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Battalion: Ready for numerous live shows!

Interview with drummer Samuel Riedener of Battalion by Vera in April 2010

The name Battalion might have been used for more bands, but this article is about the young, seminal Swiss band that released their crushing debut album ‘Underdogs’ at the end of February 2010. After a few spins, this album appeared to be more than just a mediocre copy of four Metallica fans. This band has potential! To give this juvenile talent some proper support, we contacted the band and drummer Samuel Riedener took care of a fine introduction.

Battalion started in 2006 with playing some jam sessions. Can you tell me about these early beginnings?
It all started a little bit earlier. Silvan and me (Samuel) went to school together. And that’s where it started. I was beat-boxing and he sang and played guitar. We recorded some funny stuff on an old Mac computer. It was some kind of heavy metal sound but with beat-boxing. I couldn’t play the drums, yet. We made some CDs printed by our own, sold it at school and had some gigs there. At the new year party in school for example. Later his brother Cyril joined the band. He had 13 years of age at this time. And we were 16 years old. We just shorted the biography because it would be too long, with all that school time shit.

You are pretty young lads, so how did you get introduced to metal music and what can we see as main favourite bands/artists?
Our fathers brought us that big “Heavy Metal Spirit”, as we still were children. So, we were some kind of “grown up” with it. It all started with Metallica, back in the days. Favourite metal bands of us are: Metallica, Saxon, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Slayer and a lot of others.
But we also listen to a lots of other music. Like old school hip-hop or electro house. Everything that blows the shit out of ya!

What is your finest memory on attending a live concert (from one of your favourite bands?)
Me and Cyril went backstage at an Exodus gig. We have stolen two backstage passes and passed the deadline of the security gorilla. We were drunk too! I talked with the singer of Exodus but I can’t really remember anymore. There’s another one. We got thrown out of a Metallica gig, because of blood and violence. Nothing more to say.

With the material of some demo tapes, the band played some gigs. What about these first live experiences and what was you most impressive live gig until now?
They weren’t very special. Some of them were fucked up. Just ten people and two dogs, you know what I mean. Some people cheated us with money. But we paid it back in our own way. But there were also nice gigs!

Did you play abroad already or only in Switzerland?
Yes we did, but not many times. We had some gigs in Germany. But there will be coming up some more in the future, I hope so. The album was just released, so the people have to form their opinion about our new album and then we’ll see, if any bastards want us, to come play in their town!
Of course the album includes a number of tight straight forward thrash songs, but I would like to know more about the lengthy ‘Stalingrad’ – musically and lyric-wise – since this is a fantastic song that became my favourite.
It as always a pleasure to play that one! One of my favourites, too! The German part on ‘Stalingrad’ is about love and war. It’s about a man, who always thought that fighting is his only way of life. But at the end he knows that just love can bring him the inner peace. The song was written five years ago, I think. So I can’t remember the whole writing procedure.

It must have been impressive to record ‘Underdogs’ at the studio of Tommy Vetterli, ex-Coroner and ex-Kreator man. How did you manage to record there?
Well, Tommy heard our demo and wanted to record a full length album with us.

And of course I’d like to know all about this professional studio experience…
It was a hard time. First time in the studio, you know. Especially me and Silvan, the singer/lead, had some problems. Tommy is a perfectionist, so we had to rip up our bloody asses to do this shit! I also had fever during my recording session. But we are very satisfied with the results. We wanted from the beginning a non “modern plastic sound”! We wanted some kind of a good old recording and I think we got it!

I see that there are pretty much upcoming gigs, so I think playing live as much as possible is the main goal for the near future?
Exactly! Play as many as we can! All around the world. Touring, eating, sex & death!

A festival in Czech Republic is also booked, are you looking forward to visit the land of cheap beer?
I am more into whiskey. It pumps the shit out of me! We really want to play everywhere, but that’s not all in our hands, you know! By the way, if you got any contact addresses of some clubs, please send them to us. Thanks!

Are there any other tour plans that will bring you in Belgium or the Netherlands?
No, not yet. But maybe after you gave me your contact addresses, we will come and play in your cities!

What inspires you mostly when writing lyrics?
It’s the life of ourselves that inspires us. It is pretty chaotic. Party and music. Mostly music!!! But also about the things that happen in the world and also the fact, that we live in a country where money talks.

What are the plans for the near future?
Living on the road, having a lot of shows and all the other rock n` roll stuff!

Geplaatst door Vera op woensdag 07 april 2010 - 23:05:43
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