In this chapter of Inbox, XLR8R talks shop with two-thirds of Berlin-based techno unit, Moderat. Cohorts Sascha Ring (a.k.a. Apparat) and Gernot Bronsert (one half of Modeselektor) discuss performing for a Sheikh’s daughter, escaping the city on a motorbike, colorful socks, and Johann Sebastian Bach, among other tidbits. Moderat’s self-titled debut full-length is out now on Bpitch Control.
XLR8R: What are you listening to right now?
Sascha Ring: I’m lying on my couch being sick ‘cause the first tour weekend was already a bit too hard. I’m not really listening to anything right now, but I just watched Burn After Reading—good movie for a sick couch afternoon.
Gernot Bronsert: Animal Collective! Great band.
What's the weirdest story you ever heard about yourself?
GB: That we recorded the Moderat record at the legendary Hansa [Tonstudio], where David Bowie and Depeche Mode recorded their best stuff!
What band did you want to be in when you were 15?
SR: I was already into techno and I thought bands sucked big time. I grew up at the countryside, and the coolest thing was when the 12” arrived that I ordered from Hard Wax in Berlin.
Worst live show experience?
GB: When we played in Dubai for the eight-year-old daughter of a Sheikh!
Favorite city to play in?
SR: Moscow? Any city in the East. People really know how to party there. They know how to drink, too.
GB: Berlin, Glasgow, San Francisco.
Moderat combines Modeselektor and Apparat. Which musical elements does Moderat borrow from each of its two unique constituents?
What is your favorite thing you own?
SR: I own an old East German motorbike. I’m seeing all kinds of cities all the time, so, whenever I find some time, I take a ride out to the countryside.
GB: My little son.
Name one item of clothing you can't live without.
SR: My very colorful socks.
GB: My hat!
If you could reduce your music to a single word, what would it be?
What did you always get in trouble for when you were little?
SR: I tried all kinds of crime, but I always got busted. I decided on a career as a musician.
What other artist would you most like to work with?
SR: Modeselektor, haha—just kiddin’.
GB: Johann Sebastian Bach?
What's the last thing you read?
SR: Heinz Strunk's Fleisch Ist Mein Gemüse—very funny German writer. It's probably not available in English. The last international book I read was Kill Your Friends by John Niven. I laughed my ass off. Gernot recommended this one.
GB: Slumdog Millionaire
Complete this sentence: In the future...
SR: No one will probably buy music anymore.
GB: In the future you will find out: in the past the future was better too.
Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?
GB: To work with Apparat!
GB: On the occasion of the international financial crisis, me and [Sebastian] Szary decided to found a record label, Monkeytown Records. We wanted to create a platform for befriending artists. Check it out! We will release a new Modeselektor DJ mix in autumn.
SR: I’ll take a lot of time for my next album. No rush. I’m gonna try to have a life or something like that.