Under Control?

April 2010

Hioctan logoThe Name:
High Octane is a technical definition which stands for high knocking characteristics.

The Biography:
Hioctan was founded in 1999 in Rostock by Robert Heidrich and Michael Senft, because the current music scene hasn't anymore been satisfactory enough. The ambition was it to combine Dark Electro with EBM. After years of experimentation, it developed to a distinctive style. In 2002, the co-founder Robert left the project, so that it has to be regarded as a one-man-project since that time. At live gigs, it is supported by other artists. Also in 2002, Hioctan manages to subscribe a record contract with the label NoiTekk, whereby the debut album "Headscan" was published throughout the world. The second album "Concentration Overload" was published in June 2005.

The Intention:
Hioctan stands for dynamic music, which does not comply with any linear music, which is just orientated to be danceable. The music is living. A song builds up, develops, then collapses, just in order to build up again with divergent arrangements. The drums and the bass lines form a symbiosis despite their complexity. The remaining elements are intended to be interlocking and to serve their purpose as a whole.

The Style:

The Interview:
With both members - Michael (composing, lyrics, voice) and Fiet (composing, lyrics, voice)...

How did you meet each other and get started as a band?

Michael: I have known Fiet for around 7 years. My former Keyborder Thoralf from the band Jäger 90 introduced me Fiet. He was always loyal to Dark Electro and Hioctan. Because of this, I have asked him to support me during live concerts. Together we had awesome concerts. Fiet's opinion was important to me. Therefore he has also supported me in the studio during the recordings for the new album Under Control.

Hioctan logoIf you were asked to describe Hioctan with three words, what would they be?

Michael: We play honest music for honest people. Following I can say three words: authentic, unconventional and complex.

Fiet: individual, vigorous, honest.

Founded in 1999, you are no newcomers. How do you see the progress you've made from the beginning until now?

Michael: In the time between 1999 and 2002 we have tried out different things, so that we could find our own style. In the early years we also had female vocals in our music. If I look back, it was not bad what we have done in the first years, but I am more satisfied with that what we do today. But in summary I can say that we have not changed our music style after our first release Headscan in the year 2003. One difference between our first two releases and Under Control is that we are now more focused on the audio engineering, so that we could get a more transparent and clear sound.

"Under Control" is your third album. I guess you can interprete it in different ways but it's about society in general, isn't it?

Michael: Not quite. The album title Under Control is taken from the same named song. This song is about the position of the USA as Worldpolice. They are commited to the welfare of mankind on this wonderful world. The task is to force the "axis of evil" to a new world order. If it is necessary, this is also done with weapons and violence. Collateral damage and the protection of their own interests are accepted. But, after the return of the troups from the attacked areas, mostly nothing is Under Control, but rather hate against western civilisation is bigger than before.

What are the stylistic means you use to express the criticism on society musically?

Michael: The lyrics alone are able to be critical. They accuse circumstances or incidents from the past and present.

What aspects of German life do you think America could benefit from and vice versa?

Fiet: That´s an interesting question, when one considers, that Germany is an American colony. Americans could for example attend to our cultural life and our culinary skills. On the other hand Germany should establish the death penalty and take more drastic measures against criminality. Americans have the advantages of matter-of-course patriotism and the freedom of opinion over us Germans…

Hioctan album promoMy Latin is limited, but does "Pax Veritas" translate as "Peace and truth"? What truth do you sing about in the song?

Michael: "Pax Veritas" means something like the "True Peace" and is the opposite thing to our song Pax Americana, which means "American Peace". The phrase "Pax Americana" describes the claim of western civilisation to form the new world order. The USA is the key figure to demonstrate and to induce the domination of the western civilisation. If necessary with weapons and force. In contrast to this stands the song Pax Veritas - the "True Peace".

"Sonderbehandlung 14f13" is the solitary German titled track on the album. Why did you use that term?

Michael: The lyrics are in English. But we have chosen a german song title, because Sonderbehandlung 14f13 is about the dreadful atrocity of the Nazis on German ground.

And what does it mean "14f13"? I remember a term called AKTION 14f13 in the Third Reich. Presumably that's the connection?

Michael: Yes, the lyrics are directed against this activity. "Sonderbehandlung 14f13" was the activity of selection and killing of concentration camp prisoners during the Nazi period. At the beginning of the Second World War this activity was directed against invalid and disabled prisoners. In the latter course of the second world war this grows into large-scale organized racist genocide.

The Nazis are now more than 60 years in the past. Despite that, the topic remains furtile ground for artists. Why do you think that is?

Michael: I hope that the people will remember this atrocity in one thousand years. We should not forget this dreadful chapter in human history, so that we always have in mind what a beast the human is. Maybe it can help us in the future to be better people. But the time after the Nazi regime has showed us that mankind is not yet adult enough. I wish that the people would be a little more satisfied with what they have. Then we would not kill one another and can live together in peace.

Fiet: This issue is still very interesting… because we Germans are concerned individually and the dealing with it is still very problematic. But also other warlike conflicts and dictatorships of the history are matters.

"Aim Of Life" deals with conformity in society. What are your key points of view of this subject?

Michael: It is the case that we all play a kind of role in this society and we have to do things, which we sometimes don't like. So most of us go every day to work, satisfy the boss and to profit as much as possible. People collect material goods, which they don't need. They measure themselves on the success on their neighbour and plan their lives in the hope, to have all under control. Therefore we wrote the song Aim of life and the question: What is all this for? At the end only death is waiting for us. And if you take a look back at your life, you understand, that you have missed living your life.

What can you tell us about the track "Damned Society"?

Fiet: The point is to show the mainstream of society… with its modesty, its anxiety to scrutinize (question their lives) and to criticize, to speak their minds freely or rather even have an own opinion. They are exposed to a constant stream of the media, they suit to the fashion trends… they let social injustices go unchallenged and they wallow in their idyllic world. Morality as well as individual values dwindle, the youth falls into bad ways. Simple Misery.

What's the song "The Great Deception" on the new album about?

Fiet: It means the mendacity of Christianity, which enjoys great popularity despite the inhumane history and the contrariness in itself… It also means the deception of the church to humans and above all its own self-deception. People build on miracles and the succour of a supernatural being, instead of handling their lives on their own. They resign to their God-given fate and lay that (their lives) into the hands of an imaginary creature with magic power. They confess and at once - all infamous actions are forgiven… let's do it again. This is immoral, isn't it?

Hioctan logoHow do you see the current situation in the music scene? Is is prospering or dying?

Fiet: Which one? The commercial one thrives, while the original, honest one goes to rack.

Michael: In my opinion the dark electronic music scene is rather at the bottom. It is noticeable that a lot of bands implement a large amount of techno elements in her music. Furthermore the bands try to copy each other and to excel each other in aggressiveness and senseless lyrics. It is difficult for me to have esteem for a band who puts half a litre of imitation blood over their head and poses with a gun. That is in my opinion neither aggressive nor imaginative. Also it is not authentic or honest. As a visitor of big festivals I increasingly have the feeling that a lot of people are not there because of the music. They are there because of the masquerade and self-manifestation.

If you were prime minister of Germany or another country, what is the first thing for you to do?

Michael: I am not interested in having such a position. I also believe that an official act alone would change nothing. The threads are already knitted.

Fiet: Because I am no politician, I can only outline some things: stop social injustice and allocate social contribution justly, once again act for the purpose of the people… support the freedom of opinion and fight intolerance in any way, punish criminality severely…

What does the future hold for Hioctan?

Michael: We want to play some live concerts. Now, after we have finished and released our new album, we want to have contact to the audience.

Any closing thoughts for our readers?

Michael: Don't believe what they tell you. Have the courage to find it out for yourself.

Fiet: Think before you judge, don't let someone impose crap on you. Speak out your minds and go straight!

PHOTOS: Kirstin Zurow

See also:

Official Hicotan website: http://www.hioctan.de

Official Hicotan Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/hioctan