Mouse on Mars Are Smart, Developed Their Own Software For New Album
Germany's electronic duo Mouse on Mars have long been experimenters. Over 11 studio albums and countless collaborations Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma have played in their own corner of the sandbox, allowing a furious amount of sonic investigation into strange realms without pretentiously denying the listener entrance into those realms. Cameron Macdonald once referred to them as "post-everything." We recently spoke with St. Werner as he travelled from Minneapolis to Chicago, touring behind MOMs latest album WOW. (Which looks like an upside-down version of the acronym of their name.) He seems like a busy guy, joking that he had the phone taped to his head while tweeting with his feet; but he's also warmly intelligent, introspective, and chats freely with the vivaciousness of a renegade professor.
Mouse on Mars
Mouse on Mars play tonight, March 3, at Santos Party House
Where are we talking to you from right now?
St Werner: I don't know where I am. I have no idea. We're traveling to Chicago. I could be anywhere between a Best Buy and a Wendy's. But it's nice, there is a layer of snow on top of everything.
I heard you guys developed your own software for your new album.
Yes, we created software for the iPhone that we use on both of these [the last two] records.... It's called WretchUp. We're also working on another one called Peakodr that deals with pitch, kind of a vocoder-ish effect.
Speaking of software, do you think there are going to be limitations technology places on artists, specifically electronic ones, or it limitless now?
I'll give you your headline now: Technology is overrated. Now here is the sub-headline: it's underrated too. It gives you challenges, it's an extension of your own mind. It's not a rock with TECHNOLOGY written on it and we're sitting in a circle around it like the monkeys in 2001 [A Space Oddessy.]
That makes sense, so the artist and technology aren't separate?
People say now we have all this amazing software, but that's not really where new music is coming from. It's not the range of possibilities, it's what you pick. Technology is just this challenge. Guitars, tapes, analog gear, all this can be seen as technology. The first flute made by the caveman is a form of technology. So on the one hand we embrace computers, but you have to free your ears. It's good to remind ourselves of our capabilities, but at the end of the day that's not creative.
See also: Seven Electronic Songs To Herald The 2012 Olympic Games