On June 23rd, Tricky Lobsters will release their new album ‘Worlds Collide’. Formed in Germany around 1996, this band has spanned the genres with their sound throughout the years. Tending to be unknown outside of their native Germany, they still enjoy quite the substantial following back home. After four years of wadding in the waters, the Lobsters have returned to shore with a western-driven face off in an epic clash of stories, riffs, and drama on ‘Worlds Collide’. The power trio consisting of Sarge (Guitar/Vocals), Doc (Bass/Backing Vocals), and Cpt. Peters (Drums/Backing Vocals) come at you with thunderous rhythm sections that take shape song after song.
Their new album ‘Worlds Collide’ courtesy of Exile On Mainstream is a perfect example of this statement. ‘Worlds Collide” is a great album from the German trio and one that is sure to satisfy all comers. The song writing is stellar and build that mental story I love in a band. They follow diverse paths through rock history and bind them all together on this album. The album paints a vivid picture of their current world and the one they are leaving behind. Their trademark of infectious grooves/riffs are born from the melodies and lyrics that are deeply rooted in old and reoccurring stories of love, dreams, and deception. Make sure to pick it up on June 23rd and recently we had the opportunity to talk to guitarist\vocalist Sarge.
Metal Nexus: Since forming in 1996, your sound has changed quite a bit throughout the years, Is there anything specific you could attribute to the change?
Sarge: Well, I suspect it’s got something to do with age. Changes in taste, attitude, that little bit more insight and a broadened musical horizon directly influence the creative choices we make. Men in their forties or early fifties tend to think differently from their angry younger counterparts and that’s a good thing. And going from quartet to three-piece with Aggi playing bass now has changed our approach quite drastically.
Metal Nexus: You guys have now released 2 videos prior to ‘Worlds Collide’, “Bitter man’s Fame” and “Tarred Albino”. What was the motive for the style of the “Bitter Man’s Fame” video?
Sarge: We just wanted to do something different. I always have been fascinated with faces and the fact that people tend to read something into an otherwise blank face. We’re all normally not used to people staring at us for prolonged periods, it makes us feel uncomfortable, so in the editing process we tried to emphasize that. Combined with the on-screen lyrics it creates a certain tension and the viewer is still free to interpret. So, we ran with that idea. It’s not an obvious choice for a rock video, but then again, what is?
Metal Nexus: All of your songs have great story telling in them, Is this something you strive for or does it just come naturally when sitting down to write new material?
Sarge: It depends on what you might want to call natural. Writing lyrics for me is always a struggle and being someone who wants to tell a story in English, but is not a native speaker adds to the challenge (as described in “Battlefields” from the new album). So, I usually try something like automatic writing, describing what pictures I see in my head. I simply write it down in a way that doesn’t necessarily follows a traditional storyline, shuffle it around a bit and hope for the best :). So, yes, in the end it feels natural, at least for me.
Metal Nexus: Being around since the mid-90s, you all have been around for some drastic changes in the music industry. What do you think some of the positives and negatives are from those changes that have affected the band?
Sarge: From where we stand now, we’re lucky to have never been a part of the big business. It was indie all the way and in those circumstances the chances to get ripped off are pretty slim, so these changes didn’t affect us negatively or otherwise. True, the chances to get a global audience were pretty slim too but nowadays with all these handy tools freely available the artist can be in control and having the good people at Exile On Mainstream backing us also helps a great deal. Plus, vinyl’s back, that’s positive, although I guess that wasn’t exactly the music industry’s doing. Sadly, some problems are the same now as they were then, such as how to get filthy rich from your own music or how to finance a world tour from pocket money and why isn’t anyone giving us ridiculous endorsements :). All of the lads have recently gone and got some new motorcycles so we can cruise around our local town. We’ve got them on finance, a bit like what Lending Expert offers in the UK. It allows us to be flexible with our cash so we can afford the world tour!
Metal Nexus: What advantages do you guys think being a 3-piece brings to your music?
Sarge: More musical freedom (jam sessions are much easier without an extra guitarist trying to blow you over the cliff’s edge or standing around picking their nose ’cause they can’t follow), less dealings with overblown egos (mind you, three are quite enough) and faster decision making (see overblown egos, still not fast enough since we are a democracy). Well, just joking, but the core principles are sound. There is a hidden fourth member of the band though. Some songs feature an old Hammond, played by Sebel, adding an epic 70s feel. It’s now a huge part of the Lobsters’ sound but unfortunately, due to his own commitments, he can’t tour with us and so we have to rely on a digital copy of him during live shows. But that’s for another story…….
Metal Nexus: Who did the artwork for ‘Worlds Collide’ ? Is there any meaning behind it?
Sarge: That would be Conny Ochs, a German musician and graphic designer, who lives in Italy and runs a website called Oxworks. Christian Thiele, our photographer, suggested we should give it a shot and, man, was he right. Conny did a brilliant job, directly inspired by some the lyrics and the music from the album. And of course, there’s a meaning ;).
(Note: Conny Ochs is an amazing musician and artist who together with doom icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Saint Vitus, The Obsessed) released one of 2015’s best albums ‘Freedom Conspiracy’ and it’s a must hear for anyone)
Metal Nexus: With this album being engineered and produced by drummer Jörg Peters, what’s it like to have someone within the band produce the album versus hiring someone from the outside to do it?
Sarge: Since he’s a member, he’s got more insight in the workings of the band, let alone the little quirks and habits. He’s a good friend, a natural born technophile and the only one of us proficient in the dark arts of recording and mastering and a very good drummer to boot. And he’s the King of Soldering, what’s not to like? The last two albums were produced by Claus Grabke and although it was a beautiful experience to work with a man of his caliber (who set us undeniably on the right path for the future) for this album we wanted a more relaxed playground approach without any financial or other restrictions. No-one better for this job than Captain Peters.
Metal Nexus: What bands have influenced you all as musicians?
Sarge: That list would go beyond the constraints of this article. Most of us are into making music for over three decades now and the fact that we all come from different musical backgrounds would certainly add to the confusion :). But I will say this – there are the usual suspects and of course the unusual ones and many more and everything in between. Many of our heroes used guitars, basses and drums to create their art. There are exceptions. Some did use synthesizers, some just wrote books. They were British, American, Canadian, German, Australian, French, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Brazilian, Finnish, Dutch, and Spanish. Some are even still alive.
Metal Nexus: You’re having an album release show/party on June 23rd. Is there anything special in the works for those who will be in attendance?
Sarge: Since the venue we’ve chosen is a very small club right in middle of our hometown Rostock, everything that is pleasing on the eye (apart from our good selves) like huge pyrotechnics, massive LED installations and the Oompa Loompa ballet will have to wait until the first world tour :). We will have a special appearance though by Conny Ochs, the genius behind the cover artworks of “Worlds Collide”, who is a brilliant singer / songwriter in his own right. And there’s the man with the spade and the motorbike ……., but I don’t want to give too much away.
Metal Nexus: In your new single “Tarred Albino”, It has some pretty powerful lyrics like “Sleep, Sleep now my friend, close your eyes, and let it end”. Is there anything specific that inspired these lyrics?
Sarge: These lyrics are partly inspired by the death of a long-time friend, who died last year from Motor Neurone Disease. Sorry, won’t go into details
Metal Nexus: I recently heard your cover of “Poison Heart” by The Ramones. Is there any other covers you would like to tackle in the future?
Sarge: Actually there are. We’re right in the middle of recording some cover versions and polishing some unreleased material from the Worlds Collide sessions. There’ll be a release but when exactly I can’t say. End of year maybe? There’s gotta be an element of surprise.
Metal Nexus: Is there any aspirations to do another unplugged set like the one in 2008? Possibly for this album?
Sarge: No. Too much effort. We’re not big fans of unplugged shows. If a song is created that way it’s fine but rearranging songs which weren’t meant to be played that way just doesn’t feel right. Last time it took us two months to rearrange and rehearse. It wasn’t fun anymore. But the show turned out very nice in the end.
Metal Nexus: For us American fans that would like to see a live showing from you. Is there any plans to tour the United States in the future?
Sarge: Touring the States is a dream every European musician has. Unfortunately, you need vast amounts of money and far reaching connections to even set foot onto American soil, let alone work there. If you’re somewhat famous in Europe it will lead you there eventually, but until then ……. We just lack that kind of professional network. Nevertheless, it would be brilliant.