Thursday, 18th October 2018. 7:10:33am ET
Interviews Gothic Interview- Floodland
Band: Floodland
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
Date: 10/12/04

Right now the band is working on songs that will be released in the USA.

A tribute to the grateful dead - dark star

Atribute to rammstein - heirate mich & seemann

GC: What the name of your band and Who the current members?

burn: We are Floodland from Vienna/Austria (in the heart of good ole Europe), and currently the band consists of Christian Meyer (singer), Harald Schmid (bass & keys), Markus Schmid (drums) and myself, Bernhard Wieser (guitars).

GC:How did you become connected to make music?

lv: ... easy to explain. well, when i was 14 years old there happened to be something like an audition for our school choir and i was not allowed to participate ...

8o8: i always liked listen to the radio when i was a little boy. and i also liked watching concerts on the tv and the drummer was most interesting for me because of his big instrument with all that stuff. at that time, i thought, "one day, i will do the same and have my drumset on my own..." and, music always helped me, in good times and in bad times. i have a deep connection to music.

elefoe: Music always surrounded me, from my earliest years on. When I was about four (that is the first time I can recall clearly), my older brother had a simple tape recorder and he rotated the beatles tapes all the time. He always was the one who bought the records, different kinds of music, and played them to the family - even if they didn't like them. So I knew the "Rocky Horror Picture Show"-soundtrack when I was eight and later learned to love synthesizer heroes like Jean Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk. I started to play keys on a cheap organ, but never had the money for a real synth. I tried that for some years but then gave it up. Listening to mainstream pop songs on the radio for several years didn't lead me to anywhere in terms of music. When I was 16, a friend gave me The Cure's "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" - album and suddenly I recognized that there is interesting rock music in the world, too... From then I concentrated on "rockin' music" with guitars, basses, good drumming, and certainly synthsounds, too. Finally, it took two or three more years until I feeled the wish to play an instrument in a band - according to my love for the feel of low, rocking frequencies I went and bought me a bass guitar and amp. Together with my brother Markus on drums, we went looking for some bandmates.

burn: Well, sitting at a bonfire on a scout camp with an acoustic guitar, being taught the chords of "Shot Down in Flames" from AC/DC ­ maybe that´s why a fire called music is burning inside me (and my nickname is burn) ...

GC: What are your musical influences?

elefoe: I like to listen to many different styles. Classic music as well as Electronics, Alternative and that Singer-/Songwriter type of music, too. I also think that Traditional Music (I think of REAL traditional) is something important. Some of my recent "heavy-rotators" are: A Perfect Circle, The Gathering, Saafi Brothers, Massive Attack, Placebo, Beethoven, Garbage, Portishead, Coldplay, Heather Nova, Depeche Mode, Tchaikovsky, Chicane, Bjork, Tool,... I suppose there is no end to the list of good music. And influences are everywhere. Even if you are not aware - it happens all the time.

burn: There is a broad range from "classical" Gothic bands like the Sisters and Fields of the Nephilim to bands with female voice like The Gathering and others, the Beatles, Bauhaus, Soundgarden, The Smiths, Queensryche, AC/DC, A Perfect Circle and many, many more (can´t mention them all) ...

lv: ...bowie, wagner, maiden, beethoven and anything that makes my head or mind shake ...

GC: What is your live show like?

burn: Well, relating to our bandname, we would like to do some "water effects", but on the one hand that?s rather dangerous in relation with electricity and on the other we are still searching for cool things on that basis. So it?s about many candles, some fog and lots of mood ...

elefoe: Our show presents the people what we feel about our music. We like to ride the musical wave, dive deep into the sound of the songs and enjoy that mood. What we'd love to give to the people is the feeling of being touched by the emotional message of music.

GC: Tell us about your own unique style of music?

burn: Floodland play music that only these 4 people can make together ... it is a kind of magic, and therefore i love to play our music ... but i definitely don?t know, if our style is unique ... the listeners should decide that, i guess ...

elefoe: the uniqueness of our music is because it is a product of four people with one common goal but four ideas how to reach it. each member of the band likes music different from the others, and there are only small overlapping areas. these are the fields where we grow our songs. Additionally, musicians always put some personal touch into their work. It reaches from our skills and how we touch our instruments up to the feelings and thoughts which come from our hearts and souls.

lv: ... i would, if anyone could answer my question, why the grass looks so different on the other side of road ...

GC: What serparates your band from all the other bands out there?

burn: We are not "made", and we are not living on music, but doing it just for fun ... and i think, people can hear that difference ...

8o8: i don't know if we really seperate ourselfs. for i don't know how other bands are (in private) i have no clue to be something "special". so, i know, i'm not going conform with burn, but that's my opinion. maybe there will come a time, where i will see and feel it not that way. but that is not today.

elefoe: We try to do only what we like. That is of course the same with other bands, but we realized there are not so many bands making similar music to ours. We are not playing Metal, not Alternative and no other special category. We simply play rock music with some electronics now and then. As our world is nothing to laugh about, our work is rather serious. People say that we are four sad guys playing depressing tunes. Well, I'd just call it emotional.

lv: ... maybe nothing, but, on the other hand, a lot of people can live on music, we don't ...

GC: How do you go about writing songs?

burn: Well, sometimes the ideas just come flying and sometimes i am fooling around on one of my guitars, searching for some cool and maybe "new" riffs, chord progressions and things like these ...

elefoe: The common way is to start from a fragment, which one of us four presents at the rehearsal. Normally those fragments occur incidentially while practising or trying out the gear. At the rehearsals, we mix the cocktail of four musical minds - the songstructure and melody.

GC:Pick one of your latest song and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?

burn: One of my personal faves of all Floodland tunes is "never", because i wrote it about my relationship to my father, like: "I never want to become like you". We were working out the song very roughly and didn´t change too much for the recording. Unless a female voice was added to chris´ vocals ... a beautiful one, i think ...

elefoe: "Coincidence" (from the album "Decay") is based on a fragment which I introduced to the band. I was jamming on some synthsounds, searching to lead my thoughts away from a hard time I had been through. I was thinking how strange life is, when there is happiness and suffering at the very same moment, maybe in different places, but with people who are close - an ugly coincidence. I wrote down some lines and gave them to Christian, asking him to think of the lyrics. Then we went through the loops and chords which I had prepared, adding drums, bass, guitars and voices. It was the same procedure as the other songs at the studio. Recording basic tracks, adding some ideas, finally the vocals. I was working on the bass sound very accurately (as usual; the others hate me for wasting time with making sounds...), because it is an echoing sound. It is something like "question and answer" and i wanted it as good as possible. But the real surprise came later, when our producer invited ivan myslikovjan to play his saxophone to the song. His part made the intention of the song even clearer than before.

GC: What is your latest news with the band?

burn: Recently we recorded a song for a tribute-album for "The Cure", which is organized by a German label named Equinoxe. We chose "A Forest" and did a rather rocking and grooving version, I guess. Nowadays we are working on songs for our next album, which will deal with our home town Vienna - in close cooperation with our producer, who is working on the songs for the first time in the sense of songwriting (it´s kind of a test for us ­ let´s see what will come out of that ...)

GC:Where do you hope to be in 5 year with your band?

burn: Playing live in front of some more people than now, and not only in Europe ...

8o8: be satisfied with my life and the band, again.

elefoe: I would like to see Floodland as a well-known band in the scene. We know that our music serves just a very small segment, but if there are, let's say, 100 fans in our home country, Austria, there may be 100.000 people in the whole world. Yeah, that's just theory...

lv: ... if you'd asked me this question five years ago it would have been much more easy, right now i do not know exactly and maybe that isnot the worst idea, couse we won't be angry if things turn different...

How are people currently reacting to your music?

burn: Well, we got brilliant reviews on our last album "decay", but we sold until now not more than 1.500 copies worldwide ... due to poor promotion and lacking distribution ... and maybe it´s hard times for music like this, too ... the former album ("ocean of the lost", 1999) had not as good reviews as "decay", but we sold over 2.000 copies ... talking about live experience, it is better in Easter Europe than in Austria, people are more open in countries like Hungary or the Czech Republic, and they still seem to be more hungry for music from the "West" ...

elefoe: The reaction depends on the receiver. mainstream music consumers are normally deeply depressed by our records. Success! We can show sunshine people to the naked truth!!! But let's be serious. If someone is willing to listen to the music and not just let it play in the background, then they discover the quality of the songs. So we know that is is worth all the work.

GC: What would be the 10 3 reasons for listening to you music?

burn: Wow, it´s hard to find 103 reasons, but one would be, that it´s just good music, that is coming from our heart and is digging deep into our souls ... and people seem to realise that ...

8o8: there is only one reason. it's about music. and either you like our music, or you do not.

lv: ...looks like we have a winning answer from our little drummer-boy ...

GC: What is your best experience as a band?

burn: Playing in front of people that like our music - every single show ...

8o8: to work together. even when there often are differences. the band is like a 2nd family.

elefoe: Doing something very special. Something noone else does the same way like us. It is nothing about "better" or "worse", just special. And the blind confidence that leads us through the show. The music shows us what to do next. That's a great feeling.

lv: ... doing something that a lot of people can judge, discredit or like ...

GC: What is your worst experience as a band?

burn: Playing in front of people that don´t like our show, because they are fans of Punk or Death Metal ...

elefoe: I think, those days when we tried to figure out, why "Decay" did not sell like we had expected. We were worrying whether we were on a wrong path and things like that. There were several months of differnces and misunderstandings.

v: ... doing something that a lot of people will hate ...

GC:What is most important to you in your band?

burn: Doing music with three guys since almost 10 years, almost without trouble ...

8o8: almost....

elefoe: The most important thing in the band is that we share the meaning of our work. If any of us questions the sense in our project, then the show is over.

lv: ... its hard to be the last one answering, all the good jokes are already made ...

GC: Do you have a personal favorite song?

burn: The favorite songs are changing from month to month, but among the last ones were "Bitter End" by Placebo, "The Outsider" by A Perfect Circle or "Shrink" by The Gathering.

8o8: it is not so easy to say, "this is my favorite song". it depends on the mood i'm in. to say it in other words, i have much "favorite songs" from happy to sad moods. and if you ask for the favorite song of floodland, i can say, there are 2 or 3 songs, what i personally do not like so much. the other songs are all "favorite songs"

elefoe: I have a favourite song up to the moment I have another. So many people write good songs and every day you learn something new. I can only add songs to my personal "pool of favourites" now and then.

lv: ... yes ...

What was the hardest song to write and why?

burn: To me it is not hard to write a song ­ it´s rather a pleasure ... because writing a song and playing it within a band is maybe one of the most beautiful experiences on this planet ...

elefoe: I believe the hardest part is to write something artificial, something that doesn't come out of your inside. So maybe it was the time when we did some music for a commercial. But even that was funny, as soon as we realized the sense in it.

lv: ... the hardest part is usually to convince the other guys to play my songs at all, especially if i demand a double-base ...

What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/synthpop etc. scene today?

burn: Don´t know the scene, therefore an answer wouldn´t be honest, not to mention that it would be irrelevant ...

elefoe: The scene dissolves itsself by spreading into many small subgroups and declaring all others "untrue". No wonder that nowadays we are missing a strong movement which demands for many acts and a wide range of music. There are many good bands, but no audience. That is at least our experience here in western Europe.

lv: ... not to much, and i guess these guy do not care to much about us, too ...

What music do you currently listen to?

burn: Different styles and bands from Birthday Party (Nick Caves first band) over much classical stuff (Mozart, Beethoven and friends) to Marianne Faithful, Laurie Anderson and other strange stuff ...

8o8: depends again on my mood. but i listen from rock, pop, even classic to alternative and electronic. right now i listen madonna's "the power of good-bye" - a really great song.

elefoe: (see question #3)

lv: ...david bowie/reality

??? (missing, out of some superstitious reasons???) burn: Good one *gg*

GC- whoops!!

How do you keep change your music from album to album or plan to change it?

burn: I don´t know if the music changes much, but of course we want to make the most of the technical opportunities to sound modern and up-to-date, maybe even "ahead" ... and i definitely want to walk on these path in the future ...

elefoe: look, listen, learn. decide, what is good for us and what we can stand for. try everything: skills, gear, people, to the borders and beyond. then listen if there is something we like. then, again, reduce to the basics, play some old covers, learn from the past. then melt it all together and see if we like it. if not, back to the start...

lv: ... we do not change our music, most of the times it is the other way ropund ...

What kind of recording environment do you have?

burn: After some demos we did in our rehearsal room we did our first record "the now and here is never" in a small studio in the 11th district of Vienna for a small label called Serpent qui danse. Our next label sent us up to the Czech Republic to a picturesque village called Zirovnice and that´s where we recorded all our stuff from "ocean of the lost" and "decay" to "A Forest" to some songs for "Battery - A Tribute to Rammstein". Of course there is some old stuff like band machines, which sounds really cool, and on the other side there is of course pro-tools and things like that ... in cooperation with our producer Milos "dodo" Doleczal we can record in absolute peace, tranquility and freedom ...

elefoe: sometimes we also just use a tape recorder from the stone age. that old shitty thing is good enough to take the ideas from the rehearsals...

GC:How long did you spend on your latest effort?

burn: We spent three days for recording "A Forest" for the forementioned Cure tribute-album ...

8o8: for me it was only one day, because i'm a great drummer... *hehe*

elefoe: well, it took us three days just because there was so much talking, drinking and sleeping to do ...

lv: ... eleven minutes, i think ...

What is the hardest thing about being in a band for this genre?

burn: Being unable to fight with each other because every one is too depressed to do so?

elefoe: I dislike most that all-time-sad-guy-image, even if you are in a perfect happy mood. Why can't I play those lovely songs "decay", "dark town", "never", or some covers like "zombie" with a shiny-happy face? (HA-HA-HA) Now, a really hard thing is the fact that we do our work as real as possible, straight out of our feelings, and people do not take it seriously. Many people label our music "artificial pathetic", while we just THINK of what to say.

lv: state over and over again the fact, neither to sleep in a coffin not to be a goth-band...

Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of your band, now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band, ideas, or life in the band.

burn: Well, nobody is perfect, and i hope that the others will continue the work although the time and the circumstances are not the best some times ... and i hope that the next album will reach much more people than the last ones ... because most of the people we reached liked our music *ggg* ... so judge for yourself and look at to find our music ... or go to to get some more information on this great Austrian band ... thanx for your interest ... and b(lack)est greetings from here and now ...


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