Click Interview with Solitary Experiments: ‘Convince Yourself Of It!’
It took four years to Solitary Experiments to release a new studio album. The German formation lead by core members Dennis Schober (vocals) and Michael Thielemann (music) strike back with their most surprising album to date. “Transcendent” released by Out Of Line is featuring songs with famous guest singers like Dirk Ivens, Alice Elena Fossi, Patrik Hansson ao. It’s once again a totally achieved production mixing elements of Future-Pop and Dark-Electro. I asked a few questions to Dennis.
(Picture credits by Chris Ruiz / Interview courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Since your previous studio album “Future Tense” (2018) the world has been affected by Covid-19 which had a serious impact on most artistic activities. How did you experience this drama as citizen and artist?
Dennis: A very specific question. As a citizen, of course, I experienced everything just like everyone else. The only difference is that my day job in retail was not affected, i.e. I worked through the entire pandemic. Logically, I’m vaccinated and yes, I’ve also contracted Covid. As an artist, it was worse because so many events and concerts were canceled and that was really bad. You only realize how important it is when something is missing.
Q: Your new album “Transcendent” must have been written during the pandemic. I noticed you see this album as different from your previous works so how comes and what makes the difference -except the fact you worked with a few guest singers?
Dennis: Sounds strange, but exactly this collaboration was different from all the work before, because it was new for all of us. Of course, “Transcendent” doesn’t sound like “Future Tense” either, but that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the pandemic period. We only had a lot more time to make music because all other dates were cancelled. It’s actually the first time that we’ve gotten so much material together.
Q: How did you get the idea working with guest singers? Did you handle specific criteria to work with them and how did these songs took shape?
Dennis: Since we created so much new and different material, I came up with the idea of simply giving someone else to sing the things that I don’t like vocally. Of course, I deliberately chose my partners based on which voice would go with which song. And of course I reached very high when choosing the artists. It wasn’t easy to get everyone enthusiastic about the project at first, and it took some time to get everyone’s approval and results. In the end, however, there was no rejection and I am very proud of what we have created together.
Q: The song “The Great Unknown” featuring Elena Alice Fossi sounds to me as one of your most surprising songs ever and yet I think it also is one of the best tracks from the album; kind of mix between Delerium and Push. Tell us a bit more about this song, its influences and the way it has been produced?
Dennis: I can’t say much about the production, because I always get the finished songs from Michael without a say, so to speak. But I like it when the songs are not always produced in the Future-Pop sector. He sometimes gives me a real surprise, like with “The Great Unknown”. I love it when the song is dark and has a light Trance note. I had a vocal line in mind from the start and I knew straight away that this number had to be sung by and with Elena Fossi. I wrote the lyrics and presented both to the band Kirlian Camera, which I’ve adored for years. The rest took care of itself…
Q: Next to “Transcendent” you also released a digital album called “La Voix De La Femme” featuring only female artists singing on ‘older’ songs. How did you get the idea of this album and how did the ‘selection’ of the singers happened? Don’t you think there’re not enough female artists active in this scene dominated by men? How comes?
Dennis: One thing led to another and the idea of guest vocals grew in me more and more. Instead of remixing, I imagined what it might sound like if someone else sang our songs. To top it off, I came up with the idea of only asking for female voices to achieve an even greater contrast. This has nothing to do with the current situation within the scene. I even think there are many female voices, you just have to deal with that. I knew some of the ladies personally, others had already sung something for friends of mine and some I discovered through research or we had already played somewhere together. Anyway, everyone made an impression on me. I provided a number of possible songs to choose from and each chose the appropriate one. Later on I came up with the title that fits perfectly with the said bonus EP. Did I already mention that the whole project is also international?
Q: You were touring in November together with Vanguard and Mental Exile. How do you look back at the tour and how did you see Solitary Experiments as live act evolving throughout the years?
Dennis: Of course, that’s something you’d rather have to ask the viewers. First of all I would like to say that we are extremely satisfied with the shows so far. On the one hand, the audience is visibly grateful that concerts can finally take place as club shows again and the people are really in the mood. On the other hand, I would like to say a big thank you to our special guests. It fits together so well musically and personally that we will continue this year in exactly the same constellation. We grow with our tasks and a two-man band has now become a five-piece live formation with additional drums and a lot of light and show effects. Convince yourself of it!
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