The Exaltics have landed to free your mind, invade your soul and take over your world.
With a constant stream of dark uncompromising releases on Bunker, Creme, Last Known Trajectory, Transient Force and Solar One Music, you wonder how it all happens and how they arrived.
Their leader explains …..
I really like the way The Exaltics name instantly conjures up an image of a dark band of royal superior beings, yet it’s one person!
Did you plan to do that to create some mystique? What’s the story behind the name?
I feel the same way when I look on that project from the outside. The people of the Exaltics are a dark band with no rules on how many they are or how they look. That gives me a great mystique and strange feel , I love that. The name was created around the word „exalt“. This word works best for he story of a superior alien population who takes care on our planet earth. It takes months to get this name complete. I really like a story behind the music so your imagination is more focused on it. That’s very important to me. Also it’s very interesting for people when they don´t know much about an artist. They want to look behind the mystique and that makes it more interesting. People are in general „curious“ and want to uncover „secrets“.
A lot of what The Exaltics do is quite dark, and it’s never held you back from being successful.
Why do you think that people embrace dark music, or is it just part of a cycle of fashion that comes and goes?
I don´t think dark music is fashion. Either you feel it or not. I prefer dark and intense stuff because I get a much stronger feeling then hearing „happy“ music. I think the scene around record collectors is that they don´t only consume music. They want the interesting original and deep stuff which touches their souls, where they can dive into another world. Please don´t get me wrong there is also interesting „happy“ music but I think dark and intense music gives the much stronger feel. It’s like this for me!
You’ve had a lot of releases on different labels, Bunker, Last Known Trajectory, Creme, Transient Force and your own Solar One Music.
Do you think that the only chance electronic musicians have of getting established is to always have something current out, and how do you manage to juggle that kind of schedule!
I´m also a passionate 12“ collector and all these labels are favourites of mine.
I had a great wish to release music with them. Also every label has it’s own fan base besides the regular scene. So you can reach more people and that’s good to get your stuff out in the world. I work very hard for my passion, my music, the label SOM (Solar One Music) which I run with best friend Nico.
Music is my life, pain, and sin to be on this earth.
I´m so happy to read words from people all over the world who feel my music! That’s the best payment I can get. And yes I think because they are so many artists out there you have to work much harder to establish your music and name. I don´t want to be popular personally. I want to reach out with The Exaltics to people’s souls.
I want to make music that people want to hear many years from now. That’s my mission on earth!. So the quality can´t go down. You have to surprise people. That’s the main thing to establish yourself as an artist. 10 bad records a year are not better than 2 great ones! All these things are connected with a lot of work and will. I have a regular job beside the music but I hope someday that will change.
How do you feel about the artist/DJ life of constant travel and touring to earn money? It’s really tough to have a personal and home life if you are always on the road.
Do you have a plan to restrict that or balance it so you don’t have to sacrifice that side of life completely for your music?
That’s a theme in my head for some time. I get many offers for playing live and I´m really happy about this. I have a regular job so touring at the weekend would not be so easy at the moment because on the weekend I have to charge my batteries from my regular job and also my music and label thing. I´m also in a relationship and I want to take care of this. So I think when I play live then I can only play a few gigs in the beginning so I don´t burn myself out. I´m a perfectionist. I´m compulsive and want to make things to my own personal high standard. That’s not easy for me to do when playing live because I put my self under too much pressure. So at the moment I´m still in the planning stage because I haven´t come up with the perfect idea for a good live set for my taste and my compulsive perfections.
In general the best would be a good balance between „normal“ life (studio,home) and „road“ life. You have to be a good balanced person to not drift away with alcohol, no sleep etc.. I know a little bit this life from 96´-2003. I was a Dj and always on fire. That lays behind me. Today I need a normal life for my own personal balance. I´m too compulsive in my world, to have another gig every weekend. I´m more the man for the studio.
The Internet explosion has had a devastating effect on music. If something is sold digitally it’s usually on a torrent site in hours.
I even read a stat that it’s the tip of the iceberg as nearly double the amount are swapping hard drive collections offline.
What do you think happened to make people decide music has little or no value, or is it up to the artist to make people value music again?
They are always people who only „consume“ music, and others who „love and feel“ music and want to support artists and labels. Sadly today the evolution of technology means that most media things will be taken for free rather than paid for. When people (not all!!!) get things for free than they take it. So they have more money for other things (that’s the thought behind it). That’s the problem of modern civilization. „More,more“ nothing has any worth. Everything runs fast, life , relationships etc.. Everybody wants the newest hippest shit and nobody looks behind and asks „What about the people who make all these things“. It’s difficult to describe but I think everybody knows what I mean.. But again not all people live this way and for those of you who care for the people who put a lot of time, work and love into the things you consume I give my full respect. Most people also don´t understand that quality has it’s price. If they knew that most labels don´t earn much money and only break even, maybe they would buy 1 more mp3 or 1 more 12“. One day the labels can´t make a profit and they will stop. There will be less and less music over time. I don´t want to judge anyone out there but maybe think about what will happen in the future before you upload a new torrent. We are not all rich rock stars!
You’ve worked with a lot of labels in different parts of the world, is there anything that you’ve spotted that really blows you away about how they work?
Have you then learnt from that and applied it to Solar One Music?
I´m happy to say that I always had good experiences with the labels I work with. They all worked differently but all were cool in their own special way. Everybody has their own working flow. Some are more transparent than others. I prefer to know how the release grows up and all the stuff. We at SOM make it this way. Everybody is different in such things..but it’s always an interesting process.
I remember on Myspace years ago when you were selling tracks on a USB drive, which was a very different thing to do back then!
What kind of strategy have you had to get yourself from that point to the point you’re at now?
We wanted something special for the first release with SOM and The Exaltics. The USB thing was technical and fits perfectly with The Exaltics story. The „key“ to the mother ship. It was a very interesting and cool project, it was fresh, but not everybody likes these excursions, because all want vinyl in general. We were a little bit frustrated at the time. We didn’t have enough money to press vinyl, but we wanted to do a label and continue with our work in doing CD releases with original packaging.
It’s one of our trademarks today. The theme around SOM and The Exaltics is always to be „something different,something special“. That’s our way of life! We wanted that people could see that we made this stuff from the heart. And it works. We sold better and better from release to release. We contacted every distributor for a long time with no results. But we didn´t give up. One day we got a message from Clone Rotterdam. They ordered our whole SOM back catalogue. A marathon of burning and stamping Cds’ began. But we were in business from this day. Today we press also vinyl and look back on 20 releases. We always believe in the things we do and I think people see this!
If you could start again at this point in time, given how much things have changed even in the last 5 years, what would you do differently?
Are there any points where you knew you’d made a big mistake, or where you really knew you’d struck gold?
I would do it all again this way. All mistakes turn to good things someday. You are learning by doing. Mistakes are good to teach you what to do differently the next time.
My great turning point in my musical life was after I got a message from Guy Tavares that he wants to make a Bunker release with me. My heart was beating like an air hammer after I read his message. I think i was drinking 3 beers after another to calm down and realize what was happening. Definitely the greatest day of my life!
Social media and marketing has become something electronic musicians must do, you could literally spend all day working on it. How do you feel about it?
Do you think that maybe it could implode and we’ll all head back to more of the physical and personal word of mouth?
I think Social Media is very important for artists labels and all media things for spreading the word. Nearly everybody has an account on such sites, and it’s getting bigger and bigger. I think in the future, there will be more sites. For some years it was Myspace today it’s Facebook and Twitter and in some years there will be new platforms. Maybe someday nobody has their own homepage anymore. Everything will happen via personal Social Media sites. I can imagine such a scenario.
No question it’s perfect for some promo for some words etc. But we should not lose ourselves there! That’s the big problem. We are individuals not only a Facebook account for example..Many forget this. Modern Technology is a curse and a mercy. It’s important how we handle it and don´t forget real life.
Have you ever thought about teaching what you know to up and coming artists, a bit like an Exaltics boot camp. You get trained in sonic weaponry, shore up your defences, then release them to spread the word? What would be on your class schedule to teach your students?
Be honest, be true, be yourself, be the hardest working person, don´t give up and believe in your vision and everything will be open to you. I thought such words were crap before I had 1 record released, but these words are true and the only way to move ahead.