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A Fistful Of Questions With Christian Engelmann Of Lightless

Posted on the 28 November 2022 by Ripplemusic
A Fistful Of Questions With Christian Engelmann Of Lightless Bassist.Cellist.Vocalist.Doctor!?This edition of Fistful of Questions goes to the founder and frontman of doom sludge three piece Lightless.

Christian Engelmann

Dr. Doom

What bands are you actively involved with?

Lightless (sludge/doom/post), Frowning (funeral doom - session guitar in this solo project of another one), Silent Sky (melodic doom - ex-Animus Delet, which is my own solo project ), Hatemurder (oldschool death - own studio project), Flagellum (black metal/crust - own studio project)

What was the first instrument that you played?


Tell me about one of your first musical memories?

Especially my father (who died 10 years ago) was always into listening a lot of music mainly from the U.S. (e.g., Pink Floyd, Genesis, Sultans of Swing). The first memories where I intentionally listened to music are sitting in our old car next to him and having the song "Summer of 69" on tape... still a wonderful song and great memory.

What was the name of the first band you were in?

"V.E.B. Kanalguss" - this was a school band which I founded as bass player once I started that instrument.

Tell me about the genesis of Lightless.

A Fistful Of Questions With Christian Engelmann Of Lightless

Throughout the first Covid-19 waves in 2020, I had some time I spent on diving into a music genre I had not been into so far: filthy sludge/doom and stoner rock/metal. I was very much overwhelmed by the sheer amount of bands existing, and even more cached by the sound of both bass and guitar (big amps, even bigger cabinets, but especially that fuzz sound really digged me). During this time, I had watched an interview with AHAB (a band which I have worshiped since many years before), and one of the band members (was it the guitar player?) answered a question going like "what's the music which primarily influences you and which one should check out?". He mentioned the sludge/doom band Fórn from the U.S. I checked them out and was entirely blown away by their spacious, cavernous, melancholic and authentic sound. Their EP "Weltschmerz" is still on the list of my absolute favorite albums. I wondered where this kind of sound came from, and so I did some reviews on technical equipment. I played around with some amps and pedals at home, did some first recordings. Then, having a bit of time again in the beginning of 2021, I spent one week doing songwriting, and during this period a lot of raw material for Lightless reached life. Those demos are still a very strong orientation for us right now, and from time to time we use those demos as basis for writing new songs altogether during jams. In Spring 2021 a friend of mine was asking about this raw material, and he was amazed once he took a listen to them. Asking me for potentially making an actual band (with regular rehearsals, shows, etc.), he joined Lightless as second guitar player. In May the same year, I asked Mark (our drummer) if he wanted to join us - and he thankfully did. For a very short time we had a male friend playing bass, but he soon figured out lack of time for a band. Instead - and I am (and we are) still extremely grateful for this move - he brought Nadine to one of our rehearsals in late September; and she stayed permanently. During the first couple of months we tried to orientate ourselves and intended to find our basic sound. In February 2022, however, our second guitar player left for personal reasons, so we had to keep on with three members in total. Being unclear about the situation whether we need a second guitar or not, we received a request by some friends playing together in a heavy stoner band (Stunner - check them out :)) for being support in a show in April. A bit shocked in terms of "hey, we don't have any fixed songs yet", we decided to take this opportunity and wrote five songs within one month. In between, we could improve our playing skills and adjusted ourselves as a well-functioning team. From this time on, a lot of material (both unfinished parts and finalized new songs) have been written throughout cozy jams, where each of us is able to flexibly bring in ideas and influences. This would not be possible without the fact that we record all of our jams and rehearsals - a game changer! We played a couple of very decent shows in eastern Germany, with very nice feedback and criticism, getting to know awesome people, bands and clubs. Some people were continuously asking about merch and published song material, so we more or less spontaneously decided to record four of the existing songs for an EP. This was done in quick-and-dirty mode on two days with two songs per day recorded simultaneously, as we like our music to be a compromise between authenticity and fragility (so neither too rough nor too accurately played). I personally mixed and mastered the tracks one afternoon, and the artwork was done in an hour or so. Despite the low-budget DIY production, a lot of people found interest in the stuff we make. Especially during our highlight so far - to be support for SUMA in October - merch and CDs were grabbed quite rapidly. For the next year, we have consistent plans to carry our studio recordings for our first long player. For this, we are currently searching for review/interview opportunities. Furthermore, as our dream would be a release on vinyl, we intend to reach out for an independent label.

What inspired the name Lightless?

The name is aligned with the content-wise background of our band. The central topic is the destruction of the earth by us humans. Given omnipresent exploitation, pollution, climate change impacts, warfare, ecological and societal crises all around the planet, the time would be more than right to do something about the latter factors. Whilst proper solutions are at hand (given by research and technology), most people rather concentrate on their own egoism and bullshit lifestyle, and authorities as well as politics still remain enriching themselves. Ultimately, this may lead into chaos and human self-destruction. The only hope is that nature will regain its preeminence among humans.

How long did it take you to write and record Descent to Insignificance?

Parts are already answered above. Writing: it took us approximately one to two months of non-continuous work during jam sessions. Recording and production of the EP was done in literally three days.

If you could insert yourself into any one band what band would it be and why?

Pallbearer or Fórn. Both are of huge impact for my personal inspiration; the quality of their music - though the status of each band is quite differing - is just insanely good. Despite their existence for years, those guys never lost their authenticity.

Have you ever heard a song and immediately wished you had written it?If so... What was the song and artist?

Fórn - "Dolor" (Parts I and II)

Do you have any non-metal musical inspirations?

Classical music (mainly cello sonatas, as I play double bass and cello myself); post rock

What's a non-metal song that you'd like to do a cover of?

A Fistful Of Questions With Christian Engelmann Of Lightless

Jakob - "Blind them with science"

What band have you played with that has really impressed you with their live show?

Stunner (a local heavy stoner band, where three friends of us are involved)

Do you have a favorite venue to play at?

Prophecy Fest (this venue is placed in a huge cave!)

Do you have a pre-show ritual?

We typically have one beer each and tell the sound/light engineer: "please, turn the lights off" (we prefer to play in almost dark conditions, with two of our 1980s living room lights turned on).

What's the weirdest experience you've had at a live show?

At our first show in April this year, we had a preparation time of around four weeks (songwriting, see further above). So we brought four songs to the show (one of them in early stage even, and all without lyrics so I had to improvise entirely) and did not expect any interaction with the audience at all... however, the audience was truly mad asking us for a bonus track - and we didn't have one. After people begging to continue playing, we made a 20-minute jam of it.

The year is 2000.Where are you at and what are you listening to?

Woa, as I was 15 back then, I was not yet interested in girls or had any solid music taste... If I remember correctly, I must have been into Hip Hop and Techno at this age. A horrible memory. Fortunately, I suppressed the time.

What advice would you give young musicians that are just starting out in the music business?

Surround yourselves with good friends and carefully select people with whom you actively work on your own music. Nothing is more disappointing than people who only want to get some personal benefit amongst others, and people judging on the performance and private background of a person. In a band, all that matters is that everyone is a good team player trusting and respecting each other's moves, being supportive and able to step either forwards (means to back someone up) or backwards (means to respect periods with less creativity whatsoever) at any time. Problems have to be addressed in person, and not via social media, whatsapp, and whatsoever. I personally lost too many musicians because of such issues.

What is an absolute band killer?

That one person imagines to be better or superior among other band members by any means.

Have you ever recorded a song that you really didn't like, but somebody else in the band really did?

A Fistful Of Questions With Christian Engelmann Of Lightless

Not with Lightless. But with a band I used to play (they still exist without me), we covered some mainstream grunge songs... a horrific experience.

If you were to start your own music festival what would be the name of that festival and who would be the three headlining bands?

It would definitively be a doom metal festival, inviting no main acts at all but underground bands (not only local). The name of such a festival could go somewhere in the direction of "Underground Sludge" (with several meanings). So not the typical mindset of doom/stoner with their "bongs, weed" and stuff like these.

What's the longest time you've gone without bathing?

What does this question have to do with Lightless? :) Yeah, I guess it must have been around five days while being on a road trip with my motorcycle.

What's one thing that most people don't know about you?

Despite the fact being on stage and meeting a lot of bands and metal heads, in private I am a very shy and introverted person. I think Sheldon of "Big Bang Theory" would be a good comparison.

Is the Fistful of DOOM show in the top 10 of your favorite music podcasts?

I am not too much into podcasts in general, but yes: definitively!

Do unicorns sleep standing up?

I should soon do a check-up on my level of craft beer consumption...

You're driving cross-country and you can only listen to one album the whole time.What album will it be?

Jakob - "Solace"

You are writing a book about your life thus far.What is the title of that book?

"Reaching milestones in life - or ways how to find alternative goals"

According to Bandcamp you are a doctor.May I ask what you are a doctor of?

A Fistful Of Questions With Christian Engelmann Of Lightless

I am doctor rerum naturalium, so my business as a post-doc is doing fundamental and applied research with international cooperation partners within the field of groundwater contamination and geothermal energy.

What is your favorite song by Adele?

Nothing against Adele, but I personally don't like such kind of music.

Rammstein or Kreator (if you had to choose)?


Doobies or Boobies (if you had to pick one)?

Boobies for sure.

Waffles or Pancakes (if you had to pick one)?


Star Wars or Star Trek (if you had to choose)?

Don't like both. What about Stargate (where the actor of MacGyver used to play)?

Favorite band t-shirt you own?


An intermediate German may perhaps suggest "Döner" (which is a kebab type), but no: out of so many good food varieties, it is definitively beef meat, green pepper, potato croquettes and salad.

B.J. Farmer - "The long dark" (which was the basis for a very decent yet relatively unknown video game)

A Fistful Of Questions With Christian Engelmann Of Lightless


Fórn - "Weltschmerz"

"The last of us"

Favorite Professional Wrestler?

I am not into wrestling at all, so I can't say. :)

Huge thanks to Dr. Chris for taking the time to answer these questions.I appreciate it.You all know that I have impeccable music taste, so please, please, please follow the link below and check out the debut ep from Lightless.You will not be disappointed.

~El Pedo Caliente (aka Uncle Jameson from the Fistful of DOOM show)


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