First Aid 4 Souls is an Hungarian formation, which is already active for more than ten years now. Set up by ex-Vacuum member István Gazdag and actually completed by US-based singer ‘Mortum’ (Human Vault) the band signed to Alfa Matrix to release their new album. “Keep This World Empty” features thirteen songs, which will directly appeal for EBM freaks in love with the late 80s and 90s EBM. The work is characterized by a sophisticated writing reminding bands such as Frontline Assembly and Skinny Puppy, but still Yelworc for the dark and somewhat disturbing atmosphere recovering the songs. The band’s singer accepted to answer a few questions.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: We were in touch after the “Dark Tunnel”-album released in 2017. I remember you were already busy with ideas and a concept around your next full length album based on the work of Vladimir Sorokin. What makes the link between the writings of Sorokin and the music of First Aid 4 Souls?
Mortum: Yes, indeed we already talked about this album last time. It took us a good amount of time to finalize it. We put a lot of work into it. The connection between us and Sorokin… Hmm… Well I guess he and us, we all believe that for humanity the only way of survival is an imminent evolution of the human being; an evolving conscious mental state and a must physical improvement of the human body. Sorokin shows us a possible way of that in his book.
Q: I think to have understood the preparation and research to compose an album takes you a lot of time and also is a very important stage to accomplish an album. How did it happen for “Keep This World Empty” and can you describe the process from research/preparation till the songs are finished?
Mortum: Istvan is the man to ask about the studio procedures… I am just the vocalist and that is all. However I can tell you one thing; in order to reach the final stage of a song, Istvan usually rewrites them at least 4 times and that is not a joke… And we still are not talking about the mixing and mastering. An album for us to realize usually takes a full entire year of work. Although finding the concept for an album is not really hard for us, we are full of ideas all the time.
Q: You’re now singed on a leading label from the electronic scene so I can imagine it feels a bit like a consecration, but still maybe frustrating to have wait all these years before it happened. What does it mean to you and what do you expect from a label such as Alfa Matrix you maybe didn’t get on other companies?
Mortum: Oh yes, getting in the roster of Alfa Matrix was a great feeling; we could see that there were people out there who actually appreciated the music we created. The label is very professional and super friendly. It is surprising how much they at Alfa Matrix know about this music scene. Working with them is amazing. They do not limit any ideas from their artists! That in my opinion is very important. Istvan and me respect the policy of the label and to be honest with you, we do not expect anything from the current music industry. We do not expect anything from Alfa Matrix as well.
Going deeper and understanding the present situation where every 10th person makes music… where every single month another hundred new industrial projects grow out and another thousand albums being released… we just could not expect anything from the people too who do their best to keep up with this overwhelming market of new music.
Q: I noticed Alfa Matrix linked your sound to EBM while I remember you once said EBM is just an influence running through your work. I get the feeling First Aid 4 Souls moves further than simply one established music genre, but maybe become a ‘total happening’, mixing different artistic formats together! What is it all about?
Mortum: First Aid 4 Souls was never a real EBM project. The vivid experimental virtue was always in its vein. We have a goal to reach when we start working on an album and we do whatever it takes to achieve this goal. The only limitation is the music equipment we possess. All synths gears, no acoustic- or any other instruments. We might do rock’n’roll music if we had guitars, but of course we don’t have any (lol). Anyway in brief, we do not mix different genres in our music to show the world how unique we are; we just do whatever we need to do. For example, presently we are working on new recordings and these new demos are totally different than anything we have done before.
Q: Today there’s internet to connect people from all over the world, but I can imagine you need much more than internet when you’re an electronic underground formation based in Hungary! What are the pros and cons belonging to a small electro-scene and what might we expect from First Aid 4 Souls for the future?
Mortum: True, Hungary has no active electro-industrial scene! We have got about 6-8 still operating projects and that’s all. Here comes the benefit when you have a band. You do not care how the Hungarian scene will embrace your sound… whether they will like your album or not. Too small community to matter in the market. The cons at the same time are simple. None buys your music and none comes to your shows. Nothing to worry about (lol). Istvan and me though still step forward and never look back. Since the future is always full of possibilities, but one thing is for sure, we are at the present now and that is all that should matter.