KKM: To start can you tell me something about you and talk about your artistic development? Since when do you actually like music?
MATHIAS: I was born just outside of East-Berlin and used to play keyboards with Minerve. The band was well known in the alternative pop scene and reached chart positions throughout Europe. We were also nominated by the German Rock&Pop Awards as Best Elektro Pop Band. With Minerve I toured through Russia and all of Eastern/Western Europe and yeah, it was a wonderful rollercoaster ride to be a member of this band for 10 years.
RICKARD: My father was a musician, so I joined him on shows and in the studio when I was just a kid. I released my first records at 7 and it was around that time that I started playing the piano as well. Growing up I listened to a lot of disco and synthpop music but I didn’t really get into the scene until I was about 15 when I started an EBM-band with a friend. After than I continued with bands like Statemachine and LOWE, which both have earned a bit of recognition around the world.
HILTON: Born in South Africa and raised in Germany, I was influenced by the 60’s and 70’s music which my father made me listen to. Nevertheless founded a progressive metal band named Dark Millennium which lead to my passion: developing sounds and musical atmospheres for later upcoming bands like Akanoid and several other projects, which nowadays days are being produced in our Wide Noise Studio outside Düsseldorf.
KKM: Is there such a thing as a fundamental idea, which hides itself behind SEADRAKE?
MATHIAS: Seadrake for me is like a blank sheet of paper which allows to us to experiment with different sounds, songs and musical directions and not to care about what the outside world think of. This freedom was one of my personal reasons to leave my previous band Minerve and to found Seadrake.
RICKARD: Mathias and Hilton had already started recording ”Isola” with producer Olaf Wollschläger when I joined them in the studio, so I just followed their lead. As Mathias says, Seadrake can be a bit of blank sheet. At least the songs are. I guess at the end it will always sound like Seadrake no matter what kind of direction we take or which sounds and instruments we use.
HILTON: It’s about the art of three plants growing and interacting while they rise in a permanent fluently and dynamic movement. We have a strong passion for art.
KKM: How, where, and when did it come to the founding of SEADRAKE ?
MATHIAS: In 2012, after ten hard working years in Minerve I decided to leave the band. I was burned out and just wanted to leave the circus called ”music business” behind me. Some months later I came up with the idea to start a new project with several different singers but this changed when Hilton and later Rickard joined as full time members. This was more or less the birth of Seadrake.
RICKARD: My band Lowe was on ice and I was really thrilled when Mathias phoned me about joining this new band together with him and Hilton. I had heard a few demos and I really liked it so I took a flight to Berlin to meet them both. When I came back home I was the third member of Seadrake.
HILTON: For me as well I guess, Akanoid is taking a break and I felt it was time to finally focus on Seadrake.
KKM: Why did you decide to name yourselve SEADRAKE? Does it put you behind for a deeper meaning?
HILTON: Seadrake is a symbol. It’s about the dialectic of fire and water, standing for our different characters joining but it also represents the musical and cultural influences and background, that each member carries into this band.
KKM: How was your last album received by your fans? Which were the (scene – sector) press’ reactions?
MATHIAS: “Isola” is our debut album and until now the feedback has been very, very positive. I think the people like the aspect that this album isn’t a typical synthpop album and that you can hear also Rock, Funk, Wave and Techno elements in our music.
RICKARD: Luckily enough, I’ve only heard fans and press say good things about ”Isola”. Otherwise I try to stay clear of reading reviews and comments. Sometimes I can have a bit of a temper, and I just get upset when I read or hear something I don’t like, hahaha.
KKM: Did anyone support you, or did you do all by yourselves?
MATHIAS: I think the driving force behind Seadrake is our wish to be a bit “different” than other bands. We don’t care so much about expectations and that’s why we also decided to release our music on Megahype, Rickard’s band LOWE’s label. On one hand you need more time to care a lot about the business of things but on the other hand you have full control over the music and you can decide what do you want to release and when. This freedom allows you also to experiment and to develop your own musical style and I think this will keep the interest going. Not just for us but also for our fans.
RICKARD: I’m proud to say that I’m a self made man. With Statemachine we were signed to a big label and publisher, and I found that we still did most of the things ourselves. When you’re part of your own label you have so much more space and freedom. Of course we are joined by our beloved friends/fans who help us reach out online and locally in different cities and countries.
KKM: Do you need any particular inner mood or a special atmosphere when you compose new songs? Are there any particular places where you can better concentrate when you write new songs and lyrics?
MATHIAS: I never learned to play an instrument and I can’t read any musical notes. That means: working on new ideas or demos is a ”trial and error” thing for me and that’s why it can be that I need more time for new songs than Hilton or Rickard *hahaha*
RICKARD: For me playing and composing is a bit of therapy. When I sometimes can’t describe a mood or a feeling that I’m in I sit down in front of my piano and start playing. That helps me a lot and I also get some music out of it as well.
KKM: What are the themes of your lyrics and in which way they influence you? Do you believe that lyrics are more important than music, don’t you?
HILTON: I personally prefer lyrics to be authentic and though not always autobiographical at least to be about feelings, experiences and strongly personal developments what connects the lyrics intention to the musical soul and spirit of the band.
KKM: Which news should we know about the story of the band?
MATHIAS: Our long awaited debut album ”Isola” was released April 27 *hahahaha*
RICKARD: We will also do our very first festival show with Seadrake at Castle Party in Poland July 15. That’s gonna be great!
KKM: How important is in your opinion the image and personal appearance of a band in the current music scene?
RICKARD: An artist friend of mine once said, ”Clothes are more important than music”. I don’t agree 100%, but he’s got a point. Without a good image or fashion style you’re nothing as an artist. Luckily enough all three of us have great taste in clothes and appearance so we don’t need to worry about that. It just took years of practice, hahaha.
KKM: What is your favourite audience? Is there a special one, you would like address your music to? Is there “the” difference between the German audience and the audience abroad?
MATHIAS: I don’t think in categories like “favorite” and “other” audiences. My intention is to reach as many people as possible with our music and I’m thankful for every one who comes to our concerts and wants to listen to us. It’s an honour when people give you the chance to play for them, and when you reach their hearts during concerts it doesn’t matter where you play – in Germany, Russia or wherever – the reaction is always the same: happy dancing people.
RICKARD: It’s been a while since I played in Germany. We toured there a couple of times with Statemachine, but with LOWE I’ve mostly played in Eastern Europe and North America. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how the Seadrake audience will be. For me it doesn’t matter if it’s three people in front of the stage or 3,000 as long as you connect somehow.
HILTON: All audiences react differently cause of the consistency of individuals. Nowadays musical styles have taken the abstractest or sometimes calculable structures. So many different people gave us positive feedback out of very different angles. That’s great, and we hope we reach whoever get’s something out of our songs.
KKM: What can you tell us about your upcoming Live performances?
HILTON: We’re working on the technical concept for the upcoming shows and currently develop live versions, that are still under construction. It’s gonna be a sort of homecoming regarding the live feeling. ;)
KKM: How do you imagine SEADRAKE? What is it with you on the stage that’s special?
RICKARD: The Seadrake live show is still in the making, but I think with our skills and background we have a couple of aces up our sleeves. I will switch a bit between bass guitar and synthesizers and I hope I will be able to bring with me some cool gear, like my electronic Tubon from the 60’s on stage. It’s a monophonic bass synth (or rather organ) which you wear on a strap… the world’s first keytar, haha. It sounds great if you put it through some effects. Looks amazing as well.
HILTON: Experienced ingredients that perform with fresh tunes and quite some energy. I am looking forward to it!
KKM: How important is the (musical) success for you?
MATHIAS: Honestly, I don’t care about musical success. In the first place, making music and being creative are the way to express myself and not to get applause or earn a lot of money with the results.
RICKARD: Musical success can be different things, at least for me. Of course it’s nice when you get your royalties, but my aim has always been about reaching certain goals. And when I’ve reached a certain goal, I usually have my eyes set on something new.
HILTON: Potentially leaving traces in musical history always makes you feel good, no matter if you get rich while doing so or creating a path that lasts.
KKM: How satisfied are you with the results achieved so far and what would you change if you could turn back time?
RICKARD: I say as Don Henley: ”Don’t look back, you can never look back”. It’s no point really… all the things you’ve done until now, both good and bad, have led you to that point. But I don’t know if I will ever be satisfied… I can’t get no satisfaction, hahaha.
HILTON: He just nailed it :D
KKM: How could you describe your music to those people who haven’t listened to it yet?
RICKARD: That’s hard to say as an artist. I prefer not to put labels on things as I think it’s always up to the listener. Not all of those that listen to Seadrake are into synthpop, although we play in the genre. If I’m forced to say something I would say that it’s modern synthpop with rock influences.
HILTON: Atmospheric alternative pop
KKM: What do you want to in the near future (musically) with SEADRAKE to achieve?
RICKARD: We’ve already gone up some charts with our music, so now it’s time to prove ourselves live. I’d like Seadrake to go on the road and show our listeners what a great live act we can be. In the studio I would like to try out some different ideas regarding production and composition that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but that’s something for the next album. First of all, live!
KKM: Thank you very much for this interview, all the best for the future and of course I´ll let you know, when I want to come to see you play ;-)!
RICKARD: Thank you as well and thanks for listening to Seadrake!
written by Claudia Tomaszewski
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