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GRENDEL ([VLRK])

HI [VLRK]! FIRST OF ALL CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR SENSATIONAL NEW ALBUM. I CAN REALLY BE CALLED “A FAN” HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU NOW? Thanks a lot! I am doing very well. At the moment I’m sitting here, at home, answering your interview while breathing in tons of dust due to the walls being re-plastered. Let’s hope I survive to answer the rest of the questions. WHERE DO YOU COME FROM? WHERE DO YOU LIVE? WHAT DO YOU DO BESIDES MUSIC? HOW DO YOU EARN MONEY? WHICH HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE? I was originally born in Glasgow/ Scottland, but have been living most of the time here in the Netherlands. Besides music I am currently studying audio engineering, doing the occasional bar work and DJing at various nights. Currently, due to a heavy study schedule & the success of Grendel’s music, I cannot fit in a full-time job so I sometimes as a bartender. In the past I have also done market research, archive management and sales. Next to producing music, I have a strong interest in literature, cinema, graphic design, contemporary art, fems (who doesn’t?), travelling and DJing. WHAT DO THE NAMES [FRLS], [VLRK] AND [4N1T4] MEAN? DO YOU LIKE TO BE ANONYMOUS? It’s all a matter of discretion. Next to being a musician, there is always a private life. Although we do try to be as open and honest as possible, everyone is entitled to a bit of privacy. That’s all. A “GRENDEL” IS SOME KIND OF A WEREWOLF. DO YOU THINK YOUR MUSICAL CONCEPT HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH MUTATION AND AGGRESSION AS IT IS WITH THIS PARTICULAR BEAST? Absolutely correct. Grendel’s music is something that’s released from within tranferred into musical form. Basically a release for strong emotions and thought patterns of a darker nature. Thus the name Grendel seemed quite suitable for this. DO YOU KNOW THE MOVIE “BEOWULF” WITH CHRISTOPHER LAMBERT WHERE HE FIGHTS A MEDIEVAL GRENDEL? Not sure I’ve seen this movie yet, but I will check it out. I have, how ever, read Gardner’s „Grendel“ and the traditional „Beowulf“ books. WHY DID [FLRS] LEAVE GRENDEL? WHERE DO YOU KNOW [4N1T4] FROM? This was due to FLRS’s busy working schedule, plus the fact that our thoughts on both music and attitudes towards/methods of working were so devided that it was causing too many problems. Although we don’t work together anymore in Grendel, we are still very good friends and support each other whenever possible. 4N1T4 and I had known each other for years prior to Grendel and after her participation on stage during the last European tour, the choice was made to take her on as new live member. She has a great attitude towards the music and working, and her performance on stage is excellent. IT’S AN OPEN SECRET, YOU ALSO PUBLISH MUSIC OF DIFFERENT STYLE UNDER THE MONIKER “PREDELLA AVANT”. CAN YOU TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES TOWARDS MUSIC? DOES PREDELLA REFLECT A MORE NATURAL, PERSONAL STYLE? Haha, I see you’ve done some investigation! Predella Avant is an experimental project with which I can explore in many different directions, while retaining a highly recognisable sound and feel. It is also a very personal style, where I am not bound to any particular characteristics and can express many things not conveyable through EBM structures. Sometimes both Predella Avant & Grendel overlap each other, which can clearly be heard in the track „Dream“ featured on the ‚Prescription : Medicide‘ album. I intend to do more of this in the future, experimenting with the cross-over of acoustic and electronic elements in Grendel’s music, making it even more unique. YOU ARE USING A LOT OF SAMPLES FROM MOVIES. WHEN I LISTENED CORRECTLY YOU USED A SAMPLE FROM CLANNAD IN “DREAM” (KNOWN FROM THE 80IES TV-SHOW “ROBIN THE HOOD”)!? THERE IS ALSO A SAMPLE: “THE PENTAGON, MULTINATIONAL COOPERATION, THE POLICE. I TOLD YOU GWYN (?), NOBODY`S GONNA CALL ME PARANOID AGAIN!”. IS THIS WYNONA RIDERS VOICE? That was actually Nicky Guadagni (playing the role of Hellen Holoway) in the movie Cube, during her moment of panic, paranoia (ironically) & despair. PRESCRIPTION:MEDICIDE SOUNDS MORE COMPLEX AND DEEPER THAN THE E.P. AND THE DEBUTE. COULD YOU PLEASE DESCRIBE THE IMPROVEMENTS IN YOUR SOUND FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW? Prescription : Medicide‘ is most definitely a big step ahead, compared to the EP by means of complexity, composition, power/energy and lyrics. It’s also a far more open, honest and personal album, reflecting a lot of my personal views towards current day issues. It contains a lot of personal anger & fear, giving it a particular edge that goes far beyond the previous albums.“ WHAT MACHINES AND PROGRAMMS DO YOU USE? For ‚Prescription : Medicide‘ I made use of Cubase SX 2.0 (running on a Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz PC), ESI Waveterminal L audio interface, Quasimidi Raven synth, Roland JV1010 module synth with expansion, E-Mu XK-6 synth (plus expansion), Soundforge 6, a whole line up of software synths and fx plus two Zoom RFX 2000 rackmount hardware fx. At the moment I have dropped the XK-6 and am replacing it with a more powerful synth for use on the next album. HOW DO YOU WRITE MUSIC? WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS? That is often something very spontanious. First of all I always work on the basis for tracks, then when something inspires me I write the lyrics and gather samples, followed by adapting the track to fit both samples and lyrics. Everything must fit perfectly and reflect the right atmosphere. Inspiration can come from either personal experiences or issues circulating in the media. As soon as something has a sufficient impact on me, it has to be released into Grendel’s music. It’s just a way of processing and coping with issues. YOUR LABEL NOITEKK COMES FROM MY BELOVED HOMETOWN BIELEFELD. WHAT RELATIONSHIP DO YOU HAVE TO NOITEKK AND MARCO GRUHN? DID YOU VISIT BIELEFELD? AND IF SO: DID YOU LIKE IT HERE? The relationship between NoiTekk and us is great! We treat each other like friends/family, meaning that everything also goes with a lot of honesty and respect while remaining as professional as possible. This is highly important for us. Marco is a great guy, so we are very happy to work together with him and appreciate his support a lot. We have actually visited Bielefeld many times, as it’s often our starting point for tours and concerts in Germany. It’s always seemed like a very nice and pleasant place and the people there have been, in many cases, very friendly and relaxed. A LOT OF PROJECTS WOULD HAVE RELEASED THE BONUS-CD FROM THE LIMITED EDITION OF PRESCRIPTION:MEDICIDE AS A SEPARATE ALBUM. WHY DID YOU TOOK THE TRACKS ON THE LIMITED EDITION? This was because we wanted to make it something special for the fans, while keeping it at the regular price. Basically as a sign of appreciation for their amazing support through out the last couple of years. This meant more to us than releasing it seperately and gaining a bigger profit. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE BANDS INFEKKTION, AH CAMA-SOTZ, TACTICAL SEKT AND URKOM FOR REMIXING YOUR TRACKS? IS THERE A SPECIAL CONNECTION? WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU PREFER PERSONALLY, WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? First of all, these are all bands that I appreciate a lot myself and secondly because I felt that they could add to or improvise on something in Grendel’s music. Personally I listen to quite a broad range of music. Anything that catches my attention will get my ear listening. I personally feel this is vital towards my progression in music composition and production, recieving influences from all over the musical spectrum. YOU PRODUCED ALSO A VIDEO FOR “PAX PSYCHOSIS”. WHY DID YOU TOOK THIS SONG FOR THE REMIXES AND THE VIDEO? DO YOU THINK IT IS THE BEST TRACK ON THE ALBUM? That video was actually produced by Francis T. (thisisnotdesign.com) from Canada, which was stated on the bonus CD. It’s most definately the track with the most club potential on the album and contains a lot of power and energy. For this reason we chose this track for the video and Fracis has done a great job on it. It really reflects the track’s contence and builds up a very strong visual experience. YOU USE TO PLAY THE TRANCE-COVER “KERNKRAFT 400” IN YOUR CONCERTS. I THINK IT’S A GREAT COVER AND GIVES THE TRACK THE DARKNESS AND AGRESSION THE ORIGINAL DID NOT HAVE. WHY DID YOU RECORD IT? DO YOU LIKE “DANCE” MUSIC IN GENERAL, I.E. MAYBE SCOOTER? I knew this track for quite a while (even before it became a big club hit) via the electro genre and loved it immediately. It just has that sublime simplicity, making it stick in your mind for ever. Some regular dance music appeals to me but there is (like with anything else) a lot of sludge and crap out there, in my opinion, so I’m not a big listener of this genre. But, haha, Scooter definitely has it’s amusement factor together and we both enjoy listening to it for a good laugh. Hyper hyper! YOU WILL BE PLAYING AT THE BLACK RAIN/ NOITEKK FESTIVAL AT THE WGT LEIPZIG. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD MEETING ASLAN FACTION AND FEINDFLUG AGAIN? What you can expect is: Live visuals, a powerful live performance and who knows… Maybe even some new/unreleased material! And it’s always great to hang out again with the guys from Aslan Faction, Feindflug, Davantage and all the other Black Rain/NoiTekk bands. They are all great people and it will probably get out of hand, as usual! What it all comes down to is that everyone who’s into the music of Black Rain/NoiTekk is obliged to be there, no matter what. You don’t want to miss out on this event! WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? WHERE DO YOU SEE GRENDEL IN FIVE OR TEN YEARS? At the moment I am working on new material, preparing for various concerts and tours through out Europe and the rest of the world (check our website for more information: www.grendel-base.com) and doing remixes for a number of major bands in the scene. Where we will be in five or ten years time? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure… We will never surrender!

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