Interviewer: Phill Bruce
I came across Eisenfunk by pure coincidence whilst doing some research for a recent interview. When by chance I saw Eisenfunk's Pong video. Being curious by the picture from the still of the video, I clicked on the link. I have to say my breath was taken away by the soul capturing beats of the music. As I watch the video, it took me back from when I first played pong it was fun, funky and something that is so original, fresh and it was great to see a new concept. The band has a comical value in the video, which makes watching it more compelling. So I decided to ask the guys at Eisenfunk if they would give Grave Concerns an interview and was very happy when they said yes. So when I got chance to catch up with Eisenfunk here's what happened.
Phill – Hi guys may I thank you for giving us this interview for Grave Concerns may I first ask you who you are and from where in this world you come from?
Eisenfunk - We're Michael, Arthur and Toni and are all from Bavaria in Germany. Arthur is from a small town called Kaufbeuren. Toni and me are from Munich, the home of the Beer-Fest :)
Phill – Your name translated to English means Iron Funk, so how did you come up with name?
Eisenfunk – Very easy. I had a thought for about a minute and *BING* there was EISENFUNK
Phill – I would like to ask where did you all meet and how was the band formed?
Eisenfunk – (Michael) I was starting alone with the electronic project. I've seen many live performances of many artists in that time. One thing was always pretty clear, It's a must to be not alone on stage. Arthur was a childhood friend of my actual girlfriend in 2006. I knew that he is drummer and industrial fan. I asked him and he said “Why not?”. Toni was a little bit different. I always met him when I visited some Munich clubs. He is only 5 foot small, so he's an eye catcher. Beside that he's a big energy package. When he starts dancing, he's doing this the whole night. I hoped that such a small energy package is doing music as well, because I wanted him due to that reasons. I asked him, he said yes and voila ... he was with us.
Phill – At what age did you all pick up an instrument, what was that instrument that you started on and are there any other musical talents that you have musically?
Eisenfunk – At 6 years old. As with every Bavarian child, I had to learn some German folk instruments. I learned the flute and accordeon. Later as a teen I started with a guitar and played hard rock. Since that I have learned more than 40 instruments for example piano, keyboard, hurdy gurdy, bagpipe, davul and much more historical instruments. I played medieval instruments on a lot of historical events in Germany. I did this for about 8 years, so this is a big part of my life.
Phill – Can you tell us about your discography from Eisenfunk? Does one album or track from your collection have a special place in your heart?
Eisenfunk – We started with Funkferngesteurt, which means radio controlled in 2006. It was a free web release and lead us on a direct way to a label contract. After signing, we released EISENFUNK in 2007, 300 (2008), Schmerzfrequenz (2009), 8-Bit (2010) and this year we release PENTAFUNK on the 12th August. There are two songs in my heart Duck and Cover which was my very first song and Pong which was our international breakthrough.
Phill - Have you a favourite clothing range, where do you purchase items to wear not only on a daily basis but on stage and in videos?
Eisenfunk – Arthur is always dressed in an army style. Toni is always trying something new and different to others. I like black clothes that are pretty. There is no concept, only thing is that it must look good! We have a partnership with a gothic store called Sorrows here in Munich. That’s where we buy most of our stuff.
Phill - Can you tell us about your amazing alternative image you all have? Unfortunately, most of the alternative population worldwide have had some sort of problem from society. Have you ever received any problems from people because of your image?
Eisenfunk – Yes and no. Indeed, most of the conservative people don't like us at all, but this doesn't matter. It's our way, we are what we are, I am what I am. Due to that opinion my life is filled with people that think the same. And of course due to that life is easy.
Phill – What are your main influences when coming up with new material for lyrics and songs?
Eisenfunk - Nothing specific. I like a lot of other artists and I think all of them, including my whole musical life, is an influence for our songs. Ok, basically my very long medieval time in life has the most influence.
Phill – Is there one piece of equipment you cannot perform without?
Eisenfunk – My head. Sometimes I lose it, then a performance is not easy :)
Phill – Can you describe a typical band practise for you and where you practice? You must have a good laugh when you get together.
Eisenfunk - Very typical it is “ARTHUR, NOOOOO” or “TONI DONT TOUCH THIS”. Yep, we a laugh very often :)
Phill – Do any members of Eisenfunk have day jobs outside of the band?
Eisenfunk – All of us except Toni. He's a student, so actually a lot of jobs but nothing specific :)
Phill – Your debut album got you Electric Newcomer of the Month in 2007, how did it feel to get this award?
Eisenfunk – Absolute boring, expecting it ... NOOO, it was great! We did not know, how the people feel about our music. After we got this award and indeed a lot of fans, we knew, that our music is popular. It's a very great moment in Life for every musician and so it was for us too.
Phill – So what was the motivation to create a band infusing hard industrial beats with noise elements and who was the brain child behind it?
Eisenfunk – At least it was me again. My favourite bands in this time were Terrorfakt, Noisuf-X and other hard and noisy bands. On the other side my favourites were Covenant and VNV Nation too. I was asking myself, Why is nobody combining the two parts, melody and noise? That was the moment when the EISENFUNK idea was born.
Phill - You're album 8-Bit was a sheer work of genius, what gave you the idea to infuse retro game sounds in with hard core industrial beats?
Eisenfunk - We're gamers. I have been playing computer games since the original PONG (Eeeek .... I'm old). Toni is a proud XBOX 360 gamer and Arthur is our browser game fetishist. It was natural to make music about our biggest interest.
Phill – Your song Pong is one of the best I have heard recently and especially the video, I love the funky vibes that it possesses. I have to say it is amazing. Who was the genius that came up with the idea for the video and choreographed dance scenes?
Eisenfunk – Toni had the Idea for pong. He was sitting on the backseat of our band bus, when we were driving home from a venue. He said “Let us make songs about computer games”. I said “You're nuts ... something specific?” Toni said “PONNNNGGG”. I replied “And how should I do that ... a song with a BING inside? That’s nuts!”. It was nuts, but when the song was finished I thought “Gotcha, this song is fucking great ... and it’s from me???”. Another nice moment in my life :)
Phill – Whilst we are on about games what's everyone's favourite retro game?
Eisenfunk – My favourite retro game is Super Space Invaders. I played it a lot for every Deutsche Mark coin I could get. The Arcade version was standing in a restaurant near where I lived. I spent a lot of time there, when I was a kid.
Phill – I notice on your website you offer remix kits. This is a very unique idea that I have never come across from a band before. Has this been a success in your opinion and has there been any notable remixes done of your songs by other artists?
Eisenfunk – We like new musicians and it's an honour for us, when we receive a remix. Some musician was spending time with a song from us. This is a great feeling and some remixes are really good.
Phill – So what's it like creating new music for Eisenfunk, is there any one person who comes up with the initial ideas or is it a collaboration and team effort from all the band? Has there been one memorable idea that sticks out from others?
Eisenfunk – Arthur and Toni do the idea part. They have a lot of influence to my music creation process. Besides that, all songs are written and programmed by me. As in the most electronic combos, there is one mastermind.
Phill - What's your favourite sandwich filling?
Eisenfunk – Chicken Teriyaki, with Egg, Ham, and a lot of curry sauce :)
Phill – If you can some up your life in one phrase or quote, what would it be?
Eisenfunk – Dream of whatever you want, but find the time to realize it.
Phill – Who is your favourite gaming hero or heroine?
Eisenfunk – Duke Nukem
Phill - What's your favourite place to holiday?
Eisenfunk – My veranda in conjunction with a cocktail
Phill – Cheers guys thanks again for doing this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Eisenfunk - We will come to America some day soon. That’s a promise! Best wishes and greetings to all our friends on the other side of the world!
Thanks again guys and good luck with the new album. Eisenfunk’s new album PENTAFUNK will be available 12th August 2011 in Europe. Eisenfunk also inform us they will be touring the UK soon but as yet dates have to be confirmed.
The offical website for Eisenfunk http://www.eisenfunk.de/
Follow them on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/EISENFUNK/106764846029099
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