IN. Let's start with the easy questions: how did Seabound come to be and why the name?
Martin and I met through joint friends. We are so different in lots of respects that we probably hadn't found each other if we hadn't been introduced by a third party. We decided to work on a couple of demo tracks just to see whether we could create something unique together. As it turned out, the clash of different worlds both personally and musically is a fruitful source for electronic music that is full of contradictions.
We didn't think about a name for our project straight away. SEABOUND was chosen after we recorded the first full demo CD which we sent to a handful of labels including Dependent. It partly reflects my love for the sea. Martin is actually born near the sea. SEABOUND also denotes ships leaving the safe harbour and we have adapted this meaning as a metaphor for life. Sail or drown, destination unknown, we are "seabound".
IN. No Sleep Demon seems like a very introspective and personal record, despite being dancefloor-worthy. Is this intentional?
Absolutely. I personally fall in love with music only if I feel that somebody has put his/her heart into it. Authenticity is the key to our understanding of the SEABOUND package that includes music and words both Martin and I care about. I have been asked whether I feel uncomfortable talking about very personal fears and desires and I can say: Absolutely not! I think that honest communication is nothing to be scared about. Yet we are not the type of people who indulge in self-pity. Actually, we are pretty straightforward people, with regular jobs and life goals. I guess, that's why the music has a lot of energy and only occasionally matches the sad tone that the lyrics often have, for example, in the track AVALOST.
IN. One of the most distinctive things about Seabound is the lyrics, which are surprisingly good. What motivates you to write what you do?
I am on open-minded person, maybe you could call me an emotional extravert. It's fascinating to think that I can communicate my thoughts, however weird they might be, to an audience that can choose whether they want to respond to it or not. It's an invitation to our listeners because one of the worst situations is the thought that something you feel, fear or crave for, is just a product of your own weird mind. Actually, there are people out there who will share and understand the most intimate corners of your soul. For example, I received very positive feedback with regard to our track TORN that deals with a suicide scenario. For me, writing is part emotional ventile, part artistic phantasy. Some lyrics are inspired by a dream sequence, a picture, a snippet from the news - it can be anything. Others reflect my very own feelings and experiences.
IN. What comes first: the music or the lyrics?
It varies. Martin is more involved in shaping the sound. He is very good at programming which sets SEABOUND apart from bands who go for the standard EBM/Future Pop sound. SEABOUND sounds both ice cold and warm, complicated and catchy. When I receive a demo from Martin, I listen to it, and see if it matches an idea that I have lyrically. Then we decide whether we both like the result enough to make it a SEABOUND track. On NO SLEEP DEMON I wrote about half of the songs and sometimes lyrics come first, sometimes just a sound, a sample or a musical idea and sometimes the two evolve together. Typically, Martin puts a final touch to all the songs though.
IN. What do you hope your listeners come away with when they hear Seabound?
We want to offer something slightly off the mainstream within the independent electro scene. Does that sound weird? I'll try and explain what I mean: I think that you don't have to put make-up on or dress as a vampire to talk about nocturnal phantasies and have a deep soul. Don't get me wrong: I love the gothic scene, but we are not willing to be a cliché. Instead, we'd like to offer electronic music with personal lyrics that has many layers; so that you can discover new facets even after you have heard a song a number of times. I think that's why people have told us that it takes a little while to get hooked to our music. But we think it's worth the time.
IN. Eskil Simonsson of Covenant produced "Travelling" from No Sleep Demon. What was it like working with him?
Eskil is a wonderful person, very professional to work with, hard to beat when it comes to chess or computer games, and a good friend. I love his persistence when he offers you an idea and realizes that you don't agree straight away. When he produced the TRAVELLING single, we argued about a small string part right at the end of the song when all other harmonies develop into a crazy drum frenzy. We didn't like these strings but Eskil insisted that without them, "this isn't music". Hear for yourself who had the final say, haha. But actually, it's obvious that Eskil has a great sense of music - he is a natural musician who is able to express emotions through his songs in a unique way.
IN. I hear you've done a cover of New Order's "Confusion". How did that come about?
We were offered to participate in this tribute project. I am a bit of an 80s lover so we said "O.K. - let's see what songs they offer". "Blue Monday" and "True Faith" were out of the question for us, because there was no way to add value to the original. But "Confusion" is a funny song that has great potential. Yet many people were disappointed when it came out after "Blue Monday". We tried to give it a modern touch and it has worked great especially on our live tour.
IN. How do you feel about the future pop genre and Seabound being classified that category?
We don't really mind as we understand the need to classify new music. If it's not a genre that people think they can fit you into, they compare you to another band. I mean, you have to say something, right? After you have heard SEABOUND, those genre categorizations become rather meaningless because then the music will convince you... or not. When NO SLEEP DEMON was released I felt that the term FUTURE POP wasn't so bad because it was associated with electronic music that didn't try to be EBM retro but tried to include melodies and sound fresh. It's no wonder that after 2 years and dozens of VNV Nation clones the term has become "something to avoid". But as I said, we don't really care.
IN. Tell us a little about your new record. What can fans expect to hear?
Both Martin and I spend every free moment to work on our new tracks. After NO SLEEP DEMON and the two live tours with STROMKERN and COVENANT where we presented a lot of our songs in different versions, we decided that before we were going to record new material, we needed to improve some of our equipment, especially for the vocal recordings. We finally found the right combination of microphone and pre-amp and have recorded a number of demos which are in different stages. The SEABOUND trademark, a blend of warm and cold sounds and multi-layered programming will stay but we experiment more with both vocals and arrangements. It's funny but the slow songs on NO SLEEP DEMON such as AVALOST were the last tracks we did back then. My favourite SEABOUND track from the present demos is also a slow tune and it remotely ties in these tracks. Maybe I should say that we continue the journey...
IN. What's the future look like for Seabound?
The main goal is to finish the new album for a release in the fall of 2003. We are going to play selected live gigs, for example the Infest (Bradford, UK) in August 2003 together with Cut.Rate.Box and VNV Nation where we want to present a bit of new material along with our favourite tracks from NO SLEEP DEMON. We are quite excited about the possibility of working with interesting remixers for the single release that will accompany the new album, so stay tuned for news on "www.seabound.de".