Interview: RE:AKTOR
Title: Constantly transboundary

„Re:aktor is Metal for the 21th Century“ – this is the musical slogan of these newcomers from Portugal, a band, apparently open in stylistic manner to so many sides.

Over-bubbling with ideas and sheer exploding by creativity, the Industrial Metal, which is produced by the band itself, fills their current debut album „Zero Order“ with machine-like coldness likewise as with partly bang-hard produced Death Metal. With bizarre seeming sound effects and cracking hardness porcupined, the aggressive Portuguese helter skelters made a publication, unusual in all interests with its impetuous debut album.

Guitarist [Nexion] is not only responsible for electronics and programming at Re:aktor, beside the band his musical taste is also fully focused on current modern trends.

Hey [Nexion], how is the feeling within the band these days? Filled with countless expectations?

„Going strong and ready to fight for our goals. We try to keep it very realistic when it comes to the music business, so we basically take nothing for granted. However, we’re very proud of this record, and aware of having taken some extremely positive steps to this date. We got the support of a good team behind us, and a solid line-up with a new bass player, called Tank and new drummer that will be announced.”

What kinds of music do you listen nowadays and which bands are great to your mind?

„Personally, I listen to a lot of different music, from Rock to hard Industrial. Anything that moves me and gives me a kick. So it’s hard for me to point out. But some of the records I’ve been listening to in the last days are: A Perfect Circle – `Mer de Noms`, Chris Cornell – `Euphoria Morning`, Adema – `Unstable`, Morbid Angel – `Domination`, Dimmu Borgir – `Death Cult Armageddon`, Radiohead – `Hail To The Thief`& Alice In Chains – `Facelift`.”

The unusual Industrial sound of Re:aktor is surely a surprise for many; what led you guys to this futuristic music?

„I got to admit some of the „guilt” for that, since one of the reasons that lead to it is my personal acquaintance with electronic/industrial music, which was something I wanted to try together with Rock/Metal music for a while. So it was kind of normal that it ended up sounding more mechanical and less organic than it would sound otherwise, if we all played together in the rehearsal room. So I would point out that our hi-tech oriented way of working is very responsible for the way „Zero Order” sounds. We’re not afraid of taking risks, so most of the times we find ourselves experimenting with songs a lot.”

What do you expect about the peoples opinions to Re:aktor‘s style?

„So far we got people that totally love the album, and people that loathe it. Which is good, since we’re not making music to please everyone in the first place. Some critics are pissed off about our sound, influences or even our nicknames or even band name… like it’s all too weird. But you know what? On the other hand we got people praising the record, and claiming to be one of the most exciting albums in recent years. We got a bit of everything, from excellent criticism to bad criticism but what really matters is that the listener makes his own mind up when he listens to the album, or comes across the video-clip or single. Because the fans are the ones that can make the band ultimately fail or succeed. Without listeners there would be no bands, no labels, no radio or music magazines. That’s what a lot of people the business which seems to forget! So with Re:aktor, our worry is to make good songs, meaningful songs that the listener can connect to. We openly assume our role as explorers and I honestly think we do a great job at it. Once and for all, we need to get out of the stagnation that the heavy Rock/Metal scene in Europe got into, and that’s exactly where Re:aktor comes into play. Have a reaction!”

Which meaning does have the band name for you?

„The name Re:aktor is a word-game and is the perfect way to introduce what we are about. It exposes the „hi-tech” feel of the band, and at the same time it creates an interactive element, since it works as a test to people, to see how they react to it, to see how they interpret the name. It’s unbelievable the confusion that two little dots „:” in the middle of a word can create. Originally, the name came from a reactor, and for us it represents creativity reactor, in which different musicians/individuals with diverse and separate backgrounds allow themselves to wear a second skin and create something different, without boundaries or limitations.”

Does exist a specific conception behind the new album, and if yes, which one?

„From the start, we didn’t want to have a strict concept, so we chose to be able to cover different aspects both musically and lyrically. But in fact, in the end we ended up with some kind of connection between some songs. It’s not a real detailed concept but a concept that built itself as we built the album.“

In which position of the genre do you see your own band Re:aktor?

„I find Re:aktor constantly crossing the border between industrial Metal and modern Rock, with lots of electronic influences. I believe we belong to a small new breed of contemporary European bands starting a career now, which is giving the first steps to break the monotony and stagnancy of the European heavy Rock/Metal scene.”

What means the album title „Zero Order”?

„The first association to be made is to a zero order reaction, which is a chemical reaction in which the rate is independent of the concentration of the products or reactants. Using it as a metaphor, it represents the album’s strength to have its own special life, time and space, independently of the influence that we, as musicians, have had on it. In a second meaning, it can be seen as an inherent nihilistic and philosophic approach to the digital world to which the listener is transported.”

Please tell a few more words about the lyrical content of the new tracks!

„As I said, we don’t have a static concept, so we allow ourselves to embark in a number of lyrical adventures, but in sum the lyrics in „Zero Order” set the listener in a futuristic, post-modern world, a kind of future preview or alternative world, so to say. In this world, a digital world, the essence of humanity is still very present, through the emotional charge that the music contains. We’re talking about real feelings, in a not so real world, and the message is one of hope, an overall positive message as opposed to the more common apocalyptic message.”

In which different moods were the lyrics written?

„I don’t write all the lyrics, but speaking for myself I don’t write in any particular mood. I just use the mood I’m in to write what goes inside.”

Which things have influenced your creativity more or lesser in the pre-time of songwriting?

„As a composer I’m influenced by my surroundings and day to day happenings are always an influence, as well as travelling as much as possible, listening to a lot of different music, hanging out and meeting new people to have other points of view and exchange ideas. Also, I really spend a lot of time working at my home studio, which is very intimate and gives me the chance to be on my own and get in touch deeply with what I want to express musically.”

In which moods were the new songs composed?

„I’m a very moody person, and I tend to change those moods in a matter of minutes or even seconds most of the times, so again, this changes on a daily basis, and since I’m composing something almost everyday. Some songs in „Zero Order” are more angry and aggressive like „Impact” or „Sektor X-Lr8”, which are very straight ahead and aggressive, while others are more thoughtful and elaborate like „See”, „My Own Fear” or „Damage Zone”. A song like the instrumental „Out There” is very moody, and happened as a kinda weird ego-trip I had one night. I had the idea to do it and completed it in one night. A lot of things happen during the period of composing an album, and I like to explore all the different moods.”

© Markus Eck, 04.10.2003

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