End of March 2012 Eric Sneo released his new album “Polarity”. The twelve tracks show Eric’s musical development, building on his existing and successful album “Slave to the Beat” (2005) on Terminal M, the cult album “Let’s go Techno” (2007) and “Connected” (2008, with Felix Kröcher).
Reason enough to ask the “man with the e-harmonica” what the new album is all about.
Hi Eric, is your new album “Polarity” a contrasting album?
Polarity describes a bandwidth which in extreme cases can even be contradictory, being located in each pole and being a piece of the opponent. In this case, the polarity is united in one album and my aim is to present the different parts of me and my music.
You have, I think for the first time, worked together with two singers. What motivated you and how did you become aware of Chris the Voice and Marq Figuli?
I’ve been looking for distinctive voices, one for vocals and one for the spoken parts, such as the intro. Marq is a really good singer and in the track “Sensation” the vocal line in the end consists of five voices which build up the harmony. Chris just has an incredibly rugged and impressive voice that you recognize immediately!
Is it for you, predominantly producing in the studio alone, a change, now working with a singer?
I am a trained sound engineer and previously I had always to do with lots of singing for pop productions and other jobs. Therefore, the handling of singers in the studio is nothing new. With the two artists came a creative atmosphere in the studio and the work was a lot of fun!
How long was the production phase for “Polarity”? Have you sat down and said, “Now I start producing a new album”, or were the tracks created over a longer period of time?
Important for an album is the concept and the idea behind it. It is supposed to be not just a collection of tracks. The theme of polarity accompanied me in many areas of my life and has been shown in the tracks and ideas that have emerged in the studio. I’ve tinkered around a year in various layouts, and also tested a lot of tracks in the clubs. The best were the basis for this album and the rest was written under the influence of the title.
The album includes 12 tracks. A 13th track you are offering to your fans as a free download. How does it come? Especially in a time in which so many artists complain that the sales decline and illegal downloads increase more and more.
In this case it is not illegal use, and I can not prevent illegal downloads. To me it is important that the tracks will be heard in the flood of releases. And also, the track is available as a free download only up to the release date of the album.
Last year you came up with your exciting live act and the accompanying DVD “Art of Live”. Here you bind in instruments like electric accordions, electric drums and even a didgeridoo, all this in an electronic live act. Can we hear these instruments also on “Polarity”?
The instruments are not heard much on the new album because I really did so many tracks in the past with that, and it should not get too much. After this album now I will go back to further develop the “Art of Life” project!
What made you use those instruments in the “Art of Live” experiment?
These are all tools that I can play and which I could imagine in my musical context. The accordion for example was already frequently used in electronic music and has enriched my anthem for “Tanz der Familie”. As a new instrument, I have a theremin, at which the pitch and volume is controlled by two antennas. Live this sounds just great!
What was the reaction of the scene and your colleagues when you came up with this experiment? Was anybody laughing at you in the beginning? If, just behind my back.
Back to “Polarity”. Will you actually present the album as a live act, or showcase a classic DJ set?
During the “Polarity” album tour I will have my e-drums and the theremin with me on stage!
Can you please tell us a bit more about the album tour? Where will you be around and where can we see and hear you? I will be playing in Spain and Italy and also at some clubs in Germany. Just check out the latest dates on ericsneo.de!
Finally, one last question. Have you actually noticed that you’ve made it into our “PARTYSAN Poll & Awards 2011” in the Top 10 in the “Best Live Act” category? Are you generally interested in dance music awards, and what significance do they have for you?
Of course I’ve noticed that! It’s a nice feedback, and when you appear in the Top 10 this is a great motivation for me. I am particularly pleased because I made no advertising and still made it into the category “Best Live Act”! Thanks to all who have supported my show!
Thank you for the interview and good luck with the new album!
Interview: Raphael Dincsoy
Photos: Christopher Rausch