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diekammer introInterview with

Marcus Testory and Matthias Ambré from Die Kammer

It came as a real bombshell and a premature Christmas present, when Marcus Testory and Matthias Ambré proclaimed last December, that they will work together again and founded their project DIE KAMMER! Both protagonists went through dire straits: while one of them declared that his project CHAMBER won’t endure anymore, the other left the band ASP which he co-founded and was a member of for about 12 years. Both sensed a kind of listlessness in order to create new music and needed a certain time of self-discovery. But thank goodness, their path have crossed after several years of just walking side by side…

Just right in time for their first release concert, Reflections of Darkness had the chance to meet the guys for a short interview in a very quiet and cosy place to ask them some questions.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Hello guys, how are you doing? What is your valuation of the feedback towards the release? What are your experiences?
Matthias: I’m sceptical by nature  and I think that a lot of people are quite surprised of the release and maybe therefore some are a little bit disappointed. But the feedback is way more positive than I expected. The people are stoked and euphoric as you can read on the internet. Well, that’s awesome and affirmative. I’m pretty content with the feedback and how the project grows…
Marcus: I have to agree with Matze, it’s exactly what I felt, too.

RoD: Is there any difference between fans and music magazines?
Matthias: The passage between journalism and fandom is blurred respective to our genre…
Marcus: Almost in every genre nowadays I would say, e.g. blogs etc.
diekammer01Matthias: Speaking of the BIG magazines within the genre it seems that they’re taken with ‘The Seeming and the Real’ not just for work. There was one journalist who wrote that she had restrain herself, because she…(laughs)…
Marcus: She came out as a fan…(giggles)…
Matthias: (jokingly) Otherwise we may have had a chance of becoming “Album of the Month”…

RoD: To plunge in medias res,  you both described the beginning of your work as cosy get-togethers. But what is the next step? How is the development?
Marcus: Then… there’s someone joining us… (laughs)…
Matthias: That’s a good question. In fact, at first it’s a cosy get-together with an exchange of ideas… while drinking red wine someone’s playing a tune, the other one’s responding. It’s a kind of jigging and skipping. Sometimes there’s an idea for the lyrics or… somewhere there’s a breeding ground… and then… there are no rules, no fixed process of development. It’s helpful that nowadays you have the opportunity of recording system so that you can record any idea for memory hook, as you can say so. Another assistance is the capacity of computers in order to checkout if there’s a chance that this idea will work for a certain instrument e.g. Tuba etc.! Although it sounds horrible, it’s pretty cool for composing. After a while of ripening we listen to these ideas sober in order to expand them or to modify them until it’s a song, we’re quite content with. And then there’s the step of fine tuning very lately. That’s when the instruments are playing together, when you get a glimpse of that what could be better or what’s not working.
Marcus: It depends on what the other musician are offering to you. Sometimes there’s someone showing up who says: ”That sounds pretty good to me, but I’ve got a little idea to make it better.”
Matthias: We’re both pretty experienced in working with strings, but due to the fact that we’re both not playing any strings, it’s still helpful if someone’s offering a solution, you can agree with…
Marcus: …or…NOT! (laughs)

RoD: As you already said the work with other musicians is another step of your way of composing?
Matthias: The great opportunity of DIE KAMMER is, that I’m a owner of a studio. So we don’t have to pay for hours we are working in the studio… a lot of ideas can be rethought in an early process. It’s luxury and we’re pretty aware of this.

RoD: You’ve created a play on words with the term “DIE KAMMER” (The Chamber) according to the term of “Kammermusik/ chamber music” - is that what we will get from DIE KAMMER in future?
Marcus: Definitely! Homelike… it’s our chamber… chamber music, it’s all bound together!
Matthias: Yes, it’s not only the musical aspects of chamber music, we’re interested in. DIE
diekammer05KAMMER is like a home, a space for our creativity. It’s our wish, that from that chamber all this creativity shall develop. DIE KAMMER itself as a musical project might not develop, because we’ve found our definition of music, but there are a lot of more people involved in DIE KAMMER, that there’s a chance of development which is referred to DIE KAMMER but may differ in style…

Marcus: DIE KAMMER influenced… (smiles)

RoD: Well, the next thing I want to know, what are the abilities of your counterpart within the project vice versa?
Marcus: Insistence, perfectionism…until…
Matthias: …until you drop…
Marcus: It’s not perfectionism in a negative way, but a certain insistence… straightforwardness, which is important, not only in a musical way, but also in character. It’s important for our work together, because you know what’s happening, and that makes me feel good. It’s something you can depend on even there are times when you think: “Huh…? Whassup…?“
Matthias: Max is an extremely emotional person and that’s a trait I can learn from a lot in order to “turn the brain switch off”, as you can say so… to thoroughly dedicate oneself. I’m a factual person by nature and that’s my access. My music teacher always complained that musical knowledge is great, but that I somehow was lacking a bit of the emotional access. That’s the thing I love most about Max… that he is a passionate guy… he’s intoxicating… that’s one of the
many…and…many…and…many… (both were laughing)

Marcus: In my opinion that’s the reason why DIE KAMMER works - it’s good for both sides of the deal: for business, because he’s able to bring me back on track and in the musical part I can let my follies out. It’s complementary!

RoD: With regard to business: one of you is an owner of a studio, the other stroke path with founding the label Delicious Releases many years ago… is DIE KAMMER geared to these facts?
Marcus: It’s a result of these facts, I would say The existence of the infrastructure causes the
usage. For sure, there have to be plans how effective these structures can be used in order to mate. It’s a matter of fact, that the artist is no longer just an artist. He has to have an overview on how he will survive, therefore he is responsible.

Matthias: It’s luxury to have that chances, especially for independent music because the more you can manage by yourself the more you gain. It’s hard to find a label in these days, because business is slow and the instructions made by other people… that words of ”Let´s do it that way…or maybe”…
Marcus: “…and if you’re playing live… do it for half of the fee…” (with a munificent accent)
Matthias: In my opinion on the long run and it’s hard to say there will be less labels, because of diekammer03the opportunities of distribution within the world wide web that renders labels obsolete. A lot of things labels did years ago can be made by yourself and other things labels did can’t be made by small or independent labels anymore e.g.: to be on air! Forget about it! It’s a matter of the global players… the question is: What’s the deal? Because you’re paying a large fee to the labels and then the next question is: Why? Of course, it’s a lot of work to do. There’s hardly a chance for a seventeen year old guy to found its own label. But in our case, we have a certain experience and the knowledge as well as contacts…
Marcus: Maybe the old way of business still work for … ehm… old people like we are. We grew up in an era of pure Rock’n’Roll business, we’ve lived through the change, but if we want to carry on a little bit further we have to submit to the change. I don’t want to know what to do in case you are in the age of fourteen, fifteen, sixteen nowadays, in view of marketing. They’re all referring to YouTube…
Matthias: Yeah, someone told me that he met someone who didn’t know that he could buy a CD for real, he just didn’t know that you’re able to walk into a store and pay for a CD you can get over there! It sounds quite funny, but it points at the future, I think.
Marcus: The handicap is, you’re working as an independent artist… as a musician while producing a business concept at the same time… your art is a business concept, because you’re in need of.

RoD: Is therefore the vision of a project different?
Marcus: I wouldn’t say that! The vision is the same, but it’s an artistic challenge to dispose this project. Therefore marketing can be art as well. It’s the challenge of exploring new ways of distributing your work, because there’s a certain point when common merchandise is jaded… so you have to find other ways.

RoD: Your first release concert is up to come this evening. Is there any song you’re afraid of? Or a certain song you’re really into?
Marcus: A song I’m afraid of? All of them…
Matthias: ‘Black As Coal’ and one we won’t reveal by now…
Marcus: To be honest, I’m really afraid of all the song, because I’m pretty nervous and I’ve got huge respect to perform live, and I’m looking forward to playing all of them at the same, especially that one we won’t reveal! (smiles)

RoD: In the end: Are there any plans for 2013? Tour Dates? Season II?
Matthias: There are lots of rumours but none of them are ripe for decision! (smiles)
Marcus: I’m pretty sure that there will be an update at the end of the year. So stay alert! (smiles, too)

RoD: Well then, thanks for the interview  guys, we wish you all the best for your future!

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