From The Archive: Glamustrial Attack – Interview With K-Bereit
K-Bereit, a dark electro/ EBM/ industrial duo from France you’ll be hearing about more and more often in the near future, played in July one of the most enjoyable live performances I had the pleasure to see last year, and since then they’ve done lots more gigs and festivals. 2014 will again be a year full of activity for them, with the release of a new album, “Glamustrial”, and many more gigs in view. Before all this happens, we asked Dom (music and programming) and Drey (vocals and lyrics) a few questions about the past, present and future of the band… and yeah, by the way, if they happen to play anywhere near you, don’t miss them, their shows are a blast!
Noise Rotator: Can you tell us a bit about the origins of K-Bereit?
Drey: As your readers might know, Dominique is the guy of Kriegbereit and Cobalt 60. In 2002, after a musical break, he did a new project with his friend Frederic Sebastien – K-Bereit. They released the first album in 2009, and made a few gigs.
I met them at a private event in Belgium in 2011. They played 4 songs of their new album, and I really liked it. We spent the whole night together, and we had a lot fo fun. We used Facebook to talk everyday, and they sent me songs ans stuff to have new opinions about their music. Dominique was already in his new concept, with the mask stuff and the whole visual part.
I asked them to be their booker, and we did like 20 gigs in one year. The album was a real success, we were really happy about it.
NR: You got a new singer after “Positiv Sound / Negativ Beat”. What happened to Fred and how did Drey become part of K-Bereit?
Drey: In march 2013, Fred left the band for artistic reasons. As we had a lot of gigs coming we decided to try to combine my vocals and K-Bereit’s world, and it fits very well. So here I am 🙂 9 months, 16 gigs, and an album on its way 🙂
Dom: We live in the future, not in the past. What is done is done, we have projects, that’s what matters now.
NR: How did the joining of Drey influence K-Bereit? How does the songwriting process work now?
Dom: Of course, Drey influences the band. We had, and we still have, the same ideas about music and visuals. It changes the process a lot: I work like I used to in my other projects. I do music like I want, Drey is not working on the music part. She gives me her opinion, and her ideas, and I do the music as I feel it. It’s better for me, for her, and for the music itself. And I put everything I love in it (EBM, punk, electro and more…), but in a new way, not oldschool one, because I really want to see what’s coming, not what’s already done.
Drey: It changes stuff for me, because it’s the first time I’m a member of a band. I’m still the manager, so I know what I want for the band, what is working, or not, and I’m working a lot. I’m not doing any music: I give opinions and ideas to Dom, as far as he needs it. He does very good music, but he needs someone to tell him.
I do the lyrics and put the vocals on the new songs. It’s harder than I was thinking, but I really enjoy it.
NR: The new songs – from what I’ve heard so far – are maybe a bit more sophisticated, have more varied influences… does Drey’s voice and collaboration open up new possibilities?
Dom: Yes it does. Drey is younger than me, we didn’t listen to the same music, we do not have the same influences, so it’s great to put everything together and do something new. And she’s a girl: it’s the first time that I work with a woman, it changes a lot my way to do stuff. She brings the youth and the crazy part of the band, I bring the music and the experience. That’s a good team, strong and able to work together in the same way.
NR: You’ve got a very sophisticated visual concept, especially live, but also on videos etc. What role do the visuals play in your art? You also take care of details like merchandising and such stuff, is it all part of a concept?
Dom: Visuals is very important for me. People come to see a performance, not only a concert. They want to hear, to dance but also to see new stuff. In the dark scene, people are very sophisticated, it’s a part of the job, you can’t do without. And we like to take care of that. I’m pretty proud of the homemade mask, and of what we can do. And it will change and become better day after day, because we listen to people, we’re looking about new ideas …. You can’t do music without thinking of all that: music fits with your universe. And as you grow up, stuff will change.
Drey: I’m the new generation: I used to see bands with dancers, crazy make-up, videos and stuff. Of course it’s a part of our work. I love to make videos, to think about new merchandising ideas or to act on stage. That’s what an “artist” has to do: create his own world, and make you want to join him/ her in it.
We had the chance to meet really nice people, like Brice Beillant or Steve Deconinck (from VV303): they did very good videos for us.
Merchandising is also a very important part: it’s your image, you have to do something you like, not something “just for sale”. I’m glad that we worked with a french designer, Katia Queendom (<a href=’http://www.myqueendofor.com’ target=’_blank’>www.myqueendofor.com</a>), to do jewels: that was new. We will always try to make things as good as we can.
NR: I know that you’re busily working on a new album… when can we expect it to be released? Are there any labels interested, or do you prefer to release it yourself (maybe with the help of Bandcamp or similar)?
Dom: We’re in touch with many German labels, especially one, and we hope to release the new album in September. We can’t say too much right now, but it’s worth waiting.
NR: You’ve already leaked the title of the new album, “Glamustrial”. That sounds like an artistic “concept”… ?
Dom: It is a whole concept. It’s a new way of glamour. We live in a harder world, people wants more and more. It’s like putting Marlene Dietrich in the 70s Berlin: a meeting between class and punk, glamour and industrial, silk and iron…
Drey: I live that word, and that concept. It fits me very well. I love pin ups, high heels, dresses and all the women world, but I also love industrial music and harder stuff. We live in world where nothing is wholly masculine or feminine: you need to be both. So, bringing the industrial part to the glamour one is a good thing: you can love both, so it can work together.
NR: You already released a video for one of the new tracks, “Virus K”. Did you work out the concept with Steve Deconinck? Did you do more collaborations with him?
Dom: Steve is a friend, and a very good artist. He has his own universe, but he listen to you, and finds a way to make your ideas in his own vision. It’s pretty hard to work like he does, so we’re very proud of it. We will tour with him in 2014, that will be great.
Drey: Steve is a wonderful person. We are very lucky: we met very talented people. And when a guy like him is ok to work with you, it’s a great chance. I hope to work more with him. Maybe in 2014 🙂
NR: Any other news we can expect – merchandising? Any special editions?
Dom: We love to work with artists, any kind of. We made jewels with a designer, we worked on our videos with Steve, and we hope to work with more people. We’re very open minded, we can like stuff that people are not expecting from us.
We made a new logo, I’m sure it will surprise a lot of people, but we’re pretty proud of it.
We want our merchandising to be special, like us.
Drey: We have new shirts, with the new logo, and we will have more surprises this year. It’s really fun to work on special stuff, and to see that people are so happy about it.
NR: Playing live is, I think, a very important part of your music. Are you satisfied playing live with purely electronic sounds or would you like to include/ experiment with some more instruments?
Dom: We are open. We don’t know what will happen, maybe we will have more musicians on stage one day. I never say never.
For example : on the new album, there’s a song called “Inquest” that is bit medieval, with a guest vocal. Everything is possible, as long as we like it.
NR: You’ve announced a new live show… can you tell us a little bit about it?
Dom: We will put more acting in the gig. There’s more interaction between us on stage, and there will be more and more. The new concept will be about madness, and everything around.
Drey: We are still working on details, but as Dom said, it will be about madness. I always’ve been interested in mental diseases and the way science used to fight against it. It’s very violent and sad to see how science destroyed lives and minds of people who were only different. I want our live gigs to turn it around. That’s very important, that people understand that what is now “normal” was once “forbidden”.
And as I’m really shy, playing a part on stage, especially a crazy one, helps me to do the job.
NR: What are your main inspiration sources for your art? What music/ musicians/ artists do you like or follow or have influenced you?
Dom: Mozart for the music, Jean-Michel Jarre for the electronic part, Front 242 for the stage part and Exploited for the dynamic. I’m very curious about all kind of arts, but I’m not an “elitist” guy. I want to discover everything, there’s nothing bad, there’s only art and concepts.
Drey: Well, for the music part, I will say the Smashing Pumpkins and The Cure. And for the performance, as I’m a big fan of Garbage, My Ruin or PJ Harvey, that brings the energy that this music needs, and the glamour touch. That sounds really industrial, no ?! 🙂
NR: Sometimes the label “dance music” is used as a synonym of “superficial”. Do you think that’s fair? Do you consider your music to be mainly “dance music”? Do you think it’s important?
Dom: it’s important to have dance music that you can dance on to forget everything, and music you can listen to and think about your life and feelings. Both are possible. You can do music you want to dance on that you can listen to and enjoy in a lot of situations: for example real EBM like Front 242.
Drey: I think that it depends on people. Bands like Aesthetic Perfection can do both: very beautiful lovesongs with a piano (I love piano) and really kick ass songs. I hope we will manage to do something like that. I can’t, but Dominique can. I’m his number one fan: I know he can do something big, and he will.
NR: What do you think is the situation of underground (electronic) music right now? There seems to be a huge difference in public acceptance between mainstream electronics and alternative electronics/ industrial/ EBM/ dark electro… even in countries which are “big” for this music like Germany or Belgium.
Drey: People want new stuff. They are fed up with listening to the same music and seeing the same kind of stuff all the time. And let’s be honest: the main part of the scene is in Germany. That’s the place to be. It’s really sad to see that people are not going out like they used too. But stop complaining: let’s do music and enjoy gigs and festivals. As long as there will be people listening to that music, we will be there.
Dom: The worst part of the current situation is that the bands are not working together. When a band works and tours a lot, other bands are not supporting them. There’s no support between artists like there was in the 80s or 90s.
Some people like Spanish band Larva, Belgium artist Ethan Fawkes or French bands like Chemical Sweet Kid or Obszön Geschöpf still have that good state of mind, but there’s not many of them. Let’s hope that the new generation will be better humans than we are.
NR: One question out of curiosity, as a Dutch friend pointed it out to me: On “Positiv Sound / Negativ Beat” you used an unusual picture for the cover… an old long frequency radio tower in the middle of nowhere in the Netherlands… how did you come up with that idea, has it got a special meaning?
Drey: The artwork was made by Brice Beillant, a very talented friend. It was only a visual, there’s nothing more behind. It’s like the place where Monster Dom does his music. Maybe you will discover how it is inside on the new artwork…
Dom: A Desolated place for a desolated mind…
NR: Talking of Kriegbereit and Cobalt 60, can we expect any re-releases of the former and/ or new activity of the latter?
Dom: Nothing is planned now. But as I told you, never say never.
At the moment, I’m too much into K-Bereit to think about any other stuff. One step behind the other, and we will find our way.
NR: What artists would you like to remix stuff for? What artists would you like to remix your stuff?
Dom: It’s not a question of people or name, it’s a meeting, between people, music and ideas. It’s nice to have requests to do remixes but let’s be honest: we can’t say yes to everybody, that would be too much work. We don’t choose bands because of the name, the label or stuff, it’s a question of state of mind. Working for a band like [de:ad:cibel] is not the same as XMH: and that’s what’s good. Doing new stuff.
Drey: Working on a remix is good for promotion, but it’s a real work. Sometimes we have to say no, but that does not mean we don’t care about the band who asks, it’s a matter of time.
I did vocals for a big electro band, and Dom did a remix. Of course it’s cool when someone that is known asks you, but in fact, as soon as they do music as an art, and not as a business, it’s always good.
NR: For our expert/ musician friends and readers: what do you compose your songs with? And what gear do you use for live shows? Has that changed a lot over the years? Does digital technology make things better or easier?
Dom: Yes, technology make things easier, not better. I use to work like before, even if I’m working on computers now. It’s the guy behind the keyboard that makes the music, not the keyboard itself.
NR: And of course: Last words to our readers…
Dom: Thanks a lot for your support. As long as there will be people, we will be K-Bereit!
Drey: Thanks a lot to everybody who supports us: fans, bands, promoters, labels … It’s an amazing experience to be a part of the band, and I enjoyed each second, and I hope to enjoy it for a long time 🙂 See you soon live and remember: I’m shy, do not hesitate to come to me, I don’t bite (only if you ask) 😉
Picture by HR-Pictures taken in München on November 30th, 2013