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MOTHER ENGINE - A new ship is born and its name is 'Hangar'!


Wednesday 1 November 2017


mother engine interview



Mother Engine
 is an instrumental rock band influenced by the stoner and post rock scene as well as by the psychedelic kraut rock movement of the 60's and 70's.

They were formed in 2011 and their debut album Muttermaschine was released one year later. Absturz came next in 2015 and just two months ago (September 2017) they released their third album Hangar. Following their live performances at various festivals –Berlin’s Desertfest, Stoned from the Underground, Keep it Low Festival and Freak Valley Festival– it was only a matter of time before they took up their position in the German underground scene and formed their own devout audience.

Their live shows are always kicking, trippy and full of energy. They are currently touring Europe for the promotion of Hangar. In Greece, the presentation of the album will take place on November 3rd at Death Disco. The interview that follows is a great chance to learn more about Chris Trautenbach (guitar), Cornelius Grünert (drums) and Christian Dressel (bass) and join Mother Engine in a unique night out that only they can offer.




The first concert i ever seen...

Chris: Gwyn Ashton in my hometown place called “Malzhaus”

Corny: Gerhard Schöne (German singer/songwriter for children).

Christian: Punkband called Volxeigentum in Malzhaus. Loud as shit.


The first record I ever bought was...

Ac Dc - High voltageChris: AC/DC ... I think it was High Voltage in a media marked in my hometown... I was pretty young... maybe 9 or 10 and standing probably really nervous in front of the cashier...

Corny: I think it was a CD from the German punkrock band Die Ärzte.

Christian: I guess it was Slipknot – Iowa or Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory.




The best album cover artwork is...

mother engine - absturzChris: Mother Engine - Absturz, Eusepia Lehe (Katrin Lehmann), I know it's weird to bring up the own stuff in that section, but that one was such a cool work. Building a real live model and took photos of it, was such a great experience...

Corny: Spinal Tap - Smell the Glove, should I explain this?

Christian: Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood. Don't know whats the best but I like the simple black/white stuff.


The album that I wish I hadn’t bought

priestess - prior to the fireChris: Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive... Worst record ever... but it was cheap though...

Corny: Priestess - Prior To The Fire, I love the first one Hello Master so I preordered the second one, It' s shit.

Christian: Usually it's this second hand records from well known bands which which nobody talks about only costs a few coins...



A kid asks me what 'Progressive Stoner' is. I hand him a copy of...

Chris: I'd say Mother Engine - Hangar, because we wanted it to be that kinda genre... but my opinion is that Rotor - IV, would fit perfect to this question too... Great album! But don't know if the band would agree.

Corny: puuuh... I follow Chris, Hangar.

Christian: I hand him a copy of the book “The amazing world of Progressive Stoner Rock for beginners”


The album I wish I had made myself is...

Chris: There ain't none, there are so many great records from bands like Colour Haze or Motorpsycho or or or … that I love to listen to, but don't want to think about the nerves it took to record it... Maybe I'd choose a shitty Rhianna album because it sells good.

Corny: I wish, I could be part of an album of Massive Attack or Thievery Cooperation, `cause the drummers have one of the best grooves ever!


No one will believe I own a copy of...

Chris: Cypress Hill - Black Sunday, great record, but I don't think that anybody would think I'm listening to oldschool hip hop.

Corny: Gerhard Schöne - Live LP from AMIGA, I listen to him, since I´m 3 years old. 5 years ago, I found it again in my grandma´s cellar. He´s a singer/songwriter for children, so nobody would think I had a Gerhard Schöne LP in my LP Colletion.

Christian: I think nobody believes that I own an excellent Death Metal collection in my storage.


Τhe story behind the creation of Hangar...

Chris: It was made in a very ornate and passionate process, that took a lot of time and a lot of energy, but represents the sound and the intention really well. Since our band got a lot of reactions to the last two albums, that differed from "really good and clean sound", to "good, but live much better energy", we decided to take mother engine hangarcare of recordings ourself. The offer to record in a lovely place in the woods of our home region (Vogtland), with our good friend and experienced sound technician Marco Naumann (Colour Haze, My Sleeping Karma, Dunajam, Up in Smoke...) came nearly at the same time as we decided to record the new material finally for the 3rd album, so it felt like some kind of fortune to fullfill... I remember Christian saying: «Man, if we won't take that opportunity, we should be struck by lighting while taking a dump»... So we started to get to know that room, which used to be an old small embroidery fabric in the past – buildings that were quite typical in our region. It was a big space of about 60 - 80 m² with brick walls, surrounded by old wooden crossed windows all around the building, wooden ceiling and free swinging wooden parquet floor. It sounded surprisingly dry, when we started our first session inside. Bass was light and cymbals clear, mids fat and there seemed to be a lot of potential for playing loud as fuck, without getting into muddy zone. That and the self resonance of the room was what we tried to capture on that album.

Microphones were mostly borrowed by Stefan Koglek (Thank you very much!), to capture that live sound as natural and real as possible. The songs are all played live and together, standing in that room and being highly connected to each other, as we are on stage (except of overdubs of course).

The Songs: Hangar consists of 4(-5) songs that fill all 4 sides of an double LP. They'll be divided in different subsections 1. Prototyp - Form - Windkanal - Belastung, 2. Biosprit - C2H6O - 104 ROZ - HVO, 3. Tokamak - Torus - Kompression - Injektion - Lawson Kriterium, 4. Weihe / Leerlauf. These songs highly represent our self evolution and individuation as single musicians and as a band at the same time.

The songwriting process took us over 2 years and were written fully sober and thoughtful to create trippy feelings, deep moments and a fictive instrumental story, that should bring the listener into experiencing their own story of Mother Engine. We invested a lot of time in the songwriting process, building tons of structures that needed to be combined in a very time consuming process of practicing every single minute. We tried to use a lot of classic music figures and styles to create that more robotic and unnatural sound. The use of staccato, dissonance, diatonic, monotonic, homophony, unisoon playing, dynamic metrum and tempo changes and dynamic volume changes attempt to create a new style of songs, that won't end up with melodic, harmonic or simple understandable dramatics, but instead stay as a simple combined rhythm and sound part. Like in a big factory or simply a hangar. Of course we still tried to create different moods. Psychedelic and smooth parts, bluesy jamming, slow movement, fast tracks and heavy smashes. Still Mother Engine!

The Story: After the Mother Engine crashed in the last album Absturz on that hostile but still very natural and organic planet X-Alpha Wolf, it has been rebuild and overhauled very modern and less DIY and defective as it was before, without losing its charm and sympathy. Of course that process ain't simple but clearly divided: Prototyp is the design and creation process of that new ship. Testing the first parts, different and new techniques and trying on different parts that could be combined to that new ship. Biosprit is the answer to the question of which fuel should be used. Of course having a new ship, means a lot of responsibility for the owners as well as for the planets you'll visit... Since we found that new resources on the planet, the ship crashed on, we could make it possible to get very energetic and strong fuel, that will consist of many different advantages: power/ strength, perfect handling in asteroid fields and high acceleration. Tokamak is the new reactor and power supply for the ship. It's a plasma fusion reactor that stands for the new and unconventional energy that empowers the movement of the new tracks, the Mother Engine has to fly through. It starts with understanding the shape of the Torus, which is a round, tire shaped circle in which the nuclear fusion happens through constant magnetic field power. Tighten and repel over and over again. Till the point of compression is reached and extends through the plasma infusion into high energy recovery. In case of a static magnetic field, the Lawson- criteria maintenance will provide a stable energy production. Finally as an old tradition in every handcraft work, and in combining the different parts (bodywork, engine, reactor,...) also called “wedding”, the ship needs to be celebrated... So Weihe happens to be the celebration party and festivity of making it possible that the ship is made! It was a party that took more than 5 magratheanic years and costs twice the amount of the ship... Slartibartfass nearly died, sharing that blunt with Watto... oh what a party! Of course on the high peak of that party the engine is getting started and the first test run, Leerlauf, is hearable... It's constant, peaky and distorted, loud and constant.... A new ship is born!


All your songs so far are instrumentals. Have you ever thought of adding lyrics?

We had vocals in the past. And will use it in the future for our album production. But we like the challenge of instrumental music. I can't guarantee to have vocals one day nor avoid them for ever, but for us there is not that big difference in having or not having vocals. It's still our music in the end...


mother engine

Our favorite song from our own work...

Chris: Hangar, Weihe/Leerlauf, super fun to play, exciting songwriting structure.

Corny: Difficult question. I like/love all songs from Absturz and Hangar. If I have to decide, Relief (Absturz), Tokamak and Weihe/Leerlauf (Hangar), groovy parts, tricky rhythms, fat sounds...
 
Christian: Tokamak, never gets boring to play.


The favorite song of our fans...

Chris: Muttermaschine - Mantra, don't know why they allways long for that song... but we get asked for it so often...


The most embarrassing moment from a gig was...

Berlin Desertfest 2015... Everything went wrong, a amp broke, sticks and drumparts broke, singing didn't work out as expected


The most unforgettable moment from a gig was...

Stoned from the underground 2014 first show on a really big stage, crowded as fuck, they loved it, we nearly shitted our pants...


The craziest story of a tour...

We experienced so much in the last few years that it's really hard to tell the craziest story. And if I'd try it would be really hard to find the words. While typing this interview we are touring through the Balkan and Lord, this is a crazy lovely beautiful place!


The must have travel item on tour...


CCR compilation and toilet paper.


There are many troubles in a tour. The real one is...

Not getting laid because of annoying things you have to do.


Our plans for the near future are...

Touring and writing songs as much as possible! We all took one year off from work to follow or passion in music. So time runs and we want to use it as much and effective as possible.


In our gig, on 3rd November at Death Disco, the audience can expect...

We are going to present the songs from our new album and we are totally looking forward to visit Athens for the first time. Additional to that you might could expect 4 Germans at the bar which took too much Ouzu.


Dear fans...

Join the concert, have some beers with us, take care, lets make it a special night!


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