MOUTHY ISSUE ONE
interviewed by Ian C Stewart
Swedish electronica trio 8khz Mono formed in 2000 as an alternative to the trance/techno Krister Hessling was making on his own with ZKH. Upon deciding to return to his musical roots of the 1980s, he formed 8khz Mono ("It sounds electronic, which suits us, and it’s unusual enough for people to remember," says Hessling) with Henrik and Joachim Andersson lending sonic support onstage. 8khz Mono describe their music as "a blend between synthpop and EBM," and indeed tracks like "Frequency," "Falling," and the driving "Reality" blend the aural DNA of both genres, combining influences like Devo, Kraftwerk, Cabaret Voltaire and Depeche Mode with the solid grooves of Front 242. The resulting sound is simultaneously pummelling and dancefloor-friendly, with vocal melodies that stand out on their own.
Who does what in the band?
The band consists of me (Krister), Henrik and Joachim. I write the songs, lyrics and do all vocals and programming. Henrik and Joachim helps me with creative ideas as well as playing keyboard and electronic percussion on stage. Recently Joachim and I have begun cooperating a bit more. We are trading ideas and putting it together to form an 8kHz Mono song.
Where did the name come from?
Henrik and I was brain storming one day to find a suitable band name. He came up with 8kHz Mono, I liked it, and it stuck. It sounds electronic, which suits us, and it’s unusual enough for people to remember.
When did the band form?
The band formed in 2000 when I got a bit tired of making the Trance/Techno kind of music I was doing then. I decided to go back to my roots; the synth sounds of the 80s. Later I asked Henrik and Joachim if they wanted to join me as live crew.
How do your songs come to be?
Mostly they are based on a mood or a feeling. I sit down in the studio trying to translate that into music. If I’m pleased with the music, I try to highlight it even more by adding a suiting lyric to the song.
Who are your five biggest musical influences and why?
Big influences are naturally the electronic bands of the 80s, which opened my ears to this kind of music in the first place. I can mention Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Cabaret Voltaire, Pete Shelley and Devo among others.
What's the biggest show you've played so far?
We haven’t played any big venues yet, but the largest so far has to be our release party for the “monolog e.p.”. We had 150-200 people in the audience, and it was great fun and much appreciated.
Any amusing band-related anecdotes you'd like to share with the world? True stories only please.
Joachim had gone to great lengths trying to acquire a white lab technician’s coat to wear at our latest live performance. He wanted the “crazy scientist look”. But when he was putting it on before the gig, it broke. It was way to small for him. We had some great laughs, and the show went well even without the coat.
What's next for the band?
We are currently negotiating with a Swedish label, and it looks like we are going to sign with them. Hopefully we will be able to release a full length CD sometime early next year. Otherwise I’m constantly in the studio, making new songs.
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