Describe the origins of Madmans Esprit and their approach to mixing gothic metal, black metal and visual kei.
When I first started Madmans Esprit (I believe it was around 2011), it sounded much closer to visual kei. But around the time I released the first full-length album 'NACHT' with the influences I've got from various extreme metal genres, it became somewhat DSBM-ish. Now with the upcoming album I don't even consider myself a genre artist anymore. As I never have a specific idea or concept to write my music, I can't really tell the origin of those three mixtures. It all came out of me naturally and it already sounded like that. Additionally, for me those three genres, if visual kei can be considered a genre, are not enough to explain my music.
Explain what visual kei is, and how you incorporate it into your concept. How does it give the band a unique identity?
Visual kei for me is more like a scene and culture rather than a musical genre. It gives me the freedom to express what I want musically, also aesthetically.
Did you set out to do something different with Madmans Esprit from the beginning?
I never really had any idea with which sound or concept to do the band. I just had a couple of bands I liked and I wanted to play and materialize what came from me.
What bands were you listening to before you started Madmans Esprit? Did they influence you in any way?
I grew up listening to lots of classical, jazz, rock and pop music from my parents influence. I got into Japanese bands later on, such as X-JAPAN or Dir En Grey. Of course they all left a great influence on my music.
Where is Madmans Esprit’s place in the underground in Seoul, Korea? Do you remain in touch with the scene since moving to Germany?
Since I came back to Korea for a while, I'm currently working together with a few Korean metal people. But it's really hard to tell there is an existing music scene. Korea is a culturally very narrow minded country. There's only mainstream music. I'm much unknown just like other metal bands in Korea, But inside the small Korean metal scene, people know me. The band was formed in Korea but has much more of a reputation in Europe.
What was the Korean club scene and independent zine scene like before the move?
Most of the time when I had a concert there were less than ten people. Probably the biggest audience I had was around a hundred people. My demo album release shows that I organized. Cradle Of Filth came to Korea and there were like forty people. You probably get what I mean.
After you relocated to Germany, What differences did you notice scene-wise? How do German fans respond to your music?
I moved to Berlin in late 2014, scene-wise the difference is that there is a scene in Germany, that there are people coming to concerts, buying albums, sharing information, living their lifestyle. I think German people seem to be able to enjoy my music better.
The band’s lineup includes you and live guitarist Mario. How did you contact him and how well do you work together?
I met Mario in Berlin, I was looking for some members for Madmans Esprit online and he contacted me. He's an amazing guitar player and open minded person. He has a really good taste in music I can share with him and his ideas inspired me to rearrange the existing songs even better.
Did Madmans Esprit release NACHT before or after you moved? List the songs on that album with some descriptions.
NACHT was released in Korea. There are six songs: “My little dark paradise,” “Blood, cum and shit,” “A gaunt tree,” “The lily and the rose,” “Absolute Darkness” and “In der Nacht.” I don't want to self-explain my music, but I would say ‘My little dark paradise’ and ‘In der Nacht’ are the core songs of the album.
Are you the band’s lyricist? What has inspired your lyrics to date?
I'm the lyricist, and the answer will be long story short: my existence.
You have a Youtube profile with rehearsal, interview and lyric videos. How long has it been active and how often is it updated?
It has been there since the birth of the band, I upload when I have something to show. It is not scheduled nor fixed.
Who shoots and edits the promotional videos for your songs? Do you work with the same people for each of them?
I have a couple of talented friends who help me all the time. It is different every time depending on what I want to create. But I've worked with some of them in the past.
Who helped shoot your promotional videos for Parade Of Extinction and You Don’t Allow Me MV?
It was done by my good friends, some of them are also very good musicians. One from MS. Isohp Romatem and the other one from Dark Mirror Ov Tragedy. Both from Korea, they're worth checking out. I also have a very talented manager who helps me out with almost everything.
Who is your manager and how much help and support has he or she given the band?
My manager basically helps me out with everything other than making music itself, from clothing, videos to social media, etc.
Will your new full length Conscientization Of Unconsciousness be available in physical, streaming or digital format?
Currently the pre-order for the physical limited edition with a bonus track is going on. After that, on October 1 the worldwide digital release will follow through Gan Shin Records on every major streaming, downloading service.
How much input does Mario have into composing the band’s new material?
The writing of music for the upcoming album I've done completely on my own.
Have you had professional artists design album covers for the band?
I've done everything myself and my manager also helped me out.
How did the band land a release deal with Gan Shin Records for the new album? How much promotion has gone into the pre-order of the new album since it was made available?
I sent my music there and they found it good. I guess. There's no behind story or anything. As the limited edition is self-produced I couldn't make the promotion bigger than my social media and so on. But the interest is high.
Do you plan to perform in support of Conscientization Of Unconsciousness when it’s released?
There will be a tour in Asia soon. Most of the places will be where the band has never been so far. It would be mostly in Korea and Japan.
Any final acknowledgements you want to conclude this interview with?
I don't have a specific wish but thank you for having me and stay looking forward for the upcoming album.