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By George Papanikolaou

ElectroWelt: So, we are here in Leipzig with Nik Page and Jamie Heinrich-Stewart from Blind Passenger - First of all I would like to thank you for this interview.

NP: Our pleasure :) 

1. Now, Nik I would like to start with a couple of questions about ''Nik Page''. When did you have your final release ?

NP: My last release was in 2009, a sci-fi/Electro/Rock n Roll CD called ''Rocket Queen'', at the moment I concentrate on the Blind Passenger project, because it is difficult to make too many projects at the same time only focus on B.P. now. 

2. Is Nik Page still active as a project ?

NP:  Well, the project ''Nick Page'' is not active at the moment. 

3. Were you involved in the music industry in any other way before the Nik Page project ? Did you participate in another band as a teenager perhaps ?

NP: When I started as a musician, the first project I participated in was Blind Passengers (with an ''S'', as in plural). This was my band for many many years. The split of Blind Passengers took place in 2001, then I started my solo carrier as Nik Page, and also a completely different project called ''Songs Of Lemuria ''. Songs Of Lemuria is a Neoclassic music oriented project, along with a female opera singer.


4. After the dissolution of Blind Passengers, what was the main reason that led to the forming of a new project ?

NP: I wanted to return to my roots, and my roots were electronic pop. I produced the CD first, and then I started to think about how would I name the new project. Then I thought that it sounded like the Blind Passengers, and apparently I am one of the them, so I thought the best idea is to call it Blind Passenger. That way the people would know what to expect from the CD when they are to listen to it. 

5. How would you characterize the music of Blind Passenger ?

NP : I think it is sky-fi / electronic pop music... with a small hint of EBM in it. 

6. When you compare it to Nik Page ?

NP: Nik Page is more Gothic-Rock with science fiction and electronic elements, where Blind Passenger is more Electronic Music with Electronic Beats. 

JH-S: Blind Passenger started as Nik's solo project. At the end of 2010, Clemens and myself joined the band. We were touring with Nik as musicians and we thought there are a lot of potentials in this project, especially if we could all add more song writing, more sound ideas since we both play guitar and keyboards, and we all love science fiction. We wanted to add more Analogue Keyboards and really return back to the roots of electronic sound. This is why the next album will be slightly different than the early Blind Passenger, it will be sort of an evolution of the B.P. with there people working together behind the original idea.


7. Could each one of you mention a few artists that inspired you in the making of music ?

NP: I think I started at the end of the 80's with the Depeche Mode. Over the years I think every artist or CD you listen to can influence your music if you are open for it. I would say my favorite CD of the past years must have been one by the Prodigy... I love them. 

JH-S: My inspiration started with Anti Music, punk music like the Dead Kennedy's – I love their political sounds, then electronic pioneers like Devo, who were mixing art ideas with music. That was a huge influence for me, the fact that you can take ideas and mix them with music...Also the electronic sounds from games, like the Nintendo games, that was a big influence since the kids play those games all the time and get bombarded with beeps and buzzes, and now we want to produce those noises's just beautiful. 

8. Now, would you like to mention a few artists that contributed to your work through their ideas or collaborations ?

NP: On the latest Blind Passenger album we have three collaborations, two with Joke Jay he had been a member of AndOne for many years and recently returned back to AndOne. Also Gary Wagner from Dance or Die. This band was one of the most important German dark electronic bands at the 90's. The album features also a famous female guest vocalist called Victoria Valo. She originally comes from a different scene and she did all the female vocals on the album.


9. I have the feeling that image has been a very important factor to you as far as the Nik Page project. If that is true, does that apply to the Blind Passenger band, especially when on stage.

JH-S: I think image has been very important because we are not a band that performs in jeans and t-shirts, we want to give to our audience an idea of what's inside our minds. We try to present our music visually, after all we do science fiction music and we want to present that with how we look.

NP : Live music is very important, it is like theater. You are really there as a person, we are not just some people on the stage, we want to interact with our audience and to bring the ideas over. So image is very important -not as a commercial thought. We are not there to put out ideas just because they are pretty, we want to put what it's in our heads.


10. Could you please mention some of your general influences or artists of any kind that inspired you besides music, over the years ?

JH-S: Basically Alvin Toffler, writter of the book ''The Third Wave'' has influenced me a lot because he talked and shared ideas about the future. It is not so often that people talk about the future. I think our society is more about the past and present because of all the problems we have, but people like Toffler wrote about the future and that is important. Future thinking people influence us a lot, we also want to think about the future and not only the past. The question is: what can we do now, in order to make a better future ?


11. Would you like to share your thoughts with me in regards to the current dark scene and music industry ?

NP : I don't think that many things have changed in the past years, some young people continue to join the scene and other people leave it as it always happened. I think there is no other scene with so many different styles in it, and I also believe that tolerance is a very big issue in the dark scene.

JH-S: I'd just like to add to this, that in a way I am a little disappointed with the scene because it seems that it copies of itself, and to a certain degree it becomes a parody of itself. Instead of thinking what can we do for the scene, bands some times tend to copy each other in the way that you can end up with one sound that sounds the same, one style of image that looks the same. I think it's OK for bands to have their style, but when everybody does the same thing, I mean it's only ideas getting reduced to one idea. People should just say no ...let's do something different. I want to do something different with my self, with my music. We want to do that and see what happens anyway, but we'd like to see other bands and producers do different things. I also think this is not a typical dark scene problem. Other scenes face the same problem. But the idea behind the dark scene is to be different than the rest of society and that's why it is more complicated.

12. What is your opinion on big festivals like the WGT and some other ones ?

NP : I think it is great to perform there, we love it actually. I only hope that people won't stop attending smaller concerts in smaller clubs. I think in a small club concert the feeling is completely different for the attendees. To see a band perform live in a smaller club is more personal and more direct. I think it's important that people but tickets for clubs and festivals also.

JH-S: Our concert at the WGT was very important, I got a huge adrenaline boost, like Nik says, clubs are great, but we really got exploded at the WGT, it was a wonderful audience. 

13. Are there any live concerts on the way for you that you could mention ?

NP : Yes, there are some more festivals on the way, and by the way, we hope that one day we may be invited in Greece.

14. What is your opinion regarding the internet and the free downloading ?

NP: For a musician that has to make a living out of his music, that can be a problem. For a musician who makes music only for his personal amusement or expression that can be fine. It is a fact that people don't buy CD's any more.

JH-S: I think that this system will change at some point. People will find ways of paying the artist when one is using their music. The basic idea of the internet was the share of information for free, and music is also a form of information, but the artists still need to get paid for making a living. We put our money and time and if we want to live we also need some money. This is a capitalist society after all, so youtube and last fm have found ways of returning a small amount of money to the artists based on how often a song/video is played/watched.

15. What is your opinion regarding the social media like facebook, myspace, twitter etc ? Do you make use of any of them ?

NP: We use them, but if I want to be honest I personally hate that process, It takes all our free time when we could spend more time trying to be more creative. We spend hours and hours on facebook.

JH-S: I can understand that it takes a lot of our free time, but if you invest 15 minutes per day you can keep contact to your fans, especially the ones who live far away. I mean we can't play concerts in Australia or America so easily but this way we can contact the fans and get some feedback on the music so that we know what they like and what they don't. That helps us to produce new material. 

16. What is your message to the Nik Page and Blind Passenger fans here at the ?

NP : We like to get in contact with people, we like to know what they think about our music and share ideas. We love to meet new friends from all over, so feel free to contact us on facebook or other social media. 


ElectroWelt: Well, thank you very much for this interview, we wish you the very best for your future plans and activities. Hope to see you live in Greece soon !!! * 2012.

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