Interview with Kai Schmidt of Funker Vogt-By The Elektrobank on 8/10/2000

Me-1. This year the newest album, Maschine Zeit, was released. How has the response to it have been?
Kai- The Response has been very good. It is our best release so far: best production and best sales!

Me-2. How does the sale of the new album compare with the old ones?
Kai- From the very first beginning the sales were getting better and better from each release, and also the old releases got more attention after each new release. Unfortunately due to our trouble with zoth ommog, the old releases will be not longer available pretty soon here in Europe. But in the US Metropolis will go on selling them.

Me-3. How does the U.S. sales look for Maschine Zeit? Better, picking up, worse?
Kai-Also in the US it is looking really promising right now. I just got some figures and prognostics from Metropolis. It always can be better. Right now it is okay for us.

Me-4. Was there any type of concept for Maschine Zeit? The lyrics of most of the songs sort of tell the history of the world in the 20th century. Examples would be WW2, and the Cold War.
Kai-As funker vogt has a certain image, we wanted to stick to it. In the past the war and other military related topics have been the main themes of funker vogt. On the new CD we wanted to work a little more subtle with these topics and including other topics as well. So the song summer of 45 deales with the effects of war and the hope after the war, whereas cold war could have been also a track on execution track. But right here we have the connection from our last CD to the new one. It is like building a bridge and then leading to the more subtle side of the topic with a song like blackmarket dealer.

Me-5. Why was it decided to release a limited edition version of Maschine Zeit?
Kai-Here I can only asked why not, we tried this with our last CD and the people did quite like it. So we wanted to do it again, it is especially for the real fans, who run to the record stores the first day the cd is released and so it is a kind of reward for them.

Me- 6. Why was the CD-ROM track only the official German page? Why not include something exclusive?
Kai- This idea came up just a couple of days before the CD went into production. We didn't have the time to do more. Next time we wanna do a Funker Vogt related video game. It should be on the MCD "Subspace" which will be released in january.

Me-7. Can fans who did not pick up the limited edition expect the bonus track, Horizon, to be re-released? Maybe as a remix on the upcoming double CD?
Kai- It will be re-released, but only on the american market. As our american fans didn't really had a chance to get it, except a few lucky ones, our metropolis record has decided to put this one on their next label compilation. It shouldnt be rereleased on the european marked. Here most of the people had a really good chance to get it.

Me- 8. There was different vocal effects used on Jens voice for some of the new songs. Will there be any song in the future which features Jens's voice undistorted?
Kai-We don't really use the distortion effect on Jens voice. There are so many other effects one can use. But also in the future we will still use effects on Jens voice. There will be again different ones on the next CD which is sceduled for this year in autumn.

Me-9. The lyrics to Under Deck was written by Gerrit and Maschine Zeit was co-written by all three of you. Will you continue to write the majority of the lyrics in the future, or will Gerrit or Jens do some writing?
Kai-Jens and Gerrit always did some writing on all of our albums. But right now it looks that I will still do the majority. The four new songs which are coming on our box in autumn will be all writen by myself. But it is very likely that on the next regular album one or two tracks will be written by jens or gerrit.

Me-10. Maschine Zeit is a unique song on the album in that it has both German and English words. Why was it written like that?
Kai-We wanted to do a german song, like we did it already on our first and second album. But then when we did the chorus, it didnt really sounded well in german, so gerrit asked me if I can do an english chorus for the song. So I did.

Me-11. Will you ever contribute vocals to a song or do backing vocals it the future?
Kai-Most likely not. But never say never.

On to the Tour!-
Me-12. How was the response to the tour in Europe? Home country of Germany?
Kai-It was pretty good, it always can be better as I said.

Me-13. The tour also saw the band perform in new "costumes." Why the change?
Kai-We don't wanna get boring, what is the point in doing always the same, why should people come if it is just the same they already have seen last year. That is also the reason why we used a video-beamer in our show.

Me-14. Ravenous and Klirrfactor opened up for FV on the tour. How did that happen? Did you expect one of your projects opening up for another?
Kai-Actually we never wanted to do that, but while we were looking for a suitable support act, we really couldnt find one, and so in the end we thought why not taking ravenous. We couldn't think of any arguments against it and so we did it.

Me-15. What was your impression of Klirrfactor?
Kai-Really nice guys.

Me-16. Have you considered playing songs from the other projects? Maybe a song from Fictional and/or Fusspils 11?
Kai-We won't do that. If we are doing a Funker show we are playing Funker songs. There is no point in doing it otherwise. People from the US asked me if we can do a F11 song during our US shows. We thought about it but decided not to do it.

On to the U.S.!-
Me-17. What was your impression of New York City?
Kai-Big and ugly ; ). No it is a really impressive City, unfortunately we didn't have the time to explore it and it was pouring down for almost the whole time we where staying there. So we need to come back ; )

Me-18. Orlando?
Kai-Not so big but much cleaner. Orlando is a really nice city, a little bit too hot, but nice. We really enjoyed our time there. It was a good place to relax after we finished all the shows.

Me-19. How was the response to the two shows? Compared with Europe?
Kai-Response was excellent. We didn't expect that so many people will show up. Both shows have been sold out as far as I have been told by the promoters. In NY I felt sorry for the fans who had to watch the show on the third floor on monitors. I didnt really have an idea that the club was so small. And we will not ever again play in such a small venue.

Me-20. I have read some reviews of the show in NYC and some people thought that the music was from a backing tape and they could not hear the guitar. Is this true? Everyone plays live, right?
Kai-We had some sound problems due to the equipment at the place, but everbody did play live. Unfortunately the guitar wasnt loud enough and our guituarist was really disappointed when he listen to the video of the show. We will work on this. But after we left the stage for the first time in NY, the people went on stage and pushing the keys on the synths. So everybody could here that the maschines were making sound and that they did play live.

Me-21. Will there be a tour of the U.S. next year?
Kai-Hopefully yes. I am just planning a six concert tour for july-august. But right now it is not 100% sure. Cause then we have to come over with our complete crew, that will be 8 persons. That means a lot of money on travel expense. I don't know if we can realize it.

Other questions-
Me-22. Since there are a few mp3s of live songs, is there any plan of releasing a live album?
Kai-Maybe in the future. But we don't know when, certainly not this year.

Me-23. About mp3s. What do you think about it? Do you think it hurts sales or it helps it? Do you think mp3s and mp3 trading help non-commerical or small artist, like FV, as more people can hear these bands?
Kai-This is pretty hard to judge. So I made the decission that we will only put mp3 samples of our songs on the net (not longer than 90 seconds). So if you find complete songs to download this is most likely not authorized by Funker Vogt and therefor illegal. I think that mp3 are good to get the band known, but I still wouldnt put up complete songs as long as you can/could buy these songs in a shop.

Me-24. Why did you leave Zoth Ommog and signed with Bloodline Records?
Kai- Because we like to work with professional people! And we just went with the guy who discovered us. I think we did owe him one.

Me-25. How is it working with Bloodline?
Kai- Right now almost the same like it was in the old days with Zoth, maybe even a bit better. They do a good job over there.

Me-26. How is it working with Metropolis Records in the U.S.? Are you happy with their marketing of your albums?
Kai- We are too far away to really jugde them. But I think they are doing okay.

Me- 27. Is there a chance of leaving Metropolis and licensing future albums to another label in the U.S.?
Kai-Not right now. I think right now they are the best choice. If there would be a major interested, that could be a reason to think of changing.

Me-28. Is the new album in the works? Any tidbit of information you can share about the new album? Any surprises?
Kai-The new "box" is almost done. It will be a double CD box with 4 new songs. This section on the CD will be called Neuzeit. There will be three other sections containing remixes of Maschine Zeit. They are called Traumzeit, remixes done in a trancy and spherical way. Maschinen Zeit, remixes for the dancefloor and Endzeit, remixed done by other artist.

Me- 29. Bands like Apoptygma Berzerk and Covenant changed their sound in their last album, while Funker Vogt kept with their trademark sounds. Will there be any change of sound, style, etc., in the next album?
Kai-Just little once as we always need. We wanna keep our old fans and get new ones as well. I think you will find some changes in the 4 new songs which are coming soon. Be surprised.

Me-30. Is there another Fusspils 11 and/or Fictional release planned?
Kai-Not yet maybe later. We just work on Funker and also on new Ravenous MCD.

Me- 31. What type of music do you listen to now? How about the other members (including Ravenous members)?
Kai-Mostly electronic music, but also others, Jens is certainly still listening to some hardcore guitar music. That was his prefered music before he entered Funker Vogt.

Me-32. Any last words?
Kai- We had a great time in the States and hope to come back soon. A big thanks to all our fans out there.

I would like to thank Kai for taking the time to answer this long interview.


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