Chain D.L.K.: For those new to the group, tell us about how you got the name Melotron.
Melotron: In 1995, our new sound didn’t fit our old name, The Vermin, so we decided to call our band Melotron. One big difference between Melotron and The Vermin is that now our songs are sung completely in German. We think that Melotron is a neutral name that is spelled the same in all languages and stands for one thing: the three of us.
Chain D.L.K.: What inspired you to start making music?
Melotron: We started making music when we were 14. At 14, we started to think about what you would like to achieve in life. Our friends started thinking about what kind of apprenticeship the wanted to do; and we realized that none of us felt very excited about a regular 9 to 5 job. That doesn’t mean that we are lazy, but leaving in the morning and going home at night, working all day, just isn’t our cup of tea. We’d miss the kick, the excitement. That’s why we put all our energy into fulfilling our dream of life – Melotron.
Chain D.L.K.: Why the decision to sing strictly in German? Is to localize purely in Germany, Austria and other German speaking regions?
Melotron: It is pretty simple. Our parents just taught us German. And in school there was not much more than a few introductory classes in English and Russian. So why sing in a language you don’t understand? ! Furthermore, we keep on noticing that we’ve got many fans abroad who love us because of our language even though they don’t understand it. As for the people who don’t understand the language, worldwide, we are constantly asked if we could send them our lyrics so they can translate them.
Chain D.L.K.: The song “Gib Mir Alles” seems to have more of a dancey techno edge to it. Is this any indicator of the next CD?
Melotron: Yes and no. Our new album is engaged in many styles and we put them together to “Weltfrieden”. That’s why Gib mir alles is “only” one song out of 14 different songs on “Weltfrieden”. It would be a very bad idea to draw conclusions from this song concerning the entire album. It is much more extensive and musically complex than 14 times Gib mir alles.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about the new CD “Weltfrieden” and it’s direction versus the last CD.
Melotron: As mentioned above, there are very different songs on the album. But all of them are connected by the thought of the world as the linchpin of all life. Compared to Fortschritt, we started working on the album in a very conceptual and structured way. They “mode of operation” was also a little different. At first, Andy and I got together and made first song sketches from our ideas about the melody and lyrics. We didn’t think about the sounds for the songs. Afterwards we gave the demos to Hilde and Olaf Wollschläger, our producers, and let the decision to them about what the songs would sound like.
Chain D.L.K.: How was your experience at the Synthpop Goes the World festival?
Melotron: The Synthpop Goes the World-Festival was three days of consecutive partying with the fans and other bands like And One, Toy or Mesh. It was one of the most organized festivals we ever played at and we would like to use the opportunity to once more say Thanks to DJ Lazarus and all the others who made this possible. Looking back, we only have positive memories and we’ll be back at the next occasion.
Chain D.L.K.: Will you ever sing in English again?
Melotron: No. We’ll keep on singing in German, since our English in a sober condition is neither understandable nor bearable.
Chain D.L.K.: What are some of the songs, not all of them though, on “Weltfrieden”, and what are they about?
Melotron: One song on the album, for instance, is called “Wir sind!!!” and is about the everlasting conflict between the generations, between young and old people. I was sitting at a party among a bunch of elderly people or people who thought they were old. The whole evening they had nothing else to do than complaining about today’s youth. But at the same time they would proudly brag about the bad and dangerous things they did when they were young. Finally one of them remarked, “We were so much different than today’s youth! ” – if they knew! I wrote the entire lyrics to “Wir sind!!!” that night and I hope that some of the people from that party get to listen to it. Then there are songs like “Glückich”, which have both very personal background and content. The song emerged in a moment of deepest inner peace and satisfaction in my private life even though terrorists had just attacked the World Trade Center. This conflict between happiness on the one hand and terror and dismay on the other hand made me put it into a song. “Folge mir ins Licht”, on the contrary, is a song about life in general. It is about people who don’t realize that they are slowly but steady being torn apart by and in this society. People who, because of all the work and stress, don’t notice that insanity is taking over their lives. People who have lost focus on the important things in life like friendship, love, and satisfaction. People who are functioning like machines and who have forgotten what they are on this planet for.
Chain D.L.K.: I read before where you were totally inspired by Depeche Mode. What would you say makes you unique amongst all the Depeche Mode-influenced synthpop bands who try to copy them?
Melotron: It’s true that Depeche Mode inspired us to make music. For example, we’ve always been interested in making music without guitars. Depeche Mode does use guitars now, but their music that originally inspired us was guitarless. On the other hand it has never been our plan to become the next Depeche Mode. We were much more enthusiastic about the idea of creating songs with electronic equipment only. Our focus during the compilation and rendering of a song is not as much the perfect mastering of an instrument as guitar players do for example. We much rather use the possibility of electronics in order to perfectly create a song on a computer. We don’t claim to become the best synthesizer players on earth but to realize our ideas and feelings through technology. We aren’t unique because we don’t try to sound like Depeche Mode. We are just doing what we feel like doing and don’t care about rules and constraints. That’s why you are not able to tell what a new Melotron song will sound like in advance. It is as unpredictable to us as it is to our fans.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you think synthpop will make a comeback, or will be the way it was in the 80’s?
Melotron: Synthpop is coming on strong and is massively taking over. You can tell because the demand for Melotron and other synthpop bands is growing worldwide. This year we are going to play some gigs in Germany as well as some concerts in Mexico and Russia. Next year, concerts in Spain, Greece, actually all over Europe and probably even the U. S. are planned. Additionally, Germany has been facing a 80s comeback which is also influencing the alternative synthpop. But compared to commercial synthpop is not simply copying the 80s. Alternative synthpop is much rather putting together the influences from the 80s with new styles.
Chain D.L.K.: Is the new synthpop to you a crossover of styles such as techno or is it more pure?
Melotron: The eras are being mixed: influences from today give a new dimension to synthpop. There are basically no boundaries that might limit you. You can do whatever you feel like doing. The new kind of synthpop is how Melotron has been for a long time: progressive without forgetting its roots.
Chain D.L.K.: When I saw the “Tanz Mit Der Teufel” video it kind of looked like it was just a video in the everyday life of Melotron. Is this true or was it choreographed?
Melotron: It was a normal day of Melotron on our way to and during a concert. We just had to be there. There was nothing set up. That’s the way we are.
Chain D.L.K.: Any idea of what the album art for “Weltfrieden” will look like?
Melotron: It’s already released. It is white with black and red writing. I think it’s very plain and simple, but it has a great effect.
Chain D.L.K.: From what I can tell, Zoth Ommog is coming back into business or at least it seems by the look of the site. Would you ever consider going back (I read where you were once on there)?
Melotron: No. We are not going the same path twice. Zoth Ommog was a good beginning and the guys did a very good job on our first album. But time changes and we are very pleased with SPV and Synthetic Symphony. There are no plans to change anything.
Chain D.L.K.: Did it feel odd being a synthpop band on an industrial label?
Melotron: We never had any problems with that. It was rather astonishing that some of the tough guys from the industrial branch were much more virtuous than any nerd. They’d go onto stage, are tough as hell and right afterwards they either go straight to bed or back home to their girlfriend in order to be back in time for dinner. No partying, no fun. Pretty disappointing.
Chain D.L.K.: I read once where you used to sing in English before 1995. Do any of those recordings still exist?
Melotron: Maybe 100 tapes, hopefully no more.
Chain D.L.K.: What caused the switch to German?
Melotron: The realization that our English is not very good and the fascination of the German language. It’s not easy to write good German lyrics. But that’s exactly the thrill. Furthermore we had never thought that we would ever play abroad and in Germany, of course, people understand German best. That’s why without exception we started singing in German only. And by now that’s exactly what our fans from abroad love us for. So why change it???
Chain D.L.K.: For those of us in America who have not seen your shows, tell us what a Melotron live show is like.
Melotron: It’s hard to explain – people should come and see a show. Then they’ll understand the fascination of Melotron.
Chain D.L.K.: Any last words of advise or phrases auf deutsch? Any place you’d recommend visiting in Germany while I’m there?
Melotron: There are many beautiful places in Germany. You should take some time and just get driving. There are so many things to discover. But I think for American fans of the Black Scene huge festivals like the M’era Luna or the Wave and Gothik Treffen should be something special. Those festivals are a must see.
Chain D.L.K.: Will Germany take home the World Cup again next year?
Melotron: It will be hard, but it’s worth a try.
Visit Melotron on the web at:
[interviewed by Shaun Hamilton] [proofreading by Erica Breyer]