Mircea Gabriel Eftmie:
Guitarist for the Danish band MNEMIC.
This is an interview with Mireca, guitarist in the Danish band Mnemic. Mnemic are a pretty new act that recently released their second album THE AUDIO INJECTED SOUL. I?ve asked them about (of course) their new album, and about themselves, but also about how the hard rock / metal scene in Denmark is doing.
Interview By: Anders Sandvall
Pictures provided by Sound Pollution.
Thanks to Niklas ?Hobbe? Andersson at Sound Pollution for help with the interview.
Would you please like to tell us a bit about Mnemic for those who don?t know who you are?
Mnemic is a Danish band which has released 2 albums on Nuclear Blast Records and has toured with Machine Head, Fear Factory, Darkane, Soilwork, played shit loads of festivals and are at the moment working on their 3rd release. We started out as a 3 piece and later on became a whole band. We did 2 demos and the second demo got us the deal with Blast.
You released your debut last year, how did that go?
It was amazing, I mean we did not expect anything at all from the beginning. It was something exciting in it self to be getting a contract deal that was one of the things that made us stay on those clouds. We recorded and we sent the master to the label, afterwards we got a call from the label and they told us that it was a masterpiece and everybody loved it. They where hyped about the release and started to make lots of promotion for it, and that?s where it all began. I mean it was still the music but they way it was communicated to the people was something different. We went from zero to hero in a way, I mean there still are a lot of things to achieve, but we have already achieved so much on just 1 record, and its simply a fantastic and very overwhelming feeling.
How did the media receive it?
Being a newcomer, I would say pretty good. I mean in some reviews people where totally amazed by it and in some other reviews people where focusing on the comparisons. Some couldn?t really get into it, but that?s how people always are you can not satisfy everyone, and that?s why you also have to focus on your target group.
Why the name Mnemic, does it mean anything special to you guys?
Well there are 2 sides of the story to that. ?Mnemic? is Greek and stands for ?what?s regarding the memory?. We thought it didn?t sound too metal or clich? or something. So we took it, but we wanted more to it than that. We gave it our own definition, a definition in which defines the energy or the music and how it makes us feel when we play, simply; Mainly Neurotic Energy Modifying Instant Creation.
How long did it take to write and record your album ?MECHANICAL SPIN PHENOMENA??
Well when we started the band it took us some time to find our style?I mean I still don?t think we have found our style yet due to that we are evolving all the time. Finding our style took some time too, and until we went into the studio I think 2 or 3 years passed. It took us then 1 month to record the album.
What do you think of the debut today? Are you satisfied with it?
Definitely, I think it?s one of my personal goal which I have achieved in my life, and I am very proud of it, and I am proud and happy to be here today with a new album out.
Where in Denmark do you guys live?
Good question we live in 3 different cities. Brylle and Rune live in Aalborg, and that used to be our main base, and still kind of is due to that we are rehearsing there. Oberst lives in Aarhus and me and Michael live in Horsens.
Why have you been so quick to release a follow up, it?s only a year ago since the debut came?
Why not? We want to keep people in the loop. If it took us longer we would have drowned into the big sea of upcoming bands. We are not joking, we mean business with this band. We are very dedicated, and we believe in this, we believe in this band so much that it has affected some of our personal lives. More stuff is on the way at this moment, we always have crazy ideas.
Why the title ?THE AUDIO INJECTED SOUL??
Because, we wanted the fans and the listeners to feel that feeling you sometimes get when being affected by music. Music is beautiful, it is ugly and funny, it sometimes makes you cry, it sometimes makes you want to burn all of your energy ? it is a feeling, it is something that becomes a part of the soul, and that?s why we want to inject every heart with the Mnemic venom.
How long have it take to write the material and to record this album?
After we released MSP, and had to tour a lot we had only written 1 new song. After that nothing happened we where touring all the time. We started writing in March and at the end of May Brylle had to record his drums. It was pretty hectic period for us due to we had to go in and out of the studio all the time due to the festival appearances ? and I am definitely not complaining. I think it took approx 1? month to record the album.
Who has written the music and lyrics?
The music is written by all of us. We are a democracy and that?s what rules the band. I usually come up with shit loads of material, some good some bad, but we always talk about it and try different stuff and peoples imputs get always thrown on the table, so to speak. The lyrics are written by Michael. This time around I wrote the lyrics for Dreamstate Emergency together with him.
What are most of the lyrics about? Have you written about any particular matter or subject?
Door 2.12 is about reality, it is about death in an ironic way. Michael works for a flower shop and has to put flowers on coffins. Door 2.12 is the door at the morgue where all the dead corpses are put within the caskets. The number is on a very small steel plate which is located in the corner of the door, and it is very creepy.
You have used the same producer as on the debut, Tue Madsen, any reason why?
Because he is a friend and a very good producer. We talked about a lot of stuff, we wanted to record with Devin Townsend too, and even talked to Daniel Bergstrand but in the best solution were to stay in Denmark and record with Tue again. Brylle was also becoming a father and things got harder.
Are you going to use Tue?s studio Antfarm Studio on your next album again?
No ? we are going to try something else this time.
Are you always going to be as productive as you have been so far, I mean, at this rate you?re going to release another album next year?
I don?t know, it all comes down to how much we will be touring and how stimulated we will get. I mean I don?t want to release an album next year, I want to put more time and thought on the 3rd release ? cause it is a very important step for my self, it is one of my personal self-realizations. Lets see if we will get that far ? I know we will, but you never know what happens.
Do you have any favorite track on the album?
I think I would have to say all.
Why have you chosen to do a cover of the old Duran Duran hit ?Wild Boys?? Is that a favorite song?
Yes kind of?I mean when I was a little kid I saw the video for “Wild Boys” on MTV, and it had this cool mad max kind of vibe to it, and I totally got into the song. I didn?t really hear it up until now, and I suggested it to the band. Everything was cool, we talked about doing some Danny Elfmann too but it ended up being to complicated. Its like this; either you like it or you don?t, we don?t give a fuck.
The info provided to me describes your music as ‘fusion future metal’. I think you?re playing more of a melodic thrash metal and you have similarities with the Swedish act In Flames. How would you describe your music?
I think that we play metal and we combine industrial elements and that?s it. Yeah, there are tons of thrash riffs in there, but there is also pop melodies combined with the brutality. I can not compare myself to In Flames, due to that we are pretty far away from each other in my opinion, but it?s a good compliment.
What do you think of the album cover and who?s done it?
I think its great because I did it.
When you were out touring this summer did you try any new songs on the audiance? How did the crowd receive the new songs?
Yeah we actually played some of the new stuff and people seemed to enjoy it, but it is always hard to say, due to that crowds can be very very different.
How did it feel to open the Roskilde Festival in your country this year?
This was something that I will cherish for the rest of my life, it was one of the many personal goals that I had, which was nailed down. I don?t have the words to describe how surreal the whole thing was. First of all, I am used to go to Roskilde every year with friends, hang out watch bands, get drunk and have fun. When the first band always opened the Orange Stage, it gave me goose bums?.and standing on that stage, makes me very proud, I can now say that I have done it, and its in the history books.
You have also played on two major festivals in Germany, how did that go?
Amazing, everything has been very overwhelming. I mean there are good and bad shows, but we only experienced good shows, so everything?s cool.
How was it to be support to the legendary Fear Factory?
One more of our goals have been achieved. Meeting one of our favorite bands, Fear Factory, was something very special. What can I say?.I have never met such a down to earth and cool band. Really awesome people, and fans of our music ? and that is fucked up?its surreal, I mean they are one of the reasons that we exist, so it’s very cool.
How did the Fear Factory fans greet you?
We got positive responses, and everyone seemed to enjoy our music, freak out and go totally nuts ? so that is very positive.
When the album is released are you going out on a headliner-tour or as a support act?
No headliner, we just want to support and still build the band. Well, we are at the moment doing this J?germeister tour which is only in Denmark and some of the dates we are headlining, which is cool.
What crowd has been the biggest you played for so far?
That must have been Roskilde Fesitval. I think that there where 40-50.000.
You are compared with bands like Fear Factory, Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad, what do you think of that and how does that feel?
I am getting tiered of it haha?Well, what can I say, its not a big secret that those bands have been the inspiration source for us when we started, but today its different. Those bands made us think different and stimulated us to go into a direction which was our own, and still is our own and we are building on it now.
How does the cooperation with your label go?
Very good ? we love them and they love us. They are great people and very hardworking, just like us. Its all about being idealistic. Its kind of fucked in this business due to that everybody wants the best piece of the pie and everybody is throwing shit at each other. It has not happened for us, but it might come some day.
Are there any plans of conquering the States this time?
Yes ? in 2005 ? we are now looking into different opportunities.
How big are you in Denmark, do you get a lot of e-mails from fans?
Yes, every day we get e-mails from fans, and its very overwhelming. We are selling as much as Dimmu Borgir here in Denmark, so I guess that has something to say.
How does the metal/hardrock scene doing today in Denmark?
Very good ? it has never been this strong. We have bands now that know that you have to get outside of Denmark to succeed, and bands are working harder and harder.
Do you have any favorite bands amongst the Danish ones?
Not really ? I always listen to something different. I mean one of my long time faves are Suffocation and that?s a band I never cant stop listening to.
How are you greeted in Denmark compared to abroad?
I wouldn?t say better ? it is different, and its kind of hard to tell due to we haven?t been playing Denmark since a long time ago if we forget about Roskilde for a sec.
What do you think of the Swedish hard rock/metal scene? Any fav bands?
You’ve got really good bands, and some which I am a very big fan of. I love the new The Haunted album, as well as I am looking forward to new records from Darkane and Soilwork?
I would say that The Haunted has always been one of my favorite bands.
Are there any plans on touring through Scandinavia when the album is out?
I don?t know at this point, cause it all comes down to what touring offer we would get. Hard to say at this point.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers out there?
Life grabs you by the balls when you at least expect it?.and sometimes you feel that your balls have almost been cut off, and you are about to fucking explode since the pain is so immense in whatever is left?
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
No problem, anytime anywhere. Thanks.
More info on the band: www.mnemic.com