Metal. If this term has a definitive meaning these days, it escapes me, and to describe Testify as just "metal" would be grossly inadequate. Comprising of Myk Jung (voice, programming), Moses W. (guitars, programming), and Mathias Black (mixing, programming), this former side project of the dless band The Fair Sex is one of the best bands out of Europe today, regardless of the genre of music people pigeonhole them into. Hailing from Essen, Germany, their aggressive guitar-driven sound has made them Europe's answer to Ministry. Ministry that is, seven years ago, back when they used to consume narcotics instead of geritol, and their music had some sac. Testify's latest release, MMMYAOOOO, is their second LP, and has some of the sickest guitar work I've heard in a long time. With Adam Grossman of Skrew co-producing the album, the production on MMMYAOOOO is almost (dare I say?) groundbreaking. Recently, I was able to ask Myk Jung a few questions via e-mail. Here's what the big Myk had to say:
DMZ: MMMYAOOOO is an extreme deviation from anything you guys did with The Fair Sex. What turned you to create such a brutal, metal sound and does this latest Testify release mark the end of The Fair Sex?
Myk: You see, in the beginnings of The Fair Sex, they sounded noisy and brutal as well, though not really metal-like; some of the old stuff will be released on the Van Richter label in the nearer future, and then it might be proved. Later, in the middle-ages, TFS became a little bit fluffy and softhearted, as the anger of youth left us. But now, reaching our old age, we can't stop thinking of glorious days gone by, which is the habit of those who have grown stone-old. And we remembered the brutal sound we used to create, and fop! - we even wanted to surpass the brutalness of former days, founded Testify and recorded MMMYAOOOO. If Testify means the end of TFS, we still don't know it.
DMZ: MMMYAOOOO is named after a book by Terry Pratchett. Does fantasy and science fiction themes play a large role in Testify's lyrics?
Myk: Yeah I think my being fond of fantasy stuff somehow floats into Testify lyrics, can't help it,- though this time it was Moses, guitar-chief, who found the exclamation MMMYAOOOO in one of Terry Pratchett's books.
DMZ: The first thing I noticed about your latest release were the SKREW-like qualities in the production. Did Adam Grossman have a large influence in producing MMMYAOOOO?
Myk: Adam Grossman's influence was indeed not too small, especially in questions of sound, that's true. Another reason for the improved sound quality is that we spent much more time in the studio for this second album, compared to its predecessor.
DMZ: Are you eager to tour the U.S., and are there any upcoming plans to do so?
Myk: We're still working on plans, because we are eager to play in the U.S., but as it seems it's not easy for a quite unknown German band to find interest-partners in that matter.
DMZ: Do you think Testify represents the future of metal (i.e. the addition of samples, etc.)?
Myk: Indeed some bands seem to have discovered the sample aesthetic to be interesting enough to be added to their sound; I really prefer this new style to old fashioned metal-features; and I'd welcome a further development into that direction, with Testify as guiding light, har.
DMZ: You've said before that bands such as AC/DC, Judas Priest, Skinny Puppy, Ultravox, and Kraftwerk have influenced your music. Do you have any influences outside of the metal/sythesizer genres?
Myk: Yes, of course. Listening to Madonna ballads, for instance, gave us the inspiration for doing a ballad of our own, the result of which is the famous "Quest Of Nothing" ballad (quite close to "You'll See")!
DMZ: You guys seem pretty open when it comes to collaborating with other artists. Do you plan on working with anyone else in upcoming projects?
Myk: We heard that Paul from Van Richter is talking to Joseph of Drown, one of my personal favorite bands, in order to get a remixing-project going, as well as there seem to be talks to Cevin Key, member of Skinny Puppy, all-time-favorite of mine; and I would really appreciate plans like these becoming reality!!
DMZ: What do think of the German music scene and do you think Europe in general is putting out better music than it has in the past?
Myk: You obviously think that the European scene has not been putting out real good music in the past? I'm not sure I can relate to that, thinking of groups as Sielwolf, (Einsturzende) Neubauten, Nice Gods Bleed, Sisters of Mercy, Die Krupps, Oomph! and so on and most of all - Testify.
DMZ: Do you see Testify's brand of music ever gaining a great deal of social acceptance and is that even important to you?
Myk: I would like to read headlines as, for example: "Industrial Music is sweeping the world!" with Germany's Testify, amazingly enough, as most successful peak of the spear! This may sound a tiny bit of unrealistic, I'm free to admit.
DMZ: What is your greatest fear as a musician?
Myk: I fear people refusing to buy CD's etc; the high European CD prices and the recent economical break-down of Europe make them consider these thinx kinda too expensive luxury-toys. It seems ages ago that I myself was
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