[seven] Android, I want to thank you for accepting this interview.
[Android] Don't mention it! It's an honor and I find it most interesting doing it this way! Haven't done it like this before!!
[seven] Good--as high tech as us common Earthlings can be, I guess. Let me begin with just a few standard, personal questions. Your full name?
[Android] Well, it's Android but maybe you mean my Earth name?
[seven] Ahh, your alias, I suppose.
[Android] Right! It's Alexander Hofman.
[seven] and you are located where on Earth?
[Android] Good Q! I'm in Sweden's 3rd city called Malm, close to Copenhagen, Denmark (and sometimes other Swedes refer to us as "Danish"). You see, we have a pretty strong accent in the very south!
[seven] So how long have you lived in Sweden?
[Android] Officially? I mean, we came to Earth in 1988. OK, since I was manufactured, 1967.
[seven] I take it the other members of the crew are on shore leave?
[Android] That's right. Well, sort of. Maybe you got my latest newsletter today?
[seven] Nope, I haven't gotten it yet. What are they busy doing?
[Android] Well, Crull-E has produced the new Cat Rapes Dog CD, being released Monday. and right now he's in Germany producing the forthcoming And One album!! Yo-Haan will use October to record an album with Eskil from Covenant. The project is called Aaron Sutcliffe and they're only doing Elvis Presley covers!! As for me, I've just been drafted by Trek Stars floor hockey team!!! I'll play my first game in the league tomorrow!
[seven] What position do you play?
[Android] I'm in the backline... (musical humor...)
[seven] So you mention that Crull-E is working to produce an And One album. How long has he been involved with that band?
[Android] He went to Germany some two months ago and will stay there the rest of October. They - or we - got together as we supported the band during their tour last winter.
[seven] and Yo-Haan's work on Elvis Presley covers--I heard him do a rendition of "Don't Be Cruel" during your Cincinnati show here in the States! When is that album due out?
[Android] Sometimes next year. We don't know when really. We have to time it, so to speak.
[seven] Right. Elvis is quite a contrast to the sort of music that S.P.O.C.K puts forth.
[Android] Sure is! But he's a big fan of Elvis and The Beatles so I guess it felt "natural" to him! I don't mind, good music is good music, doesn't matter how you "label" it!
[seven] You've been touring to support "S.P.O.C.K: 1999"; about how many concerts have you done so far?
[Android] Let's see I guess it's close to 70 shows in less than a year! But now we're done and will start with a new CD next month.
[seven] Fantastic; is that the rumored "2001" project?
current members: Android, Crull-E, Yo-Haan
S.P.O.C.K came to Earth from the planet Vulcan over ten years ago. The first crew members included Capt. Eddie B. Kirk, Android, and Cybernoid. Today, the band's original synthetic life-form, Android, fights the good fight with recruits Crull-E and Yo-Haan; this extraordinary trio send out some of the best electronica/synth-pop sounds from their homebase in Sweden, and produce a live show that is not to be missed.
Formerly called Mr. Spock, the band changed its name to Star Pilots On Channel K when Paramount dismissed their request to use the name. S.P.O.C.K's first record release was the 1990 7" of "Silicon Dream". Tours ensued, and in 1992 S.P.O.C.K released the infamous "Never Trust a Klingon" single, and the LP Five Year Mission
the following year.
1994 held a small tragedy for the crew of S.P.O.C.K as Cybernoid was annihilated in "a heavy space battle."
Hemoroid AKA Polaroid AKA Asteroid AKA Plasteroid joined the crew to fulfill the duties of Cybernoid. Attention to the actions of the S.P.O.C.K crew increased in 1995 as the band released their first music video ("Astrogirl") and produced its second LP: Alien Worlds
featuring "All E.T.s Aren't Nice."
(1997) features some tremendously smart tracks such as "Alien Attack," "E.T. Phone Home," and "Not Human", making Assignment: Earth
one of S.P.O.C.K's most clever and ambitious work, and was properly recognized as such by the Swedish Electronic Music Awards (Best Album of 1997). But that year Capt. Eddie B. Kirk was promoted to Admiral and left the S.P.O.C.K roster; he is eventually replaced by Crull-E. In 1998, the unique Yo-Haan climbed aboard when Plasteroid is transferred to "ground duties."
Enter the single "Dr. McCoy," an irresistible synth-pop tune that marked S.P.O.C.K's entrance into a wider world of underground electronic music. "Dr. McCoy" was produced in three different languages and became an underground phenomenon internationally. With the release of their latest album, S.P.O.C.K: 1999
, the music of S.P.O.C.K began to meet the planet Earth's demands for excellent sci-fi electronic synth-pop: the band beamed in for a tour of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the USA.
While the rest of the band is wrapped up in side projects of impressive magnitude, seven gained permission to transmit and receive data with S.P.O.C.K's Android; Mr.Stein interviewed Android live and electronically in October of 1999.
[seven] I want to talk some more about that album, but lets first return to the topic of touring. For the "1999" tour, How many countries have you passed through?
[Android] Hmm, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the US = 5.
[seven] Were any of those territories new to S.P.O.C.K?
[Android] We've been to Denmark before but we don't have any following there. It was part of Scandinavian theme, broadcasted live and direct on radio in Scandinavia. Our hope was to get a chance to play at the biggest rock-festival in northern Europe. We didn't... Anyway, US was of course new to us. Sweden and Germany have been done ever since we started - more or less.
[seven] and I understand the band is fairly popular in both Germany and Sweden to say the least! Do you see the fan base growing in either Denmark or the US?
[Android] Not in Denmark, but in the US. The tour was sort of a launch for us and I'm getting more and more emails all the time! Fantastic this new technique!
[seven] Yes! Having had attended a couple of the US shows, I know a bit about how they went. But tell us how you perceived the concerts here in the States.
[Android] I didn't expect anything as I didn't want to be disappointed. But I thought that the audience would be different. But when we played it was more or less the typical electronic crowd! Nothing wrong with that of course as they were great! I liked most of the shows and I must point out that the response was excellent! The shows started with people standing still and ended in dancing!
[seven] Yes, no one can resist dancing to S.P.O.C.K!
Being an android, you probably don't ever get very tired, but how is the practice of touring on the rest of the band? Does S.P.O.C.K enjoy touring?
[Android] We love it! I mean, it's the greatest moment of life: being together with your best pals, drinking a beer and having fun together! We love what we're doing and we trust each other totally. We all help each other and sometimes we say "One for all, all for S.P.O.C.K"! Or: if you mess with me, you mess with S.P.O.C.K! I always know that they're behind me in any situation. However, we are very friendly so we don't use terms like "fight" or stuff
[seven] Very interesting! That seems like a very good thing for a band to have these days: a tight bond among members. Your crew is impressive.
I noticed that the sound of S.P.O.C.K. is really tight, really precise live--something I don't expect with most electronic music. Is there a particular mindset or attitude that you take into a live performance?
[Android] A lot - I guess! First of all I want the people showing up to have a good time. Whether it's 5 or 5000 doesn't matter--they all deserve to get what they paid for!! and more!! We're also trying to show people that electronic musicians really can play (or at least some of them - like S.P.O.C.K) and my crew is excellent in both playing and singing--why not show it? I don't want S.P.O.C.K to be like ANY other band - and thinking about, I haven't heard any band that sounds like us.
[seven] Nor have I. Let me take the chance to congratulate you on achieving such a great standard of performance. But lets move on to the topic of "2001". Is the new album due out in "2001"? Do we really have to wait that long?
[Android] Haha! Here's the story: in the past there's been a S.P.O.C.K album every second year and so the title of the forthcoming CD was pretty obvious! However, WE can't wait that long as we'd like to return to the States ASAP! So, when my team mates are done with their project, we're going into the studio, working on a new album. Our goal is to release it next spring, thereby making it possible to tour before and during the summer.
[seven] How differently do you look upon building an album in the studio compared to performing live?
[Android] Playing live is the best but being in the studio is also very well creative! and I'm with my friends! It's all part of along cycle: writing an album, record it, promote it, touring and so on - and then all over again! How many jobs are so, well, differentiated??
[seven] Your statements ring true here. How much does the music of other bands influence you and the rest of the crew? How much does that affect the way you record a particular album?
[Android] Good Q. I believe everybody is affected by everything they hear, no matter if they think about it or not. When we're doing what we're doing we have nothing special in mind; like "we have to sound like that band or that song". Ideas come and go and I'm pretty sure we've been affected. E.g. I've listened to some soul and I take it that my way of singing has changed. Not that I'm a soul singer but you get the point.
[seven] and what about other forms of art such as literature and visual arts; how much do these art forms affect you as an musician? Obviously the art of cinema and television come into play at least a little bit.
[Android] I guess it's the same. I'm very much into sci-fi (!) and I'm sure that affects my lyrics! You see, one thing about S.P.O.C.K is that we're totally honest! We don't do anything that we can't stand up for and we never lie - you can trust a S.P.O.C.K! and I think that's important when doing music that might be remembered: doing it with your heart! If we were to go for Top10 we'd never manage as we can't do honestly! Get it?
[seven] Yes, very much so. I understand S.P.O.C.K plays at Star Trek conventions. How do you view that sort of venue as opposed to typical concerts? Are there any distinctions you see between these fans and normal concert-goers? Or do they kind of mix together?
[Android] To tell you the truth: we haven't done that many cons. We've always gone the "normal" musical road. Anyway, the con we did in Pasadena was, well, special!
I mean, which Trekkers are going to a con? The weirdest ones! It was a strange crowd - and nobody had ever heard about us! But we made them dance!! The promoter was - well, he couldn't believe it! He told that he'd been doing the biggest cons in the states for years but he'd NEVER seen a Trekker dance! It was really a sight: a long row of aliens jumping around, lead by a huge Klingon!
[seven] Very nice! I seem to gravitate towards music that regularly employs sci-fi themes. What sort of science fiction themes are the most attractive to you? and do you see anything happening in current science that inspires you or provokes you?
[Android] Tricky. There are of course different views of the "unknown" and it would be impossible to believe in everything as there are so many contradictions. But I do believe in ET intelligence! I do believe in warp-speed. I don't believe in time-travel. Einstein's theories are just theories (remember faster than light). Are we going to have a sci-fi discussion?
[seven] Nope! That's almost as far as I want to take it. One more science fiction / science fact related question: ever see an unidentified flying object?
[Android] Well, everything that's flying and that I don't know qualifies for the term UFO :-) But I know what you mean and unfortunately I haven't.
[seven] Earlier in the interview you mentioned labels in the music world. I think I most often see the music of S.P.O.C.K labeled as "synth-pop." Is that an accurate label for the current music of S.P.O.C.K? Do you think of yourself as a synth-pop band playing synth-pop music?
[Android] That's quite an accurate label. I mean, the electronic scene is pretty "wide". and nobody's saying "guitar music"; no, it's rock, metal, grunge etc. etc. What we're doing is pop. However, it's based on keyboards so maybe we should say pop-synth - if we are to label that is.
[seven] True. It is often impossible to avoid labels. Do you have a favorite S.P.O.C.K song that you like to perform live or that you wish you would perform more often live?
[Android] That's a contradiction! We are playing the songs I like on stage!
[seven]One final question, please. Does your computer brain run Windows?
[Android] I'm programmed to almost any kind of satisfaction so I also know my whereabouts in the Windows world. Yes, I'm using W. I don't like it - I prefer Mac - but I "had" to get me a W machine
[seven] Thank you very much for typing with us here at seven. Please say hello to the other band members when they return home, and I hope you and S.P.O.C.K continue to do well into the future.
[Android] Thank you Mr.Stein for the interview and interest! If you have any additional Qs please don't hesitate to contact me again.
[seven] Good bye, Android.
[Android] Bye, bye, Mr.Stein. Android signing off.
End Chat Playback