German solo-project ES23 is the creative outlet of Daniel Pad. It all started in 2004, but it took some years to ES23 to release its first official album “Heaven Or Hell” (2012). The album was released by Infacted Recordings, which also released the next albums “Mutatio Ex Machina” (2014) and “Erase My Heart” (2017). ES23 evolved from a Dark-Electro project towards a more Electro/Future-Pop driven project. The newest work “Only Melodies Remain” is mixing the Electro-Pop influences together with harder EBM elements. So each album sounds different, but always features great songs. It’s not that different for “Only Melodies Remain”.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You’re active under the ES23 moniker since 2004. That’s already a while now! Albums have been released, you collaborated with ‘guests’ etc. How do you look back at this ‘voyage’ so far and how do you see ES23 today?
Daniel: When I look back to what happened so far, I can definitely say that I have learned a lot and I am still learning a lot today. Today I would say that ES23 actually started in 2010. It feels like the time before I was more playing around and getting to know the first steps.
ES23 has changed a lot over the years. I think change in that context is a good thing. I improved my skills and knowledge, but I also evolved as an artist and producer. I would say a ‘play-around’ turned into a solid music project.
Q: When did you start working on the new album “Only Melodies Remain” and did you’d a specific sound and album in mind? How did the album took shape?
Daniel: The production of the current album actually started right after the “Erase My Heart”-album was released. I use a lot of my free time to produce new music. Unlike other artists, who do it full-time, I need to find time to compose, which is not always that easy.
Accordingly, the release of the current album took almost 3 years. That’s why I released an EP and a single in between. The sound has changed so much because I’ve been more involved with analog synthesizers for a few years and maybe also influenced by the music I listen to. I’ve been listening to Retro and Synth-Wave for a while. That may be one reason. But this album was created like all the other ones; I sit down, produce music and the outcome of that is ES23.
Q: It’s quite interesting to see the evolution of ES23 from album to album. While the early work was more Dark-Electro driven, you next injected some Electro-Pop influences while the new work became harder again, featuring a mix of EBM and Electro-Pop. How do you explain this evolution and your own evolution as musician/artist?
Daniel: I think changes and influences both come naturally. Sometimes I feel like producing something harder and sometimes something more gently. Personally, I’m not a huge fan producing the same music over and over again. I need variation. Maybe the next album will be totally Dark-Electro again. Who knows! What I however value, is less harsher vocals. I may not be the best singer, but I enjoy it.
Q: “What is the title of the album “Only Melodies Remain” reflecting? What have been the main themes that inspired you for the lyrical content and how important are lyrics to you?
Daniel: The lyrics are always added as last in my music productions. With every song I always have a basic mood and basic ideas, which then have to be composed. Quite straightforward, actually. It is not always easy to find the right topic. It often sounds a little like heartache.
The title says: If nothing remains, the music remains. Then, for example, that you should keep memories and learn from them. Most of the songs are actually self-explanatory.
Q: Because of Covid-19, multiple artists have been more creative and prolific than ever before; making remixes, clips, live streams, reworking early songs… Have you been doing other things next to the new album? What will you keep in mind from 2020 and do you’ve some plans for the post-pandemic period?
Daniel: To be honest, I did all of these things before Covid-19. I for example helped some of my music mates on how to do a live stream on Youtube/Twitch/Facebook and what they might need in terms of soft- and hardware.
Among other things, I’ve had a few live jam videos where I’m jamming with my synthesizers. It’s a way to show how I create my own sounds etc. I’ve changed in a way that I do not only create music, but also show HOW I do it. If you take a look on to Youtube e.g. you can see many creative minds just creating great stuff with great tools and share it to people. That’s what I’ve oriented myself towards that. I enjoy showing what I can do and I’m very happy when others can learn from it. For fans, too, it is definitely something special to be able to take a look behind the scenes.
All in all, I will continue as I have done up to now. I’m looking forward to future concerts. Fortunately, isolation doesn’t bother me that much. From time to time I like to be a little distant from the real world. So maybe I get along a little better with social distancing than some others. However, there are moments and memories I like to think back to and I look forward to get it back! Fits quite well with the album, eh?