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Aktivehate interview

Hi ISK, we are happy to get the chance to ask you a few questions For the first question will be Thanks ISK that you have found time to give answers to these questions,
How are you doing?
Fine, thanks. Working on spreading the word about the new album.
Hello ISK what noise do you make in aktivehate?
Well, I guess it can be defined as dark electro with a slight touch of metal in it.
How's the start of 2010 been for you thus far?
Pretty good! Aktivehate’s first physical album was released in June by Advoxya Records, and the feedback has been pretty good until now.
Do you know the netherland?
Unfortunately I only know the Netherlands from afar… It’s a country I’ve wanted to visit for some time, but the opportunity never presented itself. Maybe I’ll get to play there some day.
For a lot of people, this is probably going to be their first full introduction to aktivehate so how about you tell us a little bit about how you guys know each other and how the band came together?
Actually aktivehate is a solo project of mine, Replycant is a live member. We met some years ago, at a concert of one of my old bands, Psychotektrauma. Replycant was part of the organization and we met there. I was familiar with his own electronic projects, Ezylohm_tek and Dream Metaphor, so when I needed someone to help me on the lives for aktivehate, I talked to him.
Do you follow the electronic music Electro / Industrial / Metal , do you have any other favourite bands?
Hummm… When it comes to fusing industrial with metal I tend to enjoy the more “metal” inclined bands, like The Kovenant, Deathstars, the portuguese Bizarra Locomotiva, even Static-X. As far as electro industrial goes, Hocico, Aslan Faction and Grendel still remain my favourites in the genre.
How is your relationship with other electronic bands?
I get along with everybody, I guess. I’ve built a closer relationship with some bands over the course of the band’s history, but overall I like to try and have a good relationship with everybody. Especially since there are many people I can learn from. What I do, however, not like at all are self proclaimed industrial messiahs (you know, the kind of guy that tries to tell you what you should or shouldn’t like and what is good or not) and pseudo-superstars. I stay away from people like that, in bands or not.
Can you give us a brief run-through of aktivehate story so far? When did you form aktivehate? What inspired you to make music together?
Aktivehate started around 2007, as a side-project. At the time I was active with my previous project, Psychotektrauma. Although it was a solo project when it came to making the music and choices, there was a fixed line-up for playing live. By the end of 2007 some personal problems inside the band emerged and I chose to remove the other members. As I found myself alone in that band, I now had 2 solo projects and after some soul-searching (haha) I felt that Psychotektrauma didn’t represent what I wanted to do anymore and I was having more fun working on aktivehate stuff. So that’s how I decided to make this project my main focus and start working more seriously on it. I spent some time fine-tuning my songwriting and sound production and then showed what I was doing to the world. Ever since that I’ve played with some great bands here and there and have been hard at work writing and releasing songs.
What are your top ten favorite Electro / Industrial / Metal Club Songs of all time? Who are you influenced by?
I can’t really consider anything “metal” as a club song, so I’ll focus on electro/industrial. Off the top of my mind, the first one that I think of is “Born to be Hated” by Hocico. One of my all time favourite songs in the genre!
“Hellraiser” by Suicide Commando is also a classic.
“Bring on the Dying” by Aslan Faction.
Wumpscut – “Soilent Green”.
Grendel – “Dirty”.
FabrikC – “Der Zweite Tod”.
Modulate – “Skullfuck”.
NoisufX – “Hit me Hard”.
Feindflug – “B66883”.
Sebastian Kommor – “Das OOntz”.
What would you consider your favorite cd's Washed In Blood and Corrosive Intent and 'In Terrorem' ?
It would be a bit weird if I didn’t feel like my latest work is my favourite haha! I do like the previous EPs a lot, they represent a big part of the band’s history, but I honestly think that “In Terrorem” is my best work until now. To me it’s more consistent, more diverse and more personal. I explore and meld some elements of different genres in there, and I had fun doing that!
What are the future plans for aktivehate?
I guess the same as anyone who loves doing this. Get the band’s name out, continue writing music and, of course, play live. That’s the thing I love the most, personally. Of course I love writing music, but it’s on stage I really feel that the music comes alive, and I have mad fun playing live.
What is the main idea, the message you want to leave to people who listens to you? What is your motto?
Hmmm I never really thought about that… I’m not a big fan of using music as a means of propaganda. I think people should be free to pass whatever message they like in their music, of course, I’m not the kind to tell people what should or shouldn’t be done. But personally, I don’t think of my music as a way of passing some specific message. Music to me is a very cathartic process, it’s a way of materializing what I’ve got inside. I find it easier to express myself with music than with words, that’s why sometimes I ask people I know are good writers to make the lyrics for songs. There’s a logical line when I build a song, although most people will be fast to say “well, it’s just 4 on the floor basic beats and simple melodies, what’s the big deal about that?” Truth is that most of my songs start with the main lead melody or melodies, and that is what depends of what I’m feeling when I’m writing it or of anything I’m thinking about. I pick that “starter point” and give it to someone as a guideline, explain more or less the point of the song and they write the lyrics. However, some songs I end up writing the lyrics too, if I feel inspired haha. Bottomline is that I don’t have a specific message on my music. Each song has a different message, and they all come from my own personal day-to-day.
What’s the name of your band? where did the name come from? or what's the story behind the band name?
When the project started I called it “aktiv[E|H]ate”. I always liked word games and the name could be at the same time “aktive hate” or “aktivate” depending on if you read outside or inside the brackets. The first EP (Corrosive Intent) was released with this name. In the meantime I realized the brackets were causing a lot of confusion and decided to simplify the name into just “aktivehate”.
If people don't know what you and your music are about, how would you describe aktivehate?
That’s a hard one…. I think it’s a mix of dark electro, harsh industrial (or hellektro, whatever) and metal. You can find dark songs, melodic songs, heavy songs, whatever. Like I say, aktivehate explores my feelings, so the music becomes as much of a rollercoaster as the feelings themselves.
'In Terrorem' full-length album, 2010 where did the concept come from? and whats planned now that your album is finished? or anything else you're working on? Tell me why this title,'In Terrorem' Tell us a few words about the concept of this?
Contrary to what most people think when seeing the title, it has little to do with “terror” or “horror” or whatever. “In Terrorem” is a legal term that describes a state of warning. Roughly, a “In Terrorem” letter in legal terms is a warning letter, a way of saying “this or that is happening, you have been warned”. So this album is my “In Terrorem” letter to the world haha The album artwork builds up on that too. The empty chair in that filthy, almost abandoned room, like somebody was just there waiting for something. Of course there’s a heavy “horror” look on most things I do, but that’s mostly due to my aesthetic choices. Also, since I come from a long history in extreme metal, I’ve gotten used to that kind of artwork and find it fits perfectly with my music.
How is your relationship with the fans like? Is it nice to meet fans or have you also problems with intrusive hysterical female and male admirers?
I love talking to fans. Either on the internet or in person, I really love that. I mean, is there anything better than meeting someone who actually likes what I’m doing? They’re the whole point of releasing albums or playing live! If I wanted to do music just for myself, I’d keep in my room and that’s that. If I choose to put my work out, it’s because of the people that enjoy it! On myspace or through email, I always answer people, and try to be as close to them as I can. In concerts I’d say the same, but it’s rare to have people come talk to me after a concert. Either I’m not recognizable or I’m just scary hahaha Never had any problems with fans, male or female. I don’t think I’m known enough to inspire hysteria in anyone haha Honestly, I hope I never do inspire it, I’m just a regular guy like anyone else listening to my music.
How do you feel to hold the finished cd in your hands?
Satisfied. Accomplished. Happy. Enthusiastic. A mix of all those things. Like I said, my favourite thing in music is playing live but honestly, holding my first album in my hands comes as a very close second.
How is the current promotional tour going for supporting this album?
Well, I’ve been trying to find some concert dates to promote the album, but it’s a bit hard. Since I live in Portugal, the travel expenses sometimes get a bit steep, and since the band isn’t very well known yet, most promoters feel it’s too much of a risk to bring us to their shows. It’s a bit of a catch 22… On one hand aktivehate isn’t known enough for promoters to see us as an act who will attract public, on the other we need the concerts to promote the band. The market is a bit hard these days for promoters to take great risks, and sometimes bringing a band from Portugal with 2 or 3 members is somewhat of a big monetary risk for them.
What do you think of a modern Gothic and about Electro / Industrial / Metal scene?
In terms of public, I think it has grown during this past decade. While it still remains pretty much underground, the “underground” itself has become less of an unknown thing, which contributes to growing the number of people in the scene. Also, I think it has been suffering (like every other scene) from economic recession and poor sales. At the same time, there are many, many new artists (some very good). So we’re at a point where there is enough quality and public to justify investing, but not enough money to make it anything but a risk! It’s really hard, like this, for a young band to get a break. But overall I think the scene is alive and well. I don’t like to jump on the bandwagon of the doomsday-sayers who cry all the time about fashions and flavour-of-the-moment and how it’s ruining “the scene”. I think anything that contributes to enlarging the scene is a welcome thing. And you can always choose what to listen to and where to go, so…
What's your favourite track of yours?
My favourite track is hard to choose… The ones I listened to more times from “In Terrorem” are probably Diseased or 00h00.  From the other ones probably Animality, Blood Roses, My Own God and Knee Deep. Choosing just one of them is complicated…
Our usual question - what is music for you?
Feeling. I could use this definition for any kind of music. Industrial, Black Metal, Classical, Folk, Jazz, Rock, whatever. To me, it all comes down to feeling. Of course you can create music with formulas, but that’s not how any genre was born.
What was your best live experience so far?
Specifically with aktivehate I’d have to say the concert with Lith, Alien Vampires and SAM in Marseille. I have good friends there and the public is really awesome. I had a great time there and the concerts, public and overall night were very good!
What are your views on the current state of this Electro / Industrial / Metal scene in Portugal. In terms of creativity and audiences? And the scene in other countries?
There’s no industrial scene here. There are a few people who enjoy this genre, but there’s no scene. Things work pretty much as a tiny little club where only friends are invited. If you’re not in the “cool kids” group, nobody gives a shit. I’ve probably played more times abroad than here in Portugal. There are, of course, some people who keep trying to work towards the growth of a “scene” here, but they mostly just lose money. Replycant organizes with some other people the Lock the Target festival, and there are also the people from the Industrial.pt association, but overall it’s a really small group of people, it’s pretty small “scene”. Metal is a whole different story, there’s a LOT of people into metal, but unfortunately most of them are still a bit biased against electronic music. There’s been a shift, though, and people are more open-minded to these fusions. Scenes in other countries aren’t really familiar to me, I’ve only dealt with them on my concerts, so it’s an unrealistic view. Apart from the Portuguese scene, the one I’m closer to is probably the French scene, since I have many friends there and have played there some times already. Compared to the Portuguese scene, it’s considerably bigger, but it’s to be expected, since the countries are very different in size and in closeness to the bigger markets, festivals and centres for this style.
You have very nice numbers` tell me about lyrical compositions what you can tell about the done work? How does your music creation process work? How do you create a song?
When it comes to lyrics it can be very different from song to song. The process is almost always the same, I write the song before the lyrics, with an idea in mind, and then I try to write something around that idea. Since I’m more musical than verbal, I sometimes can’t write what I really want to say, so I prefer to ask someone who I know writes well to try and put that in paper, rather than have shitty lyrics. I’m fortunate enough to know people who write well and understand easily what I try to say.
Since the music industry is more open now to purely electronic music has this made things easier for you?
I don’t know. Yeah, it’s true that I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of people listening to aktivehate that aren’t even in the electronic music scene! I’ve found a lot of metal fans that actually enjoy aktivehate, so that’s a very good thing. I think the prejudice and pre-fabricated ideas about electronic music are fading fast, and people are becoming a lot more open to it. On the other hand, I myself don’t like to create 100% electronic music. Nothing against that, it’s just a personal preference and choice. I don’t like to use effects on my vocals, and I’m liking the “organic” feeling that the guitars give the music. Anyway, it still remains mainly electronic music, so the increasing openness to this kind of music is a good thing.
So what are your main influences as a band at the moment?
My influences… I don’t know exactly. You might listen to aktivehate and find a lot of elements that remind you of other bands, but I can’t really pinpoint what they are. I listen to too much music genres to be able to isolate “influences”. I’m above all into metal (black metal, more specifically), so my vocals are heavily relying on typical black metal “shriek”, for example. On the other hand, I love melodic leads in electro-industrial, so there are some Hocico-like melodies here and there. I don’t know, really, I think everything I listen to ends up being an influence.
Do you think that people from the music press didn't expect you to grow up musically?
I think the people from the music press have probably never heard of aktivehate hahaha I have no “godfather” or “friends in high places” in the scene to introduce me, so I’m guessing most people don’t even know the band yet.
What is the key to making music from aktivehate and what inspires you to keep growing as a musician?
The love of it. This is true for any one of my bands, for anything I do in music and basically is what pushes me into keeping at it. I love music, I love writing music, I love playing music. I study music, I listen to music and I can’t live without it. Since I have a bad (or good, I don’t know) habit of wanting to play every music style I enjoy, I end up with dozens of bands. Aktivehate is the face of my love for electronic industrial, and my desire to explore this genre. That is what inspires me to create the music. What inspires me to put it out and to promote the band and all are the reactions of people who like it. It’s the best thing in the world when somebody tells you “Hey, I love the music you do!”
How do you see the future of download / Copyright in area of goth-Electro / Industrial / Metal music ? What are the best ways to develop it in your mind ?
Well, it’s a very complicated subject, I guess… Truth is that the industry as it traditionally worked is dying. CD sales are down, downloads are through the roof and labels are closing more and more. I myself am a big supporter of the free distribution of music online. I released my first two EPs through a free download netlabel (EnoughRecords) and the results were very good. Unfortunately most concert promoters or press or whatever don’t take you seriously that way. Unless you’ve released a regular CD, you don’t get any breaks, concerts, reviews, interviews, nothing. I do this for the people who enjoy the music, not the “Big dogs”, but I guess anybody who makes music wants it to reach the most people possible. And to play live, you have to be known. It’s a cycle. Labels are reluctant to release new bands because sales will probably be low, and bands need releases to get any kind of attention. I think piracy is a bad thing, at its core, since musicians are having a tougher and tougher time getting signed, but… it also brings a great thing: exposure. When my first 2 EPs got posted on Russian mp3 blogs and such was when I noticed the biggest growth in myspace visits and listens, and last.fm listen counts. In the end what you want is to get the band’s name across to as many people as possible. Many of my fans are from eastern Europe and Russia, and I’m willing to bet it came from that. So I can appreciate both sides of the issue. On one hand I welcome the publicity, on the other I need to sell CDs so that my label will want to continue working with me. I’m a firm believer in the “download to discover, buy to support” motto. Rip the album, copy it and share it, anything you want. If you do like it, though, then buy the CD and support the artist and the label (remember most labels in this genre are small independent labels run by normal, regular people like you and me). CD sales (quantities) are still a major element in the success of a band. And it’s only fair to give something back to an artist who took hours of his time to create the music you’re enjoying listening, right?
If there was one thing you want people to know about your band what would that be?
I… really don’t know… HAHAHA Just go listen to the music!!!
Please let us know about your upcoming plans, some new releases you like to confirm here.
No releases planed yet, they will come as time goes. I’m writing new stuff already, that’s the only certain thing for now.
And what is next on Portugal agenda?
Nothing, for now.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Easiest way is to check the myspace profile, it’s the most active presence on the web. You can find the latest songs there, as well as links to download our older stuff and info on the band. The website is still in progress, as I’m the one doing all design and artwork for the band and I haven’t been getting much time to finish that, but you can use it as a central point, as every profile of the band is linked there. Addresses and profiles where you can find aktivehate:
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
I guess since the birth of this band there was a great evolution, especially in sound quality and song building. There are old songs I like very much, but in terms of sound quality they were a bit lacking. Right now I’m also trying to take in elements from other music styles, try to grow the sound of the band a bit, and not stay confined to dark electro, releasing the same album 2 or 3 times in a row.
How is the new line-up working out?
It works well. Replycant is a cool guy and a good partner on the live shows. Right now I’m looking for a guitar player to play with the band on concerts. I’ve played with some already, but still haven’t found the right guy, in terms of attitude and all.
And, finally, what does the next twelve months hold for the band?
If it depended on me, it would hold many, many concerts hahaha As it stands right now, I’m trying to work out some concert dates, but the only certain thing during the next year is writing new songs. I’ve started working on that as soon as I sent the master CD for “In Terrorem” to the label. I just can’t stop writing music.
By the way do you like my questions? tell me what you think about it! ;-)??
Nice ones, pretty thorough and some pretty interesting and unusual ones in there.
Any last words? Thanks alot for your answers! We wish you furthermore great success and a lot of fun with your live-shows
Thank YOU very much! It was a pleasure answering your questions.To anyone reading this I say: Keep supporting artists - not just with sales, but mostly with your words and presence. Remember, artists do not persist without their fans. You make it worth it.
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