50WEAPONS artist PHON.O once said about the label: The sound is an open, fresh, and eclectic one without any limitations. I think Gernot and Basti (Modeselektor) doing a great job as an A&R and push interesting artists with their own sound, no matter what style they have and no matter what other people say. Also the whole label family is doing a great job with their work. It's honest and real. True words on 50WEAPONS that come from a producer who is close to the record label since day one. Already from the start the game plan for 50WEAPONS was stopping business after 50 releases. Now, the label is due to close down, but has decided to go out with a royal bang. Specifically, 50WEAPONS have organised a world tour presented by Carhartt WIP that will stop in towns like Paris, Manchester, Hamburg, Montreal or New York. Furthermore they will release a limited collector's box set, consisting of eleven pieces of vinyl, and a USB device with twenty-two tracks - the last scheduled release by the label. For Carhartt WIP Radio label head honchos Modeselektor prepared a one hour good-bye show in which they tried to mix the tracks from the last couple of 50WEAPONS releases in a way that would make sense to the listener and to Modeselektor as DJs. We talked to both about the end of a 50WEAPONS decade and more.
(Sebastian Szary and Gernot Bronsert aka Modeselektor, photo: Jakob Hoff)
Hi Gernot and Sebastian, how is it to be Modeselektor right now?
Modeselektor: What kind of a question is that? Its just like always... hahaha
To our knowledge the idea to launch 50WEAPONS came up during a drunken night with Shlom of Boomkat. Did the idea to close the label came up while being drunk or was it clear from the beginning that you will only do 50 releases?
Modeselektor: It was supposed to be a label on which we do only 50Cent bootlegs, we stuck to only releasing 50 singles but fortunately ditched the 50Cent part.
Can you name us five good reasons to close 50WEAPONS?
Modeselektor: Consistency, steadiness, persistency, constancy... Did we forget consistency?
How did the fans react when the heard about the close-down?
Modeselektor: Some were shocked, some were impressed. We are both.
What are your personal highlights in the 50WEAPONS catalogue? (We know you love them all but maybe some more…)
Modeselektor: It´s hard to say that. Picking favorites wouldn´t be fair but lets just say the first and the last record are very exciting to us.
How did the artist react on the close-down? Tears? Depression?
Modeselektor: Despair, hate, sadness, fear, and resignation, we had it all. But we still love each other.
You close 50WEAPONS with an extent tour. What will happen? Who will play?
Modeselektor: It´s really not that long, we´re doing ten nights in ten cities to bid 50WEAPONS farewell. Select 50WEAPONS artists will play with us on each show and we will play vinyl only sets with a rather special mixer. No computers, no CDJs. Pure shit.
How did 50WEAPONS affected the musical history in general in your opinion?
Modeselektor: Haha, we don't know. All we wanted to do with 50WEAPONS was to release killer tunes. We are still impressed by how many people liked our output, and yeah, maybe it influenced some people.
Any plans for a new sub-label of Monkeytown?
Modeselektor: We´ll see, maybe there are plans for a successor but we can´t tell you anything yet.
How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt WIP 50WEAPONS Radio show?
Modeselektor: We tried to mix the tracks from the last couple of 50WEAPONS releases in a way that would make sense to the listener and to us as DJs.
We always wanted to to know: what are your first musical memories?
Modeselektor: Piano lessons at the church, every Tuesday and Thursday.
You are always willing to surprise your audience with new collaborations. Anything new in the pipeline?
Modeselektor: We´ve been asked this question many times before and we never answered it, it would sort of take away the magic. In case you´re interested, we just finished a new Moderat record together with Sascha.
How do you keep your work fresh and continue to evolve in general?
Modeselektor: Always look for new challenges. Do everything to stay up to date with what´s happening in our scene, and we don´t just mean new technologies.
How did the process of making music change for you both over the last years?
Modeselektor: The biggest change is how we manage our studio time. We both have kids, so it´s very different from what we used to do. We have to use the time wisely we´ve got in the studio, which is sort of hard seeing that you can´t just make sick beats on demand. But we sort of like it this way.
If you have to curate a party or festival, what would be your dream line-up?
Modeselektor: We´re lucky, whenever we curate a party, we get our dream line up. Just check out our Melt!Selektor stage at Melt! Festival or our Modeselektion nights.
Are there some funny examples in music that copied the Modeselektor sound?
Modeselektor: Madonna sampled us - we sued her.
What person can you imagine listening to your music?
Modeselektor: Everyone and anyone!
What music would your favorite mixtape include?
Modeselektor: Our musical tastes have a very wide range. We are influenced heavily by what has happened and is happening in the Hardwax universe, Rhythm & Sound, Basic Channel, all that Oswald & Ernestus stuff... But also new stuff from the UK, Hodge for example, he is a truly exciting producer and super young.
Has having a family changed the way you view living the DJ/musician life?
What are your top five obsessions at the moment and what is your current „holy grail“ product?
Modeselektor: Obsessions 1-4: Our four children. Obsession 5: We´re getting an Alpha Recording System Mixer for the 50WEAPONS tour. And our current holy grail is definitely our RIP50WEAPONS box set.
Any last words on 50WEAPONS?
Modeselektor: REST IN PEACE 50WEAPONS. HARDCORE WILL NEVER DIE!