Kalamata is a stoner psychedelic post rock band from Hildesheim Germany, formed in 2014 by Peter Jaun (guitars), Maik Blümke (bass), and Olly Opitz (drums). In May 2014 they released their debut album ‘You’ (Pink Tank Records), and now after three years they release their second album ‘Disruption’ (Tonzonen Records, 03/2017) giving more promises to the fans of the kind. On the wait of their second release, we found the opportunity to interview Kalamata and learn more about them.
Tell us a few words about the band and its name, behind which there is a funny story.
We started the band in late 2013. First Olly and me (Peter) just jamming without planning to become a band and then Maik joined us on bass. The songwriting process for the first songs worked really well and the first album was finished pretty quickly… Since then we played live as often as possible. The band’s name is inspired by a famous product from Kalamata…the famous Kalamata olives. We once had some in our rehearsal room and really liked the sound of the name. So we decided to name the band Kalamata.
Your name is the name of a Greek city which you have already visited and performed, and you have also played for the audience in Athens. Tell us about this experience. What were your impressions from the Greek audience?
Both, the gigs in Athens and Kalamata were really awesome experiences. When we arrived both times everyone was so nice and welcoming… Greek people really care a lot about their guests. You don’t have to worry about anything but just play the gig. We had the impression that the scene for heavy music is very much alive and people are very interested in music. They go to the concerts, they do blogs, radio shows etc. which is really nice for the bands. The gig in Kalamata was crazy since we never thought this would happen that we once play in the city that gave us our band name… Sometimes we made jokes about playing there someday and then it just happened. It was a perfect weekend for us! Like vacation! We even bought some Kalamata olives
You are from a small German city called Hildescheim, which if I am not wrong is an old historical city. What is the impact of living in a city like this considering your musical background?
Even in a small city like Hildesheim there is a music scene and a lot of musicians. But most of them don’t share the same passion for heavy rock music. So we were lucky that we found each other. You can’t just go out and make an audition for other musicians because you won’t probably find anyone that wants to make the same sound…instrumental psychedelic stoner is not everyone’s favorite music style in a small city like Hildesheim. The fact that we don’t have a singer has a lot to do with this.
Would you say that psychedelic rock is popular in Germany?
Yes there is a big active scene but I wouldn’t say that it’s really popular. We have the impression that the scene is growing and the underground is very active and alive. There are some popular bands that play in big concert locations and we have a lot of cool festivals. So there are a lot of people that share the same passion for this kind of music…but still it’s underground!
You are releasing this March your second album ‘Disruption’. Like in your first album ‘You’, the titles of the tracks form a sentence. Can you share some information about the new album and the cover artwork?
We recorded it at Sonic Venture Studios in Hildesheim. It’s the studio of Stephan Grujic who is a local rock’n’roll legend. This time we took more time for the recording. I think we all gave the best we had to give for this record… We put it all in there. We spent a lot of time hanging in the studio to find the ‘perfect’ mix. Stephan was very patient with us. It took us some time but now we are all very happy with the sound. An artist from Hildesheim (Niels Heberle) made the collage that you see on the album cover. He does paintings and installations with skulls and other crazy stuff. Alex and Björn did the artwork (Melting Moons and Vaporis) for the record. The interpretation of the song titles and the album title depends on the way you see things. We leave the interpretation up to you and it might be different from the way we see it.
The first album sounds to me ‘heavier’. ‘Disruption’ reaches more the psychedelic space-rock atmosphere. Would you say that you are evolving, or is it just various feelings which are expressed while you are playing?
I think we definitely evolved. When we recorded the first album, we only played together for like maximum 6 months. Since then we played a lot of shows, spent a lot of time on the road, got to know each other better and became friends. Because of this the songwriting process took more time. We didn’t hurry and didn’t force it. This album is the result of the experiences from the last years and it is how we wanted it to sound like.
You will appear again in Athens on March 14th. What other shows have you planned in Greece and abroad?
The day after Athens we will play a show in Thessaloniki with Nightstalker and after that we will play some shows in Germany. We also will be on tour in the end of Μay. Since we all have families and kids we can’t spend unlimited time on the road but we will do our best to play live as often as we can.
Do you also jam in your live shows or perform covers?
No we don’t cover and we usually do not jam except something goes terribly wrong during a gig…which still sometimes happens. We learned that you just have to go on and eventually you will get back together somewhere in the song. I’m not the best guitar player in the world and even if I like jamming solos sometimes I would not force the audience to hear this stuff…there are for sure better jamming musicians out there and we leave this field up to them!
I wish you good luck on your second release! Close this interview as you will.
Thanks a lot for this opportunity and we wish you all the best with Last Day Deaf!
We hope we will see some of you guys in Athens or Thessaloniki. Come and say hi and let’s have a beer!