This band released an excellent CD filled with weird techno-thrash-metal about eight years ago. After the release, the band seemed to disappear from the surface of the earth. When I received a package from Angular a while ago, to my surprise it contained a new album of these techno thrashers. So it was time to hook up with vocalist Melanie Bock and Guitarist Jörg Schrör to find out what had happened to the band since the release of "Human Errors" in 1991 and how they hooked up with Angular records
There are about eight years between "Human Errors" and "Inner War". Can you tell us what happened after the release of "Human Errors" and why it took so long to make a second album?
Jörg: We had several problems with our former Label 1MF Recordz. Having solved them by getting out of the contract with the help of our lawyer, we had problems with Dirty and Carsten, our guitar player and drummer, respectively, at that time. They wanted to play a different style - Mela, Chriddle and me not! So they left the band and we had to find new members. The first was Stefan Speidel on guitar and then we were around 9 months without a drummer. As soon as we found a new one, we went to the Studio to record the PSEUDO IDENTITY Demo, which was released in 1994. Soon after the release, that Drummer left, and then we finally found Andreas Düwel. We worked on new material and had several contacts with several Record Labels, but there was nothing really satisfying. We decided to do everything ourselves and started to record INNER WAR in May 1996. We borrowed the equipment from Kai Hansen and Dirk Schlächter from Gamma Ray, very good friends of ours, and when they didn't need the stuff themselves, we took it! So there were several delays and breaks, waiting to get the equipment, because Gamma Ray recorded the S.O.I.S. Album and we had to wait, wait, wait... finally we finished the recordings in September 1997 and passed the tapes to Charlie Bauerfeind to do the mixing. He started with the first 5 songs and then he went off to work with Blind Guardian, Venom, Molly Hatchet and the rest of the Musicworld. One year (!) later he finished the mixing and we started to contact Record Labels again. That's how we came in contact with Angular Records, who really liked the songs and wanted to release them, which they finally did.
How were you able to keep the band together for such a long time? Or did you break up and reform again?
Jörg: We never split up. We play the kind of music that we like and we always had fun! Of course there were moments when we thought about how to go on with band, trying different stuff and so on. There are a lot of songs that have been written but never made it on any release. Especially after the first album, we had a little lack of orientation, but except for that time it was always obvious to go on with the band. We had to, because it would be too hard to find members who'd like to play this strange kind of music...
Who is currently in the band and what have they done in the past?
Jörg: First we have Mela Bock. MEGACE is the only band she ever played with, although she also did studio jobs for other bands. Christian Wulff, Mr. Bassman, started to play guitar in a punk band called STATE PRISONERS, switched over to progressive hard rock with DROWNING IN REAL and then decided to play bass, some weeks before we grabbed him. Guitarist Stefan Speidel played in a band called JUDGEMENT together with members who later joined SECRECY, before he replaced Christian in DROWNING IN REAL. As D.I.R. was a very chaotic band, he left and joined us. Andreas Düwel played in some small local bands and we found him when I walked through our Rehearsal-Bunker and heard him practicing. I played with XANDRIL for 5 years, howled for TORMENT for a year besides that and also had a fun project called ENTIRE DEFEAT with the now- PARAGON bass player Jan Bünning and some TORMENT members. I also play in the UNBROKEN METAL PROJECT, which was formed to record 2 HAWKWIND cover tunes for a CD Compilation. These days we are going to record 2 DEMON cover songs for a DEMON Tribute. Joacim Cans will join us from HAMMERFALL for the Vocals. I work as a Guitar-Technician for bands like Gamma Ray, Hammerfall and some more, that's how it came to that.
Although there was a long time between both albums the basics of your music haven't changed that much.How would you describe the style you play yourself?
Jörg: It's a kind of technical Thrash Metal, but we include all kinds of influences and ideas. It doesn't matter if it's Punk or Pop, because we are very open-minded. This is what it makes it so hard for the listener and so hard to describe our music. I'm pretty sure that we have our own style, but you cannot fix it to something like Thrash Metal. It is more than that!
Mela, your style of singing is very different, ranging from sweet and nice to very brutal. How did you develop your singing style?
Mela: Well, when I started singing in Megace I only preferred this brutal style. I think it had something to do with the style of music I preferred to consume. In my further development as a singer I tried to make something of my own. You know, I really admire singers like Nina Hagen but I like also Schmier from "Destruction", maybe I am something in-between.
Can you elaborate on the lyrics? What are they about and what do they mean to you?
Mela: I am very interested in philosophy. For me it is the ability to get into a topic, to find out where the essence is. My favorite topic is the human being and its behavior. With my lyrics I try to discover the essence of human behavior. Maybe you can say that most of my lyrics deal with that stuff, but I also wrote some very angry lyrics dealing with assholes - you know, this typical every day life shit.
The band produced the album together with Dirk Schlächter. Are you pleased about the result?
Jörg: Yes! Of course it's not a high end production, as we did only the drums in a real Studio and all the rest in our own "Studio", which is our rehearsal room. It still sounds very good. We had a lot of help from Dirk and also Charlie Bauerfeind, who saved a lot during the mix. It sounds like a good production should sound, but if we would have had more knowledge about recording an album it would have been much better. Next time!
The artwork looks very good and also a bit strange. Can you tell us a bit about why you choose this particular cover and how it relates to the music?
Jörg: The original title of the Album was EXUVIE and we also had a very nice cover for that, but Stefan Kost from Angular asked us to use a more Metal-Like Artwork. He came up with the idea for this cover, and as we all liked it, we took it. The original title didn't fit the new cover any more, and so we also had to change the title. Stefan managed all the stuff with the rights to use it. It doesn't fit perfectly to our music, but it's also not too far away from it. It is a good Metal Cover, contains Metal-Colors and it is bizarre, like our music is, too!
Will we have to wait another 8 years for the next Megace album? Do you have a lot of unreleased material lying around?
Jörg: I don't think so, if we proceed with writing new material like we do now, we could enter the studio in winter this year. We are not going to use old material, because INNER WAR contains stuff that is already 8 years old! We are tired of playing the old shit that is not released yet. We've chosen the songs that we most liked for INNER WAR and that's it. Most of the new songs were written within the last 6 months, maybe we're gonna use some fragments of the old stuff, but the new material is the way we feel now, and I think a new album should contain new songs. The new songs sound straighter, at least to our ears, but as we have experienced, this doesn't mean much...
Will you be touring to support the album?
Jörg: We hope so, but as we all have our things to do it will be hard in 1999, especially for Mela, as she is going to end her studies this year. But hopefully in the beginning of 2000, when everything is done. But we are right now working on how to promote the album with single shows this year, which will start this summer. We're really looking forward to playing live again, as we didn't play many shows during the Inner War recording years.
Anything you want to add?
Jörg: Go out and check the album, give it more than one try, because it is not Mainstream type of Metal. If you get used to the songs, you'll find a lot of not awaited ideas and feelings. It is raw, heavy, bizarre and lovely! Check us out on the Internet: http://www.hanse.net.de/megace . Our Homepage will be moving in the next few days to http://www.megace.de. It should work somewhere in the middle of June 1999. The old URL will still work. Thanx a 1000 times for doing the interview, Bruno!
Bruno Van de Velde