Though many people have not heard of them before, [Android/Kolon:58] pretty much emerged out of nowhere on the modern scene and has easily been getting fans through their strong social media presence. Active since around '91, it is almost uncanny that they really haven't been noted in the scene up until now. Despite that folly, I bring to you an interview with three of the founders of the band, discussing so much and yet so little:
Let's start this off simply. I found out about you guys through a friend who introduced me to you. Who is in [Android/Kölon:58] and what do they do in the band?
Stöigand - “Yeröc does the vocals now and programming, Stöigand plays keytar and synth, and Fösh plays guitar and drinks. eLi4 was our bassist and original vocalist. He died of AIDS, so we don’t do a lot of vocals anymore and have switched to synthesized basslines.”
If what your Facebook page states is correct, then there are currently four of you in the band. How did each of you join the band and who began the project?
Stöigand - “It actually says in German that eLi4 passed away. We should probably English it."
Yeröc - “Stöigand and Fösh have known each other since they were teens. eLi4 and I met them later through an electronic gig we did and we all hit it off. The band used to be called Implant, but we had to change it to Neural Implant, because there already is a band called Implant from Belgium. One day I was on the phone with a desperate booker for some shitty venue in Brussels, and just made up [Android/Kölon:58] to fuck with him. I told him it was imperative that he get the umlaut and symbols right and to have the DJ say them when he introduced us.”
Fösh - “He did it.”
Stöigand - “The next time we were booked there, I forgot to let them in on the joke and they had already printed up fliers by the time I did. After that, we just rolled with it for a while. It’s such a stupid name, but now that we have so many fans, changing it would be just as stupid.”
You categorize yourselves as experimental electro-industrial. Do you have any particular musicians who have influenced your style of music?
Stöigand - “Definitely. I’d say Skinny Puppy, early Front Line Assembly, Leæther Strip, :Wumpscut:, and Mentallo & The Fixer really got us going. Not that you can hear it; we’re very much original. In terms of genre, I’m not exactly sure how we should be pegged, and I think that’s ok. Fösh is the only one who likes to be pegged.”
Yeröc - “We’ve done some collaborative work with Leæther Strip, Caustic, Acidrodent, Virtual Terrorist, Cynergy 67, Antibody, and Lights Out, God Help Me within the past few years. Guys that good tend to rub off on you. Especially Caustic; he got it all over me.”
When did AK58 begin? And what was the first song that you put out?
Yeröc - “The first track was some probably terrible thing called Gizmotron back in ‘91 or something. I don’t remember, but it probably sounded like bad techno. I feel bad for my dog now, because I named it after him. We’d probably remaster and release it anyway, but it was lost in a fire with some other stuff.”
At the start, did you have any idea as to what type of music you would put down? And, since then, have you changed your style much?
Fösh - “No.”
As I look through your available music on Bandcamp, it doesn't seem as if you have put out a full length album yet. Do you have plans on putting out a full length album at some point in the future?
Yeröc - “Not yet. We do have extensive releases of a string of dance singles exclusively available in Australia. We definitely want to release a full length internationally, and that’s in the works. It’s been a slow process. I’ve been working on a side project as well. It really goes beyond the boundaries of the main project. It’s definitely a deeper exploration of my experimental side. It’s got sort of a power noise and dark ambient edge to it. There is a possibility that :Wumpscut: will remix my work.”
Stöigand - “We did do a bunch of limited cassette releases years ago. The thing is we only kept one copy of each cassette for ourselves, and we lost them all when Fösh burnt down his garage. There are a few more out there somewhere, so if anyone has one and hasn’t dubbed Jock Jams over it, they should definitely get in touch with us through our website.”
Fösh - “I wouldn’t mind a copy of Jock Jams.”
Yeröc - “And then we run into issues like Fösh going in to record his guitar work, but being so drunk that he doesn’t even plug his fucking guitar in. That really happened. Two different fucking times. He’s not allowed to do any studio work by himself anymore.”
I also noted that you have a cover of Leaether Strip's "Invade My Body" available on Bandcamp. But, it's at the high price of $69. Is that so people check out the benefit compilation it's featured on rather than just the single, or is there another reason for the high price?
Yeröc - “We did that record as part of a compilation album with all proceeds going to Claus’s husband Kurt’s medical fund. They’re the sweetest couple you’ll ever meet, and their story of Claus giving a kidney to the love of his life is enough to bring a tear to your eye. We included it on our Bandcamp for promotional reasons in case some weirdo is on our Bandcamp and not Leæther Strip’s for some odd reason. We don’t want to see a single dime for ourselves in relation to that record, so we set it to something no one would ever pay. We chose $69 because we are children.“
How do you go about writing your music? Is it a brainstorming process between all of the members of AK58, or is there one of you who takes charge?
Stöigand - “AK58 is definitely a collaborative effort among all of us. Maybe too much so. It brings a different sound to the surface every time, and our remixes tend to sound like two different tracks sliced and shuffled together. You may notice we use the same kick and sometimes snare in every song. That’s so there’s at least some way to tell it’s us. I would say that Yeröc is the ringleader of sorts when it comes to programming and the final mixing.”
Yeröc - “Virtual Terrorist likes to give us shit about not using enough MIDI. We basically do everything the wrong way and try to make something out of it. A lot of times, Stöigand is just jamming out on his keytar and records it. That’s also how we did for the Leæther Strip cover. He was busy getting a puppy, so Evo-1 of Cynergy 67 filled in for him. I considered making the replacement permanent, but then I met the puppy and decided to keep Stöigand in my life.”
How has reception for your band been so far? Have you heard any negative comments about yourselves from anywhere?
Stöigand - “It’s been unbelievably phenomenal. We’re humbled each and every time a DJ or radio station shows interest. Aggro Driver ‘81 plays us a lot on their streaming station. They actually have a few exclusive records by us that you can’t hear anywhere else yet, if ever. They play a ton of great industrial, EBM, noise, aggrotech, synthpop and a bunch of other shit better than us 24/7, so everyone should check them out.”
Yeröc - “The biggest criticism we get is the lack of structure in our records, but that’s where the ‘experimental’ part comes in. Structure is boring to me. Not to listen to, but to abide by when creating. We recently turned down a record deal because that was one of the caveats.”
Do you plan on playing live anytime soon?
Fösh - “Yeah. Do you have a cigarette?”
Stöigand - “We recently tried to tour in America, but were unable to get a visa, and it had to be cancelled.”
I also noted that you have been working on a few remixes via your official website. When will those be available to listen to? And will they be available via any of your networks?
Stöigand - “We’ve got a remix on Binary Division’s latest album, and will be on the next Acidrodent, Antibody, and Lights Out, God Help Me albums. You can hear some of them on Aggro Driver ‘81 and our SoundCloud.”
Yeröc - “We will be releasing a remix EP called Bear Wremixler, which features a lot of great remixes from a lot of great bands. There is a possibility that Combichrist will remix our work. It’s a little intimidating, so we collaborated with Leæther Strip and redid a new version of Bear Wrestler with Claus on vocals. It’s fantastic. We’re determined to not be outshined on our own shit, but probably will be anyway.”
Is there anything else you wish to say about something I may not have covered?
Yeröc - “We’re from Essen, in the Ruhr valley, Germany; Lights Out, God Help Me is working on a piratedustrial project that will change the world forever; and Acidrodent sucks at remixing.”
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time and look forward to hearing more music from you.
Stöigand - “Thanks. We look forward to reading this on your website and wishing we’d answered your questions better.”
We will never be the state's poster child band, nor do we want to be, but after a decade of hard work we have a solid following and I am very grateful for that. It seems like every gig we play we make new fans who actually stick around and that is a rare thing anymore. We have reached across genres locally and have built ourselves a dedicated and very diverse crowd here.
Pittersplatter, Jan 07 2014
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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