Funker Vogt Interview 1997 with Gerrit Thomas (Composer) of Funker Vogt.
This interview is taken from the official Funker Vogt webpage.
(Childhood questions while checking levels):
MM: Can you tell me about your childhood?
Funker Vogt: My own childhood?
MM: Oh yeah,
FV: What do you want about it?
MM: Was it happy, unhappy, or what?
GT: I think it was a normal childhood
MM: (snicker) So why are you doing what you are now?
FV: (laughs) I would say that I had a typical German small town childhood. My parents both were working, and they had a little bit more money than others. I was never beaten or something like that.
MM: Well, just to introduce yourself, you are...
FV: I am Rote X. I do the music in Funker Vogt. It is a sudonym because I am a member of another band that does not want to be connected with Funker Vogt.
MM: What does the name Funker Vogt stand for or mean?
FV: The German word Funker means 'radio operator' and it's a joke at the Federal Armed Forces. And Vogt is a German sur-name and we know someone who's name is Stephan Vogt, and he was at the Federal Armed Forces during the time we created the band. And he was always called 'Funker Vogt' and we teased him with it. And that was funny so we decided to call the band like that. So it is just a fun name with no deeper message. Or something like that...
MM: Is Stephan on the cover of the album?
Funker Vogt: No, that's somebody else.
MM: How many songs have you (Funker Vogt) written so far?
FV: Until now we had 12 songs and have some more in our computers. I think we have 25 songs now already complete. We have 10 on our LP and have 2 on our new EP "Words of Power" and "The Third War".
MM: Are the songs on the new EP part of the original batch of material or are they new?
FV: They are both new songs and three remixes of our title song "Thanks for nothing". Remixed by In Strict Confidence, Controlled Fusion and ourselves.
MM: How successful has your debut been in the clubs and at the radio in Germany?
FV: Oh, it was very much a suprise for us because we did not expect such a success. The first time we just wanted to make our own CD, but the response has been like that and is that is very good. We really couldn't expect it and was a very nice suprise.
MM: Which of your songs are the club favorites?
FV: The title song, and the first two tracks:"Thanks For Nothing", "Black Hole", "A New Beginning", and sometimes they play "Alone".
MM: Have you ever played live before?
FV: Yes we did one gig in our home town here in Hamlen. That was a long time before the CD was released.
MM: Has your sound changed since then?
FV: Sure, I think the technical neuvo has changed quite a bit since a couple of years ago. Always there is new equipment which you can buy and your technical experience grows.
MM: Do you plan on playing live or touring soon?
FV: Yes, there is a festival in Belgium in May 31st, and in August there is a label tour through Northern and Western Europe. But our manager is always looking for live gigs. In May we are playing in Hamburg, maybe, it could be.
MM: What is your live show like?
FV: Yes I could, but (laughs) I don't want to say something about that because there are some suprises that nobody should know before.
MM: About the band and it's formation, how did you get together with Jens the vocalist?
FV: We know each other from a soccer club from a long time ago. And I knew he prefered hard music and I just asked him to sing on a song for me and he did it.
MM: According to your label bio, the band formed in early 1995. Were you involved with music before?
FV: I have made music since the beginning of 1990's, but I also did it for me, just for fun. By the time Jens came to the band, I think it was January 1995, I realized it could be more than just a fun project. So we invested more time into it. One year later we had enough songs to make a demo tape.
MM: How many demos did you have to send before you got signed?
MM: What kind of response did you get?
FV: We got 4 tapes back and three were interested. Zoth Ommog was the first. We decided on Zoth Ommog because we think we match with them very well. When we sent the tapes, they had more harder bands like they do now. Zoth Ommog was the label that stands for hard music and thought that was for us.
MM: How would you describe your music to somebody who has never heard it before?
FV: I would say it was made for the dance floor. The songs are mostly hard and use your aggressions on the dance floor.
MM: Whom are your influenced?
FV: Speaking for myself, I would say I'm influenced by all kinds of music. I listen to Ministry, FLA and on the other side I like Division, Depeche Mode and film music I like especially. I wouln't say I am influence by someone, because I don't create a song from which I know before. It comes from the feeling.
MM: How long does it take you to compose a song.
FV: It depends, there are songs that you create in two or three days and a little work after that (half an hour). Or there are other songs that take one or two weeks to complete.
MM: What are your favorite songs (of your own)?
FV: From us, I always prefer the newest ones, which nobody else knows (laughs). From other bands I enjoy "The Kill" from Birmingham 6, very good song I think. There is another German band called Ravenous which thier new album is full of good songs. (ed. - Ravenous is actually another project of Rote X, but for legal reasons he could not say so when this interview was conducted).
MM: What is the music scene in your home town?
FV: Right here in Hamlen there is no scene. There is just one club and if we want to be in a scene, we drive to Hanover where there are 10 or 12 clubs. Here it is no good.
MM: How many fans of Industrial or EBM in your town?
FV: I think here in Hamlen there are a couple of such people, maybe they are between 80 to 100 such persons. I know maybe 10 or 12 by name.
MM: Your release is about to be released in the States on Metropolis, are you planning on a US Tour at all?
FV: Ooo, This year we can say that we couldn't play in the United States because we have full time jobs, but next year we can talk about that, yes.
MM: What other new releases are you planning this year?
FV: There are several samplers (compilations) including the cover compilation on Zoth Ommog on which we did from What I'm Talking. We are working on a new album which will be put out in August with a new MCD released shortly before.
MM: You mentioned you had a full time job, how much time can you spend working on your music?
FV: I would say I spend time on the music, about 3 to 4 hours every day and more like 8 to 20 hours on the weekend (if the song seems to be good).
MM: Do usually write the songs and then do the lyrics after, or are they done at the same time?
Funker Vogt: It also depends. But I would say the music is usually written before the lyrics, but that changes depending on the song.
MM: Thank you very much and hope to see you live soon.
Funker Vogt: Thank you and talk to you soon. Hej.
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