Updated: Nov 18
It's not often I get this excited about a single, usually I tend to stay clear of writing about singles as there's not a lot to write about but this release has A LOT of content with seven variations.
Not only that but this is a future hit, there's no doubt about that in my mind and I am so pleased to see/hear one of my favourite artists (Massive Ego) being so strongly recognised and rewarded in their efforts by one of biggest bands on the scene in the form of Blutengel.
It is a story that is almost too beautiful, too perfect to be true: Blutengel singer Chris Pohl and Massive Ego frontman Marc Massive go on tour together, become friends, and in the end, they become so close that they write a song together.
With 'Nothing But A Void' they made this story come true and wrote a Dark Wave Club hit that can only be created by the cooperation of two like-minded creative heads.
So it was only logical for both of them to join forces and now was the right time for it: "Whilst we’ve all been unable to play live it was cool to be contacted by Chris who suggested we work together as a way to beat the pandemic blues with creativity.“, Marc remembers.
It is this creativity that brings together the punching Future Pop of Massive Ego with the dark romantic of Blutengel – a collaboration on one level unifying the best of two worlds.
Massive Ego 2020 (Photo : Zara Lipstixx)
'Nothing But A Void' will be released on November 13th as a limited, hand-numbered CD club single with no fewer than six remixes and an official video to follow very soon!
Link tree HERE
'Nothing but a void' music video:
Q. What's the story and message behind 'Nothing but a void?
Marc wrote the lyrics but I totally agree with the subject! The relation between 'star' and 'fan' is a very energetic thing...
The fan gives you the power to carry on what you are doing but the fan can also become obsessed to the point they can become frightening ;-) we had some fans once who were standing outside my apartment! I don't know where they got my address, it was strange. But the good thing is the feedback that you can get when you are on stage in front of thousand cheering fans!
The song is very much about hero worship, the adoration of a pop star and the obsession that can create. That’s the theme when you take the lyrics at face value but it also plays on the notion that the ‘pop star’ needs the fan for the union to work, and fans need to attend the concert for the singer to be able to perform as in the lyric ‘Without you there is nothing, when the stage lights fade away’ it has a double meaning.
Q. How did this collaboration manifest, was it something you discussed when Massive Ego and Blutengel toured together or afterwards?
Well I think we said that we should do something together, but this is a sentence that is often said. But we kept up the contact after the tour and than Marc asked me to take part in a song he wrote 'For the blood in your veins.' When I wrote the songs for my new album, I found this track I had written one year ago and I thought this could be a good song where Marc could bring up his vocals and his lyrics because I had no idea for words as I spent all my creativity on the rest of the album. ;-)
The song is a child of ‘lockdown’ for sure. I was really happy when Chris suggested it as we’d just had a load of shows and festivals for the year postponed and unlike many other bands who threw themselves into writing their next albums, I didn’t feel particularly inspired to start that daunting task of working on a whole new album so soon after our last album release. So a single was a perfect idea to bridge the gap and round off the year with at least some positivity.
Q. Which parts of the melody and instruments/samples are both bands responsible for?
The song was nearly 'ready' but it sounded like Blutengel (naturally as it was a Blutengel song). Massive Ego gave me some synth licks and I mixed everything together. When it was done it sounded like a cool collaboration!
The track was pretty much fully formed when Chris sent us it, we simply added a few sounds, I went up to our friend Kyle’s (from the band Auger) studio in Blackpool to record my vocals as we’d recorded the last album with him and it worked really well.
Q. What artists have contributed remixes to this release and have they taken it in directions that you wish you had thought of yourselves?
I was so busy with the work on my new album and new EP that I found no time to think about remixes. But Marc was so fast and mentioned some names that could do remixes for us and I said well ok. And they are really good mixes! Auger did a really cool mix with a nice guitar line, Rob Dust did a cool electro dance mix and Alex VRT totally changed the mood with this dub step version. Good mixes! All of them :-)
I’ve always wanted to work with and I’m a big fan of Rob Dust and felt this was the perfect vehicle to ask him for a remix, as ever he doesn’t disappoint. Omnimar were a new band to me who I’ve only just got into thanks to them being on the same label as our friends Auger. I liked their work and asked Alex VRT about a remix, he liked the track so much he delivered two mixes both with very different vibes. Our very own Scot went quite mad with his remix.. I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a fast drum roll :) I’m a big fan of dance/club remix packages as it’s a great way to hear a track interpreted in many different ways and for different scenes.
Q.'Nothing but a Void' has both artists' unmistakable signature sound entwined within it but this is a real club dance hit of a track that is a somewhat different direction than usual. Was it your intention to make a dance heavy song and will we see more of this collaboration between you both in future?
Blutengel has changed its style a little during the last years. We use more guitars now both acoustic and electric guitars. I want to create a more organic style with some rock elements like on the latest album songs like 'Morningstar' or 'Into the void.' And this song felt a little ‘back to the roots’ and is more electro/pop/dance than the latest albums; Together with Marc it has a cool 80’s or even 90’s feeling. So for me it was going back to my roots :-) Maybe we should start a new project together.. MASSIVE BLOOD – 80’s / 90’s Electro clash!
I think our last album was very much geared towards the darker club dance floors, and we’d made a concerted decision to go harder with it. I think Chris’s backing for this track had a huge commercial club dance attraction to it already, mixed with some very pop elements. Once I’d written the lyrics they in turn take it down a familiar 80’s pop route. There’s something almost Pete Burns about the acidic vocal ‘to & fro’ myself and Chris deliver.
Q. What (provisional) plans do Massive Ego and Blutengel have for 2021?
It's impossible to plan anything but at the moment our LIVING THE DARKNESS Tour with Hocico is still planned for April / May but I don't think that it will take place. It was already postponed two times :-( We want to release an EP in February with some 80’s cover versions and we postponed our regular album to summer. A tour is planned for November but........
It’s all very up in the air for everyone, who can say what we will or won’t be allowed to do next year. We have re-scheduled shows and festivals lined up from May but wether they will have to be moved back again, I hope not. Also add to the uncertainty of what Brexit will bring, will UK bands be able to enter Europe without hassle, particularly Germany which is our main market. It’s all looking very ‘paper work’ heavy now we’ve stupidly left the EU, I feel some bands just won’t be able to afford to travel in or out of Britain anymore. Apart from the planned shows we are writing and working towards an EP and have an interesting announcement to make shortly about the band.
Q. I know Massive Ego are not in a position until next year to give online performances, but when you are what can we expect and will we be seeing any Blutengel live streams or online performances in the near future?
We are working on an online concert but this is not that easy. Its like a normal concert with the normal costs. So we are looking for a venue and someone who can organise everything, for a camera team and an online distributor. We have some offers and try to do a stream at the beginning of next year. But the fans will sadly have to pay a little for the ticket otherwise it would not be possible to set up a BE show :-/
I’m not a huge fan of live streams. I think to do it well you need a crew, sound engineers, a decent venue, and a budget that we sadly just don’t have to do it justice. I think they were novel and exciting at the beginning of lockdown measures whereas now everyone seems to be charging for access and approaching it as something you have to do to survive and the new norm. I personally would prefer to wait till we can actually do it in front of a live audience with the realtime feedback that enjoys. Equally we’re in limbo as a band right now as there’s some big changes being made that will effect how we perform again in the future
Thank you Marc and Chris for speaking to us!
Communion after dark interview with Marc:
Marc and Chris sing so well together that it's hard to differentiate between the two as you listen to this song. The passion for music and genuine friendship between these two as you listen is palpable.
The signature keyboard and mid tempo vocals of Marc really brings across that most beloved Massive Ego sound we all know and love; This being complimented by the deep and flowing, almost classical melodies of Blutengel and blended up in to a delicious and easy to consume dance anthem.
The beat is incredibly satisfying, as is the tempo and rhythm of the song; not only that but the lyrics are well thought out and make 'Without a void' feel like all the best parts of Gothic music sprinkled on to a solid future club hit.
Blutengel - Chris Pohl (Photo : Annie Bertram)
Alongside the original we are gifted with five remixes and an alternative version of the track meaning there is a spin for everyone, no matter what sub genre fits best with the listener.
The Alex VRT remix appeals to the slower dub step crowd whereas the Auger remix takes us in a Trance direction which is a wonderful twist of expectation. The alt. version takes us in to EDM territory as does the Omnimar mix. Rob Dust is clearly bringing the heavy rave spirit to the mix and brings it so well. Finally Scot Collins (Himself of Massive Ego) has thrown in a heavy dose of STOMP, rave, and EDM creating my favourite mix of them all.
Nothing But A Void (Original)
Nothing But A Void (Alex VRT Remix)
Nothing But A Void (Auger Remix)
Nothing But A Void (Alternative Version)
Nothing But A Void (Omnimar Remix)
Nothing But A Void (Rob Dust Remix)
Nothing But A Void (Scot Collins Remix)
I expect to hear this in clubs regularly in future with its ideal tempo, its upbeat nature, and its dark emotion.
I can imagine this would hit me in the most deep and satisfying way possible when I hear this first played in a club one day; Like a beautifully refreshing shower in summer time - it flows through you magestically and is a real testiment to the talent and skill of both bands.
Dance factor: 9/10
Overall score: 8.5 / 10
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Blutengel Facebook HERE
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