Rotersand’s new album “How Do You Feel Today?” has been released by Trisol and Metropolis Records. The new opus features all ingredients we’re used to hearing from the duo Rascal Hüppe – Krischan Wesenberg; strong melody lines, solid bass lines, impressive sound treatments and great vocals. After having heard their new work I asked myself which Rotersand album is my favorite one? I’m not sure to have a favorite one, but this new work is for sure one of the most accomplished and best produced albums in their discography. You can call it Future-Pop or EBM or Industrial-Pop; the songs however reflect the great chemistry between both members. Rasc kindly answered a few questions about this brilliant work.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: My first question deals with the title of your album “How Do You Feel Today?”. Living in Corona-times this title has something cynical or we can also understand it as a rhetorical question! So what is it all about?
Rasc: It may not sound like that at first glance, and yet “How Do You Feel Today?” is so much more than a question asked in polite small-talk. It’s pure social dynamite in a world where emotions become moods and moods suddenly turn into opinions, uncorrectable creeds and breath taking brutalization. Truth is not holding on to facts anymore. Truth is truly becoming fanatic.
We feel our civilisatory crust breaking and we hear a grinding sound of violence. This record is the soundtrack of both: the grinding sound of brutalization and the strong feelings of love, respect and humanity as a strong answer.
Q: I personally experienced this new album as your most accomplished work to date! It feels like inspired by mathematics; everything sounds right, every single note put at the right place and a perfect harmony between sound and vocals! Where does it come from? Is it just maturity or are you guys perfectionists or wizards?
Rasc: Thank you! I also have the feeling it is well balanced. In my view it is about the time spent on song writing before production. Production and song writing went most of the times hand in hand. This time –just my feeling, songs were much clearer and much longer written before production. That could be true for all the ways, ROTERSAND songs come to life: the songs we wrote together in a real band feeling, the songs I wrote and pre-produced in Hamburg, the music Krischan wrote more on his own.
Q: When did you start the composing of this new work? Was there a kind of click to start writing new songs? Did you need some preparation, eventually research etc? How did it happen?
Rasc: The process of composing does never stop. I am writing a song almost every day. In most of the times it starts with a melody in my head, a synth line, a vocal line and then I look for chords or basslines, search for a harmonic atmosphere to carry the melody, to set the ´tone´. That doesn´t necessarily mean that this atmosphere remains. Krischan sometimes likes to take things apart that I come with. A ballad can turn into an Industrial track that way. Krischan often describes himself as an alchemist, putting things together that are already there, changing some ingredients or contexts. He describes me as a magician who usually creates something out of nothing as for me everything starts with melodies, new atmospheres, chord progressions, words.
In fact, it is a kind of magic to write songs. I do not know how it happens, it just happens, often enough in moments you do not expect it or moments that should not be interrupted. My wife is very much used to it that we can´t watch movies without me interrupting and grabbing my guitar to try out something and record it on my phone to remember it. I think these two approaches of us coming to new songs are the two main engines that drive the creative power of ROTERSAND and help to explain the uniqueness and surprises in our universe.
Q: I’m also wondered about the ultimate point of a song (and an album), the point where you decide to say it’s finished! Can you tell us a bit more about this ‘ultimate point’ and do you handle some criteria to say the song/album is finished?
Rasc. Just deadlines & pragmatism. Songs are never finished. That´s why we like reworks as “Reloaded” now. And live shows have an impact. Songs change over their life time of course.
Q: Back to the Covid-19 pandemic, which for artists is a real tragedy; no Summer festivals, no tour, nothing… expect live streams. But you guys seem to have found an opportunity to play together with Noyce™. Tell us a bit more about this concept? Don’t you think this terrible pandemic is also inciting artists –and the entire scene, to become more creative and develop new ideas?
Rasc: Obviously yes. We wouldn´t play in a circus arena on October 2nd with no Covid-19 in the world. I wouldn´t say ‘tragedy’. I prefer being alive and nobody is starving in our country due to Covid-19. In my case it has an impact on song writing. It´s a bit more ´blue´ what comes out in the moment. I miss meeting and hugging certain people, I miss gym halls, I miss touring, shows on several nights in a row. I know what was at stake so I am really happy to live in Germany in the moment, but please Covid-19, please leave us soon.
Q: Rotersand is now busy for nearly twenty years. How did you see this band evolving all over the time and do you still have some new challenges, dreams?
Rasc: We grew an incredible ROTERSAND family all over the world. Nobody can take this ever away until the end of our lives. We are rich men, we are really rich men. I know from all these occasions, meetings, talks and hugs that we reach people. That some of our songs gain an incredible power in some people. That they are able to stand up in the morning, drive to work, can fall asleep in tough times of their lives with the help and some say with only the help of our music. In dark times of life. Knowing about these moments, having looked in pairs of eyes telling you incredible stories related to your songs give me the feeling my life is not wasted. I can use my pain, I can use my joy to reach people. In some of the lyrics and atmosphere I lay my heart in the hands of our listeners. And they give it back to me in a kind of tenderness you can´t imagine if you are nota songwriter. God gave us talent for a reason.