Berlin has been known as a Mecca for electronic music, producing some of the most talented artists we have ever seen. Not many can stand up to the formidable giant that is Moderat.

Photo credit: Birgit Kaufluss

Established artists in their own right in the early ’00s, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary aka Modselektor met Sascha Ring, also known as Apparat, for the first time at a festival in 2002. They had no intention on joining forces at all, but one thing they did have in common was, in a techno-driven Berlin, was a diverse sound. Not so long after that they released their first EP, Auf Kosten der Gesundheit, and let’s just say since then, they’ve conquered the world.

Voted #1 Live Act in 2009 by the worldwide readers of Resident Advisor, the trio have toured the world and managed to curate three influential albums in the meantime – whilst balancing family lives. On top of their amazing musical performances, Moderat have been known for their incredible visual shows due to The Pfadfinderei visual element, which also takes a long time to perfect.

As the guys make their return to Dublin for Forbidden Fruit Festival, our editor Jordan Kinlan had a chat with Gernot Bronsert about their iconic Monkeytown Records, how their live set has changed over time, and some Dublin friends of theirs.

Photo credit: Flavien Prioreau

Jordan: Hey guys, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat to me today. How has 2017 been for you so far? I saw you’ve recently played Coachella.
Gernot: This year was pretty calm compared to others. The main part of the headline tour for Moderat III was in 2016. This year we’re playing almost 99 per cent festival shows. Coachella was the first one this year. We all enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun!
J: At what point between your first EP release in 2003 and your album release in 2009 did you think that Moderat would be a ‘full time’ project?
G: None of us had ever imagined that Moderat would become what it is today. We started for fun to make music together and somehow, that’s still the case. But after three albums it’s time to go back to the roots. We’re already working on a new Modeselektor album…
J: You are known for your striking live sets, how much has it changed since you began touring the debut Moderat LP in 2009?
G: Well… it all began really small… and now it’s really big… that’s the major difference! But jokes aside we started with a very chaotic gig in a Berlin club, in a basement. Now we travel like a band. We have a crew, tonnes of equipment and drive around in a tour bus.
J: You’re set to play Forbidden Fruit Festival in Dublin this summer. Last time around you played Metropolis Festival, can we expect some new material since your last show?
G: Since we played Metropolis Festival we never really stopped touring, so there’s no new material. But we’ll definitively play another set at Forbidden Fruit. 
J: At Melt Festival, Modeslektor curate the now famous Meltselektor Stage where you invite artists, label mates and friends onto the line up. Would this idea be something you’d consider bringing to Ireland?
G: That would be amazing. We wouldn’t hesitate one second! The crowds on the green island are always incredible. For now we haven’t received a request from Ireland to curate a stage… We’ll see what the future holds!

Photo credit: Birgit Kaufluss

J: The Pfadfinderei visual element of the show is obviously incredibly important to the Moderat project. How enjoyable is the collaborative process with them before each tour?
G: That’s a good question. The creative process is never the same. It’s constantly changing. Generally the guys from Pfadfinderei assist our studio sessions and develop ideas during the music creation. Then we do the other way around and go assist the process of the video creation. Generally Szary, Sascha and I have a very precise idea of what we want, and what we don’t want…
Photo credit: Robin Alysha Clemens
J: Last month saw the one year anniversary of your album ‘III’. Do you think it’s your best work to date?
G: I dare to not reply to this question. 
J: Do you still work separately a lot as Modeselektor and Apparat? If so, where do you find the time with your busy touring schedule?
G: We play almost no gigs with Modeselektor or Apparat when we have released a Moderat album. Sometimes a couple of DJ sets, but generally not. We still take our time to work on Modeselektor music when the schedule allows it.
Photo credit: Flavien Prioreau
J: Monkeytown has become known for releasing consistently high quality music, especially fellow Berliners FJAAK recently. How did that album come about, and what is the process you go through when an artist is releasing on Monkeytown?
G: FJAAK are similar to what we were back in the day. Full of good ideas and motivated to constantly do new stuff. We did a feature with them on their album and gave some input from our experience. It’s a great album and we’re happy that it’s out on Monkeytown!

J: Which upcoming artists on Monkeytown are exciting you the most at the moment?
G: Siriusmo has recorded a new album which will be most likely released this year.
We also just released the second Dark Sky album. There will be music by Gajek and Mouse on Mars as well this year. Maybe, even new Modeselektor stuff, depending on our production progresses…
Photo credit: Flavien Prioreau
J: There is a mysterious figure in Dublin called Sisi Brambell who claims he writes some of the lyrics to your tracks. Is this true and if so, how did you get to know him?
G: Yes that’s true! He co writes the lyrics for Sascha sometimes. He also has a really cool clothes store called “Nowhere“. I think Sascha has met Simon licking hallucinogenic toads or taking DMT in the Amazonian forest…
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