Technical music and its many ways

Interview by Adrian Bromley

German techno/noise/industrial/metal quintet Sielwolf have been hard at work since their formation in 1989, working hard to mix and shape multiple musical genres into their fast paced musical creations. Since the beginning, the band has seen two albums surface (here in North America; several in Europe), 1995's Metastasen and their latest Magnum Force. Sampler Petra Tausendpfund and vocalist/sampler Peter Prochir both answered a few questions.

Since the band acquired some great reviews from the 1995 Lp Metastasen, was there any kind of pressure to follow-up it up with a better record?

After the release of "metastasen" we used a different kind of sound on the album sielwolf IV (title of european release). it's an experimental rec. without peters voice. the album was produced by mick harris (scorn, painkiller, matera, napalm death). for us it is strange anyway, because in europe we released at first "magnum force", then "nachtstrom", then "IV". in usa at first "metastasen", "magnum force", "nachtstrom". we think that destroyed a little bit the development of sielwolf.

What sounds or styles do you look for to add into the SIELWOLF song or sound?

at the moment we prefer to use own samples sounds instead of parts of movie- sound(s). generally it sounds a little more "electronic", not so rocklike as before.

Do you feel that ambient/techno/noise bands are becoming more popular as we head into the year 2000?

in europe are techno/noise/ambient bands at the moment very popular. using computers for making music is very popular.. but...most of it is commercial and boring like average rock music. there are only some interested styles for us, for example drums'n bass ( in england).

What bands helped shape the sounds of SIELWOLF early on? Influences?

we think the very first influence was chrome and pendereckie. he is a classical composer ("threnos to the victims of hiroshima"). we have a huge collection of old records at home. too many influences to list them all...

Tell me about the band's live show - does the band tour lots? What sets the live show apart from the material we find on Magnum Force?

we play live with a drummer, bass/chapman stick player, guitar player, we use sampler and peters voice and excentric stage show. it sounds much more rough than on record. we like to work with light and performance happenings on stage.

Do you believe that most European bands have a really hard time becoming successful in the United States or North America? If so, how do you hope to beat that?

you never know what's going on in business. some bands become popular in usa very quick, others not. we haven't thought about it so much - we're not under pressure for becoming successful. up to now - we haven't earned any money...

How has the band changed since its start in 1989? As musicians and as people?

1989 we (peter and petra) started. we don't use vocals in the beginning. 1990 we experimented to play live with 3 more members, and with vocals. we used more guitars than today. at the moment we're more ambientlike, no vocals. 1989 i was student, since 5 years i'm psychologist in a (psychiatric) clinic and work with drug addicts. 1994 peter and me married in miami. peter has started to run his own (home) studio for his own productions and experiments. In the past we had nothing, only 1 sampler, no more additional equipment. the other 3 members play in different bands (all), they have jobs in rec. studios or work as music teachers/advisors (bass, drums).

How do you view the present day music industry? Likes and dislikes?

it's an advantage that now it's so much easier to produce /record music. But it's also getting harder, 'cause the market is full with new releases. more and more labels release every month more and more products, it's getting dificult to choose, the market lost his transparence.

How long did it take to record and get all the material ready for Magnum Force? Was there a lot of material written for this album? Do you ever do remixes of material?

it takes more than one year, because we had no equipment in this time. we had a lot of material for the "magnum" and sorted out the tracks we wanted. lassigue bendthaus remixed "beweglich- animalisch". album "V" is a remix from "IV", done by from mick harris (scorn, painkiller, napalm death). european release is in march / now !

Is there anything you would have liked to have done to this record now that it is finished? Any new sounds you wish you had added?

no we don't think so. we are satisfied with the records we made, except the song "nachtstrom" is always some kind of better live !

The music of SIELWOLF is responsible for making heads turn in the hard noise/ambient/industrial genre, as well as being played in dance clubs. Is that what you set out to do - to have the material not be seen as a certain type of music and to be played anywhere?

we don't like to be limited in/from one genre. we like experiments, and want be open minded for other directions !! peter, petra - sielwolf, march '97