Admin: [:SITD:] hails from the Ruhr Area in Germany, how did this area become such an important region for Industrial/ Electronic music?
Carsten: The Ruhr Area is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, consisting of a number of large formerly industrial cities like Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Duisburg, Oberhausen or Essen. Towns in the area first grew during the Industrial Revolution, mainly basing their economy on coal mining and steel production. We are all children of the working class. Possibly hard working people prefer listening to hard stuff like Industrial or EBM. Incidentally the Heavy Metal scene is very big here, too. The Ruhr Area is the perfect breeding ground for such a kind of music and you find the best underground clubs here like the Kulttempel in Oberhausen or the Matrix in Bochum.
Admin: The newest [:SITD:] album, TRAUMA: RITUAL, recently made it to the top of the DAC (German Alternative Charts), congratulations on this by the way! Are there any other charts or measures, besides the DAC, that are important to alternative musicians in Germany and/ or Europe?
Tom: Thank you very much! We are very glad that we have reached the top of the DAC again. A respectable DAC-ranking represents the feedback on the dancefloors. For a band like us it’s important that the DJ’s spin our records at the clubs. It has a considerable promotion effect. The GEWC / German Electronic WebCharts - weekly voted by fans - become important, too.
Admin: Some of your previous albums have secret messages or hidden themes in them. Is there anything specifically about the album TRAUMA: RITUAL that you think fans may have overlooked or should know?
Carsten: In times of general political disaffection it seems very important to us to strengthen democracy and make a clear statement. We should all be aware of how important democracy is. You can't take things like being able to speak freely, to vote or have the right to demonstrate for granted. Let me explain this more fully: Many people see the world through very simplistic eyes, because that is what allows them to life this normal, like a so-called normal existence. This existence of congeniality, where there are no threats to life, everything is safe, everything’s nice, you’ve got the house, you've got the wife, you’ve got the car. It’s a blood façade. In actual fact we’re living in a nightmare world! Traumatic events happen every single day. But who cares? The world is in agony and we should ask ourselves: Is this the world we want to live in? This is what about TRAUMA: RITUAL is dealing with. We want to make people think, expose grievances and develop a sensibility for problems. We don’t have to understand why we are fighting a war in the year 2017, why humans commit the most atrocious crimes in the name of religion or profitability, and why the divide between rich and poor is getting wider and wider. We want to be a voice, a scream against injustice. This is our claim.
Admin: From comments I've seen elsewhere, live performances are a significant aspect of [:SITD:] so that you can connect with fans on a deeper level. What factors do you take into consideration when determining the songs to play at a show?
Tom: It depends. If we play big festival shows like W.G.T. or M’era Luna we prefer to perform a “Best of”-set. In the majority of cases we don’t have enough time for playing rare tracks. Usually we have the opportunity to perform a 45-60 minute set on a festival. The people want to hear the most popular [:SITD:] songs like “SNUFF MACHINERY”, “RICHTFEST”, “ROT” or “DUNKELZIFFER”. Certainly if we go on a club tour we put our focus on the current album. This time we’ve played always 5-6 songs from the new album TRAUMA: RITUAL. Our regular set is 90 minutes long. That gives us the chance to promote the latest album, on the other hand we are also able to perform the most popular tracks from our 7 full-length albums, which we have released so far. We love to play live. It's a wonderful feeling to share your emotions with the crowd, to give something and get something back.
Admin: It's often of interest to aspiring electronic musicians what type of gear bands are using in the studio. What software and hardware is working the best for the [:SITD:] sound right now?
Tom: We use various synths and software programs. Partly new, partly old. Every song has its unique requirements, which we try to fulfill. Ultimately the most important thing is the result, not the fact if an artist makes use of popular software programs or good-old synths. In contrast to our last album DUNKELZIFFER we used more software progs on TRAUMA: RITUAL.
Admin: There have been very few [:SITD:] performances in the United States. What are the biggest challenges faced when trying to tour overseas?
Tom: Flights, business visas… it’s very expensive for a European band to go on tour overseas. We don’t have the intention to make profit, but it’s always a struggle to break even. That’s the biggest challenge. We always had a great time in America. We love the country and the way in which the American fans support the bands during their performances. You can be sure that we will come back as soon as possible!
Admin: What accomplishment are you most proud of achieving with [:SITD:] so far?
Carsten: Last year we have celebrated [:SITD:]’s 20th anniversary. The band was founded in 1996. Seriously time flies and it seems like yesterday as we’ve played in small youth-clubs. We are proud that we are still alive. Now our fondest wish came true and we have the possibility to perform before a full audience and bring the most important thing into their focus: Our music. It’s a gift to have the possibility to visit a lot of countries, to see different cultures and to share our innermost hopes and dreams and even our deepest fears with the audience. We don’t have the intention to write the history of electronic music again, but we guess that [:SITD:] has build up an own identity and over the years we have created our own style. [:SITD:] is 100% authentic! We really love what we do!
Admin: For those who are just discovering [:SITD:], which 3 songs do you recommend to start with to grasp the overall message and concept of the band?
Carsten: Sorry, but I am not able to recommend a specific song. Every single track expresses a special idea and speaks for itself. Every message, every moment and every feeling we share with our audience is important to us! There’s no universal explanation. There’s always more than just one truth.
Admin: Having just released a new album, what is the next goal for [:SITD:] and is there anything else you'd like to add in closing?
Tom: We are very glad that the new album as well as the “GENESIS” video are out and we have really enjoyed our latest tour with ES23. The feedback on TRAUMA: RITUAL has been exceeding all the expectations we had. This applies to the DJ’s and media's resonances as well as to our audience. We savor the moment. We are full of ideas, but it’s too early to talk about the details. We will see what the future has in store for us. Many thanks for the interesting interview and of course many thanks to all the readers of Das Klub.