On January 7th De/Vision released their Ninth studio
album, entering the official German sales charts at number
53. You can also look for a limited 5 track single,
“Drifting Sideways”, to be available through A Different
Drum at the end of January. One of the more popular bands
in modern synthpop, the Electrogarden Network took some
time to conduct an interview with Thomas of De/Vision.
You call your music progressive pop as opposed to the more
commonly used term synthpop. Was that a move to get away
from the stigma of synthpop? What is your opinion on the
state of the electronic music scene and synthpop in
It wasn’t a move to get away from something, you can still
call our music synthpop, we just thought that albums like
Monosex or Void were different compared to the plastic-pop
sound of Fairyland and earlier works. Their sound was more
serious. That’s why we decided to call our music
progressive pop from now on. In the end we’ll always be a
synthpop band. Take a look at the charts, they’re full of
electronic/synthpop songs, at least here in Europe.
Electronic music is absolutely popular
“Two” was a lot more down tempo than
your previous work. What prompted the change and mood for
After Markus had left the band and some other personal
problems we had to deal with, it was impossible for us to
write up tempo songs, we were not in the right mood to
record a pop-album. Two is simply an expression of the way
we felt at that time.
The lyrics on “Two” seem very bitter towards love. Where
did that come from?
I’m not the lonely or bitter kind of guy, if that’s what
you think. It’s just that I prefer to write about the sad
side of life, that’s it. It’s more interesting to talk
about the dark side.
Markus had left just after the release of “Void”. What
prompted his departure and how did this change effect the
creative process within the band?
There’s been some kind of disagreement between Markus and
the rest of the band and finally he decided to leave,
that’s all I can say. Of course, we’ve lost a very good
song-writer, but I’m sure that, especially our new album
shows that D/V are still D/V. Even without Markus we’re
doing a great job.
What can fans expect from “Devolution”? What sets it apart
from your previous releases?
Our new album is definitely a lot more up tempo than Two.
We tried to go back to the roots and concentrated more on
the electronic part of our music, still we used guitars
and real drums. I promise electro pop songs with wonderful
melodies and a great atmosphere.
What are your favorite works from De/vision throughout
your career? What albums were the most fun to make? What
albums presented the most challenges?
My favourite works are Monosex, Void and Devolution. I
couldn’t say which one was the most fun to make, each one
was very special, each had its own challenges and looking
back, I connect so many wonderful moments with each
recording session. That’s why it seems impossible for me
to pick out a special one.
Its a common thought in America that Northern Europe,
especially Germany, is a hotbed for Synthpop/Futurepop
music. Do you believe this is the case and if so why? Do
you see the American market as more difficult to break
into as opposed to the European market?
Could be true...I mean, there are so many synthpop bands
in Europe, especially Germany is known for its scene.
Electronic music has its origin in Germany. The german
band Kraftwerk created this new, electronic sound, their
music became a world- wide success and they still
influence the music scene. They’ve prepared the way for
bands like Depeche Mode, Erasure etc. Synthpop is a
European or even a German heritage, I think. The European
market is much easier for a European band than the
American market, that’s a fact. Especially the U.S. market
is very difficult. I don’t think there’s a chance for a
band like us to get a song or an album into the charts.
We’re talking about a market where bands sell 10 million
copies and more. There are a few hundred or even a few
thousand people who buy our Cd’s, that’s it. That’s all we
There is a small tour scheduled in Germany for April of
2003. Any plans for shows elsewhere? How about North
We have planned to do a few shows outside of Germany
towards the end of the year, also in North America, but I
can’t promise that. It’s not for sure yet but I really
hope we’ll make it this year.
What bands do you listen to now? Do you find anyone
exceptionally innovative and exciting?
I listen to all kinds of music and bands like the Red Hot
Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins. I really enjoyed
Depeche Mode’s latest release (Exciter). I think Robbie
Williams is a great musician and I also like to listen to
traditional Japanese music for example. But I couldn’t
think of anyone exceptionally innovative recently.
De/Vision is now in its 14th year. How far down the road
can you see the band continuing?
I really don’t know for how long the band will continue.
As long as we’re in demand, I guess. Could be that we’ll
exist another 14 years, hard to say. The end seems far
away at the moment. Besides D/V we’re also involved in
different projects with different people , so even when
the day’s of the band were over, we still had enough to
What keeps you guys motivated and energized
Every day is a new motivation, a new challenge, a new
inspiration. What else do you need???
What interests do you have outside of the band? If you
weren’t doing music for a living what would you see
I’m very interested in Martial-Arts, in my spare time I
teach Karate here in Berlin, I read a lot and I love to
play video games. Steffen also likes to read and I think
he is a web-junkie. It makes no sense for me to think
about what else I would do if I wasn’t a musician. I am a
musician, that’s what I do. I can’t think of anything else
You have been fairly outspoken about peer to peer sharing
of mp3’s hurting the music scene. What do you think it‘s
going to take for fans to realize the damage they are
doing to the music scene?
I don’t know.....
What do you see as the high point of your career so far?
What would you like to accomplish musically in the next
Every new album is a personal high point for me. It is
also very special to go on tour with a new album, each
tour is unique. I think the very moment should be the high
point in one’s life/career, no matter what. I just hope we
can go on doing the things we do.
Copyright 1999-2010 ELECTROGARDEN.COM, All Rights Reserved.
FEATURE WRITTEN AND CONDUCTED BY:
This feature may not be reprinted in any fashion, either in part or in whole without written consent from ELECTROGARDEN.COM.