June 18, 2024

KONTRUST Austrian crossover legends! Chatting with Manuel Haglmüller …

ABOUT KONTRUST…

KONTRUST… Austrian crossover legends, are finally back after nine long years with their highly
awaited new studio album, entitled “madworld”.

The massively energetic full-length will be released on November 3rd, 2023. In 2022, the band once more showcased their eruptive live potential on the main stages of some of the biggest European festivals, such as Graspop Metal Meeting, Hellfest Open Air,Barcelona Rockfest and Resurrection Fest.

After nearly a decade, KONTRUST make a stand with arevitalized line-up and groundbreaking fifth studio album.

On madworld, KONTRUST stick to their lively, playful and experimental signature style, ready to
entertain old and new audiences alike.

Without a shadow of a doubt, KONTRUST are one of the most extravagant and exciting acts in the scene, and have enthralled fans and critics alike with an inimitable sense of fusing various genres like reggae, pop and dance with heavy hard rock and metal riffs, spliced with their very own way of representing the roots of their home country. This synthesis of styles has brought them not only notable chart entries for several releases, but also high recognition in the form of the “AMADEUS Austrian Music Award”.

Their colorful style, impressive combination of genres and unique fun factor made the band an
attention grabbing veteran on the biggest international stages.
Among many others, they played the Przystanek Woodstock festival in Poland in front of over 300.000 people and set a new record for the largest audience ever played by an Austrian artist.

Throughout their two decade-spanning career, the Austrian based outfit has gained millions and
millions of YouTube views on their exciting music videos, with over 15 million views on the
electrifying hits “Hey DJ!” and “Bomba” alone.

With their new album, madworld, KONTRUST prove their standing as an unpredictable force in the scene – always hungry, wild and full of surprises, and ready to exceed everything they have achieved so far!

A Special notice … NOVA ROCK 2024 – KONTRUST – Saturday 15 JUNE- RED STAGE 14:25- 15:05

CHATTING WITH Manuel Haglmüller

Athenscalling.gr: Hi Manuel and thank you for taking the time for the interview with us and welcome in the webzine of culture.

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: Thank you for having me.

Athenscalling.gr:First of all Manuel, tell us about the name of yourband … who was the godfather of name?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: It was summer 2001 and it was hot 🙂 We were sitting together brainstorming about a new name for the band. From the original founders back then only Stefan and me are left in the lineup today. And if I remember correctly it was actually him who suggested KONTRUST. We immediately loved it as it perfectly represents what we do. As the name suggests, we create a colorful style with all kinds of influences from various genres and different elements. Especially festival crowds really appreciate the variety for a change, which is reflected in the meaning behind KONTRUST.

Athenscalling.gr:Who are the members of KONTRUST today?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: There’s Julia and Stefan on main vocals, Mike on guitar, Gregor on bass, Joey on drums and me doing programmings and playing the percussions.

Athenscalling.gr:I will really tell you that I like the music of your band, but to which musical genre, we could say it belongs?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: KONTRUST cannot be put into a box and stamped with a certain genre. That’s actually what the name stands for. We create a very colorful style with various influences. If you force me to give a concrete answer, “crossover” describes it in the best possible way, because of the rich mix of genres we’re utilizing. In reality we moved beyond this though for quite some time already. By staying open minded we achieve to push the borders further and further out, instead of limiting ourselves.

Athenscalling.gr:Quite interesting is the music of KONTRUST… and aboutthe lyrics of the songs are created for what occasion?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: What people sometimes don’t recognize is that in many of our songs there’s a deeper meaning or a critical message behind them, often times being reflected in the lyrics. So we’re not only goofy and fun, which also is an important part of us of course, as we all wanna have a good time and celebrate a big party at our shows together with the audience. But there’s always serious stuff going on in this mad world and we don’t shy away from pointing at it and putting our finger in those wounds.

Athenscalling.gr: 5 albums from 2005 until today. Is there one that you love the most and why?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: We evolved from album to album, all of them being hand-crafted and created with a huge amount of passion. When you listen to all of them chronologically you’ll notice the progress we made over the years and how our approach stayed the same but still changed in details and elements – how it should be in a band that’s growing and evolving over a long time period. Our history is reflected in those albums, everyone of them being a snapshot at the time. There’s no standstill in life, which also applies to our creation. The new album “madworld” accordingly is the latest snapshot and also my personal favorite, but I’m biased in this case because of the songwriting-process and how the songs were created.
Athenscalling.gr: “Madworld” in the year 2023 the new KONTRUST album! What are the messages that you are getting from your fans?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: Well the release only was half a year ago now and we’re still overwhelmed by the reactions of our fans, but also by the media. We didn’t expect to receive such a huge amount of positive vibes and energy back. That we also ranked number 4 in Austrian album charts with madworld, which reflects the best chart position we ever had, completely blew our minds in the end.

Athenscalling.gr:I will tell you about the title of the album that it is impressive and up-to-date with everything that is happening on the planet…. Really, how did you choose it?
Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: Exactly! The world completely went nuts in recent years and there’s many issues that concern everybody and that need to be solved and dealt with. As the title says, we processed all our impressions from the last decade in this crazy world we live in on it. It was a nobrainer to call the album “madworld”.

Athenscalling.gr: A long lifetime of your band … Do you remember your the best time in your band?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: The best time is always NOW. Of course there are many ups and downs over such a long lifetime. There’s a lot of success stories and memories. Luckily the good ones outweigh the bad by far. But the important thing is to live in the moment and enjoy it all to the fullest.
Athenscalling.gr: We have done many interviews with bands and actress from Austria like OPUS,BLOODSUCKING ZOMBIES FROM OUTER SPACE,KILL THELYCAN,IGEL vs. SHARK,THE ZSA ZSA GABORS,RUSSKAJA,TURBOBIER,ROKKORAMIREZ,JULIA IVANOVA THE REDHEAD SINGER and many others…
Being in Austria, do you have the feeling that it is more difficult forto be recognized than for example Swedish or British bands?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: Definitely. The scene is just bigger there. We were lucky to be recognized internationally 15 years ago already. Since then we’re playing shows all across Europe and are expanding further and further.

Athenscalling.gr: Some of Athenscalling.gr Team, they will be present at NOVA ROCK FESTIVAL 2024…. and KONTRUST will be present at the stage… what exactly will you present to us and what do you think about NOVA ROCK?

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: Nova Rock is an awesome festival – the biggest of its kind here in Austria – and we always love to play it. There’s big positive vibes going on there everytime and we collect positive energy from it. Additionally for us it’s a home game so we celebrate and enjoy every moment of it.

Athenscalling.gr: Before the end of our chatting …. Tell us something about my country … I mean about Greece?
Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: Aristoteles, Platon…. souvlaki, gyro, moussaka and ouzo!
Plus: very friendly and relaxed people. I’ve been to Greece a few times for holidays and it always was awesome – one of the best destinations and I’ll definitely visit it again – hopefully also for a show in the future.

Athenscalling.gr:Thank you Manuel… see soon in Austria and NOVA ROCK FESTIVAL.

Manuel Haglmüller of KONTRUST: Thank you, looking forward to meeting you there.

P.s ”Photo copyright ”Factory 16” and Andreas Rager”.

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