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mindinabox interview introInterview with

Mind.In.A.Box at Infest 2015

I met up with Mind.In.A.Box at Infest 2015. Mind.In.A.Box is an Austrian band which includes Stefan Poiss (vocals), Roman Stift (bass), Gehard Höffler (drums) and Adam Wehsely-Swiczinsky (guitar). Their futuristic sound transcends space and time. Listening to their music is like following a continuous sci-fi storyline and you can’t wait until the next chapter. I really hope that someday this can be made into an epic and classic sci-fi movie. Mystical science fiction in a fantasy world with the ups and downs of the human and not so human experiences. Whatever form we take humanity is a fragile thing the songs seems to convey. Life is fleeting and should be appreciated on a much deeper level is the feeling you get when listening to their songs storylines.

Stefan Poiss and Markus Hadwiger were childhood friends in their native Austria. Over the course of their lives, they had collaborated on creating a number of computer games and then decided to create an album in 2001. This is when the Mind.In.A.Box odyssey started. The latest album is ‘Memories’. To introduce the fans to the story of Mr Black I took the following information from Wikipedia.

Chapter 1: Lost Alone

Waiting: This is a series of phone calls, in which Mr Black talks to a man that he has attached a trace to. Black is spying on Him. The man is concerned about a woman and is trying to get into contact with Her. Just before he is able to get a hold of the woman, Black calls his contact and agrees to take some sort of action against Him that will leave Him unable to escape and not interrupt the trace. Forever gone: Another series of phone calls between Black and someone. Black has lost Him. The trace on the man has been broken and Black has no idea where he has gone. The Speaker tracks Him through a scrap of paper with an address to a bar. When Black arrives at the bar, he finds Him. The man's body is lifeless and has all of his (unspecified) "gear" with it, although all the data on his gear has been erased. The Speaker comes to the conclusion that the man must have "switched over" to "the other side".

Chapter 2: Dreamweb

Tape Evidence: Black says that he's been constantly dreaming and that even reality appeared dream-like. He was briefly snapped out of his dreaming by a door bell. When he went to answer the door, he found an audio tape. Dead End: Black is talking with White over a radio. White's side of the conversation cannot be heard. He is surveilling a club, trying to find Her. He loses his patience and goes inside. He finds the woman and is instantly assaulted by his dreams. He runs through hallways and down stairs trying to get away from the music. The music rises in intensity and the woman is still in front of him. He continues fleeing to escape the music and when he bursts through a door, he finds himself back in the club before he passes out. Reflections: An audio log sums up the search for Her. After Black wakes up in the gutter, he does not understand what happened to him and cannot contact White over his radio. He finds White who has gotten a tape from a man at the club. He goes home and still hears the music before falling asleep.

Chapter 3: Crossroads

Introspection: Black awakens in a tank of water, with Night and The Friend watching him from outside. They break the glass and free him. He wakes up in an apartment with the knowledge that some people known as the Sleepwalkers helped him and that the events in the past two chapters were misleading; that White is not his friend and was actually trying to erase his identity. Amnesia: Reeling from the realization that his partnership with White was a lie, Black realizes that he doesn't know who he is and is suffering from amnesia. Into the Night: Snippets of Black's side of conversations detail his investigations into what really happened in the club in Chapter 2. He discovers that his name is Black and finds a clue pointing him to the Sleepwalkers.

Chapter 4: Revelations

Transition: Black tries to return to the club where he first heard the music, only to find everything gone. He then hears the music in his own head. Fragments: Bursts of memory return to Black: Night, the Friend, the Agency, Sleepwalkers, the Dreamweb. Sanctuary: Black reflects on his path, focused on the song that lead him to this point.

The Cast

Black: Black is the point of view that the story is told from. It's unknown what his motives are and until Crossroads even his name was a mystery. He is working for White, doing mostly surveillance. He seems to be some sort of a government or corporate agent, with little qualms about killing.
White: White is Black's direct supervisor. White is the only member of the story who has been named. While he had been assuming a sort of controller role in Lost Alone, he makes a physical appearance in Reflections, making it clear that White is comfortable with field work.
Him: The unnamed man, who is the target of investigation in Lost Alone, is only referred to by male pronouns. It is implied that he is some sort of a hacker, possibly even a decker or cyber-cowboy. At the end of Lost Alone his body is dead, although it is strongly believed that his mind still lives and he has transferred his consciousness into the Internet.
Her: The unnamed woman, who is the target of investigation in Dreamweb, is only referred to by female pronouns. She seems to have had some sort of relationship with Him. It is revealed that she "knows how to get there", suggesting that she knows what happened to Him and how to replicate it. At the end of Dreamweb, she has escaped surveillance and has triggered something in The Speaker's mind.

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The Interview

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: What is the inspiration for your music?
MIAB: We think about the world and create a story, science fiction stories. Andreas Gruber wrote a story about Mind.In.a.Box. Mind.In.a.Box created a sci-fi story then Andreas started with a storyline. Andreas works with Mind.In.a.Box on storylines. The music is part of a dream web. Stephen writes the lyrics . The music is the key to get into this dream web. We tell the story in this world with lyrics. Before it was nebulous and now there is clarity. Black is the main character in the story.

RoD: What are your goals?
MIAB: To get enough great gigs like Infest where we can create and have enough resources to make a show, To make a multinational impression to the audience that is synchronized to the visuals. We would like to play more shows like Infest.

RoD: Describe the music making process please.
MIAB: To create the perfect sound and a sensual experience. Often we have some limitations with luggage and time on stage. Infest shares the same passion that Mind.In.a.Box has for music. We have an idea about the music we want to create, a picture in the mind. Imagine a situation and start with some sounds, adding moving parts, a concept. Twenty years ago they were listening to music in Stephens car and he said no one would listen to his music. Since he was 12 years old he entered notes into his computer. Just the computer and him. He created complicated constructions for the musicians but it all came together to create a world in-between the layers of music. A new scene that creates this musical world but expresses the same feeling and story. It evolved into a new set up with acoustic drums. Now the music has been refined for the audience. It is always a work in progress and the band discusses how they can improve their live shows. The story, the sound universe that it is in. The sound sphere and the sound that it creates. One story creates a world that is connected.

RoD: Where can fans access your music?
MIAB: / /

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