In our scene :Wumpscut: is a name that everyone knows very well. Whether you like the music or not, whether you understand it or are uncomfortable with it, that’s an entirely different story, but one simply can’t avoid the :W: name and logo and what it represents. Rudy Ratzinger’ s musical influence in the scene is second to none. According to Rudy, :Wumpscut: is a synthetic word with no meaning. So much so that band after band tries to mimic his inimitable style, but actually there is only one :Wumpscut: –actually, only one Rudy. Starting off his career in 1991 as a club DJ in Bavaria (Germany) Ratzinger cited the influence of such bands as Leather Strip as his reason for making the transfer from DJing to making music. :Wumpscut: was first conceived in 1991, with his earliest works appearing in cassette-only form in 1991 (Defcon) and 1992 (Small Chambermusicians). Since Rudy’s debut effort in December 1993 Rudy has released numerous influential albums and apperared on many compilations which placed :Wumpscut: at the forefront of the scene. In 1995 Rudy founded his own label, BETON KOPF MEDIA to have full control over :Wumpscut:. Following the 2004 album Bonepeeler, 2005 brings Evoke, an album that represents a new chapter in the life of Rudy Ratzinger, a chapter you haven’t yet experienced. Get ready to have some feelings evoked within you.
Chain D.L.K.: You declare that :Wumpscut: is not a fascist or racist project. The use of some words in your lyrics has offended people.
:Wumpscut:: This is not my speech, it is just a sample I took …
Chain D.L.K.: Are you aware of the effect of the usage of some words intentionally?
Chain D.L.K.: Der Blutharsch, who did a remix for you, are specifically a very controversial band, and their imagery is really disturbing for some audiences.
:Wumpscut:: I understand that, but I regard DBH only as a very well-crafted project.
Chain D.L.K.: We are eager to hear your history. Your music tends to be interpreted in many different ways and most people don’t really seem to understand where you are coming from.
:Wumpscut:: I come from a small village near Munich (and be sure, I am no Nazi at all).
Chain D.L.K.: You were one of the first ones to toss aside the standard 4-4 EBM formula.
Chain D.L.K.: Your music always has a sense of nostalgia, something that a lot of people are longing for in an age of digital electronic music.
:Wumpscut:: I never thought about that.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you think electro-industrial music losing its soul–becoming too one-dimensional–that everything out there sounds the same?:Wumpscut:: Most of the released stuff out of this sector simply is BAD.
Chain D.L.K.: Where do you think industrial music as a genre is heading?
:Wumpscut:: I don’t know, but be sure, :W: always will do its very special interpretations. I don’t follow a “trend”.
Chain D.L.K.: Your albums have always been concept-oriented. What is the concept of the new album Evoke?
:Wumpscut:: Evoke has no concept in its pure form–if you speak of the music. It’s different when you think about the graphics, of course.
Chain D.L.K.: Where have you taken :Wumpscut: this time?
:Wumpscut:: …Just LISTEN!
Chain D.L.K.: I think that Evoke again presents new sides of :Wumpscut: we weren’t familiar with before.
:Wumpscut:: Exactly my speech all along.
Chain D.L.K.: This time I sense cleaner production, a fixation on love and an almost neo-> Classical feeling. Am I wrong or does :Wumpscut: sound more melodic and loving?
:Wumpscut:: Melody always was, is and will be a very important part of the :W: universe….
Chain D.L.K.: Where is the morbid, slaughtering :Wumpscut: we all know?
:Wumpscut:: It still is there, but this time, it seems to be more hidden.
Chain D.L.K.: How do you compare Evoke to your debut effort, Music for a Slaughtering Tribe?
:Wumpscut:: …Not at all.
Chain D.L.K.: What has changed for you since then? What has changed in the music-making process?
:Wumpscut:: The same procedure as it ever was–apart from the fact that I like to progress and not to mark time….
Chain D.L.K.: Are you approaching writing a new album the same way you used to do in the early ’90s?
:Wumpscut:: I don’t know–:W: always was surprising…
Chain D.L.K.: How long was the process of recording the new album?
:Wumpscut:: …2 to 3 months.
Chain D.L.K.: And what new challenges arose compared to previous releases?
:Wumpscut:: Each tone is a challenge in which you discover unknown territory….
Chain D.L.K.: The pictures, the images on your album covers have always been interesting; you like playing with symbols. People are basically ignorant about the use of your shocking imagery and the use of symbolism in your work, and misinterpret them.
:Wumpscut:: …Be SURE about that.
Chain D.L.K.: How do you pick the photos or images the design for your covers?
:Wumpscut:: Just the same way I create music: just a question of what moods you are in.
Chain D.L.K.: Does it have to be loaded with disturbing connotations?
Chain D.L.K.: What does the 3-dimentional alien creature on the cover stand for? Does it reflect the spirit of the album for you?
:Wumpscut:: Only for the title track: I don’t want to create 11 songs just about ONE monster, you know….
Chain D.L.K.: Remixes have been taking a big part in your music releases catalog. You like to pull newcomers into the spotlight. Also, since Bone Peeler you came out with the DJ Dwarf remix series and any of your releases now comes in a limited box set including remixes that are not on the “regular” version. What are you looking for these things to give you?
:Wumpscut:: The fans demand special versions, seldom products etc. And the traditional boxset forces this very well.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you like other producers playing with your music, giving out their own vision of your songs?
:Wumpscut:: …It’s a question of time.
Chain D.L.K.: You once said you don’t think about what you are creating. How do you construct an album, how is your work done in the studio and how do you assemble the pieces in this puzzle to create a new album? Isn’t there any advance thought?
:Wumpscut:: Not at all: I just sit down and leave my cerebrum behind in a drawer.
Chain D.L.K.: You have always had a no-touring policy, even in Germany. Is there no need to satisfy the hungry fans?
:Wumpscut:: Yes, there would be …
Chain D.L.K.: Why haven’t you ever taken :Wumpscut: on stage?
:Wumpscut:: I cannot come up to my self-set level.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you prefer :Wumpscut: to be only a studio project?
Chain D.L.K.: There’s a whole lot of merchandise for :Wumpscut: and Beton Kopf Media, your label. Aren’t you afraid of becoming too commercialized?
:Wumpscut:: Not at all: If someone does not like it, he’s not forced to take it.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever thought of going into film production?
Chain D.L.K.: Besides hearing your dreams and visions, people would see them. Would it be too horrific to watch?
Chain D.L.K.: Why don’t we see any :Wumpscut: videos?
:Wumpscut:: The same as with playing live: my head is full of very high quality images and be sure you cannot materialize them.
Chain D.L.K.: Would you please introduce us to Clara who wrote and sings on “Obssession”?
:Wumpscut:: She’s my girlfriend for several years, meanwhile–and I like her language very much, so it just was a question of time to try.
Chain D.L.K.: …And Jane who sings on “Hold” and “Maiden,” and on one of my personal favorites on the album, “Don’t Go”?
:Wumpscut:: I initially met her during summer 2004, her voice seemed very promising, and here we are.
Chain D.L.K.: What does the work with two singers who are very much in the front this time bring in?
:Wumpscut:: I can reach a wider range when it comes to creating vocals and/or melodies.
Chain D.L.K.: How was working with them?
Chain D.L.K.: What language are you using on “Churist, Churist”
:Wumpscut:: Churist Churist is written/performed in an artificial language. The title already was created, and while I was collecting text ideas, I found out that this track should provide something we never had with :W: so far. The funny circumstance is that the Russian Recently Deceased have created a very fine remix version (and became the first winner of the contest on w.com)–and Churist Churist indeed sounds like Russian language although it is NOT, be sure. Another interesting aspect: Clara pronounces very differently, so their version is completely exotic (and very lovely).
Chain D.L.K.: …And “Obsession”?
:Wumpscut:: Catalan–a part of Spain.
Chain D.L.K.: How do you manage to re-invent yourself every time?
:Wumpscut:: No idea….
Chain D.L.K.: You once said that the better you feel, the more you get interested in the concept of the end, the Apocalypse. Are you a person of many opposites?
:Wumpscut:: Yes, but only sometimes.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there anything you feel you still need to accomplish with your art that you done so far?
:Wumpscut:: I don’t think about things like that.
Chain D.L.K.: Should we expect a new album from you next year, too?
:Wumpscut:: Who knows, who knows….
Thanks a lot for the interview,
Visit :Wumpscut: on the web at:
[interviewed by Jez Porat] [proofreading by Benjamin Pike]