This is the video for the first single from the current album “FH4″. Shawn “The Ultimate MC” Mierez is doing the vocals along with some help from Shaolyn and me.
Sorry for the lack of blood, darkness, cyberwarriors and zombies. I promise to put all of that into the next video :D
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.
If you want to listen to the tracks, hop over to: http://faderhead.bandcamp.com/album/empires-of-the-northern-lights-v242 and download it for free (or pay as much as you like). You can also just stream it if you only want to check it out. Try to listen on decent headphones or speakers. Laptop/computerspeakers really suck for bass-heavy music.
Is this an official Faderhead release? Yes. Otherwise I would have used a different name. Is it gonna be on CD? Most likely not. Is this the direction Faderhead is going? I doubt it.
Enjoy! And if you don’t enjoy it: please rant about it as much as possible :D
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.
So head over to
and check out music videos you haven’t seen yet or listen to songs you haven’t heard yet!
The new album "FH4" is coming out on March 1, 2013 and you can now preorder it from these dealers:
If you want the new album as soon as it is available, preorder now! In the meantime, here's a preview-mix:
The All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest this weekend was boring as hell. I don’t think they should allow the contestants to attempt dunks as often as they want. It takes out the excitement and I don’t really wanna see lots of people fail at dunks that look boring even if they are successful.
Anyway, because I was bored, I came up with a longdrink that I can drink when I don’t want my normal vodka on the rocks. It’s refreshing and has little alcohol in it, so it’s perfect for any occasion. I named it “Mr. Head” and here’s the recipe:
100ml SchwipSchwap (if you don’t have that drink in your country, mix 50ml of Coke with 50ml of Fanta)
100ml freshly squeezed orange juice (no concentrate!)
100ml Schweppes Bitter Lemon
2 slices of lime
Drink it with a straw … and let me know what you think :)
(If you don’t understand German, please read -JL-’s english explanation and translation of this blog post over at: http://straftanz.de/?p=2190)
-JL- von Straftanz und ich beobachten immer wieder gern die EBM/Industrial/Gothic-Szene und versuchen gute Dinge zu tun um die Welt zu verbessern (Faderhead war schon immer ein sozial orientiertes Musikprojekt). Da die Industrial Dance Szene in Deutschland sehr gerne in Vereinsmeierei verfällt, Cliquen/Gruppen/Clubs bildet und generell viel “diskutiert” dachten wir dass allen geholfen wäre wenn es eine DIN Norm für Industrial Dance gäbe die die ganze Angelegenheit standardisiert. Ordnung und Klarheit! Wir sind ja hier nicht bei den Hottentotten!
Wenig später kam ich auf die Idee einen Industrial Dance Führerschein anzubieten ohne den man in keinen Club mehr herein kommt – dies würde die visuelle Belästigung der Tanzelite durch Anfänger und Unwürdige verringern und Platz auf dem Tanzboden schaffen (was die Sicherheit deutlich erhöht). Dieser Industrial Dance Führerschein (oder kurz :I:D:F:) ist der Basislevel den man benötigt um als Industrial Dancer zu gelten und an Tanzveranstaltungen teilnehmen zu dürfen. Grundfähigkeiten zur Erlangung des :I:D:F: sind u.a. sicheres Erkennen von Harsh Electro Songs an den verwendeten Film-Samples sowie fehlerfreies zählen von 1 bis 4 (auf Deutsch, vorwärts wie rückwärts!).
Um klare Abstufungen von Fähigkeit und sozialem Status zu schaffen gibt es zusätzlich die folgenden Qualifikationen die man durch schriftliche und praktische Prüfungen erwerben kann:
Nach dem Bestehen einer solchen Prüfung erhält man ein Abzeichen welches innerhalb von 48 Stunden auf die Hotpants oder die Brustpartie eines Netzhemdes zu nähen ist damit für jedermann klar erkennbar wird welchen Industrial Dance Rang man erreicht hat. Das betreten des Club-Käfigs ist erst ab dem Silber-Level gestattet. Rennen am Tanzbodenrand ist nicht erlaubt.
Zur Einhaltung des Reglements soll bis 2018 Zug um Zug in TÜV-zertifizierten Clubs die Position des Tanzwarts eingeführt werden. Dieser sitzt am Rande des Tanzbodens auf einem erhöhten Stuhl (ähnlich dem eines Tennis-Schiedsrichters) und überwacht das ordnungsgemäße Tanzen nach Vorschrift! Der Tanzwart muss selbst Gold-Status im Industrial Dance erreicht haben und ist verpflichtet diesen Gold-Status alle 2 Jahre durch die Einsendung eines 3-minütigen Industrial Dance Videos (YouTube Link genügt) zu belegen.
Bewerbungen für die Grundprüfung zum :I:D:F:, für die höheren Grade und für die Tanzwart-Zulassungen nehmen TÜV-Tanzbodenprüfer in jedem Bundesland entgegen.
Bitte teilt diesen Beitrag bei Facebook/Twitter/etc. damit es möglichst schnell zu einer flächendeckenden Umsetzung und Einführung der DIN-Norm kommen kann.
TANZ ZWO DREI VIER!
So the new CD is on its way to the manufacturing plant and it’ll be out on March 1st, 2013 on CD and for download at iTunes/AmazonMP3/Bandcamp/etc.! The album will be titled “FH4″ and it looks a little something like this:
It includes the following tracks:
01. Bitches All Know About My Boom (03:40)
02. Self Control (04:10)
03. Take Your Fuckin’ Meds (04:38)
04. Every Day Is One Less (03:36)
05. Dancers (feat. Shawn Mierez & Shaolyn) (04:06)
06. Coffee, Sex & Cigarettes (02:53)
07. Free (03:43)
08. No Time To Sleep (03:49)
09. Pornstar Dead (03:06)
10. What Doesn’t Kill Us (03:42)
11. She’s Like Rain And Hate (04:32)
12. Death.Robot.Deconstruction (04:26)
13. Drunk German Bono (feat. Brian Graupner of The Gothsicles) (03:17)
which add up to a total playing time of 49:34 minutes.
So much for now. Please help me spread the word by liking and sharing this all over the web.
Next up: deciding on the first single. :)