Obscura’s Steffen Kummerer: The Gun Shy Interview


So, last week, I had the opportunity to speak to Obscura’s Steffen Kummerer and since he’s German, I spared him my American silliness. No questions about gloryholes, no questions about cartoons or movies or comic books.

We just talked about Obscura, his progressive death metal band, and how their fourth album, Omnivium, was one of the best releases of 2011. At least that’s my feeling on the subject.

I had to ask Kummerer if Obscura’s been working on new material and there’s some bad news.

“We are completely into the touring cycle,” the guitarist and frontman tells Gun Shy Assassin. “We’re doing our first headlining tour, then we’ll do another tour in Europe in March and April, and then we’re heading back to the U.S. — 2012 is completely covered with touring. That said, we always are writing new stuff, but I don’t expect to go to the studio before 2013.”

Drats! I was hoping we’d get new Obscura sooner, but the band’s got big plans. In fact, Kummerer even mentioned that the band would be doing a summer festival in the U.S. Mayhem, perhaps?

“I haven’t heard anything but I would love to” do the Mayhem tour, he says. “I know we are coming back in the summer for a festival tour — I don’t think we are big enough to play in a touring festival like RockStar. We listen to any offer, so if anyone at RockStar Energy Drink is interested in progressive death metal, hey — we are here.”

It’s been a good year for Obscura. The new album has been praised by everyone who has heard it and the band got to tour with Children of Bodom and Devin Townsend.

“Since we signed to Relapse two years ago, things are going pretty well,” the frontman says. “Right now it seems like people are really liking what we’re doing. I don’t know why, because actually it’s more or less progressive and technical music, but it seems Americans really dig that stuff. I hear Rush on the radio every day here.”

I ask Kummerer what his favorite album of 2011 was, since his band’s album was one of my faves. “I really enjoyed Nader Sadek,” he said.

The band is a rather unique supergroup consisting of former Morbid Angel frontman Steve Tucker, Ava Inferi/former Mayhem riff-machine Rune Eriksen, session bassist Nicholas McMaster (Krallice/Gorguts), Cryptopsy drummer Flo Mounier, and Nader Sadek himself, a Cairo-born visual artist responsible for some of the grotesque stagewear and imagery utilized by Mayhem and Sunn O))) during live shows.

“It’s pretty much underground but its really organic-produced black death metal with a progressive touch. Its fantastic and easily the album of the year for me. From my perspective…it’s outstanding.”

Obscura enjoy their time on the road, but are boring. They don’t nail groupies, which is the whole reason for starting a band in the first place. At least I thought it was.

“Honestly, we are the most boring band in the universe,” he starts. “We all have girlfriends, we have jobs, we don’t do any stupid things. You get into it for the cash and the honor, man!”

He laughs. “We all have regular jobs or study at the university so we keep the freedom of the band to go on tour when we want to go on tour,” he says. “We do what we want to do. You can try to make a living on death metal, but I don’t really think its possible. You have to ask yourself if you want to be playing death metal at 50. I’m not sure,” he says, laughing.

If you still haven’t heard the new Obscura record, you need to go get it. And catch the band on tour with Abysmal Dawn…right now!

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