Dom: Love Bites, an eighties smash from Def Leppard... Usually I'm not easily drawn to a cover of a smash hit, but listening to your version, I re-discovered the great lyrics, the melody and emotions it brought to the surface for me. This is the mark of a great cover. That also carries to other songs on Mobius. Share with us the inspiration behind the lyrics especially Alone and Islands.
Valentin: I definitely have to give props to one of our partners, Mark Benjamin who writes some of the lyrics with me. Lyrics are not something that come all that easily to me. Working with Kris, conceptually we are very fussy. But we are also meticulous in how things get phrased.
It's a little bit of a science project. We tend to work on things in stages. We'll come up with some parts very easily, like in "Alone," one of the initial concepts was about this great feeling that people get coming together in a club. On the one hand you have this incredible energy, this mass of people, but you can't really talk to anybody without screaming, (the line about "we're all together but we're all alone").
On the other hand we had to work longer when we wanted to put in a little sense of the feeling that you'd almost like to, if you're getting to know somebody, to just have those moments where you get that joy or release of being out having fun, but at the same time you wish everybody else was gone and you could just enjoy being with that person.
There are a lot of different levels to it, but it's about that unusual club experience, how much fun it is but it's also a peculiar thing socially.
Kristine: and in Islands --we'd like to do a video of this-- you have two people yearning for each other and not really ever being able to connect. In a sense the whole album, if you whittle it down, it's just about feelings, people, relationships, love, very simple.
Valentin: But finding really complex ways of saying things (all of us laughing). One of the things we both really like about the music making process is, that there's a sense of passion we both try to bring across to people. Whether it's a passion about Alone and the club experience, or in Islands and two people who physically can never be together even though they long for each other, or Hardly a Day and it's a star-crossed lovers thing, but they're trying to figure out "are you waiting for me, are you going to try to be around," something happened and we're stuck in this moment, how do we get beyond it. Even Vampyre is a love song, in Latin. In fact we did the translation ourselves, of the simple...
Kristine: We actually picked out some English words we wanted to say in Vampyre and we translated them into Latin..
Dom: oh yeah?
Val and Kris: (laughing) cos we're geeks!
Valentin: The end result in Vampyre is a vampire love story, a very simple romantic thing, and trying to get that drama across.
But, getting back to the passion aspect. It's really about how do we look our kids in the eyes and not take the idealist approach?
People tell you "you can't do this because it's written in stone" and since it's written it has be done that way. But how do you look the youth of the world in the eye and not have some sense that you've got to at least try that you can get beyond what people tell you, you can't do to make improvements? If that makes any sense?
Dom: Yes. Completely. In an age where great deals of lyrics are made up mostly of mono-syllabic words and iambic pentameter, along comes QED and it's almost Shakespearean if you compare them.
Valentin: Wow. There's an endorsement. Thank you so much.
Dom: Kristine, one of my favorite things about QED is the perfect "marriage" between the vocal and the rhythms. I hear that emotion come through as we've just talked about. You have such a wide range with your voice, from the classical feel of Vampyre, to the beautiful vocals on Islands. Talk about your background.
Kristine: I have to give a lot of credit to Val. I studied classical music, and when I first came to Val, my vocal delivery was much more "operatic." Val is a great producer because he works so well with many different vocalists.
Because he himself is a vocalist, he really knows how to get across what he's looking for and understands vocalists.
I studied classical, my dad loved Motown, so I grew up on Motown. But I think we both have very eclectic tastes in music, so as musicians it's what makes (QED) much more song oriented than some of the other (acts) that are out there (in the music industry).
Valentin: Kristine has a pretty amazing instrument, as you pointed out, she can cover a lot. We're actually doing a couple of things right now that are hip-hop influenced, and so she can pretty much run the gambit, and having an amazing instrument, the passion for what she's doing, I come to it and we work together to get through her voice an emotion at its highest level; something that will really grab people. Hopefully that is coming across, which makes us feel great.