A forced break from touring due to corona and one band member's particular penchant for documentaries led the instrumental proggers from Münster, Germany, LONG DISTANCE CALLING to follow a creative impulse and start working on a new album. Drummer Janosch Rathmer and bassist Jan Hoffmann explained in an interview with eclipsed how their eighth studio work "Eraser" subsequently became a real affair of the heart with an unusual concept, which was developed in close cooperation with Greenpeace
The release of an album is followed by a tour - this cherished rhythm was also abruptly interrupted for Long Distance Calling by Covid-19: "After gigs were canceled and postponed again and again, it was clear that touring was no longer possible for the time being and we had to get creative elsewhere," Jan Hoffmann recalls. Just at that time, there were talks between the band and Greenpeace regarding a cooperation. Coincidence in the form of a television documentary about the Greenland shark then helped the project get off the ground. Drummer Janosch Rathmer, who has a penchant for documentaries, was fascinated by the report about the huge animals, an ancient species that is not recorded in numbers but of which there are probably relatively few specimens: "The idea came to me to write an album with songs about various highly endangered species." His bandmates were immediately enthusiastic about the idea.
Music about endangered species
"The list of animals was already there before we started working on the individual songs," says bassist Jan Hoffmann: "A gorilla, a sloth, a bee, a shark - it was clear to us that they each had to sound completely different. We took a close look at each animal - what are its special characteristics, how and where does it move - and let ourselves be inspired by that," he explains the approach, citing the track "Kamilah," which is dedicated to the Western gorilla, as an example: "A gorilla is a pretty complex and massive animal, so the song should sound like one. At the same time, it is also a highly evolved mammal. Accordingly, the beginning of the track is a bit more delicate, and then at some point it becomes very massive. Then in that song, the hardest riff we've ever had ended up."
The pieces dedicated to a total of seven animal species - the four mentioned above were joined by rhinoceros, tiger and albatross - are framed by the opener "Death Box" and the title track that closes the album. For the latter, there is a haunting video on YouTube with footage from Greenpeace that illustrates the inglorious role of homo sapiens as destroyers of even their own livelihoods