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converses with KIFOTH
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comes back from Slovakia
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| » Fundamentum
Divisionis (april 2001)
|This interview is made by Cyber Angel , the WEB magazine, July 2010
1. Hi mir Colon, thank you for doing this interview with us, how are you doing?
mir Colon: Hi Ed, first of all it is our (me & K-head) pleasure being interviewed by you. We enjoy it very much that CYBER ANGELS is one of the first emagazines
dealing about KIFOTH’s current being, the new album „Violence Corporation“.
How am I doing? One side of the coin is about the enjoying to new CD release. You should know there holding the CD release parties in USA. May we be there the next time. The other side is about me. I
work on the fundamental concept of the new album. Studying themes, this time I am curious about exponentiating my mind, getting myself confident the thematic set is compact.
2. First of all, you have been asked this probably countless times, what about the strange name of the band. Why did you pick this name and what does it stand for?
mir Colon: KIFOTH is the abbreviation for “Kneel In Front of the Executioner”. But original idea is “Kneel In Front of the Hangman”. Meanwhile the philosophical
state has been shaped up to the idea as “You are getting your head on to the vice”. Don’t care who the executioner is. The only important thing is to be aware what is going on. Perhaps I made it reproduced
quite fatal but it could be completely different. We don’t demand repentance. We try to make your eyes opened by shocking you or if you want shooting you a big slap. The next step depends on you only.
3. KIFOTH is around for quite some time, since 1993, why did you start the band and what were your inspirations back then, Slovakia is not famous for their great industrial scene?
mir Colon: The birth of KIFOTH is spontaneous. Me and K-head were classmates. I would dare saying, there was different point of view of each other, back the time.
Desire linked us together. Better say it was an inner pressure of realizing ourselves. There were many tries and misses as well. It seems this has made us more take of each other. And makes us more and
more collaborate. Actually, this is the way we keep doing the music.
K-head: As mir said the moment of genesis was the self-realization. I’ve been trying to make music since 1988. There was the communism era, a difficult way to get
the west part culture here. People made copies of copies of tapes recorded from records were smuggled in from west, but listening to it should kept hidden. I was fascinated with the synthesizers, a kind of
music that wasn’t produced over our area. The synths were very expensive. Difficult to get them while being a student. But I made many projects with various friends before KIFOTH. It was just a funny jam
session. So once I had made computerised music I gave it to Mir, he started working on it. Basically, Mir is the engine you can’t stop.
mir Colon: Well, I wasn’t much involved in the electro / industrial music in 1988. I did like the electro sound but K-head is the one that introduced me in the
sound affects. I recognized thay thoughts could be supported nicely with the electronic body music, especially with the mixture of psychedelic elements. K-head makes it as well. The philosophical inspiration
comes out from my surrounding simply. Principle of the lyrics is to show somebody’s point of view on specific situation or problems. We don’t bring up any solutions. Just presenting the situation, hoping
the recipient could react. The way of responding is his competence only.
On the subject of the Slovak industrial scene, be comparing the neighbouring countries, the Slovak scene is still one of the best. The time when CREWZINE covered the bands is the strongest period, I remember
gladly. It was a famous time of bands as The Dark, Morbid Fancy, but not enough published over the Slovak border. Let’s continue with unique industrial band Einleitungszeit or KIFOTH signed for Out Of Line
Records (Germany) but under Vendetta Music (USA) this time. Next we’ve got to known bands like Terminal State and Last Influence Of Brain.
4. In 17 years a lot has changed in the music scene but also in technical possibilities, what are the changes that were the most important for you and how has being a musician changed
over the years?
K-head: As I mentioned before, I was a beginner at 12 years old, solitary boy :-) with no friend making real music and I had no money. I found motivation
in tapes of DM, F242, SP, Ministry or Jarre that I played a lot. Later I got a guitar, usage samples recorded on tapes, small child keyboard. My nature is more like non-commutative. Therefore I am
self-educated since the very beginning. The first great turning point was when I got my first computer. So I used samples and composing on 4 lines. Let’s call this turning point as turning to digital era.
Both demo tapes “Civilizative Collapse” and “Ebola” were made with a Amiga 500. Later on I made “Spectaclebreakers” on the PC. I used most of the complete sound of “Fundamentum Divisionis” from synths
(very old but well done Poly 800 or CS1X). I would say this is the proper sound especially the harmony. Creating of synthesizer sounds is an arduous process that takes a lot of time, time that I don’t have.
You know I’d like to make an individual sound all the time. We aren’t the professional musicians, we’ve got our daily job too. There are plenty of bands, thinking to be an EBM band, they bought the same
equipment as their minion has used on the current album. They used to compose their songs with the same sounds which is “in”. I am different. Due to that, I am very busy, I have turned myself back to use
the computer but keeping the KIFOTH sound different, no classic synths. Sound creating software has improved and has become more user-friendly. It means the sound creation is much easier now, user creativity
could be low but the final sound quality can be a high level. There are plenty of programs presets which sound madly, far away from music, just sound. I have found new synths a month after the release of
“Violence Corporation”. They sounds like I wish. So I am back with the synths. The new modules are more like computer sounds editing but the sound is more compact, dynamic, massive and harmonious. There is
noise too, but it’s a harmonic one. I hope you can recognize it on the next CD. I am looking forward to squeeze out the machines (nor the software as the past two albums).
5. Everything was going well, being signed to Out of Line, having some nice tours in Europe until tragedy striked and you got involved in an accident. Where did you find the energy after a long rehab
process to pick up with KIFOTH and was this a turning point for you, quite often people tend to look different at things after such an event?
mir Colon: All that can happen, happened to us already, everything has to have some reason. In my case it was a reflection on to an apacing way of life at
that time. When I think about it now, the whole concept of “Fundamentum Divisionis” is about this. I was getting myself closer down in to it, slowly from day to day. So I’ve touched the turning point already.
It was waiting for me out there. The rehab process was very hard. The treatment took too much time. It was difficult toil. You know I had to learn to walk again. Also there was necessity to solve cardinal
queries related to my privacy. It wasn’t about principles changing but I had to revise my priorities. I would mention as example that the time isn’t my high priority anymore. I recognized there is no chance
to win against the time. And where did I find the energy to recover? The source is my volition, the will. First and foremost the willing to be able to walk again, free moving without any handicap, be the
same as the one before the accident. Be able to make sport henceforward, keep my independence. Re-start my private life. Fundamentally said, there was given me a chance to go onward. So I took it strongly.
Hoping I have acquitted it yeomanly. Let the next work of mine be the evidence.
6.You are now signed to Vendetta Music, how did you get in contact with them, what are the pro’s and con’s of working with a smaller label?
K-head: I am happy that Vendetta Music found us and has contacted us when we couldn’t find conformity with Out Of Line Records. The Vendetta Music crew are
very fine. I believe they do the best, trying to support us. They were noticed about KIFOTH due to our releases with Out Of Line Records. I think they like our sound, well fitted to their portfolio, the
sound of old school EBM influenced by the old electro heroes we like so much.
What are the pro’s and con’s of working with the smaller label? Positive is friendly atmosphere, mutual accepting. The cooperation while making the album. Communication in case of the CD cover designing,
sound mastering. To give it by one word: candidness. The other side of the small labels is, the base is more like a bunch of freaks. Their activity is just under development. Distribution is quite limited
as well as the advertising. The presentation is limited by the value of resources. Unfortunately based on the pressure of the internet, downloading the music is concerting more important for a band than
releasing a CD. But the small label can’t provide you the same service level as Out Of Line, for example, records labels as well as an agency strongly supporting and presenting their bands. To be honest I
miss my live-performance on such great festivals as Wave Gothik Treffen. It is a nice opportunity to present the music for the promoters so they can book the band later on. Next, small label operates with
small budget. Any balance affects the reactive time. So a CD preparation can be postpone or the release date may be delayed or distribution size will be cut down. The big label should be ready to react
against any changes on the market. But there is different approach in the relationship. The label is more involved in the final musical composition. Such label often pushes the artist to be more trend like.
He would have always competitive music on the market, nor experimental but as much as bestsellers. The best way would be to find out a combination of the small label approach accepting artist’s composing
plus the promotional strenght of the big label. Do you know such label? :)
7. Your previous release “Acerbity Torrent” did it do well, was it a successful album for KIFOTH, how do you look back on it?
K-head: I think the “Acerbity Torrent” is a good album. To compare it with all we’ve done before, it’s pretty different since the atmospheres and experiments.
It’s not a deal of music only, but more about a selection of the songs and the arrangement. The album is a compact set, but the compactness is made by miscellaneousness. There are classic tracks as “Proper
Behaviour” or “Circle” being staggered with heavy instrumental parts and slow-beat parts as well. But there’re sticking up uncommon songs as “Tyranny” or “Obsequious”. I like these untraditional songs too
much. It seems to be a medial mixture. There are all aspects of electronic music. I mean all kind of tempo, various beats, for example. Thought, everyone could find his favorite song there. This is why I
take the album as successful, the listeners too. We’ve got good response of people back in time uninterested in KIFOTH, as well. Looking backwards, I would evaluate the album it‘s just another stage in
KIFOTH development. The „Violence Corporation“ is about other shapes, more like straight, thematic, more fixate on the musical side. There‘s atmosphere timing done well on the album. But sound engineering,
arrangement, composition are too.
8. There are 3 years in between “Acerbity Torrent “ and the new album “Violence Corporation” why such a long time in between two albums? What did you do in these years?
K-head: Times running faster and faster as we become older :-) . I spended almost 1.5 year on my private life as my daughter was born and I really felt how
my daily life changed. I also spent lot of time at my job assignment and travel related. I’m working for an international company and traveling is often required. In reality the work on the CD was like 1
year and 6 months delays for the release. From workload point of view we spent one working year, but in reality lot of time passed. Now I am changing the setup of the sound studio and I think that also
influence the release of next new CD , maybe a track will be ready for X-mass 2011 . Mean time some remix works will be released as I believe.
9. KIFOTH is a band that is known for its intelligent lyrics, what can you tell about them, is there a central theme on the album? What are the lyrics dealing about?
mir Colon: Ed, many thanks for such compliment. The intention is to write down something like walking inside the labyrinth. There are many plates hung on
the sidewalls. But just your mind can pick up some of them to put them in to one clear vision. Then you have to consume it before getting your opinion made.
Yes, there is a central theme on the album. It’s specified by the album name. It’s about dealing with violence. What is the source to be violating, intentionally hurting anybody. The album opens questions
as who teaches us to be violence, why / how they’ve educated us. Is the reason of our violence a company, our habits or manners? … hmm, jus realized the lyrics ain’t published on www.kifoth.de. The album
"Violence Corporation" is about egoism, the feeling we’re special. About ruthlesness. It’s about how our holdings can change us essentially. How we have gotten blind suddenly, so far away from the rules of
to be in a society, to be tolerant. This study is written through sensitive situation as our childrens deeds, our lovely home-animal bleeding under tyranny. Your brother is hanged to the radiator at his
cabinet. The album mentions about the medial pressure, information manipulation. This time the media makes a general opinion. It criticizes the upbringing in a family. How the keeping for the personable
growth (the son, the daughter) is neglected.
10. What I do like most of the new album is that it is so diverse, also the use of sounds, not just the standard sounds. How do you manage to find the original sounds and integrate them into your
K-head: I was mentioning in a question before, related to the technological changes back in time the “Violence Corporation” is computer composed mainly. But
there are songs, “10 Fingers” for example, with sounds of MaxiKorg 800DV, also classic sounds of Roland or the Yamaha drums are in the album. However I achieved the diversity by using other sounds to
compare it with the sounds that classic electro-bands use. Perhaps this is the fact people take KIFOTH as the different band to compare it with the rest. I also use sampling very much. Not only the voices,
but sounds as well. Various shreds of good sounds, radio noises, etc. But again, my intention is to make the sound new but original by editing as filtering, effecting.
11. Samples are an important part of your music, where do you find the right samples?
mir Colon: To get the right sample is the same as to get the right CD collection. There is music around you all the time. A lot of them did go through you
with emotion. But just one or two songs are the once you want to have at home. The same is with the sampling. Sampling process is a simple procedure, depending on the quality of your equipment. But
sometimes the priority is focused for taking the moment not the quality. So you have collected minutes of events. Once the song composition is made you are about to support it by the effects, adventures or
surroundings. And this is the time to go back to select the right sample out from the library.
12. Musicwise I would say you bring old school electro/industrial to current days, what is the secret in doing this, what is the most challenging part in the creation of your music? You avoid the
typical 4 on the floor beats.
K-head: I’m afraid for this question that people matches us to the old school box, but … What does “old school” really mean? I think that it’s what I
started to listen when I decided to make music and that influence which can still be heard in our music. We can’t forget our idols and teachers. I’m listening to a lot of music and different styles from
current days and try to make new tracks, I’m trying to fit a kind of standard scheme of track what I like and maybe attract people who use to listen that kind of music before. For me it’s a natural scheme
of making music, that’s typical KIFOTH or old school :-). Unfortunately or fortunately this scheme you will hear also in our future releases. It’s a guide line for me to make a track. Even in the future
you will hear new beats / new sounds / different kinds of samples even noises, the scheme will be old school.
Point of differentiation is the beats or basses. As you mentioned I try to avoid typical 4th on floor rhythms and try to put more freedom into the music and nature, and avoid robotic repeatativeness, what
KIFOTH penalize a bit from club floor scene. KIFOTH music is not on the end of evolution and I’m learning a lot from one release after another. I think that Acerbity torrent was a right mix, what you can
expect in future from KIFOTH and VC showing only one of the position , even we playing so called old school ,I think that we will try to stay up to date and you will hear it in future. For me personally
it’s more boring 4/4 future pop /aggrotechno or how to call that kind of power dancefloor. I try to make music more for people to listen to than to dance. And in case of real feeling of power atmosphere of
our music, the visit of our performance is conditional.
13. What will be next for KIFOTH?
mir Colon: I believe the next album will be compact, again. I see it like this, at the moment. And I’m contented. I’m talking about the theme. From sound
point of view the vision is about to go back to the synths with a new sound of drums. Getting back to the theme. The lyrics are dealt about what is the company value of the basic sources and what the cost
will be in the future. There’ll be talk about water, air, light, crude oil, communication, etc.
14. Any last words for the readers?
mir Colon: We hope to bring a new CD annually since our current release “Violence Corporation”. It means this year, the regular CD album releasing, next
year a CD compilation of rares, remixes, etc. and so on. I can’t promise this because the music industry is under changes due to the internet, and the fenomenum of internet music-downloading especially. So
I see the CD releasing future openned. However KIFOTH survives cause there is still a theme to conversate. We hope our fans will keep the ability to mobilize themself to be attending club events and to keep
the will to support good music making.
To you the Cyber Angel readers, we appreciate you read this interview up until this line. We respect your interest and the support. We are open to communicate, be in individual contact via Myspace or
Facebook. Looking forward to read your comment, criticism or being in discussion soon.
Our pleasure to work with you Ed.