This year will belong to him. Felix Marc – Diorama keyboarder and Frozen Plasma vocalist is ready to release his first solo record - „Pathways”on August 29th. His debutant video „Give Back The Moments” recently came at „Visual Infaction, Vol. 1” DVD and the special version of new song „Digital Love” on „Infacted Vol. 4” compilation. Both Felix's groups – commanding by Torben Wendt and Vasi Vallis - are prepared to show up on new albums. DarkPlanet as first interviews artist about his solo career and author's pathways.DarkPlanet: - Two new realizations with your solo pieces, two populargroups, two records in preparation, the third is ready to release... are you felt artistically coming true?
Felix Marc: Actually, I am feeling a little bit tired right now, but let’s put it this way - slowly but surely, I am getting the feeling of having reached a point where I have enough output possibilities for my musical ideas. However, artistically I am always struggling to go beyond the limits that I reached with the last production. I think it is important to always challenge your own boundaries and question yourself in order to move forward - in life and in music.
- Felix Marc solo, Diorama, Frozen Plasma - more similarities or differences?
There is a common interest in order to entertain the masses and deliver a profound message. Yet I think the musical expectations of each project is individual and can’t be compared to each other. This is also mainly due to the fact that the driving force behind each project are different people. For
Diorama it is Torben Wendt, for Frozen Plasma it is Vasi Vallis and for Felix Marc it is myself. Of course, there are certain elements that will be carried over from one project to the other, mainly with my person as the transporter, but I guess each of these projects has its well defined characteristic and will also maintain this special character in the future.
- Back to the beginning of your career. You started as a DJ. What kind of music did you play? We even read about house and trance. Your influences from this period?
Back then I focused on trance and dance music during my sets. It was just the hype of the time. I surely took some influences from this period into my today’s compositions, especially the rhythm structures of the uptempo songs. Although I am convinced that my musical roots are more in the 80s.
- You and Torben are friends - as you both have told in interviews. How did your private (and then: professional) ways cross?
I know Torben from kindergarten when we played in the same sand pit. But the real friendship started in high school when we started to produce songs together.
- "Pale" - the first record of Diorama. What did you think about it, when you joined the group? Too melancholic sounds (and "I must set it in motion") or full admiration and wish of participation in this "plot"? The second longplay - "Her liquid arms" - with your participation already, is completely
different than first.
I followed the process of the creation of “Pale” more or less from a spectator’s point of view, since by that time I already shared a studio with Torben. From our previous collaborations in trance projects I was really surprised to see this very melancholic piece evolve. But I had great respect for his work and how he approached the project in finding a label and producing an entire album. It was shortly after the release of this album that Diorama was asked to perform live, so I did Torben the favour to go on stage with him and I liked the experience. That was the point when I actually joined the
group in September 2000. So in consequence and with the inspirations from this new musical input from the dark wave scene, we set out to produce the second album, which is indeed far more uptempo and different from the first. I guess Torben brought in the melancholy from the first album and I featured certain elements that set it in motion.
- Your contribution into Diorama music. You are co-author of few pieces and producer of many of them. And only this we can find out at records covers. Could you bring closer to us your status in the formation? And whole the process of Diorama art creating?
The creation usually starts with a bottle of red wine or bombay gin. The rest is a secret recipe of unleashed souls diving into a parallel world while remembering absolutely nothing of last night and everything about tomorrow. We don’t have a precise process of working. Torben and I are both, working independently on songs as well as driving some of them in collaboration to the end. This way we achieve to create this interesting mixture that stands for the sound of Diorama.
- Diorama is one of these groups, which perfectly unites its music with graphic robe of the records. They are unusually original and considered. Is this graphics Torben's idea, vision of a whole band or a conception of its author? How do diorama of your minds come to existence?
The graphic element is and always has been a really important part of the entire message that Diorama stands for. Torben really puts a lot of focus on details, in the songs as well as in the covers of the albums. So we start from a basic idea of how the cover should look like or what kind of band pictures we want to create. This idea is then further detailed and improved often with additional input from artists and photographers which we already know and have been working with in the past, because we admire their work.
- Some musical ideas. A teremine in "Someone dies", voice samples (as from sound path of a gloomy or sf movie) in other songs. Where are they from? Diorama music is like a good film - it seems, we know it already, but every time a new surprise waits. And going this way - your cinema fascinations?
We use both, hardware and software synthesizers as well as live instruments like a guitar. This enables us to experiment a lot with interaction of instruments in order to create new sound spheres. Personally, I like atmospheric sourroundings like featured in “Somone dies” a lot. Lately, I discovered the cinematic art of Luc Besson and try to build an archive with all his movies. He has a very intelligent and authentic way to display human interactions and confrontations that fascinates me.
- In April in Warsaw you've played for more than two hours and then for long time talked with fans. The audience was delighted. How could you keep such a form alive?
It is something like a wonder, how during the concerts we build up this energy and atmosphere that carries us and the audience through the set and gives us the power to play for more than 2 hours and still go out and talk and party with the fans after the show. It is a really special experience and we appreciate to be given the opportunities to do this.
- In 2005 Vasi Vallis invited you to join Frozen Plasma - a project, where you are the lead singer. Tell us, where the name of the band has been taken from? There are many social references and interpersonal observations in Vasi's - outwardly simple - texts.
The band name has been in Vasi’s head for quite some time. It goes back to his experiences with this former job in the Swiss banking industry where money and return of investment was everything and sociality was left apart. One day he had something like an inspiration that he can no longer support this system and decided to quit his job and seek fulfilment in making music. The band name stands for the modern society that can actually freeze life in the form of blood plasma over a very long time and reanimate the frozen substance without difficulty, however it is not possible to feed every hungry mouth on this planet, for instance in Africa. This image symbolizes that priorities in this world are certainly set wrong and with our band we want to point our finger on these problems.
- Vasi and you will edit a new single soon, then - a record too. Will Frozen Plasma music become more predacious? Are you going to surprise your fans with some new quality (like Reaper on last album)?
At this point, the single is about to be finished, so it is hard to already say something about the upcoming album, but I guess we will maintain our successful concept of club songs with social lyrics. For sure, the single will be a great club hit and will be the successor of “Warmongers”.
- Now about your private career. You are self-taught musician. Is this something what held you back before entering the solo way? Or rather - you are felt mature artist only now?
I used to have the feeling, since I didn’t learn an instrument from scratch and didn’t take lessons, that my own compositions would lack a certain level of professionalism which makes it impossible to go for an own release. However, with the experiences in the other two projects and the feedback on my works from fans, I grew self-confident about the idea that my songs have enough potential to make it out there in the wide music world.
- We can already hear that your author's creation will be a bit different from Diorama and Frozen Plasma achievements. But how is your subjective estimate of it? In what kind of music do you express yourself best? Which radical of your songs is most "Felix Marc's"?
I feel at home in all of the projects I participate in. Their entitlement being different, allows me to wander between aggressive fast songs, melancholic slow songs, and mid-tempo electro pop style. Like a human being changes its mood. And since I am composing best based on personal moods, I can switch to either of the projects - like a chameleon. However, the works on my own album gave me the possibility to compile songs that reflected my work during the past 10 years. So it is pretty much like an autobiography, which makes it also interesting to listen to “Pathways”.
- You present a specific and very reinless kind of stage moving. Who is an author of this choreography?
I always liked to dance and even took dancing classes in standard dances for quite some time when I was in high school. Dancing is an integral part of music - music is there to stimulate the mind and the body and in consequence sets the body into motion. On stage I just let myself flow on the vibes of the moment.
- The incidents during your concerts, travels, DJ parties or promotion meetings. Could you remind yourself few most funny or unexpected?
I believe so far during every journey to a concert or during a concert there have been things that were not planned or that I recall to be funny. And this makes the trips and concert really something special, too. But I think my band mates will kill me if I give out these secrets. I recommend to the
readers that you come out to one of the Diorama shows and experience it yourself, if you haven’t already done so.
- Felix Marc is a very talented person. But only one. On the stage you'll need someone else. Can you reveal... who will it be?
For the moment, I am not planning to perform my songs live. It would mean a certain effort to put the songs into a live concept together with a band, besides maintaining my input into Diorama and Frozen Plasma. So I decided to wait for the feedback on the first album, before thinking about such a step.