Interview: OUR MIRAGE open up about meaningful themes and creative process of UNSEEN RELATIONS, collaboration with Telle Smith of The Word Alive and more.
SICK AND SOUND is pleased to present to its readers an exclusive interview we had with MANUEL MÖBS of German post-hardcore outfit OUR MIRAGE. Consisting of Timo Bonner at vocals, Steffen Hirz at guitar, Manuel Möbs at bass and backing vocals and drummer Daniel Maus, the band debuted on the scene with first record LIFELINE, released in 2018 via Arising Empire and is pushing boundaries with relatable lyrics and meaningful themes revolving around depression, mental health, suicide and anxiety. Our Mirage are now set to release their second full-length UNSEEN RELATIONS on 7th February 2020.
Our editor-in-chief Alex is catching up with the quartet to know more about the band’s journey and influences. We discussed the message and vision that Our Mirage are ultimately getting across with their music. We discussed the lyrical inspirations, the creative process and the challenges behind UNSEEN RELATIONS, their signing with Arising Empire, collaboration with Telle Smith of The Word Alive, a few tracks and much more.
- Hello guys and welcome. Let’s start by introducing your band to our readers. How did you get into music in the first place and what’s been the journey so far for Our Mirage?
Hey, thank you for having us. We, Our Mirage, formed after our lead-vocalist Timo released his first track “Nightfall” and received an overwhelming response. After Manuel, now Bassist and 2nd vocalist, featured in the video, it was only a matter of days until he joined. A long-year friend of Timo’s, Daniel Maus, was then asked whether he would like to play drums, as he is a super talented drummer. At last then, our guitarist Stiff joined and Our Mirage was born.
Our journey so far has been amazing. We played a lot of shows throughout Germany and even across Europe. We are very much looking forward to what the future holds for the band.
- “Heart hitting lyrics with hard hitting music. Our Mirage are pushing boundaries.” Let’s discuss this statement, the message and vision that Our Mirage are ultimately getting across with their lyrical inspirations and meaningful themes revolving around depression, mental health, suicide and anxiety.
This statement underlines our aspiration when making music. We want to raise awareness of issues, such as depression, that most people wouldn’t even dare talking about. Since there are millions of people worldwide that suffer from mental illnesses, we made it our task to show these people that there is help, that there is always a way out and – most importantly – that they are not alone!
- What’s the story behind choosing Our Mirage as a name?
A Mirage is something that you can see yourself, but which is not really there. Depressions, for example, are taking over so many people and they become an everyday issue for them. They can see it, they can feel it, but we or other people can’t. Our Mirage means, that no matter what you feel, that no one knows, we are united and with you, and make your Mirage OUR MIRAGE!
- Let’s discuss the bands, albums or genres serving as an inspiration for you along the journey or any other soundscape you may have explored before sticking to post-hardcore.
We get questioned about our musical genre a lot to be honest. We never really aspired to hit a certain musical or metal/rock genre. We don’t intend to sound like any other bands. We want to create our own unique style and get on a musical level, that reaches our listeners emotionally.
- What characteristics are necessary for a song to be an Our Mirage song?
It needs to fit into our own style. It needs to get into our listeners’ head. They need to hear the lyrics we sing, identify with it and draw conclusions and realize the way out of that certain situation we sing about. Our Mirage’s songs always have calm parts, emotional lyrics, screaming and easy-to-remember choruses.
- CONGRATULATIONS for signing with label Arising Empire and entering their amazing roster in 2018. What feelings and expectations are behind this achievement?
Thank you so much! Until the present day we are still overwhelmed with having achieved a signing to a record label that really does everything to support us on our journey. We are very thankful that we are granted chances like this.
- Last year you debuted on the scene with your first record LIFELINE and you are set to release your second full-length UNSEEN RELATIONS on 7th February 2020. What was different for this album as opposed to your previous release and how has the sound progressed or changed?
All in all I’d say the sound got a little more rough when it comes to guitar riffs and drums. We wanted to step our game up a notch and become even more hard hitting. Our sound quality changed as well, as we tried to progress and create our own musical style.
- Is it a concept album you had in mind when writing Unseen Relations? Let’s discuss the lyrical themes behind some of the tracks and in what measure those topics may be closely related to Timo’s personal experience.
To a certain extent all lyrics are personal experiences. Not only what Timo experienced, but what Manuel, Maus and Stiff went through. Even what family members or close friends had to go through. As I said before, we want to be united so we wanted to not focus on individual life experiences.
- What was the general writing and creative process approached for this album? Do you usually start from a riff, or rhythmic pattern, a vocal track..?
In all cases the instrumental is written first. This approach is always the same. The way the lyrics and vocals are added is different. For some songs, Timo has a creative afternoon, and just hammers nice vocals and lyrics by his own. For many other songs, Manuel writes the lyrics and sings them together with Timo. For other songs, Maus and Stiff have such amazing ideas that we feel the need to fulfill. The way the song turns out after the instrumental part is put together can vary, but yeah, our instrumentals are always first.
- What were the most challenging situations experienced during the writing and recording process of this album?
I think everyone that has ever done any music and writing agrees on the following:
It is never easy to write and record a song. A lot of enthusiasm and experience are needed to not go insane sometimes. Some days, we aren’t able to write a single line that fits the instrumental, the other day we write and record vocals for two songs. I’d say it depends on your daily mood, but sure, it is important to be professional enough to bring yourself in a certain understanding attitude for the lyrics you’re planning to sing.
- You’ve been collaborating with Telle Smith of The Word Alive who was featured on track Falling. Let’s discuss the experience you had by working together and how this collaboration was set up in the first place.
To be honest, the work with Telle was pretty easy. We just needed to get in contact with him and shoot him our ideas and instrumental. As he has liked the song since the beginning, his feature on “Falling” was decided quickly. Telle is definitely one of the most talented vocalists in our scene and we are glad to have experienced music with someone like him.
- What songs do you consider to be: the heaviest, the most melodic, the most experimental and the most personal on this record?
Sorry if we don’t answer this question the way you intended, but for us, it’s hard to categorize our songs like that. Of course, some songs, like “Rivers” have a bit heavier riffs, or “My last Day” has a pretty brutal breakdown, but to be honest, each song has its own impact on the listener. We think the listening experience allows you to know which song, for you, is the heaviest or the most personal. If you guys listened to the album, hit us up once more and answer for yourself!
We would love to hear your thoughts!
- If you had the opportunity to tour with 3 mainstream bands who would you tour with?
The term mainstream bands, for you, means the most popular bands of our scene, right? Yes, indeed.
We loved touring with our brothers over at Callejon for sure!
We also would love playing shows with bands like A Day To Remember or Beartooth, and of course, The Word Alive.
- What else can we expect from OUR MIRAGE for 2020 and how you guys are going about the promotion of this record? Shows, anticipations, materials tracking, sneak peeks.
There will be a lot more coming this year from us. We are very much looking forward to the release of “Unseen Relations” and its release show we are playing the day after in our hometown Marl (where we founded Our Mirage). Also we will be touring in March and will be supported by our personal good friends over at Vitja, Breathe Atlantis and The Narrator.
Thank you for your time Our Mirage and all of the best for the promotion of your upcoming record. We are very thrilled for its release and fully support you into Europe and US!
Thank you, again, for having us. We wish you guys the best for your future.
OUR MIRAGE ♥
OUR MIRAGE – UNSEEN RELATIONS tracklisting:
2. Falling feat. Telle Smith of The Word Alive
3. Different Eyes
4. Strike A Match
6. Our All Home (Interlude)
8. My Last Day
9. Walk As One
10. Distant & Obscure
11. After All
For all articles and reviews available on SICK AND SOUND for OUR MIRAGE please check out:
For all interviews available on SICK AND SOUND, please check out:
For all reviews and articles available on SICK AND SOUND for new albums, please check out:
For all concerts reviews available on SICK AND SOUND please check out: