Monday 30 November 2015

Introducing... DrakenWerks

Name of band:
Members: Draken (mastermind, composer, vocals - Live and Studio), Martyn Zerostar (live synths), Kelly Lawrence (live synths). 
Year formed: 2013 
Location: South Wales, UK 

The key to success in this industry is start off by listening. Patiently and quietly listen to everyone else, what they have to say. What works and what doesn't work. Yes, there is a degree of having to find your own way, but despite all the wonderful drama's that keep us entertained on the scene, there is a lot of good people out there who if you take the time are willing to impart their wisdom.”

Hard to categorize, DrakenWerks describes it's genre as an 'Industrial Mayhem,' an experimental melting pot of EBM-Industrial style music that is not so easy to pigeon hole. Yet this unique blend can shift one moment from hard hitting, heavy pounding dance songs through to gentle, reflective synth-pop melodies with orchestral elements the next.

Intravenous Magazine: Who are you and how did the band/project come to be formed?

DrakenWerks is an electronic music project that is the brain child of Draken, regular DJ and promoter on the Goth and Industrial scene in South Wales. Draken began from scratch, learning his art in 2011 with little musical background but was inspired by the local rock acts to do something musical based around his own passion for alternative electronic music such as EBM and Industrial.

It took Draken a few years to get things to a level where he was happy, but at the end of 2013, Draken took to the stage for the first time with DrakenWerks to support V2a (UK) and Ritualz (Mexico) when they visited Cardiff with a blinding first live performance. Since then, the project has been refined both in the studio and live, bringing in Kelly Lawrence and Martyn Zerostar for the live synths whilst in the studio, DrakenWerks in 2015 began working with producer Gregor Beyerle (formerly of Modulate, currently of Skyla Vertex and Reaper and also live keys for Nachtmahr and L'ame Immortelle) whose own touch has brought a more polished and professional touch to their existing sound.

IVM: How would you describe your sound/style, and how did you arrive at it?

It's very hard to pigeon hole your own sound / style, that's generally something other people do for your music. Draken finds it much better when writting our stuff to just go with what comes out at the time. Sometimes that is hard and dancey, other times more gentle and tender, what ever suits the particular song that is being worked on at the time. Certainly, our stuff is strongly influenced by the whole alternative electronic spectrum as a whole, but to then further define it into a sub-genre is not something we'd care to attempt because it is nearly always a subjective and opinion based thing.

IVM: Who and what are your primary influences both musical and non-musical?

Though our primary musical influences come from listening to other bands on the scene, both old and new, Industrial or Trad (we love going and seeing other bands perform and drawing from that experience), Draken also gets a lot of inspiration as well from other musical sources, particularly things like old synthpop artists like Mike Oldfield or Jean Michelle Jarre, old rock artists like Pink Floyd or Fleetwood Mac, 90's dance artists like KLF or Faithless or even older classical music (Draken is particular fond of Holst's Planet Suite). All these things could be said to end up in the melting pot that have an influence on the music Draken creates.

Non-musically, DrakenWerks draws a lot of inspiration from his own life with the things he has felt or stuff he has drawn from interacting with other people. A good example of this is 'Stress' from the new forthcoming album 'No Prisoners', a song that was literally written and recorded in a day whilst Draken was experiencing a large amount of the songs title and something many people should be able to connect too.

IVM: Do you perform live and if so where can we see you perform in the near future?

DrakenWerks has performed live multiple times over the last two years in the Welsh cities of Swansea and Cardiff, supporting acts like V2A, Ayria, Inertia and Ashestoangels as well as headlining a number of other gigs. More recently, DrakenWerks blazed into Bristol supporting industrial rockers 3Teeth in October 2015. We are currently working on the second album at the moment so we are taking a small break from the live scene but we already have one gig booked in for Swansea next May and we are working on booking a few others as well to help promote the new album a bit further a field.

IVM: What is your current release and where is it available from?

Our latest release is the single 'Suck it up M***er F***er', the title track from which is also due to be featured on our forthcoming second album, 'No Prisoners', due out in early 2016. The full version of this "single" which also features a B-Side (Candle in Darkness), a number of remixes and an orchestral re-imagining of the B-Side can be picked up from Bandcamp for just £2.99. If the more mainstream digital outlets are more to your style, the A and B-Side of this single can also be downloaded through all the usual outlets like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc.

IVM: What have been the highlights of your career so far?

We have achieved so much, but this summer of 2015 just gone has got to be our greatest highlight so far. After release the single, we've been literally gobsmacked at the huge positive response we have had with it globally. We have gained a large amount of new fans, particularly from countries like Brazil and Mexico, as well as here in the UK and across the water in Germany and it is all down to that one single. I think we can safely say we have found our sound and from this point forth it is all about refining that.

IVM: What are your plans for the future?

Our second album, 'No Prisoners', is due out early 2016. We have pretty much done everything we need to do our end of things and our producer is now working hard to get the album completely mixed and mastered properly on time. As well as featuring the singles title track, 'Suck it up M***er F***er', there are 14 more tracks also on this album, that we certainly think is our best work to date.

After 'No Prisoners', we plan to re-release our first album. 'Prototype to Destruction' was written whilst Draken was still learning the ropes and prior to ourselves bringing in a producer. Whilst we like the original album, it just isn't even in the same game as 'No Prisoners', so Draken is going back, refining the tracks and getting Gregor to mix and master those into an album called 'Prototype Rebuilt', which will also feature a couple of new tracks as well as rebuilt tracks from the first album.

We also have plans for a third album to be released towards the end of 2016 / beginning of 2017, called 'Age of Information'. Work has also already begun on this and will be continued on by the band whilst 'Prototype Rebuilt' is with our producer.

IVM: Finally, is there anything that you would like to add?

The key to success in this industry is start off by listening. Patiently and quietly listen to everyone else, what they have to say. What works and what doesn't work. Yes, there is a degree of having to find your own way, but despite all the wonderful drama's that keep us entertained on the scene, there is a lot of good people out there who if you take the time are willing to impart their wisdom. DrakenWerks owes it's growing success as much to that as it does to all the other things like passion, drive, creativity and ambition. If we can do it, so can many others.

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