April 12, 2024

Click Interview with Bagger 258: ‘Punchy, In-Your-Face Anhalt EBM’


Click Interview with Bagger 258

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By the end of 2023 I discovered the album “Ode An Die Arbeit” by German duo Bagger 258. This is a pure old-school EBM project driven by Nico von der Eisenmühle and Tim Schmelzer. Their self-released debut-album stands for a mature, well-crafted and professional EBM sound. “Ode An Die Arbeit” reached the first place from the famous DAC (Deutsche Alternative Charts) which for a self-released production is quite exceptional. But their work is exceptional and is for sure one of the best retro-EBM projects in quite a long time. I got in touch with Nico and Tim to introduce you to the sound universe of Bagger 258.

(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: How did you come to set up Bagger 258? And what can you say about your music background and connection with Projekt 26? Is Projekt 26 still active by the way?

Nico: Starting from the ground up –Projekt 26 is still alive and kicking, but our singer Timo had to relocate, making it a bit tricky to keep the groove going. The good news? We’re sitting on lots of unreleased stuff, so let’s keep our eyes on the horizon and see where the road takes us.

Tim: We’ve always vibed with the whole harsh and hard EBM scene, but Projekt 26 was more than just that. We were on a mission to resurrect something no one seemed to be messing with anymore –that punchy, in-your-face Anhalt EBM. We spent a good chunk of the last decade trying to cook up tunes together, but nothing really clicked. Then, like magic, Bagger 258 waltzed in, felt damn good, and the songs practically wrote themselves.

Q: Bagger 258 is clearly dealing with old-school EBM. What means EBM to you and what do you try to achieve in your very own song writing and sound production?

Nico: Just like Tim mentioned, we wanted to make music that’s totally us and kinda missing from the scene. Bagger 258 nails it with simple, old-school bass lines but a killer, in-your-face sound. Getting that unmistakable ‘Bagger-sound’ is the key for us. We’ve got some song ideas that just didn’t click, so we ditched them. Bottom line: we’re after basslines that make you stomp, a brutal vibe, and tunes that stick with you.

Q: You last year (self)-released the debut album “Ode An Die Arbeit”. Can you share with us the highlights and main things you kept in mind from the writing and recording of the album?

Tim: We messed around quite a bit, experimenting until we stumbled upon something we liked. There were moments when new samples or playful lyrics had us cracking up, but for the most part, our gut feeling steered us in the right direction, shaping the final drafts of the album. Surprisingly, we drew inspiration from genres way beyond EBM; things like Rock, Metal, or Indie music sparked our creativity.

Q: You asked Daniel Hallhuber (founder of Young & Cold Records) for the mixing and Stefan Poiss (Mind.In.A.Box) for the mastering of the album. What has been their true input and impact on the final result of “Ode An Die Arbeit”? And would you also consider working with a producer?

Nico: Let’s clear the air on this one: we had Gustav and Jonatan from Sturm Café, as our production advisors. And big shoutout to Daniel for weaving his magic in the mixing department. He sculpted the sounds and ideas just the way we wanted them. Major gratitude to him, and you bet we’re teaming up again.

Tim: Agreed. For mastering we were set on having Stefan as our engineer right from the get-go. His own projects are top-notch, and no matter the music vibes, his final mastering is always on point. The awesome back-and-forth communication, with him sending us options, helped us nail down the best results. Stefan, you’re stuck with us –round two is definitely happening!

Q: Did you get the opportunity to get signed to a label to release “Ode An Die Arbeit” or is it a deliberate choice to get active as D.I.Y. (do it yourself) project? Do you’ve further plans/perspectives about working with labels?

Nico: Honestly, starting from scratch was crucial for us. We craved the freedom to shape everything from the ground up, from the tunes to the artwork. The whole album, except for the mix and master, is our baby. We took things to the next level, turning our ideas into reality. Sure, it got challenging, like when we were in the trenches producing and cutting the music video for “Muskeln Und Maschinen”, but the whole experience was a wild ride, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

As for labels, we’ve kept it indie for now. We wanted our debut album to be a solo flight without any external pressure. Who knows what the future holds? Maybe down the road, Bagger 258 will be ready to team up with a label and start something epic. Let’s keep the door open for that possibility.

Q: I noticed “Ode An Die Arbeit” reached the first place of the famous D.A.C. right? This is quite unusual for self-released albums so what does it mean to you and what’s the impact of the D.A.C.? Can you also tell us what you’ve to do and manage (think about promotion, contacts etc…) to get selected for the D.A.C.?

Tim: This question hits the sweet spot. Landing in first place with our album is beyond thrilling, and we’re genuinely honored. Once the creative dust settled, Nico and I brainstormed how to unleash our music on the world. The immediate answer? A legit music video, of course. Surprisingly, it’s not a common move in the scene, probably because it’s a ton of work. But we were up for the challenge.

Nico: Absolutely. The video was a beast to tackle, but we knew it wasn’t the only card up our sleeve. Our solid connections in the music world, thanks to DJ gigs at ‘Melodrom’ and rubbing shoulders with awesome DJs like Clemens and Ric, played a crucial role. They, along with many others, helped us spread the Bagger 258 vibes far and wide.

Oh and not to forget: we do have quite a fanbase in Sweden, thanks to Gustav and Jonatan (Sturm Café) & Ronny (Radio Virus / Container 90).

author avatar
Inferno Sound Diaries
I have been working for over 30 years with Side-line as the main reviewer. My taste is eclectic, uncoventional and I prefer to look for the pearls, even if the bands are completely unknown, thus staying loyal to the Side-Line philosophy of nurturing new talents.

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