mind.in.a.box interview:

mind.in.a.box - Interview for magazine 'Machinistmusic', Interviewer:'vAlien', about: 'Dreamweb', Date: 2005-08-08
Link: Machinistmusic
I heard that you don't like to do interviews and when it comes to press publications you prefer to hide your face behind heavy processed computer images. What is it: a usual human modesty, theory of conspiration in action or wish to create mysterious aura around MIND.IN.A.BOX?
I prefer to express myself through music as the major medium, and with mind.in.a.box we really try to put the focus on the music, the emotions, and the stories, instead of on us as real persons. So our concept is not so much focusing on the people behind it as it is the case with most bands. We think that with us the important thing is the world of mind.in.a.box, the metaphors that we are using to describe certain traits of our real world, and the protagonists of our stories with their feelings and problems.
What is the concept of MIND.IN.A.BOX and which science-fiction themes do you link with your music? Can you say that you're a kind of sci-fi freak?
Yes, we are both definitely very fond of science fiction. For our music, and as an additional means of expression, we have also created a sci-fi world, the world of mind.in.a.box so to speak, which is nevertheless very similar to the world we are living in. A major part of our concept is a background story that connects individual songs and even albums together. It is the story of people trying to cope with the dark world they are living in. This world is constructed from metaphors for aspects of our real world. Each album also has a major emotional theme, such as loneliness and alienation on „Lost Alone“, or the importance of dreams on „Dreamweb“. On „Dreamweb“, a major part is the search for this alternate reality of dreams. There are many layers of interpretation, most songs can stand on their own, but are still embedded in the ongoing story and the major theme of the album.
I was impressed by diversity and quantity of different vocoders and vocal techniques used on album 'Dreamweb'. Do you consider natural and artificial voices as very important elements in MIND.IN.A.BOX music? Do you use them to deliver concrete text message to listeners or it's rather additional atmospheric tool for you?
Thanks! On the one hand, I think that these kinds of vocal effects are very interesting from a sound perspective. But they also allow to introduce different layers of narration into our stories, to distinguish different characters, or different states of mind of the same character. A very good example for this approach is the song „Forever Gone“ from our debut album, where in the chorus you can hear someone who has left what we think of as reality. In a scene such as this, I think it is a very powerful approach to underline this fact with a vocoder effect in addition to the lyrics. It is an important part of the whole atmosphere, but with a direction relation to what we want to convey.
Please tell us when and how did you meet each other and what does unite Markus Hadwiger and Stefan Poiss besides the MIND.IN.A.BOX?
We have known each other since childhood, which now seems like ages ago. Over time we have also been working together on various projects, most of all in the area of computer games. It has always been a lot of fun to put our creative energies together. And we are hanging out a lot, especially in Cafes, that’s for sure.
Your debut album 'Lost Alone' immediately attracted many fans of innovative and non-standard intelligent electronic music. And even after release of new album it still causes waves of praise, interest and maybe even jelousy. Being newcomers did you predict from the very beginning such recognition and success on scene for MIND.IN.A.BOX? How would you explain such reaction of people?
The immediate success of mind.in.a.box happened quite unexpectedly, and I guess you can never predict something like this. We are also not thinking about what could be „successful“ or not, we just want realize our ideas, the concept, and the music we have in mind. I’m really happy that so many people like what we are doing. One part of it might be that we have a somewhat different background with „pure“ computer music, and so are now fusing this approach with more traditional „band-oriented“ music. In any case, I think that we are not following any „trends“ in the scene, we just want to do miab in the way that feels right for us. If other people like and enjoy that too, we are all the more happy.
I guess that meeting with boss of great label Dependent played not last and very important role in your lucky destiny. Would you compare Stefan Herwig with real shark of show business, super professional manager or just a man who is crazy fan of progressive electro-industrial music and dedicates all his life to scene?
It guess he is a little bit of all of this. :)
Do you see album 'Dreamweb' as continuation of CD 'Lost Alone' or you tend to separate these records? Do you think that you managed to improve MIND.IN.A.BOX sound on new album (btw, was it necessary step?), to widen its musical horizon and to present some fresh elements?
I think there is always a progression when you are working a lot with music. For “Dreamweb” I wanted a somewhat rougher sound than on “Lost Alone” and guitars, without leaving a firm base of an electronic soundscape. There are guitars even on the debut album, but probably so unobtrusive that almost no one has noticed. I really like to experiment and do things a little bit different to see what is going to come out. This is also very important to keep it interesting for myself.
'Certainty' became your first single to album 'Dreamweb'. Do you plan to release another one single till the end of year?
No, there are are no plans for a second single.
I like to associate MIND.IN.A.BOX with perfectionists who work on every song for a long time and very accurately, so it was a kind of surprise that you finished second album so quickly. Did you start to work on new songs right after release of 'Lost Alone' or much earlier?
We began working on „Dreamweb“ well before the release of „Lost Alone“. And the huge success of our debut also gave us a lot of motivation, so the work was progressing very nicely. I think we definitely are perfectionists, we have to work on a song until we are really completely satisfied. If there is still a strange feeling in your stomach, you should either go out for food, or the song just isn’t finished yet.
Don't you think that 'Dreamweb' world is utopia? You tell the stories about real and unreal, lost and realized dreams, but do you think it's interesting for listeners of album?
Of course the Dreamweb itself is not real in the traditional sense. But we really enjoy creating our own worlds, and to a certain extent we also like to escape into these realities. It is hard to say how much listeners are actually able to follow us into this world, but I think that it is important that people make up their own minds and find their own very personal interpretations. I really like it when there is more behind lyrics than you would usually assume. But it is also very important for us that good music is just, well, good music. If it is only good when you know the entire background, I’m not sure that it really is good.
As I know you never played live gigs. Will this situation change one day?
There might be live presentations of miab in the future. I’m experimenting a bit right now, but there are no concrete plans yet.
How important for you is club factor? I think that your new album is more dynamic and danceable.
First of all it is important for us, because we really like to hear our music at clubs and at high volumes! :) So I like it when a song has a lot of power and even if it is not straightforward club music, it is still danceable. But on the other hand I don’t want to do music specifically for clubs, since this traditionally means a lot of restrictions and simplifications. In the end, most of the time people will listen to it on their own if they really like it, which of course also includes ourselves. I think there will always be at least several tracks on miab albums that you can both play in a club and that you can still enjoy a lot on your own.
Concerning science fiction do you prefer apocalyptic futuristic stuff or stories about happy technological society? Are your visions of future dark and skeptic or completely optimistic?
I prefer stories set in a dark future, although that doesn’t mean that there is no hope at all. Hope is always important, and I really like melancholic settings, instead of entirely depressing ones. Although there are very nice examples such as movies or books for both kinds of possible futures, happy technological societies are not really my thing.
Can you tell us about some new interesting ideas which you have in your head and would like to explore and didn't realized yet on 'Lost Alone' and 'Dreamweb'?
There are still many ideas floating around in our heads, so stay tuned!
Thank you a lot for interview.
Thank you!