By Julie Johnson
Dec 12, 1999
Erie of Luxt
1) Julie-How and where did Luxt form?
Eric-Luxt was formed when myself and Anna, who were part of another band at the time, decided to do a side project. That became our main focus quickly. As for where, Luxt is based in the Sacramento, California area.
2) Julie-How do you structure your songs especially " Vuglar Monday Love "?
Eric-Vulgar Monkey Love was meant to be a "heavy-assed" song that you could still dance to. I think we pulled it off. Normally when structuring songs, I'll start by sampling a new set of sounds ( drums, noises etc.) or programming some synth sounds and then from those bits come the inspiration for the rest of the songs. We try to let the songs tell us what they want to be.
3) Julie-With your music, what do you feel you have brought into the industrial rock scene?
Eric-Variety. We try not to limit ourselves. With each song, we can use guitars, or not, female or male vocals, or any myriad of influences or styles together in a hybrid that usually breaks out of the accepted norm. It's very liberating not to limit ourselves with ridiculous thoughts like "I hate this instrument, I WON'T ever use it". Hell, if banjo sounds right... BANJO IT IS! I think electro-industrial is not only a genre that limits itself, it is BASED on limitations. I can't function like that. The rock scene, which has long been known for it's lack of acceptance to new ideas has changed drastically since the early 90's ( I blame Lalapolooza for bringing so many styles of music together ). Now you hear influences of rap, industrial, techno and tons of other styles in the average rock radio song. It's actually a very exciting time. It's just sad that industrial, which was basically invented to be an "anything goes" kind of genre has become so mired in restrictions and elitism.
4) Julie-Do you consider yourselves and industrial band? How do you feel about the "label" industrial? Is it better not to have a "label" on your music?
Eric-I see "industrial" as an umbrella like I see "rock" as an umbrella. An example might be that Skinny Puppy, Covenant and Ministry are all considered "industrial" bands, in the same way that R.E.M., AC/DC and Korn are all considered to be "rock" bands. It's a huge umbrella. I think when someone says "oh, that's not industrial", they're trying to say that "I like industrial music, and if I don't like it, it's not industrial"... it's an insult. And it's pretty stupid. What Luxt considers to be "industrial" would be something similar to heavy/harsh and or dark electronic-based music (as it has come to be known in the 90's - though I'd say that before someone piped in with the tired arguement about the roots of industrial and started spewing terms like Neubauten and Gristle...). So I'd have to say that we are industrial. But we're also rock. That's why we came up with "Cyber Voodoo Rock". It removes the ability of idiots to say "they're not..." and it gives people an idea of what we sound like. Sure, it's a bit goofy, but we don't take ourselves to seriously. Cyber for the mix of human and machine type of hybrid in the sound, voodoo to say "mischievous" more that evil, and rock to stamp out the quick jump to the word "metal" that many electro-head love to make when they see a stringed instrument. Ha!
5) Julie-Do you feel your band could be the next breakthrough artist like Orgy or Rammstein? What is still needed to reach this goal?
Eric-Hell yes. We are meeting resistance because we don't sound like everyone else... which will become our biggest selling point once the right people ( who aren't sitting behind a desk waiting to cash in on the next big thing ) realize that our package would be VERY easy to market to the masses. Luxt has tons of crossover appeal, but labels are lazy and lack imagination for the most part and are generally looking for something that's safe and easy to market. Crossover appeal doesn't scream "easy" to someone looking for a sure bet. But if it wasn't hard to do, everyone would be on a major label. We're willing to put in the work. ( Understatement of the millenium ).
6) Julie-How does it make you feel to see Rob Zombie and Fear Factory in the Mainstream? What have they done for this genre? Do you seen a trend coming with this music? Why is your timing perfect at this time as a band?
Eric-"Industrial Rock" is no longer part of the underground. Which is why it has become shunned by the underground. Zombie, Orgy, Fear Factory, Rammstein etc. aren't doing anything too far removed from what 16 Volt, Acumen, Sister Machine Gun and others were doing about 4 years ago, yet they're getting major radio play. This is why our timing is perfect right now. In the past six months we have gone from playing the industrial scene locally, so saying "fuck it" and playing to the rock crowd locally. It has worked extremely well and extremely quickly. We haven't had to change what we do either. There we are on stage with punk, rock, metal and even ska bands without any amps, and with our big electronic drum kit and the response we're getting is phenomenal. Now we just need to take it to the world.
7) Julie-Have you heard the new Nine Inch Nails CD, if so what do you think of it? How was there timing to come back into the scene?
Eric-I don't put to much value on anyone's opinion on what music they like or not, but if you really want to know, I'd have to say it's really not my thing. I can see what Trent is trying to do, and I respect his right to do it. He's worked hard to be where he is, and I'm in no position to say he's wrong for doing it. But I was highly disappointed with the album. Two full discs of songs and I can't find much that I really want to hear. But then again, it took me 4 years to find a few songs on Downward Spiral that I liked. Some albums have to grow on me, maybe in time it will. As for timing, I think it has little to do with anything. If the album had really strong songs, it would have done much better no matter when it came out. But in a way I think Trent is daring people not to like the album, because he's happy with it. The band I used to be in, I only wrote to make myself happy. Eventually I was consumed with self-indulgence musically. I find it much more fulfilling and honest to be making music to entertain people in the ways that I like to be entertained. I have to stand back and say, "I like that song because that part is repeated so much, so why not give people what they want to hear in the same way I enjoy hearing it?" In a way, I've been able to remove limits by trying to force myself to work toward making something within the limits of "okay, stop holding back what people want". It's wierd.
8) Julie-Are you happy with your bands success as of now?
Eric-The beauty of being an artist is that there is always something more to learn, always something new to accomplish, always a new goal to pursue. So I'd have to say, yes, very happy with how things are going... But we're definitely looking forward to the next step. Then we can move on to looking forward to the next step. And so on...
9) Julie-The music I have heard is very heavy sounding and catchy. Do you feel like you have to have this sound to make it to the mainstream?
Eric-I think I went off on that one above. It's all about not being a "snob" and saying "what's so bad about being a fan of music". Some musicians hate their fans... This I'll never get.
10) Julie-How have you made your music different from other bands trying to reach the same goal as you to move into the mainstream?
Eric-We definitely don't have to try to make our music different... We stand out just about anywhere. The mixing of female and male vox, electronics ( which blows my mind how few people realize how deeply electronic and heavily programmed our music is ) and guitars, and tons of styles from hip-hop to metal to classical to techno to tons of other influences that surface and dive around within each song keeps up from standing still long enough to be musically pigeonholed.As for the word "mainstream", it's definitely not a word we shy from. The more fans, the more shows, the more shows, the more touring. Touring is the best, most addictive, and most wonderfully full of experiences thing to do on the planet. We're tour whores.
11) Julie-Razing Eden features remixes with Acuman Nation and N-Vitro how did you decide to with these bands and do you plan to work with them again?
Eric-N-Vitro is our former guitarist's band (Phil Mohr) who continues to be a close friend and also works on our videos. We were excited to have the chance to work with Acumen as I have been a big fan of theirs for a while. Some heavy politics surrounded that mix that I won't do in to, but I will say that Maintenance of Order had a big part to do with that mix and they didn't feel they were properly credited for it. We weren't even informed about what part they had in it until the cd was pressed. Greg, Acumen's former bass player was the only one we were in contact with for that mix, so obviously wired got crossed and communication was not fully carried through. Outside of sending Greg the DAT tracks and then getting the mix back, we were kinda kept out of the loop by our label etc. So I hope no one got their feeling hurt over it.
12) Julie-Why did you choose to cover Gary Numans "Cars"? Has Gary heard the cover? What did he think?
Eric-We did three songs for 21st Circuitry, they chose Cars for Newer Wave. I don't know if Gary heard that track, but I do know that he heard our cd from a friend of ours in Baton Rouge and he asked if he could keep the cd. So I'd say it was positive feedback.
13) Julie-How will you be finishing up the year musically?
Eric-We're currently playing about 5 or six shows a month in the Sacramento area and up and down the California coast. Sac, SF, Monterey, San Rafael, Petaluma, Concord, Hollywood, Annaheim, Reno, and many other places in the past few and coming months to name a few. Currently we have ( including our 4 song demo ) about 13 new songs. We still need to put vocals on about 5 of them. We have also been doing remixes and covers for various albums, compilations and projects. As usual... we are the busiest and hardest working band around. Some people might scoff at me saying that... but I invite anyone to try to keep up.
14) Julie-Is it tough touring in your own van and trailer?
Eric-Hell no! It's heaven! You can sleep for 12 hours in the van. No check out times, no unloading your shit every night into a hotel room. Sure, it's fun to tour when you get hotels too, but touring is touring no matter what you do. Showers or not. The only depressing part of hunting for a new label is the time spent not out on the road. There is nothing to miss at home. We are total road warriors. ( Do you think we like to tour? )
15) Julie-Any final comments to new readers and current fans?
Eric-Check out our website. Download our mp3's. Buy our cd's. Go to our shows. Email us. Come hang out with us. Come and start a pit at the show ( but don't be a jock asshole in the pit ). The next millennium is ours... All of us. "GET IN THE GODDAMNED VAN!!!"
Thanks again~ - Julie
Thank you. :)
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