mind.in.a.box interview:

mind.in.a.box - Interview for magazine 'Synthpop', Interviewer:'Oleg', about: 'Dreamweb', Date: 2005-04-18
Link: Synthpop
Hello Stefan! First I just want to say thank you for taking the time. In 2004 underground year your project was sort of bolt from the blue, stormed the scene without any warning. Could you please introduce the band and give our readers a brief history of Mind.In.A.Box and also give the secret how easily you succeeded to conquer us all?
Thanks a lot for the flowers! mind.in.a.box are msh and myself, although we see miab more as a concept and a science-fiction like world, and don’t want to emphasize ourselves. Anyway, msh is doing the lyrics, and I am doing the music and production. We have practically always working on projects together, and I think we were always trying to create our own worlds, whether with computer games or with music. I don’t know if there is a real secret to miab, but probably our music is a bit different from most of the other things in the scene. Also, a major part of miab is actually this whole science-fiction scenario that is a metaphor for our real world. The stories we are telling in our songs relate to this sci-fi world, and there is a background story that will connect the individual albums together.
With a minor exception, your debut album 'Lost Alone' met an amazingly red carpet reception globally. Did you dream of such a total commercial success and were you really prepared for that a listening side of a musical business reacted that way?
We have been working on “Lost Alone” for almost three years, and so in the end we were no longer able to really judge the result. It was also a transition period for us, from the area of computer games to stand-alone music, so in many ways it was a plunge into the unknown. We knew that the miab material is quite different and we were looking forward a lot to the reactions of listeners. But the universally positive reactions surpassed everything we had hoped for, and we are very happy about them. Still, we are doing music because we really enjoy doing it and because we want to follow our vision of mind.in.a.box, independent of what reviewers are saying.
Recently Dependent announced a follow-ups to 'Lost Alone', first of all, a new single 'Certainty', due out in May 2005. Considering all those utopian subjects, uncertainties and mysteries Mind.In.A.Box is officially bestead by, what 'Certainty' is supposed to message in your interpretation?
“Certainty” is actually more concerned with the lack of certainty, the fundamental uncertainty in our world, in our lives. It is just one facet of “Dreamweb”, which is a web of interconnected dreams and metaphors. But we like people to find their own interpretations and think about what a miab song means for them. We think that the track “Certainty” is a nice bridge between the material on “Lost Alone” and the songs on “Dreamweb”, and apart from remixes the single also contains two miab songs that were not released in these versions before, the original version of “Beyond the World”, and a basically instrumental track called “Unicorn”.
Nobody now would expect an unprofessional botch from you, but don’t you think it’s been not enough time to release the next album so quickly? Or maybe you are boiling up with new ideas that much that cannot wait anymore not to spoil the effectiveness of enthusiasm? Or probably it’s solely Dependent’s strategy?
There were many reasons that “Lost Alone” took such a long time to complete, there is a lot of setup you have to do for a debut album, but we are full of ideas and think if you continue working constantly it is possible to release high-quality material about once a year. In any case we would never release something if we think that it is not finished or the quality is not what we want to have. And in the case of “Dreamweb” the actual time that we have been working on it was longer than a year, because we started on it well before “Lost Alone” was released.
Ok, let’s just go waxing philosophic for a while and imagine the 'Dream Web' album. Is it possible for you to describe its musical matter in a verbal form? How much of obsession, mortality, intellectual and spiritual beliefs have you put into it? What’s the plot behind it and how do you feel you've progressed from 'Lost Alone' to 'Dream Web'?
The plot of “Dreamweb” continues where “Lost Alone” left off, and people who know the first album will probably realize this fact right away in the intro track “Tape Evidence” which sets up the connection to the first album. Again there are a lot of metaphors for our real world, for the behavior, thoughts, and actions of people, for things that matter to us. But there is also the sci-fi story that has begun on “Lost Alone”. The “Dreamweb” that gives the album its name is a second reality in the world of mind.in.a.box that will play an increasingly important role in the miab background story. Continuing in the vein of “Lost Alone”, “Dreamweb” also has a central emotional theme, which is the reality or “un-reality” of dreams, individual dreams that are connected with each other, but also the lost dreams that some people are still trying to achieve, and yet again others have already let go. In the plot of the album, listeners will get a bit into the head of the “agent” from the first album that you could hear on “Waiting” and “Forever Gone”.
Are you ready for the 'new-comer of the week (month, season), part 2' sequel issues in those always-singing-in-unison prophetic SIDE-LINE-ZILLO-ORKUS-DNA-SIX media? :>
Of course it will be interesting to see the media reactions to “Dreamweb”, but in the end we are not making music for the reviews, and we think judging music is very much a matter of personal tastes and preferences. We are doing this because we like it and are happy when we can reach the goals that we are setting for ourselves. And if we can achieve to reach people with our music and they also like what we do, we are all the more happy.
By the way, will you ever go touring, playing live gigs or something? Or perhaps you prefer to be an adherent studio adept?
Right now there are no plans for touring. We will see about the future .
Ok, hope to see you on stage one day. You are hailing from Vienna, where schwarze scene is very densely populated. Aside from good relationships with L'Ame Immortelle, what other bands you would like to have remix-supported or get other types of collaborations?
The scene in Vienna is not very big compared to Germany, for example, but there are a lot of very nice people doing a lot of great stuff here. For example, www.schwarzes-wien.at is putting a lot of effort into scene-related events. We also like what many of the other bands in this scene are doing, and collaborations are always a great thing. Regarding remixes, I usually prefer working on our own material simply because we have a lot of ideas that are just waiting to be put into music and we don’t want to lose the focus of mind.in.a.box. But since L’ame immortelle are also from here, doing a remix for them was a quite natural idea.
Before Mind.In.A.Box era you were enormously renowned for your work on audio accompaniment for Parsec (http://www.parsec.org). Are you still in that business? And is it possible to get your first ever solo project album 'Cosmotron' anywhere?
Thanks! :) Right now there are no plans for doing computer game soundtracks, but it would be a nice idea to rework older material sometime. In general, however, game music has to go along with the game, and so it is usually not possible to put a larger meaning into it. If you have a particular vision for music in itself, a stand-alone album is probably the best way to go. “Cosmotron” in its current form is not available currently, maybe I will have the time to do something with it in the future.
Once one man said about you something like 'Androids started to feel'. Did you naturally break 3 laws safety regulation of synth-driven artificial robotized music production?
I think all the androids working behind the scenes doing the pop music that dominate regular charts should be freed so they can do the music they really want to do! :) It would make the androids more happy, and I am sure it also would make a lot of real people very happy too ;) No, seriously, we are just trying to put our ideas into music, we don’t know whether what we are doing is “new” in any sense, but we also think that it is probably more important to have a vision and to like what you do and really make the effort to make it as good as possible.
Frankly speaking, do you feel you’re a genius?
No ;) I think things like these are reserved for very few achievements, and they have to be very “basic” in nature. I am not really into classical music, but it is probably the only genre of music where one could say that real “genius” was at work.
I think that's all about truth! Dankschoen for the interview. Anything you would like to say in closing?
Let go, and enter the Dreamweb!