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Funker Vogt exploded onto the scene with their debut, "Thanks For Nothing" on the legendary Zoth Ommog label in 1996. Since then, this powerful German band have released an impressive collection of EPs and CDs that contain some of the most requested songs played in EBM clubs worldwide. During the first weekend of November 2004, Funker Vogt played two exclusive shows in the U.S. in support of their latest release, "Always and Forever." The shows were in Chicago, a Funker Vogt first, and Orlando, a familiar stomping ground of theirs. We caught up with Kai Schmidt and Jens Kastel backstage at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago before they played to a highly insane sold out crowd. (By Christopher Hoppe)

SL. Why is Funker Vogt performing only two shows in the United States?

FV. It's not really a tour. It was more or less an incidental. We got a call from a good friend of ours who is a promoter in Orlando who said he started DJing again, and it would be perfect to start his DJ happening with a Funker Vogt show. He asked if we could come to play some shows there, we said o.k. We then tried to get another show that's affordable because it is really expensive to come all the way to the U.S. for just one show. So we decided to include Chicago, because last time we had to skip it. We are quite impressed with Chicago by the way. We didn't expect it to be that nice actually, we are positively surprised by Chicago. It's one of the nicest cities we've been to. It's really clean and the people have been nice. We walked around the city Friday with our graphic designer Jeff Walker, who lives here right now.

SL. Is there a possibility that there will be an extensive in the US for Funker Vogt any time soon?

FV. Probably with the next CD, yes. It's gotten really hard for German or European bands to tour in the USA. That's a problem unfortunately. It's still easier for American bands to come to Europe and play their shows there. However, we will try our best to come back with the next disc, and do a big tour and play many cities.

SL. "Survivor" explored a 'last man on earth' scenario, where does the project go from here?

FV. Oh we don't know, we'll see what happens. We have however already started working out a concept with our artist/designer. It's all in the beginning, and doesn't necessarily have to continue the story. We will do something new, but it will still deal with the same image we have. It will be about war a bit, what's going on in the world and the current situation will be influencing the CD.

SL. Is there a reason why the latest record "Always and Forever" is only being released in Europe at the moment?

FV. Yes, there is actually. The situation in the States is completely different than in Europe. In the States we have been with Metropolis from the beginning until now. In Europe, it's now our third label, the first two are bankrupt. The maxi-CDs from those old labels are no longer available, so we decided to make them available again for our old and new fans who didn't have the chance to buy these CDs, so that everyone could have all the songs we did with Funker Vogt... It's still interesting for the market of the U.S. 'cause we added nine really rare tracks of unreleased demo versions, and we tried to do it for a good price. In Europe it will sell at the price of a normal CD, in the States, it will be an import, so it will be a little more expensive, but people will want it to complete their Funker Vogt collection!


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