Artist: Panic Life
Artist: Panic Life
Shibi and Gn0m3 kick off April with the new AlbumS of the Month. Again, sorry for the delay but to make it up, this episode includes bonus tracks! Gn0m3 has a new mic, too, so we can hears him! Yay! He’s recovered from his illness and ready to join forces with his co-host once again to bring you teh Oontz! Much giggles and antics are brought to the table. Be prepared for mass because this episode is absolutely sinful!
:Interview: Thomas Rainer of Nachtmahr
Conducted via Email
Interview questions written by Maresa Whitehead
Thomas Rainer of Nachtmahr, the controversial yet preeminent “Imperial Austrian Industrial” force, recently wrapped his Operation Amerika 2014 tour. Supported by Ludovico Technique and Esoterik, Nachtmahr bulldozed through 10 North American cities in as many days. Rainer was generous enough to reflect on his experiences by answering some questions posed by COMA writer Maresa Whitehead. Want to learn about the worst experience on the tour? Curious about the truth surrounding the scene’s newfound obsession with doge? Read on for exposé!
Maresa: Your Operation Amerika 2014 tour wrapped on Sunday, April 6th, in LA. How do you feel it went overall?
Thomas: I am very happy and satisfied with the results, turnouts and especially with the feedback from our fans. This has been an amazing experience for everybody involved
Maresa: Your tour companions were Ludovico Technique and Esoterik. Obviously, spending so much time together can create some interesting interpersonal dynamics. How did you all get along on the road?
Thomas: The intensity I bonded with everybody on the tour was crazy this time around. It’s unbelievable how close you can start feeling to people who have been complete strangers within 2 weeks by sharing a common goal.
Maresa: Speaking of the interesting dynamics between you and your tour companions, some fans may have noticed an increase in the number of industrial “doge” posts gracing their social media platforms which is directly related to the Operation Amerika 2014 tour. Can you give us the scoop on how the doge meme became the unofficial inside joke for your tour?
Thomas: My keyboard player Gregor (who we dubbed the German Meme Master) is to blame for that. He had the whole Doge thing going on for quite a while before the tour and as those long drives can get quite boring. So I caught our roadie and light guy Richie sleeping one day on the van, snapped a picture and edited it “Doge Style” to reflect his dreams. That was the inital blast for all tour doges to come.
Maresa: What was the best experience you had? What was the worst?
Thomas: The best and worst experience at the same time was our show in Los Angeles. The show itself was incredibly energetic and the crowd was in a total frenzy. I loved every minute of it and it was a worthy conclusion to the tour. We really went up in flames that night.
That leads to the worst, which was saying good-bye to the rest of the touring party, knowing that we will not see each other in a very long time. It was really hard and made me very sad. Every single one of them was exceptional, both as a person and as a professional.
Maresa: You’ve experienced venues of differing sizes throughout your career. Nachtmahr has been featured in huge arenas as well as in dive clubs. On this tour, many of the venues in which you played were small. What were some of the challenges you faced in playing these smaller venues? How did you adapt your stage show to balance those challenges?
Thomas: With more than 17 years of stage experience I am very well acquainted with the various sizes of clubs and know how to work and enjoy both settings. I actually enjoyed playing the small clubs a lot as you could interact with the crowd on a more intimate and personal level, as opposed to seeing all of them as one huge mass.
The only hard time was sometimes the technical aspects of the clubs, but due to the fact we carried most sound and light equipment with us ourselves this was not much of an issue
Maresa: Gregor Beyerle accompanied you onstage. What did he bring to the show that you might not have had without him?
Thomas: Apart from him being a great synthesizer player who in opposition to a lot of acts in the scene, plays all his parts live instead of faking them. We just work very well as a team due to our year-long stage experience together. The chemistry is just there and we trust each other blindly which leads to a dynamic and energetic performance.
Maresa: At Triton Fest last September and on this tour, you displayed a video that continuously played behind you. The video contained a variety of images and quotes. What is the significance of that video? How did you choose the material that went into it and what did it add to your show?
Thomas: The background video always tries to provide an extra layer adding to our music, lyrics and performance with various images and quotes. Those who want to dig deeper into the world of NACHTMAHR will find it an interesting additon.
Maresa: Do you find there is a language/cultural barrier between your German lyrics and cultural references and your American audience? If so, how did you overcome that barrier specifically when you were performing in front of an English-speaking American audience?
Thomas: I never felt there was any and people were singing along. We all felt like one, every night. Language and nationality aside.
Maresa: Not all of your audiences on this tour were native English speakers. You stopped in Tijuana, Mexico near the end of your tour. What was that experience like?
Thomas: Mexico is always a great country to play in as the crowd is unmatched in terms of energy and passion. Also the promoters were amazingly hospitable so we enjoyed our stay a lot.
Maresa: The Operation Amerika 2014 tour was scheduled in conjunction with your latest release, Feindbild. What is the importance of a tour when it comes to promoting a recent album release? Was this tour successful to that end?
Thomas: Touring is basically the only way of promoting a release and/or band as a whole in the USA. That’s why it’s so important to get on the road, whilst in Europe there are more diverse options of successfully getting word out about your band and release.
Maresa: Considering Feindbild was a major motivation behind the tour, what factors played a role in choosing the tracks that ultimately made it into your setlist? Did you play the same set for each stop or did you change it a bit?
Thomas: Although the tour was happening in conjunction with the album release we tried not to focus too heavily on its songs but rather present a “best of” set to the audience. We haven’t been in the US for a few years and that’s why we wanted to show off a broader range of songs. The setlist developed from show to show as we saw which songs the people liked more and which ones less.
Maresa: At your stop in Pittsburgh (and I’m sure at most of your stops throughout the tour), several fans used the Nachtmahr uniform as a basis for their attire, if not for their overall fashion for the evening. How does it make you feel to look out into an audience and see numerous fans clad in identical Nachtmahr uniforms? Is this something you support in your fanbase and why?
Thomas: It’s incredible to see when people dress up in your uniform and thereby show their support in a very strong fashion. Much more than just wearing T-shirts. It’s a pledge of allegiance and it makes me very proud.
Maresa: Thomas, thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. We (and your fans) truly appreciate the chance to get a glimpse behind the scenes! Here’s a final question for you: What is the one experience you wish you had on this tour that you’ll likely seek out the next time you’re in the US?
Thomas: I really wish I would have had more personal time with each member of our touring party to get to know them even better. You are stuck in a confined space for lengthy periods of time, but because your focus is on the shows and problems at hand, that easy personal interaction sometimes gets lost.
Thank you very much for the interview and I hope to return to the USA again very soon. I might just have left a piece of my heart there, with its places, people and culture.
Song: Goodnight London
Amy returns this week with a new episode of The Oontzcast, offering up a delicious serving of mostly synth-pop. Apologies for the absence of last weeks episode. It seems the panel of hosts were all down with an illness last week and some confusion between whose turn it was was the previous week caused a delay. The delayed podcast will be available for download later this week.
Artist: Xenturion Prime
Claus Kruse of Germany’s Plastic Noise Experience returns with his 8th studio album entitled Therapy, which released April 4th following last years EP teaser to the album, Control. Many have called it a return to the roots, much like the EP. Hard beats, heavy bass lines, and layers of dark electro synth. Included with the album are remix collaborations with AD:Key, Suicide Commando, Armageddon Dildos, and Serpents.
Artist: Adam and the Ants
Song: Dog eat Dog
Artist: Cold Cave
Song: A Little Death to Laugh
Song: Recover (Travelogue)
WTII095 – Slave Unit – Through with You
Audio Sampler: Soundcloud
Buy It: WTII Records
After a 5 year hiatus, California’s Slave Unit returns with a new attitude and new album, Through With You. Conceived in 1995 as a solo project of Mike Welch, Slave Unit is one of the innovators of the “Coldwave Sound” that took the world by storm in the early/mid 90s and has continued to progress into the 2000s. Slave Unit’s sound strikes you with powerful rhythms, bass-heavy beats, original samples and crunching guitars. Through with You follows Slave Unit’s signature formula and stellar tracks like “Typical,” “3,” and “Euthanize” will not disappoint the coldwave loyalist. Other tracks like “I Don’t Care Anymore” and “Lordfly” can crossover into the heavy metal and hard rock genres while “Typical” and “Rep.Resent” dabble in hip-hop. Overall, Through With You was well worth the wait and propels Slave Unit into a force to be reckoned with for the future.