We have introduced the Electronic / Synth / EBM projekt Bruderschaft in our special already, but naturally we wanted to know more about this all star formation – with members of VNV NATION, COVENANT, APOPTYGMA BERZERK and ICON OF COIL as well as ASSEMBLAGE 23 and those two releases (the EP “Forever” 10 years ago and the new full length CD “Return” – that is devoted to cancer charity Rexx Arkana, a DJ, artist, producer and promoter from New York (who had been working with lotsa big names in the scene, e.g. Skinny Puppy, Ministry) is the founder and mentor of Bruderschaft and tells us a bit more about it.
First congratulations to the successful second launch of Bruderschaft – how are the reactions on this new release ”Return” so far?
So far we are all very happy with how the album has been received, especially considering it´s been ten years since we released anything. We´ve gotten many great reviews and the sales have been enough to make us the #1 Seller in Electronic Dance on Amazon in North America.
What were the difficulties you had to solve to make ”Return” a reality (as you had mentioned that something did not ”go according to plan”)? Was it your plan to have another release after 10 years, or did it simply take so long to plan another release?
The song “Return” was done pretty quickly after “Forever”, but I didn´t want to do another release of just one song with twenty five remixes, so we decided to write an album´s worth of songs all featuring different vocalists. The geographic distribution of the contributors meant it took a while to get everthing together. It was quite a long effort, but it was worth it.
Back then, was it difficult to find partners for it, be it musicians or record company? Was it now easier the second time – as the first launch was a success – or harder, as expectations were higher on either side?
“Forever” wasn´t written as a song, just words for my father. Everyone who was involved in that release volunteered to participate or else it probably would have never happened. All of the artists we have worked with have been exceptional, both in their desire to be involved in the project and the end product of what they contributed. I have been fortunate to have their support and am fortunate to work with someone as talented as Dräcos on the music.
How did you choose the performers / the songs – did you have a particular outline (having a particular singer in mind right when the song was composed, for example), did the vocalists choose themselves, or did you ”take it as it comes” (first come, first served)?
Some of the songs – like “Trigger”, “Return” and “6AM” – we had specific singers in mind for and went out and got them. Other songs – like “Falling”, “Dead Tomorrow” and “Goodbye” – were more a situation of good fortune and happy coincidences.
How much time did you invest into this project so far? Was it difficult to handle it besides all your other duties, did you have to put something else on hold completely (work/private/social life) to meet the deadlines here?
One of the reasons it took so long was because we didn´t ever really have a hard deadline on finishing the album. We would work on it a bit, then become busy with FGFC820 or remixes or touring, and we would have to step away from it again. It was sometimes frustrating, but if things had not gone the way they did, we wouldn´t have a track like “Falling” on the album, and that is one of my personal favorites.
Did you get any personal feedback from people or organisations that received help from your first cancer charity EP ”Forever” 10 years ago? If yes, what happened?
We didn´t really get much feedback from the American Cancer Society, but that´s I think because they are such a huge organization and they regularly receive much larger donations than ours. They were grateful, but in the end it is more about the spirit of what we do than the recognition.
What is the criteria you use to pick the cancer charities that will receive the money – can you give examples?
We used ACS here in the States because they are the biggest, but we supported Alfa-Matrix´s desire to also choose a beneficiary in Europe.
As the reason for this Bruderschaft project is a very sad one (you lost your father to cancer), is it still painful to think about him?
Sure it is. I miss him and I regret that he never got to meet his youngest granddaughter. This album is a difficult one for me as well, since most of the songs are about lost loves of my life. Maybe the third Bruderschaft release will be one I can finally look at or listen to without so much sadness involved.
How did you come up with the name Bruderschaft – a German word expressing ”brotherhood” (literally) or ”community, unity” (in a wider sense)? Why not using similar expressions in your mother tongue?
I think I just preferred the sound of “Bruderschaft” in German to “brotherhood” in English. And I think the name suits the project well, because that´s really what it´s meant to be, a coming together of talented artists and singers from around the world.
What are your plans in the near future (with Bruderschaft, with your own music career)?
We would like to perform more live shows, as we´ve only ever played two and our vocalist (Daniel) lost his voice before our WGT show last year. Plus we have never performed in the United States. We´d like to come back to Europe as well, both with Bruderschaft and FGFC820. Hopefully next year we will have new 820 material, as well as maybe even the debut of my new project Armor, with Brendin Ross. Thank you very much for the opportunity and for your support.