Interview with MZ, EverEve (August 7, 2005)

Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it all?
MZ -
Okay, here we go… 
There have been 6 EverEve full length albums so far…

Seasons (1997, Nuclear Blast), Stormbirds (1998, Nuclear Blast), Regret (1999, Nuclear Blast), E-Mania (2001, Massacre), .enetics (2003, Massacre)…. And now: Tried & Failed (27th of June 2005, Massacre)

Right now EverEve consists of…
MZ  – voice & keys, .havoc – guitars, OQ – bass and Martin C. – drums & percussion

There are some more people taking part in the “E-team”, too, supporting us and our vision, for example Synthesizer-Guru Joerg Huettner, who in the meantime also established himself in the film-industry by working on major motion picture soundtracks (like Catwoman, The Ring 2, Batman begins, ...).

There have been some changes in the line-up since we started becoming a “real” band in 1996 and throughout the years there have been tons of positive events… and unfortunately some not-so-positive experiences, too. We’ve been touring Europe several times, also the U.S., played more than 500 single shows and festivals around the globe, released a home video, numerous sampler contributions and made our first appearances on national TV with the release of “.enetics”. So a lot has happened… maybe we should write a book about it one day…;-))

How has your new album been received by the media?
MZ -
Actually results have been very extreme this time, there have been some really positive reactions but also some rather critical reviews. The variety of opinions seems to be bigger this time, either you love the new album or you hate it… There seems to be nothing in between. This is something I appreciate because it means that the album “takes” a lot of the listeners… you need a lot of time and emotional attention to “feel” this album. It is no easy-listening sound… Love it or hate but do not ignore it!

And… of course I am happy if the press results are good but more important for me is the opinion of the people out there buying the CD… and these reactions are really really good.. the fans like the new songs a lot. Some of them even consider “tried & failed” being the best EverEve-Album so far… So this is what is important for me… not the results of press critics and sound checks…

I know artists are not happy to categorize their music, but how would you describe your music to an outsider?
MZ - We try to capture our latent-melancholic, to the core cynical and sarcastic, awareness of life and pack it into some hard, intense music. Life has many colours and though being rather “dark-greyish” and focussing at the shady side of the sunny side most of the time EverEve is not depressive. We try to catch the images of life and create a musical vision…

One day a guy from the press called it “Cyber Goth Metal” as there are some futuristic elements, hard guitars and a dark atmosphere… You are right, I do not like categories because life cannot be categorized but I think this label “Cyber Goth Metal” is not bad…

Where does your inspiration come from, both musically and lyrically?
MZ - When we start writing new songs we do not have any plans or concepts what the new stuff should sound like. We just start making melodies, looking for some ideas, thinking about arrangements etc. For EverEve it is extremely important to be open-minded without any stylistic or conceptual boundaries. This might be the reason why every album is more or less different from the other ones… For us, every new album is like a journey… You pack your stuff (i.e. the new musical ideas) and then you start walking… of course you are influenced by the experiences you have made during former journeys… but the most interesting and exciting trips are those taking you to new shores… and with “tried & failed” this has been the case, too. It turned out to be an epic, orchestral album, musically and emotionally influenced by impressions gathered on our first concert journey to Russia in the spring of 2004. I think the new album is less “aggressive” than “.enetics” but it has become a really intense and emotional album. Its basic feeling is deep, desperate sometimes, suffering... yet at the same time smooth, warm and infatuated. It is like a soundtrack made for full moon nights…

What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?
MZ - Lyrically I am inspired a lot by personal experiences but also by poems (like this time some poems by British Writer Emily Dickinson), by movies and by observing other people…

This time the words of the songs deal with the bittersweet aftertaste of failure. Human beings are always driven by an also unfulfilled urge for sexual, emotional and spiritual comfort, contentment and domination. Although often resulting from failing the scheme of life is new strength. Self-pity turns into comforting woefulness... and ultimately into defiant energy. So once again…clouds turn to sun… but we wanted to catch the moment right before this transformation…. as the way you feel being torn between despair and new hope is one of the most intense emotional states of a human being… but it is not a negative view… the album is not depressive because every failure means the chance for a new and better beginning.

Who has produced and mixed the album, and are you pleased with the end result?
MZ - Being an artist you are never 100 percent satisfied… there is always something you discover what could have been better, “harder” etc… but you have to come to end doing a production because otherwise it will never be finished. Actually we spent a lot of time for the production this time as there are so many details, complex arrangements and different tracks that it has been hard really hard work. Especially the orchestral arrangements needed a few weeks before everything turned out to be as we wanted it to be.

The album has been produced once again by Gerhard Magin (e.g. Theatre of Tragedy, Crematory, Totenmond, etc.) who also did a great job on the last 3 albums. He is part of the “E-team”, too, as he is a strong supporter of EverEve and he is able to “understand” our songs. Corresponding to the musical style the production is a little bit “softer”, too, this time… but the songs needed this kind of warm and emotional sound…. And of course the album is still far away from being a pop-album…;-)

Who has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have a great cover?
MZ - This time we also put more emphasis on the visualising of the musical and lyrical content. We managed to work together with Markus Richter and Cane Hoyer, two internationally well known artists of avant-garde and erotic-art, who participated exclusively and for the first time in a music-production, also made sure that “Tried & Failed” became a unit acoustically and optically. We are very proud of the visual concept, creating a unique atmosphere of dark erotic that is deeply connected with the content of the lyrics.

We knew that some people would react in a negative way because of the “sexual” approach of the artwork but we do not care about that. It fits perfectly to the sound and the words so why being “political correct” just for the sake of itself…

Do you have any touring plans?
MZ - There are some plans but first we will wait some time to get an impression about the reactions to “tried & failed”. At the moment it is far too early to give any statements about sales etc. So nothing has been fixed so far. Playing live is very important for EverEve but doing extensive tours has become more and more difficult these days. The music business is on its knees and so are the concert promoters. So for some years we have a new strategy… We do not play unless the conditions are adequate. I do not refer to money! We do not do this whole thing to get money but we want to give the audience a full professional EverEve show because THEY have paid to see a professional show… so during the last years we only played when the organization (e.g. light, sound, etc.) has been sufficient. This means that there have been less EverEve shows but the shows have been better, being a big party for the fans and for us giving them one hell of a performance… So we will see what will happen in autumn and in winter. So far we have got some really cool offers to play some shows in England and Spain … and hopefully we will be able to come to Denmark one day because we have never been in your beautiful country but we know Danish beer and we get some nice response by Danish fans…;-)) so if you know a concert promoter…;-))

How do you feel about the co-operation with your label, and are you satisfied?
MZ - The Cooperation is good. One important reason for us to sign to Massacre Records has been that we are one of the biggest bands on their rooster. Another reason has been that there are not too many band of our genre on Massacre Records… so they can give us full support… Our promo lady Iris Bernotat is very important, too, as she supports us very well… I am drowning in interviews, signing sessions, special events, radio shows, etc…. but it is okay… that’s the way we like it!

The internet is a very important source for many music fans ? how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?
MZ - For us the internet is the most important means of communication with our fans all over the world. Actually we are quite proud meeting E-Maniacs all over the world… There are some places where we are even far more popular than in Germany . For example there are many people from Eastern European countries and from South European and South American countries who are really into our music… We appreciate this! And the best way to be in contact with this cool people is our homepage When you take a look at our forum you will meet people from all over the world… and you will have to chance to get in contact directly with the band members…

The only thing that is not so positive concerning the internet is of course the problem of downloading music. I can understand all the people claiming that CDs are too expensive but downloading means the death of music scene! Especially for bands like EverEve who spend every fucking Euro we get for the production of a new album it is really hard… you can download music for free… but you can not record and produce an album for free…

How do you see the metal scene at the moment?
MZ - I think situation gets better. The last years have been really hard for every music scene. But hard music becomes more popular again, at least here in Germany . I really appreciate this… But there is still too much plastic dance floor MTV music clones around us…so I think it is important to stand together in order to making “real” music more popular. And it is important to be open-minded within the rock, metal, Goth, Independent whatever genre. I do not care if someone is a “poser” or a die-hard black metal fan anymore… The most important thing is that you are really into handmade, “real” music…

For bands like us the situation is not easy here in Germany . It is hard to live by the music even if you are a “popular” band releasing albums, videos etc. I think the situation in Scandinavia is better for bands as they get some support from the state and there is a strong feeling of community and mutuality. EverEve does not get anything from anybody. But the positive reactions of the fans and the support of the media (like in this interview) help us to keep the flame burning. 

To finish things off - could you pls. make an all-time Top 5 or sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion?
MZ - I will give you some kind of my personal all-time Top 5… but my personal taste is very special and personal… so it is not a best-of the most important albums…  

There is no particular order (and I needed at least 50 names to refer to all my favourite albums) so… I do not give them a ranking….;-)

I really like:
- Pink Floyd – Pulse
- At the Gates – Slaughter of the soul
- Marilyn Manson – Mechanical animals
- My Dying Bride – Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
- Twin Peaks – Soundtrack (TV series)

and… and… and…  

Last but not least I want to thank YOU for this interview, and I also want to say a big hello to all our Danish friends. We appreciate your support and we really hope that you will like “Tried & Failed”!

Regards, MZ, EverEve

Keep fighting strong and hard,

EverEve - Tried & Failed

Album out on Massacre Records.

Click on the album cover to learn more about EverEve.