Good vibes, that’s everything in the electronic music making. Putting all the synths, generators, vocals in a line and then mingle them to create soundscapes. That is exactly what Menion do; with composition of glitch, post-electro sounds that make you listen to them more and more. Some times they seem familiar, sometimes they are surprising, but in any time they make you move.
Hi Menion! Let’s start this interview with some music. What should we listen to while we learn more about you?
Let’s hit the play button…
Who are Menion and what brought you together?
Menion started as solo project by Stefano Ferrari; first production was more intimate and ambient oriented but in time the sound has changed to become stronger, darker and distorted… for this reason started the necessity to share and explore the sound with other musicians and after different attempts came Niodel, Luca (bass, live electronics) and Mattia (drums, drum machine).
How did the collaboration with Niodel begin and how is it to have a band inside the band?
Stefano was searching for a drummer and spread out different advertisements in some point in Berlin. After some weeks Stefano received an email from Mattia not for a direct collaboration with Menion project but just to make some music together. After a period of experimentation they decide to converge their energy in Menion Project. Of course the experience of Mattia and Paolo in the duo band Niodel helped us to involve a particular process to make and generate a sound, useful for the production phase but also for live performances. This magical meeting permitted us to open new ‘doors’ for our sound.
Do you feel that electronic music has an aspect of intensive investigation and research before the actual composition part? What is your way of creating music?
Currently in this production there is a big part of electronic, but it “sounds” more “electric” than “electronic”, due to a better blend of guitar and the drums’ sound with the rest of instruments. Normally the band’s song writer is Stefano. He brings the elementary but clear ideas to develop the songs; for us it is important to start with a clear idea about the emotional feeling that we want to give and to find the best way to produce the song.
How do you feel with technology? Do you try new equipment and new machines for your sound? Tell us what is your latest toy?
We work a lot with new technology, we use and try new machines and also new techniques to go deeper in the stuff that we use. At the moment we are trying some new guitar pedals to create a global sound that can work better with the Elektron Analog 4 and Moog Sub 37 bass line, but we make also experiments to process rhythm part (from acoustic drum and drum machine) with the Elektron Octatrack.
Who are the artists that you appreciate and perceive as pioneers in your music fields?
Of course we received a big influence from Nine Inch Nails, but lately we had a big impression from Chelsea Wolfe or from the band Nerv. We listen also to a lot of music of 70s and the early 80s, bands like Polyrock, Bush Tetras, Units and of course Talking Heads.
Your latest EP ‘Behind A Shadow’ (Agoge Records) was full of dark atmospheres. What was your vision behind it and are you going to have some more? 6 tracks are not enough.
The songs that Stefano wrote were autobiographical talking about a very dark and, at the same time, beautiful moment of his life; we brought this energy to work on ‘Behind A Shadow’. Our music is like a light that reflects itself on a dark surface: This is our concept of dark, we talk about the mystery of our existence. We had enough material to compose also an album, but we decide to take first a little step for a better understanding of our intention and aesthetic.
How is hate sublimated?
Hate becomes a deeper and a more clear understanding of people and also a way to suspend the judgment… So you can use this new elevated energy to clarify your personality and your goals.
Why did you choose Agoge Records as your new label?
Stefano met Gianmarco Bellumori of Agoge Records in Berlin through a common friend, he told us that he wanted to extend the sound of his label and he was searching a crossover in between rock and electronic music: Menion was a good condition in relation to this idea so as to bring this influence to the label and in Germany.
Why did it take you 3 years to bring some new stuff to your fans? What was going on during that time?
It happened the life itself… and a lot of influence from the cultural scene of Berlin. In particular from the post-punk area and the experimental techno music…Sometimes is necessary to take time to put out a genuine message and to propose our own best.
In ‘Behind A Shadow’ I feel that you left behind the chilling times of the Menion album and the high frequencies. Do you feel like growing up?
Yes, we started to discover and understand an aspect of our restless personality… all these aspects have influenced our new production: we are still using a “glitch sound” on high frequency but in a more noisy way, you can notice it, for example, in ‘Obsession’ and ‘19.01’ songs.
I believe that the band has two hometowns, Nuoro and Berlin. What did the past and the future of these two so different cities bring to your music and where do you feel more in your skin?
Good question… It is like to live in two different dimensions, ying and yang. Berlin is a fickle city, a crossover of people and cultures, all seems to change so quickly. Nuoro is the opposite, a little town with a familiar feeling, you can have a deep contact with nature… is like to hear another sound…Both aspects are in the moment very important for us.
Where was the video of ‘The Red Book’ filmed? I feel like it is talking about abandonment and no-existence. Was that the point of the ruined scenery and the man with no face?
‘The Red Book‘ was shot in abandoned place in and around Berlin. We’ve shot at some few old fabrics and also at the abandoned Psychiatric Hospital in Beelitz – Heilstätten. The man without face is living his past for the last time, the last look backwards… But is also the start of a brand new journey. The whole story is inspired by “The Red Book” of C. G. Jung.
Maurizio Corda, the director of the video, is not afraid of mentioning the abjection (degrado) of now-a-days in his work. Do you feel that music should be relevant with the circumstances of the everyday’s life?
Absolutely! Of course there are a lot of ways to describe the life, but we find the inspiration by observing in what really happens on the every day’s little things, sometimes they seem so close, automatic, sometimes seem so fleeing and you can’t understand how they are influencing your life.
What are your touring plans?
We are planning a tour in Germany and Italy with a new live show and we’ve already started to compose the new songs that will be included in our new album. Other good news are coming soon, so stay tuned!!!We would like to thank the whole team of Last Day Deaf for the support!
Photo credits: Daniele Bornino