WELCOME TO TRANSYLVANIAN FOREST ZINE!!! How are you doing today sir?
I`m fine and dandy thank you my good man, actually are there any forests left in Transylvania or did Vlad the Impaler cut them all down to create enough space to set up all of those spikes that he loved to impale peasants on ?
1) I see your in quite a few projects and bands, lets start off with that and take it from there. Really liking Whores Of Babylon.
Cheers Geezer. I suppose that now I better give you a bit of history behind that band and the others as well, it`s a long and complex history so forgive me if this is a bit long.
The Whores of Babylon formed as a Duo in 1991 and the vein of the music was kind of Gothic mixed with a bit of metal and dramatic classical type of sounds, some called us Darkwave at the time although no one could really put a label on it. A guy called Shaun Atkins did all the vocals and I did all the music, we plied our trade with demos in the underground scene during 1992 & 1993.
In 1993 we entered into talks with Candlelight records after they picked up on our efforts in the underground fanzine scene and signed with them that year ( although Quorthon`s Black Mark label also showed interest but alas a little too late to go with them instead ). so in 1994 we released `Metropolis` a very long album and then got some other musicians around us in order to be able to do it all live. In 1996 we released an extended E.P called `Kumari` which was on the Portuguese `Skyfall` ( Movieplay ) Records.
In 1998 Peaceville records, who had recently set up a partnership with Music For Nations, got in touch with us and were interested in signing us, although MFN were distributing another band with a similar name at the time called `Babylon Whores` so we needed to change our name and we changed it to Soundisciples which wasn`t so bad because the music was becoming more industrial/techno metal, it`s funny though because I`m sure that Babylon Whores got the idea for their name from us, a couple of those Guys said that they had interviewed me for a fanzine of theirs some years earlier before they had their band ! The album `Undefined was released in march 1999 and we got some great reviews in the major magazines, an interview in the English `Kerrang` magazine and did some great tours too.
At the end of 1999 with band and label politics and lack of money fueling tension I upped and left a band of which I was a founder member and started to produce some follow up material to the content on the `Undefined` album under the name of Noiselab. Shaun also did the vocals on that too, however I couldn`t get a new deal for Noiselab even though the music did really well on mp3 sites on the internet in 2000. It is true that labels only care about you based on work that you have already done for them to hype yourself up and unfortunately for me they didn`t take the internet thing seriously enough in those days.
In 2001 I just gave up professional music altogether and became somewhat bitter and twisted. In 2002 I started to become a fan again of other peoples music and also formed a just for fun covers band called `Dimebag Does Dallas` playing the likes of System of a Down, Pantera, Slayer, Anthrax, SOD, Machine Head etc ( you see I was originally a thrasher before all the gothic stuff ). We never did any gigs but did record a live album at my recording studio in Bristol during 2002.
In 2002 Soundisciples eventually released a new album `Audio Manifesto` without me with the bulk of the music down to Joe from my bands. Although the musical direction was different He did a good job and there were some great tunes on that album. Alas the fate of that album was similar to all the other stuff that we had done, the problem was we were always on labels that released super heavy stuff whilst we were not like that and as a result marketing us was always a problem for those labels etc etc.
Soundisciples eventually fell apart in 2004 some time after appearing in a UK Channel 4 documentary about them and specifically about their tour manager, as the series was about tour managers.
Around 2005/2006 Joe approached me with helping him out with a new Soundisciples album, I had also resurrected the Whores of Babylon name around that time so 1 band became 2. Soundisciples which is now based on music that he writes and WOB based on my compositions. Since then I`ve spent a lot of time and money getting into new equipment and recording technologies and I have had a lot of ideas for different bands/projects too : i.e Noiselab Project ( electronica and alternative ) Dunken Pirates ( Punk Pirate metal ) and the super heavy Corporation of Corpse Stealers ( thrash/Death/Black/prog metal ). I also setup my own label Lovegun Records around this time ( HYPERLINK "http://www.lovegun.co.uk" www.lovegun.co.uk ).
Since 2006 there have only been 2 official members of all of the bands and projects, namely me and Joe.
In 2009 I had a new Whores of Babylon album mostly finished but I shelved it due to the better quality of the upcoming Corporation of Corpse Stealers stuff that I had begun writing and I also found out that whilst previously not a vocalist I was pretty good at Death/Black and pirate style vocals ! YAH HARRR !
So at this moment we have the Corporation of Corpse Stealers album in production and a new Soundisciples one too, they will be released for download plus there will be promo CD`s too. We are currently trying out different singers for the Soundisciples album. After those there will be a Noiselab Project album and a Drunken Pirates E.P and later than that a new Whores of Babylon album that is mainly Orchestrated metal somewhat like Virgin Black perhaps. We have also setup a new website a few months ago at HYPERLINK "http://www.filmscoreuk.com" www.filmscoreuk.com the idea of that is to provide music for film, TV, Games, presentations etc, if you visit the site then there is a lot of music by us in different categories to listen to there.
Well now I just need to get one of those new albums actually finished for a change, hah hah
2)Where was the video for "The Whip" shot at???
In East Berlin ! heh heh no seriously at a derelect warehouse in the Bristol area of the UK. Although that was the 1995 version of the video which was shown and edited on an ITV show in the UK, there are some shots from Hellraiser in it which would have breached copyright so we made the video again in the lockup area below the steps of a commercial recording studio that I used to co-own with Geoff Barrow from the band Portishead.
3)How long have you been making music for and what got you into music?
About 1985 when I got my first guitar as a kid and I was into stuff like Metallica, Destruction, Megadeth and Exodus, in 1987/1988 I got into the new form of Dance music too ( the likes of Marrs and Bomb the Bass ) and that sparked my interest in sampling and House orientated music, I got a crude sampler add on for my Commodore Amiga computer and started to make tunes and remixes on that. By 1991 I opened a recording studio as well
4) Name a some influences of yours musically?
Errrr, not just now but through the ages and starting off from early : Sisters of Mercy ( my nephew plays guitar for them these days ), Celtic Frost, Metallica, Megadeth, Bomb the Bass, Marrs, Exodus, Slayer, The Prodigy, The Exploited, Horror movie film scores, and more recently,: Dimmu Borgir, Finntroll (new)Exodus, Opeth etc Whores of Babylon & SOundisciples !
5)What instruments do you play and what do you do most in the band?
Usually everything or most stuff : Engineering, Producing, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, programming and drum arrangements. I don`t play solos though my little finger on my fretting hand was damaged in a motorbike accident when I was 18, Joe plays all of the solos that we need. (However in the latest Soundisciples stuff I am just co-producing, engineering, playing keyboards and helping to develop the writing of the compostions that Joe originally came up with )
6)Do you enjoy the recording setting or live setting more? please explain.
Recording setting, there are only 2 of us, we have been around a long time and we don`t have the energy or the time to put a live thing together anymore ( although you never know we might again ). Because I have now built my own studio in my house then it is always relaxed there with no worries about spiralling bills etc
7)What do you get out of your music? May it be a spiritual, physical, mentally, type of feeling. What does it do for you??? (deep question)
It keeps me happy and keeps my brain active, pure and simple, although I always like to write dark music no matter what musical genre I am in at the time and the happier I am then the darker the music is likely to be, hah hah !
8)What do you think of the year of 2011 so far and what heads for us you think in the "apocalyptic year" of 2012 if you believe in such a statement.
Hmmm not much really, endless adverts everywhere, shady practices on the internet still ( The Machinery of Lies – thanks Destruction for that song title, heh heh ). I wrote about 21 Dec 2012 in one of the early Corporation of Corpse Stealers demo`s in 2008 a bit before most of the media jumped on the bandwagon with it as they say. The song was called `The Last Winter` and was put up on the internet ( go to our label site HYPERLINK "http://www.lovegun.co.uk" www.lovegun.co.uk and follow the links to our bands myspace pages if ya wanna hear it ) The track will also be on the new COCS album too. The lyrics deal with planet/solar/galaxy alignment that happen`s once every 26,000 years which is also the end of a prophesised Mayan age as well.
9)Do you support underground artists and what do you think of alot of the bands of today???
I am not really part of any scene at the moment. Before we signed to Candlelight records in 1992/1993 we were a big part of the underground scene then. In theory, yes I would support any deserving artists in the underground or otherwise. When we finally release some new albums then I guess we will become part of a scene again as well. What do I think of a lot of bands today ? well I checkout a lot of stuff but I`m pretty fussy as I get older. In the mainstream I have noticed that a lot of 80`s bands that have made a comeback just know how to write better songs than some of the new pretenders. At the moment my fave stuff is : Opeth, Megadeth, Exodus, Machine Head, Blood Tsunami, Amon Amarth, Finntroll, Triptykon and I`m really liking the more recent Satyricon as well. I was never really a fan of Death/Black Metal although I am really liking it`s influence on thrash orientated stuff these days. I`m sure too that there are some great new, more underground bands, out there, although because of the internet the whole thing gets to be difficult wading through the endless sea of shit to find them. I think that the internet is very useful to get some feedback on your material but at the end of the day it still takes someone to spend money and market them to get them really noticed. In Nomine Satanus ! heh heh
10)What is your personal life like outside of music and do the 2 intertwine?
They are more or less the same, my current recording studio is in my house and I don`t have any children so music and video games, watching Movies and going out on a Saturday night with mates/girlfriend for some Grog about sums it up !
11)Can you name some memorable stories with other bands or places you been to you enjoyed?
In support of our 1999 Soundisciples album `Undefined` we toured with Pitchshifter and Paradise Lost, those tours were a great experience although I can`t remember any stories from them. Touring Portugal in 1996 as Whores of Babylon was also good.
Back in 1998 just before our `Undefined` album came out we supported Pist. On at the 4 Mean Fiddler in London, there was a problem with the gear in the middle of the gig and during the wait our singer told a few offensive jokes out of desperation, they did not go down well with us or anyone else and there were members of the music press there too, nearly killed us before we even got started as Soundisciples.
Back in the early Whores of Babylon days we used to take a small fridge with us on stage, we wrote `The Fridge of Babylon` on it in marker pen and kept ours beers etc in it, sometimes opening it on stage and having a drink, ha ha, saved on bar bill too, heh heh.
12)I see you run a group that helps out bands called Mr Gobz - PC and Tech - Tips n Tricks Group, tell us what thats all about please. BTW, thanks for tips you gave me on my dell, and also I use macbook core duo 2 now (black)
Well, as well as being Artistic I am also a Tech-Head / Gadget freak. I have to be to stay on top of all of the music tech that I have now. I also custom build my own PC`s for gaming/ the studio room etc and have had to solve a lot of problems with them since I first had a single PC in 1997
13) Whats your favorite drink???? And do you like vanilla or chocolate??? (funny question)
Westons Cider ( and may other Ciders as well, there are a lot of them in the UK these days ), Rum and Coke ( also known as `Grog` i.e Rum diluted with something else is called Grog in the Pirate world, YAH HARR HARR ! ) and also Bourbon and Coke ( makes you feel real mellow ! ) . . . . . . . Vanilla flavoured Soda ( aka Cream Soda ) and just Chocolate on it`s own thanks.
14) Whats is it like in the UK???
Overcrowded in the Urban areas but better than most other places but not perfect and the metal scene has always been a bit flat here compared to other European countries
15)What equipment are you using right now ATM.
As of few years ago I`ve ditched my old large mixing desk and Multitrack technology and got with the computer age. At the moment in my studio room I am using amongst other things :
2 custom built overclocked Core 2 Duo PC`s with M-Audio soundcards and duel Monitors for each one.
Pro-Tools M-Powered DAW recording system, plus a load of softsynths, Orchestral Engines, Virtual drumming programs etc etc
A compact 16:2 mixer used for monitoring and sending stuff to the computers
2 large JBL speakers and a pair of Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors
Customized Alesis/Roland & Hart Dynamics midi drumkit
M-Audio Axiom 61 midi controller Keyboard, Novation Zero SL DAW/midi controller panel, Korg M1 Keyboard
8 Guitars ( Washburn, PRS, ESP, Jackson, Aria, Ibanez, Schecter ) with EMG, Seymour Duncan or Irongear pickups
( Joe has a Schecter, Hamer, B.C Rich, Squire a bunch of Acoustic Guitars and an electric Mandolin too ! )
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL 100 Guitar amp plus 1960a Lead cab. Plus an Ibanez tubescreamer & Hardwire tube Overdrive as pre-amps before the Amp distortion ( to get that nice clunky clanky type of sound )
Shure SM 57 & SM 58 Microphones ( also used both on the Marshall cab in the Andy Sneap configuration ).
Well that`s the main stuff anyways.
16)Name a few childhood memories???
The Banana Splits, Spiderman cartoons. There was no hysteria about paedophiles and no Riots either ! Spending a lot of time playing outside because there was only one TV in the house, only 3 channels to watch and no VCRs/Computers video games etc
17)If there was a few things you could change about the world, what would it be???
Outlaw Religion, once wisely invented to create order from chaos with the people, has long since been doing the opposite, dang it people, just face it, you are gonna die and turn to dust and that is that ! get used to it and make the most of things while you are here, try not to tread on other people`s toes` because karma ( or retribution ) may well pay you back later, and stuff, heh heh
18) Final question... sphincter says What??? I hope you enjoyed this interview sir, really like your music and wish you good luck in all your endevours. Cheers ! –Danny
At first I thought `hmmmmm` so I checked online, yeah Waynes World 2 eh ? the only phrase that I remember from those films is `There is a God, Heather be thy name`, heh heh, referring to Tommy Lee`s ex missus and ex T.J Hooker star heather Locklear, heh heh ! ( dang, she was a babe back in the day ) . . . .. .. `Waynes world, Waynes world, party time, excellent` ( OK so I remembered that one too ! ha ha )
Yes thanks for the interview it`s the first one I`ve done since 1999 ( on the phone with Metal Hammer Germany I think ). I guess when I finally get some new albums actually finished then I/We`ll be doing some more around the world again.
All the best with your Transexual zine . . . . . . er no sorry I meant Transylvanian zine, hah hah !
Adios, Horns Up, Stay Dark and Paint it Black !
Useful links of mine :
HYPERLINK "http://www.lovegun.co.uk" www.lovegun.co.uk - Lovegun Records, my own label find out more about the bands there plus their myspace pages
HYPERLINK "http://www.filmscoreuk.com" www.filmscoreuk.com – Our new site, 60 – 70 pieces of music (mostly recent) by me/us 1 – 3 mins long each in categories from Ambient, Electronic, Classical etc through to metal.
HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24144334968" http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24144334968 – Our Lovegun records facebook group for infos and newely posted demos/tunes etc
D-Pad Web Services
co-ordination & graphix designer · Jan 2007 to present
A sub-division of Lovegun records & SOA Studios www.d-padwebservices.co.uk www.d-padwebservices.co.uk
Owner · Sep 2006 to present
A Founder Member of 5 bands : `Whores of Babylon` , `Soundisciples` , `W.O.B - The Noiselab Project` , `The Drunken Pirates` , `Corporation of Corpse Stealers`. All on myspace. Founder of : Lovegun Records & SOA Studios, Bristol UK. `Soundisciples` & `Whores of Babylon UK` are on ilike/facebook www.lovegun.co.uk
webmaster / UK rep · May 2002 to present
Company based in Singapore that runs a `chain of custody` to verify legally felled timber concessions, amongst other methods uses a world`s first DNA technology www.certisource.net www.certisource.co.uk www.myspace.com/certisource
State of Art ( SOA )Studios
Partner · May 1991 to Apr 2009
Founder and former manager / engineer Now more or less silent partner, operations now run by Geoff Barrow from the band `PORTISHEAD` since the late nineties www.myspace.com/soastudios
DOWNLOADS HERE : http://www.whoresofbabylon.co.uk/downloads.htm