By: Amanda Sandström Beijer
Photos by: Sven Marquardt
Getting sick of the unstylish rave scene, Victoria and Theo don’t seek approval, but arena, releasing their sound unfiltered. Playful gets the story on where they started, their influences and what it means to be real. Their itinerary leads them to places that haven’t yet been discovered.
This article is available as a cover feature, shot by Sven Marquardt, in the latest issue of Playful Magazine. Order your copy here.
Victoria Vassiliki Daldas and Theo Zeitner are the people behind Brutalismus3000. Meeting each other after having swiped left on Tinder, their first date was at a bar in Neukölln, Berlin at 02 in the morning. Quickly discovering that they referred to similar music.
Going back in time, Theo started producing music around 10 years ago, but wasn’t very serious about his production at the start.
”My friends got into minimal techno, and I hated that. I thought I could do that shit in a minute on my iPad in Garage Band and wondered why they listened to it. And as I wanted to prove to myself and them that the music was stupid, I started making it myself and suddenly I really enjoyed it and invested in real equipment”, Theo says.
Before this point, Theo was listening to punk, which he still does, but also Kanye West and other rap. Things he doesn’t listen to as much today, due to the meaning behind the lyrics.
Victoria on the other hand used to play the piano, although according to her, it was ’quite unsuccessful’. She was also in the school choir, mostly as a way of polishing her grades as they weren’t great at that time.
”I was into Rn’B and loved Avril Lavigne and Tupac, and as a teenager I enjoyed writing a lot of lyrics myself”, she says.
When they moved to Berlin they started going to raves more frequently and after having met each other it didn’t take long until they discovered that their ideas of what they wanted to create were connected.
”One of the first things we started talking about on our date was music and especially D.A.F (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft), which is one of our main favorite bands”, Theo says.
”What they did in the ’70s and the way they viewed music was very new. All other punk bands at that time had a different approach. They were more violent, faster, and more aggressive”, Victoria fills in.
Brutalismus3000 is described as ’Nu-gabber-post-techno-punk’ although Theo doesn’t necessarily want to put them in any specific box.
”I don’t see myself belonging to any subculture today. Not even the rave subculture actually”, Theo says.
The start of Brutalismus3000 was born in 2019, before the pandemic hit.
”I grew up speaking 3 different languages, including one Slavic; which we thought would be fun to incorporate to our music, as it sounds pretty hard and aggressive”, Victoria says.
”It’s funny looking back on it since we had such low expectations. Places we thought would be amazing to play at back then, are places we turn down today as they are too small.”
As you speak with them you get a strong sense that they are very much in sync with one another. Although their characteristics differ strongly.
”My ADHD makes it difficult for me to remember things, meanwhile Victoria is more structured. I also have this side to me of always trusting people’s intention, and that they want the best for me. I just don’t understand people who want something bad for you. So, when people have been asking how much we earn, I just tell them straight out. And Vicky would never talk about something like that. She’s much more careful”, Theo says.
”I also come from a different background. My mother grew up in socialism, and I was brought up with not even leaving a pen on the table because someone might steal it. That’s how I’ve been brought up. Although I have worked with it to be more chilled.” Victoria says and continues;
”As we’ve been in the industry now for some years, I’m always very careful about who we’re working with, always questioning, and then we’re always discussing. I’m always rethinking stuff until the end, meanwhile he’s more trusting. But it’s creating a good balance for us.”
”Vicky is also very superstitious. She would never put her bag on the ground or cross someone’s arm when cheering and has a lot of ideas on what could bring bad luck. She will tell me to not say stuff as it could mean we would die tomorrow”, Theo says laughing;
”And now I’m also superstitious, especially when I’m scared, like when I’m flying. I have this procedure with Vicky's nails to feel more at ease.”
Watch the full Brutalismus 3000 interview here:
The procedure Theo refers to is pressing on one nail at a time until he pressed all ten of them. Prioritizing fun and each other is very important for both of them when it comes to work-life-balance.
”When people try to push us to take on more gigs, we’re just saying no. We’re not interested in living that kind of hectic life, and as we’re together we want to prioritize each other as well.”
”It’s funny though, as we kind of skipped the whole part of doing small gigs. The first gig we ever did was in Paris in front of 2000 people. And when you do a few big gigs, you’re not reliant to play all the time to be okay money-wise. Some DJ’s who’re doing 15-20 shows; I know what they earn and I simply don’t understand what they’re doing with all that money.”
”We would for example never take a gig on Halloween, no matter how big the fee would be. Because that’s Theo’s favorite holiday”, Victoria fills in.
”If I would ever play on Halloween, that means I’ve left, that I’m just an empty shell. Otherwise, I would never do that.” I just want to be at home and watch ’80s horror movies. It’s an important day for me.”
Films also inspire them when creating music. As one could know, their song ’Blade’ is for instance inspired by the film with the same name.
”We had to name it ’Blade’ so people don’t think that we’re not aware of where the inspiration came from. There’s also ’Crash96’ referring to Cronenberg’s movie Crash. But as I’m also studying film, it’s connected with my interest in a broader perspective. Even more than music sometimes.”, Theo says and continues;
”I think people who create music should think about what they bring to the world that hasn’t been brought here before. Of course, you can do like EDM and mainstream music, which I sometimes even like, actually. But when we create music, like when we got into gabber music, we were excited about the fact that we don’t really hear gabber music with punk, good female vocals and feminist lyrics.”
”Most of the time the vocals are really sexist. There are some songs, by other artists, that we enjoy but we just don’t play them because the lyrics are too shitty”, Vicky says and continues;
”Although it’s the same in any industry, you want to find a loophole you can evolve in. We got a bit bored of the rave scene at some point. We started finding it a bit overused and wanted to bring a new spark to it.”
”Maybe I don’t want to admit it, but of course I know that we’re somehow part of the rave culture, although our influences are not from techno most of the time. Our inspirations are mostly punk. What I don’t like about the rave culture, especially in Germany, is that they take it so seriously and say things like ’techno is a revolution’ and I’m like, nah… It’s not. Going to Berghain is not a revolution. They make millions of euros. I have nothing against them and go there myself frequently. But it’s not a revolution. I don’t take it so seriously like so many in this city do”, Theo says;
”I’m never gonna write ’Techno’ in my bio.”
”There are some collectives that are doing incredible things, that are way more revolutionary than most big clubs are. Shoutout to our friends from Floorgasm, which is a collective that are presently throwing really good parties in Berlin with really nice artists. The approach of their parties are really safe, selective and queer oriented with very good music. To us it’s a peace where you can have a lot of fun. You can sense that people who run the party has a genuine standpoint. They’re not straight people making money off of queer people, but actual queer people and you can sense the selection by the door is not profit-driven but safe space-driven.”
”We will also still go to Berghain forever, it’s a great club. What we mean is more focused on the rave culture, and that’s what’s throwing us off. The techno scene is really unstylish.”
As they’re working on a new album at this time, they let us in on the inspiration behind it.
”It’s a bit more avant-garde. Also, our vocals are more poppy, yet more angry and aggressive. Our new album contains things we’ve been too afraid of releasing before, but now we’ve just stopped giving a shit. We’re more self-confident now and it’s what we’ve always been wanting to release”, Vicky says.
”Satan was a babyboomer was at first way more aggressive, but we toned it down because we were afraid. And now we’re not scared anymore. It’s not gonna be easy consumable for most people.”
They ’just got started’ and are aware that this is just the beginning. Thinking forth they wish to create a life where they can plan the year ahead and go on tour for two months a year and spend the rest of the time at home with friends and family.
”We missed all our friends’ birthdays this year, because we didn’t plan ahead and said yes to shows before checking with them, and this is not how we want to live our life”, Vicky says.
Getting into Vicky and Theo’s tips for other producers; they mean it’s not only the music that matters, but the whole image.
”We’ve always been taking a lot of pride in how we present ourselves as a whole. Of course, the music is important, but with the platforms people are using today it’s super important how you present yourselves. So be aware of that. We put a lot of love in the pictures and how our Instagram looks. It’s all of it combined, it’s about the image people get from the picture you’re creating.”, Vicky says:
”People want to have a face behind it, and I would say that this is part of the secret - the whole concept. We work together with friends and talented people we come across who are very good at what they do.”
”It was very important for us not to present ourselves in a ’usual techno aesthetics’. We wanted to have something that was more fresh and bolder.”
Managing to put together a team without a big label in the back, at start. They included friends and worked a lot with DIY to create the image they wanted to project.
”We know a lot of people within different scenes who are super creative. Like Theo’s brother is a photographer and we had designer friends and graphic designers who know typography and all that.”
”When you create something, think of why you’re making it. It feels like some people forget about that and re-create what others have already done. Which makes some genres very stagnant and boring. We need to bring new visions, new ideas and new sounds into the world.”
When entering the music studio, on the other hand, they always start with getting centered. Which means having 6-8 cans of beer.
”When Theo starts, he already has the beat done, more or less, and then we try to see if the lyrics work with the sound, and if it doesn’t we create new ones and brainstorm. Usually, the first half an hour Theo is angry with me because it doesn’t work well”, Vicky laughs;
”And then I get into the flow mode, and then it starts to run smoother. We try to spend a lot of time there, and always book another hour until it’s the next day.” Because of Theo’s ADHD when he gets into the mood, he gets really creative and doesn’t even drink a sip of water, or pee for over ten hours.”
When it comes to knowing when a track is done and can be released, that’s a mutual feeling between them.
”When we have the beat, and the lyrics and they fit, we just rework it all a little bit, and then it’s done. It’s always just done. We enjoy stopping working on a track and move on”, Vicky says, ending the interview.
Styling & Clothes: Melisa Minca
Hair/Make up: Saskia Krause
Assistant: Hardy Paetke
Location: Lynx Studio