Funker Vogt is a band, which needs no further introduction. Set up in 1995 by the duo Jens Kästel (vocals) – Gerrit Thomas (machines) they became an instant success, setting EBM- and Dark-Electro dance floors on fire. They never stopped releasing great albums and new hits, but a few years ago now an important change happened in the line-up. Jens Kästel left the band and got replaced by Chris L, this way injecting new ideas to the band. The new album “Element 115” released on RepoRecords is the third full length featuring Gerrit Thomas and Chris L. It’s a solid and powerful opus confirming the leading status of Funker Vogt. I got in touch with operator Gerrit Thomas.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: The new album “Element 115” sounds in the prolongation of “Wastelands”; a hard and powerful production reminding early Funker Vogt productions! How do you see this evolution from your side and what kind of work did you want to accomplish with “Element 115”?
Gerrit: I think the current album is just a continuation of our work from the last few years. Personally, I can‘t find many parallels to old Funker Vogt productions. We just focused more on melodies and neglected monotonous and technoid song structures. It‘s all more real EBM, I think…:-)
Q: I think there’s a lot to say about the title of the album “Element 115” and the main theme dealing about Alien conspiracies. How did you come to deal with this theme? What is it really all about and what did you really try to express by the lyrical themes?
Gerrit:Well, first of all I have to say that this topic is so extensive that you can only scratch it on the surface with just one album. Chris and I had talked about this theme on a concert trip and decided to produce a concept album on which only the topics of the pre-astronautics should be processed. And so, with the “Conspiracy”-EP, the album “Element 115” and the EP “Mc 5f14 6d10 7s2 7p3” even three releases were created including this topic. For the moment we are ready with this, but we could write many many songs more about aliens and stuff like this…
Q: Even if “Element 115” sounds as pure Funker Vogt, the title of the album, some of the lyrics, the artwork –and especially the booklet, but also the clip of “Lost” sound a bit as an antithesis to the early ‘military’ image of the band! Was it time to change/evolve? How do you see this progression/evolution?
Gerrit:Yes, we got stuck in the typical Funker Vogt topic and had the feeling of repeating ourselves more and more. With this topic, we wanted to break away from that and give ourselves more space for the future. Of course, that does not mean that there will be no more social critical lyrics with military backgrounds in the future. They’ll just be packaged in more various ways.
Q: Let’s talk about the clip of “Lost”, which is absolutely high-tech and totally different from the usual clips by Dark-Electro bands. What have been the different stages to realize this clip? What did you try to express by the clip and who has been involved to achieve this clip?
Gerrit: Chris did this clip by cutting scenes, which you can buy. But it‘s not an official Funker Vogt clip. He got that much rough material for the official clip of “Olympus” that he could make some more clips and just released them on his own channel. So, “Lost“ is just one of a series of video clips Chris did in his free time.
Q: Next to the “Element 115”-album you also released a new EP entitled “Mc 5f146d107s27p3”, which features five (!) new songs plus three remixes. What’s the true connection between the album and the EP and was it already planned when you were working on the album?
Gerrit:The five new songs on the EP were already in work when the album was released. They just weren’t finished by the deadline. Since we planned to add another EP anyway, we just finished the songs and made the three remixes. You can actually see the EP as an extension of the album. Therefore the same title, just presented in a different way.
Q: 2020 has been a year without big festivals and tours, which I can imagine must have been something surreal for artists and the fans. How do you see things evolving and what are the further live plans for Funker Vogt? Do you expect some festivals and event organizers will maybe disappear because of the pandemic impact?
Gerrit:Oh yes, I definitely think so! I personally know several people who have already reoriented their jobs and careers and probably turned their backs on this branch forever.
But for us it‘s not that essential to play concerts because we all have possibilities to earn money in different ways. But for sure, we all want to come back on stage any time, but making plans is not possible these days…