Music Interview

Virtual Embrace

By Kim Mercil

Virtual EmbraceKM: Mike, you are the sole creator of Virtual Embrace. Can you tell our readers some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a solo musician?

I think it is positive to work alone to let free your mind without making compromises. But for exchanging ideas it is sometimes necessary to hear what other people think. Actually it does not matter to me, because I can work in both ways good and professional.

KM: What influenced you to get into music? What and when was the first thing you released ever? What name was it under?

I am playing guitar for 18 years now. I bet that’s how it started. I met a friend once, and he told me he is a music producer and I was curious to see how things work in a studio. After that I got really infected and I bought all the equipment I needed. My first release ever was a vinyl single called “Dark Desire – My Deepest Fire.” It was signed by a major label here in Germany. But after the club promotion they decided not to release it anymore in the shops. Because the club promotion of that record was a disaster.

KM: In ‘88 you started tattooing…was it on yourself? What was it? How many do you have?

Yes, I started to practice on myself, but now I prefer collecting from different artists around the globe. I have had lots of tattoos, and I probably can´t count them. But now it turned into only one big one! ;-) Feel free to check my website and click the gallery of Mike.

KM: In ‘94 you opened your own tattoo shop. Are you still in business today?

Yes, sometimes. I have lots of friends and people who only want tattoos from my hand. I still love tattooing, so I will do that until I die. I still have my own shop, but I have a second artist who takes care of it.

KM: In 1998 you formed Infekktion. In 2002, Sero.Overdose. In ’03 Agonoize and in ’04 Virtual Embrace. Are there any other projects in the works for the future that we should be aware of?

I am always working on lots of different projects. But these mentioned are my own. I work for different bands as a producer in mixing and mastering. And I do lots of collaborations. I think yes, I will probably do more of my own projects in the future, but they will not to be found in the electro gothic or industrial scene.

KM: How does Virtual Embrace fit in with your other projects?

It does not need to fit! I like diversity between all my projects. I could not stand it, if one project sounds like the other.

KM: ‘04 saw the release of Virtual Embrace’s Escape to Insane and your other band Sero.Overdose’s No Time For Silence. How did you go about juggling recording time etc for both?

As soon as I am finished with one project’s album, I start the next one. Easy for me to handle. I need about one month for Virtual Embrace, three months for a Sero.Overdose production, one month for Agonoize and about two to three months for an Infekktion album. It is not too fast produced, I am only professional!

KM: Currently three tracks off of Escape to Insane; Dementia, Roots of Evil and The End; are all club hits. What is it about these tracks that made them catch the crowd’s attention?

I bet it is the “new sound” which is hard to get into when you hear it the first time. But after a while you can´t live without it. So on the club floors it works now better and better, and I believe the second album will hit the floors like a hurricane.

KM: How did you go about learning all the equipment and software used in the studio?

It was a friend of mine who showed me how to use the equipment. And I learned a lot from other already famous commercial music producers how to mix and arrange a song. And I have eyes to read lots of books! ;-)

KM: Why aren't all of your projects material released through Alfa-Matrix?

I like to work with different labels, because I am aware of having the label focusing only on the best selling project.

KM: Would you say that Virtual Embrace is influenced by Suicide Commando?

No! Just take a listen! Does every band who uses distortions sound like S.C.??

KM: You've stated you like 50's rock and roll. Does this style have any bearing in the music you create?

It is where the soul of my heart goes. I like the simple way of catching the people into the music. It always makes me smile when I had a hard day.

KM: Do you plan on taking Virtual Embrace on the road? Do you acquire other musicians for your stage shows?

I don´t know about it at this moment, because I am playing live already with two projects. Agonoize and Sero.Overdose are taking lots of my free time, but I am always thinking about it.

KM: In your list of favorite things one of them is "curry wurst." What is it?

It is a traditional Berlin food.