If anyone -who doesn´t know about you- heard the name of the band he would may think you are some crazy guys of a horror-splattering movie. What´s the meaning behind the name of the band?
We were originally called Imagica but another band in the states already had that so we needed a new name. We took our name from our song Happy Birthday and in a lot of ways it reflect both sides of our music... the lighter and darker sides.
How would you describe your own music? I think you create a new “80ies Synthie-Pop-Wave Style” for the new generation aka “the new age!”.
We think that other people seem to have a better idea than we do just what to call our music. Different people find different parts of it that they like and that is what they focus on. For us it has been a refinement or a progression over the years. Walking With Strangers is influenced by the number of live shows that we have done in the past couple of years and so it has more energy to it than that previous two.
How do you think about the reaction of the press/the fans to describe your sound as “Synthie Pop/Rock”? Do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?
What our fans think is important to us. And for the most part they have stayed with us through our growth as a band and as writers. It is natural that some have a more favorite album or time period but even those people still support us now. As for the press, I will confess that I hear more about what they say from my manager than by reading reviews. He will send us something every now and then that he thinks has some insight. It's been good to know that some reviewers like what we are doing but what they say won't influence what we do next.
Do you think it is ok if people say that you copy some styles of the 80ies like The Cure or Depeche Mode etc.?
We have our influences just like any other band and there are some bands that have had a big impact on us but we don't think that we sound like someone else. We can't help but be influenced by the music we grew up with and that we like but that is just one element in what we do.
What is different about this album, ‘Walking With Strangers’ compared to your previous 2 albums, ‘Nothing and Nowhere’, and ‘Violet’?
Walking With Strangers was written and recorded over a period of six months (November-April) and was mixed in just under two weeks. It’s a more focused and cohesive album in terms of theme and concept. After the release of Violet, I began writing some new material in and around the
”Playing Dead” and ”Broken Minds” tours. After returning home from last September Mike Falcore and I started focusing our attention on the new material. After some discussion, we decided to continue writing music while keeping certain themes and in mind. We’ve learned a lot over the past few years in terms of recording/engineering, production, and performing so it was great to finally apply that skill and experience to the new creative work. At that time, we were interested in institutions such as schools, workplaces, and hospitals. This was because, in addition to their varied and unique aesthetics, we felt that they represented three distinct and important transition points connecting childhood, adulthood, and old age. Out of these institutions, we were particularly drawn to ‘The School’ because, on a much smaller scale, it mirrors many of the fundamental rules, struggles, and social cliques found in adult society. It was the place in which our personalities were shaped and hardened. The experiences we endured throughout those years have followed us into adulthood and define much of who we are and what we have become. For this reason, we wanted ‘the school’ institution to be reflected in the mood and aesthetic of ‘Walking With Strangers’.
The themes explored on this album are inspired by a combination of experiences, thoughts, dreams and opinions that we’ve gathered throughout our young and adult lives. We wanted this album to feel like an adult wandering through the halls of their old childhood elementary school. On this album, we wanted to remember, reflect and move forward while evolving the dynamics we established on ‘Violet’. The lyrics on the album also mix past memories and naivety with current perspective and experience. This album is a definite step forward in terms of creativity, writing and technical production. We’re very proud of it.
How do you come up with the songs for your albums?
The instrumentation usually starts with a chord progression or a programming sequence. Mike Falcore and myself usually start on an idea and follow it through as best we can. We check in with one another frequently and keep tabs on what the other is doing. If inspiration strikes, we’ll contribute to the other’s ideas and work together to flesh out the song. In this regard, Walking With Strangers is a more balanced collaboration than both ‘Violet’ and ‘Nothing And Nowhere’. In the past, I did the majority of writing/programming and Mike would work with me on the guitars and make suggestions. Chibi, Aslan, and OE would also add their 2 cents if they felt inclined. After the music was written, Chibi and myself would then start bringing lyrics into the various vocal melody ideas we wanted to try out. ‘’Walking With Strangers’ was a more focused effort that Mike and I worked on together. It’s a more cohesive album. We both wrote, programmed, recorded bass, guitar etc. After we had some demo songs in a decent state, we ran them by some of the others for feedback. Chibi and I continued to work on writing lyrics and recording some rough vocals. In addition, OE got involved with the writing and started bringing some ideas to the table. He helped a lot with the vocal melodies and harmonies. The choruses on ‘Red Stars’ and Looking Glass are good examples. He also contributed the song idea that evolved into the track ‘Unfamiliar’.
It seems like your fans have been a big part of spreading the word about the band, do you think this is so?
I think that’s always been the case for us. We’ve been really fortunate to have such a loyal fan base. They’re the reason we’re where we are today. When we were first starting out, the only way to reach people was through word of mouth and the Internet. We made a strong connection with a wide range of individuals early on in our career and they’ve been helping to spread the word ever since. Our fans are our extended family and we truly admire and respect them for their unwavering support.
How much touring are you going to do for this album?
Throughout the next year, we’ll be touring both America and Europe quite extensively. We may even get as far as Australia but we’ll see. We’re proud of this album and we really want to support it and bring it to as many people as possible.
How do you think about format of MTV or VH1? Do you think we could see you on such a big “no more” typical -Music channel?
Well when Chibi lost her head at the end of our last video, Blue, we pretty much closed the door on mainstream video for that song. There were lots of places that played it and youtube has been great. We are making another video at the end of November and it will probably be more of the band so that might mean a bit less of the story telling. We really don't know at this point because we are still talking with the producer about it.
How do you think about the Goth, Rock and Pop-Scene nowadays? Which bands do you prefer and where do you get your inspirations from?
There are a lot of good bands today. We all have different favorites but we like Nine Inch Nails, My Chemical Romance, AFI and bands like that. Some of our good friends are in The Start and Kill Hannah. There are always good bands coming up and we hope to take some new ones along with us on some of our tours.