Üebermutter: The UNsaint has Come

The books „Das Eva-Prinzip“ [The Eve Concept] and „Das Prinzip Arche Noah“ [The Arche Noah Concept] were and still are topics of heated debates about the role of the woman in modern society and, with their controversial theses, raised a few tempers in Germany. Now the time has come to get involved in the discussion also musically. Üebermutter want to do exactly that amongst others with their single „Heim und Herd“ [House and home] from their latest album „Unheil!“. Front woman Luci van Org about her mission to unite the good ones and how to create a new world UNorder with sarcastic lyrics, heavy guitars and new German spelling rules. Hallelujah!

Your website to „The torment of the UNsaint“ was launched exactly on Good Friday. There must have been some reactions from the church…? 
Of course, we got a few angry mails – but fortunately Germany is a state of law…and we don’t really hurt anybody’s religious feelings, we only hurt the UNsaint

People could vote there how the UNsaint should be punished. Were there really people who voted “Save him”? 
Actually yes, there were people who, with a touch of charity, pressed the “Save him” button. Funnily, I also got several myspace mails from people who wanted to change their vote afterwards – everyone can vote only once. Unfortunately changing votes is not possible technically.

What’s behind this unusual spelling Üe Äe as in Üebermutter? 
A new world UNorder needs new spelling UNrules, don’t you think?

Provocative lyrics and a corresponding presentation are often the best means to get attention. Do you think you have the material to meet the expectations? 
No idea, you can’t plan that. What we wanted and what we have already accomplished is to express our discontent and have a lot of fun at the same time.

In every review/interview at least two names are mentioned – Rammstein and Lucilectric – is that annoying or understandable? 
Completely understandable. The song „Mäedchen“ simply belongs to my past and I’m not a bit ashamed of it. And of course we are heavily influenced by Rammstein and Laibach and numerous other bands. Also, we didn’t reinvent the wheel – we only show a different, maybe also very interesting side of it.

Your debut album „Unheil!“ was released in the beginning of April and the first reviews were already published. So far the opinions are pretty divided, those who hate it and those who think it’s at least interesting. Do you think, it’s rather the male reviewers who don’t or don’t want to “get” your record? 
You forgot those who praise us to the skies – those exist, too. And amongst them are also many men. I think, whether you like us or not is rather a matter of taste and everyone’s personal sense of humour. In any case, I have the feeling that we polarize – and that was exactly my goal. When people argue about something then they start to talk with each other – that’s already something.

How were the songs on „Unheil!“ written? 
Very differently – and with many great partners. Basis were, however, almost always the lyrics which I penned together with my most kindred spirit and amazing songwriter and satirist Michael Kernbach.

Like already mentioned, the sarcastic lyrics are one of the main points of the record but they can also be misinterpreted by one or the other. A risk you’re willing to take? 
The lyrics as a whole do have a very clear message, which you can’t really misunderstand without making a fool of yourself. Of course you can misunderstand single lines when you take them out of context – and when you don’t have a sense of humour – but then you have to reckon that other people, who have listened more carefully, will expose you to ridicule.
For me it’s not about to convince someone of my opinion or to save the souls of idiots. For me it’s about to unite the good ones. Those who think: Great, finally someone who speaks out on it!

Why should people buy your record? 
Because it’s a lot of fun – also after listening to it 100 times. And because it has really good music with really good vocals and really good lyrics. And with the awesome cover artwork by Axel Desbösen “UNHEIL!” is a real, audiovisual total work of art.

Do you think that people who don’t speak German will still get something out of your music or do you define yourself entirely through your lyrics/message? 
At least on our myspace page we’re getting more and more requests from abroad. I’m not really surprised about it. Our message is also conveyed with the instrumentation and the way of singing. Emotionally, like it should be with music.

It’s hard to put your music to a certain genre – how do you imagine your audience? 
People with a good taste in music, a fondness for less subtle notes and without barriers of the music police in head and heart. Oh yes, humour would be an advantage, too…

Should Eva Herman [writer of the controversial books] listen to Üebermutter? Who should definitely be an Üebermutter fan? 
All intelligent people of this planet should be Üebermutter fans. That, of course, raises the bar pretty high for Mrs. Herman…

Do you have any ambitions of hitting the charts with the band or do you use the project rather as a means to express your opinion? 
For every musician it’s the greatest to be able to live on his/her music. And these days one, unfortunately, has to sell a lot of CDs in order to do so…that’s why I absolutely don’t mind hitting the charts. Nevertheless it’s far more important for me to have the possibility to be able to shout out all my anger. That doesn’t mean that Üebermutter is just a temporary project. There’s enough anger inside of me for at least 20 more albums!

Who are the members of your band, the Unheilsarmee? How did you come together? 
The Unheilsarmee consists of Anja Schlemm on bass, Peggy Junghanns on guitar and Sabine Ahlbrecht on drums. All three are absolutely exceptional musicians from Berlin, who one just knows when you do music for years in the city – and they are the living counter-evidence for the stupid preconception that women can’t mosh or rock! I played early demos to them – and they joined us rapturously right away.

Guitarist Michael Brettner is the only male member of the band – was it hard to find someone who wants to be ill-treated (voluntarily?)? 
Certainly! Mr. Brettner isn’t just someone but he’s the UNsaint himself who has come to deliver the whole male sex from all patriarchal sins of thousands of years with his own, heroically borne misery. Through prophetic inspiration my dear fellow songwriter Michael Kernbach and I were told by the highest power that we have to take to a burdensome search to find this UNsaint. For a long time this search was unsuccessful. Until we found him in a tiny village near Trier, in the middle of nowhere where they don’t even have street names. In an airless, a little filthy cave cowered a hairy creature next to many guitars. After a whole-body-shave we spotted the stigmata on his hands and his crown of thorns – the divine marks. It was him. The UNsaint incarnate. And even though he’s not the slightest bit masochistically inclined Mr. Brettner accepted his cruel fate without complaint. It’s not everyday that someone is imposed with the responsibility of restoring peace between the sexes. His willingness to cooperate was, of course, major luck for us. And we were even more lucky to find out that Mr. Brettner is also, by chance, one of the best metal guitarists in Europe…just a divine act of providence, that all…

If the „glad tidings“ that you want to spread with your music wouldn’t, however, be embraced – would that be a personal disappointment? 
No, we did a great album and we play awesome shows. That alone is success enough for me.

Thanks for the interview! 

Photos: Üebermutter

Kathleen Gransalke

Editor for Reviews - translations, reports, photos - - - Favorite genres? - Punk, Rock, Death Metal, Mathcore - - - Favorite bands? - Coheed & Cambria, Black Dahlia Murder, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon