First of, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about both of you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, what instruments you can play, and where you live would be pretty standard?
My name is Kenan Sehic. I’m 41 years old. I live in West Austria, close to the Swiss and German border. I’m making electronic music under the name NegativePowerUnit.
How do you enjoy where you live? Is their a vibrant music community for you to indulge? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?
I’m living in an almost rural area. There are smaller cities nearby, but none is exceeding 50.000 inhabitants, so it’s rather calm there. But I like to live there as you can easily go to Switzerland or Germany. And even all these countries speak German, the slangs and cultural attitudes are quite different, which makes it interesting.
You can imagine in an area with low population density, there is not much of a local music scene, especially if you make a specific kind of music, which is a kind of dark electronic music. It’s clearly based on industrial rock, EBM, gothic, post-punk music. The interest in this kind of music already started almost 25 years. As a teenager you are listening to all kinds of music and I was in fact a Guns’n Roses listener, but then got a record of The Sisters Of Mercy, and thought first “well, that’s different, I think I don’t like it” and then realizing that it touches me just more and that I love it.
You can call it “touched by the hand/sound of goth”.
At the similar time (god knows why) others teenagers in this rural area, where also into this Gothic/EBM music and suddenly you had in this small area in West Austria a very high density of Goth teenagers. Which was at this time very confusing and concerning for the adults/parents in the sense of “why is my child dressed in black. Is something wrong with him/her”.
One of the leading Austrian radio channels (fm4) once mentioned that West Austria (where I live) is the center of Gothic people. So, yes, the area influenced my attitude/creativity. Not the local music scene, but friendship with open-minded people.
Nowadays you have to see it differently. People around the world can easily and instantly communicate to each other. Especially soundcloud is a great opportunity for music makers to get a feedback, which is not biased (by friendship or local preferences), to see what others are doing and to cooperate with each other. To exchange ideas worldwide is my influence, and I love it.
What drew you to start creating music yourself? What does your band name mean or where did it come from?
Well, it’s quite simple. You adore the music of a band and you are wondering if you can do something similar. I liked to listen to a band called “The invincible spirit”, which did EBM, and sometimes mingled their music with guitars. That sounds like industrial rock, but it isn’t. The electronic part had much more importance.
Regarding my band name: for quite some time I used “SINsonic” but unfortunately found out that someone already used it. So a friend suggested “NegativePowerUnit”. It is based on the exaggerated positive thinking attitude, that things will just get better when you think positive. But that’s just an uncritical approach. You need to be allowed to critisize things and be open for alternative solutions. The negative in the bandname is meant provocative and not destructive.
What sort of unusual or strange music and art influenced you growing up and helped encourage you to peruse what might be called "alternative electronic music"? Are there any experimental bands out there that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?