Interview with Black Corona. 'The supposedly initial idea was to found a rock band, but the roots of death metal were there.'


On May 22, the Austrians Black Corona released their debut album "The Mission" through the Art Gates Records label, an album loaded with melodeath, groove metal and metalcore. This past September we got in touch with their bassist who kindly told us about the album and the immediate future of the band.

Hello, thank you very much for your time. How are you, how is the pandemic affecting you?

Thanks for having us! I’m Stefan and I’m the bass player for Black Corona. Overall we are doing quite well, although the reduction in live concerts is taking its toll on us. Elsewhere we can count ourselves lucky, those of us who are working got to keep our jobs and we can still rehearse together.

"The Mission" is your debut album, have you been able to do a live album presentation?

Not as much as we would have licked to, but yes we were able to hold a small and private release party. Luckily Austria was able to quickly overcome the first onslaught of COVID-19 so we could celebrate a bit. Our original plan was to go on tour this fall, but with the current situation that is unfortunately only wishful thinking. Sadly Austria seems to be heading towards a second wave right now, so lets see what this fall and winter brings. We are still aiming to bring  “The Mission” at least all over Europe though!

Although you are a newly formed band, it is clear that you have been in this for years. How was Black Corona born, and when?

Black Corona was formed almost precisely 3 years ago in 2017 by Mario and Herbert, our guitar players. The supposedly initial idea was to found a rock band, but the death metal roots couldn’t be suppressed. In Spring of 2018 I joined and was met with a lot of awesome songs. Together with a session drummer we played a couple of concerts and even a small tour until Fabian joined us in the spring of 2019. With the finally completed line up we set out to finish our debut and,well then COVID-19 happened.

We can see different nuances and influences in "the mission". What have been and are your main influences?

We as a band all have different backgrounds, although we all come from metal bands. So these past experiences of course shine through, although Mario and Herbert as the main song writers bring in the most influence. Overall we don’t want to compare us to existing bands, so lets try it with genres instead. My personal take would be that we combine the melodies and melancholic vibe of melodic death metal, the groove and drive of groove metal with the harshness and the speed of classic death metal. Depending on the individual songs there might be some more modern touches of metalcore or even something else. To be honest sometimes we don’t even know ourselves.

Speaking a bit about the album, how was the writing and recording process? Where did you record it?

The Recording was a long and drawn out process. The drums were recorded back in the summer of 2018 with our session drummer, and until Fabian joined us almost a year later we
half-heartedly worked on our parts in the safety of our homes. With the finalized line up we 
found the motivation to finish first a demo and finally the full album. The guitars and bass tracks were recorded by us in our homes, the vocal tracks in our rehearsal room. The mix and master was done by Red Door studios in Germany. By then COVID-19 has infected Europe and we had to set out on a legal and an actual odyssey to finish our album in cooperation with Nicolas Keller.

The truth is that it has a very clean production and it sounds great. Do you usually use different equipment for direct than for studio?

Thanks, that means a lot for us! Most of us are constantly experimenting with our live set up and thus there are differences between live and studio. For “The Mission” though the guitars and bass were recorded via direct signal and then digitally amped. The drums and vocals were recorded the classic way, that means with microphone and as little computer input as possible.

What is the theme of the album and on the other hand, I love the cover album, what did you want to express in it?

I have to agree on the album cover, it turned out phenomenally! It was done by Emanuel Pichler from We shot a bunch of different ideas off to Emanuel and he made rough sketches. We really liked the idea of the spaceship setting out into the unknown, on a mission to explore. It fit really well with the logo design we already had (by Daniel Sluschny),and Emanuel took the idea and transformed it into the piece of art it is today. A favourite little detail is the shape of the spaceship: It resembles a crown, which corona is the latin word for! The overall thought is the one of departure; it is our debut album and that idea definitely reflects in the artwork.

For "The Mission" you have signed for Art Gates Records, how did you contact them?

We used the good old shotgun approach. Every label we knew of and every label we found via
google got either a digital or physical demo of our work. The work paid off and we got some 
replies and in the end we decided for Art Gates Records almost a year ago. The cooperation ever since has been splendid, we faced any problems and pandemics together and managed to find a good solution.

You come from Austria, how is the rock and metal scene in your country?

I think it is hard to tell. There are a lot of musicians out there, but metal music is not really well
received here. It is difficult to bring people to concerts or even find venues for concerts in the
first place. On the other hand there are some well known austrian bands like Belphegor and one of the biggest metal labels is Austrian (Napalm records).

Unfortunately in countries like Spain, the majority of bands that are dedicated to this cannot live exclusively from music, in your case can you live exclusively from music?

Not by far. For us this is still a beloved hobby, but at the end of the day we invest way more
money and time into it compared to any monetary value we can get out of it. The rush and joy
from playing live and to life in the metal society makes up for it so far though.

What is the future of the band right now, have you continued writing during the lockdown, have you been able to go back to rehearsals?

We had a really long period when we couldn’t even rehearse, that was hard. But we managed to work on existing material and even create a couple of new songs. They are still diamonds in the rough, but the next chapter after “the Mission” is already a work in progress!

Do you have any dates closed for next 2021?

Nothing we feel comfortable sharing as of now, we aren’t even sure about our planned dates in the coming weeks. Everything seems to change within a day, so the best we can do right now is stay put, try to plan and see what happens.

Have you ever been to Spain?

I personally only for a very short trip to Barcelona. Beautiful country and I would definitely like
to return, either to play concerts or just as a tourist!

For our part that's all, good luck with your album, feel free to say a few words to your fans and we hope to see you soon in Spain.

Thanks for having us! We are really looking forward to hit the road as soon as possible, and we would be thrilled to meet you all! In the meantime stay up to date via our website and stay safe!

Thank you!