APOCALYPSE MAGAZINE (Canada)
<IN>terview with RAZED IN BLACK
JUNE 17, 1999
#1-Tell us about the new Razed In Black album "Sacrificed". I have heard that you have expanded the music style with RIB to include new forms of music , such as 'Drum and Bass' , are you combining the sound of RIB and Transmutator?
Starting TRANSMUTATOR has surely influenced the new material, so has everything else I've been consumed in since the last album. I didn't consciously write an album with a particulary genre in mind though. The influences happened as I wrote it. I definitely spent a lot of time getting what was in my head musically on to the table. When you get "Sacrificed", be sure to play it LOUD from the start! then try it with headphones. You'll hear all the little nuances and details. I'm quite satisfied with it. Ric Laciak of RAS DVA records attributed his expertise with the mastering of the album. He's a great guy! So far the response has been very flattering. I hope the masses agree once it is released, February 16.
Actually much of my life experiences and emotions took over with this album. It's definitely my most personal album to date. 1998 was f*cking hell for me. Musically things were great, personally I wanted to jump. People close to me, and involved, know where I'm coming from and can see it in the music. It was undoubtedly an escape for me. Writing the album was a kind of therapy for me. If it weren't for it, I probably would've jumped.
#2-The Transmutator album 'Takeover' has the village people song "Macho Man" on it. When thinking of the original song , one would envision a group of men wearing leather chaps , leather biker hats , and handlebar mustaches DANCING in a steel factory. Your version , with the only similarity being the lyrics , what would you envision with your version?
Well, I wrote the song as a tribute to my dog MACHO. I actually named him after the song 17 years ago. He's old, blind, senile, but still strong as ever. I love him to death. I jumped at the opportunity to do the track when asked to contribute to a disco covers compilation for Alpha Wave. Aside from the tribute to my dog, it's a fun track. The Village People rock man! To answer your to question, what would I envision with MY version; a group of men wearing leather chaps , leather biker hats , and handlebar mustaches HAVING SEX in a steel factory. (hee-hee)
#3-Also on "Takeover", the song 'A Fifth of Beethoven' , there are samples of this classical song in varying speeds. What is your interest or background in classical composition , or was it something you just wanted to try?
Well aside from drum samples, there aren't any other samples in the track. I studied classical piano when I was a kid, and some in college. I'm not a fully classical dude, but I am fond of some select composers. This track was actually written as a request from Hypnotic Records. It was redone for the Seventies, now updated for the Nineties.
#4-How did you get involved in remixing the two Madonna songs 'Erotica' , and 'Frozen' , and where can we find these remixes?
These tracks will appear on Cleopatra's upcoming tribute to Madonna. RAZED IN BLACK's version of "Erotica" features Michelle Pagan, who also makes an appearance on "Sacrificed". "Frozen" is a TRANSMUTATOR version with Gene Loves Gezebel on vocals and guitar. The double CD album is scheduled to feature tracks by KMFDM, Berlin, and other big wigs. Can't wait to hear the rest of the album. As you know, Cleopatra releases many tribute albums. I see comments every so often that maybe it becomes a bit much, but the covers are fun and cool. Keep an eye out you'll see some pretty interesting RiB contributions to U2, Prince, Metallica, Skinny Puppy, more.
#5-Will there be any Canadian dates included with the US tour soon to come, and when will the tour start?
I'm currently preparing for the CD release party of "Sacrificed". We're doing it here in the Hawaiian islands, doing our best to make it a huge extravaganza! RAZED IN BLACK in concert (with new lineup (including IVAN from STOMP on Drums), CD and goodie giveaways from CLEOPATRA and RAZED IN BLACK ... we're shooting a music video for "Master" as well on this night ... the club is building a special stage just for us ... guys from Cleopatra Records are flying down from LA for the event as well ... all on a special evening called the Dungeon (S&M-Bondage-Fetish-Industrial). It's definitely a great way to spark off the tour scheduled this year.
The tour will be RAZED IN BLACK's first time off the islands. So I believe we're going to take it slow with a few shows on the US west coast in April then come back in the Summer for a more lengthier tour, unless something bigger comes our way. I'd love to do shows in Canada. If there is a supportive scene and promoters willing to book us, I'll let our booking agent know! I've done quite a few shows as TRANSMUTATOR; the Hypnotic Summer tour, feature shows on the west coast, and Japan. My next trip to Japan is being scheduled for March. Hopefully we'll come to your town too!
#6-What songs do you have on the Sony Playstation game 'VS'?
"VS" has RAZED IN BLACK's "Future Unknown", "Cyberium (endurance mix)", and "Pursuit". The game is pretty cool. I just recently picked up a system. I figured why not since "VS" has RIB tracks, and I've done music for SEGA - Sonic Adventures CD, teamed up with Corey Glover (Living Color) once again for this. The album has contributions from NIN, SMG, and more. Anxious to hear this one as well. It was released in Japan in December. I believe it'll be in the US in a month or so.
#7-Tell us about "Body on the edge of Crisis" , and your involvement in this film?
This film was done back when I was at the University. Toby Haruno, a great freind of mine, needed a model for a short about pain, frustration, and suicide and immediately thought of me ... go figure. It's a cool, intense piece of work. Toby now works for SQUAREUSA. He's one of the prime animators for an upcoming groundbreaking film for 2001 called FINAL FANTASY. I've been to the studios. Unbelievable shit!
#8-What is in current rotation in your CD player?
Current rotation: Talvin Singh, System 7, Das Ich, Aphrodite, Depeche Mode, Front Line Assembly, Haujobb, Bjork, Aphex Twin, Christian Death, Lords of Acid, Smashing Pumpkins, Prince
#9-How did you get Transmutator songs on the NBC Television show "Homicide", "Closet Cases" episode , and what are the scenes where your songs are played?
I received a call from Hypnotic saying "Homicide" contacted them wanting my music for an episode. Honestly, I haven't seen the show yet. I know it's been aired though. We're trying to get a copy of it.
#10-You recently played in Japan , how was the reaction to your music?
I didn't know what to expect in Japan. The response was actually very, very good. I was blown by how many people dug the music. In addition to the shows, I was there to help spark off a new electronic sub-label called DEE KICKS for TOSHIBA/EMI records. TRANSMUTATOR and CHRISTIAN B of Groove Radio worked on a compilation album called Digital Gang .001 (contains Chemical Bros., Fluke, Transmutator, more). We spent most of our time with promotions (5 TV interviews included MTV "Japan", 3 radio, and a few magazine interviews). Japan really does an incredible job with marketing!
I just finished the new TRANSMUTATOR album "The Colony of Sluts" for Blue Dolphin Records (JAPAN). They were on my ass, pressuring me to deliver advance music, promos, and the masters on time. I actually got pretty annoyed, but their reasoning was because of the buzz of the new album, so that kinda' weakend the tension. Hypnotic will release a different version of "The Colony of Sluts" sometime in April. Keep an eye out.
#11-Being a dog lover myself , with my one year old Basenji named "Basil" , your dog "Macho" , what breed is he , and tell us about him?
Well, as you know, I wrote "Macho Man" in tribute of him. He's a white Collie-German Sheppard. 17 years old. Definitely my Best Friend!
#12-What is the coolest club within the Hawaiian islands?
THE DUNGEON! An underground goth/industrial club adorn with torturing and bondage apparatus all within the confides of a dark, dank, unmarked warehouse. THE DUNGEON night happens every 2 or 3 months (you'll know when the next one is up). TEMPLE, every Friday at the same location, without the S&M and bondage shows. Every so often, promoter EriK holds a night at FUSIONS called "HAVEN": Goth-Industrial-New Wave. It's a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. Always have a great time there. Victor Sam holds a New Wave night at various locations. On the dancefloor the whole time! Hawaii RAVEs have been monthly lately. TRANSMUTATOR performed at the last PROJECT GENESIS Rave. Incredible time, everyone amp'ed out!