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Interview with

Dennis Ostermann (Songwriting, Vocals) of In Strict Confidence

The newest album of IN STRICT CONFIDENCE has been long in coming indeed. I remember first rumours about an upcoming release popping up some time in 2008. But well, what can you do? Good things just take their time, whereas good is quite a subjective term when it comes to music. Could be seen when the video for the single 'My Despair' premiered. While I got used to the song after a while, others couldn't at all, and opinions about the just released 'La Parade Monstrueuse' are generally mixed. Time to ask a few questions…

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Hello Dennis, thanks for taking time to answer a couple of questions pertaining your new album ‘La Parade Monstrueuse’. Lately, you outlined the theme of the album as “a dark, strange circus world”. What is awaiting the listener?
Dennis: First and foremost it has to do with the artwork. We have taken the theme of circus or cabaret and created our own world based on that.

RoD: Would that be correct to assume that the topic of circus serves for you as a metaphor for the illusory world, the same you deal musically with?
Dennis: No. As I said the topic has to do with the artwork. Musically we work absolutely independent from that.

RoD: As a kid have you been often to a circus? Does it fascinate you?
Dennis: Sure I have been to a circus as a kid but I don’t really like it. In any case I feel sorry for the animals. They do not belong there and it cannot be a good life for them. However I admire the acrobatic numbers very much. I find the circus life interesting but it doesn’t get me excited.

RoD: We’ve got an impression that the new album sounds much harder that its forerunner. Was it planned like that from the very beginning or did things develop in this direction as the production proceeded?
Dennis: Yes, it was planned in advance. We wanted to make the sound more raw compared to ‘Exile Paradise’. Naturally, not all songs are this hard.

RoD: Is this hardness a result of rage against all those things pretence?
Dennis: No, no. I’m a much laid back person. Rage and anger aren’t my things.

RoD: Who was responsible for the unusual artwork?
Dennis: It is impossible to mention just one person. The general idea was mine but it took 12-15 people to realize it - from the models to the makeup artist, stylist, photographers and illustrator. It certainly took many hundreds of working hours to get the final result.

RoD: The limited edition contains a bonus-CD with many remixes. Did you pick them yourself?
Dennis: Yes, sure. Nobody tells us what to do in this regard. We made a remix for ASP in the past thus he offered his work in return. I’ve been in contact with Rhys Fulber for a long time and was very glad when he agreed to remix our song. X-Fusion was also a very conscious choice since I was looking for a gaudy re-mixer. I’m more than content with all the results.

RoD: Moreover, there is a remix contest for ‘My Despair’. Could you take stock of that?
Dennis: Like in the past we have gotten the whole range in terms of quality. From very “unique” remixes to true pearls it’s all there. I have only got a chance to hear about a half of them and I’ll take more time to listen very soon.

RoD: In the original version of ‘Set Me Free’ you sing as a duet with Nina in two languages. What is the idea behind it?
Dennis: Actually it is just a stylistic device to underline certain things. It has no specific meaning for the lyrics.

RoD: We are very excited about the remix by ASP. What can you tell us about it?
Dennis: A wonderful job. The guys made it sound very ASP-like. And it is not just remixed by even enriched with ASP’s vocals close before the end.

RoD: Why is it a good idea to by the new issue of Sonic Seducer?
Dennis: Because we attached our EPCD to it! It is a rather unusual way of distribution for a CD but it’s a move with a great potential to reach audience.

RoD: Your new tour kicks off in April. Have you planned anything special?
Dennis: First and foremost we are eager finally to perform new songs. We’ve almost bored ourselves playing the same songs for five years. Hahaha! As far as far as female vocals are concerned, Antje’s singing will be completed by Nina’s. That way they will be rarely on stage at the same time but will be taking turns. I’m working on expansion of the video projections.

RoD: You’ve got DIORAMA as a co-headliner…
Dennis: Right. That came in handy because their new album comes out almost at the same time. It would make no sense to tour separately while competing against each other. Instead, we offer a nice package for the audience.

RoD: Your opinion about the following two words…
- Snow
Dennis: I’ve had enough of it this year. I live in the mountains and used to lots of snow but it has been enough for one summer.

RoD: - Cultural Capital City of 2010
Dennis: Essen and the Ruhr region if my memory serves me well. As far as I can judge it deserves this title. But you are probably getting at our show in Essen in Easter… Then Essen’s title is more than justified.

RoD: And your final words are…
Dennis: Thanks for the interview and best wishes to everybody. / /

Interview based on a transcript by © PromoFabrik ( - February 2010
Interviewers: Dietmar Fels & Astrid Kerber


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