Interview with Aeronautica

A new German steampunk band talks about their music, their inspiration and their plans.

Felix and Tobias of Aeronautica
Felix and Tobias of Aeronautica (Jutta Mader)

Aeronautica is a relatively new German steampunk band, having released their first EP, Maschinengeist, not too long ago. Aeronautica members Felix and Tobias were kind enough to take out some time to answer our questions.

By means of introduction, could you say something nice about each member of your band?

Tobias: Felix has a nice hat. Well, seriously, we turned out to be a well-working group from the very beginning. We are all pulling in the same direction. Aeronautica are Tobias and Felix on vocals and guitars, Kati on bass guitar and Ben beating his oversized drum set and our gramophone.

When and how did you first come into contact with steampunk and what made you decide to form a steampunk band?

Felix: I was looking for unique custom guitars on the internet and accidentally found a picture of a heavily customized Jackson RR. It had a rusty look and was equipped with cogwheels and pipes. Back then I didn’t know it was “steampunk”, though. I was wondering what music that amazing guitar would play and what it would sound like.

At the same time, Tobias and I were already working on plans to form a, let’s say, innovative band, so the picture I found was just like the tip of the iceberg and we came up with first sound ideas very soon.

What attracts you the most about steampunk?

We really like this comparatively fresh scene, the inexhaustible amount of stories you can tell and its infinitive possibilities to be creative in so many ways.

Aeronautica is a crew, could you tell us a little more about that?

“Aeronautica” is the name of our airship, so yes, we are its crew. We explore and discover, but also share our journeys with everyone who wants to follow the stories of Aeronautica.

Could you name the five steampunk artists that have influenced you the most when it comes to creating your own music?

When we started writing steampunk music, we didn’t even know there were other steampunk bands around. After all, steampunk still isn’t a musical genre and might never be one. Of course, we discovered Abney Park very soon, followed by a few others. We never tried to sound like one of those bands. In fact, we don’t even know whether we sound like a steampunk band that’s been around before us.

Steampunk itself is such a fascinating thing. Whenever you get in touch with these elements in movies, pictures and so on, you just can’t look away. Luckily there are so many great steampunk artists today.

You hail from Germany. Could you describe the steampunk scene in your country for us?

Actually it seems that Germany has got one of the smallest steampunk scenes in Europe. The community is rising and we think there is a good chance for it to grow. Aeronautica tries to support this development!

The first German steampunk festival, Aethercircus, successfully took place this year and will be continued in May 2013. There was a great vibe and playing there was a pleasure for us. The festival is a good chance to make steampunk more popular in Germany.

We also went to Berlin to play in a bar called 12° Aetherloge — a steampunk bar that opened its doors this summer. We have seen steampunks on several events all over Germany and we are sure there will be more soon.

You have released your first EP, Maschinengeist. Are there any plans for a full album?

Yes, there are! A full-length album will be recorded next year. We will try to release it in Autumn/Winter 2013. Maschinengeist is just the beginning.

By the way, a digital download edition of our Maschinengeist EP will be released worldwide till the end of this year. We will be available in online stores like iTunes, Amazon and so on. There will be no excuses of not listening to our music!

What’s your favorite song from Maschinengeist to play live and why?

Tobias likes the mystic touch of “Unendlichkeit”, Ben and Felix enjoy the moody “Pech & Schwefel” on stage and the melodic lines of “Der Augenzeuge” delight our bass girl.

Hard question, though… Our songs gather many different styles, so they never get boring.

If you could collaborate with any steampunk artist, regardless of their discipline, who would it be?

We’ve been introduced to a movie project called Airlords of Airia. Their teaser looks awesome and we gave our CD to the film producer. It would be an honor to be featured in Airlords of Airia with our music. A guest appearance of the band or our ship would crown it all.

A lot of steampunk musicians are also very creative in other arts. Is that the same with the members of Aeronautica? If so which?

We would like to be creative in other arts too, but after writing music and doing lots of paperwork there’s not much time left. The Maschinengeist EP was completely designed by us and right now we are also working on our upcoming video in cooperation with the producers and professional designers. Thanks to Aeronautica we probably also developed a better sense for (stage-) fashion and customized a few things so far. It’s merely a matter of time.

If you could decide the lineup for a (steampunk) festival, which other bands would you have playing there and why?

First of all we would invite the German steampunk band Drachenflug. They are very nice people and also play great and interesting music, completely different to ours.

The other bands probably wouldn’t be all steampunk bands since there are not so many in Germany. Of course it would be great to play among as many unique steampunk bands as possible.

What’s your ultimate dream venue that that you hope to perform at one day?

Wacken! We really want to play on one of What do you hope to accomplish with Aeronautica in 2013?

We wish to play as many concerts as possible, especially festivals. We also hope to go on tour with a well-known band to spread our name everywhere. At this stage of time, we need to get in touch with as many people as possible.

A video will be released in the beginning of 2013, as mentioned before. That hopefully will help to get some new friends through the internet as well.

We are looking forward to continue our journey.

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