| Band: Brainclaw|
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
Date: Conducted live on 10-22-05
The following Grave Concerns E-zine interview was a live in –person interview with Brainclaw on the night of October 22nd, 2005 in Albany, NY. This was recorded interview with the band and Julie Johnson from Grave Concerns E-zine. The following text is from the recording of the interview that night and we have done out best to translate the tape. Please keep a look out for their new CD in 2006. Please make sure you check their website after this interview.
Tara & David: Great! We made it up here in record time, in about 3 hours from Morrisville, Pa. We took the New Jersey Turnpike, and there wasn’t a lot of traffic. It was raining, but we did enjoy the fall foliage on the way up here tonight. It was really gorgeous and we saw a lot of leaves during the change. Thank you for asking!
Tara & David: Well, we are going to be playing about one hour. We are going to be playing six new songs from our next Album “Dead Monsters”. We also will have a few surprises mixed in.
David: Live in Albany!
Tara: Live in Albany! Brainclaw Live in Albany 10-22-05David: Live in Albany Tara: Live in Albany Brainclaw Live in Albany 10-22-05
Tara & David: We would like to do more live shows, but traveling to shows and performing is very expensive for us. We are searching for a label right now; which would help us do more traveling and live shows. We do have some potential interests here and there! We’re hoping for the best!
Tara David & James: James is the reason for the hook up with Mark.
James: I can’t really remember how, but I know I e-mailed the person from the label who was putting together the compilation.
We picked our new song “Fallen,” which we feel is one of the best tracks from the new CD. We licensed it to the label for use on that compilation CD. The label really loved it! We were all really excited about everything. Once we knew that “Fallen” was going to be on the compilation we put the news on our website. We really wanted to get the word out. One of the reasons we are here tonight, is for the record release party after the show for this compilation that we are on. Mark is an awesome guy for making this happen tonight. We are also playing with Doomsday Virus, who are also on the compilation. This won’t be our last time to work with Mark or our last time coming to Albany, NY!
Tara & David: We’ve been working hard on the new CD. It’s finally finished; it’s called “Dead Monsters” right now… well, that’s the working title. The new CD will be around 12- 13 tracks. There are no remixes yet and we are not sure if there will be. Right now, it is being post-produced, and the artwork is being completed. Pam Methot, the woman behind the “Insekt/Angel artwork, is doing this CD as well. It’s going to look awesome!
David: Anything that is dark, creepy, machine like, Sci-fi, futuristic, and aggressive. Anything that is unique and, like we said, embraces the dark side…
Tara & David: This song, which is the first track on our new album, really embodies what Brainclaw is about, the new Brainclaw. It is all about empowerment, crawling out of your hole, killing your TV and waking up! These days, the government controls its citizenry way too much, especially with television. They like to brainwash us with lies. Also, if you watch TV news, they love to give horrific news stories with no resolution. What does that do for society? What does it do? It’s all bad. We don’t watch television at all in our house.
Tara: In the absence of television we have been intensely creative… we cook, we exercise, we talk with our close friends more. We live… We don’t want to miss it. After the media viewing orgy that was September 11th, we realized we had lost out on countless hours of our lives watching television. When we tried to think about it, it was a blur. Now we are cleaning our life up. We Live! Grab life by whatever means you can.
David: Laurie Anderson once said, and I quote, “We’re in ‘Record’.” The tape of our lives is running. What are you going to record on your tape? Are you going to stand up, leave a mark and do something? If you listen to the lyrics in “Strike” from the new CD, it tells you to make your mark. Embody what you do.
Tara & David:: I was like, “Can this be any better?” Brandon is our champion. He has been so successful with his label and the Interbreeding CDs. He has been nothing but supportive of what we do. We hope we have a lifelong relationship with Brandon. We are so amazed and grateful with all of the successes that we’ve had.
(Julie makes a statement about the state of the genre and music in general)
David: Yes, this is one of the hardest genres to succeed in. So many people are making electronic music these days! Getting noticed is extremely difficult. We do everything with our music directly out of our house. We are just grateful to have accomplished what we have done, on our own
*(Julie brings out the Interbreeding CD to show the band)
(Tara & David’s reactions to the CD)
Wow, they did a nice job!
The typesetting is fantastic…
It’s in German, too!
Wow, that is really great…
Tara: (drooling, first impression) Wow.
David: We hadn’t even seen it yet!
David, Tara & James: Thanks for showing us!
Tara: Woo Hoo! We upgraded to a dual-processor Macintosh G5 computer. We are huge Mac fans.
David: We do respect Windows users, but we are definitely Mac fans. We got our new computer last year.
Tara & David: We use our own hardware synths, very little looping… synthesizers seem to have more power than software plug-ins. We just think they sound better. Fatter. We are focused on a true band experience. On stage, we have six keyboards running, and live drums as well, for a huge, fat, full sound. We are definitely not 2 guys and laptop. It is a personal preference. We are not downing others if their live show is just 2 guys and a laptop, that is just not us. There are a lot of bands that use a laptop on stage and they kick ass. We are also not a guitar-driven band. There are plenty of those out there…
James: We are stuck somewhere in the middle. You have your laptop kids and metal bands. We blend the two together. Take early Depeche Mode, for example. They had real drums, etc. When we end up playing with bands that have more of a metal sound we can seem sonically weaker. We are organic to some degree, but not really, and that’s how it is.
Tara: Without James, we would not want to do it live. Lori is our other member and she is actually missing today. She is our 4th member. She is sick, and happens to be in Germany at the moment. She makes a valiant effort to make all of our live shows. It’s probably better that our live show schedule is on the lighter side right now. Lori is a great person, and a hell of a live performer! A lot of people think, when they first see Brainclaw live, that David and I are brother and sister, and that Lori and James are brother and sister as well. We all complete each other. We are family. We are down to earth, easy going people. We are not about drama. We have day jobs. We love to do this and it’s 100% our own choice to be doing this kind of thing. It is done out of love! That could change at some point, I guess…
Tara & David: If a label picks us up, then we could definitely be opened up to more people. That would be nice! That is what we need to reach more people. We do all of our own press kits, promotion, booking and follow-ups. We probably spent close to a thousand dollars this year for postage, blank media and supplies to send our press kits and promotional materials out. Nothing is cheap.
Tara & David: Yes and darker too!
James: There is one song called “The Trip Down,” and it was written during a low period in my life. It is a song about having no hope and about failure. It is hard to listen to if you are down. It definitely will drag you down. But now that things are better I can laugh a little about it!
Tara & David: The new CD is definitely an evolution from the “Insekt/Angel” CD. It is more experimental and more about looking harshly at society. How can we better deal with it and gain more personal power by looking more closely at our decaying society. It is all about taking your power back. Keeping evolution sharp. With the last CD we were both going through divorces. With Dead Monsters, it is all about getting back your power and moving on. Dead Monsters is about looking around you to see what the truth is in life. Personal achievement, what are you going to do next? What is your part? Now, look at life, wake up and see what you are doing. We see what is going on.
David: Everyone is asleep. People watch television, do drugs, drink alcohol. However, lots are people are awake and see the world out of control. We want to find solutions. The songs are about taking charge and doing something. We have a positive message. We are not better than others, but we won’t be dragged down. We make our own decisions, we seek and find the truth. After we find the truth we do something about it. There is a lot of laziness in the world.
Tara & David: We experimented more in our song structure, for one thing. On “Insekt/Angel” we had a lot of the same sound structure. It became predictable. We went more out on a limb with “Dead Monsters".
Tara & David: It is crunch time! We are debuting new songs live. We can’t offer the “Dead Monsters CD just yet. We really want to let everyone hear it! There has been lots of label interest, we are very happy to say. We are just waiting for the right offer. It is only a matter of time until a decision is made. It is so important to make good decisions at this point of our career. If it comes down to it I suppose we will do something about it and release it on our own. We have do a Spring 2006 release date in mind. We don’t want to sit on it much longer. We already are working on new stuff.
David: I am the type of person who is never satisfied with our website, and our music is never good enough for me. For us, “Dead Monsters” is old already! We have listened to it in the car for months. We have asked ourselves is that what we want, is this good enough? It is ready. Lets release it!
David: We are still good friends with them! We see John and Rebecca a couple of times a month for dinner and movies. The other members, we are all still friends. I was one of the founding members, and it has been 5 years now since I left. I learned a lot about playing live with that band. When I left, the band was getting into more of a metal and rock sound. I was going through a divorce. Life was shit. I could not give them the 100% that they deserved to get from me. I had to get my head together and figure out what I was going to do. There is no bad blood between us! We love them. We produced 6 songs for them on their new CD in our studio… All is well.
Tara & David: Ask James. It’s a team effort. The “Suck Filter” is set on high. In the studio, working on tracks, we will talk about what we want more of or less of in that song. Tara tells me right away if something sucks. We work on it. I will tell Tara that she is not cutting the mustard on a vocal part. And James is our 3rd set of ears. He makes good suggestions all of the time. And Tara and I were best friends before we were a married couple. We have no egos and no pride to get in the way of working effectively. We can admit when something is wrong and sucks. Yeah, there are disagreements. “Gotta do it again Tara, we are trying to highlight your voice in the song!”
David: Tara likes to do the creepy little girl thing in some of her songs. We are not formally-trained vocalists by any means. We do take after take, until it is right. We are electronic artists, however we seek to inject human emotion into the singing at all times. On the song “Euphorium,” James really pushed me to sing like, well, James you tell the story…
James:There was this one song we were working on, “Euphorium,’ yeah. David was approaching the vocals more like how Rammstein might, and I told him that the song lyrics are far more emotional vocals, and should be like how Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) would sing it.
Tara & David: Well, we have a funny moment not from “Dead Monsters,” but from the old CD, “Insekt/Angel.” It’s the hidden track at the end of the CD. We were laughing really hard in the studio and just being ridiculous. Tara was recording a vocal part and she made a spectacular flub. I completely lost it out in the control room, and you can hear the moment captured for posterity on the end of the CD.
David & Tara: We are tickled pink that you wanted to interview us! In this industry, we are all about helping each other. And look for the new album. Check out the website! E-mail us, it’s all good. We write back to everybody. Look for pictures from tonight’s show on the site as well.
Brainclaw: Thank you Julie!James - Julie- David after interview 10-22-05
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