Interview: SynthAttack (Germany – ebm/aggrotech)


EDITOR’s NOTE: Please excuse the slight formatting errors.  For some reason, I was unable to fix them.
SynthAttack has been beating the stages to a bloody pulp with their brand of ebm/aggrotech music for the past few years now.  They’ve just returned with their third release, Harsh Is Back – a flawless assault on the dance floor speakers.  They bring a respectable ode to the old school harsh ebm with a renewed sound.  Martin was kind enough to take some time out of his day to answer some questions for us.  In the meantime, if you are a fan of bands like Dawn of Ashes, Hocico or other hard ebm bands, you’ll definitely want to check SynthAttack out now.

Just for the new readers, could you provide a brief history of SynthAttack?
Sure, Britta and I started the project in 2015 to make good new Dark Electro.
I made the pretty famous Insomnia Remix pretty early and DJs started to play our tracks in many clubs already when we released our first album “To The Floor” at our label darktunes by the end of the year.  In 2016 we started playing life on stage and supported Agonoize, Noisuf-x, Namnambulu etc and got invited to Moscow and Kiev even. Our second album “Club Takeover” hit all shops and we got rank 6 in the scene charts (DAC).  After Britta and I got separated and she also had to leave the band because she went to spain for a longer time, we found Nici and she joined SynthAttack as a worthy replacement and supports me now on stage and all band related stuff very well. We then recently released our new album “Harsh is Back” which is currently 2nd on DAC Charts, together with our new music video of our hit “Life is a Bitch” and had many great concerts this year too where we played at the WGT and as mainact at many big scene partys.
SynthAttack is really a simple sounding band name.  Is there any significance or deeper meaning behind it?
Well i guess most band names are pretty simple containing just one or two words. We were looking for a name for a pretty long time and you need to find something new that is not yet taken and can be remembered.  This name can describe our music-style pretty well, since our focus are synthesizer playing good catchy melodies with cool sounds and hard hitting beats and strong vocals adding some aggressive power.. therefore SynthAttack fits it really well I think.
How did you become involved with your label, Dark Tunes?
We checked out pretty much all scene labels and the problem is really most of them don’t do much promotion for their bands or if they do they keep all the money from the selling in return.   It is a hard business anyway since there is not that much money involved anymore.  Darktunes was interested pretty early after we send our track Melody Overload for their compilation, and after seeing how Raph is supporting his bands and promoting them especially when you compare it to the other labels we gladly joined them and it has been a really good partnership since then.
The video for “Life Is a Bitch” has some interesting aesthetics/presentation.  Can you talk about the making of the video?
I wanted to make a cool music video for quite some time already but I wasn’t impressed by most of the scene videos that much for the most time. When I saw the video of Parasite of God – Through Sorrows it really amazed me and i started to write with Jonathan the creator of it.  Since he lives in Sweden, was pretty busy and we also had Nici pretty new in the band it kind of took some time but we had to ether to do it now together with the album or not until the next one. So we made it happen, drove to Sweden for a weekend and filmed everything in just one day! It was a really cool adventure and we had lots of fun doing the shoot in his living room in front of a green screen. So even thou everything was kind of rushed and our first time doing it, you can see Jonathan is really an expert and made this professional and awesome looking video full of cool cuts and effects and we are super happy with it 😉
Can you talk about how your studio equipment has changed since the beginning of SynthAttack?
Oh well I started with pretty bad programs and synthesizers but for SynthAttack I was using Ableton and good synths like Sylenth1, Gladiator etc. from the start already and added the famous Access Virus pretty early too.  So we were pretty well equipped already and I only got some high quality effects and a few new synthesizers here and there that fit our style since then. We also use Ableton live on stage where we can automate effects like delay perfectly to different song parts which most of the bands cannot do.  Since I’m not one of those synth-nerds who like to just gather all kinds of shit just for the sake of having it, I rather carefully selected what I want and rather try to use it to perfection than just adding more and more gear that does not fit our music well.
Your bandcamp site states that you wanted to create “powerful music for the clubs.”  But really… what inspires you lyrically and musically to do what you do?
Well it really is the main motivation since we like energetic music and still go out regularly to clubs and parties, besides escalating on stage too of course. Personally I listen to music when I’m in the gym where i want to train hard, when i drive or in the club where i want to dance so I really like music that motivates and activates you and gives you power 😉  The lyrics really depend on the track and the feeling that comes with it. We have sad as well as uplifting lyrics and some are critical on society even. Our focus is to make club tracks thou mostly but since I cant stand too simple lyrics, we always try add some kind of message or content in the songs as well.
How do you think that aggro-tech has grown in the past year or so?  Also, what advancements do you think still need to happen?
Well in Germany the harder Dark Electro styles get played in the clubs still but the festivals add more and more synth-pop bands and the average age of the visitors is growing because of that. Younger people need more energetic music and i hope that the festival bookers add more hard Dark Electro again to have a better balance to the softer synth-pop bands.  Outside Germany like in Mexico or even Russia, Ukraine etc. people favor harder bands or at least a better mix thou.  Our goal is to bring new and fresh sounding Dark Electro / Aggrotech in the scene and our success is showing that people are really looking forward to it and that really motivates us in return too.
Any live/festival/tour plans outside of Eastern Europe?  USA maybe?
We are playing in Kiev again in December and hopefully Russia comes again next year. USA usually is hard to get in the costs for flight etc. but it would be cool to play at the ORUS Fest in Mexico.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2017 and into 2018?  What does SynthAttack hope to attack next?
At start of 2018 we play together with Phosgore and Extize at some clubs which will be really cool and we play with our label mate Binary Divsion in Hamburg. Hopefully WGT works out again and many more gigs will come at parties and festivals as always.
We also will be working on the next album and we will use Nici’s great vocals on some new tracks as well, but we will take more time now to make everyting even better so we wont release another album in the next year yet.
Most important question: hockey.  Hamburg Freezers, Dusseldorfer EG or Adler Mannheim?
Event thou hockey seems to be pretty brutal Im more into fight sports man so I have no clue but I like Hamburg 😉
You are on stage at a huge outdoor festival near the Black Forest of Germany.  All of a sudden, the hard drive on your laptop computer fails.  Fortunately, there are a couple of other bands who are willing to allow you to use their backing tracks if you want to perform a couple of cover songs.  You have no choice and must finish the set to collect the pay check.  Whose back-up do you use? And are there certain tracks you’d like to play by them?
Honestly i would plug in my smartphone and go on with our own stuff but if I had to play other bands It would be really fun to escalate to some Agonoize tracks and spill some blood and gore on the dancefloor to “Death, Murder, Kill” or “Schaufensterpuppenarsch” 😉
Many many years in the future… a distant relative locates a box in the attic of an old house.  The box contains the music of SynthAttack and something to play it on.  What would you like this person to know about your legacy simply by listening to your music?
Well I’m not a fame bitch and people should ether like and value the music or not regardless of who created it and how big the name is. Music should speak for itself 😉
SynthAttack’s new album Harsh Is Back is available now via Dark Tunes.

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