Greetings from Budapest! Thanks, fine! I’m working on the new album (How to destroy the Universe -2012-)…
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
As for me, István Gazdag, I was responsible for the musical background and the vocals with Vacuum, and I continue in this area with First Aid 4 Souls. I’ve been working with electronic music for 20 years now and have been collecting electronic sound-making and sound-manipulating devices since 1985. Having built up a considerable studio – with a preference for Korg instruments – I’m able to provide practically everything for bands; everything from song composition to mastering. Additionally, I continue to enjoy playing/working in and with other bands. I would particularly like to mention Terra Incognita and my cyber project, The Last European. I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with several great Hungarian artists and have found great reward in composing music for ballet and films, media signals and main titles.
What does „First Aid 4 Souls“ stand for?
Kati (Katalin Helfenbein) made it up. I really like it. There’s a little bit of cynism though. Well, 90% goodwill, 5 % paranoia and 5% cynism.
You are producing music since 1992. Could you please describe your music-life-story of the last 20 years?
*The First Band: Vacuum (Hungary) 1992-2003* Here and now I’d like to state that this Vacuum is not identical with the Swedish synthpop project of the same name. 😉 At the end of 1992, I finished my duty in the army, I composed music (on the Amiga and a Roland D20), and later I started singing. At the same time, my friend István Drimá¡l started philosophical studies and also learnt to play the drum. Recently I talked with István, and just realized, that for 3-4 years we rehearsed two times 3 or 4 hours weekly. We wanted to do a lot, we played on every possible stages, almost everywhere in our country: Petöfi Hall’s main stage as warm-up bands for bands like Clock Dva, Swamp Terrorists or X Marks The Pedwalk; Tilos az Ã, Yuk, and all the other stages nowadays considered ‚alternative‘. We loved doing it, there were no concerts with identical schedules, and our appearances were really extraordinary (in those times, at least): aggressive scenes, provocative appearance and extras, masks, corpse-bags, chemical protection equipment, wicked and beautiful videos, own animations (in ’93!), and accompanied by exhibitions by our contemporary artist friends. The visual and conceptual support of Norbert Szük, Gábor Vetö and Csaba Lengyel’s was indispensable part of our concerts. We have been announced as the „Hungarian Skinny Puppy“, and our instrument park expanded with lots of great stuff, so in Hungarian relation we progressed well. After a while the band came to an end. We didn’t have a row or something, we just didn’t have any appearances on stage. Then I won a composers‘ competition and the prize was a contract that covered the expenses of the mastering of the first and only Vacuum album. It has been published, but without István Drimá¡l.The album showed only traces of industrial, it was more like ambient,electro, big beat and acid. *First Aid 4 Souls -2007-* On one side, First Aid 4 Souls can be viewed as my personal project since all the music is written by myself. On the other side – thanks to the contributing singers and musicians – the band is a real international „supergroup“. The music ranges from dark ambient, nonetheless incorporating new wave impressions, and it converges to old and new electro schools. Basically it’s a big ocean of genre, that’s why a lot of people can find their expectations in it. Constant members of the band (as far as gigs) Kati Helfenbein (drums, vocals), Gabor Vetö (visual, VJ), Istvan Drimal (lyrics, philosophy), Intrendent (Michael, as producer and mastering), Tomoaki Ohtaka -san, (lead guitar, producer) and myself for the electronic gear and vocals. This is the first row of the front line, but the real surprises come with guest singers. These artists are just seemingly gusts at all, because the cooperation is continues and is successful for everyone Linda Daemon needs no introduction as she is a prominent member of „Drugzone„. Her outstanding sound and range of voice blinks in First Aid 4 Souls songs. Aaaron Rusell is the leader of the American industrial band named „Impurfekt„, he is the one who is directly responsible for the authentic industrial vocals. Mark Duffield is the founder of the alter band „I am One„, he brings in the new wave sound. And finally, Mir Colon is the demi-god of the EBM scene of Slovakia, just for more adventure in a surprising directions.
A few days ago your new album „Deathstep“ was released. What is this work all about?
Doomsday-watch shows 5 to 12 ,the civilisation is approaching abysm and hence its death. But, it’s not too late. Gloomy is the scenery, indicating a possible futur between value-deteriaration and pseudo mass-entertainment. Daunting and not at all beautiful. With aggressive rythms and distorted vocals FA4S wants to awake us from the tawdry TV entertainment. Atmospherical sounds with elements of ethno-rythm, classical strings and samples from computer games and SciFi-Effects. Make „Deathstep“ not only being mainly EBM orientated, but also offering elements of a radio drama. Combining creative potential from american, english, german, slovakian, hungarian and japanese musicians FA4S sets new priorities and emphasizes a multicultural project.
How would you describe your sound/style?
Musically, FA4S also relies on several kinds of tradition, deliberately mixing the fine brutality of noise music with the psychedelic pulsation of trance and blending the rich melodies of New Wave with the strict grinding of industrial metal. Obviously, we don’t care for being labeled to suit any one category of music and the current musical trends have no effect on us at all. Regarding transcendence, there are distinct religious, philosophical and magical traditions making appearances in our themes, but the band definitely refuses the negative energy of Satanism and New Age philosophy hasn’t served to inspire the group musically in any way to date. Essentially, the maintenance of the spiritual, mental balance is of great importance to us. We are constantly moving toward the essence behind this existence believed to be reality.
Where do you see the biggest difference concerning other bands?
Well, this is a multi-art project, built on Electro-Industrial and New Wave: A particularly European mixture of music, philosophy, literature,and visual arts (mostly paintings and the visuals for the songs).
Life without music is like…?
I teach, read, watch sick movies, ride my bike or play strategy and horror games…
Thanks for the interview and good luck with your new album! The last words are up to you…:
The industrial is the last true rebellion in the musical world. Do not let yourselves influenced, and keep up the good fight. You are – and always be – right. Thank you for the interview!
(Interview geführt von Andi)
First Aid 4 Souls
Schlagwörter: Aaron Russell, Csaba Lengyel, Deathstep, Elektraumas, First Aid 4 Souls, Gábor Vetö, intrendent, István Drimál, István Gazdag, Katalin Helfenbein, Mark Duffield, Norbert Szük, Tomoaki Ohtaka