Concerning the energy of the listeners at your live shows, what do you find unique of the North American audience in contrast to their European counterpart?
I wouldn’t say North American audiences are unique as we’ve had some amazing shows in Europe too, but they do seem to bring an extra level of energy. We don’t usually get mosh-pits starting at European shows, but they are quite common in North America, and we absolutely love it!
What inspired Modulate to remix No Good (Start the Dance), by The Prodigy, itself an adaptation of an older Kelly Charles song?
Primarily, we were playing a festival show in the UK a few years back and it became something of a tradition to do a cover version at festivals, so being a huge fan of the old rave scene in the UK, I thought that was a track we could take from being a breaks-track and put our own stompy spin on it. And yup, we went on a mission to source the original samples the Prodigy used down to finding an A cappella of the Kelly Charles track! Unfortunately we couldn’t get it cleared for the album version but we can use it in the live versions.
Can Modulate fans hope to see you back in North America anytime soon?
We are working on it. We’ve got a new EP coming out soon, so we are planning a tour for the fall already.
How do you envision Modulate’s sound changing in the years ahead?
I have no idea where we will go next. Sometimes what I end up writing doesn’t sound anything like what I expected to come out when I sat down to write a particular track; it’s quite an organic process. I’m sure my subconscious guides it well, but I don’t consciously go, ‘I want to write like this’. I’ve tried, and it doesn’t work for me. What comes out, comes out. All the influences just mix together and produce this thing called Modulate.
Is there a venue that you have not yet performed in, that you would like to?
We’ve played some pretty amazing shows, but I’d love to do a really big outdoor festival, maybe main stage at M’era Luna or the Agra Halle in Leipzig, or even a UK festival à la Glastonbury or Creamfields. I think we are a really good festival band so for me it’d have to be a big festival stage.
If you had to choose one song to play at every live show for the rest of your life, which would it be?
I’d hate to have to play any song. That would kind of imply we didn’t want to play it. If we ever reach the point of not wanting to play a song at a show we wouldn’t play it.
How would you feel about playing at the next Kinetik?
Bring it on! We’d love to. We had such a blast this time. We’d do it again in a heartbeat. We loved the city, loved Canada, loved the festival. I’m not sure too many bands get invited straight back the next year, but if not next year, the year after? Definitely.
What would you like to see change in the electronic/industrial music scene in the next ten years?
I’d like to see a return to bands playing live rather than miming along and jumping around as happens with so many bands. I hear bands saying the fans don’t care, but I’ve asked them and they certainly do. If fans don’t care, fine, be open about your miming. Openly declare yourself; mime. Nobody does. Other than that, I’d like people to have the balls to try things. The industrial scene for me is getting very, very formulaic and that was never what it was about. It was an experimental scene where people took risks. Now it’s a cookie-cutter alternative dance scene on the whole. I’d love to see somebody break through into the mainstream and get taken seriously again, a NIN, Ministry, Numan, or Prodigy etc.
— interview and photo by Joshua Kreger (May 2011)
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