George Klontzas got recognition being involved in the EBM/Dark-Electro project PreEmptive Strike 0.1. He got also involved with Croona and Cynical Existence. After the last PreEmptive Strike 0.1 album “Progeny Of The Technovore” (Infacted Recordings) he set up Teknovore. The sound reveals a hard mix of EBM, Trance and Industrial with guest singers. This is a modern piece of Electronic music with solid- and fully accomplished songs. I talked about this astonishing debut with George Klontzas.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: I can’t start this interview without asking you about a short look back to your involvement with PreEmptive Strike 0.1? What do you keep in mind and what has been the main goal when setting up Teknovore?
George: First of all, I’d like to thank you for reviewing my album and for this interview of course. Taking a look back, PES0.1 was a project that was born in a simpler time in my life. It was just a couple of friends having fun together, making the music we liked. Regrettably, along the way and over the years that slowly changed. I spent 16 years with PES0.1 and it gave me many wonderful experiences and the opportunity to meet so many amazing people. Leaving was definitely not a decision I made lightly, but simply put, it was time to step away and that chapter of my life is now closed and no longer has any bearing on me personally or musically with Teknovore.
As for the second part of your question, Teknovore as a wholly ‘me‘ project has given me the opportunities to make more of the music I want to make for myself, and the option to collaborate with a lot more artists for different types of vocal styles which has really let me be more creative in the sounds I make. Music is something I’ve always done for myself first and foremost because I enjoy the process so there was never any doubt that I would continue to make music. Primarily, it was just about making music as its own reward. For a while, I even toyed with the idea of releasing whatever music I made for free, but in the end I decided to put a label behind it just to give it the best possible chance of cutting through the noise and being heard.
Q: The name of your project is clearly connected with the last album of PreEmptive Strike 0.1 but what does it stand for? Tell us a bit more about the sound you’ve in mind for Teknovore and in which way is it a continuation of previous productions you composed?
George: Between 2016 and 2020 I really got back into Goa-Trance. There were some amazing new-school Goa albums that came out at that time which inspired me to start experimenting with that sound. I just love the pumping, spiraling energy and melodic peaks that Goa-Trance can achieve. At first, I thought I would start a Goa side-project with a dark or Industrial edge and that’s how “Progeny Of The Technovore” was born. Basically, the last PES0.1 album was initially supposed to be the first Technovore album. However, I generally dislike the idea of spreading my focus over different projects and abandoned that idea in favor of bringing those tracks into PES0.1.
Hence the name of the album, “Progeny Of The Technovore” -to signify that those tracks are literally ‘begotten of’ Technovore. I switched the ‘ch’ to a ‘k’ for aesthetic reasons later on. There’s no deeper meaning to the name itself. Its definition would be ‘one who eats or is sustained by technology’ but I honestly just chose it because I thought it would be eye-catching and easy to remember.
There are clearly elements of what I did with PES0.1 in Teknovore, but I’m not trying to emulate what I have already done before. It’s a new project so, despite any expectations there might have been because of my past work, it was a chance to try new things, experiment with different genres. There are many other Electronic genres that I enjoy, Techno, Psy-Trance, mid-tempo Cyber-Punk-inspired stuff, so tried to bring all those influences into the Teknovore fold into one cohesive whole.
Q: How does the debut opus “The Theseus Paradox” saw the daylight and what did you want to reflect by the album title?
George: “The Theseus Paradox” is a reference to a well-known thought experiment known as “The Ship Of Theseus” which poses the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object or not. If the ship of Theseus were kept in a harbor and every part on the ship were replaced one at a time, would it then be a new ship? Cognitive science would view the Ship not as a thing, or even a collection of parts, but rather as an organizational structure that has perceptual continuity. What mainly interested me is how all this pertains to the Self. What is it that makes us the same person through time? Are we even the same person or are we continuously dying and being reborn through the process of cellular regeneration?
I saw this concept reflected not only in my own life, but also in how I approached making this album. I didn’t want it to be simply a collection of tracks. It had to be a singular, complete entity where each track worked as part of a greater whole in creating that continuity.
Q: You worked with guest singers so did you handle specific criteria to ask the artists you worked with? How did this collaboration happened and what has been the true input of each singer?
George: There are three guest vocalists on “The Theseus Paradox”: Jay Taylor of J:Dead, Jay Ruin of RNZR/Ruinizer and of course Fredrik Croona. I’ve worked with Fredrik on various projects over the last 10 years and we have a great friendship and understanding, so he was a natural choice.
Jay Taylor, in fact, I met in the process of making the last Croona album “Ascend”. We worked on a track for Croona that would however eventually evolve to become the J:Dead vs Teknovore-single “Tearing Me Apart” and I also contributed a remix for his single ‘I’ll Wait’. We really enjoyed working with each other and he is such an amazing vocalist I just had to ask him to take part on the album and thankfully he agreed to record two tracks. I’m sure we’ll work together again in the not too distant future.
Jay Ruin is someone whose work I’ve followed for many years and have wanted to work with for a long time. I was convinced he was a good choice because he often bends genres in his own music much in the same way I do. He also recorded some additional synths for our collaboration track. I think we were very successful in creating a track that is both instantly recognizable as being rooted in Harsh EBM but also sounds fresh. He is currently recording vocals for another track for me.
Finally, I mustn’t forget to mention Z from Siva Six who contributed vocals for a cover of Dark Soho’s “Save Me God”. It ended up being on the “Anachronist”-single, which preceded the album, but he did an awesome job too. I knew he loved Dark Soho as much as I do so there was no other option other than him.
Q: It’s quite fascinating to see the multiple influences running through your work while the songs are carried by impressive, hard kicks. It for sure says something about the music styles you already mentioned, but do you handle specific criteria and/or references when it comes to the production process?
George: Ha ha, yes, the kicks! They were a bit of a talking point in your review. So about those actually, one of the genres I enjoy listening to is Tech-Trance. I especially like the production, a defining characteristic of which is that the tracks are usually driven by a loud kick drum, while the synths and basslines are side-chained to emphasize the kicks even more. This is actually one of the first things I knew I wanted to be a part of the Teknovore sound.
I don’t have specific criteria about what my sources of inspiration will be. I listen to a lot of music for inspiration so if I hear something I like, I’ll experiment with it and see how it works and if I can consolidate it within the context of Teknovore.
Q: I noticed you already made a few noticeable remixes for other artists. How do you proceed when working on it? And what are the further plans about remixes, new Teknovore stuff, concerts ao?
George: I was a bit surprised by the number of remixes I was asked to do especially when I hadn’t even released anything yet. Last year, I put a couple of tracks up on YouTube just to test the waters and see how they would be received –and almost immediately I got a couple of remix requests. It was quite flattering honestly and it solidified my conviction and belief in what I was doing with Teknovore. Since the release of “The Theseus Paradox” the remix requests haven’t stopped coming. In the past two months I’ve already delivered five remixes and committed to doing another three. Of course I’m also working on new tracks of my own at the same time. The tentative plan is to release another single and an EP by the end of the year hopefully, so, overall, there is a lot more Teknovore coming in the near future.
Finally, I’ll be making my live debut with Teknovore at a very special event later in the year. The announcement should come any day now, maybe even by the time this interview goes live.
Thank you again for this interview.
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