Arminius: Furor Teutonicus was released late last year and finds the band as strong as ever. This is a concept album based on the German leader Arminius, who led the German tribes in destroying three Roman legions at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE. My favorite track on the album is 'Vae Victis' (Latin: 'Woe to the Conquered'), which you'll find below along with the official video for 'Ala Germanica.' Basing an album on history or literature is nothing new for Rebellion, of course, and I would refer you to the last three albums based on the history of the Vikings or their first album, A Tragedy in Steel: Shakespeare's Macbeth if you're interested in exploring their previous work.
In this interview, Tomi explains the concept behind Arminius, the challenge of exploring a period of history and a character used in German nationalism, and moving on with the band after Uwe decided to leave. Here are a few highlights from the interview:
On Arminius and German nationalism: When I thought about doing Arminius, the first thing was 'No, you can't do that.' Because Hitler did all that, and it started in the time of Bismarck, so it was when the German Reich was founded, and the German people started to dig out national pride, and we all know where that led to...So I thought, 'I don't want to leave all this to the Nazis, to the right-wing fascists. I think it doesn't belong to them.' So if I write about it, I sort of take it a bit away from them, claim my part in it or my ownership of it. This was also a motivation.
On Uwe's departure and the value of low expectations: This is the reason why Uwe left, because Uwe wanted to take the band higher than Grave Digger, and that didn't work. To me, it's a pastime. If I looked upon it as more, I would be disappointed. So, since I did not succeed to bringing the band to total, professional, high #1 level, I took it where I could. And, I'll see what the future brings. If the future brings more success, that's fine for me. If it doesn't, I'll be content and happy with what I have, because it's still more than most other bands have. Much of how you evaluate things depends on your expectations, and I'm more for low expectations because I can be positively surprised.
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