mind.in.a.box interview:

mind.in.a.box - Interview for magazine 'ReGen Magazine', Interviewer:'Joshua Kreger', about: 'mind.in.a.box goes live', Date: 2009-12-09
Link: ReGen Magazine

On September 5th, 2009, Mind.in.a.Box performed its second live show ever. This also happened to be the band's first international show and first show in North America. The event was held at a trim venue called the Telus Theater in Montreal, Canada.

Glenn Love and Interface opened up, both igniting energy in the crowd. Then came Mind.in.a.Box live, consisting of Stefan (Stev) Poiss (vocals, keyboard), Gerhard Höffler (drums), Adam Wehsely-Swiczinsky (guitar), and Roman Stift (bass). Markus Hadwiger, who writes the lyrics and is responsible for the progression of the storyline inherent to the band's music, was not active in the performance, but instead watched from the audience. The very fact that the band members chose to come to North America for their second live show set fears to rest that it might be years before they would be traveling to this side of the Atlantic.

Dedicated fans traveled from the surrounding areas - many from the United States - to catch this increasingly popular group live on stage. For many of them, it was surely like being a part of history. Heather Slutter drove up from Pennsylvania with her boyfriend and a mutual friend to see the show. 'The lyrics were outstanding and they allowed me to understand a greater insight not only into the songwriter's mind, but also helped me to gain insight into similar experiences in my life,' she said when asked of what she thought of the performance. Rachel Feder, also from the United States, journeyed from Long Island, New York, saying of the music of Mind.in.a.Box, 'It is truly a work of art all its own - powerful and intense!'

The performance was energy-filled, driven by live instruments, which added an entirely new element to the music. For many, hearing these songs come to life on the stage was a unique experience, bringing to animation those tracks which, for thousands of people, were only ever heard in reproductions of the original studio recordings. The reaction of Mind.in.a.Box listeners to the news that the band has gone live has rippled through the community, with people involved in the scene from across the world now waiting in hopes that their hometown will be the next host to this innovative new sound.

After returning to Austria, the band took some time from its schedule to answer questions about the Montreal performance, and their future concert plans. Their responses shed light onto their future touring plans and hinted at the possibility of a return to North America.
You recently played your second show ever, in Montreal, Canada. This was eagerly embraced by North American fans, many of whom figured that it would be years before they would have a chance to see you live. What was your experience like in Montreal?

Hadwiger: I had a lot of fun there. The people that were there and the venue were really great. Stift: We did two production shows in Vienna to check out how it works and how we work and if we can push the audience. Beside that, it was really a big deal for Stev to get on stage. Mind.in.a.Box is not only a name, you know. We could not imagine how hard it would be for Stev to get in front of an audience. For the rest of the band, it was quite easy since we have been more often on stage so far. But Stev did well for the first and he became more comfortable from show to show. Anyway, his voice and his playing live is incredibly good and I guess nobody expected a hardcore dance show from him.

Now, I think we have a good production to start with. The whole concept is out of Stev's brain. He tried to fill up the stage with the band and the videos, mainly to make it a little different from the two synths or one singer show style you can see too often these days. Also, he could stand a little more out of the spotlight and is not that much responsible to move the crowd by his own. Nevertheless, now he is there in the front and he is getting into it and fills the place much more then he personally thought. He also feared a not perfect environment. It is much better now; he can deal now with compromises. You will never find a venue with the perfect sound on stage or with enough space or with the shit-kickin' lights you ever dreamed of. All events are unique and we try to do our best against all kind of problems and casualties. And yes, we do have a drummer!

Also Montreal was a premiere to all of us. Nobody did fly to a show before, so we had to rebuild our complete equipment to get it in the aircraft. Size and weight are important; or else you will pay horrendous fees for it, and also, to check that everything is fine with the customs. That was really an adventure since we all love the paperwork.

Höffler: Very enthusiastic, including the audience.

Wehsely-Swiczinsky: We actually played some small shows in Vienna before that, so we had a little more experience. Honestly, it still was just the fourth show we ever played with Mind.in.a.Box. The most important experience was to improve our live and flight setup. We were happy that all our sensitive electronic and processing equipment survived and was there right in time. We gave our best to move the loose-filled Telus Theatre and we did so.
How did it feel to have your second show ever as a trans-Atlantic journey? Do you intend to conduct more shows far from Austria?

Hadwiger: For me, it was perfect; I was just there to listen and enjoy! I travel a lot, also going back and forth over the Atlantic several times a year, but going to Canada for the first North American M.i.a.B. gig was special, and Montreal is a nice city.

Höffler: Quite exiting! It would be a great pleasure to do that more than once. I hope it will happen.

Wehsely-Swiczinsky: We were asked from the promoters for the first three ‘big' shows. The first in Arvika festival, Sweden, then Montreal, Canada, and Elektrostat festival in Oslo, Norway, and organized it ourselves. We are now in negotiations with some tour management and see what we can do, but the next live focus is definitely Germany, where we didn't play yet. But the U.S. is something that we are also looking forward to.

Stift: We have been totally psyched about that; to go to Canada just to make music! A dream came true. We never thought that it will happen until we have been there.

Beside Montreal, we did a show in Sweden, and one after Canada in Oslo, Norway. Those three have been our disquisitions to check out how we can handle our life on the road. We did well, we liked it all, we had fun, we did not kill each other, and all of us are heading for more. We will do more shows in the future. At the moment, we are looking for a professional booker to bring in a tour for the upcoming seasons. Also, we are looking forward to the festivals next year. So please, book us now!