Uwe Kanka and Dirk Krause set up ARMAGEDDON DILDOS in 1990. The German duo from Kassel became an instant successful EBM formation with a great live reputation. They got signed to the legendary Zoth Ommog label and became one of the EBM flagholders from the 90s. When Dirk Krause left the band, Uwe Kanka decided to went on. He released a few more albums on Ausfahrt and Alfa Matrix “Dystopia“ released on Alfa Matrix is the band’s new full length and also the first new one since 2011. It also is the most diversified opus in the band’s history. From EBM to Electro-Rock to Electro-Pop with an 80s touch on top, the new work sounds as the most mature and achieved one to date. Time to ask a few questions to Uwe.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: I realized the first ARMAGEDDON DILDOS EP’s “Never Mind/Pressure” and “East West” were released exactly 30 years ago now! What do you keep in mind from the early, successful years and how did you see the band –and yourself, evolving till today?
Uwe: Dirk Krause and I met in a joint rehearsal room in Kassel. He made Synt-Pop with his band while I was involved with harder sounding New-Wave guitar music with the formation Beat The Beat. It quickly became clear that we were on the same wavelength. We wanted to break new ground together, make harder electronic music; powerful, aggressive, sweaty. We were young and didn’t know any limits. With the record deal with Zoth Ommog and the success of the first singles, we felt confirmed walking on the right path. It was an incredibly dynamic and lively time with lots of gigs and fantastic fans.
The cut came in 2000 when Dirk left the band. We had grown apart, musically and privately. I chose to continue alone with ARMAGEDDON DILDOS. The first few years weren’t easy for me. I had to buy new equipment and get used to it. The advantage, however, was that I could implement my ideas more uncompromisingly. For me, “Dystopia” is the logical consequence of this tough and instructive time.
Q: “Dystopia” is the first new album since “Untergrund” (2011). Why did this new work took that long and did you ever consider to stop composing new songs?
Uwe: I just take the time it takes for me. It has always been like this. We also published “Herbstzeitlose“. Then there is the work on remixes. And no, I never thought of stopping composing.
Q: Let’s talk about “Dystopia”, which I personally consider as the most mature and still most diversified work since you’re composing the songs. When did you start the writing and what has been the input of Mathias Black and Sven Mouhcine?
Uwe: All songs, except for “High Up In The Sky“, were written in the last four years. I started with the compositions and texts on my own. Later on, Mathias receives the material in order to edit it musically and soundly if necessary. After that, I continued to work on it in order to produce the final versions with Mathias. We were in direct contact with each other, including Sven, during the entire process. Sven plays the keyboards and sings since 2012 and is responsible for all questions about the band’s live hardware and software, the entire sound and technical process including video recordings on stage.
Mathias and Sven are extremely competent in their work and have meanwhile become indispensable for the smooth performance of the Dildos. We also get along very well, which makes things easier.
Q: The cover of the album and its title both remind me to the legendary novel of George Orwell “1984”, but the album is a critical perception of our society and the world we’re living in, right? Does dystopia became reality!?
Uwe: The big problems of our time such as environment and climate change are no longer national problems. The effects can be felt worldwide. Poverty and famine, crisis areas such as the Syrian conflict and the resulting waves of refugees affect us all. The growing gap between rich and poor and the associated social unrest knows no boundaries. And I’m not mentioning Corona. And yes, we are on the highway to dystopia!
Q: Your daughter, Malin, is already featured on this album. What does it mean for you as father to see your daughter joining in? And what does she think about ARMAGEDDON DILDOS?
Uwe: Malin has already worked on “Morgengrauen” and “Untergrund“. So this is not a new situation for me. She is professional, has a very special voice and excellent empathy. It is always a great pleasure to work with her.
What does she think about the ‘Dildos’? Well, I don’t think it’s like she’s listening to ARMAGEDDON DILDOS at regular basis. In the end, it’s just not her music, but out of the many songs I’ve written, there’re probably a few ones she really likes.
Q: Reality today is that artists no longer can play live because of the pandemic. What do you think about this situation and what will be the impact for the further years?
Uwe: These are tough times for culture enthusiasts, artists, event organizers, club owners and all of those who’re involved with it. I have never experienced something like that. Unfortunately, the entire industry in Germany lacks government support.
I hope that soon something will happen and that we all together can get out unscathed from this situation. It is important that we find our way back to the ‚pre-Corona‘ status very quickly. Music belongs to the stage !!!