by Catrin Nordwig | March 2017 |
KH – KeyHead
MC – MirColon _
So this is your first record release after seven years. What did you do in the meantime?
KH : There were more phases in the pause what we got. Last album was released in 2010 and than in following 2 years we play mainly the live gigs , however in parallel more changes started to happen in our private lives. The born of children for both of us. MirColon move from Slovakia to Czech Republic, where leaving now. As we are not professional band, you can imagine what’s happened. Work, family, concerts, there were not so much time for creative process. That was kind of first phase. At 2012 started next phase ,creative one. We made until end of 2013, eight tracks from forthcoming album. Remaining 3 tracks was done in 2014 and than all material landed in the shelf for one year. Even style remain the same, the new tracks had far different sound from previous work and we got idea to rework old tracks to fit sound for next live shows. KIFOTH played several gigs in 2015 to test how the new setlist works. It works perfect and in reality during that time we recorded material for whole live CD, which we plan to release after #Extensive Report as there are included tracks from that album. At 2015 we add to tracks some new layers to have more common sound for whole release and record the vocals. Honestly, one year we struggle with final mix down as each of us has different idea how should mix sound. Once we finally finish our work our label was closed. Fortunately we had very good friends around the wide, so we quickly start to talk with EKProduct which are very flexible and release date appear in really record short time. I think technically is impossible to make quicker. Let’s say March is first possible date to release in 2017.
When did you realize that it is about time for a new album and started writing new songs? Was there something like a trigger for it?
KH : Idea was to continue in kind of standard cycle 2-3 year cycle, but due to facts above there were some delays. There was not special trigger when to restart. We had to sort out our private lives, which is sometimes tough. Especially synchronize the time. Sometimes even our moods… There were one moment which somehow reenergize and kick us. It was once we played new setlist on one festival at Feb 2015. People enjoy a lot that show and new sound of old staff. We also reveal 3 new songs there and all of them had very good feedback.
Was there anything different in your workflow when producing “Extensive Report” in comparison to the recording process of the previous longplayer? Seven years is quite some time. Guess many things may have changed, right?
KH : Definitely there were more changes. Basically it’s fourth time what I changed completely setup of studio and start to use different program to compose music. Once you change the program it change your workflow as well. It takes usually half year to be in new software at home and program on your own way, you like. Meantime I become a real synthesizer freak. Myself and Bob (from Samhain. Last influence of brain) who is practically part of KIFOTH (doing the vocal effects programming and sampling on albums and supporting live gigs on keyboard ) bought in 2013-2015 more than 40 pieces of modules and synthesizers. It’s too much honestly say. Please aware to do that ! We spent hundreds of hours when met together and just listening of thousands of sounds instead of real making music. Even now I have a possession to use all of the instruments in every track. You can hear it on new album. It’s kind of orchestra of synth players. That make also very tough job to mix sound properly as each synth has slightly different sound as we use almost all brands. Once I got to my hands final master, than I count how many instruments I used. Not all, but 18 hardware and 18 software synths. For real freaks I listed up on my FB profile. Yes that changed a lot the sound and composition. There were also change in workflow that Mir now living in different country and we are meet in person not so often. What is very important get proper feedback once we working on mixing and fitting vocal composition and sound.
How long have you been working on the new album? Did you do everything by yourself or have you had any external help, maybe for the production?
KH : As I mentioned before in reality work on album something like 3-4 years, cause we were busy with other things. This time we work us usual. Mir Colon work on lyrics and vocals and me on music. Once all tracks are ready than we making final song arrangement. The Bob supporting in final stage, and during mixing he adding some voice samples and programming effects for vocals. The vocal itself we made in 2 studios. In early stage 2012-2013 at Mircolab and at 2015 we record remaining tracks and some doubles in commercial studio J. Final mixing was so tough as each of us had very different idea how should sound. The problem was also that this time we take so long time for recording and I used all the time latest equipments I get to my hands. So finally I had to rearrange and re-record at least 5 tracks to keep consistent mood for whole album. So we make again all production by ourselves, but as usually the final mastering is done with cooperation of label and this time was done by Dirk from Accessory who make great sound of record. Previous release was mastered by Mike Wells from Gridlock.
Despite the fact that this is your seventh album so far, you stayed true to your style, yet always up to date. Why did you decide to stick with this style? (many bands tend to think they have to reinvent themselves with each album…)
KH : You are right we are not change so much in style, however there are audible evolution of our records in sound and as well in structure of vocals. Mir made really good job and move forward KIFOTH here. On previous album we had some tracks which are bit unusual for us. Acerbity torrent had Leaving, Tyranny or Obsequious. The Violence Corporation had In depression or Microbiotics. On #Extensive Reports, maybe “Idealist Cogitations” and “Water” are bit different. Let’s say we are continue on next release where previous finishing. There is not sudden shift, we still keeping our roots. It’s kind of old school and our group exist 24 years already, so we are maybe part of old school already. In reality we not decide to do that intentionally, it’s coming from us. On other hand we are experimenting on live play. People who visited our concerts may feel quite big change there. As we are not releasing albums so often, we are more often re-arranging tracks to not play same sound. Every album tour had two phases. The year when album is released we are playing the version as on the album, but in next year with absolutely different arrangement. With live guitars, rearranged drums, different sounds and tracks sound absolutely different. Currently once we started to promote tracks of new release, we rebuild all tracks what we playing. People who know our albums ad mid tempo finally on concert realize that need to jump almost all the time.
As usual with KIFOTH releases, one gets the impression that you do have something to say with your lyrics – and that they are not only another acoustic layer. So, what is “Extensive Report” about?
MC : Well thank you. I appreciate that you caught our intention. A meaning of KIFOTH existence is a multimedia communication. One of the ways of the information sharing is the lyrics. The album “#Extensive Report” is written in the style of a summary report. It deals with the topic of overpopulation of the planet, depletion of resources necessary for our civilization existence. The album tells the story of manipulation, coercion, enslavement but also mad devastation of the planet Earth.
You are active for so long now – when taking a look back, what would you say: was the EBM scene different back then? If so, what is the most obvious change/development? Or has it stayed more or less the same?
KH: Yeah. Scene was really different. That was real underground. I remember concerts and parties in dark small clubs / cellers. That time was not so much opportunity to make music. The instruments was so expensive. Recording studios as well/ and limits of samplers and synthesizers was unknown for public. There were new ways and workflow how to make music, once started age of sequencers. Year to year come something new. The availability of tapes/records was limited as well. We can felt it especially. As we are from communist country at that time. It forbidden to hold and share that kind of music and even after wall fall down this kind of music was rebellion. It was real dark music, not just by atmosphere of music itself, but as well by the place where you can get and listen. It was kind of music of community. In now days for me looks more like just music genere. There are accessibility to make music on computer, easy to spread trough media & internet. It’s nice opportunity for creative people to make something and share to world, but on other hand it missing some kind of mystery and atmosphere, because you can easy to get. Positive point is there are lot of mixtures of different styles. Here I see some great newcomers on the scene like Necrofacility or Comaduster which I like so much.
You contributed a cover of “Assimilate” to the Skinny Puppy tribute sampler “It Ain’t Dead Yet”. So I guess you must be PS fans – are you excited about them returning to Europe for some gigs this summer?
KH : Sure, we are big fans of Skinny Puppy. They influenced as a lot. SP are one of the group which is responsible that we started to make music. It was nice experience for us to support them on live gig at Budapest at 2010. The talks in backstage what we shared was until early morning. Both are really nice guys. There is not doubt that we will visit at least one of their gig in EU. Should be really nice reminiscence, if we will have chance to open for them again.
You kept playing live regularly – have you tested some of the new songs live already?
KH : KIFOTH actually playing regularly, but not that often as when promoting new release. In last 3 years we played 4-5 times a year. I mentioned previously, we tested already new tracks and reaction is great. Tracks as “Electrosmog”, “Idealist Cogitation”, “Water” works well. At Dark EBM Soul festival in 2016 we played approximately 30 min from new material what was surprising for festival audience, prior CD release, but we still kept unveiled for live the track “Air” for example. Even demo version I unveil at chirstmas 2011 on my FB profile, there is possible to hear how sounds the track when was compose. On final release is totally different sound even lyrics.
What are your plans for the next months? Maybe some gigs over here in Germany?
KH : We going to promote our new release with live gigs. Now, is in the stage of planning and we targeting tour for autumn this year. It’s very early stage and I can’t say when and where will start. I expect maybe 8-10 gigs in neighbor countries. We just started to make some appointment in Poland, Czech, Slovakia and started some talks about Germany gig, maybe Italy. Of course I think it will depend how the new release will be welcomed. As well will depend on our time availability, if there will be demand maybe we should split tour for autumn and spring. We also planning to take one more Slovak group with us. By the way looks like this year will be very productive in Slovak electronic scene at least Terminal state, Samhain, The Opposer divine will release new material in spring, so we may play together eventually. The first live gig after release will happen on Front Fabrik Festival in Poland in April.