designed by vocalist Julia

Chatting with Manuel of Kontrust

A few days before the release of their new album “madworld”, we took the chance to interview Kontrust’s percussionist Manuel Haglmüller. It turned out to be really funny and serious at the same time. Enjoy reading!

Hi there, thank you for taking the time for the interview with us. I’m Friend.X of

“Hi, Manuel here from Kontrust, thanks for having me.”

Kontrust is living rock and metal music

First of all, I must confess, I know only little to nothing about you. Lisa of Napalm Records made me aware of you. So can you please give a brief introduction?

“Sure, we’re about to drop our fifth studio album called “madworld” on Nov 3rd. Kontrust is living rock and metal music – more specifically crossover if you wanna somehow categorize it – since 2001. 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. On madworld we kinda reinvented ourselves while still staying KONTRUST at the same time, tapping into new dimensions and extending our horizon even further.”

Your new album “madworld” will be released   on November third, how long did you work on it?

“I started working on the first ideas, putting drafts together and creating layouts during Corona-times already. It must have been around two to two and a half years ago. The rest of us needed some ass-kicking for getting into the flow first, but in the end it turned out really well and we’re very satisfied with the result.”


we played the most important shows

Nine years are gone since the last album, members changed. Isn’t like a new band?

 “Well during a long lifetime of a band like ours, changes are unavoidable. You go through every kind of ups and downs and anything in between. The spirit within the band and the positive energy we also provide our fans with though are still the same.”

What have you done during these nine years?

“We mainly focused on playing live shows. Actually in this time period we played the most important shows and festivals in our career so far. So we’ve come around quite a lot. Now, with the new studio album, we’re stepping into a great new era and can’t wait for what waits ahead.”

Were there other, e. g. solo projects?

“A few of us have some smaller projects running on the side. I actually also started to write solo-material during corona-times in a completely different genre. Back then obviously there was enough time available for songwriting 🙂 but the focus we put our energy and effort into always is Kontrust.”

Let me know something about the new album, does it have a storyline?

completely self-produced

“Madworld is the first completely self-produced Kontrust-album. we processed all our impressions and experiences from the last decade in this crazy world we live in on it – and the title speaks for itself. The world went nuts and there’s many issues that concern everybody that need to be solved and dealt with. At the same time, it’s vital to stay positive and keep up the mood. don’t take everything too seriously, enjoy life and stay Rock’n’Roll.”

What is your favourite track of the album?

“I had a really tough time when we discussed, which tracks from the album are gonna be singles. In fact, I had seven favorites out of eleven songs 🙂 Additionally I’m kinda biased on this question because of how most of the tracks evolved in the songwriting process. As you still expect an answer I suppose, my top four from the album are ‘rock to outer space’, ‘blacksoul’, ‘the end’ and ‘i can’t control it’.”

A question about “Black Soul”, the synth intro, would you it describe as a scream or as a cry or something totally different?

“Funnily enough, it actually is a “scream”. I wouldn’t call it a scream, but it’s originally coming from Julia’s vocals. We sampled them and created the intro out of the recording.”


everyday-situations can be a useful source

Do you have any role models, no matter if modern or classic, even ancient?

“For me personally I wouldn’t refer to them as role models, but influences and sources of inspiration. they come from all kinds of styles and genres, sometimes not even related to music at all. For getting inspiration, any kind of arts or even everyday-situations can be a useful source.”

I thought about “Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung“ in this case and you being their metal sibling because their lyrics sometimes are as serious as yours once you look behind.

“That’s very true, most people don’t recognize this. It always pays off to take a look behind the curtain. Still they were more goofy than we are. EAV were huge in Austria when we were kids. Maybe they influenced us subconsciously, but I suppose it’s just a coincidence that we’re based in the same country. I haven’t listened to them in decades, but could be useful to find new inspiration for the next album :)”

What are your influences then?

“For the most part I’m listening to rock and metal stuff of course. I really admire bands like Korn, Foo Fighters, RATM, Soulfly, Skynd, In This Moment, Shaka Ponk, Enter Shikari, etc. etc. There’s too many to name them all. Especially during the writing process of madworld I also listened to a lot of artists from other genres though. Their influence is definitely noticeable on madworld, which makes this album so fresh and unique. A few examples would be Imagine Dragons, Stromae, Feder, Bonfire or Rag’n’Bone Man.”

(festival-)crowd-entertainer? hell yeah

Would you yourself describe the band as “serious”?

“In terms of? lyrics? depends. humor? no. message? yes, depends. experience? without a doubt. effort and attitude? definitely. aggressive-metal? no. (festival-)crowd-entertainer? hell yeah.”

Your tradition dresses, you know, Dirndl and Lederhosen, are they related to a certain region?

“Yes, they’re traditional clothes from Austria.”

Talking about “Trachten” anyway, have you ever been to the Oktoberfest in Munich? There indeed is a special dress code for those Dirndls and tourists mix it up.

“No, never been there.”

Being from Austria, do you have the feeling that it is more difficult for to be recognized than for example Swedish or British bands?

“Most likely. The scene is just bigger there. Touring internationally requires the same effort though, no matter where you come from. We’re in the lucky position to have that possibility for years already and are expanding further and further.”


being barefoot

Do you have a funny story to tell about tour life?

“Touring is always fun, but the following story is from my days before Kontrust. I visited Rock im Park in Germany, must have been somewhere between 1994 and 1997 I suppose. Two of my all-time fav bands (RATM and Korn) were about to play one after another. On the way from the campsite to the stadium, one of my shoes ripped and fell apart, so I decided to just throw them away. Now it sounds funny, but I’m telling you, experiencing a RATM show being barefoot within a crowd of 40-50k people going crazy and moshing around on your feet is not. But at least it’s memorable :)”

Btw., will there be a tour in 2024?

“Booking for the upcoming season is in progress at the moment. We’re looking forward to it already with the new release out there.”

A lot of bands suffer from high touring costs and more or less rush from gig to gig, one day – one show, next town, next show. How about you?

“All costs have risen strongly in the past few years. For the most part that’s not being compensated in artist fees, as organizers also struggle. In general, there has been a big shift within the live industry since Corona. Many companies, organizers, promoters and events just don’t exist any longer since then, or their budgets are even tighter. But in the end, it’s the stage, the fans, the music, the vibes and energy you get, why you keep on doing it.”

Do you at least take some time for a little sight-seeing?

“Anytime we get the chance to have a couple of hours off, we try to see and experience as much as possible. Unfortunately, mostly time just doesn’t allow us to do the tourist-stuff like on vacation. There’s a ton of work involved with every show, which goes unrecognized.”

Manuel live

I really enjoy the big stages on festivals

Do you have a favourite venue?

“I really enjoy the big stages on festivals. The most memorable one was the Przystanek Woodstock Festival in Poland in front of 300k people, which was the biggest show we ever played. It’s just insane to have such a huge crowd celebrating your music with you and going off like crazy. Hellfest in France, Zwarte Cross in the Netherlands, Resurrection Fest in Spain, Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, Download Festival in Paris and Madrid or Novarock in Austria were amazing to play as well. Every festival is unique. Playing indoor club shows always is a great experience too though on the other hand. There’s a more intimate and closer connection to the audience. One of my fav shows that comes to my mind was in the Effenaar in Eindhoven (NL), which afaik unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. But turning those clubs into a “witch’s cauldron” is pure energy – both ways, to the audience and back.”

High-five the others

Which venue would be a dream come true in this case?

“We get so many requests from overseas, as well from the States and Canada as from Mexico and South/ Latin America, to finally come there. That’s definitely a huge goal for me.”

What are your favourite dishes on tour?

“In  general fish, poultry and veggies/ salad. But I enjoy exploring regional specialties and I’m not excessively picky.”

And beverages?

“Water and red wine, preferably Barrique or Shiraz.”

At least, do you have a ritual before you enter the stage?

“Usually I’m warming up a little as the show ahead will be intensive and exhausting. High-five the others, then go out and enjoy.”

Thank you! I think, these are all my question for now, let’s hope for 2024 being successful.

“Thanks to you!”





Album review “madworld”

Please buy merch and physical music or downloads  from the bands official sources and don’t stream music for free because it steals your artists’ income

proof reading by DeepL

All pics taken from Kontrust’s Facebook site

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