Not only fans had been waiting impatiently, also STALKER could not wait any longer to get hold of Machinemade God vocalist Flo, in order to find out more about the new longplayer „Masked“ that has just been released.
Hello, how are you? How do you feel right after the release of your new CD „Masked!?
Hi! We´re relaxed and feel great. First reactions were pretty positive, therefore the anxiety is gone.
Why the title “Masked”?
Behind the mask there is usually hidden so much more, and you only realise much later what is not shown publicly. The same for our album. Everybody who knows our debut expects a similar album. Yet we have developed so much further, we have a better songwriting, the record is very much into detail, but many would not have expected that. On the other hand it is also a criticism, because many in the scene hide behind their virtual profile, create a self that is not them and only seem to be something. But this is not only the case in the scene. Media and politics are full of lies and only adopted behaviour.
First I´m interested in your pre-production. Where all of you involved? Marc (Niedersberg, git) was on tour with Hatebreed as guitar technician. Could he record his part before that?
No, all riffs and arrangements came from Sky. Mark is a great guitar player but not quite a song writer, for this Sky has the better feeling. Sky recorded his ideas and sent them to me, so I could work on the lyrics. When everything was set, we worked together on the details.
How was working with Sky? He is a Bandmember, so does he accept criticism of other bandmembers, e.g. regarding recording, sound, guitar work?
When we went to studio, all songs were finished already. We wanted to be 100 % prepared so that we could use every minute of studio time, therefore this pre-production. Regarding the sound we were of the same opinion anyway, therefore there were no problems. I tried also to be in studio the most time, but as I said, we all agreed on the sound anyway. Criticism is OK for him if it is constructive.
How was working with Jacob (Hatesphere-engineer) Bredahl?
It was so great to record our debut album, therefore we wanted to work with him again. Unfortunately a couple of things went wrong this time. He had for e.g. not enough time to record the vocals, this is why we had to find another studio. Then some tracks disappeared, and other little stuff that cost a lot of time. Finally he just offered us his facilities for recording the instruments and for some engineering.
The new cover is quite simple. Did you have other cover designs to choose from? If yes, why this one?
We wanted something mystical, something secretive and of course something that fits the album title, therefore a mask was a close match. We found that the colours and the way it´s designed pretty cool.
What were the musical influences for this album?
There are a lot of influences on this album. We all have an open and quite diverse musical taste. Besides Killswitch Engage and Soilwork it was also AFI and 30 Seconds To Mars that influenced us. But we did not do it consciously, a lot just developed.
Please name a few people who wear masks (phony politicians musicians etc.)
One expects a certain image of musicians and stars, and that many are different in their private life is no big secret, and sometimes it´s simply part of the show. Marilyn Manson is a good example, I think.
What do you think of illegal downloads? Are you concerned, e.g. finacially?
The money that we are naturally losing is not even the problem. Many things, like support slots for bigger tours, slots at big festivals, toursupport e. g. are often only decided on sale numbers. For me it is OK to listen to an album beforehand, just to decide if you´d like it or not. At the moment everybody is short with money, and therefore you don´t want to waste any. But then for me it would even be more important that you really support a band/CD, if you really like it, and also buy the CD.
Do you have plans on a tour in the near future?
There are always plans, but you never know what will be confirmed. All confirmed shows and tours are on our website and on our Myspace page, so just check it out from there:
Thanks from the STALKER!
Author: Marc Hoek, photos MMG, S. Eichhorn Date: 2007-08-31