Exclusive Interviews: Vendetta Music

Interview with Axel Machens of the band - Breathe

April 23, 2007

Q1: Hello Axel, it's good to have you back! The new Breathe mcd, entitled "Metal Cage" brought back good memories of the golden era of electro-industrial music. It reminds me of Placebo Effect's masterpiece albums "Galleries of Pain", "Manipulated Mind Control", "Past..Present" and the classic "Slashed Open" EP. Are you working on a new album and do you have a tentative release date?

Hi Nader, thank you very much for the kind words. I've recently begun working on the new Breathe album tentatively titled "High & Dry", and it's coming along slowly but surely. I have a demanding job and I carry a great deal of responsibility on my shoulders. Music is and will always be my passion. I write new material on the weekends but it's a very time consuming process maybe because I am a perfectionist. "High & Dry" should be finished by mid 2008.

Q2: The first Breathe album, "the Laughing Dolls" (2001) got very positive reviews then you half-heartedly attempted to resurrect Placebo Effect to no avail. What are the real reasons behind the demise of your highly-regarded former dark elektro project?

"The Laughing Dolls" got very positive reviews but sales didn't match expectations, and Synthetic Symphony/SPV weren't satisfied with the immediate results considering all the pre-release hype that had been given to the album. "The Laughing Dolls", however, has sold reasonably well over the years. We've had the same problem with Placebo Effect. We got overwhelmingly positive reviews and again, sales were agonizingly slow to materialize. Our superbly-crafted releases never got the attention they deserve (they're extremely hard to find nowadays), and we simply gave up on our highly-praised project .I'm on my own now, and I have reacquired full rights to release "The Laughing Dolls" online.

Q3: What are your favorite electro bands and which styles of music did you listen to growing up?

There are too many to mention here. I'm very fond of Simple Minds, Fad Gadget, Gary Numan, SPK, Nine Inch Nails, Ennio Morricone, Editors, Ladytron, Placebo to name a few. My new material is heavily influenced by Fad Gadget, and I will forever be indebted to The Simple Minds' classic albums "New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84" and "Sons and Fascination".

Q4: Veteran rivetheads have expressed utter disgust at the hellektro/futurepop-infested electro scene. Do you see things ever changing to pure harsh elektro instead of trancey bands getting all the attention?

I don't go to indie clubs anymore and I rarely listen to new music. Trancey bands are catering to young electroheads who love bouncy dancefloor-oriented tracks. The growing popularity of futurepop and Terror EBM didn't prevent classic electro acts from attracting a significant number of new fans. I'd say that both scenes are going strong and they need to learn to co-exist peacefully.

Q5: The last few years have witnessed the return of classic electro acts (Front 242, Skinny Puppy, Portion Control, Nitzer Ebb and last but not least Leaether Strip) and the emergence of neo-old school bands (Severe Illusion, Last Influence of Brain, Object, CAP to name a few). I strongly believe that authentic dark elektro (100%-trancewhackedgoregalore-free) and old school EBM took the first step toward regaining ground. What's your take on that?

I was always delighted to read about their remarkable return, and I am quite astonished by the success they have achieved after a long hiatus. The new Front 242 and Skinny Puppy albums sound so different from their classic releases and I think they should have been released under different names but that's just my opinion. NIN have evolved markedly over the years, and I am very fond of their latest releases. Trent Reznor has managed to perfectly blend new & old industrial. My hat's off to him. To go back to your question, old school electronic music has stood the test of time. I cannot write Terror EBM or futurepop songs because it isn't the music I have grown up with. Old school electro is in my blood and music is an integral part of my identity.

Q6: Are you in contact with promising neo-old school bands and would you work with them in the future?

Nope sorry I prefer to work alone.

Q7: Is there any special synthesizer or software program that you consider to be the best to work with?

I'm very fond of two Clavia synths: Nord Lead 2X and a Nord Modular. I also love my Yamaha SY22 for noise and dark pads ... it is funny to make new sounds with the PC editor. I love hardware synths ... software synths are so lush .For drums, I have a korg electribe ER-1 .Cool 80´s drums with a modern sound. I use a new sequencer called Podium. It has all the features I need and is very easy to use. Check it out and you won't be disappointed: http://www.zynewave.com/

Q8: In 1995, you released a very interesting ambient-synthpop album, entitled "Vendetta". What happened to Accessoires?

The singer was a friend of mine. I have written all the songs on the album and when he added his vocals, I was very disappointed with the result. This has turned out to be a real nightmare. I finished the project & ended our friendship shortly afterwards haha. I'm currently working on an instrumental side-project for a movie soundtrack. The new tunes resemble to a great extent the dark and deep instrumental tracks featured on "The Laughing Dolls".

Q9: Are you planning on re-releasing the highly thought after Placebo Effect backcatalogue?

No because we don't have the publishing rights.

Q10: Any last words or comments?

1) Don’t burn and rip CD`s
2) Buy PODIUM from http://www.zynewave.com/ and have fun making music!!!!