De/Vision talks about 'Citybeats'

De/Vision Press Photo 2016 v2

Thomas Adam from De/Vision faces the first Electrozombies interview

Read about the latest De/Vision release 'Citybeats', a spon­tan­eous and fic­tion­al DJ set, Bitcoins, KISS and an unful­filled dream with the legend David Bowie.

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How are you?

Thomas: "I'm fine, thank you…"

I was very surprised as I've read that you are working on the next album only 1 year after the last awesome album '13'. What drives you to this creative top performance?

Thomas:  "I'm will­ing to admit that releas­ing a new album only two years after the pre­vi­ous one, is a good per­form­ance and it's rather unusu­al but I hon­estly doubt that it's a top performance.

After all we are full-time musi­cians, we don't have reg­u­lar jobs…writing songs is our job…sure, here and there we play a live show but I think you would agree that writ­ing songs is the main func­tion of a band. So, yes it's true, we wrote and recor­ded 13 songs in two years but that's not really an out­stand­ing achievement…imagine how many breads a baker can bake over a two-year period…

However, I guess there was noth­ing else to do at the time, so we star­ted to work on a new album."

I already reviewed the album, but what can your fans expect from the new 'Citybeats' album in your own words? Is there any particular change in the current production or do you rely on classic formulas?

Thomas: "First of all I'd like to emphas­ize the qual­ity of the whole pro­duc­tion. CITYBEATS is fant­ast­ic­ally pro­duced, the sound is simply phe­nom­en­al. Once again our pro­du­cers Ken and Stan did an out­stand­ing job, they can't be praised highly enough…

Like most of our records, CITYBEATS is a very diverse album. Each song cre­ates a unique atmo­sphere. CITYBEATS is an adven­ture play­ground for those who take delight in explor­ing fas­cin­at­ing and com­plex sound­scapes. It's the land of milk and honey for those who wish to feast on great song-writ­ing, deep lyr­ics and catchy, play­ful melodies.

That's how I would describe the new album…"

What did you attach the most importance to in the current album production?

Thomas: "I guess the most import­ant thing, not only in the cur­rent pro­duc­tion but in gen­er­al, is to make sure that an album doesn't sound trivial."

What is the focus in your creative process: Music or lyrics first?

Thomas: "Naturally the focus is on the music. First of all we're musi­cians not authors. Let me put it this way: A DE/VISION song is like a house, the music is not only the found­a­tion of the house, it also rep­res­ents the walls and interi­or design.

The lyr­ics are the roof of this house. A roof would be use­less without a sol­id found­a­tion to rest upon. Care has to be taken that the roof cor­res­ponds to the house, don't ever put a round roof on top of a square-shaped house."

This year you will celebrate your 30th anniversary. Can you imagine celebrating the 50th anniversary of De/Vision someday?

Thomas: "Yes I can, my ima­gin­a­tion knows no lim­its, you know…given that we still have an audi­ence in 20 years from now, why not?"

What are your personal favourite tracks on the album and why?

Thomas: "I think they're all great that's why it's very dif­fi­cult to answer that ques­tion. Each one of the songs is unique."

However, right now my favour­ite tracks are:

  • "Dystopia" – I simply love the song's dark and des­per­ate "Blade Runner"-like atmosphere
  • "A Storm Is Rising" – prob­ably the dirti­est one of the new songs…distorted gui­tars and cool, fat elec­tron­ic sounds and sequences
  • "Last Goodbye" – simply a beau­ti­ful, heart­break­ing bal­lad that almost brings tears to my eyes
  • "Reclaim Your Throne" – that's one of the bonus tracks which is not on the 10-track album, only on the spe­cial edition…a pretty dark and mel­an­chol­ic song with a subtle yet very fas­cin­at­ing sound design

My personal overall favourite track of De/Vision is 'I Regret'. What's yours and why?

Thomas: "The pre­vi­ous ques­tion was dif­fi­cult to answer but this one is impossible to answer, at least for me. During our career we wrote count­less songs…not all of them were fant­ast­ic but some, most of them were pretty good and quite a few were even out­stand­ing in my opinion.

I can't say which one my favour­ite DE/VISION song is…it seems unfair to favour one great song over another…I guess we wrote too many songs who are on the same high level, that's why I can't decide…I know you didn't ask for it but If you asked for my favour­ite album, that would be easy to answer…"13" (includ­ing the bonus tracks) is my favour­ite DE/VISION album so far…in my opin­ion it's almost per­fect. I noticed that "13" was album of the year 2016 at ELECTROZOMBIES, which is a great hon­or and per­fectly under­lines what I just said…"

Imagine the following setting: "The DJ in your favourite club must urgently leave shortly and ask you to represent him". How does your spontaneous DJ set look like (List maximum 10 tracks)?

  • The Doors – Riders on the storm
  • Nitzer Ebb – Into the large air
  • Moderat – A new error
  • The Prodigy – Out of space
  • Editors – Papillon
  • Tears For Fears – Shout
  • Bauhaus – Silent hedges
  • Kraftwerk – Radioactivity
  • Rammstein – Sonne
  • Front 242 – Masterhit

What is the most valuable (limited edition) album in your collection?

Thomas: "I don't have any rare or even valu­able stuff but the music I own is very dear to me and has some kind of sen­ti­ment­al value."

What are your favourite, latest band/artist discovery that you also would recommend to Electrozombies and its visitors?

Thomas: "No mat­ter how hard I try, I can't think of any band/artist I dis­covered lately…I know it sounds funny but I'm not up to date when it comes to bands and music… I'll talk about that fur­ther below…sorry, next ques­tion please…"

Which band or artist would you like to record a song together?

Thomas: "There are so many bands/artists I respect and admire, the list is endless…although I know that this is noth­ing but an idle dream I always had the feel­ing that the com­bin­a­tion of DE/VISION'S music and the voice of David Bowie (I know he passed away, but any­way…), Peter Murphy or Annie Lennox would be quite interesting."

What important life wisdom would you give yourself 20 years ago?

Thomas: "Spend all your money on Bitcoins!"

Which bands/artists was your musical idols as a kid?

Thomas: "The first band I abso­lutely adored was KISS, I'm a fan of their music since I can remem­ber… it was not only their music, everything about the band was fascinating…their whole look, the cos­tumes and makeup, their live performance…back then I col­lec­ted everything about them: magazine art­icles, inter­views, posters. KISS is still one of my all time favour­ite bands…"

Do you listen to music rather casually or consciously, possibly connected with a ritual?

Thomas: "It depends, some­times, if cir­cum­stances per­mit, I listen care­fully and try to focus on the details, espe­cially when listen­ing to a song or album for the very first time…but very often I listen to music without pay­ing that much attention."

What media do you use to stay musically up to date?

Thomas: "To be hon­est, I'm not up to date at all…to be exact, I'm com­pletely behind time… every now and then I vis­it one of the many webzines…rather rarely than reg­u­larly I must admit.

The medi­um I mostly use in order to stay up to date is the radio. I listen to the radio quite often. There are count­less radio sta­tions avail­able on the inter­net which provide an infin­ite sup­ply of music from all genres. No mat­ter what you're look­ing for, you can be sure it's out there somewhere…the radio is great for find­ing new music.

However, like I said before, I'm abso­lutely not up to date…I guess I've become a little bit lazy lately… 30 years ago I was hungry for any new mater­i­al of one of my favour­ite bands, I trembled with excite­ment and coun­ted the days and hours 'til the day of release…and I was always in search of new, inter­est­ing music…

That changed a bit, I'm not that hungry anymore…I often get asked: "How do you like the new release of…", who­ever. Usually I'm com­pletely sur­prised: "Oh, they released anoth­er album? I had no idea…", even if it's a band I really like.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still very much inter­ested in music, I listen to music almost every day but I'm not look­ing for new stuff all the time…not anymore…nowadays I dis­cov­er music by acci­dent, every once in a while I stumble upon a great new artist and that's all right with me…"

Do you have some kind words to Electrozombies for our testimonials section 'People who spread love'?

Thomas: "Undoubtedly ELECTROZOMBIES is one of the most exquis­ite webz­ines on elec­tron­ic music. You guys are doing a great job. Keep it up!"

Do you have some last words to our visitors?

Thomas: "Hello every­body, check out our new release "CITYBEATS". If you like Synth Pop, you're gonna love it…and no, I'm not blow­ing my own trum­pet, the people at ELECTROZOMBIES say it's a great album and you all know, you can always trust your favour­ite webz­ine, right?"

Thank you very much for the first inter­view on Electrozombies.

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