Eskimo Callboy make a career out of defying all description. Probably the most accurate sketch would be to say that EC are the German unicorn of the metalcore world, and that comes with a warning attached: never let them around your girl or your guinea pig. Not following? How about NSYNC electronicore soundbites, animal suits, and foreskin ratios. Still no? Read the interview below with Kevin Ratajczak (vocals) and maybe become a little bit less (or more) confused about what makes Eskimo Callboy so ridiculously talented as well as just plain ridiculous, and make sure to check out their new record Crystals.
HXC: The jury seems to be out on how the hell to read you guys. Some people take your music seriously and others see it as a parody of the electronicore genre. Which is it?
Kevin Ratajczak: I guess it’s a bit of both. When we started EC in 2010 a lot of these electronicore bands were out there doing their thing. And in fact, it was very impressive for us since we didn’t want to go on doing the same ordinary metal music we did before EC. But we also didn’t want to become just a copy of these bands either. So we decided to do our own thing: pop choruses, hard breakdowns and lot of humor. And of course, humor includes making fun of ourselves, too. We’re not obsessively trying to be cool. We wanna have fun. And share it with the people on our shows. But that doesn’t mean that we’re just clowns on stage that are not worth being taken seriously. As always, it depends on the situation.
How did the idea of working NSYNC’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart” into your new album, Crystals, come about?
We’ve always been fans of boy group music, and although we did not intend to be, we now see ourselves as something like a boy group of the metal genre. Just imagine one of these party nights, it’s 4am already, everybody is fuckfaced and about to leave… and then the DJ smashes one of these ’90s boy group hits! So we had this song idea; it was just an instrumental, and we actually didn’t have a single idea when it came to the chorus. Everything was fine, only that damn chorus was missing. And then one of us spontaneously sang “Tearin’ Up My Heart“ over our instrumental. It was perfect!! The rest was bureau guys shit. In the end, we were allowed to use that song on the album! Perfect!
What do you listen to in your spare time?
It depends. When you’re really into music, and I mean really into music, not the typical “nah-I-listen-to-whatever-the-radio-plays” kinda guy, music is always connected to feelings… and so it depends on what mood we’re in. Sometimes, when we have sword fights in the green room we like In Flames, or similar metal stuff, or when [we] need to butcher some of our many kittens we usually bring on tour for food reasons, we loooove Thy Art Is Murder. Perfect for that. But we also like pop music or rap like Wiz Khalifa or Childish Gambino. Our taste in music is the reason why we have so many different influences in our own music.
I’ve got to ask—what’s with the animal suits?
You know, ever since we made music, it has been annoying to us that metal music was always connected to that bad boy image. Everyone seems grumpy, wearing black clothes…we wanted to change that a bit for us. We like hard rock music, but we also like wearing funny things on stage. When we started EC in 2010 we all wore ridiculous stage outfits to break down some borders… there’s no need to be cool when the band already looks like shit.
You’re pretty decked out in all of your music videos. What’s your favorite thing to wear?
I dont think you believe me if I’d say, “It has to be comfortable.” We always wanna look a bit special…the people come out for a show, not only for the music. They expect a complete package and that includes a good light show, a cool stage and some weird outfits. And for every new music video we wanna have some new outfits, too. What we wear on stage or in music videos is something like the artist version of what we would wear in our everyday life.
The music video for “Crystals” has some intense imagery. What was the idea behind it?
“Crystals” deals with an imaginary relationship of a person with a drug. This person is kind of a captive of this drug; it wouldn’t let that person go…the end is sad but like in real life, very common. After all our party videos we finally wanted to have a more serious video. We did all of that production on our own from the very beginning. We are very satisfied with the results!
If you had to pick one song off the new record to party to all night long, what would it be?
Its almost summer…we wanna hang out on the festival sites with our friends and families…drink[ing] beer, gettin’ naked. “My Own Summer” is a perfect song for that!
Do you see yourselves touring in the US anytime soon?
Yes, definitely. We are working on coming back to the US. We had one of our best tours over there! But it’s always hard for European bands like us to compete on the US market. So please US promoters…take us!! We not only know how to party, we also can even out the foreskin ratio on US stages.
Please explain the iconic EC song and video for “Muffin Purper-Gurk” to me.
There once was a girl who was crazy enough to take Sushi as her bf. And they had a guinea pig together. When they broke up Sushi left his guinea pig at that crazy witch’s place. It was never seen again. We fantasized about what could have happened to that little creature. In “Muffin Purpergurk” we work that topic up…I personally think the witch ate it.