Growing up in Vienna, Austria, the musical heritage of the city embedded itself deeply into Michael’s consciousness. Dedicating himself to the drums, he became a virtuoso performer and played for years in numerous bands and as a hired gun for other artists. All this time, he was also honing his skills in the studio, biding his time until he was ready to reveal something truly unique.
The solo project of Eisensteyn is not a typical EDM act. Filling the void between electronic and live musical performance, his visceral but beautifully crafted live show has to be seen to be believed.
1. Tell us about the first track that put you on the map in the electronic scene and the journey since. How did you get started?
I released my first song in spring 2019 – since then I performed my own music at quite different events – from beauty pageants to a celebration on a military deployment. But my highlight was performing my music as part of a huge show in Germany, touring the country and performing in front of 1,000 guests each night. I actually started in 2004 when I got interested in recording my drums – but didn’t take producing seriously until 2016.
2. Tell us about your latest project Shoe Drop
So far, the songs that I released are part of my show-concept – music for theatres and corporate-events. Shoe Drop is my first pop song – I wrote the melody a couple of years ago but never quite finished the project. Until I talked to the singer, Saskia, about creating music together and it was the perfect fit. It’s quite a personal story about someone I fell in love with a couple of years ago but it didn’t quite play out…
Listen to ‘Shoe Drop’ Ft. Saskia Gradwohl on Spotify!
3. Tell us something we wouldnt normally find out about you?
It was German techno band Scooter that got me hooked with electronic music in the early 2000’s. But hey, they’re cult where I am from (and their melodies and productions are very high level to be fair).
4. What single night out has been most memorable for you as a dj and producer?
There have been quite a lot to be honest… from attending a rave in Stockholm, meeting a fellow producer and recording drums all night in his studio next door to watching German rave band Scooter on stage together with drummer Tommy Lee at a huge festival. But I’d say every night out that includes a performance is memorable.
5. Give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?
That’s easy – Supermode-Tell me why. First heard it in 2006 at my first home-party and been in love with it ever since.
6. Dream collaboration and why?
Flume. I saw him one time in Berlin and his approach to performing, his light- and video-show were incredible. Also he seems like a fun person to hang out with.
7. If you could play any festival, which would it be?
After more than seven months of Covid-19 I would love to perform at ANY festival.
But I had the honour of performing at a lot of major festivals through different projects – but as Eisensteyn it’s my dream to perform at Untold in Romania.
8. How do you get a track started? tell us about your production process
Two different approaches – I either have a melody in mind which leaves a lot of room for how the final song turns out. Or I am in a certain mood – like feeling powerful and creating huge drum sounds and orchestral sounds, or feeling kind of urban and trying to do more edgy sounds or feeling the irrepressible freedom that I get from listening to festival anthems and trying to create one of my own.
9. Latest project? What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a Future Bass remix of a song we played with our band years ago. But the vocals and the hook are too catchy not to use 🙂 and of course there are so many memories attached.
10. The relationship between a dj and the audience is crucial, and yet is seems to be a fragile one – how do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?
As I like to call Eisensteyn a hybrid-musician I don’t really do the DJ’s part of playing music for the audience, I’m rather trying to take them on a journey with my performance, hence the more orchestral approach to my first few releases.
But that’s something I would love to find out in the future.
With playful rhythms and an energetic but slightly melancholical vibe “Shoe Drop” tells the tale of a love that could have been – of the “one that got away” and the internal process of figuring out when it’s time to move on. The song’s overall energy hints at how life sometimes feels like a dramatic video game, while the delicate but razor-sharp vocals express how torn we can feel at such a crossroads. “Shoe Drop” takes you straight to the in-between space of a metamorphosis – after the pain and fantasy but before liberating oneself by releasing just that.
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