Hello VLRK! Congratulations for your great new longplayer! How were the first reactions from the press and fans?
„The reactions to the 'Timewave Zero' album have been incredible! Everything from great reviews, praise by fans, top sales and reaching top positions on charts like the DAC, GEWC and Native 25. To be honest, I was a bit nervous before it's release regarding how people would react to it, but really thrilled to see how well it's doing all around.“
What is the feedback from the clubs like? Are the floors still burning?
„Again, all tracks I've heard being played at clubs have totally been filling floors. Also the charts are a great indication of this, considering they are mostly voted for by club Djs.“
„Timewave: Zero“ sounds like you did have a masterplan in your head, haven't you? It sounds so varied and entertaining! How would you describe your own work, your own album to persons who didn't manage to hear it?
„A high energy, sexy hybrid of strengths from both old and new musical directions of Grendel, with a modern/contemporary electronic dance music twist to it.“
I am very impressed by the great production of your new album! Did you change your equipment or did you change your working style?
„Thanks! Since the release of the previous album it's been a goal of mine to raise the production quality to a level relevant to that of other dance music genres. Apart from switching from PC to Mac, I have not changed any equipment and work totally 'in the box' (all within the DAW – in my case Logic ). So it's purely a case of upping the level of my production skills. Even though getting fancy or expensive outboard gear has it's benefits, the most imporant thing is understanding audio engineering and knowing how to manage your production.“
When consuming your new material, i also have to mention the cool sounding! How was working with Kolja Trelle like?
„Working with Kolja is always a great experience, as he always honestly points out any problem areas in my production and how to solve them. Plus he understands well what I'm going for, sound/stylistically. So after some interaction we can always achieve a good result, which we're both pleased with.“
The artwork looks amazing! This is done by Axel Torvenius. Did you give him plenty of rope?
„Axel always amazes me with his artwork and the work he's done for Grendel is exactly what I had in mind. What we usually do is brainstorm, until we have a solid concept. He then makes a rough 'speed-paint' (digital sketch), which I then comment on until it's right. After that I let him do his magic and the results up til now have been absolutely stunning. Great guy to work with and the reactions from the fans have been fantastic!“
Two and a half years ago you released the „Chemicals & Circuitry“ EP. On the album a new „Chemicals & Circuitry V.2012“ can be found. Why did you decide to offer a new version of this track?
“To be honest, I wasn't completely satisfied with the original version and felt it needed that energy boost. What most people don't know is that the final released version was actually a rendition, due to losing a lot of work on the original after a power surge at my house. This resulted in a busted external HD and a fried motherboard on my desktop machine. After that happened, I switched to an Apple Mac with Logic and had to re-do a lot of the track. The original actually sounded closer to the new version.”
On the song „Deep Waters“ you can hear the vocals of Lis Van Den Akker. This track will for sure become a big hit and the vocals fit perfect with your music! Did you have this cooperation already in your mind for a long time or was it just by chance?
“Lis van den Akker and I have been friends for years and we had been talking about doing a track together for quite a while. When I had finished “Deep Waters” it was clear that this was the ideal track for that colab, so we got right to it. I wrote the lyrics, recorded a 'whisper track' (whispered vocal recording, to give her a kind of guideline to work with) and she recorded the vocals spot on right away. We're both very pleased how this track came together and I really hope to do more work with her and other highly talented singers in the near future.”
To promote your new work you also released a video to the album's title track. Awesome work! Who is resposible for that awesome work, a mixture between „Terminator“ and „Sin City“?
„The mastermind behind the music video is Christopher Curtis, together with a talented team of animators, character designers, cast, etc. What happened is we chucked some ideas back and forth, getting a general idea of what we have in mind for the track. Then he disappeared in his studio for a couple of months, not revealing anything, and eventually surfaced with this great video. Besides the quality of certain elements, is it being a mildly toung-in-cheek tribute to a number of great cyberpunk/sci-fi classics and incorporating that with a theme relating to the dependency a lot of people have to modern technology. With already over 40,000 views on YouTube and a ton of positive feedback, it's going very well.“
On the limited edition of „Timewave: Zero“ you can hear a lot of remix-stuff. How did all these remix collaborations came together?
„All of the remixers involved are artists who's work I hugely respect and have a good connection with. How they all came together is a mix of mutual remix work and requesting both ways, really. As for what I gave for the remixes, the pack consisted of vocals, a midi file and a couple of samples. So all remixers really were encouraged to be created with these sparse elements and make it their own.“
When will your „Timewave: Zero“ tour take place? Will there be some surprises?
„We've actually been doing a good number of summer festivals (Kinetik, Resistanz, Hard Wired, WGT, etc) in the past two months, which has been travel-madness. Right now I'm taking a rest in the countryside, close to London and glad to be able to chill out for a bit. Next up though is Blackfield Festival and after that we're working on tours in the UK, Australia, mainland Europe and hopefully finally North America.“
What can we expect from Grendel in the near future?
„Right now I'm working on the upcoming EP and some other interesting releases (more on this very soon), plus regular fresh new merch designs (all available through infrarot.de for Europe & industrialshirts.com for North America) and other goodies. Besides that, there are some very cool Grendel remixes coming out soon and more on their way. So definitely a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the near future.“
Thanks for the very interesting interview and good luck with the great new album "Timewave: Zero"! The famous last words are up to you:
„Huge thanks to you all for the massive support over the years, stay awesome and keep living by the bassline!“
(Interview geführt von Andi)