Set up in 2007 by René and Andrea Nowotny AD: KEY rapidly became a noticeable band in the ‘old-school’ EBM style. The band’s debut works were released by the now defunct Electric Tremor Dessau (a true reference in this music genre) while they next signed to Emmo.biz, which is another label that is no longer active. The German duo finally joined hands together with Belgian label Alfa Matrix. They this year released their sixth full length album “Resonanz”. It remains an EBM experience although AD: KEY experienced with new elements so this work is maybe opening new paths for René and Andrea.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: “Resonanz” is your sixth full length album. How do you look back at the writing and production of this album and what is it all about?
Rene: “Resonanz” is primarily about interpersonal relationships. We tried to reflect on daily life; less our own lives than what we hear, see and read.
Andrea: It’s about love and hate, about hurt vanities. But also about problems such as sexual harassment, where every woman is sure to have had her unpleasant experience. This is exactly what our song “Ich Will, Dass Du Jetzt Gehst” is about, for example.
Q: I experienced “Resonanz” as your most sophisticated and maybe mature work to date. How do you explain the evolution in sound? Is it just growing experience & maturity or still a will to experience with new sounds, equipment and ideas?
Rene: The fact that “Resonanz” sounds a little different from the previous albums has several reasons. At first, our goal was not to repeat ourselves over and over again. This time we wanted to push the EBM attitude a bit into the background and work more song-oriented. We are also constantly looking for interesting sounds. And since we’re fans of the 70s and 80s electronics, we went the opposite way that many other bands take. We didn’t want to use modern equipment or software, but analog synthesizers. So we rebuilt our studio and bought a lot of new / old equipment.
Andrea: We are also older (except me):-D, maybe more mature.
Q: The song “Electro Musik” sounds to me as a homage to DAF and Gaby Delgado. What did you try to express with this song and do you want to say something about the tragic loss of Gaby who definitely belongs to the icons of EBM?
Andrea: Gabi Delgado’s death in Spring hit us hard. I’m a big DAF fan -Gabi and Robert‘s music has always had a certain influence on AD: keY. Then we made a cover version of “Verschwende Deine Jugend”, because this song speaks to us from our hearts. Maybe someday we will release this cover version.
Rene: Our song “Electro Musik” was written a few months before Gabi’s death. The song is the result of a jam session that we did together with Axel Machens from Placebo Effect in the AD: keY studio. We wanted to test one of my new synthesizers -and Axel had his Korg MS 20 -a synthesizer that DAF used very often. In principle, the basic structure of “Electro Music” was ready that evening. The song name speaks for itself -a nod to the roots of electronic music.
Q: I always link EBM with energetic live performances so I can imagine it must be frustrating because of Covid-19 to no longer play on stage. What are you feelings about this situation and how do you expect to see things evolving?
Rene: Yeah. It is very frustrating not to be able to go to any more concerts and not be able to play any more live concerts. We miss that very much. But in September this year we were very lucky to be able to perform at the NCN Festival for a concert under strict hygiene rules. It was an indescribably good feeling.
Andrea: But we see the need to implement these tough restrictions. We hope that the situation will improve in the foreseeable future. But this COVID 19 virus doesn’t just go away on its own. So we retired to the studio and work on new music. There will be a new AD: keY EP in December.
Rene: At the same time, I’m working on my side project, a new RECTOR SCANNER album that is due to be released next year.
Q: René, you’re still pretty close with ARMAGEDDON DILDOS and became member of ORANGE SECTOR too. What’s your input with these other bands and is there something like a big German EBM family?
Rene: Yes, I’m good friends with Uwe from the ARMAGEDDON DILDOS. Nothing has changed about that, even if I‘m no longer a live member. We sometimes stil work together making music. Uwe recently made a remix for AD: keY and I did a mix for ARMAGEDDON DILDOS. Uwe has always been a kind of musical mentor to me, and I value his opinion very much.
With ORANGE SECTOR it’s a lot of fun on stage. It’s just as great as it was with the ARMAGEDDON DILDOS. Martin, the mastermind of ORANGE SECTOR, produces the songs and the basic concept. The main work is up to him. He sends the files to me, I add my files and tracks and he mixes everything together.
Overall, one can say that the EBM / Electro scene in Germany is kind of a big family. Because the scene is relatively clear, you know each other, respect each other and are friends.
Q: How do you see AD:KEY evolving towards the next few years? What might we expect and what are you still dreaming of?
Rene: I don’t know how AD: keY will develop in the coming years. We are open to new influences because we don’t want to limit ourselves. We like to experiment. AD: keY will always sound like AD: keY. We stay true to our basic sound.
Andrea: In any case, we will start a new AD: keY album in 2021. We just let ourselves go -and we’ll see what comes out of it in the end.