The Internet taking its toll once again, an electronic conversation ensues with German goth-industrial artists Testify to provide the following answers to some of my questions. Testify's most recent release is "Crack the Mind" and is reviewed by Dan Century following this interview. Myk and Bull from the band return my volley of questions, trading taunts and insults as they go!
Who is the current line-up of Testify and what are the members' responsibilities?
Testify consists of a studio - and a live-crew, but both are increasingly
growing together. All in all there are:
Mathias whose function is captain of the sound/ the engineering/ the basic station-holder
Moses (guitars/ sampling/ arranging/ back-voices)
Sven (drums & begrudger of Kullf's blood-swollen prick)
Bull (bassguitar & good mood& anarchic performance)
Kullf (guitars fat & girlies thin - and Raps)
Myk (vox - and sampling and arranging and the creator of the big vision and of all the lyrics and the whole conception; moreover chieftain and powerful and attractive figure on stage and...
Bull: You should stop now, Myk. It might become quite obvious that it is you giving the answers - and this kind of self-praise will seem to me embarrassing. We have already such a lousy image, especially you...next question!
What equipment do you use to create your sounds and music?
Bull: I use a very uncommon mixture of self-compiled amp-machinery -
Moses uses the usual Marshall-equipment, while Kullf makes all greedy with his
numerous Mesa-Boogies and his countless expensive guitars and his...
Myk: His blood-swollen prick
Bull: I fear that's right. In studio the main-factor - and the only machine that Myk understands a little bit - is the old S1000 Akai which takes over all the played guitar and bass-lines and drums and noises and whatsoever...
Do you consider yourself more of a studio or live outfit? If the latter, what tour or play date information do you have available for those who might be interested?
Bull: The studio-job mostly has been done by Mathias, Myk and Moses - and Kullf recently - and Sven and me we are waiting to be invited... So for me Testify consists mostly of the live-jobs
Myk: Which urgently need to get more. We had some live-activities some weeks back; but that was not enough for this capable live-crew. Hope in autumn there will be more shows - but only in Germany I fear
Have you done any work with video?
Bull: The video for A.N.G.E.R. from the first album is still the only real/ professional and good video-production.
What messages do you incorporate in the music you create?
Bull: Ah, Myk! Again the messages-question! Now you go again with the
boiling-rage-and-hate-theme, the scream against this bitter and unjust
Myk: A, no. Only because I'm tired of it. And as you see, dear Legends, I even do not find the back-up within the band for my earnest theme of social wrath and so on. We will construct a new big Testify-message. But that needs time, to build up a new one. In 2002 we will have found it, I guess.
What experiences have been most influential in the development of your music?
Myk: The big dissatisfaction with everything.
Bull: Especially with what you 've done so far - you studio-crew, right?
Myk: That might be some aspect to go on and make the next album - to make it better than on the previous release....
Electric guitar is Testify's obvious "main weapon" so to speak when writing and recording. Do you have any plans to begin using more of an electronic sound or do you intend on keeping to the current style with future recordings?
Myk: For the more electronic sides of Industrial underground we have
established other projects - Testify will remain on the guitar-driven front.
Bull: Probably only because they are kind of stubborn, the Testifylers
Is the latest CD release, "Crack the Mind," an example of your heaviest industrial metal or are previous releases just as strong?
Myk: The predecessor-album MMMYAOOOO is as strong as our latest one - the two old ones seem to be weaker, in the retrospective view...
Bull: For me - though I was not involved in the making of it - MMMYAOOOO is the strongest Testify-work.
Myk: OK - MMMYAOOOO was a full-length-album, whereas Crack The Mind is more sort of a EP with four remixes.... Full-length-thinx are always stronger, or ought to be.
"Crack the Mind" has remixes by such well-known names as Die Warzau and Die Krupps. How did this come about?
Myk: Our label Van Richter has done most of the connection between remixers and band. Die Krupps we know from our past, where we have met them on several occasions.
On "I Am the Gas to Burn," admittedly one of my favorite tracks on "Crack the Mind," you start off with samples from the Wizard of Oz. It struck me completely off-guardhow did that come about? Is there a sordid munchkin fascination hidden somewhere in Testify? ;)
Myk: We have no ideology concerning the collection of our samples. We sample everything. Randomly we press them into the musical construct. We don't care. The Wizard Of Oz-samples were in the S1000 when we started writing I Am The Gas To Burn - I fear that's all.
Have plans been laid concerning the next release? Any dates or information you can offer on new things happening for Testify?
Myk: No plans. We have enough material to release a full-length-work each year. But never it comes to this wonderful vision: to release a real album evry year. Don't know why. Probably the previous ones don't sell enough and nobody is urging us for a fast successor.
Since the late '80's, differentiation in "underground" music have resulted in distinctions such as "gothic," "industrial," "electronica," "darkwave" and others not as trend-setting. Where do you believe these distinctions in darker music are headed?
Bull: I think the Underground scene will be polarized in the near future: The more pop-orientated league with less guitars will get stronger. At least
here in Germany. On the other side there will be more noise pure - living a shadow-existence. And traditional Metal will live on, of course.
Myk: Not the best prospects for Testify.
The Internet has caused an amazing boom in indie labels and bands - long overdue in my opinion. With the World Wide Web and other media, bands are able to promote themselves when necessary. Has this effected you at all? Do you rely on electronic promotion or more so still on paper?
Bull: The internet has some possibilities that we with our projects ought to use better, in the future
Myk: I'm more for paper - and this past-bound characteristica is probably one of my fundamental faults
Bull: Of which you have countless more
How did you hook up with Van Richter in California considering your in Germany?
Myk: The activity came from van Richter's side. They were looking for bands they could licence from Europe; and they started to negotiate with Rough Trade, our former company
In an interview with Dachar some years ago, his question regarding the future of Testify was left partially unanswered, waiting on the reaction of America to your music. We're in the future nowhow has America, as a whole, reacted to the sounds of Testify and are you pleased or not with this reaction?
Myk: We are pleased about many of the media-interests we were confronted
with - for example this question that proves that we are making this interview
with some-one who has background knowledge about us. Something like that is always refreshing
Bull: All in all we are not satisfied with the Testify-development. We could do much more - more live-activities - more albums. But I will not complain. When I read some of the old interviews done by Myk and Rascal and Moses - they are always complaining
How would a fan contact Testify to arrange a purchase or otherwise get in touch with the band?
Bull: If you want to get in touch with the band - call Myk! He's lonely
and unhappy, betrayed and turned down by all his friends. No seriously contact our label Van Richter which does a great job selling and promoting us! Their website address http://vr.dv8.net Har.
Myk: Thank you, Bull, for helping me to get out of my solitude. And thanx to Legends for the whole interview!
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