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07. End Of Green
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08.
Anathema - The Optimist
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Random album

Neurotech - Interview


Interview with: Wulf
Conducted by: T.V.

Neurotech must be one of the leading forces in atmospheric cyber metal of today. Since their beginning in 2007 the main person behind the whole thing Wulf is searching for new soundscapes and trying to find the perfect balance within many sounds. Till today Neurotech released three EP's and one album, but much more is yet to come. We did a long talk with friendly Wulf while drinking coffee and smoking a lot of cigarettes in a noisy bar.

T.R.: How would you introduce Neurotech to someone who hasn't heard your music yet?
Wulf: Hm,... Neurotech is a cyber metal band with many other influences, from atmospheric music, new age, to electronics and from much more of different genres. If we go onto the band members, I'm actually the only one who does all the music, lyrics and other creativities behind Neurotech. Of course, I have also session members for live appearances.
T.R.: Recently you released Decipher Vol.1 [EP], can you tell me some of the background regarding this release?
Wulf: The whole story behind Decipher Vol.1 and other Decipher series which will follow is that those songs were meant to be released before on other products, but somehow didn't get in the same context with other songs on previous releases. This are good songs, but at the time when they were done I didn't feel to publish them, mostly because they were not on the same level as other songs. Later I did some rearrangements and gave to them more contemporary sound to make them fresh, but anyway those tracks are archival material.
T.R.: I'm surprised about this fact...
Wulf: Yes, those are not new songs. Two of them were meant to be on Antagonist album, but I didn't put them there because I wanted that album to be rather individual, I wanted to have an identical feeling throughout the whole album, in it's basis I wanted Antagonist to be upgraded with each song and those two simply didn't fit into it. Still, I like those songs and it's nonsense that they remained in my archives. The fans liked them to, so it's a win-win situation.
T.R.: The songs on Decipher and also on previous ep Blue Screen Planet have much more of spacey synth atmospheres in comparison to Antagonist or Transhuman [EP]. I believe that this must be the influence from artists like Jean Michel Jarre and similar...
Wulf: You are right. Soon after the Transhuman was done in 2008, I started to listen a lot to new wave. I listened to Vangelis, mostly that, but also Jean Michel Jarre, Enigma, Yanni and similar artists. I believe that even if I didn't start to listen to them at that time I would be doing the same thing, simply because I'm into atmospheric music of all kinds and trying to build my music on atmosphere. If you listen to Neurotech you notice that everything works in a pack. Guitars are always basic, also the keyboards and other instruments don't withdraw from the rest, but everything is connected with special atmosphere which get's the biggest emphasis. There is no nonsensical exaggeration on one single instrument.
T.R.: But, if we return to Transhuman, still that was much more metal oriented record, under big influence from Sybreed and similar cyber metal acts...
Wulf: Transhuman is pure enthusiasm. I didn't know exactly what I really would like to do and each song that I did at that time was kind of experiment. There was no complete picture in my head how the whole thing should sound, I wasn't able yet to put together the right sound and I was still learning how to make such music. Maybe that record sounds very simple and there could be some unintentionall rip offs from other bands, but that's it, it was a start.
T.R.: Do you intend to release when all Decipher series of EP's will be done an album out of those?
Wulf: That's my intention. There will be three releases of Decipher, probably each one with  four songs on it, o.k., I still don't know for the third one, but second will feature as the first one four songs. When this process will be completed then I'm going to publish also the physical  release in the form of an album, so let's say that this is album in it's making. Each part will have it's own thematic, simply it will be divided into three parts, but anyway it'll be an album on it's own.
T.R.: Will you wait for a real record deal for that release?
Wulf: Regarding the fact that I don't wait for anybody since Antagonist or Blue Screen Planet [EP], I'll stick to the method that it'll be self released. Also fans like this "name your price" method with possibility of free download. It'll be this way mostly because I'm still in the process of gaining fans...
T.R.: Can you reveal me a secret of this "name your price" method? Do you get any income from it?
Wulf: Actually, I'm in financial plus to say diplomatically. There's more and more people who pay a certain amount for it. As the percent of free downloads has increased, so has the percent of payed downloads. I believe that it's better to have both options, because if there is only payable version, than people will go immediately on torrents. I prefer to give the fans the whole artwork, lyrics, actually the whole package connected with the release and I notice that there are many of them who once download it for free and the next time pay something for it. Everybody can freely decide how much a certain product is worth for him.
T.R.: Probably it's better this way than to have a lousy label...
Wulf: Definitely! I know a lot of people who have the label, but are constantly in minus. There is no written rule about this.
T.R.: And what about Blue Screen Planet? Any plans for the next part?
Wulf: I have kind of idea to make an album on its own. I started to work on a continuation of this story and concept. Musically it must be on the same level, but at this point everything is still open, it could be an album or only another ep. I'm kind of person that leaves all options open till the end.
T.R.: You give a lot of importance to your lyrics, which are mostly connected with human thoughts. Can you tell me more about this matter?
Wulf: Neurotech lyrics are a personal matter. They are occupied mostly with my own thoughts. On Transhuman I was dealing with the classic metal subjects, like the collapse of civilization and destruction of human race, but those subjects are no more interesting for me, I can't identify myself with that. All further releases have much more introverted lyrics and each has it's own standpoint. If we take a look at Antagonist album for instance, there the whole story is about who actually is antagonist. You are your worst enemy, it's like an inner war between your own ego, will and similar things, it's a kind of self reflecion.
T.R.: And what about lyrics on Decipher and Blue Screen Planet?
Wulf: The lyrics on Blue Screen Planet are on symbolic level, but is difficult for me to explain them... On the other hand I wanted to make the lyrics for Decipher not in a conceptual way, that each song could be on it's own, but somehow I didn't succeed in this. On the first edition of Decipher the lyrics are all connected. When I write the single text I concetrate solely on that one, but it turns out that, if I'm in the certain feeling, that it just forms a part of entirety. Each song has it's own story, but when you put them together you can notice that they form a whole concept. With Decipher lyrics I waded more deeply into introversion, into search of my own being, soul, actually kind of freudian decipherisation of soul.
T.R.: Are you interested in psychology or philosophy?
Wulf: Not that much. I don't believe that there is only one truth. Almost everything that I read is so close minded and I find it difficult that somebody can unraveal the mystery of human psyche till the universal truth, but on the other hand that also make this topic very interesting.
T.R.: In the recent time the humanity, especially in Europe, is undergoing a big stress with all those economical and political crisis. Has this problem in any way affected your work and thoughts?
Wulf: Two years ago I could give you a large answer to this question, but now I tend to ignore this. I don't read and watch the news, because nothing happens and that makes me angry and I become very sad, so I stoped with that. I try to be in my confort bubble and simply I don't bother anymore with this.
T.R.: Let's change the topic.. What do you think it'll be the direction of musical production and musical industry in the future, as there is complete saturation of bands and artists on the market?
Wulf: Never before it was so much music produced like today, but because of the accessibility of music (downloads, etc.), there, on the other hand, were never so many listeners. The truth is that it's really hard to find something good. I believe that album like a format is dacaying. Listeners mostly are not grasping an album like for example twenty years ago. Singles, ep's and mini albums are becoming much more popular than albums with ten or more songs on them. I think that we are going back into time with this kind of approach, I would say in 1860. Usually bands are publishing  one album in  a period of three years and nothing in between, on opposite I lean more towards the way to release more special things in a short period of time, like it was done in the past with sonatas or piano concerts. I don't see an album like an ultimative thing anymore.
T.R.: I believe that with this kind of approach you want to be more present on the market?
Wulf: Yes, it's almost the same if you publish one song, ep or an album. The response is always almost the same. O.k., album has it's specialities, but I think that you should have more frequent releases and to be more active on the market, as fans love it more this way and also for an artist is better and I think easier this way.
T.R.: Youtube can be also very helpful for your presence with videos. Are you prepareing anything on the visual side?
Wulf: We are already talking about making one video. It should be done before, but time was not on my side, so I had to do a compromise with music, because to make a good video demands a lot of time and I have always chosen music instead. I rather not have one, than to make a half product or something that I could say that it's not good enough. Video is very special thing...
T.R.: Have you already decided which song will you make as a video?
Wulf: Yes and no. I don't want to make a high budget thing, but rather to find a right song for the whole visual side that I have in my mind. I don't have any favourite song for which I could say that this is the right one, it's a hit, so let's make something out of it. Every song that I ever did was the best for me at that point when it was done and if it wouldn't be that way I don't see a reason to release it. I really can't tell which song will find it's video format, because maybe when I wake up tomorrow I can change my mind.
T.R.: Neurotech is one of rare bands coming from Slovenia that has gained quite a lot of worldwide popularity and what's more surprisingly good in a short period of time. What do you think it's the main reason that so many Slovenian bands stay known only in the main country or inside the small circle of people?
Wulf: The main reason for that I believe it's in the basic structure and that is the band. I have those experiences from pre-Neurotech era of mine. The band is a unit of people and there should be a lot of democracy, but it happens a lot of times that there is a braking inside at the very beginning. Usually that hapens because of people that have no vision, but just want to release something. I had that experience, so I prefer to work alone. Only those who had the vision, discipline and a plan have reached something. In Slovenia it's very difficult to find right people who will function well together and so it is like it is. Here you have thousands of bands who don't make a single thing in five years, what is a shame. The main things are absolutely vision and discipline, that's what is absent here.
T.R.: Tell me more about this pre-Neurotech era of yours?
Wulf: I started my career in 2002 as a drummer for death metal band Breeding Pit. This later developed into Sinbolic, which was rather successful band in the Slovenian death metal underground circles. With Sinbolic we had quite a lot of concerts and did one demo. This was a very good experience.
T.R.: Have you ever thought about bringing permanent members into Neurotech?
Wulf: No. I found out that I work better if I work alone. If I want to make personal and sincere releases with a vision it'll be very difficult for me to share this with another person. Actually, I count as being a member of the band the person who makes album design. This person is the only one beside me who is responsible for pushing certain release till it's final appearance.
T.R.: You mean Artur Felicijan from Dekadent?
Wulf: Yes, he did artwork and design for Decipher Vol.1 and Zixon who did all the artwork for previous releases.
T.R.: Was the concept of this artwork for Decipher Vol.1 your or Arturs idea?
Wulf: I wanted it to be kind of minimalistic art and open for everybodys own interpretation. Previous covers and other artistical matters were done in a way that you could equate with it, on the other hand the new one is much more impartial. It's kind of new age design, yet it leaves the music speak for itself. You can't judge by the cover artwork what kind of music you can expect.
T.R.: As a physical copy you released only Antagonist?
Wulf: And Transhuman [EP], but it was sold out very soon and there was no special demand for reprint. Anyway, Antagonist is the only Neurotech work which you can get on a physical copy now. Probably I could release all those ep's as a special box set in the future.
T.R.: What about the recordings and production of  Neurotech music?
Wulf: Everything so far was done in my home studio, what looks like a computer and a pair of speakers. Vocals were recorded in another studio and also some mixes, mastering, but 90 percents of all music comes out from my bedroom into the wide world.
T.R.: Vocals must be the link with your black/death metal past?
Wulf: Maybe. I never thought of myself to be a singer, neither I am a guitarist, but again I never wanted to hire another vocalist to speak out the words that are my own. I can't see Neurotech with different vocal approach as it is.
T.R.: On  Blue Screen Planet and Below These Scars for example, you used some clean vocals which added a lot of dynamics into the whole thing...
Wulf: I think that I'm going to use this kind of vocals more often in the future. I become much more self-confident now. Vocal variations can successfully breake the monotony of the song. Even for me, when listening to older stuff of mine, is a little to much done on the same note and I find a lot of space in those song that could be fulfilled with diverse vocal variations. I find a lot of new ideas with this kind of approach, not only for vocal parts, but also for guitar, synths and so on.
T.R.: I noticed some segments in your new songs that have kind of connection with neoclassical music.
Wulf: I listen to classic music for a long time now. Transhuman and Antagonist were releases done in the time when I didn't had a lot of knowledge about classical music and that must be the reason that they sound a bit too basic. Now I try to devote much more time into gaining this musical knowledge and to implement my music with it. The reason for that must be that I listened a lot to movie soundtracks.
T.R.: And which were the artist that had the biggest influence on you?
Wulf: More than ten years ago when I heard for the first time Samaels album Passage and I overexaggerated with listening to them, I started the search for similar music and found out Kovenant, Sybreed, Mortiis, Gothminister and the likes. Today I rarely play this kind of music and I count to be my main influence new age, atmospheric and chill-out music. In this kind of music I find a lot of soul and sonic landscapes.
T.R.: Also Dead Can Dance, Enigma and spacey atmospheres of Samael's Era One must had some influence...
Wulf: I'm not ashamed to say that there was a period when I listened solely to Enigma for almost half a year. This is music that has in it those things that I started to miss in metal music, or maybe I didn't found a band that has this kind of sonical width. Those groups build their music on atmosphere and they don't care if snare drum should be three decibels louder there than here. This music is done from a different aspect and I find it easier to identify myself with this than with some fuss.
T.R.: Which is your target audience?
Wulf: Difficult one... I don't think that I have one. I have fans inside those who listen to techno, new age, post rock and metal, probably because of textures and atmosphere of Neurotech music. I think that my music is for all those who are open to all kind of sounds and not for those close minded. Someone who listens only to thrash or death metal probably won't like Neurotech. Neurotech music, to say it this way, is not for those who search technically perfective sound, but for those who search kind of aesthetics in sound.
T.R.: You didn't had so many live appearances as someone would expect?
Wulf: There was not so much of  enquiry for that. If there will be enough of enquiry for us to play live, than I could organize better and execute the show like I want to. I want that the people who come to see the show also have something from it. I don't want to make lame performances with bad sound, lousy lightshow, where things turn off and so on. If you are managing shows by your own, than you are always in an inferior position and making a financial minus for yourself if you want to have a solid show. For Neurotech there is a lot of effort to prepare everything right, from patterns to teach live members new songs. For one single concert you have a couple of months of hard work and if I count out how much music can I do in this time for thousands of people, rather than play few shows for houndred of them, it simply doesn't turn out well. Probably this sounds egoistic or egocentric, but making music has much more importance for me than concerts.
T.R.: Have you ever played outside Slovenia?
Wulf: The first show we did was held in Austria and that was also the best one. We actually had some demands to play abroad, but still, so many months of preparations for few shows... I still don't have enough fans that it could pay off with kind of show that I would like to perform. Simply, I don't want to make a show in usual band approach, because I believe that my music this way loses the point and it's pretty easy to ruin everything that your band represents. So, I like more not to have concerts, than to have bad ones.
T.R.: Are you your own manager and what are the plans regarding this in the future?
Wulf: For now I'm taking care of this things. I don't search for a label like I said before, but I search for a good manager. Mostly because there is more and more feedback, commissions and similar things that takes a lot of time. Each day I notice more feedback... And again, I still rather work alone even on this subject than to have a bad management.
T.R.: Do you think that you could live in the future solely from your music?
Wulf: Every day more. Also because of this I want to be alone and to have reins in my hands, because it must be difficult to feed up, for example five persons. I could say that even now I live just from music, because also my recent job is connected with it, as I do music for advertisements, tv series, ipad applications, etc. I'm not afraid for my future and I'm willing to make next step.
T.R.: What would you like to add at the end of this interview?
Wulf: Check out our Decipher Vol.1 and look up for second part which should be out this fall. I work also on the album which will see the light of day next year. I can mention also that simultaneously to Neurotech I work on a side project which is gaining it's final picture now, it is kind of dream pop music with female vocals, but I'll reveal more things about that soon enough. There is a lot of music in the making, so if you liked Neurotech till now, you will be even more happy with future things. Thank you for this interview!

Neurotech links: Website, Myspace, Facebook



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