It seems like Montreal is a bit of a bad-luck town for mind.in.a.box. Your first live show in North America over a year ago was almost unnoticed, and this time around, there were other kinds of difficulties. Care to elaborate on what happened on your latest visit to Montreal? Did these setbacks dampen your enjoyment of the evening?
Stefan (Stev) Poiss – Yes, you said it. Thanks, especially to Adam, who solved all our problems, talked with everyone, the airlines, organizers, etc. Without him, this trip would have ended, maybe really badly, but I think in the end we played not so bad. The only bad thing was that they couldn’t get the visuals running.
Roman Stift – It is all about experiences, and Montreal took us twice a big step forward, but both gigs were great.
Adam Wehsely-Swiczinsky – Dave, the stage-manager at Metropolis was a real great help, he really helped us a lot, and organized all the equipment that we would have needed, if ours didn’t come, at the last minute before the gig. We were dead tired, but on stage I think we kicked ass.
If you could open for any performer, living or dead, with total disregard for genre, who would you choose?
Stev – Maybe Mark Knopfler, but after him we would look really stupid!
Roman – Johann Sebastian Bach! The biggest innovator of all time. Autodidact and crazy as a man can be!
Adam – That’s really hard to choose, but I think if there is just one it probably would be Jimi Hendrix.
Gerhard Höffler – Iron Maiden.
Do you find there is a difference between the reactions to your music from a festival audience compared with an audience at a standard concert?
Stev – It depends if the people are coming especially for you or not. On a big festival, the audience is mixed very well. Some are coming for this act some for another.
Roman – Because our live music is so much different than the records, it’s either here nor there, not that easy for the audience. We give them a hard time and that’s our mission. Some people like it and others want to see more of the same. We try not to be more of the same.
Adam – Especially at Kinetik, it was quite awesome that so many people stayed for our show. We played between two-fifteen and three in the morning, right after Covenant, and the house was still packed.
Gerhard – Run to the hills!
Only recently has mind.in.a.box been performing live. How have these live performances impacted upon the perspectives and preferences of the members of mind.in.a.box?
Stev – I don’t know. I have some very nice memories. I met some nice people and I hope some people liked how we are playing live. After some shows I always want to go back to my little world in my studio at home and work on some new music.
Roman – We are really, really thankful to get to different stages and places. It’s a compliance of an old dream of mine, but there will be no big changes for the moment, maybe if we get really famous.
Adam – Big stages got really common, and after being sleepless and equipmentless in Canada, I don’t think that there is much that can kick us out of the orbit. It is much harder to play in front of empty halls, but that seems to be the past, hopefully!
Gerhard – Run for your life.
What would you like to see change in the electronic/industrial music scene in the next ten years?
Stev – To bring more feelings and emotions into this music.
Roman – More innovation, more music, less attitude; like in the early days.
Adam – I think it would be nice if the scene would be a little more open minded to other sounds, styles and instruments.
Gerhard – Enslaving the young and destroying the old.
If you had to choose one song to play at every live show for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Stev – “Certainty”.
Roman – That song people enjoy.
Adam – That’s hard. I think it would get boring with every song, but I think “Second Reality” can actually grow with us in time.
Gerhard – “Run to the Hills”.
Has the conversion from studio-produced music to live instruments, specifically guitars and drums, been a difficult process?
Stev – Now it’s much easier. With time you get a better feeling for what you can do, what can sound good, and what not. The biggest problem is that we really would need our own sound engineer. Our sound-settings are, maybe, too difficult.
Roman – The conversion was a very interesting process and a thing of its own. There was always the possibility of stopping the project. Finally, we decided, after the Arvika gig, that we would go on with it. The target was to operate as a live-act and not as a laptop-playback performer.
Adam – It took us almost two years to get a method; how to interpret the mind.in.a.box record feeling into the live setup. Now that we have found it, it is easier to get into new stuff.
Gerhard – It brought us pain and misery.
— interview and photo by Joshua Kreger (May 2011)