Germany have always been the forerunners of EBM/industrial dance. For many years various music hot spots throughout the world have tried to win this title from them, but with continuing acts like the trio of Massiv In Mensch you can bet that a drag-down knock out fight is in order for any area of the world to earn the title as industrial music central. Massiv In Mensch, made up of Daniel Longemann, Mirco Osterthun and Sarah Folkens, celebrate a new release on ArtOfFact Records in Canada. Belastendes Material is as good as beat-laced dance ever was, and is available now.
After the socially hard-hitting release of Belastendes Material, Massiv In Mensch have headed back into the studio and you can expect a lighter, dancier and more upbeat side of the group coming in Spring with their club-style CD of Die Rein. But don't fret - because after that it's back to their commentary with the Menschdefekt release thereafter. Keep an eye on www.artoffact.com for more about Massiv In Mensch and to pick up Germany's new round of boot poundin EBM.
I'm curious to know the musical backgrounds of each member. Is there any classical study of music and/or where did each of their interests in music begin?
Mirco : I've got no classical study of music. My interests in music began when the typical German dancefloor in 1990 with bands like L.A. Style or U 96 started to bring new elements to the Electro-Scene. Then I discovered "EBM" with bands like Front 242 or Tommi Stumpff. Furthermore I like artists like Christopher Franke who combine classical elements with modern electronic.
Daniel : I've got a classical study of music since I was 4. Until 19 years I played keyboard instruments like accordion, piano or keyboard. Then in 1993 my musical interests changed to an electronic style so I began to work with software on my home PC. These are surely the roots of the Massiv in Mensch sound.
Sarah : I'm interested in music for a quite a long time. I started playing guitar when I was about 12 or so. Since almost a year I`m also taking singing-lessons.
Is it an ongoing experience?
Massiv in Mensch : Of course. Since now we are collecting and letting new influences enter our musical cosmos. So, yeah, you can say that it is an ongoing experience to work with music.
What is the purpose of your music? To merely entertain or enlighten, or?
Massiv in Mensch : We want to entertain and enlighten the audience. Of course both elements are important but relating to the studio work and live performing we have two different focal points. On stage it is important to entertain, during the process of working in the studio or when writing lyrics, it is important to express our state of mind.
What vision does each member have, what is the creative force that drives them?
Mirco : I want to express my emotions and experiences, but furthermore I want to create a perfect sound. I've got a natural inclination to perfectionism. In the first place, I dedicate my time to the sounds and the tool works of Massiv in Mensch.
Daniel : Because of the fact that I write all lyrics I have a very personal relationship to Massiv in Mensch. All the words are my energy, my kind of humor, my emotions and my anger. My creative force is my direct or indirect surrounding. My daily life gives me enough impulses to be creative.
Sarah : It`s quite important for me to have the possibility of being creative. Being a member of Massiv in Mensch gives me that.
Do you believe in the creative Muse? (aka the White Goddess)
Massiv in Mensch : Sure we believe in creativity but not in the creative Muse or other Goddesses.
Do you believe music can be used as a tool to bring about social change, or does it merely serve as a signpost in history, signaling a desire for change?
Massiv in Mensch : It's clear that music is the most important carrier of information and culture. Every title, every CD is n document of time. As far as that goes, music can definitely reflect social changes and processes in society or culture but also it can be used as a signpost for the desire for change.
Ok, I'm trying to understand your music and I think it is based on analogy. I appreciate it on the level of interesting melodies, that ebb and flow around your lyrics. However, I know there are other analogies or levels to it. Can you tell me about those others?
Massiv in Mensch : Every title of Massiv in Mensch contains obvious contrasts. Our work is to combine these contrasts to a warm fusion. It's correct that the most melodies have an analogy to the lyrics but also to the beats or the rest of the song. Massiv in Mensch is a very personal "cosmos" so the analogy begins when the first singer sings the first line. It's like a role-playing when every member of the band has his own part. And this part is filled with much personal intensity.
Any bands or styles you can name as influences on your music?
Mirco : Dance, Techno, EBM (Front 242, Some More Crime), Christopher Franke, Classical.
Daniel : EBM (old-school like Tommi Stumpff, Tilt!, Laibach), Utah Saints or other dance-acts. Techno, pop.
Sarah : EBM and Techno I listen to most sometimes also eighties music like Alphaville or A-ha.
Is Belastendes Material a mix of social commentary or is there an actual continuing story line within in?
Massiv in Mensch : Belastendes Material is a mix of social commentary, but relating to the lyrics it is quite a bit fragmentary and punctured. After we release Die Rein this Spring on Artoffact Records, our next vocal CD Menschdefekt will be more conceptual and indeed there is a storyline within in. Our main subject will be definitely decadence in humans and society. The next CD, Die Rein, will be club techno tracks with very few vocals.
Do you have a preference to working in a studio over performing live?
Massiv in Mensch : We work in a studio as on stage. Both things have an attraction. The studio work is very precise, and the live performing is more emotional because we want to give much energy to the audience.
If the music stopped at this moment, how would you want to be remembered in relation to it?
Massiv in Mensch : Our wish is that our work will be remembered in the minds of the people and our companions.