ZT Interrogation: Ahab

This year’s Damnation Festival was a roaring success, one of the very few setbacks was the late withdrawal by the German doom deviants Ahab. Undeterred by missing the quartet in Manchester, Paul Castles belatedly speaks to drummer Cornelius Althammer for ZT.

ZT: Hi Cornelius , so we were set to speak at Damnation in Manchester … and then you pulled out!
Obviously this one didn’t work out, due to severe sickness. Which is a shame. We actually never cancelled a show ever before. And then, this autumn we even cancelled two shows in a row.

ZT: Have you got good memories from your appearance at Damnation a few years ago when it was at Leeds University?
Only the best! Crew, line-up, sound… we loved every bit of Damnation. We felt very honoured to be invited again. And then, of all shows, we had to cancel what would have been our only UK show in 2023.

ZT: How has this year gone for the band, a busy one?
Well, after last year was a very busy one for us, due to the recording of our new album The Coral Tombs, we somehow missed booking shows for 2023. So, all in all, there were not more than 10 shows this year. A bit unfortunate, but still all stages are occupied, due to the pandemic. So no chance for any short term bookings. 2024 looks way better, though…

ZT: Do you feel like you’re very much back in the swing of band life again now after Covid?
Absolutely! Especially I am currently on a five-week European tour as drummer for my dear friends in In Mourning from Sweden. So my musicianship came back at 100 % at once.

ZT: The Coral Tombs was released earlier in the year, how are you feeling about it now?
With a little distance to the album it is very likely that this one is my favorite one, so far. I just recently listened to it again and I am absolutely happy with the music and the production, as well, as the artwork.

ZT: This was your fifth album, did things come together as you expected?
I don’t expect things. I hope for things to happen or not to happen. I don’t take things for granted. I hope not to dissappoint our fans. I hope not to dissappoint ourselves, in the very first place. I hope to sell some LPs and CDs. So far, I couldn’t be happier, I am absolutely grateful.

ZT: What songs seem to have connected well live this year?
So far, we played ‘Mobilis in Mobili’, ‘Colossus of the Liquid Graves’ and ‘The Sea as a Desert’ and I am glad to say that these have all worked out very well as live songs. For next year I would really love to have ‘Mælstrom’ in our live set, cause I feel there are some very “headbangy” riffs in there.

ZT: It was a lengthy gap from the previous album, was that intentional or was the pandemic a factor here?
Sure, the pandemic added two more years to that gap. Even though a lot happens at home, Ahab don’t function when we don’t meet. So, yes, the pandemic was a factor . There was a whole year when we haven’t met, at all. But the long break rather happened due to family reasons. A lot of children were born within the last years.

Thanks for dropping in!

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