German alternative/Gothic rock band MONO INC. have a huge worldwide following and 11 studio albums in their discography, including their powerful latest opus The Book Of Fire.
This LP was released in late January and delves into the horrific times of The Inquisition; an era of suspicion, fear, and hatred, and greed, corruption, and violence, all in the name of religion.
Unfortunately, we humans don’t seem to learn from history and the same evil seeds are sown and flower to this day in the cultural, social, religious, and political spheres.
Hamburg-based MONO INC. formed in 2000 and is comprised of lead singer and songwriter Martin Engler, Katha Mia (drums), Carl Fornia (guitars), and Manuel Antoni (bass).
Martin Engler kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to give his candid views on the state of the world today. Caveat: This interview was conducted before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, otherwise that would most likely have also been addressed.
Hello! Please introduce yourself/yourselves and give a description of your sound/musical vision.
I’m Martin Engler, singer and songwriter of the German band MONO INC. I certainly won’t put ourselves in some box right here by my own will. I’ll leave that to the specialists, they know what they’re doing.
What is/are the main personal, national, and/or international issue(s) concerning you the most these days?
It’s not really possible to count all the problems within one day anymore, given the state our world is in right now. There’s just too many of them. But the worst part, in my opinion, is that people are clearly unable to learn from their mistakes and we are heading towards the abyss relentlessly. But, of course, not without gaining speed by the day, for the impact has to be a loud and big one.
What song, video, or lyrics quote of yours best represents your current viewpoint on this/these important topic(s)?
I’d put these quotes from the title track of our new album The Book Of Fire. They pretty much represent what has been stated in my previous answer.
We cannot turn back the time
We have to live with this disgrace and blame
It’s been all written down for us
So we don’t have to do the same mistakes again
Now everything is wasted
Too late to make a change
Our history and future
Went up in flames
What’s your favorite song, video, or lyrics quote by another act or artist that best exemplifies, or at least partly relates to, your current viewpoint?
Here I’d like to put a quote from “Mad World” by the band Tears For Fears, from 1982. Isn’t it ironic in some way, that, despite all the changes in our societies, so much from this era of art is still correct today? Speaking of 1984…
All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
What other forms of protest, besides through your music, are you involved with to get your message across?
I’m trying to make fewer bad decisions every day. When meat is cheaper than carrots, apples from New Zealand get offered in Germany, refugees are being treated as common criminals, a plane ticket crossing Europe costs 10€ or the mainstream media is making money with consumer’s subscriptions – I think everybody is able to protest via their own decisions.
It’s easy to judge and criticize others, especially in these unsettling times of overt intolerance, ignorance, and insults, but the fact remains that we need to work together to ensure that positive change occurs. Name an action to take, or a campaign/charity that would be worthwhile to contribute to, for your cause.
We support the Bärenherz hospice for children. We think it has more of an impact on the future to help those in need and those who can’t fend for themselves than just protesting against something. For the sole purpose of helping this organization we regularly come up with new ideas and events and it is beautiful to see, that we as “rock stars” are able to motivate so many people to do the same.
What gives you hope for the future?
Puh, nothing really.
Where can we purchase/stream your music and find out more about you?