‘Click Interview’ with Reichsfeind: ‘Music Alone Can’t Change The World’
Timo Revna this year released the third official full length album of his sonic alter-ego Reichsfeind. He once more brings different influences together. Techno- and Pop elements have been merged while a darker touch is hanging over the songs. The vocals are robotic-like, but you’ll also notice multiple spoken samplings. “Darken” definitely sounds as Reichsfeind’s magnum opus, but it first of all confirms the visionary approach in the way different influences have been mixed together. I talked about it with Timo Revna.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You set up Reichsfeind in 2011 and already released several albums plus EP’s. How do you perceive the evolution of your sonic alter-ego and what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments?
Timo: It’s already more than ten years since I self-released my first demos. When I look back I am really satisfied with how things developed over time. Listening to my old demos is quite an experience for me. Comparing them to my official albums starting with “Living In Space” (2017), I get the impression that there’s always been a certain emotional depth to my lyrics and melodies, whereas the overall sound quality as well as a certain catchiness still had to be developed. In that respect the first album was a big milestone for me. As for now I would consider my latest album “Darken” as well as this year’s performance at WGT Leipzig to be the greatest accomplishments so far.
Q: You signed to Alfa Matrix so what does it mean to you to get signed to one of the leading labels of this scene? As a German project would you not have preferred to get signed on a German label?
Timo: Getting signed to Alfa Matrix has indeed been a great honor! My first two albums were released via German label Equinoxe Records. It was a nice deal and I really liked the label mentality. However with Alfa Matrix it was clear that they would have the capabilities to introduce Reichsfeind to a bigger audience so I considered it to be the next logical step. There has never been any kind of thought on limiting possible deals with new labels to the German market.
Q: In a previous interview I asked you about the significance of Reichsfeind and you said that ‘As history repeats its darkest times over and over again, I find it of greatest importance to emphasize and preserve the inter-human qualities that make us equal in the first place. Through my music I try to reveal that behind all these walls we build around us, we’re still united by the same pleasures of love and friendship, similar joys and sorrows.’ When you see what’s actually happening in our world and society today I should say you still have to compose a lot of music to fulfill your goal… What’s your perception of the world we’re living right now and how do you transpose it to your music?
Timo: Broad levels of the population are being left behind, leading to frustration and resentment. Capitalistic driven western moral is increasingly contradicting itself in the face of a war-ridden international situation that finally appears on our doorstep. On top of that, progressing climate change is already taking a heavy toll on human lives. How do we fix all this? I don’t want to switch places with politicians who have to deal with tremendous decisions these days.
Music alone can’t change the world, we need conscientious politics and comprehensive international cooperation to change things for the better. However music still functions as a sanctuary, where you can free your mind from the overwhelming chaos surrounding us −at least temporarily. I’m proud if I can somehow contribute to that through my music.
Q: What have been your main sources of inspiration when writing the “Darken”-album? Did you’ve something like a plan and/or did you focus on specific elements during the production process?
Timo: The songs on “Darken” are mostly inspired by real life events that happened either to me personally or to people around me. There’s been a lot of stuff going on in the last couple of years so I never really ran out of material to write about. There was no such thing as a polished plan for this album. It was more about staying in the flow over a long period of time, creating new authentic material without too much overthinking. However, I definitely had the plan to emphasize on the Pop elements this time.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges when composing/producing “Darken”? What have been your greatest satisfactions and what are the points you still want to improve?
Timo: “Darken” was produced over a timespan of 2 years. At the same time my taste in music seemed to change a bit more drastic than usual, making it kind of a challenge to maintain some sort of recognizable unity from the beat-making perspective. Fortunately I got two talented and experienced studio musicians who again proved being able to keep sight of the big picture. In general I definitely want to further improve my beat-making skills.
Greatest satisfactions during the production phase of “Darken” have always been situations where things just seemed to work out without interruption or setback, such as a whole song being completely finished in almost a day. To me that happens very rarely but when it does it’s more than satisfying.
Q: You already played a few live gigs this year and there’s more to come. How do you transpose the energy from the studio recordings to the stage –and especially as a solo-project?
Timo: I’ve loved presenting things in front of an audience since I was a kid. Having the opportunity to perform your own music in a room full of people is simply amazing so the main thing for me is to enjoy the moment. I always have a great time being on stage and hope that I can transpose this feeling to the crowd. On stage I am being supported by live musician Tom S. who does a great job in additionally heating up the audience.
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