It is best to read the concert review here, before reading this (just to get the mood setting. ) I had to wait a bit to get this interview, but it was well worth it!
Rev.S: It's October 25th (technically the 26th) and we are here with Martin Bowes (pronounced like bows) of the... may I say the fantastic band 'Attrition?"
Martin: Yeah, you may! (immediate laughter on both our parts.)
Rev.S: And he is not modest (actually he is) it was a great show, and I saw the first show in Chicago, and really the energy tonight doesn't seem like it should be the last show? You have really been keeping the rhythm. Could you go on if you had more cities?
Martin: Well tomorrow is the last show, we are going to open for the Damage Manual. It's almost the last night. 5 weeks later, or something like that.
Rev.S: Your going to end in the same city you started in!
Martin: Yeah, in fact we were going to play in Madison Wisconsin, and that got canceled, because we are on Invisible, and there is the Damage Manual tour.
Rev.S: That's right the latest 'Attrition' release is brought to us by Invisible Records. Martin Atkins label of many years and many artist now. Yet Projekt has released how many of your albums now?
Martin: Most of the Projekt stuff was re-issues, of earlier work that was released in Europe. We did an album last year called 'The Jeopardy Maze' which was a new album.
Rev S: So how many new albums on Projekt then?
Martin: Well besides Jeopardy Maze, there was also etudé. A classical album. Every thing else being re-issues, that would be bout 8 or 9 total on Projekt.
Rev S: So how many albums have you put out all together, since many may think that your full catalogue is on Projekt, well here in America anyway.
Martin: Twelve to Fourteen total.
Rev S: Twelve to fourteen, kinda lost count, eh? Since 1982 was it?
Martin: Since 1984 actually, that was the release of our first album.
Rev S: In a way it seems like what I would call 'LPD' syndrome.
Martin: Ahh yeah.
Rev S: It's like, you've been around a fairly long time, you have a good number of releases, critical acclaim for most of them, yet there is certain obscurity and/or underground feel to the way your working!
Martin: We are underground, we've never had a big hit record or anything. (pause for thought.) Which I wouldn't mind, I'm not saying I'm against that, but this way I can do what I want to do, and I think that's good, that we can do exactly what we want to do. Releasing stuff on various labels, and really when Projekt started releasing our stuff over here, that is what got our name out here.
Rev S: Right, Lisa and Projekt have brought a lot of music to my attention, that can be for sure. Even beyond what they do as a label, her and Sam.
Martin: The first tour we did over here was 1996, this is the Fourth tour actually. Since we have done that it has really raised our profile over here.
Rev S: So when do you think the next time you'll come back is, it seems like it's been about two years?
Martin: It's about 18 months between tours.
Rev S: That's a little less than two years. Great!
Martin: Yeah, enough time to get a new album out, and then come back.
Rev S: What was your strongest cities this year around?
Martin: New York was pretty good (pause for thought) , Oh D.C. was really good. The south, we did Alabama , North and South Carolina (laughs) it wasn't too good. Not exactly the main places that bands play are they.
Rev S: Yeah I have heard some strange stories about touring that area of the country.
Martin: but Dallas was really good. San Francisco was one of the best. Seattle was pretty good, I think that was partly because we did the Convergence earlier in the year.
Rev S: What did you think about the Convergence experience?
Martin: That was great, yeah! We really enjoyed that. Doing Convergence in May. So I think we had a total of 24 shows, the most we've ever done here in the states!
Rev S: I'm glad I could be on for part of this, and see it from beginning to end. Some highlights I'd like to touch on, During I am (Eternity) when Christine was alone on the stage.
Rev. S: That really took me by surprise in Chicago , for some reason.
Martin: Oh right, it was kinda meant to be dramatic.
Rev S: You seem to have this thing going on with your microphone though!
Martin: (smiling at where I am heading here. )
Rev. S: It's a love/hate thing, you growl at it , you put it over you sometimes, and launch yourself towards it.
Martin: True yeah, I play with it!
Rev S: Did you start this in the beginning or did you progress into that?
Martin: I think it just happened like that, yeah! I just like to play with it, and sometimes, when I am singing about women, then it is that woman. (laughs at the thought ) And sometimes it is something more angry, like well, I guess it could represent something I despise. It's more like an interface between me and the whole sound system.
Rev S: It seems productive though, and not pretentious, or showy. Yet very real, as if you could almost throw the microphone down , and storm off!
Martin: (matter of faculty) Sometimes I do.
Rev S: Sometimes you throw the mic down!
Martin: When things go badly with the sound, I sometimes throw things about.
Rev. S : Wow , I am glad I saw two good sounding shows! I guess we should thank your current sound guy. Is he new?
Martin: Well I have known him for a few years, but he had done the odd show or two, and this is his first tour!
Rev S: Yeah, he seems to know what to do.
Martin: Most defiantly.
Rev S: Any other story's about the tour you want to touch on.
Martin: well there are so many stories.
Rev. S: Well how about a good obsessive fan story, maybe somebody that creeped you out, or got too close?
Martin: Well there were some people in San Francisco, who were offering us drugs and shit, and I really didn't really want them. It was getting a bit obsessive. "I'll do anything, whatever you want! " , and stuff. I don't need it. I don't normally get it too badly, but there has been the odd one where it's been O.K. , but I did have to walk away a bit. I can imagine if it got to be more, you'd have to be a bit tighter with letting people in.
Rev S: That is part of it, especially the next step.
Martin: Yeah , I can see that. It's not nice, but it did happen a little bit already.
Rev S: Moving on, do you tour Europe much any more?
Martin: Yeah we do as well, and the U.K.
Rev S: Britain seems like a rough place...
Martin: It's not a big scene there really.
Rev S: It seems like they get into you, and are really happy about you , and then that's it.
Martin: It's not a really big scene and there is not a lot of money in it. We do play shows because we live there. WE enjoy it but it is a small scene. Germany is the big scene in Europe. Yeah it's a big scene Germany, it's very competitive too. That's the big scene in Europe though. In a lot of ways I enjoy it more over here.
Rev S: Really!
Martin: It's just a bit wilder to me. I guess it's just a bit different.
Rev. S: Is it nice to see lots of different opening acts, like 'Thou Shalt Not' and 'Dust'.
Martin: I like that , I like to see them, and get their CD's. I like that it's a great way to see bands that would never come and play where I live.
Rev. S : America is not bad for you then, kind of a other side of the fence kind of thing maybe?
Martin: Could be I know a lot of American bands like Europe more.
Rev S: Do you have a more elaborate set up while playing over there.
Martin: We do have a bit more over there, it just comes down to the expense of coming over here that we keep it more simple. We have been playing more live in the last couple of years. So maybe something more next tour.
Rev. S: What kind of studio set up are you using?
Martin: Well I do have a lot of different synths and analogues I have built up over the years.
Rev S: You built some of them yourself?
Martin: Not really, I just have a lot of old analogue stuff, like keyboards and samplers, and some newer digital stuff, I use alot of things really. I do enjoy getting other people into the studio, Violinist and what not. April is obviously on there sometimes.
Rev S: You always write the songs?
Martin: Yeah it's always my stuff, I get other people to dome work with me.
Rev S: In my opinion it sounds as layered as your 2 or 3 man electronica groups.
Martin: Well I am always working with others now as well. I like to get others in there, and when I do the studio there might be 6 others coming to work in there with me, but when you do it live you have to think of a different way to do it. So I strip it down, and I keep it upbeat. On the albums there are a lot of ambient tracks that wouldn't really work live, not in a normal venue/ So we tend to stick to the more upbeat ones.
Rev S: It started off fairly ambient, especially with the incense, and the presence. A lot more smoke than Chicago. You should have had somebody announce you. It was almost like oh wait, there's a band going on now!
Martin: Yeah I thought that was quite good, they didn't know we had started playing, I kinda like that, really.
Enter Christine (Singer with Martin, who when speaking has a lovely and thick British accent, so I may have some spellings confused.)
Rev S: Oh look who's here
Christine: I thought I'd make a special appearance.
Martin: Christine great, I have to go check on the outload, I'll be back.
Rev S. & Christine: BYE MARTIN!
Rev. S: Christine not Christina right!
Christine: Right , Just think of the car.
Rev. S: Oh, no!
Christine: The car was nice, it had a nice body. (laughs )
Rev. S: (not missing a beat) So I hear your staying in America with us here.
Christine: Uhm, NO! I was going to stay, (shoots a big smile) but I have a soul-mate waiting for me, bless her. A bottle of Vodka as well, on ice.
Rev. S: All waiting for you at home?
Christine: Yeah, and a bath with candles, and I am going to cook for two hours, because I haven't cooked anything on tour, and I love cooking!
Rev. S: Too bad, We should have let you cook, if we'd known...(snip some more chit-chat here )
Rev. S: So what did you think of the tour, Martin gave us his scenario , over all a good one.
Christine: Well I like the Dallas gig the best . The Dallas gig rocked for me. I think everyone in Dallas is wonderful.
Rev. S: They'll be happy to hear that.
Christine: They should be given a badge saying, " I am wonderful because I'm from Dallas." Definitely that was my favorite gig. Also Indianapolis, which is one of my favorite places in the U.S.A.
Rev. S: Really, that one is a bit surprising (no offense to Indianapolis)
Christine: Well I love Indianapolis, and the big monument, it's breath-taking and worth going there just to see that.
Rev. S: Well I will have to go sometime.
Christine: The people rock too, Hallo Gretchen!
Rev. S: I feel bad, I should know more about it as it is in my current region. The Midwest, but we are talking a region as wide as Indianapolis to Denver.
Christine: For some reason I really like the place. It's like I have been there before. Maybe in a previous life or something.
Rev. S: things could happen!
Christine: Seattle was cool, it was like England and the same attitude.
Rev. S: Oh really, I thought San Francisco would be more like England.
Christine: Well San Francisco is more like London, that's like London take 2.
Rev. S: Are you from further north then.
Christine: No, I lived there awhile, but I moved back to my home town of Coventry, which is where Martin is from. And it's the centre of England, they have a stone there that says so, well actually there is two stones, because they got it wrong.
Rev. S: So there is two stones saying this is the centre of England, in Coventry.
Christine, Yeah, it's perfect in a way.
Rev. S: So are you Internet savvy, do you do the web thing?
Christine: I am getting into it. I have e-mail, and I am getting into Q-base and everything. I am a bit of a baby on the Internet.
Rev. S: A newbie...
Christine: Yeah I am an old manual typewriter type of girl.
Rev. S: Yeah that reminds me of the computers in Brazil (classic movie by Terry Gilliam) which had the old Underwood typewrites, and the computer displays.
Christine: Yeah I love the noise of them. In our class back in school we used to type to music, and I had to type in time.
Rev. S: What kind of music was it.
Christine: Classical, so we had to go . da da da , da dat da dat da dat, (humming a very familiar symphony, _______________)
Rev. S: That's pretty cool.
Christine: Yeah it was it was cool, that how you got up to 120 words per minute.
Rev. S: So you are classically trained as a singer then?
Christine: Yeah, and typing.
Rev. S: That's the secret to Attrition folks, we have classically trained singers...
Christine and Rev. S: AND TYPING!
Christine: Yeah we trained to Beethoven, and Mozart, and Sebastian Bach right off, but there is lot of classical elements in Attrition.
Rev. S: Yes, absolutely. I was talking to Martin about that earlier, how he could be a Techno-maniac one minute, and very Ambient and Classical the next.
Christine: He likes to blend it all together. I like Italian Opera's , was listening a lot about a month before I joined the band. I have been singing my whole life without any training, I have only officially had four weeks training.
Rev. S: Wow! Four weeks can go a long way!
Christine: Four weeks can go a hell of a long way with me. 4 seconds can go a long way with me!
Rev. S: You've been with Attrition how long again. You fit in so it seems like you've been with them forever.
Christine: I know it does! Specially on this tour! (laughs ) It's between two, and two and half years. I'd have to check my dates. Last time I was over here was March of last year.
Rev. S: So what is the first album we can find you on then?
Christine: Heretic Angels is the first album I am on. I have done a lot of singles and compilations with the likes of The Dead Kennedy's, and Ministry. We've just recorded Gary Gilmore's Eyes, with TV Smith (or T.B. Smith , sorry .) Which was great fun. I can't wait till that one comes out.
Rev. S: I can't imagine you with the Dead Kennedy's.
Christine: Oh it was the 'Dread Kennedy's' compilation, that was the title of it. It was a dub remix, very ethereal. We actually did a single from that kinda ethereal idea, and it was very dub. It was the first single I wrote with Attrition called Kharb. I actually learned Swarti Hindu and Arabic, just so I could sing the song in that language.
Rev. S: Oh, you learned Hindu, so you could sing it!
Rev. S: Swarti, I hope I don't misspell that one.
Christine: I learnt NAMASTE (nah mah stay) and other mother tongue languages.
Rev. S: Familiar word Na ma stey?
Christine: Namaste is a way of saying hello, which is very nice, it's like 'God be with you', or one something about light. It's is very nice though! That's the good thing about Asian language, it is either very beautifully said, or very venomous. But they don't have sarcasm in Asian languages, it doesn't work. I mean it can if they are westernized Asians, but the language itself is either very beautiful, or its like don't mess with me. They like swearing! Worse than Italians!
BAR Owner: TIME TO GO...LETS GO ( shout shout shout, blah blah blah.)
Rev. S: Well I guess we can wrap it up. So will you be back with Martin in 18 months.
Christine: I am hoping so, I've got no plans to leave. I am planning on doing my own side project on my own. Because I've always wanted to do that, initially.
Rev. S: How will we be able to find that one, will Projekt release that?
Christine: It's going to take me a year to get my own studio set up. I have spent far to long working with bands. I want to work with myself, and I want to do a side project, and be able to work with other people. Martin is really cool about that, so I will always be a part of Attrition. He's really a great inspiration for me, to prove that you can do something if you really want to.
Rev. S: OK this is where we shall leave this. Thanks Christine for popping in on us here.
the barkeeps, and bouncers try to decree who was to be tossed out and who
was part of the band. I managed to say good-bye to Martin, and thank
his as well for participating in a Starvox interview. He assured
me there would be an e-mail soon. (He is very good about e-mails. )
I have included the first 'up-date' he sent since the tour.
Today is the twentieth anniversary of the first ever ATTRITION show...
been a long time..."
The recent US tour went very very well. we took in 25 shows over most of the country. many thanks to all those who made it possible. For those that missed it (or those that were there!) we have a realplayer streaming video of a live version of "Acid Tongue" up at the iFilms site...
We are currently planning many new tours and festivals for the 2001... expect another very high profile year, with an album of new material and a series of re-issues...details as soon as they are in our hands..
face, my gift"
From now until the end of the midwinter holiday season we have our version of the christian hymn "Silent night" up at www.mp3.com/attrition for free download. take it.
Finally our website is also being redeveloped and will contain far more information/reviews and photographs ...if anyone would like to contribute live photos or reviews of any of our works please send them to me for possible inclusion..
be seeing you
song downloads www.mp3.com/attrition
discussion group http://www.thebelfry.net/attrition/
in-fucking-side these guys?"
An Interview with Concrete Nature
(photos courtesy of the Concret Nature website)
the giant industrial-electro wave that is sweeping both Europe and the
US right now (but perhaps slightly ahead of the competition) is Germany's
Concrete Nature. Michael H. Hartmann and Sonke Siemsen joined Gashed
earlier this year and introduced their catchy sound on the label's Virion
Sequences compilation with the dancefloor filler "Inside Me". Recently
they were joined in their efforts by Sunny Schramm (ex-Abscess) and with
their debut :eNCRUSTED fresh from the printers and already gathering
rave reviews it's about time for Starvox to find out a little more about
the minds behind Concrete Nature. (Michael told me I could edit his English
if I wanted to, but I thought his vocabulary was quite extensive for a
non-english speaker and therefore left his words untouched.)
SV: Not everyone has heard of Concrete Nature yet, so could you fill the unknowing in on who Concrete Nature is and what you're trying to achieve as far as sound and lyrical content are concerned?
CN: Well ... first of all, I like to thank you very much for your interest in a newcomer band like us. Lyrically, we portray a picture of modern-day society, but we seek not to perpetuate a depressive interpretation of human existence but rather a very struggle of life itself, “the very essence of life. Humanity`s manipulation of past, present and the future. The decay of moral but more importantly the role of human mankind as its own egoistic executioner. We, ultimately, the victim of ourselves. We like to play elektro-dance music for the mind and soul...dark, orchestral, intelligent and emotional.
SV: This term IBM (Industrial Body Music), which you have used on your site and in the booklet of your cd, is an interesting way of looking at the style of music you are producing, but do you feel that EBM and industrial really are that far apart? Names and labels for music are partially based on opinions of course, but how would you describe the difference between EBM and industrial?
CN: Industrial Body Music is a 100 % synthetic word-pun ... ! We played in different bands with different kind of styles and directions, I called "our" music industrial body music after having established Concrete Nature ... For sure, you will find different influences from all parts of the dark music ... and hopefully will be hooked at Concrete Nature. I think there is a small difference between real EBM and real industrial music ... however, I think that we are something in between.
SV: Let's be honest here, you guys are big Skinny Puppy fans and aren't afraid to show it either. ;) It seems that you're especially influenced by their sound when it comes to the slower, more brooding tracks, with those almost trademark Skinny Puppy basslines and percussion. When trying to continue a sound that was established by such a legend as SP, do you sometimes feel insecure about the quality of your own songwriting?
CN: We are fare away from creating songs like Skinny Puppy does ... that is for sure ... However, we try to create same crazy sounds and lines to express ourselves as dark as we could ... however, we are influenced and infected by the amazing Skinny Puppy ... and we shall going on being influenced, as everybody is ... Thank you, ... being compared with the legend Skinny Puppy.
SV: Using that "What's in-fucking-side me?" sample from Alien:Resurrection on "Inside Me" must've been one of the smartest moves I've seen in a long time, because it's going to be hard to keep this track from filling all dancefloors now and it also makes the song highly recognisable. Can you tell us how this song came to be? Was there a song first and then you added the sample, or did you craft the music around it?
CN: Soenke did make the song recognisable, he decided to use this sample in the very early beginning and after having decided to take this song into our debut album :eNCRUSTED, we did make hell a lot of re-arrangements to make this song as it is, but we never thought about changing the sample ... It is different to say what was or is the first inspiration for a new song ... sometimes, we do have some samples, we are starting with ... sometimes, we are beginning with lyrics or single sounds ...
SV: :eNCRUSTED has a very diverse line-up of songs. Which are your favorite tracks off of the cd and why?
CN: My favourite is “thrillseeker” and ”dungeon keeper” ... both songs are danceable and more or less the music we decided to keep atmosphere and structures onto our next album, we are working on, presently. Both songs having ripped me apart ... we used hours, days and months for this songs ... I do not know why but exactly these two songs were very difficult to remix.
SV: How do you work together on the songs? Is it a process during which you both focus on a song at the same time or is it more a case of one person writing the bare structure of the song and the other retouching it and finishing it up?
CN: Both of them ... Soenke, Sunny and me are meeting each other weekly and just discuss and decide what kind of songs we like to focus ... and start working onto a new song or single sounds/samples ... However, all of us are most effective in working by themselves at home and presenting at least a 50 % structured songs to all of us ... after that, we are finalising these songs together ...
SV: Your array of equipment is quite impressive, according to the listing on your site. Just for the techies among us (including myself), what is your favourite piece of equipment to work with?
CN: All of us have their own instruments at home, and everybody have their own favourite sampler/instrument ... all of our instruments have their very own sound an symbolic into our music ... for example ...K-2000R ... sampler and due to the typical algorithms, sometimes very strange industrial sound ... JD-990 ... very warm single atmospherically sounds ... MWII ... of course for very dry and hard bass lines with the typical WALDORF sound ... It is depending what kind of song is in progress ... if we are making songs with more then 125 bps ... we focus onto ear catching bass lines and in this respect, the MW II is my number one ... if we are making preparing songs like “dungeon keeper”, it is more important creating sounds onto the K-2000R and/or JD-990 ...
SV: You're signed to Gashed! records now, which seems to be the perfect label for Concrete Nature. How have your experiences with them been so far and are there negotiations with any European labels? Is there any specific reason why you got signed in Canada first before getting signed in your home country?
CN: To be honest :o) we were in contact with some German labels, but there was no reaction onto our inquires. However, we decided to create a own more or less professional internet side, in order to provide everybody our kind and style of music ... in the beginning, it was a joke to create an internet appearance for a unknown band like us ... but after few weeks we have had to understand, that our page has had triggered some interest into the ebm & industrial scene and hell a lot of people asked us for mp3 samples, bandinfo etc., which we haven’t prepared so far. We decided to force this strategy to satisfy the requests and furthermore to send new inquires to the European and world-wide labels without losing too much money for postage and package ... One of the first answers we have received after completion of our homepage, GASHED! / Eric has contacted us and said “listen guys, we are interested ... what about a more detailed information and promotion cd from your side” ... well ... after some eMail, we have had to recognise, that GASHED! and Concrete Nature are the right partners to prepare the first shot of Concrete Nature. Presently we are in negotiations with two German labels ... but there are no detailed information available yet ... we shall see !
SV: What is your opinion of your label mates on Gashed? Any favorites?
CN: After having signed the contract with GASHED!, Eric was kind enough to send us all CDs of our label mates on GASHED! and I have spend a lot of time to listen all this CDs very carefully ... all of our mates have a lot of potential in their music, but my favourite is without doubt ASSEMBLAGE 23...
SV: Aside from the acts signed to Gashed, who are your favourite artists and influences of the past and present?
CN: We do have (as everybody have) influences into our music ... however not only in the EBM or industrial music ... but without doubt my biggest influence in the past, present and future is Skinny Puppy ... I have never being fascinated by sound collages, lyrics and arrangements like Skinny Puppy does. However, of course there are some other bands like Leather Strip, Covenant , VNV etc, which impressing us and pushing our music style ...
SV: Do you have any plans for live performances or will Concrete Nature be focusing on studio work for now? It seems like you could have quite an explosive live show with the tracks off of :eNCRUSTED.
CN: We are not thinking about live performances in this early time of “going public” ... in former times, I was on tour with Human Sacrifice, Nigra Nebula etc ... and Soenke and Sunny was on tour too ... of course more then I was ... After having launched the next tracks, we shall work and think about a live performance ... we are not invited yet ... maybe you will ?! :o)
SV: Since the remix trend still appears to be unstoppable, can we expect to see any Concrete Nature remixes in the future (or remixes of CN tracks by other acts)?
CN: I think, that we are too unknown, being asked for making remixes for bands ... but in case of need, we are more then pleased to step into further discussion ... but that is a little bit too fare away, yet ! ... :o)
SV: What's in stock for the future of Concrete Nature? Have you started writing new material already, especially now that Sunny will be a full-time member?
CN: After having released our debut album, we have had decided to relax some weeks, in order to concentrate our perceptions to our private life again ... we have had spend nearly 6 months remixing old songs, recording new material ... etc ... that was indeed too long for a nearly finished promotion CD like :eNCRUSTED, ... Sönke and me was bloody beginners of professional studio work, we have had to do on :eNCRUSTED ... we was very uncertain onto the quality we have reached with :eNCRUSTED and decided to change this and that again and again .... however Sunny has joined us to help us in this matter ... that was great and we learned to be 100 percent safe with Sunny ... ! Of course, we are working on new material ... and shall publish some previews latest on beginning December 00 at www.concrete-nature.de, in order to prepare our second step after :eNCRUSTED ... be prepared ... :o)
SV: On behalf of Starvox, our readers and myself I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to learn a little more about Concrete Nature. If there's anything you'd like to say in closing, now's your chance!
CN: We do like to thank you very much for having the chance to introduce ourselves ... in case of any questions left behind, please do not hesitate to contact us here in Kiel at any time ...
Label site: http://www.gashed.com
~by Sonya Brown
(photos credits Dan Santoni)
Wings of steel grace an industrial angel. Hauntingly beautiful artwork by Chad Michael Ward (Digital Apocalypse Studios) encases “Chasing the Ghost”, the hypnotic new release by Noiseplus Studio artists, Collide.
I have to admit that I have often purchased albums or cds based on cover artwork alone... but in this case, the cover artwork is in direct harmony with the music of Collide. Chasing The Ghost is spellbinding. Is it possible to stare into the face of the music as you stare into the face of Chad’s angel? You cannot look away. The vacant eyes fixate upon you and pull you in... the music envelopes and holds you steadfast from the first note to the last. Layers of purple and black intertwine with velvet vocals that are sometimes razor sharp, but still you cannot look away.
us step inside this dreamscape of sound, as KaRIN and Statik COLLIDE...
Sonya: Please tell our readers a bit about the contributions that both you and Statik make to Collide...
kaRIN: Statik makes noise and I find a place to go within it.
Statik: I make the noise, and kaRIN gives it life. I’m the Doctor Frankenstein, kaRIN is the lightning.
Sonya: How did the two of you meet?
kaRIN: At an Industrial dance club.
Statik: kaRIN asked me to get her a glass of water.
kaRIN: I was thirsty and he was next at the bar.
Sonya: Please tell us what the word “collide” means to you
kaRIN: It was a good way to tell what to expect from us, a collision of sounds all smashed together.
Sonya: How would you describe your sound to readers who might be unfamiliar with your music?
kaRIN: I think of it now as dark, exotic electronic, I don’t mind being categorized, as long as we can have a couple of categories, I don’t think we are comfortable having just one.
Statik: Like a school of manatees playing Beethoven’s symphony underwater with Indian drums....kind of like that, except, more electronic, and more of an exotic influence.
Sonya: Your newest release, Chasing The Ghost, is a bit of a departure from previous Collide CD’s. Please elaborate a bit on this.
kaRIN: In the past we were going for a powerful barrage of sound, on this release we wanted to sort that out a little and make each sound count more.
Statik: It was four years between CDs, it would stand to reason that the sound would change. A lot of the sound just reflected what we had been listening to, and what we wanted to hear. I also wanted to make Chasing the Ghost have a sound and a feel that was there throughout the album.
Sonya: The cd cover for Chasing The Ghost features artwork by one of my favorite artists, Chad Michael Ward. How did you come to work with Chad?
kaRIN: After Chad was given a video, (thanks to Jett Black, for his tireless promotion of underground bands), he contacted me and we had a couple of e-mail exchanges, where I became aware of, and fell in love with his work. When we were tying together the album and deciding on it’s direction, I knew Chad’s otherworldly work would fit in perfectly with the feel that we were going for, and I was right, hopefully more people will be able to discover what a talented artist he is.
Sonya: I noticed that the title track for Chasing The Ghost is actually named “Wings of Steel” on the cd... please explain why you decided to name the title song differently from the title of the cd.
kaRIN: It was a very close decision, ultimately, we decided we wanted to make it slightly different from the title of the album.
Statik: That, and if we had named the album “Wings of Steel” we would have had to get a picture of kaRIN with wings for the cover.
Sonya: What types of equipment were used in creating Chasing The Ghost? (I was especially interested in knowing if some sort of vocal processor was used on the track Razor Sharp!)
Statik: My setup really hasn’t changed that much from Beneath the Skin. 90% of the sounds were made from my two Akai samplers, an S3200, and S6000. The sequencing was started using Studio Vision, and finished using Pro Tools. There was a vocal processor used on Razor Sharp. It’s a Pro-Tools plugin.
Sonya: Please tell us about your remake of the classic Grace Slick song, White Rabbit...was this a personal or nostalgic favorite?
kaRIN: Yes, one of many songs that we think are just great songs.
Sonya: Your video, Son of a Preacher Man, is absolutely wonderful! Please tell us a bit about the making of this video... who produced this video?
kaRIN: The brainchild of this video was Kevin McVey, he approached us and said he HAD to do a video for us and that we would kiss his feet when he was done (cocky little fellow). When he told us the final ever changing concept 2 days before the shoot, we were horrified, we could not imagine liking a video with stuffed fruit and animals beating up cowboys. We thought it was like a nightmare of a fruit of the loom commercial gone bad...but he was stubborn, telling us that he had a vision and needed to see it through his way, if we did not like it we did not have to use it. Ultimately we loved it, it came out better than we could have expected (which is very rare) and yes we did offer to kiss his feet, fortunately he did not take us up on the offer.
Sonya: How might fans obtain a copy of this video?
kaRIN: So far it is only available directly through us on our website.
Sonya: Who contributed the guitar work heard on Son of a Preacher Man?
kaRIN: We were looking for someone with a heavy style as we knew we wanted to make that song a little more aggressive, so we borrowed Idiot Stare’s then guitarist Bruce King.
Sonya: Where is your music available?
kaRIN: In self releasing our own CD, getting distribution is always the hard part. Distribution companies do not want to deal with you unless you have a full catalogue. Fortunately because of the internet, it is readily available at many places including our own web site, CD Baby, Amazon.com etc.
Sonya: How did you come to work with William Faith and Monica Richards (Faith and the Muse)?
kaRIN: We are very close friends with Monica and William, so it was just a naturalto want them to be part of it.
Sonya: What are some of your collaborations with other artists?
kaRIN: Part of what we like to do is work with other guest artists...every new elementadds different layers. I had an amazing experience having some jam sessions with cEvin Key, he is very open to experimentation and interesting to work with. We have been very lucky to work with a lot of extremely talented people, my friend Dan Santoni, a very talented photographer did the inside portrait photos and another very good friend Terri King, was nice enough to lend me some thing to wear for the shoot, if you notice my dress is constructed solidly of razor blades. If your wondering if anyone was hurt in this process, the answer is yes, but not seriously. I love the exchange and collaboration of working with other talented artists.
Statik: I guess it depends on what you mean by collaboration. I haven’t done any co-writing with anybody else. Recently I’ve been working with the group Insolence, who is on Maverick, and earlier in the year, with the group Loudermilk on American. Both of those will probably be released sometime early 2001. Some of the other groups that I have worked with in the past few years are Econoline Crush, and Powerman 5000.
Sonya: Please tell us about your involvement in the Projekt Records compilation to benefit feline leukemia.
kaRIN: We found out that Sam was putting together a compilation that would benefit a kitty leukemia cat shelter and it was really important for us to be a part of it, at the time 2 of our cats had leukemia and we had been dealing with it, so we were really grateful to find a way that would help contribute.
Sonya: Please tell our readers about “Saints and Sinners”!
kaRIN: Saints and Sinners is part of my other artistic life, I design, make and create things, in this case I use images and just find really effective places to put them, that people want to have. I have always run my own creative business, I first started when I was 16 making jewelry out of anything I could find.
Sonya: Statik, I noticed some incredible images on your website. You seem to be quite a gifted photographer! Please tell us about your hobby!
Statik: I like to take close-up pictures of things. I really need to get a camera or a close up lens that’s better suited to it though. The camera I have now can only get 6 inches away before it starts to get out of focus. I recently took a good close up one of a preying mantis, a tadpole, and my dogs nose.
Sonya: What are your favorite haunts around Los Angeles?
kaRIN: I don’t dance as much as I used to, but lately when I do go out I like a place called Nocturne, I like it there because I enjoy the lighting. When I dance, I like to find a corner that I can get lost in, and go into my own little trace. My all time favourite place here is the Brand Art Library which is a whole library dedicated to art and music, when I go there I feel as though it energizes me. Lastly, dog park, our dog loves to go there, he is a very handsome, unruly German Shepherd. He just loves it there. Otherwise, I stay in my studio or visit close friends and drink too much.
Statik: I don’t haunt.
Sonya: What are the tour plans for Collide?
kaRIN: No tour plans at the moment, for now we would like to concentrate on creating. I am not sure if I have performers blood, I do not feel driven to entertain...reallyI feel like I would rather hang in dark corners and observe, I do love the idea of video as I know the visual is so important.
Sonya: Please add any other comments...
kaRIN: We really appreciate all the people who have been so very supportive in helpingto expose new music to others, it is so invaluable and without it the scene would surely stagnate.
P.O. box 565
North Hollywood, Ca 91603
might not be the most well-known electro act around, but is in my humble
opinion still one of the most talented and original names in the genre.
Electro wizard Eric Chamberlain has been the project's sole member from
the second album on and made an impressive sidetrip this year with the
first release of
Skylash. After more than 5 years of music production, including one cd single and four full-lengths on Cop Int., the man behind Index still keeps a low-profile and remains somewhat of a mystery. It is therefore a great opportunity for Starvox, as well as a personal honor for me, to discuss the world of Eric Chamberlain.
Wolf: First off, am I right in the assumption that you prefer to keep a low profile as an artist? If so, what is your motivation for this?
Eric: Unlike some artists, I don't carry a certain persona, at least not the way a typical rock star would. It's just not my personality to be that way in the first place; for example Index has played live much in the past but i could never take myself seriously enough to be up on a stage and doing, you know, whatever, being a rock star. That's not me. I take the music seriously, but I'm just the guy who does it, and there are various ways to handle what you do. I'm generally a quiet person to start with and as such my personality doesn't lend itself to seeking a larger profile. Honestly, I like the attention when i get it but it also feels strange sometimes.
Wolf: How did you get started as a musician? Has Index existed since your first forays into electronic music or were you involved in different projects before this?
Eric: I got started messing around with sound way back in the early 80s, when I was living in the Philipines. That's where i first got into the old electro scene. I didn't have any real gear, so to speak, but i experimented with mixing tapes together on an old ghetto blaster i had, and i figured out that if i plugged my headphones into one of the jacks in the back of the box i could use one side of the headphones as a crude microphone, so i was actually taking old Paul Hardcastle tapes of instrumental music and laying down some raps over it and then recording that on the second tape deck. Later I moved to Hawaii and started doing some minor dj stuff and i got a drum machine at that point. After I got some synths I was doing my own thing before Index came along; it was called Euphoria Sickness. I got some airplay with that but never released anything officially because just then i met the other guys and we finally made Index.
Wolf: Whenever Index's history is described there is always the mention of its original line-up of Cody Cast, Kurt Luette and yourself. What is the story behind the transformation into Index as a solo effort?
Eric: To make a long story short, we basically acted like amateurs, all of us, and as time went by there were disputes about whether or not we should run our own label. Two of us didn't get along and then things pretty much broke up. The band was my idea, so i ended up with the name at the end because there were 2 of us left and the other guy, Cody, had changing priorities and he left the band after we talked about it. I basically got fed up with it working this way, and I was planning on workin on my own anyway, with or without the name, so everything was ugly for a while but it works out in the end.
Wolf: The sound of Index is hard to describe and even more difficult to categorize, but if you were to label it, what would it be? And more importantly, what do you *want* it to be?
Eric: Labels are a difficulty with Index because there are so many different elements; each element, to some other people, is a whole genre of music because it has techno, ambient, industrial, etc. I have no idea how to label all my music, but it mostly has a futurist electro feel to many of the tracks. As a joke, I would call it bliphop. But seriously, i use these sounds to make the aural equivalent of what is in my head, and trying to describe that musically means lots of different ideas, and nothing that could be easily categorized overall.
Wolf: How do you view the process of songwriting; is it very technical for you or more of an instinctive process? Do you always try to go for a certain sound or does it all depend on where your equipment leads you?
Eric: It's very instinctive; I usually just let the music flow in a way that feels right, rather than having a concrete idea and then trying to force it. i start out with specific ideas but also keep it open. Many of my songs have ended up completely different from the original intent, and I like that way of working.
Wolf: Being an equipment junkie myself, could you give us a little insight into the arsenal you use? Or would that be like asking a magician to explain his magic?
Eric: haha. I don't think the specific tools matter, only how one uses them. I have used lots of different things, nord lead, jupiter 6, ensoniq samplers, korg samplers, many different synths and boxes, alesis effects, zoom effects, adat machines and hard drive recorders, 4 track cassete recorders. you don't need all this stuff to make music, and my studio is small, it's just that i like getting my hands on different things and trying them out. all you need is a synth and a sampler to get started, or even just soundcards for your computer. you can do so much with so little these days and so I encourage people who are interested in music to go ahead and pursue it, but I would simply suggest doing lots of research about the gear, think about exactly what your goal is, musically, and also check out used gear.
Wolf: With Ultra Hard Shadow the sound of Index seems to have shifted towards the lighter Skylash sound. Was this a conscious decision or more the natural evolution of the Index sound?
Eric: It was just a matter of trying to have some evolution; the fact is that the earlier version of the cd was more like the previous index sound and I really didn't want that, so I kept working it, and that's why it took so long to complete, and i'm very happy with it. I was worried that it would sound too different but i think it takes a proper step in the evolution of my sound. It wasn't an actual effort to be like my other project, Skylash, but that's how things go sometimes; you have a sound in development equating with your personality and you invariably find similar elements.
Wolf: Aside from a bit of vocoded vocals, the singing seems to have vanished from the Index formula. Any specific reason for this?
Eric: I like writing lyrics for Index, but this time around I wanted the sounds to speak for themselves, to paint their own picture. It was risky to do that but the reaction has been very good. I had a defined vision for Ultra Hard Shadow and I wanted to see if I could work it without the sort of explanatory vocals that I previously used to get visual ideas across. It felt liberating to work that way, at the same time, because I could let songs evolve in a way that was different from past efforts; suddenly the lack of vocals opened new doors for creativity, not just in the sounds, but in the song structures themselves.
Wolf: Your lyrics were always quite original and provocative. Without vocals, will you miss this outlet for your thoughts? Or is there a chance that you will be incorporating more vocals again on future releases?
Eric: There could very well be future vocals, on whatever projects I am doing. The lyrics were my favorite part of composing, and I do miss that. It's possible, even without lyrics, however, to paint a picture which fits the index or skylash scheme as long as I remain true to the creativity within the aspects of the sound. It's more difficult, but is also rewarding in a different way.
Wolf: Forgive me if this is a gap in my knowledge, but I've never heard any Index remixes of other artists (or vice versa). Are you morally opposed to remixing someone else's work or is there a different reason for this? And what is your opinion on the ever-popular remix trend?
Eric: I have done a remix for Stromkern. I was happy with the direction of the remix, but the time ran out and basically what people hear on that is an incomplete idea. It sounded good enough for me to be satisfied with it, but i wanted it to be more. I think remixing is fine but on the other hand there are so many projects out there that it's hard for the average fan to keep up and afford to buy all these cds. It was pretty fun to do, you know, you have people who trust you with their original material, so it was a a compliment to me to be able to do it.
Wolf: Another thing I'm not sure of is Index as a live show. Has this ever occurred in the past and/or do you have any such plans for the future?
Eric: We used to play way back when, but my projects are more about the composition than the live element. To be honest, I didn't have a great time playing live in the first place, even though it was my idea (ha ha). I'm just not into the rock-star mode, like i said before. We had some really good shows but we've had a bad show, as well, and I just didn't feel like I was in my element. Alltogether, it would be fun to do some tours but the simple fact is that I have different priorities and time is precious.
Wolf: What are your thoughts on the current surge in the industrial genre of all these so-called industrial-dance bands? Being someone who seems to strive for artistry and originality yourself, does it bother you that there are so many uninspired copy-cats?
Eric: It doesn't really bother me because I have the luxury of composing my own material. A lot of these other bands doing what people call typical or uninspired have a good fanbase because people simply like the music, whether it's creative or not. I like a lot of pop music that is contrived simply because it has a decent groove or whatever. I think music is not just about creativity, but also fun for people, so in that sense it doesn't bother me. On the other hand there are artists who strive to create something new and fresh or whatever and they get frustrated because people don't embrace it. I have been frustrated as well but ultimately I think i'm fortunate to just be doing what i want to do with music. I haven't been really listening to anything industrial-dance of late but i see a lot of trends being rehashed, which is natural, and some of it is good, i think. I don't see any music scene as having rules, so it doesn't bother me when you have these bands who don't strive so hard for originality. If they have fans, more power to them. I've been guilty of such myself. I'm just glad to be doing it.
Wolf: Are there any new artists that you feel are promising in the electronic/industrial scene?
Eric: I used to be into FLA, but not anymore. It's a process of change and I get influences from many places. For example, I don't really like most of Aphex Twin material but he has done some things which are just amazing as well. I think Gridlock is pretty cool, now, and Download seems to be evolving quite nicely, especially with the last cd, but I really haven't been paying as much attention to this scene as I used to. It's not for lack of bands, just that i usually try to keep up with what's going on in various other genres and time is limited.
Wolf: What would you consider the good, as well as the bad aspects of the music industry as we currently know it? How about Napster and mp3s...what is your point of view on these hot irons of today's music?
Eric: I think something like Napster has potential, but it shouldn't be at the expense of the artists who create the music for everyone else to enjoy. Just because something is new, many people feel free to forget the little thing called Intellectual Property Rights. Many compare napster to swapping tapes with your friend, but when you have something available for download on a such a wide scale without the artist being compensated, it ammounts to illegal distribution. Microsoft loses millions to people who pirate their operating systems and that's obviously not a good thing; there are governmental steps taken against China, for example, to stop that, yet Napster wants to pass off file-sharing as this little innocent thing that they don't contribute anything illegal to. This is just being naive. The net does provide a good outlet for musicians who would otherwise be disregarded by the giant labels, but it's better i think to have musicians use the net on their own terms rather than be at the mercy of groups like Napster who gain at the expense of the artists. Aside from that, the music industry just sucks in general. The people who have the power to distrubute art are appealing to the lowest common denominator with boy bands and such because they are looking for the money.
Wolf: You've been with Cop since the very first Index release, over 5 years ago. How have you experienced working with them over the years?
Eric: COP has been a good label; they showed support and they really let me just go with my artistic freedom. At the end we disagreed about the direction Index should take, but they still just let me do my own thing. If a band is looking for this i would recommend COP. They have limited distribution, but they seem to be growing at a steady rate. I left because i was getting my own ideas about how things should be done, as it is, I am on good terms with COP.
Wolf: You briefly mentioned to me before that you do production work for tv and I assumed this was in the musical field as well. Could you tell us a little more about that?
Eric: I try to do a lot of work for ad agencies and television in general. It's a good thing because the work environment is completely different than doing Index material; it's a good thing for the mind to work in different ways. I've done various projects outside of the electronic/industrial world of my cd projects, and I am happy for such opportunities. I am currently developing a media company for these projects and I will be working fulltime on establishing this. The basic difference is that you are composing based on what is need for a very specific thing, whereas with my other material I can just do whatever I want. It might sound like the latter is obviously better but there is something to be said for working in a different environment.
Wolf: What do you have planned for the future? Are you working on a second Skylash album or does something else have your priority?
Eric: I'm working on a couple projects at the moment, but more and more my time and attention are being directed towards my media comapany. Creativity, like Skylash and Index, is my life, and I love it, but I must build for the future. It's just a plain fact that music is not the only effort I have.
Wolf: In closing I'd like to express my gratitude on behalf of Starvox for having this interview with us. Are there any closing words that you'd like to immortalize yourself with right now? ;)
If you ever have a hangover, the best thing for you is to watch golf on
Former label: www.copint.com
An Interivew with Chris Constantino
~by Sonia Leonard
writer Sonia takes a few minutes to chat with Chris Constantino, (ex-Adam
Ant bass player "Chris DeNiro") about the new love/infatuation in his life:
Starvox: First of all I have to commend you on the name of the band. It's really very clever.
Chris: Thanks Sonia...Jackie is an old girlfriend of mine who was rather messed up. She was into all sorts of weird stuff, including continual acid trips, wild sex games and she was also obsessed with JACKIE "O" and JFK'S assassination. She had the assassination on video and used to watch it repeatedly. It was a really odd obsession which matched a really odd person.
Starvox: I noticed from an article on UBL.com that Mike Varjak (formerly of Sisters of Mercy?) helped you out in some way. I think our readers would find it most interesting to know in what way you worked together.
JackieOnAssid is essentially myself with a floating line up. I write
all the stuff ...some of the tracks are
co-written. Mike Varjak (ex-SISTERS OF MERCY ) played guitar on most of the tracks, and is currently working on his solo project. We are close mates and vibe each other up on ideas .
Starvox: I was reading through your website under News and Updates when I came across these statements, "Jackie is a promiscuous slut..." and "There is no end to this dominatrix's world-conquering lust..." This is a bit puzzling to me. Is this in reference to the project as a whole, or am I missing a female character somehow? I searched through the video Meditation Man where Miss Jenny Hawkes was featured . There is a reference to a certain Deborah X. I heard a reference to Jackie in the lyrics of the song Andy Warhol. I chalked it up to being a marketing ploy as sex ALWAYS sells. Could you enlighten me a bit on this?
Chris: No Marketing Ploy...I hate that shit and don't think that logically ..I probably have one brain cell left if I am lucky....Jackie is an old girlfriend of mine who was rather messed up. She was into all sorts of weird stuff, including continual acid trips, wild sex games and she was also obsessed with JACKIE "O" and JFK'S assassination. She had the assassination on video and used to watch it repeatedly. It was a really odd obsession which matched a really odd person. Jenny Hawkes is a mate of mine who happened to be around when we did the MEDITATION MAN video....As far as , "Jackie is a promiscuous slut..." and "There is no end to this dominatrix's world-conquering lust..." well that is down to the delicious Deborah X. She does the Jackie admin stuff and writes the newsletters, as well as contributing to the design and styling of the band and the project as a whole. ...Deborah is a writer and runs a very good online fetish magazine http://www.whatsyours.com Basically JackieOnAssid as a character, has taken on a life of her own.
Starvox: I liked the bondage mannequin bit featured on the cover of the MP3 cd "Zip Me Up" and throughout your site as well as on your T-shirts and the video. The "scenes of bondage, arson and the gratuitous abuse of mannequins" in the video "Zip Me Up", as well the lyrics to the song, has raised a question. I would like to ask: is the Fetish lifestyle something you are into?
Chris: Who me? No way, I am a big Cliff Richard fan, ha ha! Strangely everyone who becomes involved with this band seems to have a liking for kinky sex. Anyone who wishes to apply for the position of domestic slave, chauffeur slave, roadie slave or just slave, send photo....particularly if you are blonde.... Fetish - it's the new rock'n'roll...
Starvox: Sorry, I'm a Domme myself. Any other takers out there? :)
Starvox: The music is classified on BeSonic.com as alternative. With the strange, sexual currents throughout the website, in the lyrics and on video,are you seeking to "waken", as it were, the regular populace to something that is shocking? Perhaps expose them a bit more?
Chris: Not really...as I said earlier I don't have many logical thoughts.The whole JACKIEONASSID thing is not about "seeking" to do anything ....just getting on with it .....I don't care what anyone else thinks or feels about JACKIEONASSID so I wouldn't give a toss about the regular populace ..most of them sleep walk through life and wouldn't wake up unless you nicked their COMPANY CAR or GARDEN GNOMES...
Starvox: We have a term out here where I live which seems to be taking off in referance to the kinds of people you just described. "Normals"
Starvox: What was the message you were sending out, if any, in using the picture of the Chinese Communist Mao Tse Tung in the "Zip Me Up" video?
Chris: It was purely accidental. The picture was in the club we filmed in and worked both visually and with the theme of the song.
Starvox: In the song "Meditation Man" I hear in the background a reminiscence of a Beatles melody from their later years. Is it just me or is there an influence?
Chris: My sister used to love the Beatles and used to play them all the time...I hated them and still do but I suppose i must have picked up some influence along the way....
Starvox: Speaking of influences, what are yours?
Chris: Everything really..I don't listen to contemporary music anymore if I can help it....I never have though..In fact the only time I have ever listened to contemporary music on the radio is when a song I wrote or played on was released to see how many plays it was getting....or when I was stuck with people who found it necessary to have annoying distractions on to diffuse the awkward dynamics of the personalities present...I am a miserable git, I know. I bought a few records when I was a teenager ..
Starvox: I witnessed some book burning in one of your videos. Are you imitating the Nazi Party Propogandanist Josef Goebels in this suggestive aspect or is this just a shock ploy?
Chris:I think Paul did mention something about Josef Goebels - he was one of the people/oppressive regimes he had in mind. However whatever the idea was..it was good fun....JOHN SHEEHEY who is the cleaner in the video was fearless when it came to lighting up time....very very bizarre and funny....Some guy got really upset to the extent that he offered to give the director a good spanking.
Starvox: What are your plans for the future of JackieOnAssid?
We have just got some New York management on board ....some gigs, writing
and recording in the New Year would be nice and a Platinum selling Album....
Check into this website for news
see the videos for COMPANY CAR, MEDITATION MAN & ZIP ME
UP go to:
You can also hear the tracks on: www.mp3.com/jackieonassid or www.besonic.com/jackieonassid
We have two homesites. The first is the experimental : www.jackieonassid.com Designed in arthouse style, this site consists of a maze of captioned video stills. This is not an easy site to navigate.
The second is www.crosswinds.net/~jackieonassid/index.html This site is easy to navigate, with lots of info, a substantial picture gallery, and up to date news coverage. As such, the two homesites compliment each other.
Another site is housed at www.sursumcorda.com/jackieonassid We decided to work with sursumcorda because we thought this site was one of the most interesting and beautiful on the web.
Starvox: I know you were in the USA recently meeting with some labels. Which of your choices are you hoping to sign with? Perhaps a hint?
Chris: Sorry, I don't know! The manager deals with all that stuff.
Starvox: I've read a lot of good things about the band. People seem to really like it. Are you pleased with the feedback you've gotten so far?
Chris: Yes, I am very pleased. The feedback has been very good indeed.
Starvox: I laughed when I heard that you were attacked when filming the video for "Company Car", and to top that the day after the death of Princess Diana! Did the police have to intervene at any point?
Chris: Seems to be an occupational hazard.On the way home in a taxi..a police car pulled up and we wound down the window and they asked us if we had had a good time..said they had been watching us the whole time on CCTV throughout the City of London..well we blinked a bleary innocent blink and they drove off. COMPANY CAR was directed by Paul Hills who is an award winning British film maker- (BOSTON KICKOUT).I met him when he was a producer on a film I was in called "PLAY DEAD. For COMPANY CAR we just got together with a load of nutters, some film and a super 8 camera and crossed our fingers. Because the general public was very outraged at the role the press and media had apparently played in Princess Diana's death they were particularly hostile! Paul was shouting at these city types "YOU'VE GOT NO IDEA" ...invading bars and shooting...guerrilla style.. literally shoving the camera in the customers faces...... drunken city workers looking for a fight ...girls thinking they were gonna be in "Eastenders" and be famous....and the Jackie gang taking a little "refreshment" break all caught on the police cameras... I love this video ....and the recording of the music is LO-FI alright...my drum machine --my trusty bass - and 2 guitar. parts...and a few vocals ...that's it...and 3 chords... recorded on 4 track cassette.
Starvox: Are you planning on arranging any tours soon?
Yes ...dates will be up at
Starvox: If you could do one thing with the "voice" of JackieOnAssid, what would it be?
Chris: What we are doing I suppose....well that and ordering room service in the Ritz...
StarVox: That about sums it up. Thanks for the great interview! We hope to hear more of you and your music soon.
Waves: A few moments with Lusine
~interview by Adrian
in a while an artist steps up and really changes the way you listen to
music. Such an artist takes the materials that the public has given them
in everyday life and rearranges them to fit into a cast of their own making,
transforming a style or sound to their own liking. Such groundbreakers
often pave the way for others in their musical style and energy and are
often looked to for inspiration. Jeff Mcllwain of Lusine is such an artist,
someone who is both inspiring and inspired. The moment I received his new
cd ‘a pseudo steady state’ I knew that my musical tastes were about to
change for the better. Many new projects that have been coming out lately
have often tried to establish themselves as ‘new’ or ‘avant-garde’, but
few can actually wear that title and know that they have actually made
something unique and artistic. Jeff has wonderful ideas and talent and
I think that he is really on to something big with his music. IDM has come
along way over the past year and with styles like atmospheric D&B,
acid jazz, and house becoming a bit more sophisticated and user friendly,
we are seeing the forerunners of a new movement as we speak.
SV: Explain the philosophy behind Lusine and the music.
L: I'm trying my best to work within the framework of dance music and make something different. Musically, I want people who might not know experimental electronic music to get it. I'm not really trying to break boundaries or anything, because I feel like I've seen the very far end of the spectrum of electronic music at Art school, and I don't really see the connection between the artist and the listener in most cases. That's really important too me.
SV: What is the history of Lusine?
L: I started playing shows around 97 in Austin and moved out to California in 98 to go to CalArts. I released the s/t LP on Isophlux in 1999. Most of those tracks were produced when I was still going to UT. I started tinkering around with stuff after my freshman year in college and finally got a computer in 95'. I didn't really make anything I think was any good for a couple of years after that. I used to go clubbing a lot and I think that had a big impact on my music.
SV: Your latest cd, 'A Pseudo Steady State' is out on U-Cover. How did you make the connection on that label?
L: I had been e-mailing back and forth with Don Funcken from Funckarma and he led me to Koen (u-cover) who's also the head of the electronix dept at Lowlands. He was familiar with the isop CD because they distribute it.
SV: How would you explain the style of music that you create? What style do you prefer to be called, if any?
L: Experimental dance music mainly.
SV: How does your newer sound compare to your sounds from your past albums?
L: I definitely got into working with acoustic instruments and players a lot more. I sort of got burnt out on the whole FM and granular sound and wanted to do something a bit simpler on the programming side, but with a richer sound and a little more musically developed. At least, that's what I was attempting to do. Although, there are a couple tracks that are totally electronic. My older stuff is still very much in keeping with what I would have wanted to hear on a dance floor. The newer stuff is kind of rock influenced or something. At least much more sample-based.
SV: When you play live, what kind of mood do you try to invoke and what is the difference between a live set and a studio set for you?
Very different. I really want to play to the crowd at a live set. It's
got to really kick in at some point. But, I don't mind making people wait
for it. It's a bit simpler live, but it's what I would like to hear at
a live show. I don't like seeing people that do really ambient boring sets
and I don't like DJ style sets that just keeps the beat going the whole
time. I like crazy build-ups and lots of variation. I try to have a set
that works as a big long progression rather than independent tracks. When
I record in
the studio, I think sort of in the same way, but it has to be a bit more developed because your not as much in the moment as you would be at a club or something. You have to be more conscientious about the quality as well.
SV: Where does the name 'Lusine' come from?
L: Well, it's quite boring. The factory in French. I sort of just liked the ring to it, but I think the idea of the factory vs. the whole French artistic aesthetic has something to do with it.
SV: Who do you enjoy working with the most these days?
L: Who? Musically I don't really work with people too much. I'm going to work with a vocalist from CalArts and I got a lot out of a flutist named Sky Grealis for that last LP.
SV: Who are your biggest influences in your music and style?
L: Well, at some time or another I've been really into Speedy J, Atom Heart, Autechre, Wagon Christ, Aphex Twin, Amon Tobin, Two Lone Swordsmen, Locust, BOC, Blue, Sea and Cake, Yo La Tengo, Elliot Smith, New Order, My Bloody Valentine, Mouse on Mars, Reload, FSOL, the Orb, Xingu Hill, Susumu Yakota, Plaid, Tortoise...
SV: Any big regrets?
L: I don't think so. It's all one big learning process, so I can't say I would do without any of it.
SV: What's the one thing you would like to try to get across in your music?
L:I would like for people to look beyond the technical aspects of the music and just enjoy it for the mood. That's the type of music I like.
SV: How do you feel about the way music is going these days with all of the commercialism in everything that is coming out on major labels?
L: I think it's funny. I feel sorry for the artists because their commercial life span is very short, but I'm not at all connected. It's just marketing.
SV: U-Cover is known to be dedicated to keeping its style and sound as a label very underground. Is this where you are the most comfortable or will there ever be a break out into the mainstream if given the chance?
L: Depends. I don't really want to change my music. I think it's already quite accessible and I wouldn't want to make stupid music for lots of money, unless nobody knows it's me :) But, sure I would if they like my music for what it is.