Tuesday, 17th October 2017. 10:58:07am ET
Interviews Experimental, IDM, Glitch Interview- alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.abortion

 


Band: alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.abortion
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
Date: 3/6/05

An Interview With alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.abortion

GC: What is the name of your band and who are the current members?

a.b.p.e.a.: alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.abortion (please note lack of caps when this goes to press) is the name of my band. At present, there is only one member, me. I prefer to remain anonymous for the time being (I feel it's essential to the art not to force a name or a face on it), but if you feel the need to use a name, I will answer to Mr. Abortion, or Mr. A for short.

GC: How did you become connected to make music?

a.b.p.e.a.: I plugged in my equipment. I'm assuming that you're asking how the band got together, in which case, it was rather simple, since there is just me at the moment. I found a band name that I liked, and I created a band around it.

GC: What are your musical influences?

a.b.p.e.a.: Every band's favorite question! I'm afraid I can't go into detail about those right now, as it would jeopardize my ability to remain anonymous. They're specific enough to make people who do know who I am guess my identity. Or, I could lie. On my band's site, I just named a bunch of 70's soft rock artists, because I felt like it. Actually, I may be covering "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone soon, so it's not total bullshit in that respect.

GC: What is your live show like?

a.b.p.e.a.: I'll let you know when I have one. They're in the works, so stay tuned. I'm just trying to find a way to make a very cold, mechanical way of operating visually compelling, and of course preserve my anonymity, even going as far as to avoid letting the staff at the venues I'd like to play know who I am.

GC: Tell us about your own unique style of music?

a.b.p.e.a.: You know, people keep telling me it's unique, but I'm humble enough to know that I've heard some semblance of what I'm doing before. Really, I'm just representing.

GC: What separates your band from all the other bands out there?

a.b.p.e.a.: Right now? A wall, a parking lot, some road, and however much distance there is between myself and the nearest band. Again, I'm humble about these things. I don't need my music to stand apart from other music as an ego gratification thing. I'm realistic about what I'm doing. I'd hope that what sets it apart is that it's enjoyable and/or evocative to the listener, but I'm not so sure that these hopes make me stand apart from any other artist.

GC: How do you go about writing songs?

a.b.p.e.a.: For this project, it's been very mathematical. It hasn't really been "songwriting" as I've come to understand it, because I'm really just creating, I guess we could be pretentious and call them "mood pieces" so far. I sit down, mess around with my gear until I come up with one sound or set of sounds to use as a background, and then I build around it. Of late, I've been quite enamored with slowing sound down, speeding it up, playing it backwards, and making it all fall into sync. I may be changing my approach a bit soon, because I've been doing a lot of what I just described, and I'm not entirely clear on whether I'm doing this because I want things to be similar thematically, or whether I'm doing it because I'm lazy. So, the next alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.abortion song that ISN'T a cover will probably sound a little different than what people have heard so far. The "You Light Up My Life" cover will of course sound different, because it's not my song and it is actually a SONG rather than a collection of mathematically selected notes.

GC: Pick one of your latest song and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?

a.b.p.e.a.: The song I've worked on most recently is called "Something In My Drink". I've actually been somewhat inspired by a fan of mine, who contributed a concept when I solicited my fans for dirty stories recently. I asked them to write graphic sexually-themed stories to inspire me, with the promise that I'd use any that I really liked in the next song somehow, either by reading it myself, having one of those computer voice modulators read it, or by having them read it if they have a decent speaking voice. That hasn't happened, but the best of the stories was a a rape/revenge story that took place at a rave, so I went with that thematically. I started out with something that, to my ears, sounded like old bad Detroit house, and in keeping with the idea that, when you're under the influence of drugs and things aren't going so well (to put it mildly in this case), it seems like the world is slowing down and crashing around you, and then when you hit bottom, all you want to do is get away from whatever's causing you the damage. I think I did a pretty OK job of capturing the sound I wanted within those parameters, but I haven't decided whether or not to incorporate the story that the girl wrote into the final piece or just leave it as-is. It's available for your listening pleasure at MySpace, but what you hear there may not be the final version. Then again, it may. Still thinking about it.

GC: What is your latest news with the band?

a.b.p.e.a.: Right now, I'm recording and I'm also looking into possibly booking some shows starting in late Spring, pending the above issues with identity.

GC: Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your band?

a.b.p.e.a.: To be perfectly honest, I'm not looking that far ahead with this project. I have no idea where I'll be in 5 months with it, never mind 5 years. We'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

GC: How are people currently reacting to your music?

a.b.p.e.a.: What's really fulfilling for me is that they *are* reacting. The response has actually been rather incredible so far, especially considering that what I'm creating is very difficult music to listen to, even for me. It's also been overwhelmingly positive, which surprises me, because I'm crafting this music to be as disturbing as possible to as wide an audience as I can get to listen to it. Even the people who haven't enjoyed what they've heard have reacted as I wanted them to; in other words, the music totally creeps them out.

alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.abortion has existed for less than two months as of this writing, and already, it's achieved enormous success by my standards on MySpace, where the overwhelming majority of its exposure has been. The songs have consistently been getting more plays than huge, basically mainstream bands like Interpol, The Faint, and even Motley Crue...bands that I really have no business generating more buzz than at this early stage of the game.

GC: What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to your music?

a.b.p.e.a.:

1. Because life is supposed to be difficult.

2. Because people tell me that it'd be terrific to fuck to.

3. Because, even as obtuse as my promotion of it has been to date,

I've also been going just as far out of my way to forge a bond with the people who enjoy what they hear and include them in the process, make them a part of the experience essentially, whatever that experience ends up being.

GC: What is your best experience as a band?

a.b.p.e.a.: So far, it's just been the response to what I'm doing. It's truly humbling, and it gives me hope that there are people out there who are ready to try something different.

GC: What is your worst experience as a band?

a.b.p.e.a.: There hasn't been one yet. Get back to me after I start playing shows, heh.

GC: What is most important to you in your band?

a.b.p.e.a.: Capturing a feeling within a piece of art, and having the world become a part of that feeling.

GC: What is most rewarding when it comes to your band?

a.b.p.e.a.: Two things: first, that moment when I realize that a song is DONE and I crank it up really loud to scare the shit out of the neighbors; second, getting feedback from people on what I do. I can't tell you how great I think that is. It's not something that I feel will compromise my vision on what I do, but I really do enjoy getting it, even if it's "HOLY SHIT YOU JUST MADE MY EYES BLEED".

GC: What are you looking forward to most right now as a band?

a.b.p.e.a.: I'd have to say that I'm looking forward to seeing if I can overcome the hurdles, both from a performance standpoint and from a "maintaining my anonymity" standpoint, of playing live.

GC: Are you with a label, or working on finding one?

a.b.p.e.a.: I'll be self-releasing for the time being, unless someone huge comes out of nowhere and hands me a contract with the words "non-recoupable advance", "full retention of publishing rights", and "reversion of ownership of masters" all over it, and at least seven figures in the advance. Like anyone, my soul has a price, but it's sure as hell not cheap.

GC: Remixes? Do you have any, or are you working on any?

a.b.p.e.a.: I've gotten offers from people who wanted to remix my music, but none have really jumped off the page at me yet. If I were going to let someone remix my music, it would more than likely be someone less conventional than a lot of the people who spend all of their spare time remixing each others' music. It'd have to be someone who has a keen understanding of the experimental nature of things, someone whose remixing or production work has made me say "Wow, that's clever!" in the past. Either that, or I'd want Max Martin (Britney Spears'/N'Sync producer) to do it, just because that'd be really messed up.

GC: Do you have a personal favorite song, could be your own or other, and why?

a.b.p.e.a.: I can't comment on that right now for reasons I outlined earlier when we were talking about influences, sorry.

GC: What was the hardest song to write and why?

a.b.p.e.a.: It'd have to be either "Zenova" (because it was done in a long session that took an entire day, pretty much without any rest) or "Something In My Drink" (because I had no idea how I was going to equal "Zenova" when I was done with it; that song still intimidates the hell out of me).

GC: What do you think of the current gothic/EBM/Industrial/noise/synthpop etc. scenes today?

a.b.p.e.a.: There's some good music that sneaks past the quality control types, but for the most part, I think that there's an absolute epidemic, a plague if you will of conformity, sameness and monoculture. All the artists are using the same equipment, wearing the same clothes, and flaunting the same kind of imagery because they're looking to please the people who they think are their core audience, and they're pretty much eschewing any vision or style of their own. Then, once the records are completed, all the DJs in all the clubs I've been to in North America (and there are a good deal) play all the same records, because they think people want to "hear the hits".

I don't want to go into too much of a rant about "back when I was your age", but I do have a hard time believing that any of what's going on in the darker alternative music scenes is as much of a revelation to the kids as it was when I first started exploring less mainstream music. It could just be that people are out of ideas, but I prefer to think that they're claiming that they are because they're lazy and worn out by the state of things in the world. I really feel that there needs to once again be a movement where people create art just to see where it will take them and the audience, instead of just creating it to show reverence for what has come before or appease the gods of commerce (though I'll freely admit that if you're going to create music or any kind of art, you should always try to gain the widest audience possible without relinquishing any control over your art to corporate interests).

GC: What music do you currently listen to, and why?

a.b.p.e.a.: Again, no comment, sorry.

GC: How do you keep changing your music from album to album or plan to change it?

a.b.p.e.a.: I'm going to take it as it comes. Like I said, I'm not planning too far in advance here.

GC: What kind of recording environment do you have?

a.b.p.e.a.: It's a mix of older and newer machines, recorded on a computer. The tech geeks in the audience will be able to pick out the devices I use pretty easily, but again, because I'd like people to focus on the art as a whole rather than who makes it or what they look like or what fashionable technology they use to create it, I'm not interested in going into more detail than I just have.

GC:How long did you spend on your latest effort?

a.b.p.e.a.: In total so far, I'd say I've logged about two weeks in the studio for two finished songs ("Wolftab" and "Zenova") and one more possibly finished one ("Something In My Drink"). I also spent some of that time on songs that didn't make it to the "ready for public consumption" stage.

GC: What is the hardest thing about being in a band for this genre?

a.b.p.e.a.: Exposure. It's the hardest thing for any artist to generate. Ideas can be tough sometimes too, but I know of many people who have had brilliant ideas that were never really shared with the audience they deserved due to lack of exposure.

GC: Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of you band, now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band, ideas, or life in the band.

Well, as you may already know, I've got a MySpace page up for alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.abortion at: http://www.myspace.com/altabortion. However, what you might not know is that I also have a LiveJournal (http://www.livejournal.com/users/misterabortion/), and I'm also reachable on AIM under the screenname "altabortion". Thank you for your time! ************** P.S. In the interest of preserving my anonymity, as Gmail sometimes lists full directory structure when you attach files, I am sending you the URL to the photo I'd like used. I hope that this isn't too much trouble. http://g.myspace.com/00047/44/47/47747444_l.gif All of my links are included at the end of the article, feel free to use them if you do publish this, but I'd appreciate it if you don't post my email address if at all possible. I actually prefer being contacted via MySpace, as it's more self-contained. Thanks again for the time and opportunity to do this! Mr. A


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