DH: How long does ANGEL THEORY exist and when and how did you meet?
I am the soul member of Angel Theory, it was music project I began in September 2002. I have been composing music for many years, but never really wrote in an EBM style. So I decide to have a go at it and see what could happen. After a few months of composing songs, I really liked what I was coming up with, and Angel Theory was born.
DH: Your music is purely electronic. Which roots in a musical sense do you have? Are you a futurepopband?
My musical roots are quite varied. Have been listening to music since I was a small child, it is something I have always been drawn to. As a child, Iíd listen to the radio, so I was listening to the Top 40 mainly. As a teenager I began listening to a lot of synth bands, like Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, The Human League, amongst tons of other stuff. In time I widened my listening to include, some Metal, Dub, Classical, some experimental stuff, like Laurie Anderson too. Music is such a wonderful medium, its good to have as much variance as possible. So with all these influences I create. Is Angel theory a future pop band? I donít knowÖ it depends what your meaning of future pop is. If anything Angel Theory has a solid basis in the "pop" song writing style, but I donít believe I sound anything like bands like VNV, or Apop. But I could be wrong, I do listen to both these bands, so maybe some influences will show.
DH: Your single "transmission" is an EP with a lot of remixes. How did you get the idea to release not only a normal single? Do you think remixes are important?
The idea to release an EP instead of just a single was the idea of GUP, and Iím glad we did. We decided to make it more of extension of the forth-coming album, by adding a couple of tracks that were going to be on the album. I had so much material that I felt it would be a waste not to use it all. When it came to thinking about the remixes, I was adamant that I didnít want 4 similar remixes of the single, I wanted them to all sound different from each other. Nothing worse than having all your mixes sounds the same as each other. And also, it gives better scope for DJs to choose a track from, depending on what style of music they play. So yes remixes are important, itís a way of cross marketing your music.
DH: How did you get the deal with your label Ground Under Productions?
Actually this was as simple as sending Jarod at GUP a demo of some tracks I had finished. He emailed me the day he received the CD in the post, and offered me a deal right away.
DH: Your debut is called "Fatal Condition" and will be released soon. What can the listener expect from your first CD? Are there more songs like "Transmission" on it?
"Fatal Condition" contains lots of different moods, from club tracks, to more reflective slow tracks. For me it was very important to show more than one side of Angel Theory, because as a composer I have many different sources that I draw upon when I write. When putting the album together we had just under 30 tracks to choose from, so rather than having an album full of up-tempo club tracks, I wanted the album to be more of a journey. So I included slower tracks, and a couple experimental tracks too. This to me gives the album a far more mature feeling. Transmission is as pop as Angel Theory has gotten thus far, but the album is full of pop songs really. When you strip back he sounds, and atmospheres, you are left with the classic pop format for a song most of the time.
DH: How important is it for you that a song can be played in a club? Are you making music for the dancefloor?
I think if I was intentionally writing songs for the dancefloor, they would sound very different from the way they are. Although some of the album tracks will find their way into clubs, itís not something I intentionally set out to do. Sure its important to have your music played in clubs, everyone wants a club hit, but at the end of the day as a musician and music lover you have to remain true to yourself and to your craft.
DH: I like very much the song "Cold Fire" from your album. What is the song about?
Ö. I was afraid someone was going to ask me this eventually. As a general rule I donít like to discuss what the lyrics of my songs are actually about, as everyone will have their own ideas about them and I prefer to keep it that way. This way the track becomes personal to each individual regardless what the "real" meaning is. A friend of mine told me he thought "Cold Fire" was about "being obsessed, and stalking someone", another has told me it is "about talking to the dead", so you see it can having several interruptions depending on the listener.
DH: How do you create in general a song? Are there certain experiences, which inspire you to write a song?
Generally I write most of the music first, or at least a basic idea for a verse or whatever. I begin by layering loops, pads, sequences, until Iíve built up an atmosphere of some sort. But that atmosphere on its own should have a very visual feel to it; it should bring images to mind. From here I write some sort of vocal melody, and hopefully something interesting will happen. What inspires me more than anything, is when Iím writing something and it begins to take on a life of its own. Then I know Iím on the right track. The lyrics themselves all come from personal experiences; this for me is the best way to right.
DH: Do you think you can work with a female singer in the future or do you think that your music is created only for male voices?
If the song I write requires a female voice, then yes I would use it. As you listen to the album, you will find there are various vocal styles I have usedÖ from harsh distorted ones, through to a more natural sounding voice. I felt it was important to remain true to what was required for the song, hence so much variance.
DH: In summertime ANGEL THEORY will be touring through Europe (e.g. Summer Darkness Festival in Utrecht). Are there any further dates planned? Do you visit Germany?
As well as Summer Darkness on the 13th August, AT will also be playing at Infest UK on the 29th August. We are definitely planning further dates in between these, which will include Germany. Keep your eye on the Angel Theory web site for updates on that.
DH: How do you play your music live on stage? Is it not a problem in general to play electronic based music live on stage?
The live set up has myself on vocals, and I have 2 keyboard players back me. I also incorporate a visual show with the music, visuals that compliment the music, rather than distract from it. Of course all the drums, and basses are on backing DVD, or CD. Generally speaking it is difficult playing electronic music live, mainly because of the lack of visual dynamics. Traditional bands arenít trapped behind keyboards, and can move about. You have drummers physically hitting instruments, so you see the dynamics.
As a front man, my job is to provide that missing dynamics on stage. Get the crowd involved.
Generally speaking when you are dealing with technology in a live situation, you can expect anything to happen.
DH: Which further plans do you have with Angel Theory in the near future?
The next couple of months will be fairly quiet in comparison to the past year. I have remixes planned for a few bands which I really enjoy doing. Also some further planning for the European dates in August. At some point I will start writing some new material.
DH: Thank you very much for answering our questions. We wish you good luck and many success for the forthcoming concerts. Your last words please:
A big thankful to all those who support Angel Theory. I have received many emails from people who are enjoying the music, so a very big thankyou!!!!!
Interview: Andreas Ohle