intie with Shawn ( N.6) - custom percussionist
You come from Iowa, not an important State musically speaking. Did it
create you any troubles?
S) Actually it's a State where no-one had become big from the 50's rock
dawn till today; from Des Moines we succeeded in this impossible task,
keeping in mind there was also a positive side: if we came from L.A.
or N.Y. we'd've had more competitors, while our label worked their ass
out to take us to the highest level. It's sad, but I don't think the
situation in Iowa will change, most bands suck, so they won't see the
highlights even now that we've opened a window on this asshole of the
world, popular to foreigners for the corn fields and swine breeding
many know you already recorded a self-financed Cd in 96, so this can
be seen as your official debut?
S) Right, that's the way we consider it, cos we've been practicing hard
since then to improve our live shows, recording techniques, songwriting,
etc., just to build a long career. Our knowledge has been increasing
gradually, and during these almost 3 years we recorded other 2 CD's
which didn't satisfy us that much, so we've decided to set them aside,
until we found out what we really wanted to appear in a record.
songs are very direct, and some already start with the refrain. Was
it done to sell more?
S) It was all spontaneuous, no tricks like that. Now we own a trademark,
something special that affords us to intensify our songs, enrich them
with vibes to convey to the listener; this is the magic of music. We
also spent weeks or months to change a song, cos we continuously modify
their structures, that is we're perfectionists. But to build a song
skeleton you just need 10 minutes. With this Cd we wanted to be direct,
aggressive, and that's why there're no guitar solos; on the other hand
there's a massive use of guitar effects so as to make the structures
crazy and sick. Maybe these are the 2000 solos! Seriously, we don't
plan our songs to be liked by kids or be the new radio sensation; we
don't want the others to decide for us and dominate us.
unusual line-up makes your songwriting different from other bands'?
S) No, cos we start form the rhythmic section, then we add the 2 guitarists'
riffs, then all the others; it's not so hard as it can be imagined,
cos we have pretty clear ideas when writing; sometimes there're brisk
discussions, but it's normal, and all is solved in the end, as we never
forget we fight for the same goal. We need months to finish songs, and
to decide if a song's ok for the CD, we just play it live; once is enough,
so the public often hear new songs just used on a night show, then cast
away cos not good enough. We definitely write a lot!
about the live aspect and the look one?
S) Live none of us except Joey (drums) have a fixed place, so we're
all intent upon giving an aggressive show, a kind of love/hate letter
to the outside world. Rarely do we meet as equally violent as bands
like ours when we play together. Even if it may sound strange we're
a 9-member band, it's not for us, and indeed we've made us get on so
well together that if one of us - even the DJ - is missing, we feel
a void; small things also act to improve a song. The unreal 'Clockwork
Orange'-styled masks are an extension of our distorted personalities,
and we build them by ourselves; they're subject to changes in time,
depending on our own temper changes; we care a lot about them; for instance
I own 15 and began wearing them 12 years ago, and they fit our workmen's
overalls so well; in the future our look and image are gonna change,
so we won't wear our masks forever. However, our music shall always
be more important than our look, we don't wear this shit to attract
people ( really?/n.o.a. ), we just did because, after being derided
cos we used to play or try to do something at Des Moines, we felt like
an anonymous entity. None of us wanted to stress out one's name or face,
we were just interested in our music; we started being followed more
and more, the masks and the overalls were working, so we had to keep
on using them. We grew fond of them, and I assure you you really feel
well with them on for an hour, but when we take them off, the first
thing we say is: "God, what a relief!" But then we wera them
again after a show when we walk among the people. As to the numbers,
they're lucky numbers and very meaningful for each member. When we chose
them, each one received a numer at random, and nobody had anything to
complain of; really strange!