Envy is Blind is the name of a music, poetry, and art project headed by Mike Poggenburg, with contributions from several other people… While the music is generally considered to be at the front of the project, the views expressed go beyond just that. Envy is Blind simply a face to cover the ideas which are presented through the project. Envy is Blind bases it’s music on concept and ideas. The expression of ideas through music is why it was invented. EiB uses these concepts to produce a final effect with a song, and, like all forms of art, we do not give it an expressed identity other than that which the audience assigns to it. Our music could easily be anthemic, thought provoking, meditative, spiritual, or anything else that a person wants it to be. We set no limits or specific purpose behind any song.
Chain D.L.K.: How did Envy Is Blind become a music project?
Envy is Blind: I started Envy is Blind in 1999 with a few friends. The original project was intended to be sort of dark gothic music, but it later evolved to electro/EBM. In early 2000 it essentially became a solo project with outside contributions from other musicians – Jeremey Kinikin and Joseph Knaapen being the most noteworthy of the two.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s your inspiration in making industrial music and who were your influences?
Envy is Blind: Well, KMFDM was what got me into electronic music. . even though my music sounds nothing like them…I was also really into techno and trance at first, but later got into some more industrial bands like Front Line Assembly. When Envy is Blind was formed, my biggest influences were Love is Colder than Death, :Wumpscut:, and Switchblade Symphony. I later got into more EBM music like Project Pitchfork, VNV, and Covenant.
Chain D.L.K.: There’s a lot of good points in the songs, such as world issues, on “The Eyes Of Time’s Conception” CD. Is it based on how you feel about society and political subjects?
Envy is Blind: I present my music strictly as an art form. Of course, I notice things in the world around me, some of which are inherently political subjects, but Envy is Blind is not a political band. I make statements about life as I see it, not politics. My music has a strong spiritual side, particularly in songs like “Co-Existence”, but even then, it’s much more observational than didactic.
Chain D.L.K.: “Requiem” is dedicated to the September 11th incident. What was the reaction you saw when the planes crashed to the two towers on national TV and did an idea occur for you to write a song about it?
Envy is Blind: The interesting thing about “Requiem” is that it’s not about the actual plane crashes, but about the nation’s reaction to it. I didn’t get the idea to write a song about it until a month or so later when I was going over news archives, listening to what the immediate reaction was from political leaders. I felt they displayed an inhuman and unrealistic sentiment, on which I commented in the song. Clearly I am against war, but I am not taking the role of a peace activist in “Requiem”. To me, the lyrics are about a search for solace.
Chain D.L.K.: On “Co-Existence”, you used a vocoder instead of a human voice, was it an experiment to see how will you sound robotic?
Envy is Blind: To me, “Co-Existence” has a very electro-trance feel to it, much more than any other song on the album. The vocoder was simply a way of reinforcing the feel of the song. I think that unprocessed vocals in that song wouldn’t fit due to the high sample content.
Chain D.L.K.: A variety of electronic genres are heard on the disc besides industrial, from EBM, trance, atmospheric and symphonics. Explain why.
Envy is Blind: This is partly due to the fact that the CD was over a year in the making. In fact, the original melodies to “Covenant” were the first song ideas I ever worked with as Envy is Blind in December 1999. I’ve always liked strong, atmospheric music, which I try to incorporate into all my songs, whether it’s a choir in “Requiem” or heavy percussion in “Sea of Flames”.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you plan to tour and promote the CD?
Envy is Blind: Not necessarily tour, but I will be doing shows here in the Twin Cities and possibly elsewhere.
Chain D.L.K.: Will you perform at the next Electronic Music Festival?
Envy is Blind: Know of any?
Chain D.L.K.: Is it complex to keep your music programmed before shows?
Envy is Blind: At the first show we had a slight problem with a short in one of the cables. As a result we had to start over several times. I’m working on a way to fix the problem by using a computer live instead of a sequencer.
Chain D.L.K.: You’re working on a remix for a goth band called Abney Park, how did you manage to hook up with them?
Envy is Blind: Well, TG Mondalf from Latex Records (latexrecords. com) and RhythmUS Network (rhythmus. net) contacted me about his independent label. He said he was possibly going to release a CD from Abney Park (abneypark. com) on Latex Records and that he would like me to do a remix for it. If I do end up doing a remix, it will be priority number one and is probably the next thing to expect from Envy is Blind.
Chain D.L.K.: I talked to TG Mondalf from Latex Records through e-mail, he sounds like he wants to sign you to the label. Have you come to a decision?
Envy is Blind: We’ve talked a lot about it. What we’re looking at right now is more of a distribution thing – he wants to distribute the next album I’m working on and promote it with me.
Chain D.L.K.: You’re working on a remix CD. Are there any artists you have in mind to jump on a track and do their own original mix version to give it another sound?
Envy is Blind: I’ve discussed it with a few artists, but since it’s still in very early stages, I can’t really say who will be on it. I do know that I will be doing remixes of my own work, though.
Chain D.L.K.: You relocated to Minneapolis from Wisconsin, how does it feel to be in another city and state? And is the music scene there is much more greater?
Envy is Blind: Moving to Minneapolis from Green Bay is quite a change. Green Bay is basically a dead city – there is no electronic music scene, and there’s really no call for one either. My friend Charles of the band Little Tin Box is working hard to get venues and clubs to dedicate time for goth/industrial nights. The scene here is growing.
[interviewed by Donovan Tate] [proofreading by TG Mondalf]