Interviews

Published on December 4th, 2019 | by Al Geiner

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The Q&A with MEGALMODAS

MEGALMODAS,  the mash-up of industrial, Electronica and Goth Rock/Post Wave styles is reminiscent of the late 80’s Early 90’s music. The Music is an aggressive edged retro vibed instrumental with echoing lyrical additions encompass each track put out by this German-based artist. A sound that is a union of KrautRock and Electronic Body Music, something that isn’t the usual lick that is so commonly heard now.

Put best by MEGALMODAS his “inspiration behind the music ” – My first big music love was Depeche Mode and I always wanted to merge “traditionell” hand made music with electronic instruments. Like Ministry, Rammstein and KMFDM are doing. But I’m also more a “softy” and like Pop Music (I’m a child of the ’80s…), so my music usually never gets that hard, even though I venture sometimes into the industrial Metal Realm, it is mostly (Gothic) Rock and Darkwave.

What first got you into music?

Well, I guess like most of us at a younger age I wanted to rebel and impress girls … So I bought a bass guitar which I could not play and joined a punk band. After being able to play more then one string of my four-string bass, I also started singing. These were my humble beginnings. Little fun fact, I never have been able to swoon a girl with my playing … so I clearly missed the mark here 😉

Who inspired you to make music?

Growing up in the Russian zone, behind the iron curtain, my musical input was a bit “stifled”, as I was exposed to far less music as the rest of the world. But Depeche Mode was, is and always will be my biggest inspiration. For some reason, their music made it into the Russian zone, and I instantly fell in love with it. I always wanted to fuse electronic music and hand made music as well together as they did. Still working on that …

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

This is a bit tough to answer, as I let the music decide where it will go. I see myself as a (Hard) Rocker or even Metalhead, and mostly intend to make harsh industrial metal sounds and songs. But I also have a soft “Pop” spot, so it happens to me that I start a song out with harsh guitar riffs and later venture into poppy realms, finally dropping the harsh beginnings, and creating a pop song, even though I’ve intended to do something completely different in the beginning. For me music is an open playing field, without right or wrong (categories, styles, genres …) all that counts if you like it or not. So I’m quite agnostic in my approach. Whatever happens happens. But, to make it easier for the listeners outside of my bubble, I usually group songs with similar sounds and styles together on one release.  

What is your creative process like?

I call it “the zone”, once I’m in the zone, I know I can create something great. Then I sit down and mostly start with some simple 4 to the floor beats and slowly built up the song around it and refine the drums and ingredients as I go along. With the first draft I go to the rehearsal space and jam around with my guitar, synths and all the instruments I wanna use.

Usually a lyrical idea forms then as well. Then I go back into my home studio and refine the whole track and write the lyrics the track inspires me to write. Sometimes I use a “pre-written” text, if it fits.

Of course, some songs “happen” completely on the computer, in the DAW, and some are created by a jam in the rehearsal space. But ususally, the described way is the normal process.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Well, you didn’t say “death or alive” but I will assume that.

Depeche Mode for sure! Martin Gore, big man crush here! Rammstein would be great. Getting some input from Flake, or having a few lines sung by Till, yes, I would love that.

Making some industrial Music with Paradise Lost or Sascha from KMFDM would be great as well.

Last, but not least, Lemmy from Motorhead, rest in piece! Him I really idolize.

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

Depeche Mode / Rammstein!!!!

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Enjoy the good things in life. See what you have, instead of focusing of what you might (presumably) miss. Be humble and grateful about opportunities to learn. Don’t be a smart ass, you do not know everything. Offer and accept help where you can and think you need it.

The biggest strength of mankind is that we are able to work together.

What is the most useless talent you have?

Besides my indelible good looks? I can pick my nose pretty well.

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Actually I’d rather “think” in the shower, and usually write down notes after I emerge from the wet embrace. But I caught myself singing tunes which pop in my head, the latest I can remember has been “without you” from Seabound, a great pop song, you should check it out.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

I would be an actor. So far I acted in a few music videos, TV Shows and two big budget movies.

But at the moment my main focus is on becoming a Rockstar.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

The biggest venue and crowd has been in the Kassablanca club in my hometown thus far, in front of about 300 people. The best gig so far has been in Leipzig in the, now sadly defunct, “Four Rooms”. I was playing bass guitar in a Grindcore band (Check out Riptide) back then and the crowd just stormed the stage as we were playing. I got tossed around quite a bit. But it was the most visceral reaction I ever got from an audience. Grindcore is actually not really my cup of tea, but for a while I enjoyed the sweaty underground music, and still really like the band members. As I’m still at a stage where I need to be grateful about every opportunity to play live, I’d rather not tell you about my worst experiences though …  

Next year we will play again at the Robot Festival near Berlin. They loved us, as we played there this year (2019) and we had to play our set almost twice, as Bionel (my female synth, violin, theremin player and singer) blew the Metalheads away with her Theremin Solos.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

It seems like everything is pay to play now. I can get good gigs if I pay for it. I can pay to get into big playlists online. Everyone seems to be continuously on her or his smartphone.

It is great for artists, like me, who can reach a big audience without the help of a label, on the other hand, it is though to stand out in this avalanche of music released every single day.

But I have hope.

Playing Live is still playing live, and you cannot substitute the feeling and experience of a live performance with a youtube video.

So people all over the world: get out and support your local scene! And please stop filming these performances with your cell phones! Who’s gonna watch a heavily distorted and shaky “music video” from whatever artist? Put your cell phone away, be in the moment and enjoy the concert performance!

What is your favourite song to perform?

I like all my childrens of course, but at the moment I really like to perfom “Mantra” in the version the great Simplefixty from Norway has created for Megalmodas.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

Paradise Lost, for re-inventing themselves again and again.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

I was held at gun point in the United States once and as I lived for a while in Africa was incarcerated briefly there. I also was once a victim of an attempted robbery (held at knifepoint) which I was able to talk my way out of without any bloodshed or “money exchange” …

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Your music sucks, stop it an learn something worthwhile.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

Well, I’ve spoken with a couple of labels so far and all just basically offer “pay to play”.

So I have to pay them that they do their job. I would wish for labels to believe in their artists again and helping them.

What’s next for you?

I met a few more great people and continue making music with them. As everyone of them brings in their own musical background, my / our music will evolve more and more over time. I envision a “Laibach” like future here, where we will have created songs in many different categories and genres, just my voice and distinctive style will tie it clearly to Megalmodas.

And my big goals still stand, playing the WGT (Wave Gothic Meeting in Leipzig) and Wacken (biggest Metal Festival in the world)! I’m a dreamer, I know.

How important is the current climate crisis to you and how do you think  you could help?

It’s saddening that this is well known for over 30 years now and not much has changed.

I personally stay away from unnecessary consume as much as I can and buy food as much as possible locally.

I do not own a car. I avoid any “fast fashion” and live with the wardrobe I have accumulated thus far and take care of it, so I haven’t bought any new clothing in the last 3 years.

My wife is from Australia, and we would like to visit my parents in law, but haven’t done that for the last 6 years, and rely on skype meetings instead.

 



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