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DreDDup - interview (2008)
2008-07-08 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz and Marco Gariboldi | e-mail interview
Marco: Your sound reminds me the "industrial machine sound" of such great bands like Einsturzende Neubauten, Die Krupps, Laibach - heavy industrial rock where the electronics were overpowered by a human-made chaos so the result was more organic then the classic synthetic cliché, so common in a lot of new bands' music. Does listening to the early 80s, 90s industrial music enjoy you more than these days' music or do you identify yourself better with the current industrial music scene?

miKKa: I'm plainly listening to music that I like to hear. I don't care if it is from the 80's, 90's or even after the 2000's as long as it moves me and feeds my inner hunger. But I'm definitely in the old ones. Somehow I think that people back than were much into the experimenting stuff which I like. But on the other half I love the sound of the good production of the late 90's and 2000's. Somehow the music of the 80's and 90's was pretty much down to earth with the genres and there was not so much this and that. Now it is different, everything is with everything and that bothers me a lot. Somehow I think that musicians today don't fight for their sound. They simply copy-paste the given matrix and do not care a lot about. It's all messed up.

NINa: Have you ever thought about why industrial music is attractive to some people while others reject it? Should a listener have any certain character features to accept or dislike this style of music? Should he/she be lonely, angry, abandoned, underestimated, selfish, demanding..? What kind of people does this music attract to?

miKKa: It's a thick question but I can try to explain it by how I feel this music. I always loved the noises, the distortion of the sound, weird sounds and disturbing nature elements. I think that this can be explained by myself living near the railroad till I was 4. Than we moved out of the city in a small environment where people just gathered junk in their backyard. Every day I could hear a distorted sounds coming from the 3 workshops in the neighborhood. I woke up every morning finding that my sleep was disturbed by the neighbors big truck roaring.

I lived in artistic house and listened to classical and experimental music when I was young. Somehow all those elements contributed to my music in unconscious way and when I was first introduced to Laibach and Einsturzende Neubauten or Bile and Skrew I felt like I know this music already, it was not something new to me, but I pretty much enjoyed it. And, since I've been living in Serbia, where communism ruled till the mid 90's I could watch the workforces and gatherings every day in our national TV. It was not hard to be involved with industrial music. And when I think about some other people who liked it. I don't know what they like in it. I think someone finds it experimental and is curious to hear it, someone enjoys the noise, someone likes that thick industrial production a lot and someone on the other half likes the electronics combined with rock. I don't think that people who listen to this music are abandoned or depressed but I think that the concentration is one of the main tasks while listening to it.

If we look now on some TV screen we can easily see some pop, hip hop and emo or something popular these days, but I think that people who like industrial are not the ones easily tricked. I think that they want to see things behind things, and are curious to see the other side of the coin. Let's put it this way - If you can get something easily, there must be some problem with it. Otherwise you couldn't get it easy. Serious things don't come easy and some people awake earlier to find that out, some never. Industrial music lovers dig beneath the mud to satisfy their inner hunger for tasteful music, they do not comply with the mass music hypnosis and find it cheap. Others I think are satisfied with mud.

NINa: You've recorded an EP with Kenji Siratori called 'Pituitary Nightmare' (2007) but also took part in a collective CD 'NIN Remixes' and a cover album called 'Into The Monolith vol. 1' put out also in 2007. Do you care better about popularity on the industrial music scene or making original music what mostly means being understood by a close circle of fans only..?

miKKa: Let's put it this way: dreDDup is the band that never performed live any cover song and we are planning to keep it that way. Being a self-learned musicians without any former musical knowledge we got to the point where you need to feel a different approach to what you do. Therefore we got included into projects with bands like Figurative Theatre, Kenji Siratori and various tribute albums etc.. We simply needed to feel this different energy of the other artist.

Between 2005 and 2007 we did a lot of remixes, plainly because I wanted to investigate the separate tracks of some artists. For instance, when Trent Reznor gave his tracks away for people to make remixes for him I learned a lot in arranging and recording a song. I wanted to see all the little segments of the song in separate way. Therefore we learned a lot about arranging a plain song. On the other half – I always wanted to hear some dirty-old pop songs in some crazy industrial/electro noise way and we did that cover CD for fans and friends. It was a experimental thing to see how some hits were recorded and arranged. I learned a lot about lyrics, verses and choirs. But let's get back to the question: We care for our music, we don't need someone else to tells is it good or is it bad. If the whole band feels and understands the subject of the song, it's atmosphere and music there is no point to make it “popular” or “interesting”. Popularity of the song comes from the audience. For us, every song is one story and one world.

So if you ask me if I care about the popularity of the song or industrial scene, let's just say that it's not for me to decide about that. I don't play music for popularity or originality – who's original these days? I just separate something that's been lived through on stage from that what is acted on stage. We support every musician who lives his music on stage and in his life. I think that originality is very tricky question these days and popularity is not something that comes from the musician – it comes more from commercial and everything else that surrounds the music. The plain answer is - we are always for originality.

Marco: dreDDup means: "to escape from the fear within you". Could you please explain what are the feelings and motivations which bring you to write music?

miKKa: Our music is all about our life. We live our music and that's all. Sometimes we're angry, sad or happy and we simply record the emotion right in that moment. Every song you hear form dreDDup CD's is take1. We don't construct the music that much, it just goes out of us. They say that people who survive bad things have better artistic freedom than the others. I feel that all the musicians from these parts (Ex Yugoslavia) have deep songs and honest songs. I survived 2 wars in my lifetime and I have to live with this fear of the surrounding every day – because all that is different is the enemy here. You simply need to live here to feel this, I can not describe it with words to you because it will sound like SF thing.

So we made dreDDup as the other place for us - where we would like to live. I simply take everything bad from my surrounding and talk about it in my songs, it's not something deep or something I want to explain – it's just life that we critique and make better in our songs. You can often hear some pornography samples, war samples or even disturbing lyrics. In some songs we are deadly serious, in some more than sarcastic and for some songs we just reflect life without any comment.

Marco: Your next album called El Conquistador will be released in 2009. Who's El Conquistador? Do you refer to a governor of Europe - America in this particular case...?

miKKa: In our 3rd album, we will talk about the present tense. First album talked about the past and the feast that everyone lives over and over. In our second one we talked about robotic future and the human race that has no feelings and pleasures. This album we'll be plain present tense.

Our title is “El Conquistadors” – an we're taking the whole concept of conquistadors taking over America in 1492 to the present tense – putting it in a human being inner boundaries. If someone comes, destroys your inner world and makes a new one – will you desire your own inner world back or plainly let go and go as the river goes. It's very ironic to see that Europeans did conquest of America and now the Americans are in the conquest of Europe. A very strange world. Album will have 15 songs taking you for a ride through the today's world and the whole things behind things. I think that this album will be something much deeper of everything we ever did.

NINa: What tunes could the fans find on the next release if seems like Future Porn Machine CD (2007) is much more industrial than the Mr Borndead's Feast (2005)? Is that latest album going to be a future direction for your music?

miKKa: Yes. This new album will be more industrial than FPM and MRBDF all together. We're done with cheap melodies and catchy verses. This is really going to be something hard to listen to if you're not a listener of dreDDup for a long time. Our tunes are now minimalistic and the whole package is very dark and different. We had this start in 1997. that was much more depressive and noisy, and than we did some commercial songs trying to promote this genre here.

Now, when we can say that we have enough fans to support us I think that we should let go of that commercial sound and go back to that noisy and distorted sound which Einsturzende Neubauten and the rest of the pioneers are doing for ages. This album will be more apocalyptic than the others and for lovers of that rough & deep sound. I changed the singing much and now it's more depressive. Guitars are noise driven as well. I think that it will be an interesting release for the lovers of a mixture between something old and something new.

Marco: Do you remember the first song you wrote and performed? What were your feelings and emotions that brought you to turn your ideas into music?

miKKa: The first song I wrote came out as a experiment. I simply detuned the guitar and recorded some noises with it and than combined it with electronic beats. It pretty much sounded like crap, but I learned a lot from it and I'm still learning from that kind of songs. When we first performed these songs I think they sounded pretty much better than I expected.

Before this I played in a punk band called Klef and in the same time preformed with my old hardcore/metal band Mefisto so I simply injected the rough guitars in electronic driven music and started to experiment. I simply wanted to record anything even if it's a plain sound or distorted drum set.. There came my desire to make a band following the genre that I will later explore. We really just heard for several bands at the time like Laibach, NIN and Ministry. It was very hard to get in touch with this sort of music in my surrounding so our ideas came from ourselves. Later we discovered that the whole bunch of band have the same ideas. Lol

Marco: You come from Novi Sad (Serbia). What memories do you have about your country of the last 20 years?

miKKa: Well, to be honest I try not to think about the memories from around here. It's only war and hate. It's hard to live in a country that wants to make people stupid. I don't know if I can ever see something interesting on TV or had a chance of any kind to do something that I like. When I was little it was different, we had that crazy post-Tito regime that had this happiness in sadness that is pretty specific in this region here. No matter how much we are down and without money, we always keep that crazy humor that has jokes in which we are the funny part.

As you know our country suffered one bloody and gory war in early 90's. It was pretty horrible. Not to mention that NATO bombarding in 1999 when we simply waited for a bomb to fall on our house or on our bridges, factories, every object. It was sad to see our out-of-date military trying to confront the invisible attackers. People are much traumatized here but there are also very intelligent people here.

For that last 20 years and that 2 wars and much little wars from time to time, it's hard to see any kind of hope. 90% of the population is still fighting against Germans from WWII and Turks (who occupied Serbia for about 500 years) – but this struggle is in their own minds. And I can't even tell you how hard is to go out to see some other country – we still have VISAs for other countries, we have such low wages. No Paypal or buying something over the internet. I can't even start to tell you about the schools and how students don't have jobs when they finish their schools. It all goes around in the circle for ages, and ages and it's just sad to look at it everyday. Some basic things just don't work around here.

Bands do not have any kind of marketing or record labels. You save the money for 2 years to record your album in the studio, your album than sounds much like a low-class demo and than you can't do anything abroad with it when you finish. There is simply no record label that supports you, there is no TV show where you can play your video… It's really devastating and I pretty much understand the bands who brake up fast. Musicians often play on junk equipment, they never get paid for their gig or a show, they simply have to organize the show themselves, there is no booking agencies… You actually have to rent equipment and pickup truck to go from one town to the other with it to make the show there. You're often without money after the show. Music equipment stores are pretty much out of date. It's really total SF for anyone not from this parts. There is simply no interest in intelligent music here. It's easy to control the country when people are stupid and that's the main reason for it, nothing else. But still – this humor of ours is amazing. It gets better and better every day. Not that good memories ever came from these parts. It was always some sort of struggle included, that often became a serious war.

NINa: My next questions regard to what I've watched on this Industrial Renaissance DVD about the history of dreDDup. Seems you are a very well known in Serbia gathering a lot of people on your gigs. Do you know your fans personally? Do they come to hang out after the shows, write you emails, share their ideas with you, send pictures, complain about daily issues, personal life etc.?

miKKa: We are really not that well known in Serbia but a lot of people heard about. It's mainly because we play industrial crossover that is not something that other live bands do around here. But when I start to think about it, yes – we do have a lot of fans. It's very strange when I think about it knowing that we are the underground band but our music is calling people. That is something that many fans told me. They simply went out to see our show not knowing who we are and what we play and became fans after it. We were introduced to many interesting young people with the same dreams and desires that way. I know that many people come from different towns to see the show in one town. It's something we're proud of and we try to make every concert totally different.

Many fans hang out with us in personal life and support the band, giving our songs to other friends and sharing our music. Something like street teams without real merchandise but just good will and love for the band. I often have e-mail from fans that discovered our music and found themselves into it. I'm happy to know that. It's always good to know that there is someone other than you that shares the same energy and look upon life.

NINa: One of your songs and videos I enjoyed the most is a rhythmic 'Reedemer'. Who did that video? Where did the ideas come from?

miKKa: I shoot the video myself. It's a good thing when a composer of the song is a director of the video because in that particular way you are completely aware of the song and it's purpose. That way, the video you are making is glued to the song. This song is from “Future Porn Machine” album and it was something we did while exploring some arrangement for the different song.

The idea was to make a pop industrial song with crazy vocals and distorted drum. When we finished it , I felt that we needed to color it with some classic elements so our friends Nikola and Merima helped us with the violoncello and female choirs. It gave the song completely new sound. Than came the video, which was the mixture of TV news, rehearsal footage and outdoor filming. Like I said, it glued to the song and was totally in it. Song talks about the outdoor everyday life and a person who walks through human hell. I think we made it sound more lighter than it should. Anyway, that particular song sounds great live.

NINa: There's a beautiful and predatory girl in the black and white video for 'When You Know That It's All Wrong' . A camera man was following her through the city while she was dancing and having fun like if living in her own world only. What were people's reactions in the streets?

miKKa: I'm so happy that you understood the video completely. Dancing girl is in her own world while the “other” world is around her. That is completely true meaning of the video and the song lyrics. While we were shooting this video I remember that one guy looked at us and said: ”Look at that maniac who is following that girl with the camera, and she doesn't know that. My God.” It was pretty sad if you have to live every day in such moronic society. We completed the video in one day and looked at it in the evening. I am very attached to this video and I'm loving it a lot.

NINa: What happened to your guitar player's fingers during one of the shows? They were bleeding so bad!

miKKa: That was our crazy bass player Kenji with acoustic bass. He had a problem with his fingernails and every show you could see some blood come from beneath them. This particular show found the fingernails and flesh surrounding them totally messed up and his fingers were bleeding bad. The whole show he was pretty bloody and completely naked. Next day after the show he came to rehearsal and we looked at the bloody guitar. It smelled so bad that our guitar player had to barf.

NINa: One of your musicians played naked on the stage. What's the story about?

miKKa: Again, it was our bass player Kenji. That story started in 2003. when we performed in Novi Sad on some local festival. While we were performing live he cut themselves with the razorblades all over his stomach. He was totally bloody and messy and for some reason, the audience thought that it was fake blood. Than in years to come, he tried everything – one time he bought a 30m long cable for bass and went deep in the audience to play bass, next time he was totally drunk on stage falling and showing his penis to the audience.

In years to come, we had bloody performances, sometimes we decided to perform and to one point to take a fight on stage while playing. In his last months with the band he was a total happening on the show. He performed naked, bloody, insulted the audience, smashing our equipment… It all began to much circus for us and we talked about that with him, he than decided to leave the band in 2006.

Later he was the guest star on our shows performing back vocals or something else and he help the band a lot since he went from it. This particular show from the photograph in the movie was in Odzaci when all the punks in the audience enjoyed his performance while he was bloody and naked. We went out on stage and totally energized the place. People were very excited during the show and became fans of our music. Shock definitely sells…

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