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Interview with


With a new label in the back, FADERHEAD returns with his third album to date, surprisingly titled FH3, and was very talkative on that score and delivered some insights into sings and a glimpse into the future…

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): So now it’s gonna be released after all, your third album. You weren’t so sure about a third album ever being released after you and Accession Records parted company right?
Faderhead (FH): Nope, if L-Tracks hadn’t made me an offer I can’t refuse, I would not have released FH3. Luckily they approached me and gave me all the freedom to do what I want, all the financial backing that I need to do it right and a contract that is so unusual in the music business that my lawyer (a very experienced man when it comes to entertainment law) had problems getting used to it, haha ... :-)

RoD: Was the production already in progress at that time?
FH: Yes, FH3 was 70% done and I basically looked at my bank account, looked at the projected expenses for FH3 and I looked at the online sales statement for FH2 for the last accounting period and decided that I could not release FH3 in this setting unless I wanted to be broke for a long time ...

RoD: How did the contact with L-Tracks come about in the end?
FH: Marco Ribbe was a big fan of FH1 and FH2 and he basically said “Look, I want to hear FH3, you have to release it!” - and that’s when we started talking and thinking about ways how it could be released in a way that makes sense, at a good price for the fans and in a way that the money goes back directly towards the artist and not towards a lot of middlemen who really have nothing to do with the music itself ...

RoD: You’re continuing with the well-known naming scheme and simply title the new one ‘FH3’. Why did you decide to use that naming scheme, instead of using a track title or any other title in the first place?
FH: FH1, FH2 and FH3 are a trilogy - they simply belong together. The next record will have a proper name ... :-)

RoD: Compared to the other albums, the cover of FH3 appears much more dark and oppressive. How did you strike on the idea to use such a motif for the cover and is that blood down there in the left corner?
FH: The whole album is darker than FH1 or FH2 and therefore I needed a darker cover. FH1 was a short and experimental period where I was trying to find an electronic style, that’s why that cover has mainly me in the booklet. FH2 was a lot about personal experiences and changing personalities and that’s why it had that clean, mannequin look, because you can dress a mannequin any way you want and easily create a different personality even if you have no substance underneath. FH3 is more melancholic and brooding but also more aggressive, that’s why the cover is the way it is. And maybe ... maybe that is blood ... ;-)

RoD: A track like ‘Another Dead Boy’ appears very cold and repelling with its industrial-like instrumentation and also the vocals mostly sound very angry and barely melodic. Can you tell us something about the background of the song?
FH: This is the first song I wrote for FH3 when I had just broken up with my long-term girlfriend, left our very nice house out in the countryside, moved into an empty apartment in the total ghetto area of Hamburg after sleeping on my friend’s couches for a month or two. A lot of other things went wrong in that period and I basically had this empty apartment with nothing but a desk, my computer and my speakers set up. I didn’t even have a bed, just a yoga mat and I wasn’t feeling too good, haha! But I always believe that someone is far worse off than you. I mean, I had a job, heating, a car and food – so I basically thought about all the people who live terrible lives and would LOVE to be in my situation. And that’s when I started writing ‘Another Dead Boy’ ...

RoD: What’s a ZigZag Machinery anyway?
FH: That’s the mechanism inside the brain of one certain person who is a pathological liar, manipulator and asshole - while at the same time being very popular. This person exists and everyone who knows him totally understands and agrees with the lyrics. He just switches from one persona to the next really quickly - zigzagging between them....

RoD: In my opinion ‘FH3’ sounds more matured and serious than both of its predecessors. Would you say that it kind of marks a turning point?
FH: I don’t know if you could call it a turning point. Turning towards what? Maybe the next album will be all happy and poppy sounding. J As I said earlier, FH1, FH2 and FH3 belong together stylistically, but I did not want to make 3 records where anyone could say “they all sound the same”. Also, songs like ‘The Lines’, ‘Vanish’ and ‘Disappear’ on FH1, ‘Sentimental Again’, ‘Losing For Real’ and ‘Friday Night Binge’ on FH2 are as serious as the tracks on FH3 - the only difference is that there are definitely no happy songs on the new album ... :-)

RoD: In the last song ‘Mr. Fetus’ you can even hear percussions. Are those real ones or do they actually originate from a synth. The song has an overall organic feeling to it anyway.
FH: The percussion elements on this track have been played by Alex Montana. I wanted to give a look ahead at the next release because I want to incorporate live drums a lot more and move away from the traditional electro sounds. I really like how ‘Mr. Fetus’ turned out, with that respect. Also ‘Mr. Fetus’ is lyrically probably the meanest song that has ever been on a Faderhead record and it needed to have a certain atmosphere and vibe in the vocals, the instrumentation and the beat - so we tried live percussion and it worked well.

RoD: I remember you saying you would only use the preset sounds from the synths. Has this changed in the meantime and did you actually become a sound design freak?
FH: I tweak a bit, but not THAT much - I just have better taste in sounds now than I had in 2006 :-). Some people who really have no life still write me emails and say “You suck, you used that preset in Synth XYZ!” and that always makes me laugh, cause some of the best songs the world has ever heard are made with the shittiest gear and the cheesiest sounds. As long as the song is good, I don’t really care if the sound is a preset or not - it just has to fit the track!

RoD: Will there be some live dates again in the near future?
FH: Probably. We have been so busy with the video shoots for ‘Exit Ghost’ and ‘TZDV’ as well as the album release for ‘FH3’ that there wasn’t too much time for playing live, but we are hoping to get back to it as soon as possible!
RoD: The famous last words belong to you.
FH: I just want to say thanks to everyone who supported me through 2007 and 2008 - and especially everyone who wrote emails and letters after I announced the split from Accession Records. It meant a lot!


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