Faderhead's newest album "Black Friday" has just been released and ready to take the world by storm. Faderhead has been invading dancefloors for the past few years with his smash hits 'TZDV' and 'Dirtygrrrls/Dirtybois'. But there is a lot more depth to Faderhead than just a couple clubhits, as unlike other electronic bands, there is no 'formula' sound to Faderhead, each song has its own soul. With such a varied sound he has grown a massive cult following of fans here on Vampirefreaks and worldwide. Faderhead is also very active on Vampirefreaks and other social networking sites, posting professional video blogs, incorporating a tech savvy internet presence, making this a project for the 21st century. |
lets talk about "black friday". it's described as a concept-album telling the story of a friday night gone wrong. how does this album differe from previous albums both in the 'making of' process as well as stylistically?
Stylistically, it's more "produced", more layered and "bigger". It is still totally Faderhead but the production is generally more dense, with more little things added, fatter sound and better mixing. The making of the album was much more difficult than before, because usually I just write songs, put them together in a sequence for the CD and am done with it. This time it all had to fit and make sense with respect to the story of the album. That meant the songs couldn't be about me or my surroundings, but they had to be written from a "fictional" point of view, which is totally unusal for me. I normally write about what I hear/see/experience and this time that wasn't the case. I also wanted to turn the story into sounds, so I made a lot of effort to do so.
People who heard the album have been saying things like "Oh, I wish you put a faster song as the 3rd song!" or "I don't like that you put two ballads after another!" because they don't understand that the situation of the story requires two ballads in a row. I also tried to get the mood and story across musically. For example in "Escape From The Machine", the heavy, pounding verses represent the protagonists work week while the open and melodic chorus represents the "2-day-escape" from the work week (the "machine"). Or in "Hot Bath And A Cold Razor" I intentionally tried to create sounds that sound like a bubble bath in the verses or like a hot stream of water coming from the shower ... so overall it's been pretty challenging, because I had a clear idea of what needed to be done and then had to get there ...
tell us about the 15-minute short movie for "black friday"
Basically, the idea behind this was to make listeners aware of the fact that "Black Friday" is a concept album. These days almost nobody listens to full albums anymore. Everyone puts songs on their MP3 players and listens to playlists, which is totally fine with me. But if I make an album that has a story to it and where the songs represent certain feelings and a story arc, I want as many people as possible to "get it". So I had the idea to make a short movie that shows the story of the record and has the tracks playing in the background, depending on the situation. It's not like a music video, but the songs are "embedded" in the movie, for example when someone drives in the car, the adequate song is playing in the car radio in the background etc. It's been a very challenging project which took a lot of time and cost a lot of money, but in the end I hope it will be worth it.
when will it be released and are there other music videos being planned?
The movie will be released early November and it will be viewable on blackfridayalbum.com
- which is gonna be the one-stop-shop for this whole album: people will be able to listen to all the songs in full-length there, they can watch the movie, there'll be a behind-the-scenes/making-of video also. We will most likely shoot 2 or 3 music videos for Black Friday, but I don't have a schedule for that yet. The first one will be for "Destroy Improve Rebuild", which is also the first club single.
you created the song '69 freaks per minute' for the kinetik 3.0 compilation, based on suggestions from vampirefreaks forum users, posting your song progress and accepting suggestions until the song was done. this was a unique experience for vampirefreaks, what made you come up with this idea and what did you think of the experience?
It was a much better experience than I anticipated! I was just sitting in the studio, doing nothing and looked at my to-do list which said "choose track for Kinetik compilation". I didn't really find anything that I thought was suitable and so I simply started a thread about it where I invited people to give me suggestions. I really didn't think it would work that well, but everyone was really constructive and I think I eventually used 70% of the suggestions. Thanks to this approach, the overall production time for the track was a max of 7-8 hours plus 2 hours of mixing. Maybe I should make a whole album like that within one month cause it was really cool working like that
how else does user feedback and comments influence faderhead? do you ever get any particularly memorable or strange comments and suggestions?
To be honest, it doesn't influence me at all. I don't make my music for the people first, but for me first. If someone asks me what I listen to at home, I always say "my own stuff" 90% of the time. And it's true. Of course I am talking about new, unfinished songs, but still. People do comment on things all the time and while everyone has an opinion, I can not care for that. Otherwise I could never finish a song because 100 people have 100 different opinions. There are however a few people I do listen to, like my keyboardist Marco (who basically hates everything I do and kicks my ass all the time - and than miraculously loves it when it's fully produced) or my DJ friends Mike, Gillian and Paddy, who club-test my songs months before the release and tell me about how the mix etc. works in a club, so I can tweak it. Those are people who have very specific skills and specific opinions that I am actively looking for and which help me improve.
what are you doing when you're not working on faderhead?
When I am not producing music I am a professional photographer. Professional as in "people actually pay me enough money to live comfortably". My client list ranges from Nivea to Universal Records, but to be honest, I try to work as little as possible to make as much music as possible. So most of my week is spent in my recording studio at home writing and producing for Faderhead or other artists.
. what about your childhood / highschool days, what was that like for you and how did you get into making electronic music? i understand you played guitar for a few years before faderhead
I used to be a really good guitar player. I was heavily influenced by people like Marty Friedman, Dimebag, Rich Ward, Steve Vai and Zakk Wylde. I had some years where I practiced 6-8h a day but I haven't really played at all in the past 5-6 years. So these days I am an okay player only. I really had absolutely no clue about electronic music until 2005, when I started using some software synths to add a little bit to rock productions. I also had a friend who runs the biggest darkelectro/goth/alternative party in Hamburg and I'd always bitch to him about how I don't like the music he plays, so one night he said "Well, you're a musician - MAKE SOMETHING BETTER, IF YOU DONT LIKE IT!" … and since I tend to put my money where my mouth is, I wrote "The Protagonist" in one night on a Wednesday, it got played on the following Saturday and picked up for the Advanced Electronics compilation on Monday. A little later I signed with Accession Records on the basis of a 4 song demo and had absolutely no clue how to really produce electronic music or sing!! Needless to say I learned a lot since then
pretty impressive. so a few weeks ago you posted an entry on your blog entitled "Exposure, or You are just too lazy". here you talk about the importance of proper marketing and promotions for bands. in your opinion how important is marketing, promotions and image compared to musical talent?
For a short-term "career" marketing, promotion and image is more important than musical talent. For a long-term "career" it's equally as important. The problem is that all the musical talent in the world won't get noticed without proper marketing and image. People don't always believe it because they often only know 1-2 of my club hits, but my music is very much "serious art" to me - and I don't compromise on it. But once the music is done, the "art" has to stop and take a backseat to the promotion. And a LOT of effort, time and money needs to be spent on promotion because otherwise no one in the world will actually KNOW about your great music. I know a lot of awesome bands who exist in total obscurity because they really are too disorganized and lazy to spend time promoting themselves. And most indie labels will not do anything for you at all ...
The often-heard statement "I'm an artist, I don't sell out!" is utter bullshit for people who can't get their shit together .
this year you played a number of shows around the world including gigs at 'amphi festival', russia, 'kinetik festival' and london, UK. how have your recent show experiences been and how has the experience changed for you over the past few years?
It's been going a lot better since 2009. The first 2.5 years were needed to build up the live show, test things, figure out which live setup works and simply get better at playing gigs. I had never been a singer in a band until summer 2006, so I really had to learn a lot, because there is a big difference to being the guitar player in a band with 3-4 other guys standing at the front of the stage next to you … We've really been all over the place in the past 2 years: from Mexico to Moscow and I hope we'll get to the US next year in spring. The shows have changed through the fact that people now know our songs and the "work shows" (where you play for an audience that doesn't know you well or at all) have become less. So overall it's become more fun for me!
if you could have one super power what would it be and why?
Teleportation. Then I could chill at home all day and show up at the venue for soundcheck, then teleport back, chill some more and teleport back again 10 mins before the show
That would be awesome!
so i saw you at kinetik festival which btw was an awesome show, and one of my friends says to me "hmm the rest of faderhead's music sounds nothing like their clubhits". faderhead does indeed have quite a varied musical style, including 'horizon born' ep which was all ballads. is this a concious decision to have such variety and differentiate faderhead from other bands? does this genereally work to your advantage or against you?
No, it's not a conscious decision. Well, the decision is not to limit myself, so in the end you have songs like Coke For My Ass, Houston, Silent Every Day and Mono Man standing next to each other and sounding like totally different bands (if it wasn't for my vocals). I thought about it in the beginning and decided to not confine myself to one style because I wanted to think long-term. In the short and medium-term people get confused and they have problems really understanding why there aren't 12 songs on the album that all sound kinda the same. I can relate to that: if I hear one song I like in the club or on the web - and then the album is a total mix of styles, I'll be confused at first, too. In the long-term I hope that people will appreciate the diversity and the non-cookie-cutter approach. In the end it all boils down to what I want to hear and what I feel. 2009 wasn't a very good year emotionally and it just happened that almost 50-60% of the songs I wrote were ballads. So why not put out a CD with ballads? A lot of people really love "Horizon Born" because to them it's the most "personal" Faderhead record. To me that's not the case, because of course all my songs are "personal" in a way. I guess people can relate to the topics of the ballads really well. The same with Exit Ghost, which has become a big fan-favorite …
I never intended Faderhead to be anything that I am not. Do I always wear a mohawk and shades, drink vodka 24/7 and party till I drop? No, I don't. But I do it a lot and Faderhead is that part of my personality as much as it encompasses a dude who's sad about something. And that should be reflected in my music, I think.
what made 2009 a bad year for you emotionally?
relationship stuff. that's the only reason I ever get into a funk. anything else can be worked on constructively
yeah relationships are tough. plus i guess 'rockstars' are expected to be sluts and partying all the time. what would a dream girl be for you?
Currently there is no possible dream girl. I am staying away from relationships because of the touring/DJing schedule I have set for the rest of the year and 2011. If your boyfriend is gone most of the year, every dream girl will be pissed off - and rightfully so. I am also very picky when it comes to girls and relationships. If she's not superfunny and clever and has her own life/work/interests, I'm not interested. It also doesn't hurt to have boobs and ass
well thanks very much for your time! anything else you'd like to say to your fans?