Friday, February 13, 2009

Silicon Dream - Interview with Klaus Munzert

Interview & translation: Christian Reder (
I'm interested in relatively eccentric things...

Together with the users of two Internet-forums for fans of 80s-music this new "Special" about SILICON DREAM developed. The fans asked questions to Klaus Munzert, who was the formative character of the Synthie-Pop-Project SILICON DREAM at the end of the 80s and the early 90s. Then, on March, 27th, 2007 it was so far and we met the music-producer from Munich for a conversation to talk about his musical project as well as his other activities...

Hello Klaus Munzert! What are you doing today?
Yes, Hello! I still produce music and work for other artists as a producer. In addition, I'm working for a record company in the scope "artists and repertoire", that means I'm searching for new artists and hits.

The project SILICON DREAM had a lot of hits in the 80s and early 90s. What was SILICON DREAM and who was it?
SILICON DREAM were Angelo and Danny as dancers and me as the singer. I also was the producer of this project together with Daniel in a studio here in Munich.

What was the idea behind the project?
Silicon Dream virtually developed in the cellar in a studio. I was playing around with a sampler which was completely new at that time. This technology was brand new. Before these samplers were available you had to go to expensive studios and I didn't have the money for this. Than, aforesaid samplers arisen and you could make music very simple with computers but also with real instruments. Our music based on the model of Kraftwerk and also Depeche Mode.

What was the inspiration for the figure of "Marcello", which you have epitomized?
Basically it brought fun to me to dressing me up. Nevertheless, the people who known me recognized me also with make-up. It was a big fun for me to dress me up and not go on stage normally. The figure "Marcello" was because I am a big fan of Marcello Mastroianni. This is anyhow "Rock'n Roll", because in a manner of speaking the whole life is a play.

What was the meaning of the name "Silicon Dream"?
The meaning of the name is really simple: On the one side we have "Silicon". That means technology or progress. On the other side we have "Dream". That means feelings and emotion. Simply a union of technology and emotions.

Which technology for recording the music and which instruments did you use for this project?
First and foremost I've used my "EMU 3". That was a sampler. In addition we've worked with "Logic" at that time - and also today. The technology for the recordings was very simple. We played the music on our keyboards. I remember that I've sung the songs late at night about 3:00 or 4:00 A.M.

What do you think today, which kind of music it was? For NDW the style of SILICON DREAM came to late - to soon for Dance Floor.
Afterwards they called it "Europop" or "Eurodance". For me it was simply Dancemusic with lyrics.

To some extent, there were uniformities to the music of bands like "16 Bit" or "OFF". Were there any other commonalities between SILICON DREAM and the aforesaid bands?
At that time the creators of both bands and I have also got to know us, and I was on tour in France together with "16 Bit". This was really very pleasant and very amusing. The common characteristic was that we have done all music for the discos.

What were the influences for the music of SILICON DREAM? Were there musical models?
It is always difficult to explain which influence there was. There was no direct influence. What belongs to the groove we were - just like "16 Bit" and "OFF" - influenced by bands like "Kraftwerk", "Depeche Mode" and "Frankie Goes To Hollywood". At that time I've still worked for Frankie. But basically it was music according to instinct, and which was intended simply for the discos and for dancing. The influence is always that what you carry with yourself. Everybody has such a kind of "Harddisc" in the head, and then it simply flows sometime out. There are things which you hear about all the years and process then. But first and foremost the music of SILICON DREAM was already a mixture of electronic music and Italo Disco. The contents of the songs also simply arose in such a way. There is artist, they have first a text or a melody. With us it was a kind of a "One Man Show" like at Singer/Songwriters, where the idea of a melody comes sometime together with the idea for lyrics. Then I have played with single text lines and then this simply flowed out of me. There was of course also an amount of things which did not become so great then. But then we went with the good songs to the studio at the end.

You've just noted it: You have worked for "Frankie Goes To Hollywood"...
Yes, although I was not musically working for the band. I was the label manager for ZTT Records and Island Records at that time, worked for U2 and all the other great artists. During the day I was busy with marketing-works, for example the organisation of TV- and Live-performances. At night I've worked in the studio with my own music.

The album "Time Machine" was released in 1988. It was the first and only album. After that there were some more singles but no other album. Why?
Honestly said, I don't know this any more. I suppose that the interest for the group had decreased. Then there were new musical directions and styles, and the whole Italo Disco thing was regressive a little bit. At that time I have also already worked very much with pleasure in the studio and have done for example the project "K2" and many other things. There was a lot of work for me and sometime the air was out with SILICON DREAM - I had this feeling at that time. However, then this was also a time thing, because the day has only 24 hours.

You just mentioned it: You was also contained in the project "K2", which had a hit with "Der Berg ruft" in the 90s. What were your terms of reference?
My terms of reference are easy to describe because I've done nearly everything alone (laughs). The accentuation is on "nearly". I've written the song, wrote the lyrics, composed and produced it. At that time I've looked for musicians who should sing the song - and thank god I've found them. Then the title became one of the biggest hits which I ever had. The "Golden Record" is still in the living room of my house. The title got successful over the discos, exactly like the songs of SILICON DREAM.

SILICON DREAM was not only a studio project. You also played live...
Yes, that's right. Whereas "live" with such a electronic music means, that we were on stage with our sampler and computers but the singing was live. We've made a Disco-Tour through Germany, France and Belgium at that time. That was a great experience.

Was the release of the CD "Greatest Hits '87 - '95" planned and published by you or was it the thing of the record company in 1995?
The record company asked me at that time, if I would have a problem with the CD release. I had no problems with it.

Who have the rights of the music by SILICON DREAM? How big is the chance for a re-relese of the album "Time Machine"?
I've got the rights. That's funny because I had a request for a re-release by a record company from Russia, yesterday. Somehow there are a few fans who are interested in a new release of this album. Now, I will see if we can make a new edition of it or what we can do with the songs. Of course, every single fan is important but nobody knows if there are only a few people who wants to have this CD again...