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The Hoovercraft Experience is a small project founded by two gentlemen from Germany who are making music for one reason: they simply enjoy it. Therefore, they offer all of their songs as free downloads. This month, we present you The Hoovercraft Experience as our Fresh Act.
Hi guys, first of all could you please introduce yourselves and your band?
Hey, we are Mario and Steffen, two guys from Schwarzenberg, located in the Ore Mountains. Steffen moved away from the region four years ago, but due to our strong friendship and the music that connects us, we wanted to carry on despite the distance of 400 km. Musically, we don’t want to be labelled, because we both agree that music should break and not set boundaries.
How did you come up with your name?
A few years ago, we wanted to write a song. Since we couldn’t come up with any lyrics, I picked up a manual for a vacuum cleaner. This is how the word “hoover” found its way into our band name. The composition “hoovercraft” represents our experience with this particular vacuum cleaner, which had done us a good service for years until it conked out in 2010. The second part of the name derives from the title of one of Jimi Hendrix’s “Best Of” CDs.
How long has The Hoovercraft Experience been around and how did it all begin?
We have known each other since we were twelve years old. However, we lost track of each other during our school days and we only started making music together ten years later, even though we both actually started making music at the age of thirteen. In the beginning, we experimented a lot and covered songs. But somehow, it didn’t feel right and so we started to write our own songs.
Your music is a mixture of very different styles. Which bands inspire you? How would you describe your music?
We both have quite a diversified music taste. While Mario gets his inspiration from bands like Nirvana, Monster Magnet, Metallica, Soundgarden, Stone Sour, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, Steffen is more influenced by bands such as Iced Earth, Edge of Sanity, Fear Factory, From Autumn to Ashes, Anathema and Tool. Moreover, the often frowned upon synthesizer is an important part of our music. This shows our passion for 80’s movie soundtracks such as Terminator or John Carpenter movies.
What makes you different from other bands, why should people listen to your music?
We believe the biggest difference is simply the mixture of different genres that influence our music. Also the fact that we didn’t found this band to sound like other artists but to create something different that people haven’t heard before a dozen times. Of course, every band has influences that are apparent, but it gets interesting when you mix genres that at first sight have nothing to do with each other but still can harmonize with each other.
How do you create a new song? Who writes the music, who writes the lyrics?
Due to the distance that separates us, it used to be difficult to write our own songs, this was also the reason why we used to cover songs a lot. Nowadays, we do it this way: Steffen writes a song, records it and produces it so that Mario gets Steffen’s basic idea even though he’s 400 km far away. Mario then jams along with the music that has no lyrics yet, we then can focus on the vocal melody first.
Most often, the result is material that comprises several hours of music. Steffen sorts this material out and then writes lyrics that he adjusts to the melody. Then he records a vocal demo, which serves as a basis and sends it to Mario. Next, we start the vocal recording while we stay in touch over the phone and exchange ideas with each other. Then Steffen picks the vocals and produces the final song that will eventually be uploaded on YouTube.
What are your lyrics about and what inspires you?
Steffen usually gets inspired by emotions, people and events occurring around him. However, all lyrics are written in a way that they leave room for interpretation. We don’t want to tell stories of tough guys who rescue women from their virginity on a metal Olympus; we want to express emotions, experiences and our fears. Social criticism, however, is important to us as well.
What do you hope to achieve with your music?
First of all, we strive for self-expression. We both love listening to music and making it. It’s certainly great if other people can identify themselves with our music; this way our music becomes some kind of companion for them, even if only for a short time span of one song.
Last year, you released your EP “To The End”. Are you planning to release a whole album or do you prefer EPs?
We still prefer EPs. The reason being that Steffen has completed his training as sound technician and he continually obtains new insights. That way we can develop ourselves more quickly technical-wise than if we decided to produce a whole album.
Are you working with a record label? Or do you produce everything on your own? Do you believe that record labels are still needed nowadays?
We are not working with any record label. Since we are producing our songs ourselves, we gave it a name: Paradox Productions. We believe that nowadays in the digital age where you can create great mixes and productions with a high performance PC, record label are only needed for distribution and promotion. Labels simply have more contacts, more likes and more subscribers.
How about live gigs? Have you had any gigs?
Since it’s only the two of us at the moment, setting up concerts is rather difficult. We are still looking for fellow musicians who could support us and who would fit well in our concept. Musicians are welcome to contact us via Facebook.
It’s hard to find anything about you on the Internet, that’s why I’m asking you: The Internet – a curse or a blessing? Which promotional websites do you like in order to promote your band (e. g. Facebook, YouTube)? Which ones would you not recommend (because they don’t keep what they promise, cost too much but don’t work, etc.)?
This is a difficult topic. We used to try out a lot in the past. But we were never really satisfied. Paid advertising services do bring results but not necessarily the result you expected. You only pay for a number (of clicks or likes) but nothing more. We never really got more fans out of this. What actually helped us in order to get more attention was contacting people directly on certain pages or forums.
Unfortunately, Facebook removes the likes from bands, artists, companies etc. if people haven’t visited their page in a while. This way you get the impression that “likes” disappear and you should start doing some promo again. But when it comes down to it, you only get likes from people who probably don’t even exist.
Alright, last but not least: A good fairy grants each of you one wish. What would you sacrifice that is important to you and what do you wish for?
Since the last good fairy we came across screwed us over, we don’t believe in fairies anymore.
Find more info under:
On Facebook, you can download the current EP for free! Enjoy!
Author: Sandy Mahrer, transl. A.Venho, photos: Band Date: 2015-03-01