What’s in a name?
Every band and singer has a name. It’s easy when you want to find the on social media, record shop or see their name on a concert announcement. And every band has a story when you ask about their name.
But when you see a name like “Killing Suzy”, I’m not sure you want to know that story. I can imagine that people have the same questions as I had when I saw it.
So the only way to find out is ask them. So I did. I ask the band if it is allowed to ask the some questions. And they agreed. But I have to tell you that not only the name made me interested. The music they make is awesome, so that’s also a reason to introduce them to you.
When I asked them some questions, two of the bandmembers where so kind to answer them. So hear what Ambra and Seb(astian) have to tell us.
The first question was how they invented the name Killing Suzy and if there is a special meaning for it.
(Ambra): Now that’s a crude story. Honestly, it’s more like the dark secret of the band and we rather would not talk about it. Everyone can decide if there may be a Suzy in your life you always longed to kill, or if you would rather imagine a mysterious blade swinging beauty with a black temper, like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, called “Killing Suzy”.
But I seem to remember, that it was Gerd who came up with the name.
The band is established in 2010, they think. Ambra is not sure about it. But they play a long tome together. Ambra tells that only the former bass guitar player is replaced and that they always been playing together in the composition from the beginning.
Ambra tells how the band players found each other and started the band.
Two of us, our keyboard player Seb and our drummer Gerd, were making music together for more than 20 years now. And that’s a whole life when you think of it. After the breakup of their former gothic metal band “Sun of Sadness” they got hold of Ralf as new guitarist and formed the, then still nameless, new band, produced some jamming material and waited just for the things to come. Until it came to a fateful, and definitely drunk, meeting between Gerd and me (Ambra) on a party after which the new singer of the band was found.
Although it took only a few sessions together to mark the direction the music would go, it was unlike harder to find someone adequate to play the bass guitar. After various interludes we finally discovered Jens.
Can you tell us who are the band members? Think of age, background etc.
Sure I (Ambra) can. We have Gerd on the drums, Seb at the synthies, Ralf at the guitar, Jens at the bass guitar. And myself trying to sing above the noise they are producing.
Thanks Ambra. Can you tell something more about yourself and the other band members?
I (Ambra) definitely won’t tell my age (which tells for itself, I guess), but I like to tell you everything about my instrument, my voice. My voice is a lyrical soprano. I sing, as long s I can remember and have been singing in very different styles of music (like musical, chanson and rock). I received a rather short-term classical training in opera singing, some years ago.
(Seb): We are all a bit older. Except from Ambra we all have the same background. Wanted to play in a band and therefore started to learn an instrument and then started the first bands, made mistakes and grew with that.
Do members play in other bands too?
(Ambra): Jens, our bass player, also plays in the German black metal band “Beltez”. And Seb has a Dark Electro project called “Necrotekk”.
Is it easy to practice together?
(Seb): In the past it was very easy. But now our bass player moved last month, 600 km away from here. So lets see how this will change things.
Are you full-time musicians or do you also have other jobs?
(Ambra): Unfortunately, we all have to work to make a living. But don’t tell anyone, it’s not really rock’n’roll.
The songs and the music
Let’s talk about the music and the songs. Who writes the songs?
(Ambra): Our songwriting is pretty ordinary, I guess. Most of the times, someone comes up with an idea, be it just a fragment of a melody, or a guitar riff. Sometimes, especially when Sebastian, the keyboarder, writes some ideas. It’s even an whole song consisting of several parts.
And then the jamming starts, where everyone tries out what may be fitting in. Astonishingly, there is mostly every time a song at the end of the process.
We even have a song which started with me inventing the vocal melodies before everything else. And the guys were forced to create their music around my singing. That was a lot of fun.
I (Ambra) am responsible for all the lyrics and vocal melodies. In the first phase of the songwriting when there are still no lyrics available , I invent the words spontaneously and they change from rehearsal to rehearsal. Most lyrics are about a certain inner state. And sometimes I simply fall in love with the rhythm or the sound of a phrase so I want to use it.
What can you tell us about albums? How many have you released so far? And can you tell us something about the name(s)?
(Ambra): “Everybody dies, Darling” is our debut album. The name relates to a song on the album. But as I remember, it was Sebastian, who always wanted a song of the same name. So I wrote the lyrics for him accordingly.
Can you tell where you are performing now? Where can the people find you on stage?
(Seb): We performed only locally around Cologne.
What was the best concert so far?
(Seb): The Release party of “Everybody dies, darling”. Great audience, great sound, great beer.
What do you think of your audience?
(Seb): Nice and kind, but we are not a big band, so we cannot say much about this.
Do you feel that interaction with your audience important?
(Ambra): A very difficult subject for me. I feel, that interaction during the shows is important, but I rather don’t talk between the songs. I simply don’t like it. I am a singer, I want to sing. Maybe some do not appreciate that. Having a chat before or after the show is relaxing and very enjoyable for me. And we answer every request we get on Facebook or via email.
Do you have some idols?
(Seb): There are artists we really like, but we don’t idolize someone. Someone once said that we sound like the Gathering played by the Sex Pistols. I like that.
Is there a band you would like to perform with?
(Seb): Yes, Toxic Army
What would you like to do in the future?
(Seb): We like to play more live and record a new, second, album. And of course drink more beer.
Are you coming to the Netherlands?
(Ambra): We would love to! If there is a possibility to perform.
If you want some more information:
( special thanks to Wendy Steenmans for the pictures: http://www.wendy-steenmans.nl )