Set up in 2009 by Jens Minor and later on joined by Kay Schäfer, Chainreactor is a German project mixing different music styles and influences together. From industrial to trance to EBM to dark-electro, the productions always sound hard and danceable. The duo strikes back this year with its seventh full length album “Interlinked”. The album has been already released on ProNoize / Dark Dimensions revealing twelve tracks of sonic terror! I talked about this new masterpiece with Jens and Kay.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: “Interlinked” is the seventh full length album in Chainreactor’s discography, which is a real accomplishment. So what means this album to you and what makes it ‘special’ and/or different compared to previous albums?
Jens: I think “Interlinked” is a further development in aspects of sound design and song writing. The prior albums are more or less impetuous. “Interlinked” is more precise in creating energy and focused on special, unique sounds, which are influenced by EBM and modern techno.
For me personally it´s the next level of Chainreactor, which doesn´t refuse its traditions, but also discovers new ways.
Q: Kay Schäfer became a full time member on previous releases, but also the singer. “Interlinked” moves back to the early releases without vocals, but with samplings instead. How did this evolution happened and what kind of album did you try to compose?
Kay: Chainreactor is about creating a certain atmosphere and feeling and this is done through the music itself and not through lyrics. We tried vocals and came to the conclusion that it was worth a try, but doesn’t really benefit for Chainreactor’s style.
Q: I always have experienced your work as a mix of multiple influences; dark-electro, trance, industrial.. so what do you like in all these different styles and do you have specific references/criteria when it comes to the global production (sounds, samplings, instruments, mix, mastering…) process?
Jens: Indeed, Chainreactor has always been a crucible of many different styles from hard-techno, powernoise, EBM and even psy-trance or hardstyle. So at first sigth, influences that got nothing in common. But elements of all these styles are essential for the special Chainreactor sound. Sometimes this could also be problem, because many old fashioned Goths are alienated from this mixture. For me personally Chainreactor is a testing range where I can put all the influences of music that I like to something new. I think there are not so many bands with that kind of sound.
Q: I can imagine each album always has its challenges or some tracks and ideas you aren’t completely satisfied with, but at the other side also some aspects getting you proud of. What are these for “Interlinked”?
Jens: This was actually a problem on the first 2 or 3 albums. Meanwhile I guess I´m satisfied with every track on each album, because if I were not, the track wouldn´t be on the album. But satisfied doesn´t mean there is no space for improvement. That´s why the project is named Chainreactor. It´s a continued process where each final point of a track also is the start of something new- maybe better. At least this is my ambition.
Q: I noticed several new clips (cf. “Interlinked”, “Grey”, “The Wicked”) have been released. What can you tell us about these clips, their content and the way they’ve been conceived and released?
Kay: The music video for “Grey” features a critical view on society and how we try to manipulate everything in our lives to keep control. Basically it says, we are destroying ourselves by trying to become transcendental. “Interlinked” is about the many levels of how humans are connected to each other, sacrificing their own individuality. And “The Wicked” is just.. Well.. Wicked
Q: “Interlinked” has been released right in the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic. I can imagine it must be frustrating to see your new album being released just during this period and especially because of the cancelled/postponed concerts and festivals. How are you managing this situation?
Jens: That´s indeed a bit frustrating, but it also shows new and creative ways to come together. That´s what the title “Interlinked” is about. Of course streaming could never replace the intensive emotions of a club show, but I don’t complain. Times will get better and maybe in a few months we could come together as we are used to.