mind.in.a.box interview:

mind.in.a.box - Interview for magazine 'Rock Oracle 01/2010', Interviewer:'Natalia Nortje', about: 'R.E.T.R.O', Date: 2010-02-25
Link: Rock Oracle 01/2010
Rock Oracle: Dependent, respected among fans of high quality electronic music label, has opened again and already made new releases. Soon you'll release there your new album R.E.T.R.O. Is it a pleasure coincidence or you've been waiting for it and haven't released R.E.T.R.O on other labels? Did you get offers from any other label?
Stev: Iíve started working on R.E.T.R.O after Crossroads about two years ago. It all happened when Iíve listened to some old Commodore 64 Sid tunes from the past and it touches me really deep. I loved this strong melodies and how the people could make this music with only three voices. It was my childhood and I grow up with this tunes. If we had some covered C64 tracks ready we wanted to release a whole album but under another name. Dependent records closed the doors but I had plenty of work to do so I was not in hurry to change to another label and of courseÖI hate paperwork. Weíve started the project mind.in.a.box goes live and I worked with an old schoolfriend on a sideproject called Loomec and of course I worked on another story-telling mind.in.a.box album. Iíve done two and a half album in three years till Crossroads and of course the mind.in.a.box goes live project which took most of my time with all the visual stuff and the rehearsals. Then we were badly off to change to another label but dependent records opened their doors again and we decided to stay with them. Yes we also got some offers from other labels.
Rock Oracle: Tell us about new album. What should the listener expect, special surprises, what details would you suggest fans to pay more attention? Were there any differencies in work between R.E.T.R.O and other 'normal' albums?
Stev: R.E.T.R.O is completely different and I would it call a ďspecial mind.in.a.box albumĒ. It doesnít continue our mind.in.a.box story because it has itís own story from the past. I think our CD Cover gives you a vision how R.E.T.R.O will sound. I wanted to bring back the old C64 tunes in a new electronic futuristic form. Sometimes I had the feeling that todayís artists struggle a little bit with melodies and they are very spare with setting notes. It would be nice if R.E.T.R.O inspires the music scene a little bit with this different music approach from the past. For me electronic music means also that you can do everything. You have the total control over it. If you want to make a piano or an orchestra song. Letís do it. This old Commodore Tracks had their hardware restrictions but today everything is possible. I wanted to bring this old music alive with our possibilities we have today because this tunes were simply amazing. Yes the work on R.E.T.R.O was very different because it has a completely different mood, except maybe one or two songs which could have been also on a ďnormal mind.in.a.box albumĒ. I think for our hardcore mind.in.a.box fans R.E.T.R.O could be really hard but I knew that before. Anyway, i must do this Album and Iím happy that we could release it under mind.in.a.box.
C64 forever!
Rock Oracle: As it was already said R.E.T.R.O is created under your impressions and remembers of your favourite past years computer games. Why exactly these themes became the source of inspiration, not any music, movie, book or event as usually? What is the conception of the album?
Stev: I donít know exactly. I have to do it. It sounds strange but I was sitting in my studio and suddenly I had the feeling to cover the old track ďLast Ninja 3Ē by Reyn Ouwehand. It was one of my all time Favorites from this time and i know i could do it now. It was something like coming to terms with my past and I wanted to close this chapter for me. Like an opened book that I have to close.
Markus: I think we were influenced a lot by this early electronic music, and we are still very fond of it, even today. These tunes often had very strong melodies, something which is lacking in a lot of commercially successful music of today.
Rock Oracle: It's usually can be read in different reviews that people 'go' in far away worlds without any dopes while listening to your music. Many electronic musicians don't deny taking dopes. Have you ever tried something like this?
Stev: Thatís really cool that people said that and it looks like that our story in mind.in.a.box, that the music is the key to arrive the dreamweb, becomes reality. Thatís the best compliment I can imagine. No never, I donít smoke and drink. Ok sometimes I mix a ďWhite RussianĒ at home but thatís it.
Rock Oracle: You ask people to leave their 'boxes' with your music. Is the feedback with fans important to you? What is the most remarkable question you were asked?
Stev: Above all iím doing music because i like it. I donít want to say that i canít live without themÖI donít know. Itís more like a path beside me and I have the possibility to do it. Itís a great pleasure for us when our music can help the people going out of their box. For me itís definitely that. We got a lot of fan emails till our first Album Lost Alone. It gives us the energy we need. Since I made the experience to stay on the stage it is even more intensive. Itís unbelievable for me and Iím really thankful to have so many beautiful fans and I feel, in a good way, a little bit of bondage to them to continue with mind.in.a.box. We are getting not many questions from the fans. Mostly theyíre telling us why and how much our music is touching them. In the last time a lot of people are asking us why the song ďRememberĒ isnít on R.E.T.R.O. The answer is that this song will be released on our next ďnormal story-telling albumĒ.
Markus: The positive feedback is very encouraging, and it is wonderful to see that a lot of people can relate to our themes and lyrics.
Rock Oracle: Nowadays you pay a lot of time to remexies, but all projects you are working with aren't popular. Why don't you cooperate with famous projects? Or it's just the training before something serious? aren't you planning to release the album with remixes to your songs?
Stev: In general iím not a big fan of remixes. Iím a fan of good remixes but I think there arenít a lot out there. If you do a remix for something other you have no demand on it. Donít get me wrong itís correct but thatís one big reason why I spend my time rather doing my own music than for a remix. Every rule has an exception so sometimes when a song touches me really like for example ďTransformationĒ from @vx I offer my help to them. Thatís just for fun. But as I told before, in general i want to make my own stuff.
Rock Oracle: You started to perform live in 2009. Many people would like to see you live. Was it difficult to decide and arrange everything? How do you like live shows? What about touring and festival gigs? What is waiting the audience during your tour, what new or special is planning?
Stev: I like live shows a lot but it wasnít possible for me doing this for a long time. You know Iím a mind in a box too. Itís not only a name. But then the decision was felt on the releaseparty of Crossroads as my friends Roman and Gerhard said to me ď Letís get on stageĒ. And I saw it in their eyes that they really want it. First i was sceptical that this would work but it was the starting point for the mind.in.a.box goes live project. I never before was on a stage but now I wanted to try it and so I have to consider how I could do it. Then came Adam (Guitar player) and we played together a lot in our rehearsal room and tried out some things. Then I had this problem with our story. How could I connect it with a live performance? I started a film project with some good friends from a theatre I know and we made for every song we played a visual. Sounds easier than it was because I have to get into this videostuff first and i bought a lot of video equipment because i wanted to shoot the stuff by myself. This visuals will be played synchron to the music and shows a little bit from the story behind mind.in.a.box . About one year later we got an offer to play on the Arvika Festival in Sweden and we confirmed the show. I never played before live and our first show would have been on a festival with about 2500 people in the audience. You can imagine that this was an awful thought for me so we planned two, I called it ďtest-gigsĒ in vienna, to fix some problems first before we travel to Arvika. Yes and Arvika was an unbelievable trip I will never forget. Iím not religious but this trip had something of a destiny and the audience there was simply amazing. I didnít expect this not in the least. Some people cried in the first rows and this was my third show ever. I didnít know that our music touches some fans so deeply. Back to now we are trying to check a small tour or at least some gigs in 2010. I donít know where we would play. Everything and everywhere is possible.
Rock Oracle: When are you going to release the next part of the mind.in.a.box story? Has the work on it already started?
Stev: Yes we are working on it but I canít say when we can release it. Maybe end of this year if we have luck.
Rock Oracle: Please tell us about your side-project LOOMEC. Do you have any plans to release it? Would you like to continue work on this project?
Stev: The album is ready but itís hard to find an adequate for it because itís mostly in german and it sounds a little bit after Falco. He was a very famous artist in Vienna. I loved him. Originally we want a label located in ViennaÖbut there arenít a lot.Itís a funny and crazy project and I loved it to make songs for this project. Maybe we will continue the work for Loomec. Would be cool.
Rock Oracle: What atmosphere do you need for your creative work?
Stev: I must be alone in my studio. My three spots glow, night is better than day and I must have the feeling that I can do everything and then I try to imagine what picture and part of the mind.in.a.box story I have to tell. When I get goose bumps while Iím listening to my music I know Iím on the right way.
Markus: I really enjoy the process when Stev takes the lyrics and brings them to a completely new level with his vocals and effects processing. It's always different and always very exciting.
Rock Oracle: How do you think why someone's dream come true and other's not?
Stev: I donít know. Iím a lucky guy. I was born and live in one of the best places where you can live in the world, in Vienna/Austria. I think if you really want something, you have to try it, donít speak about it. More often than not itís hard work but if itís your passion than it couldnít be too hard. The effort should never be an excuse to find you aim.
Rock Oracle: If you could solve one problem at one stroke, what would it be?
Stev: Make the world to a better place. Punish the evils and help the poor.
Rock Oracle: What music did impress you last year? What CD's enlarged your collection? Can you give any recommendation for your fans?
Stev: Hmm thatís hard for me because I have not much time to listen to other music. Iím not really up to date what songs were current played so my answer is based on few knowledge. Mostly Markus gave me some hints if he find a song that catched him. We have a very similar musical taste. I loved the concert from ďDinosaur Jr.Ē last year and also their new album called ďFarmĒ.In the more electronical direction I liked a lot the song from Muse ďUndisclosed DesiresĒ and from Biomekkanik ďPitch Black OceanĒ.
Rock Oracle: What would you like to say to your Russian fans?
Stev: I must say thank you to Natalia, who did this amazing russian mindianbox fanpage at http://www.mindinabox.ru. There is much more content than on our own site. Natalia, your work is simply amazing! So our Russian fans are in very good hands. Thank you!
Markus: Thanks for supporting us! It's great that so many people in Russia like our work, also the stories and lyrics, even though we are doing everything in English.