German electro producer Kris Menace is one of the nicest guys that we’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing. A recent Skype date revealed details regarding latest album Features, a new album he is prepping for release later this year, as well as a brand new collaborative project.
Where are you and what are you wearing?
It’s 11AM, I just woke up and I am fresh out of the shower. Glad to see you remembered to get dressed for the Skype call. Yes, of course (laughs). I thought I’d put on a sweater and some pants at least (laughs). And where is home? I live in the south of Germany just along the French border. I’m almost a Frenchman (laughs).
Congrats on the new album!
Thank you very much. I hope you like it! We really do. The more we listen to it, the more we love it!
You have worked with many amazing producers over the years: Lifelike, Alan Braxe, Felix da Housecat, Fred Falke, Black Van, Aeroplane. You must have had some incredible experiences.
I am mostly behind the scene where there is a lot of sweat, tears and hard work involved, that’s for sure (laughs). Sometimes you just don’t get a chance to enjoy it as much as you’d like to. As soon as you become a little bit more known, the pressure seems to build up. But in saying that, I have still had a lot of fun doing what I love doing over the years.
Given that you have such a large catalogue of music, do you still enjoy listening and playing your older tracks?
Yes! I definitely still love to listen to my music. Sometimes I still even get goose-bumps when I listen to some of my productions. I really love what I am doing and what I have done.
Who has been the hardest person, artist or band you’ve ever had to deal with?
Oh geez (laughs). I’d probably have to say the managers and the A&R people. There are just too many people with too many opinions on the business side of things. The artists themselves are mostly pretty cool and easy to work with (laughs).
Did you find it easy sourcing collaborators to work with on Features?
Yeah, it was really easy actually. I started planning the whole project about 5 years ago and I had a list of artists that I really wanted to work with. So over time I sent out a few instrumental pieces to some people that I wanted to work with, and luckily they were all really up for it. It was quite easy. There were two or three people that it didn’t work out. We just couldn’t get it to work, so in the end we said we’d just put it aside for another time. But I will definitely work with them again in the future.
I really prefer to work with people I know too. Like with Julian (The Presets), I met him in Frankfurt at a concert and then I started to chat with him and Kim (The Presets), and from there I did a remix for them. So there was that connection already and I really like to have that with the people I’m working with.
‘Hide’ was a fantastic choice for the album’s first single. What made you choose that particular track to represent this album? These days, it seems that things get old really quickly and I really wanted to develop the album over a few months. So I figured I needed to start with a single that had a good balance of everything so that it could keep the momentum going. I thought that the Miss Kittin track would be a really good start. It was also good timing as Miss Kittin was just about to release her album, so that all worked out really well.
What else can we expect from Kris Menace in 2013?
There is a lot to come. There will be a few more singles from the album. Then I will have a few club singles coming out too. And then I’m also going to be releasing another instrumental Kris Menace album later this year!
I’ve also teamed up with one of the really great artist from the Features album. We’ve created a new project and we are both really excited to get to work and really focus all of our attention into that project. It’s going to sound kind of like Depeche Mode meets Empire of the Sun. I am very excited to hear some of that. Yes, we are both very excited about that too. What will be the name of the new project? Well, we haven’t fully decided yet but it will probably be fairly simple like Menace & … Or something like that (laughs).
Will we see you in Australia anytime soon?
Nothing planned at the moment I’m afraid. I do really want to go there but I must admit, I have some Visa issues with Australia (laughs). Do tell. Well, I was caught with some weed when I was a teenager here in Germany and that gave me a record. Then in 2007 I was supposed to go over to Australia for the We Love Sounds festival, but they refused my Visa because of that record 13 years ago! If I hadn’t have been honest and answered “yes” on that question, no one would have ever known!
I was even headlining with Alan Braxe and my name was on the posters and everything. So bad!
Features is the first vocal album from Kris Menace that includes Julian Hamilton from The Presets, Daft Punk collaborator Romanthony, Robert Ownes, Chelonis R Jones, Simon Lord, Unai and Miss Kittin to name a few.
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