After having released with their third full-length album “Firewall” one of the most outstanding works when it comes on modern and high-skilled arranged Electro/EBM/Industrial music flavored with an veteran touch, the German duo Skorbut could gain attention world-wide. Their website, www.skorbut.net, at least features the band-related content in three languages, German, English and Russian, because Skorbut could score intense in the countries of the ex-Warsaw Pact. Time to introduce this act, consisting of Jorg HÃ¼ttner and Daniel Galda, which offers a special bonus for all listeners with a free downloadable EP of the track “9 Years Later” including a video clip of this track available on their website here.
Chain D.L.K.: Hello guys, first some words to you. Since you’re to most of our readers an unknown act, could you please fill in any biographically details of your music project Skorbut?
Skorbut: (Jorg): Daniel and I met back in 1993 in Bayreuth, Germany and pretty quickly we found out we shared pretty much the same musical taste. Apart from that we became close friends, too. We jammed around over a few years and did some rough demos together, but we both were busy with other music projects at that time. We finally released the first song “Fuel” on the Flatline-compilation in 1998. However, it still took quite a while until our debut album “Log_In” came out in 2001 on the label Scanner. Another 4 years later we released the successor “Access All Areas” on Sonic-X, while the production and release of the third album “Firewall” went a bit quicker, so this one came out only 2 years after “Access All Areas” in spring 2007.
Chain D.L.K.: A question to an unexpected and surprising happening in the past. After your first album “Log_In” you’ve decided to split with Scanner of the Dark Dimensions label group. Why this, would you tell us the real reasons behind this?
Skorbut: (Jorg): The reason is pretty simple: both Scanner and we found out we couldn’t go on together any longer. Scanner moved in a different musical direction than we did. We found more artistic freedom with our new label Sonic-X.
(Daniel): I want to add that we were wholeheartedly satisfied with the work Scanner did for the “Log_In” album.
Chain D.L.K.: Jorg, I’ve seen at the disclaimer of your website that you’re currently living in the United States. Is this a required “must” in case that you’re producing some film music like you did in “Catwoman” or “Batman Begins”? How does a “normal” Industrial-musician get in contact with any influential film producers to get a chance to include some tunes? How do you both keep up the term “band” for Skorbut? How do you work-out technically your compositions?
Skorbut: (Jorg): Los Angeles a.k.a. Hollywood is simply the place to be if you want to work for film music. Period. There’s really no other city with the same possibilities and overall mass of work in this particular genre. If you’re not instantly available (so close by), it’s pretty unlikely they always call you and say “hey, get on the plane and get over”. Just the time to get on a plane and fly over could be too much for them in case they are in a real hurry (which unfortunately is the case most of the time in film music production). I got in touch with a lot of film composers through my work for music instrument and software companies and for my work as synth sound designer for various synth manufacturers. It was a very lengthy process and it took me several years to get the first gig here – not talking about the more then lengthy and nerve wrecking process to get the actual work permit for the United States.Of course it got a bit more difficult for Daniel and me to communicate or to work together, but honestly we already lived quite far away from each other in Germany, so we only met a few times throughout the year. In other words it isn’t that much different now. We don’t have a very specific way to start a song. Either Daniel comes up with lyrics or I just come up with a rhythm bed or a pretty much finished song idea and we discuss what we like on each others ideas and get to a compromise later – and I don’t mean compromise in a bad way. If somebody doesn’t like something at all, then it’s simply off the table.
Chain D.L.K.: Which influences out of the production for film music could you extract and include in Skorbut, Jorg? Has Jorg’s involvement any deeper and personal impression also on you, Daniel, since you’re responsible for the vocals and the lyrics?
Skorbut: (Jorg): Especially the “Firewall” album got influenced quite a bit by the film music productions I was involved with. Working with Hollywood composers of course is the best way to learn about this genre and to get inspired. Even if this element isn’t used much on “Firewall” I totally dig combining electronics with orchestral stuff. It is great fun. Apart from that you’d be surprised how dark and nasty electronic parts and sounds often get in movies. Such stuff often needs to have “edge” and I’m not talking about horror and thriller movies only.
(Daniel): Of course the bar got raised for me now, but you also can see a straight progression and evolution of my voice and lyrics over the last years. We both think it is pretty important to notice a progression in a bands’ work. With Skorbut this is clearly visible and of course audible. If you compare the “Log_In” album with “Firewall” they are poles apart from each other. I like to compare making music with studies: “Log_In” was our first “semester”. With “Firewall” we finished the third one and the fourth album will be a kind of “intermediate examination”. Let’s see which level we will reach with our 8th album – haha.
Chain D.L.K.: By watching your art to “Firewall”, the latest promotional pictures and the video clip to “9 Years Later” I was in the first instance surprised that you guys would follow the pattern of some Hellectro-acts by using too much fake blood. Please explain us the sense and meaning behind this art. It seems that you are working now in more professional way with an art-photograph. Please introduce us your current activities in this sector of production.
Skorbut: (Jorg): Believe it or not: we never intended to do artwork in the same way as other bands do and I actually hate that. Our close friend Andrea Dorn, a professional make-up artist, came up with the idea of realizing the “Firewall” album title with third-degree burns. That alone turned out to be a really great conceptual idea already. However it came even better when Ansgar Noeth, the art photographer, brought this idea a step further by overexposing the pictures to get this white, clear and clean look with the hard contrast of black and the red from blood and wounds. This gives the new artwork an extremely art touch, otherwise I wouldn’t had done that, since it really wasn’t out attention to do this only for the publicity. The cover album shot is even presented in an art gallery in New York, where Ansgar is currently exhibiting. Apart from that I really don’t see the pictures as being terrifying or extremely bloody due to the white and overexposed nature of the photography.
(Daniel): Just lately a fan sent us a comment on our MySpace page telling us he’s really looking forward to see our live show. He would expect now a hardcore blood and splatter show from us. This was the first time we got confronted with this misunderstanding. Also a few reviews tended to go into the same direction. We definitely won’t slaughter animals on stage nor do we intend to flood the stage with blood. The bloody elements of our “firewall” artwork are bound to the record release. The wounds shown in our artwork are burning wounds to support the album title and the entire concept of this album, so even the lyrics. The cover shows me showing my torn out heart into the camera. A lot of lyrics on “firewall” are about the painful ending of a relationship. I cope with the failure of my relationship with a girl. The cover simply should reflect all the pain this situation caused in my mind and body back then, but in an artistic way. Ansgar, the photographer, Andrea the make-up artist, Jorg and myself we all thought this reflects perfect my situation during that time.
Chain D.L.K.: Talking on your video clip and your special teaser EP to “9 Years Later” recorded, produced and released already in February of this year. For several bands a dream would become true to produce a professional clip. How is it with you, which meaning for you personally stands behind this clip? Or is it for you a consequential development caused through the last happenings with more professional work on the art?
Skorbut: (Jorg): The video clip indeed was an idea that a friend of mine (Paolo, the director of the video) and I already planned years ago for a different music project of mine. It never worked out for several reasons so in 2006 and after we had the amazing photo session for the “Firewall” album cover and press pictures, I got in touch with Paolo again and we realized the video idea in December 2006. This indeed is a musicians dream come true in terms of getting your art and thoughts translated and presented to the public. Of course the other dream would be to make a living of your own music project, but that’s a different story… ;o)
The best thing about this clip was and still is: all people participating in it were professionals and you definitely can see that. If the video would not have turned out in that quality, it would not have appeared in public. Just doing a video for the sake of having a video clip doesn’t help. If it looks cheap and cheesy, then it’s definitely not worth doing nor does it help in terms of promotion. We’re really satisfied with the outcome of the clip.
Chain D.L.K.: How is it with live gigs, even if you’re currently separately active in different countries? The new and to me more danceable tracks should work well to animate the masses, so what can we expect? Any touring plans you can already confirm?
Skorbut: (Jorg): We don’t have plans for a tour as of yet, but the first gig is happening on December 22nd in Minsk, Belarus. We have a long-time fan base there and other east-European countries. As you can see our website is also available in Russian language due to the high amount of great fan and press feedback from there. Apart from that we just signed a licensing deal with a Russian label and the “Firewall” album then will also be released in Russia, Belarus, etc. before Christmas. We’re really looking forward to that, since this is by far the most successful market for us.
(Daniel): Concerts of Skorbut indeed weren’t planned before due to the huge distance between us, like you mentioned earlier. Both Jorg and I need to create quite some free time for the studio work on new Skorbut releases, which causes further activities to be neglected a bit – including live shows. Skorbut basically got a studio project over the years. The concert in Minsk in the first place is for our loyal fans and supporters in eastern Europe. It’s a kind of “thank you”. It is the first Skorbut concert ever and obviously we’re quite nervous. Let’s see. Maybe we acquire a taste for playing concerts and make this happen more often afterwards.
Chain D.L.K.: Your daily life besides being a musician. Please fill in details, relations, hobbies, and further interests…
Skorbut: (Jorg): Besides my pretty crazy schedule here in the US right now I simply love to hang out with friends, enjoy great dinners and just try to enjoy life as often as I can. Unfortunately I don’t have time left for my hobby right now, which is martial arts, but I hope I will find the time for this again in the near future.
(Daniel): Currently I’m studying German language and literature studies, politics and geography. My hobby is Skorbut. I don’t have any other hobbies, since this one hobby already costs me enough money – haha.
Chain D.L.K.: Please let us know about your upcoming plans, some new releases you like to confirm here?
Skorbut: I already mentioned 64K earlier and The Loyal Opposition is my good friend Garrick Antikajian from the group Doll Factory and myself. The record is thematic and should also be out in 08.
Chain D.L.K.: What else do you expect from the future, musically and for your private life? Any new and upcoming releases in the works which you can already confirm here?
Skorbut: (Jorg): We’re working on new material already, but it is still too early to talk about a new album, since this always is a quite lengthy progress and we don’t want to rush anything, but you can be sure there will be more releases of Skorbut in the future.
Chain D.L.K.: Some final words to our readers to conclude this interview?
Skorbut: (Jorg): We simply hope the readers of the Chain D.L.K. love the latest album “Firewall” or in case they haven’t heard it yet, they get interested in listening to our stuff.
Visit Skorbut on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]