A lot of the projects in the electro genre are one-man projects. Why is Battery Cage a real band? Where do you see the advantages of being a band and not a solo-project?
There's no challenge in being a one person project. It's easy to make a bunch of half assed decisions, and slap them together and call it "finished" when you're one person working by yourself. And I think that a lot of electronic music reflects this in a lot of the music that's out there right now. Working with other people is essential to making the final product sound as professional as possible. Battery Cage is four people who all have strong backgrounds in music and film, and when brought together it really adds up into a powerful sound. There can be some negative aspects as well, particularly in the amount of time that it takes to get things done properly, but the end result is well worth it.
Dead Morning is a great and epic conclusion of the regular part of the album. Tell me something about the content of this song.
Creating 'World Wide Wasteland' was pretty much a grueling process that took about 3 years to finish. 'Deadmorning' was a track that came pretty early in the writing stage, sometime in 1999 or early 2000, mostly based around some experiments I was trying with some analogue synths and sampling. The programming was a ton of work, and we added a lot of tracks of guitars, probably 25 at least, maybe 15 tracks of vocals...it was literally pushing our studio machines to the wall, and mixing it down took several days to finish. Overall it was an attempt to make the biggest sounding song we could make at the time, although we've certainly gone beyond that level since then. The lyrical part of the song is kept fairly obscured, I sort of prefer that people draw their own conclusions to the meaning. I can tell you that its about addiction, though not necessarily to drugs.
For a lot of musicians and listeners electronic music and guitars have got the same relation like fire and water. What makes it attracting for you to combine those two musical elements in your music?
Well, I think it's pretty simple to make future-pop style electro these days, it seems like pretty much everyone is doing it. We don't want to be just another band in the pack, so we try to bring something different to the songs. In our early days we were purely electronic, and we hated guitars, even onstage. But we found that adding guitars to the live show really helped add an element of power that pure electronics weren't able to deliver. It also really changes up the dynamic of what's happening onstage, it makes it a lot more exciting from an audience perspective...to know that we're up there actually playing instruments and not just relying on backing tracks. For our next record, which we're working on right now, you can expect the guitars to take a much bigger role, and the dance beats to slow down a lot!
What's the difference between the work with Battery Cage and Informatik?
Personally, I don't see any real similarities between the bands, other than the fact that I'm a member of both. Although I write the songs for both bands, I think they're totally different in the approach to the dancefloor. Informatik tends to be very specifically tailored for clubs, where Battery Cage is focused more on the live show aspect, so the songs tend to be a lot more "rock" sounding.
Up to now there is only a handful of bands from the U.S. who managed to be successful in the european or especially in the german music scene. How do you judge the chances for Battery Cage to assert against the big names from Germany and Europe?
I don't have any real expectations of becoming the next Linkin Park in Europe or anything like that, but I also don't have any doubts about our ability to win some people over. I think that as people get tired of the same old formula (4/4 techno beats, distorted vocals, Virus synth presets) they'll be looking for something new, and maybe they'll find us. We are of the opinion that guitars are about to come back in style, and we'll hopefully be at the front of that wave...when everyone takes a turn to the right, we take a turn to the left!!
I must confess that I do not like a lot of the electro/industrial projects from the U.S. cause there exists something like a typical sound or style that makes the music old fashioned and boring (especially when they try to combine guitars with electronic music). It is also boring when bands from overseas only try to copy the european sound and try to sound like future pop. Battery Cage seem to have their own style. It is like a mixture between u.s. und european sound and there seem to be a lot of influences. How would you describe your sound?
This is a tough one, because as a band we are always attempting to evolve our sound. Our first album was harsh electronics, like Skinny Puppy and Lassigue Bendthaus, and 'World Wide Wasteland' was a sort of weird electro-metal-dance hybrid. But we aren't into repeating ourselves over and over, unlike a lot of the bands that are really big right now. The way we sound today is a lot different from when we wrote 'World Wide Wasteland', with a lot more guitars and slower songs. I suppose all I can say is that the sound of Battery Cage is the sound of evolution.
Is the World Wide Wasteland real or a fiction?
Unfortunately, I do think it's very real. I think the next twenty years are going to basically destroy the planet unless civilization gets its act together. We'll see if we make it through the next four years, then we'll ask this question again...