"Handsome longhaired men in Black Bavarian lederhosen and a wild Hungarian chick in a top hat and goggles"...
When you meet them, you KNOW you have met them. Unruly, fun, unpredictable, and WILDLY TALENTED are first five adjectives that come to mind. I got to meet them for the first time in person at NAMM 2014. I was in AWE! The more research I did on them the more fascinated I became.
Kranken Welpen is the creation of the German and Hungarian married team of Professor Kohl Slaughter (bass, studio guitars and backing vocals) and his wife, Karpathia "Chaos" (lead vocals, guitar, flute and various effects), the daughter of a famous heavyweight wrestler. Together they write all the music that is Kranken Welpen's unique style of heavy metal polka, and melodic heavy metal.
Influenced by their ethnic roots, they occasionally feature accordions, which they find perfectly blends with distorted power chords. And though they may have a sense of humor demonstrated by their natural sense of theatrics, make no mistake: There is only one Kranken Welpen! (As it is debatable if the world could handle another...) The music is said to be very intelligently written and performed, they are known for highly comedic lyrics and content, ranging from originals about drunken sled dogs, the cat virus Toxoplasmosis, and humorous confrontations with traffic police, to polka metal renditions of Spike Jones' Der Fuehrer's Face, and their new single "Hungarian Rants", a polka metal rendition of the Brahms' classic Hungarian Dance no 5, complete with overboard lyrics about fighting against gypsies. The band also performs live polka metal versions of Dr. Demento songs such as The Punk Polka, and Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus, complete in German.
Kranken Welpen delights in featuring shredding guitar virtuosos and uses 3 guitarists onstage, so instruments can be switched while still keeping the full, heavy sound. Their single "Hungarian Rants" features the only 3 time world champion accordionist, Cory Pesaturo.
Chaos' unique vocals have won Rockwell UnScene magazine's female metal singer of 2013 recognition, and admiration and praise from many female metal singers, including Leather Leone.
Kranken Welpen's full CD, Vengeance Und Vanity has had much praise and has tracks played on both online and terrestrial radio stations. The band is looking forward to connecting with a major label, and anxiously awaits recording a follow up to Vengeance Und Vanity, most songs of which are already written and waiting the funding to be produced.
Lisa - KK, Who inspired you to become a performer?
KK - I would say Ozzy and Mike Patton, in the music world. I was inspired to be a performer because my father was, and I never thought I was supposed to be anything else. I had a top hat at the age of 2, and my father would laugh if I acted like Charlie Chaplin and did a vaudevillian exit from a room with it. I was rewarded for being able to learn notes by ear quickly on the accordion, and basically I was comic relief in my house, unfortunately I was also comic relief in school, where I was not so greatly rewarded for my efforts. I did however do well in band in school, serving over 8 years of my time there in both orchestra and 6 years in marching band. So I was a band geek, playing French horn and flute. I think that's why I don't have a diva attitude and get along with the guys as one of the guys. No one who played in marching band for years can be a diva. Also, I started as a guitarist and never thought I'd be a singer. But I love being the frontman, I enjoy the fuck out of entertaining.
Lisa - Who has your voice been compared to?
KK - This one confuses me, sometimes people will throw out the weirdest things that make no sense. Just because a singer is female, it’s like people having to make a comparison to another female singer, and I really don't think I sound like anyone else. Did Doro get told "oh you sound like Stevie Nicks"? Maybe, but that would be stupid. She sounds like Doro. And I used Doro as an example because I actually really like her, and I really actually hate most female rock singers. I just always have. I've had people say I reminded them of Nina Hagen, which is funny, she was entertaining. I've also heard me compared to Siouxsie and the Banshees, which I think is a lame comparison and a real stretch of just trying to find any female singer to compare to. Most recently someone was all in my face saying I sounded like the singer for Lizzy Borden, which is funny because apparently that's a guy singing. I haven't heard them, so now I'll have to check that out.
Lisa- How would you describe your music? How is it unique?
KK - Its polka metal that really says it all. Even the songs that are not polka-ed out are pretty different, I guess. It's not something we deliberately try to do, it just is. Polka metal happens.
Lisa - What is it like holding together such a large band?
Lisa - What advice would you give to a musician coming to LA to live their dreams?
KK - Don't. Stay where you are, or go to Europe. Just say no. LA sucks donkey balls.
Lisa - How did you choose your band members? any new editions?
KK - We searched the world, far and wide, turned over every stone, and found these treasures. Our newest edition is our drummer, Artimus Von K. We hope this doesn't end in Spinal Tap fashion.
Lisa - What do you hope to inspire within a person with your music?
KK – Terror, Fear, No, wait, happiness, joy, No, that's not it. Perhaps to make them think, and wonder what the heck I'm singing about. That requires brain cell activity, and that's a good thing. In all seriousness, we hope to raise the bar, inspire more musicians to actually try, to care about being skilled, and to create more music that requires actual talent and the use of real instruments. I also want to inspire people to get off their asses and have fun listening to metal again.
Lisa - What is your most favorite song Kranken Welpen has ever recorded?
KK - Hungarian Rants, hands freakin' down! I love everything about the piece, the composition, the content, the accordion Cory Pesaturo put down on that track, and the insane lead guitar work Deakon came up with. Everything about that song I love to fucking death.
Lisa - Who are your favorite artists? How do they inspire you?
KK - There are so many, really. I love Gogol Bordello, because they spray wine on their crowd while singing "start turning purple", and I can appreciate that. I love the band Ween, because they created something in which there are no boundaries, they do whatever they please, and you'll accept it. And then going back in time, I love many of the classical composers, especially Mozart, because gifted, drunk, and crazy are qualities dear to my heart.
Lisa - How does your faith play a part in your music?
KK - That's a good question. And see, I at first typed that and said "that's a god question", Freudian slip? ... maybe. I am a devout Christian. I however don't make excuses about how it's OK if I do something that I shouldn't, like cussing. This is not a "Christian" band, and I don't want it to be, because that would put me in a cage I can't handle being in, and I don't want only Christian listeners. I wasn't raised Christian, and I would have never listened to Christian metal, I thought it was stupid. Its fine if someone wants to do that, and hey, they can have it, I'm not competing with that. My writing style and way of putting things is far too sarcastic, and there's no way I can write differently without it being so intentional that it's not from my core. But I will say this, when I use an F bomb, it's never about sex, our music is not sexual, except for some twisted innuendoes in "Yellow Cake" which is actually about uranium. We don't glorify sex and drugs. Even "Drunken Sled Dog" is showing what a pain in the ass a bad drunk dog is.
Also, I never wear anything that's going to show cleavage or be trashy. I think my attire, as odd as it is, always has me completely covered. I feel as a female entertainer, the lowest form of getting attention is exposing yourself. I have no respect for anyone who plays that game. I'm entertaining as a frontman, that's all. My husband (Professor Slaughter of Kranken Welpen) is also a very devout Christian and would not approve of his wife looking trashy. We're very anti porn, anti-lust, and when people say "sex sells", it truly disgusts me. I also kind of like pushing limits with silly things like saying the F word in a song and hearing back how that's too edgy for some people or for radio. OK, I can accept that, but I'd really like to point out how ridiculous it is then to be OK with a song that happily pulls off glorifying adultery or other horrible things, but because it has a good beat and no actual curse words, that's somehow acceptable. No, that's bullshit. I'd rather be saying "fucking fuck fuckety fuck crap" as an expletive than sweetly talk about murdering my sex partner or getting drunk and waking up with a stranger. Think, people. Evil things will come in a nice package and be marketed to the general public. Ozzy, the "prince of darkness" will tell you in his lyrics to learn how to love and forget how to hate, while country music is over there telling you how to load a gun and kill your ex. People need to pay attention.
Lisa - As a band, what is your favorite memory?
KK - I'd say staying in a chalet in Big Bear after playing Oktoberfest and getting drunk and talking all night about our most drunk experiences…. Quality time, man. And that was after being shut down at Oktoberfest because the crowd got out of hand and started a mosh pit, which had never been seen in the event's 43 years. The sound guy radioed security and yelled "its happening!” That was fucking hilarious.
Lisa - How do you get the ideas for your lyrics and songs?
KK - How? Well, my mind starts to drift, and all these weird pictures and scenes start forming, and I write them down. Then I reward myself by playing with toys.
Lisa - Who in the industry haven't you met yet that you would just LOVE to? (why)
KK- I'd say Ozzy. I mean, fuck, it's Ozzy. I don't think you can go any higher than that. You hit the ceiling with that. He's Ozzy. I bet my being an Ozzy fan really shows. Maybe I'll change my answer then to Engelbert Humperdinck.
Check out Kranken Welpen on these links: