How did you guys come up with the name Extinct Nation?
Voss- We had started the band and had been writing for the first album and had gone through several ideas and none of them we really liked or had any merit. I was sitting at the computer one day watching the news and thinking to myself wow the United States is definitely going to become extinct if we keep going at the rate that we are because of all of the political changes and just the way things are in the world, they way we are with the debt, and all the wars, and not agreeing with a lot of it. That's why I thought, "Extinct Nation" because ultimately that's what happens to any over-extended nation, even though I love my country.
Extinct Nation has a sound that is totally different from anything else out there today, how did you guys come up with it?
Voss- Just inspired by enjoying a lot of rhythm driven music, from techno to industrial bands like Rammstein and Marilyn Manson have definitely been an influence no doubt. We try to come up with new ideas and sound.
Magnus- Yeah- that and enough falls off motorcycles we just had this rhythm drove into us. (laughts)
Does it surprise you that a lot of your fans also like a lot of mainstream bands like 3oh3 and Lady Gaga?
Marcus- Not really. We are an industrial band but there's no doubt we have techno influence.
Tell me about what went into writing and recording your first album, Synthetic Life.
Voss- Mainly the insturmentation starts with the keyboards, and our singer, Magnus, he writes all the keyboard loops, does the playing, we lay down a song according to the rhythm and feeling of a particular piece. Then Marcus and I (Voss) go in with the guitars and write according to what the keyboards are doing and then work it out with the drums. Usually we write the lyrics after the music is completed and the song has an overall feel to it. Very rarely do we ever write the lyrics first.
Synthetic Life has this overarching storyline about a guy who creates a female android. How did you come up with this idea?
Magnus- A lot of that was Voss. He's had a longtime dream of having a female android.
Voss- Just actually a lot of it had to do with a love of science fiction. It just kind of developed we didn't set out to do that. We just go to thinking about what would happen if there was an apocalypse and this guy managed to escape on a ship and he was trapped alone, what would you do. So he was thinking about his lost love and how he could create an android to keep him company..
Many of the songs are very dark, what was going on with the band when these songs were written?
Marcus- We've always had a dark side. We are metal heads, we've performed with a coffin onstage so we've always been morbid.
Voss- Definitely a few of the members in the band have gone through personal turmoil and changes in their life and lost love and sadness and loss of hopes and dreams for what they had wanted. I think alot of that spilled over into the lyrics of how they felt going through their personal losses.
When you were recording what instruments did you use, and what types of custom set ups?
Voss- Marcus used a Gibson SG with stock pickups, 1969. I (Voss) recorded with a Fender Telecaster with a Seymour Duncan Invader pickup. We both used an 11 rack processor, but we each had our own custom tone settings. We used standard tuning with Ernie Ball strings. For bass guitar Voss used a stock Epiphone Thunderbird. As far as Magnus and the keyboards and synthesizers he mainly used Korg. On the album Magnus wrote and played his own sequences. Jason uses Ludwig drums in the studio and live. For vocals we use Shure microphones.
How do you guys feel about selling music online?
Voss- I think the internet has been a great tool to get our music out to the world and definitely bypasses the need for mass distribution by a record label. I'd have to say it's a catch 22 because it makes it available to the world for many independent bands, but it's also detriemental because you can't get the widespread distribution you need to be successful. It takes a lot of work.
How do you feel illegal music downloads affect being a professional musician?
Voss- For independent bands worldwide it's harmful because they're trying to sell their music so they can promote themselves, get some income, possibly put together tours, but it's impossible if they don't sell their music to their fans. If people just take it they never get the loyalty to actually go tour, build their fan base, and continue writing new material.
Tell us more about your new single, "Rise Up"
Voss- It is a song we had originally wanted to put on the album Synthetic Life, but it just didn't fit the theme, the music wasn't right, so we just abandoned it. After going back and reviewing it, we decided to continue with it. It's about the different wars that have been fought all over the world since the Civil War, all the countries that have helped liberate people all over the world. We wanted to convey an appreciation of what those people sacrificed to help other people.
Marcus- We'd like to donate part of the proceeds to the Disabled Veterans of America.
Is there anything else you wanted to tell us about today?
Voss- We do believe that our first official video by Extinct Nation will be based on Rise Up. We hope to get that finished here in the near future and get that released on the internet so people can view it and hopefully enjoy it.