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Exclusive interview with Melotron

Taken by Alex Davie, Shout! Online, Russia

Last updated 11.01.03

some intro questions

Alex: Do you ever heard about Russian synthpop/electro scene? Could you imagine that your band may be so popular among Russian synthpop fans?

Andy: No, two months ago I surfed Internet and I saw two sites, and the contact with coroner [Andrei «coroner»] was my first contact with Russian guy, I know two sites: and [smile] They're really interesting [smile]

Alex: Tell some words about how you made decision to perform in Russia?

Andy: We are on tour now for new album and it's our first shows over the world, in past we toured only in Germany or Europe. First time for two years we're playing in another country, so it's a new feeling for us, that's our opinion. Sometimes it's really strange to play in another country: we don't know people, we don't know clubs, all that we can do is good show and many energy, that's all. You know the problem, we even don't know club technicians [smile] I think people understand this.

Alex: What was your first feeling when you just arrived Moscow?

Hilde: Oh, it's very cold outside [smile] But in the same time in Germany it's cold too [smile] We would be surprised, just looked and feel, and it's funny...

Andy: It's real funny, Moscow looks like little bit Berlin!

Alex: Really?

Andy: Really, because...

Hilde: ...Moscow is bigger [laugh]

Andy: But sometimes it looks like Berlin because big streets from Stalin, buildings like in East Berlin.

music questions

Alex: I heard your band for a first time in 1999, it was your debut album «Morderwerk». If for true when I listened it I thought «Hmm, it's And One-like band». Now, three years ago, your music and style were grow up, changed in something new, your own original kind. So please answer two both-related questions: how many people thought the same at beginning of you career and how do you can describe your current music, your style?

Andy: Yeah, we know this kind of problem, but it's not a problem for us, because guys from And One are our friends, and in the begining of our career people didn't know this, and we hear that «Melotron is another And One». For us it was important that people speak about our band [smile] We were in studio together in the begining, first demos we ever made were recorded with Steve Naghavi, so it was very logically that our first album styled like another band. Every band (it's my opinion) on first album sounds like another band.

Alex: Who (in the band) is responsible for lyrics and who for music?

Andy: Edgar brought the lyrics, and I composed music... and Hilde is programmer in studio.

Alex: Your lyrics is on German only (except one or two tracks). You don't like to wrote it on English, or you find German more suitable for your music?

Hilde: Our main language is not English, our main language is German...

Alex: So simple answer [smile]

Andy: I give you another reason - my English is shit [laugh] For interview it's OK but...

Alex: You could study it well...

Andy: Yeah, we even could play on Russian [smile] We played in Canada and Mexico, we saw people it dosn't matter what kind of language, we broke language barrier. Only the music could be the cool.

Alex: How many songs you ordinary wrote prior recording session? How much of them could be founded on your albums later?

Andy: No so many. «Weltfrieden», our new CD has 13 tracks, plus B-side from single, I think I wrote 20 songs and 15 were taken for album. We wrote no so many songs.

Hilde: Maybe some of songs will be used later, but not in at the moment.

Andy: It's very interesting, 'cos all 3 CDs are mostly our old songs, «Weltfrieden» are mostly old songs from 5 years, more newer songs were on mix album [smile]

Alex: What music had influence on you in studio? What music you like to listen just for fun?

Hilde: I will answer on second question - my favorite music is Torfrock band, it's German folk band, it funny restaurant music from North Germany, it's strange, it's a kind of stupid, but it's very funny, nothing with electronics, only with guitars.

Andy: People think, we like electronic music, that's right, we like electronic music but our infuences are inside of very many kinds of music, everybody see a nice melody sitting in a car and said «Oh». It's doesn't matter which band played it, with keyboards or no.

Alex: Are you think that remixes are very important to your band? Or it's just filling of free space on your MCDs?

Andy: Melotron are not friendly source to remixes. Thats why we have 3 EPs, our singles are always contain new songs, our next single will have 4 new songs. We are not friends of remixes, one remix for club is OK, but I think the people are not in fun from rubish remixes.

Hilde: It's a tradition from Depeche Mode to put some B-sides on single.

Alex: But a lot of remixes too [smile] I like their classic mixes.

Andy: It were classic mixes, not modern mixes [smile]

Alex: As I guess you are still indie band. Is it good for you?

Andy: Oh no, not really. It's good for music, indepedent band means good for music, but not good for musiciants. We have a lot of problem with commercial success in Germany, it's a big problem for us, and in the Russia we are very-very independent band [laugh] It's OK, it's a fun, but we needs money for our cars [laugh]

Alex: What do you think - indie bands have their future on current music scene or not?

Andy: We'll try it [smile] We'll try to be bigger.

Hilde: We would do a step by step [smile]

your new album

Alex: In early autemn you released your new album, «Weltfrieden». Please describe an idea of album (if it possible)?

Andy: It's a dream, world peace (Weltfrieden) is a dream. Everyone could dream the same. My opinion is yes, it's possible, and it's must be. Edgar, who wrote lyrics, thinks it's not possible, but I think it's possible. Good dream - «Weltfrieden».

Alex: How do you think, could it be called «commercially successful album»?

Andy: For us it's our biggest commercial success at the moment because we move to a new label, music industry is very cold out, not so many people buys CDs, for us it's OK to make music and CDs, that's our commercial success, but no so big, not so big. But we can live.

Alex: Which musicians did collaborate with your band in studio?

Andy: Actually on «Weltfrieden» we have 3 guest musiciants, we have 3 guest singers. In Strict Confidence, it's a danceble band, a new synth pop from Germany - Technoir, and future-pop/EBM XPQ-21. I don't like these words «future-pop/EBM» [smile]... we have guest bass guitarist. Well, that's all.

Alex: Are you satisfied by results of work done?

Andy: At the first moment - yes. But after two weeks you know that you can make better in the future. That's good.

depeche mode questions

Alex: I always ask following question... As you started your band did you want to be like Depeche Mode? Sound like them, look like them or be so famous like them?

Andy: Ok, it's true. When we started we was only 14-15 years old, and they were our big idols, it's OK. We played some Depeche Mode songs, our first songs played were Depeche Mode songs. We had a dream. But after one year we change course. We realized it's not our way.

Alex: And one more - could you ever imagine to play show together with DM (like a support band or second headliner)?

Andy: On our next album, on our next tour Depeche Mode will be our support band [smile]

Alex: Do you have any favorites from DM catalog?

Andy: «Sea of Sin» is my favorite song, it has good feeling.

Hilde: I think, «Everything Counts». I don't like their new stuff, I like Depeche Mode till 1993, and my opinion of them stopped at that point. I don't like new Depeche Mode, I'm listen it, but I don't like it.

Andy: For us Depeche Mode was from early 80's till early 90's.

Alex: When they were 4 people.

Hilde: Yeah, 4 people, electronic music, more colder. «Violator» is Depeche Mode. A funny story: we played in London 2 years ago, we're drinking with Andy Fletcher and he said: «Go out from my club!» [smile]

Alex: Question specially for Andy - how you can look so similar to Dave Gahan, on your promo photos and during live show?

Hilde: Is it bad?

Alex: No, it's good [smile]

Andy: Ask my mother [smile] Its more fun. In Germany it give more people, more fans of Depeche Mode, they didn't understand what I did. They think «It's only one Dave in the world» [smile].

Alex: If for me it was very strange that your new title was written by Depeche Mode font from Ultra era.

Hilde: Really? [smile] They stole it from us [laugh]

and one questions

Alex: Every And One (or Melotron) huge fan know that you are friends. How it was started, how it go on at present time?

Hilde: Some people think that we are not friends. It was truth, before we met them in early 90's, in 1991 (nineteen ninety and one [smile]) we met together in Berlin, and then times go on, in 1995 we played together on the tour, and at the moment we establish our relations again.

Alex: You'll do a live performance with And One in Neubrandenburg on December 26th. As I heard this concert was called as «Meet of Generations». Are this show mean something special for you?

Andy: It's a tradition to give a Christmas show in our home town because we want do concerts, but we want to see our families too. So at Christmas, our friends, And One this time, will play with us. Every year Christmas show for 2000 people, this year with And One - will be historic show.

some politics

Alex: Are you interested in politics? Or you don't care about it?

Hilde: If I say I'm not interested in politics, that will not true. Politic situation at the moment is very strange. When we tour with our album, «Wetfrieden», we look at world - it's not a peace. Every day we read in papers bad news about war or something, so we must be interested in politics. Don't ask us, you must just look around Moscow, and you'll see a lot of milicia [Russian police] everywhere, 'cos it's a strange situation, terrorism is everywhere, that's nahui [he said «Fuck Off» on Russian] situation. [all laugh] In past I didn't interested in politics, because I was young and situation was not so strange, not so serious. Now is other situation, and you must be interested in it.

Alex: You are from East Germany... its affected on your music career?

Hilde: We started after falling of the Wall.

Alex: But East and West still looks slightly different?

Hilde: Not really, some fans even don't know that we are from East Germany, they really wondering when we tell them. Our music is for whole Germany, so it doesn't matter.

Alex: Do you believe that Germany could be more close to Russia country someday?

Hilde: Historically East Germany was close to Soviet Union [smile]

Alex: What's your favorite place on Earth? To live, to work, to rest?

Hilde: I didn't even think about it [smile] Everyone would be like to be on island, with sun shining.

Andy: My favorite place in the world is the place where are my friends [smile] At the moment it's Moscow. But I think when I'll be old man I'll live in a forest.

Hilde: And I hope I'll live on island.

Alex: On island with forest [all laugh]

Andy: And I hope I'll not must working [laugh] That's my dream.

Alex: I hope so [laugh]

computers, internet

Alex: How many time do you spend with computers? Are they Macs or PCs?

Andy: Not so many, only for composing songs. I used PC, only in studio we work on Mac. I'm not so big friend of computer. Just surfing Internet, e-mails, that's all.

Alex: Do you like to read news in the Internet?

Andy: I check them one hour in a day.

Hilde: I have very other situation, I'm surfing around the clock, I'm computer engineer in computer company, it's company is very young, it was founded two weeks ago, it's a service company. I have a big Internet connection, flat rate DSL, so I live not at home, I live on work, in Internet [smile]

Alex: Which software you use in music creation? Do you try to keep it updated with every new upgrade? Or you just continue use software you already know well?

Hilde: When you use Microsoft, you must do it very often, with every update [smile] Okno XP [he said «Windows XP» on Russian][laugh] We use different software in studio and in home, we use Cubase at home, in studio we use MagicLogic on Mac.

Alex: Do you like PC or video games? What are your favourites?

Hilde: Tetris, it's russian game.

Andy: I have a little video game, like GameBoy, it's pocket computer.

Alex: Do you like to surf Internet? What's your favorite sites?

Andy and Hilde: It's a secret [laugh]

Alex: You have your own site, Now it has small news section and some contact information only. Do you plan to add more sections? Guestbook and message board?

Hilde: We'll do it all in two weeks!

Andy: Our site is still under construction.

Alex: Your opinion about MP3s? Do you afraid music piracy?

Andy: A little bit. I think not for so big bands. It's more a problem, because studio, tour, playing costs a lot of money. I'm understand the peopple who make it, I'm understand, it's OK, but not big bands have a problem. We discussed often this problem, and we never found another product which you can have without money. You must buy cars, you must buy beer, you must buy everything, but not music. Music is only product you can stole.

Edgar: I think it's a good thing, I think. You can learn about a lot bands without buying CDs. So for interest it's OK, but not when you do it whole of day. I think if you like musuc you should buy CDs. You should buy CDs from small bands, it's not so much important to buy CDs from big bands 'couse they have so much money and it's enough. But smaller bands, when you copy them and put in MP3, they have no money for next album. So I think small bands you should buy CDs from small bands and big bands you can use in MP3s.

Alex: I think real fan will buy CDs.

Andy: But when you look at prices in stores in Germany, it's priced too much.

Edgar: You must pay 13 or 15 euro for normal CD, and it's too much. Musiciants can't change it, stores set this price.

personal questions

Alex: How much time you spend in tours and how much in studios? Do you have enough time to rest after that?

Edgar: We spend a lot of time on tour, our last tour lasts 4 months, we spent in studio 3 or 4 months. So I need enough time to live. When we work, we're working 24 hours a day. When we worked in a studio, we slept in a studio, we need time to regeneration.

Alex: You need some new batteries? [smile]

Hilde: Yeah, batteries, cool! [laugh]

Alex: «Take some more!» [laugh]

[all laugh]

Alex: How often you go to clubs? Do you prefer dark scene clubs? Which is more important for you in clubs - good music or good beer?

All: BEER! [laugh]

Andy: If it has good beer, music isn't important [smile]

Hilde: Good beer - good music! [smile]

Alex: Did you ever had any addiction problems: drugs, alcohol etc?

Hilde: No, only drunk sometimes with alcohol.

Alex: Do you have girlfriends among your groupies?

Edgar: Next question! [all laugh]

Alex: Do you like to drive cars?

Andy: Yeah, I have old Japan car, Nissan.

Hilde: Yeah, I have VW transporter.

Edgar: I have good bycicle [all laugh]

some final questions

Alex: When we will grab our hands on your next stuff?

Andy: End of January 2003, it will our new second single, with 4 new tracks.

Alex: It's a question to everybody. What do you feel before your today's concert - your first concert in Russia?

Andy: I'm little bit nervous, because it our first concert here. Its strange situation, we dont know what we'll see. In Germany we know, but not here.

Hilde: I feel nothing [all laugh] It will change in few hours. Now I'm feel dead, I'm tired.

Edgar: I need a beer, that's my feelings.

Alex: What do you want to say or wish your russian fans?

Andy: I think people'll enjoy it, our concert, our show, we'll try our best, we'll give our all, I believe in nice evening.

Hilde: Ja zhalayu s Novym Godom! [he said «Happy New Year» on Russian] [smile]

Edgar: I will wish in Deutsche: «WELTFRIEDEN ist KÄUFLICH!»

Alex: Thank you very much for interview.

[all] you too [laugh]

Interview was taken in Tochka Club, Moscow, Russia on December 15th, 2002. Big thanks to Andrei «coroner» for his support.

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