interview : mind.in.a.box

interview by Mike Kieffer and Jennifer Link

Mind.in.a.box is the musical colaboration between Stefan Poiss and Markus Hadwiger. Often described as technopop, mind.in.a.box emerged in 2004 with a highly impressive debut album, Lost Alone. The name being a metaphor for everything that prevents our minds from truly being free, mind.in.a.box then released two more albums that weaved a narrative building on that metaphor. Their hard to categorize style of electronic music garnered the respect of fans and critics alike. In 2010, mind.in.a.box is in full force, after years of being a studio-only project, they are performing live and have a brand new album, R.E.T.R.O., with the goal of re-inventing the past for an advanced future.

Your new album R.E.T.R.O. is out now, musically, how is it different and yet similar from previous albums?

Stefan Poiss : There is quite a difference between R.E.T.R.O. and our previous albums. Whereas our other albums focus on emotions and are connected in the background by a continuing storyline, our latest album is most of all a homage to the good old days of the Commodore 64 and the early days of home computer and video games. We tried to bring back the emotions, we personally connect with those times, using our music. So I think the feeling of the album is quite different from the other ones, but I hope people will still be able to recognize a lot of our sound in it. Also, the Commodore 64 produced very particular sounds and melodies, and I was hoping to capture that as much as possible on R.E.T.R.O. So the album is a tribute to those times and a homage to some of the incredibly great composers on the C64.

Markus Hadwiger : We were thinking about something like this for a very long time, and Stefan started to work on new interpretations of some of our favorite C64 songs. We liked the mood and feeling of nostalgia this created a lot, so at some point we also started to do completely new material like “8 Bits” and “I Love 64”. It was a nice break from our other work, and an awful lot of fun.

R.E.T.R.O. doesn’t fit into the storyline that was established with the previous albums, was there any hesitation in labeling the album as mind.in.a.box rather than a separate side project?

MH : Yes, we were thinking about that for a long time, and the initial plan was to release the album as a separate project. But in the end we decided to release it as mind.in.a.box, and our label also liked the idea a lot. Fortunately, it seems as if almost everyone who already liked mind.in.a.box also really likes R.E.T.R.O., which makes us very happy.

read the rest of the interview in the April/May 2010 Issue

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