THE WAR INSIDE MY HEAD: AN INTERVIEW WITH CRYPTAE

In a year that has already produced some of the best, most exciting albums in recent memory, the analog devastation that is Capsule, the newest album from Dutch fuck-it-let's-call-death-metal duo Cryptae, shines like a diamond made from 90s computers and mangled death metal. While I always appreciated the work of René Aquarius and Kees Peerdeman, and loved many of the other projects they were involved with (Dead Neanderthals, Plague Organ, Coffin Lurker, Heavy Natural, etc), Capsule grabbed me by the face and just wouldn't let go. I wish I had something more intelligent to say about that, but I fear I don't. Perhaps because Capsule is still holding on to my face.

So, to celebrate the monstrous face-leech that is the experimental, wild, crushing experience that is Capsule, I sat down (i.e. emailed) the Dutch duo about the music that drives the crazy factory that is Cryptae. Here are the results.

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What was the first album you bought with your own money, and where did you buy it?

René: It was a CD-single of the track "Liar" by Rollins Band and it was magical. I think I bought it at a local record store. Nothing too crazy. The magic didn’t stop there, because Henry Rollins played a track from my other band Dead Neanderthals in his radio show once and Chris Haskett (guitarist) now lives in my hometown and I met him at one of my shows. It was a weird and totally unexpected way to interact with two of my childhood heroes.

Kees: A CD-single for me too: Spice Girls – "Say You'll Be There." "Wannabe" didn't really do it for me, but this song in combination with the quasi-sci-fi video made me an instant fan. Still love listening to their work.

What 2-3 albums did you hear the most growing up?

René: Difficult question! There were so many albums I listened to back in the day. If I have to guess, it’ll probably be:

Gorefest – Soul Survivor. A weird blend of death metal and 70s hard-rock. Although I never listen to it anymore it’s safe to say this had a huge impact on me.

Green Day – Dookie. I loved every track on this album when I was a teen and I still listen to some of them from time to time. It’s a timeless album with great pop-tunes that still holds up today.

Summer Blast. A Nuclear Blast compilation album that introduced me to bands like Meshuggah, Disrupt and Amorphis. Loved every minute of this and it was a gateway into heavy music for me.

Kees: When I was 12 years old I went on a short summer holiday with my best friend and his family. This was the last summer before going to junior high and my attention had shifted from the Spice Girls to Happy Hardcore and Rave music. The Prodigy had just released the Firestarter video and I was getting my first taste of alternative music. Something was still missing though. Two blocks from my home, on our way back, the mother of my friend put on a cassette tape. After a jangly guitar intro something amazing exploded out of the speakers. All I could say when my parents asked me how the vacation had been was: "DO YOU HAVE A NIRVANA CD?" Of course my father only had the fucking Unplugged in New York album, which obviously wasn't what I was looking for. His colleague at work came through though, and gave me three cd's that changed everything for a young kid in a tiny village: Nirvana – Nevermind; Machine Head – Burn My Eyes; Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

What albums taught you the most about the technical aspect of making music?

René: Easy: MoHa! – One Way Ticket to Candyland. I LOVE this album and it taught me that your own imagination is the limit when it comes to making music. It also taught me I will never ever perform at this level of musicianship, which is fine with me.

KeesTokyo Bossa Nova Lounge – 東京ボサノヴァ・ラウンジ. When I got really into Bossa nova, I was amazed that something so easy on the ears is so difficult to play.

What is the last album that absolutely shocked you?

René: That’s probably Achatius by Funereal Presence.The album flies completely off the rails, yet it feels very coherent at the same time. It’s just a total masterpiece.

Kees: Koffee's NPR Tiny Desk session is amazing. "Toast" is such a great song.

What album relaxes you or centers you the most?

René: That must be Passagen by Matthias Urban. A minimal drone album only made with cymbals. The detail and textures are amazing. But the album still works if you want to just put it on in the background while working.

Kees: Anything by Boards of Canada. A lot of these other so called ambient artists get lost in these ultra specific ASMR high end blipping, ticking, mixing details that only end up triggering my misophonia.

What are the 2-3 albums you’ve listened to the most recently?

René: Entombed – Wolverine Blues. Can’t go wrong with this stone-cold classic!

Orm – Intet • Altet. Long-form (and I mean LOOONNGGG form) atmospheric black metal from Denmark. Amazing compositions and great playing. Just loving the album.

Bad Manor – The Haunting. Off-kilter, vampiric Black Metal. Really love the lo-fi sound and high-energy playing. Amazing album that deserves your attention.

Kees: George Michael – Ladies & Gentlemen; Ophidian – Call of the Void; and a lot of B-tier nu-metal & gabber music.

What album is grossly underrated?

René: That should be the new album by Ggu:ll, entitled Ex Est. Not sure why everybody isn’t blasting this over their speakers right now. It’s a fantastic record filled with heaviness and doom. People should be all over this [I wrote about it! MM]

Kees: I feel like the short lived '00s dance punk/sass thing with bands like The Blood Brothers, Oil, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Hint Hint, The Red Light Sting etc. doesn't get enough recognition. 

What album would you recommend from your local scene?

René: It would be easy to pick a cool metal band from our area like Fluisteraars or Iskandr but I’d like to point out If it wasn't me, I would've called it funny by the indie band Snow Coats. There’s something about this album that I like a lot and I keep coming back to it.

Kees: No recommendations.