Monday, 18 May 2009
Interview: Model for Memory
Model For Memory is the brainchild of Robert Gardner a.k.a Ed Electrode, a young man who lives in the South of England.
He says that MFM was: BORN OUT OF A LOVE OF THE MINIMAL IN 2007 TO PROVIDE SOUNDS RANGING FROM ICE COATED MINIMAL ELECTRONICA TO SHUDDERING REVERBED WALLS OF NOISE.
He has been creating music for three years but has just kickstarted his live career playing at Worship in Shoreditch Church alongside the likes of Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man and Selfish Cunt. He is set to play at 1-2-3-4 festival this summer.
You are Model for Memory and recently you played a gig at Shoreditch's Worship festival which is legendary in it's own right, how was that for you?
For me it was an amazing experience. I performed in a sonically unique and inspiring environment, met fascinating people and was on a list of bands that are due to go down in history, along with the festival itself.
I hear since Worship you have been asked to play 1-2-3-4 festival, this festival could potentially make or break your career. How do you feel about the pressure you'll be under to deliver a good show and how did you handle it at Worship?
Hmm, that's a hard one, you just have to practice enough until it becomes second nature, then on top of that you can go crazy. I think the sound that I produce at 1-2-3-4 will be different in referral to the audience and the venue.
At Worship, being my first live outing, I was terrified, but you kind of hide behind the sound to begin with, gauge the reactions of the crowd and base the performance on that.
Your music is dark, compelling and sometimes terrifying, what inspired you to make this sound and how do you go about it? Do you have a particular process when writing songs?
Well, I experiment with sound a lot and if i'm not happy with even one factor in a piece of music, I won't finish in it and it goes onto the scrapheap. The way I craft sound is mainly through analogue synthesis, sampling and working closely on drum beats etc. I suppose it's a bit of a free for all, for example, if i'm messing around and I hear even one tiny sound which sounds right out of hundreds that i'm experimenting with then that is the focus for me and I work from there. I use a lot of effects as well.
You always seem to be dressed well, is this just coincidence or do you spend time making sure you look right for the role you are playing as MFM?
The image of the performer is the image that the crowd take away and associate with you. I put quite a lot of thought into it and dress to the music. But as a personal rule of thumb, I am always well dressed. A day badly dressed, is impressions wasted.
I take it you are a strong believer in first impressions then?
Absolutely. Those first seconds are important, and more often than not, you can't change them. This is why I get so annoyed when other musicians are so closed off to other musicians. If you want people to think you are pretentious and bigger than you really are, then make yourself inaccessable.
What about in day to day situations? When you encounter friends of friends and so on?
Even then it's just as important to make sure you are who you are and not to cover that up. You're more likely to be liked for who you really are, rather than your "first impressions persona", which can often be quite intimidating.
You have several sideprojects, who are they and do they bare any similarities with MFM? Tell us all.
I have several side projects. I've got Les Garcons Morts but I don't think it sounds at all like my work as MFM, however it retains some of the elements, it can be dark and fairly sinister and some of the motives behind songs come from similar inspiration. Next is Massacro Favoloso.We started out as a DJing outfit, but we now have plans to produce some beautiful coldwave/minimal synth stuff.
You believe in accessibility for fans when it comes to bands they love, if you became as famous as some bands and people are, and had to spend all your time doing intense touring, constantly stopping for photos and autographs and had the paparazzi following your every move, how will you cope? And how will you continue to be the nice guy?
Honestly, I don't really know the answer to that one. In a nutshell the best thing to do is to treat a fan like a friend, because they are gonna be pretty put out if someone they look up to is a total arse to them.
The Paparazzi is a different story, if i want to be photographed then so be it, but if i was in a situation where I was really not in the mood or i was stressed, then i would be pretty angry.
Now for a pretty generic question, influences? But not just bands, films, people, books, parties... ? Where band's are concerned, the range is very wide. My original motivation for starting electronic music was Throbbing Gristle, Kraftwerk, D.A.F and Suicide. Weirdly im influenced by places a great deal. Walking home late at night down a street lit by clinical orange lights, and the inspiration is right there. Where films are concerned i was majorly enthralled by Fritz Lang's Metropolis.. Eraserhead, Blue Velvet etc.
The austerity of Kraftwerk appeals to me the whole strong image, but i'd only ever use that on an album cover. Playing live, i feel like vaulting around the stage like a crazed technician.Right, I think that's about it, any wise words for our readers, anything else you want to add?
Never be afraid of critics, adversaries or people who think they are superior to you.
Thankyou very much for your time Robert!
To hear some of Model For Memory's songs go to:
And don't forget to look out for him at this year's 1-2-3-4 festival!