Culture Kultür: Interview with Salva Maine

Culture Kultür is a Spanish Electro trio from Malaga, which we have already profiled before. The frontman Salva Maine kindly gave us an interview, in which he talked about Culture Kultür's career, and their latest album Spirit. For more information on the band, visit their site or Myspace page.

Your new album will be released next September, and one of the songs you chose for it was the classic Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart, why did you choose it?

First, it is one of our all-time favorite songs and band, so for us is a pleasure to work on this song. And when we started we realized that we had the chance to make a song very 'ours' but keeping the structure and spirit of the original. I think that the electronic dance twist is interesting enough for us to do it.

Why is the new album called Spirit?

In the beginning it was just a working title, but when we looked closely in the dictionary we found a surprising high number of meanings for that word: It may refer to a ghost, a demon, an angel, the human being inner strength, a sense of membership in a group, or even God. Many of those meanings refer closely to our lyrics, so we found it appropriate to name the album that way.

How was the work process on the new album? When did you start working on it?

After 'Reborn' and the following gigs we made a pause to regain strength for the next album. The process has been slow because we took very seriously the task of adjust and perfect every single track to the limits of our capabilities. We also used new equipment to record the vocals, which also caused some delay: one tube mic preamp broke just before we finished the sessions.

How do you compare the new album with your previous ones?

I think that Reborn follows the path of Spirit in some senses: It has a wide range of moods and tempos from almost electro ('Never Again') to ballads ('Silence'), with mid tempos ('Dead Second') and dark dance electropop ('Sieged', 'Blind Man'). This time we have focused more on lead synth lines, making them sharper, which I think make the songs more complete.

Do you think there have been any changes in the Electronica scene in Spain since your first years?

Not really. The scene here is very stagnant. Alternative music here is only understood as pop rock, and electronica only as dance.

How did you come up with the band’s name Culture Kültur?

That was before I joined the band! But I think that is an homage to English and German bands the other were fans of, like Front 242 or New Order.

How have your shows been welcomed in other countries? Which are your most remarkable experiences?

The shows are usually good wherever we go. I remember two special ones: México DF and WGT at Moritzbastei. The places were full and both public and band enjoyed it a lot.

As you started in the early 90's, you dealt with promotion both before and after the internet, what have been the upsides and downsides of internet for the band?

For me Internet is the new channel. We are now in a time of changes for the music industry where a lot of money is 'lost' because of music downloads. But I'm sure that after some readjustment, new ways of funding the musicians' work will be stablished.

First the CD was replaced by downloads, and now the downloads are being replaced by streaming, as well as the PC is being replaced by mobile devices. Things have to settle down for a while before some order emerges. And there are the social networks: the relationship with the listeners that they provide is amazing.

Has file sharing/piracy affected the band? Has it affected the scene as a whole?

It didn't affect us because we never did this for the money, but it seems to affect the scene. But as I said before, labels and bands have to readjust to the new situation. There is still a lot of ignorance about how internet works regarding the music industry.

Besides the release of your new album, do you have any other projects for the near future?

Prepare the live shows and after that I would like to do a compilation CD, giving some old songs a new twist, and also introducing some remixes that other bands had made for us in the past. But it still is too soon for that.