June 20 – Oslo / Norway – Koma Festival
June 28 – Calgary / Canada – Terminus Festival
July 20 – Köln / Deutschland – Amphi Festival
July 27 – Paris / France – Dark Castle Festival
Aug 01 – Las Vegas, NV / USA – Defcon 21
Aug 31 – Athens / Greece – Second Skin Club
Sept 04 – Columbus, OH / USA – Skully’s Diner
Sept 05 – Wilmington, DE /USA – Mojo 13
Sept 06 – New York, NY / USA – Triton Festival
Sept 07 – Montreal, QB / Canada – Piranha
Sept 08 – Toronto, ON / Canada – Neutral
Sept 10 – Detroit, MI / USA – Token Lounge
Sept 11 – Chicago, IL / USA – Cobra Lounge
Sept 12 – Phoenix, AZ / USA – 910 Live
Sept 13 – Austin, TX / USA – Elysium
Sept 14 – Los Angeles, CA/ USA – Complex
Sept 15 – Dallas, TX / USA – The Church
Sept 17 – Mexico City / Mexico – TBA
Nov 16 – Dresden / Deutschland – Ballroom Passions
Last weekend in Munich we were hanging out at the aftershow party when I was approached by a guy who came up to me and said that he’s “a big fan” but he’d like to give me “some constructive criticism“. Since he was somewhat polite I decided to listen to what he had to say and he said:
“I don’t like your Nachtmahr remix, I think the original is better!“.
I nodded and asked “So what’s the constructive criticism?”
“The Nachtmahr remix! It’s not as good as the original!”
“Yea, I understand but what’s the constructive criticism?”
“What I said! The original is better!“.
This went on for a minute until I figured out that he probably thought he was giving me constructive criticism.
So since a bunch of stuff happened lately, here’s some actual “constructive criticism” for bands and fans alike:
1) If you are an opening band and you have a set time of 40 minutes, plan your set to be done in 35. This includes talking, breaks, etc. so make sure you have about 30 minutes worth of music. Our opening band in Munich was already 10 minutes over their allotted time (50 instead of 40) and told us “Oh, we’ll just finish this instrumental and then end with a coverversion!”. They ended up being 20 (!!!) minutes over their allotted time. Since for some reason there were 40 minutes of changeover time and the promoter was cool with it, we didn’t mind. Usually you can expect your power to be cut exactly after your time is up.
2) If you meet a musician from a band that you know or like, it’s never a good idea to tell them first that you don’t like their new album/new single/new video – at least not if you would like to have a conversation. Imagine a random stranger coming up to you and saying “I really don’t like how you look!”. For some reason people do this all the time – usually to a) not seem like a fanboy/-girl or b) to pretend that they have an “informed opinion”. Those are usually the same people who later complain on Facebook that “singer so-and-so was just hanging with girls and didn’t wanna talk to me!”.
3) If you are in a local band that opens for a touring band it’s never a good idea to:
a) be in the backstage room 15-20 minutes before and after the touring band’s show – just leave and let the band get ready/relax. I do the same for other bands we’re playing with, especially if the backstage area is small
b) change the position and connections of the gear that’s already set up on stage
c) bring your girlfriend and her friends into the backstage area where they do nothing but take up space
d) ask for pictures (where you pose like a possessed demon) when people are clearly busy doing something else (like packing their gear or doing accounting with the promoter)
e) bitch about how shit the local competing band/club/promoter/DJ is – especially not if it’s likely that the touring band knows the competition too
f) ask a band you just met to remix your stuff for the upcoming awesome EP (unless you are prepared to pay for it)
g) take any drinks/food from catering without checking if it is actually yours – this is especially true for booze
h) expect that you’ll get to use your full setup (lasers, video, pyro, exotic dancers). There’s a 90% chance that won’t happen, so don’t throw a fit – or better yet: ask in advance.
i) talk about how awesome your new CD is and that you used Massive and Sylenth as your main synths
j) talk about the touring band constantly
k) talk about anything regarding concerts, touring, production, albums, the touring band, other bands and DJs
l) ask the touring band about themselves all the time
4) So what is there to talk about? Most bands I know would rather hear about your dog, your job as a trapeze artist, your new painting, your old car, your favorite 80s movies, your newest booze discovery, your favorite clubs in town, your political views … ANYTHING but the stuff they deal with all the time. There are obviously exceptions to this, but you’ll notice those quickly.
5) If you are a girl/dude trying to score with a musician from your favorite band, don’t bring your boyfriend/girlfriend. It’s a stupid move and you’ll later regret it.
6) Don’t say “wearing sunglasses in a club is dumb” when you wear gasmasks, fluffy boots and cyberhair … or ANY sort of clothing that makes you look different from when you are naked.
7) Easiest way (besides being a cool person) to get along with a lot of bands: drugs, booze and skimpy clothes (if you have the body for it). Yes, most of us are that shallow.
Posted in Live Shows on May 26th, 2013 by Faderhead
I got a lot of requests to post the setlist for the Saturday night party at Agra 4.2 a week ago, so here it is. As you can see Krischan played loads of remixes/versions while I mostly played “regular stuff” to keep it familiar for the people (we were at WGT after all). I think generally it worked quite well :)
Love Game (Aesthetic Perfection Remix) – Lady GaGa
No Time To Sleep – Faderhead
This Is Deutsch (SITD Remix) – Eisbrecher
Spitfire – The Prodigy
Living The Wasted Life – Aesthetic Perfection
Exterminate Annihilate Destroy (Reclubbed) – Rotersand
Self Control – Faderhead
Larissa (Pueppies) – Steinkind
Boombox – Modulate *
Straftanz (West) – Straftanz
Face Down – Shaolyn *
Ritual Noise (Version S) – Covenant
Satisfaction – Benny Benassi vs. Depeche Mode
Chrome – VNV Nation
Smile (U. S. Mix) – Paffendorf
Bite Me! (Rotersand Rework) – Hocico
I Never Said – Kloq
Evil Twin – Modeselektor
Papillon (Tiesto Remix) – Editors
Existence In Progress – Icon of Coil
Whispers and Rumours (Demo V1) – Harmjoy
Control (Wesenberg Edit 02) – VNV Nation
Smack My Bitch Up (Noisia Remix) – The Prodigy
Firestarter (Empirion Mix) – The Prodigy
Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix) – New Order
Pong – Eisenfunk
Lass Uns Tanzen (Alternative Club Mix) – Scooter *
Military Fashion Show – And One
Rhythm Machine – Komor Kommando *
We Stand Alone – Covenant
Dirtygrrrls/Dirtybois – Faderhead
Apathy – Spetsnaz
War On Error – Rotersand
White Knuckle Head Fuck – Caustic
The Siren – Aesthetic Perfection
TZDV – Faderhead *
Never Wanted To Dance (Electro Hurtz Mix) – MSI
Mein Herz brennt (Boys Noize Rmx) – Rammstein
To The Hilt (Nitzer Ebb Remix) – Nitzer Ebb + Die Krupps
Babys Got A Temper – The Prodigy
Block Rockin Beats (Wesenberg Edit) – Chemical Brothers
Tied Up – LFO
A New Drug – Digitalism
Glacier (Le Castle Vania Remix) – Le Castle Vania, Mad Owl
Get Your Body Beat – Combichrist
I Am – Covenant
Join In The Chant (Front 242 Remix) – Nitzer Ebb
Forgotten Tears – Hocico
Los Ninos Del Parque (long) – Plastic Noise
French Kiss – Lil Louis
Dancing Box (Sleeparchive rmx) – Modeselektor
Hey Boy Hey Girl (Tim Davison mix) – Chemical Brothers
Hey Boy, Hey Girl (Calvertron Remix) – Chemical Brothers
Insomnia (Monster Mix) – Faithless
Hit Me Hard (Club Mix) – Noisuf-X
Noise Anthem – Soman
Chinese Food – FabrikC
Seek & Destroy (Bassnectar Remix) – Metallica *
Call The Ships To Port – Covenant
Warmongers (EP Version) – Frozen Plasma
Robots (Aesthetic Perfection Remix) – Modulate
Dancers (Officially Approved Clubmix) – Faderhead (feat. Shawn Mierez & Shaolyn) *
Sofi Needs A Ladder (Original Mix) – Deadmau5
This Is My Rifle – Combichrist
Crush On A Robot – Scandy
$$ Troopers – Houratron *
Epicenter – VNV Nation
Headhunter (Apoptygma Berzerk Mix) – Front 242
Changed The Way You Kiss Me (-jl’s-No Rap Extended Cut) – Example
Until The End Of The World – Apoptygma Berzerk
Strassen – Ascii disco
Dead Stars (Club Version) – Covenant
Where There Is Light (Rotersand Rework) – VNV Nation
The Age Of Love (Jam & Spoon Remix) – The Age Of Love
Sick – Westbam feat. Brian Molko
Krieger – Die Fantastischen Vier
* indicates the tracks that got the best reception during my sets (I wasn’t paying attention to the crowd during Krischan’s set so I can’t really make a judgement)
Hope you guys had as much fun as Krischan and I had!
Posted in Releases on April 21st, 2013 by Faderhead
Yesterday (April 20, 2013) I came across a FB post by Daniel/Aesthetic Perfection who wrote
“Someone just asked if the new album had any dubstep influences on it. The answer? Absolutely. But not in any way you will ever recognize… ever.”
Of course this led to a large number of “fans” bitching and insulting Daniel – including completely baseless/retarded stuff like “I love how you have never had anything good to say about your fans…ever”.
Being who I am (and having no real plans for the weekend), I decided to make a dubstep album in a weekend and call it “Empires Of The Northern Lights v2.42″ (as a tribute to the 3 greatest dubstep bands of all time) … and then give it away for free.
And that’s what I did. I asked fans on FB for songtitle suggestions and at some point quotes from famous futurepop songs to help me with lyrics for “Up Yours, Solitude!”. It’s now Sunday, April 21, 2013 and with a little help from a lot of people I managed to write, record, produce, roughmix and ghetto-master 8 songs from total scratch. Except the title to “BroBM” none of the songs existed before.
While the title of this post is paying tribute to the classic debut album of rap-group Onyx (which featured the monster hit “Slam”), this post is really about what happened this past weekend in Oberhausen/Germany – and what I learned from it.
When we started to set up our gear for the show last Friday in Oberhausen, Daniel took my laptop out of my backpack and noticed that the screen was cracked. After trying to boot up, nothing but a folder with a question mark appeared and the screen looked like someone had painted black fractals onto the grey Apple startscreen.
Not good, but no reason to worry, cause we always have a backup laptop in the form of Daniel’s MacBook, which is identical to mine. Unfortunately Daniel’s laptop had been acting up a lot recently and he (correctly) decided to reinstall the whole system to make sure it won’t give him problems during the show. His rationale on Thursday was “I’ll set it up and then copy all the files from Sami’s laptop before the show so we’ll be good to go!”. Unfortunately my laptop was dead and I didn’t have any files because I left my backup harddrive at home. I even considered bringing it but then thought “Ah, no need, Daniel will have his backup laptop with him!”.
Why is this a problem? Well, a Faderhead show (like any other electronic act) is 80% pre-recorded playback that is synced with pre-edited videos. These playback files include the basic song without vocals and then The Lord, Daniel, Joe, Jörg or whoever is playing add loops, filters, lead synths, drumsamples and whatever they like. And of course I sing over it. Here’s a short example:
If we don’t have those pre-recorded playback files, we can’t play at all (unless I sit at the front of the stage with an acoustic guitar and play an “unplugged” set). That’s why it can be a major problem (like it was for Front 242 at WGT 2011) and that’s why I even have all the pre-recorded playback files on my iPhone, just in case all of the main systems fail.
Does it suck to “play” from an iPhone? Yes.
Does it sound “emptier”. Hell yes!
Is it better to play on after a short 30 second break than to have to quit and go home? You bet!!!
Luckily this last resort has never been needed for us – probably because we always had enough backup systems on stage.
So what did we do? I regularly upload new sound files and videos to my server for Daniel, Marco and Jörg to download, so everything from 2012 was up on my server and I could just download it right there on stage to Daniel’s laptop. I didn’t have the new FH4 tracks up there, but I knew the Lord had them. So I just called him in London and he was kind enough to extract the audio from the synced video files, upload the mp3s to Dropbox and we were able to use them after about an hour. Since upping and downing a few gigs of video was too timeconsuming we decided to just put up the Faderhead logo – which none of us had anywhere! So we just improvised and used the header of my old website design which featured the logo – and it even looked good!
The show went without a hitch and we had a very enthusiastic crowd and a lot of fun! Thanks to everyone who came to party with us!
The next day I was supposed to DJ in Duisburg but had no clue how to do that without my harddrive with my library of songs (I am not much of a CD DJ!). So I went to Jörg’s place and Jörg and his tech-savy neighbor Jannis tried reviving my harddisc. No luck, it was dead. They did, however, manage to connect an old harddrive that was lying around and started watching obscure movies (which were made MUCH BETTER – and more obscure – by the crack in the screen).
In the meantime I spent 6h downloading my DJ software Traktor from Native Instruments’ support site and installing it on Jörg’s laptop. At first I had thought I’d just DJ with Jörg’s laptop and use Serato along with his large library of tracks but then he told me that he copied half of my Traktor library at Mera Luna when it was unclear which laptop would be used on what stage at what time! Hallelujah!
The evening ended completely fine (except for some minor trouble with the electric plugs on the laptop) and I don’t think anyone noticed that I had a lot less music to choose from.
So what is the lesson from this – other than that I’ll buy a new laptop with an SSD this week?
If you perform/lecture/present and need your laptop:
1) Back your shit up! Put it on one regular backup drive that stays at home away from your computer.
2) Back your shit up! Put it on a second (smaller) drive that you take along to every show. If possible make it a bootable drive (with software like Carbon Copy Cloner)! If I had brought my backup drive with me, we could have just booted from it and used it instead of the broken harddisc!
3) Buy a larger USB stick and put everything on there that you could possibly need: your performance files, your logo, your rider, your contracts, your contacts, anything that’s related to performing, especially installation files of your software and working drivers. Bring it along every time!
4) Have a second laptop on stage that is up and running and actually connected to the DI boxes in case the first one fails
5) If you are in an electronic band: put all your playback files on your smartphone or on an mp3 player as another backup. Make sure you have TWO stereo-minijack-to-1/4″ cables with you. Why two? Because the one time you’ll actually need your mp3 player, you won’t be able to use it cause your only cable is broken and nobody ever has one around!
6) If you DJ, put your favorite 100 tracks on your smartphone and get a DJing app. Buy minijack-to-RCA cables and bring them!
7) If you DJ, bring 4-5 CDs with your favorite tracks burned on them. That will get you a cool 70-80 songs that you can play from CD if all else fails.
8) Upload all the stuff that you have on your USB stick to a server. Dropbox, your webserver, whatever. This saved our ass bigtime and it’s cheap and fast.
DO ALL OF THIS! EVERY TIME!
Seems excessive? You’ll thank me when you have two days like my last weekend – and trust me, it happens more often than not. Usually the audience is just not aware of it.
Everyone is on the hunt for “Likes” on Facebook or whatever other social media website is currently en vogue. I’m talking about liking a band page/profile – not about liking or sharing a single post.
The idea is that many “Likes” give an indication of status and success because the larger fanbase will go to gigs/buy shirts/purchase CDs or MP3s. On the surface that makes sense because one would think that a band that has many fans is “more popular” than a band with less followers. This in turn would lead to more people at the concerts and more CDs/MP3s sold. This logic is very flawed.
This weekend I had two interesting conversations which confirmed something that’s been noticeable for quite a while. We were shooting the music video for my new single “Dancers” and I was talking to my friend and Motorjesus-vocalist Chris who was on set. I regularly nag him because Motorjesus are forever slacking with their online activities but I couldn’t help but notice the fact that they have less than 1/3rd of my Facebook following – yet they sell 10 times (!) the amount of CDs that Faderhead sells. I’m not saying they couldn’t be selling more if they had a better online presence, I’m just saying that the number of Facebook “Likes” means absolutely nothing.
One could now argue “Yes, but Motorjesus is rock/metal which generally appeals to a larger fanbase!” but that larger fanbase surely has internet, doesn’t it? Talking to a different band from the dark electro/ebm/industrial genre (that shall remain nameless now) it turns out that despite having twice the amount of “Likes” on Facebook that I have, they sell a lot less CDs/MP3s.
Assuming that all “Likes” are real and not bought, you just can’t make any predictions or “educated guesses” about a band’s fanbase or sales based on their social media following. A lot of people “like” something just so the name of the band shows up in their profile. Not because they love the band, but because they use the band as a social identifier (“Hey, check it out I’m into Burzum cause I’m a badass 17yo blackmetal motherfucker! Praise hail satan!”).
Bands have been complaining lately that most of their posts don’t show up in people’s newsstream – and those are probably the 75% of that band’s “fans” that just clicked “like” for whatever reason and don’t really care, don’t go to concerts and don’t buy CDs/MP3s/merch. A good anti-example is ye olde Matt Fanale of Caustic who has less than 7000 likes but a very high percentage of fans who will go to bat for Caustic. His “almost win” in the Underworld-movie-soundtrack competition speaks for that.
That’s why the one thing that actually does help a band is when posts get SHARED by fans. Liking a post is nice but sharing something and saying “This is great, check it out!” has a lot more weight behind it – because it functions as a recommendation for friends/acquaintances.
Next time a band tells you how many fans they have on Facebook ask them how many fans actually show up at their gigs.
I have uploaded ALL songs from ALL Faderhead CDs to YouTube and sorted them into playlists. People upload them anyway and the audioquality is crappy or the videos show strange goth-girls in the cemetary, so I thought I’d make it easier for everyone. So if you go to the Faderhead YouTube Channel now, you’ll see the featured video (currently an audio-only version of “Dancers” from the new album “FH4″) and playlists for every CD as well as a playlist of all official videos and all behind-the-scenes videos.