year we have toured through 4 continents with Diluvium so will have a little break now to write new songs and think about the steps. Diluvium was the end of the 4 album concept that started with Cosmogenis. We think also about doing something special looking back on those 4 albums but there are no concrete plans yet.
TMR: We all basically know your superb project Alkaloid (or more people should at least). I saw you guys announced a show in a few months. I totally understand it would be tough to get the guys together with demanding schedules. Do you think you’ll do more occasional one off shows to garner more attention? Or is this more for fun in the studio?
Our schedules are a problem indeed. We are a band that started with very different approaches to make our name bigger. We will never be a classical touring band but we enjoy playing live. That’s why we agreed to some festivals this year. And who knows…if a good tour offers comes we won’t say no for sure.
TMR: Tell us about your background in music. How did you get started? Did you take lessons and it evolved into studying music?
I come from a very classical musical background. I learned trumpet, piano, upright bass and I went to a musical school where I learn about music theory and played my first concerts. I was very unsecure of what I should do with my life when I finished school but after my bass teacher at the time supported me to study, I decided to do it.
TMR: Did you ever think you’d be a full time musician from the get go once you picked up a bass? Or was it by luck and a dream come true?
This was my dream from the first moment when I saw Steve Harris on a “Live after Death” VHS. I was convinced that I wanted to do it only with my best friends that I had at this time. But our band was absolutely horrible and I become an adult, haha. But being with good friends in a band that plays the music I love is exactly what happened later. I have always tried to push my dreams and I am more than lucky that it worked out in the end.
TMR: Explain your path to fretless. Man I want to own a fretless guitar one day! Was it the sound? Did you want something different from bass guitar?
I played my first fretless bass on music college and I liked it immediatly. My big focus on fretless basses started when I joined Obscura though. You have just more options to express yourself. The way of phrasing is very close to natural singing.
TMR: What’s your opinion on a lot of musicians going wireless? It’s a convenient way for artists without the hassle of cables, but as responsible as making sure the battery is ready to go like keeping fresh cables. I use cables and think wireless is a cool thing, I’m interested in others opinions on the subject.
I have very good and bad experiences with wireless systems. The problem is that a cable has certain properties that a wireless system needs to emulate. Often this way you lose important frequencies and your sound is getting weaker. The only wireless system I am really happy with are from Sennheiser.
TMR: What do you think of Rafael so far? He’s a pretty fascinating guitarist and I think he will only get even better over time. Of course, Obscura has always had stellar guitarists since it’s inception.
He brought in a fresh, very direct and modern sound to the band. He is a very good person and an excellent player. Obscura’s sound is always depending on the style of the musicians in the band, also because every band member is writing songs more or less equaly.
TMR: What do you think of Panzerballet? They’re so weird and wild! I saw Rafael was doing some shows or filling in with them recently. Have you ever got the chance to listen to them?
Actually Hannes Grossmann introduced me to this band and I went to a concert with him once. That’s why Sebastian was one of the first names that came in my mind when we were searching for a new drummer. Panzerballet is incredible.