In 1998 there was another Battery Cage album finished but never been released officially when I'm informed well. Please tell me what went wrong at that time!
We were signed to a small label called Sinless Records, which at that time was the home to Informatik, and unfortunately the label closed before we were able to release the album. It was a dark time for us, and almost broke up the band! We recently re-released that album, called "Product", which is now available through Metropolis distribution.
What have all of the band members been doing in the meantime? At least I know of your involvement into the last Informätik...
Battery Cage basically was not active for a few years after Sinless Records closed down, there was a complete change in the lineup, and I was not really mentally prepared to make a new record. Josh and I worked with industrial fetish legends Sleep Chamber for a while. Then I hooked up with Da5id and did some touring and the last two Informatik albums.
Unfortunately I don't know the former BC-stuff, so in what way do you think the new songs differ from the old ones?
When we did our first record, we were much younger and trying to make a very harsh and difficult album. We didn't really care much about making dance music, or catering to the clubs. So the 'Product' record is really more along the lines of Skinny Puppy or something like that. On top of that, the band lineup was totally different, there were two other people who are no longer part of the band. These days, we're a lot more focused on writing good songs than trying to be difficult to listen to...we put a lot of careful thought into making the songs very club friendly and accessible.
Have your musical experiences with Da5id Din influenced "World Wide Wasteland" in any way?
Da5id is a great teacher, and I've learned a lot from him over the years. Although I think Battery Cage sounds very different from Informatik, I think that there is a similar production quality to be found in both. I'm always striving to make the best sounding records that I can, and Da5id has been very instrumental in helping to make that happen.
When you are arranging new songs in the studio where do you attach importance to most?
Sound design and production technique are definitely important, but by far the most important thing is the emotional resonance of the songs themselves. If I don't feel like I'm conveying an emotional message or getting a point across, then the song probably isn't very good. We tend to focus most on what the song means to us, and how to get that feeling across to the listener. But after that, we focus very heavily on the engineering and production of the track, making sure it's very clean and that it fits in with the record as a whole.
"World Wide Wasteland" contains EBM-songs with stong metallic guitars as well as so-called "Futurepop" and a wild mixture off all these elements. Don't you want to commit yourself on a special style?
Actually, we are very committed to the idea of never repeating ourselves. We don't want to sound like everybody else, although we did have to make certain concessions on "World Wide Wasteland" to make sure that people understood that we were making a 'dance record' and not rewriting our first album, which was not remotely club oriented. The record that we're working on right now, which should be out in the summer of 2005, is a lot different from the "World Wide Wasteland. There will be a lot more guitar, and the songs are a lot slower. So, it's important to us to stay different.
What can you tell me about the albums title and where are the lyrics about?
The name "World Wide Wasteland" was originally meant for an album that was going to be much more political than it turned out to be. As the writing on the album progressed, I decided that I wasn't able to focus on politics as much as certain situations that were more personal to me. Lyrically, the album is about 1/2 global politics, and 1/2 personal emotions. I think it's pretty easy to tell what the songs are about, but I'm not a big believer in printing lyrics in the album art...you just have to listen to the songs to figure out their meaning!
What about the current situation in the American Electro-/ Industrial-scene? Do you share my oppinion that the "traditional" American style (Mentallo, Puppy, FLA, Ministry, NIN) is falling more and more behind and particularly new acts orientate on the straighter European sound?
To be honest, I'm not really a fan of "electro-industrial" music, especially what's going on these days. No one in Battery Cage really listens to that kind of music on a regular basis. I do try to stay in touch with what's being released, just to know what's going on in clubs, but that's about it. Personally, I think the European "sound" is incredibly boring and stagnant right now, I can't tell any of these bands apart! Too many bands ripping off Wumpscut and Suicide Commando, and I'm just not really interested in that. I do think there are some very strong North American bands right now, like Stromkern, Headscan, Epsilon Minus, etc, that are doing much more interesting and unique sounding music.
Your live actions are described as a "multimedia machine". Please tell me more about the clips and so on!
We're always trying to differentiate ourselves from everyone else. One big thing that we've always been very involved in is making our own videos for our live shows. This is pretty timeconsuming, but it comes out very nicely in the end. Not every band has the capability to shoot, edit and output their own videos, and we've been pretty serious about this. We're planning an entirely new video show for our next album, and expect to have a new video trailer for the next album available very soon. Our live shows have always been a very strong part of what we do, and they're planned out and rehearsed in great detail.
What else do you like to tell our readers und what's planned next?
Right now all of our energy is going into writing our next record, which should be available next summer. It's going to be in a very different direction than either of our previous two releases. We're going to try and get over to Europe possibly this summer, but it's too early to know for sure. There will likely be some touring in America sometime this summer, and then a tour for the next album sometime next year. All our other projects (Informatik, AEC, etc) are currently on hold until this record is complete. I'm doing some production work on the upcoming Stromkern record, but other than that, we're just focusing on making the best record we can for 2005.