Diskonnekted band members are Jan Dewulf, Christophe ’Hitman’ Salvatore, Didier ’Snake’ Salvatore, and Schidde. They live in the exquisite country of Ostend, Belgium. Diskonnekted’s new album, “Old School Policies” is now available, and it’s an explosive album...check back soon for their review. (: Until then, be prepared to be dazzled with the interview I did with Jan, and you’ll no doubt be hyped-up with it; Jan is a fantastically talented artist, and his personality is not only charming and sincere, but witty and provocative. A great interview that his fans will devourer, and one that will cast brightness over the very creative, energetic and intelligent music of Diskonnekted. (: This was such a wonderful and memorable interview…so much FUN Jan---thank you! (:
Grave Concerns: Greetings Jan, it’s lovely to make your acquaintance, here at the grave, how are you doing?
I am fine, thank you!
Grave Concerns: Excellent…glad to hear it my friend, well, read it. (;
Grave Concerns: You live in Ostend, Belgium---how beautiful! Please share some of your favorite places, historical landmarks, food, culture---anything you LOVE to share about your country.
I love living in Ostend: a rather small city at the Belgian coast side, but with a metropolis attitude.
Grave Concerns: When did you first discover that music was what you wanted to pursue? And while you were waiting for that to happen, what other jobs did you have?
Ever since I was hooked on music, I wanted to create something myself. Music can do so many things: it can reflect your feelings, it can move you, it can comfort you and it can give you energy. The main reason I wanted to make music myself, is that I wanted to touch people’s lives myself, and that I wanted to tell them something with my music. And of course, because I am a fan of electronic music and industrial, the path I chose was rather obvious. I like synths and modern techniques, and I like to torture machines to create interesting sounds. But apart from music: I studied philosophy but started working as a webmaster for the city nonetheless.
Grave Concerns: That is so wonderfully put Jan. Music is such a remarkable way to “speak” to others...and you have done with great ability.
Grave Concerns: Being a member of MySpace, how has MySpace helped, or hindered your musical endeavors? And which countries do you feel have embraced your music the most from being a member of MySpace?
MySpace is quite useful as it’s a free and easy showcase for every musician. Both for professionals and amateurs it’s interesting, I think. People can check your music immediately.
Grave Concerns: I have to tell you Jan, how pumping your music is---very club-friendly, the music is so energetic, so on top of its delivery---awesome beats my friend! Very cool guest vocals too! I especially LOVE “Storm”. That one has to be a BIG hit…has to be!
Hehe, thanks a lot for the kind words!
Grave Concerns: You’re SO welcome---my pleasure! (:
Grave Concerns: Tell us then, your fans, the guest vocals on your album? How did this come to be?
I like to invite other artists to create something together. In the dance scene it’s a regular thing to work with each other and fix tracks together. In the industrial scene however a band name is more like a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed. I worked with Johan Van Roy and Dirk Ivens before, because I felt the combination of styles and personal inspiration and input could end up in something interesting. I like Frank’s voice a lot, and we’re friends. So for this one I was both inspired artistically, and it was a fun thing to do. We performed together last summer at the Gothicfestival in Belgium, and our main intention for that was simply to have some fun on stage. ”Storm” has this melancholic and melodic vibe. Frank Spinath was the ideal artist to bring the track to another level with his characteristic voice that expresses so many emotions. It was Frank’s idea to also add an extra vocal line on “Adrenaline”. It was a very last shot, as the final album mix was almost done. And then of course we have SMP rapping on “Anger” as well. I knew the stuff from SMP and really enjoyed it. So I asked him to rap me ‘some lines’. He came up with an amazing vocal line that allowed me to create something really explosive.
Grave Concerns: Your song “Pray Vote Donate Buy” is very provocative. What do you hope listeners will take in from this song? Was this a song that’s been with you for a while, or one that recently came into light?
I wanted to make some kind of propagandistic soundtrack, dark and scary: because I think that’s what religious fanaticism really is. The repetitive character of those tracks make it somehow sound like it propagates a divine idea. The voice on “Pray Vote Donate Buy” is my girlfriend actually, I think she did a pretty good job. I was especially inspired by some American situations where schoolbooks get screwed by religious ideas, where politics is inspired by divine ideas, and where there’s an absolute certainty that God is on ‘their side’. It’s scary because it’s no personal idea anymore, but truly a general one saying “one nation under God” having a whole propaganda machinery supporting that idea.
Grave Concerns: She did do an awesome job! (: And your song definitely packed a hard punch---which is good.
Grave Concerns: Another song “Anger”, also tells quite a vivid picture---did this song come from your own experiences, or from those of others?
You should ask SMP that one as he provided both vocals and lyrics for that track.
Grave Concerns: We’d love to have SMP answer this question, so if he’d like to, he may send me his answer, and I’ll post it.
Grave Concerns: The album cover, perhaps, is the most controversial of what the album will likely represent…what can you tell us about the picture, its meaning for you?
I guess religion influences me quite a lot. The fact that religion can have such an enormous effect on one’s worldview, politics and decisions just can’t be justified. It terrifies me that blurry ideas can have such an impact on people’s contemporary behaviour. The plastic Jesus on the cover reflects my disgust: it’s cheap and it’s ugly. I have a materialistic worldview, so for me there’s nothing more but molecules and some chemical reactions in between. I have trouble understanding how people get inspired by a divine idea that tells them to blow up things, or even blow up themselves. In a materialistic worldview it’s rather simple: if you’re black, white or whatever: we’re all just parts of dirt that happen to have a conscious mind, so we’re all the same anyway. When there’s a divine inspiration involved telling you that you’re very special and even better than the rest, then the trouble begins of course. This is the main idea behind the album actually. I just can’t cope with those plastic, cheap ’divine’ ideas.
Grave Concerns: Most difficult songs, and most rewarding ones on “Old School Policies”?
Personally I am very happy and I feel very comfortable with this album. It was definitely the hardest one to make. When starting on the album I had like a thousand ideas, but this time I had a tough time translating those ideas into final tracks. I had a clear idea of how the end result had to sound like but it was difficult to reach that goal. It was frustrating, time consuming and yet satisfying the same time. I also spent quite a lot in the Atomic Studios, which drove Mika sometimes to madness. “Storm” for examples has three different previous versions, as I kept on changing the basic idea. But the result was worth struggle. “Adrenaline” was another tough one as I fixed the final mix over and over again. But then again other songs like “Pray vote donate buy” were formed rather spontaneously in one rush.
Grave Concerns: What do think makes your music stand out among other artists in your field?
I don’t want to compare myself too much with other artists in terms of ‘better’ or ‘worse’. If you are, as an artist, honest and real, then you’re doing a good job. You can easily fake an image or copy a formula. But I am sure Diskonnekted has an image and sound of its own. All I want to do is make the music that I really want to make, and do that in an honest way.
Grave Concerns: I love that answer Jan, because it’s from the heart…it’s genuine. And Diskonnekted is doing just that! (:
Grave Concerns: When it comes to writing new material, which do you feel comes first in the creative process--- the lyrics or the music, or doesn’t it matter?
It’s hard to say really, as sometimes I start with some lyrics in my head (e.g. Atlantis, After Einstein, etc.) and create music around the words later, but sometimes it’s vice versa: then I start working on a groove and add lyrics only later.
Grave Concerns: If you were able to put on a concert for charity, which one/s would you be supporting, and which artists would you like to headline?
I guess it would be an intermix of styles: Crystal Method and NIN as headliners, Curve and XMTP as exclusive reunions, and Jim Morrison to host the event!
Grave Concerns: Sounds fabulous to me…Jim Morrison to host, eh? (;
Grave Concerns: Time for some pic questions! Jan, under the “Summer Darkness 2007” photos, page 2, you’re standing next to a lady who’s wearing a “Dulce Liquido shirt---is that the name of the club you played at? Very cool pic of you both! The lady, who’s in the photos by herself---what is she standing behind that kind of looks like a graft of sorts? And the next one, the gorgeous outdoor scene, what’s that place called? And the last pic, what’s the name of that drink? I see limes in it, what’s the other green ingredient in there? Was it good? OK…I was looking at some other pics, from your website http://www.diskonnekted.com/ and went to “Private Parts” looks like a good party was had, my friend! Nice banner! (;
That first picture you’re referring to is me and a fan at Tivoli, the venue where we played together with Front 242. The other pics were taken after the gig, when we spent some time in Utrecht, a very nice city in the Netherlands. You see my girlfriend standing in a museum. Some pics later you see her drinking a Mojito: a mix of rum, lime, soda and crushed ice.
Yes, we really take the ‘rock ‘n roll’ lifestyle very seriously! ;-)
Grave Concerns: Enjoy it my friend…life needs to be fun and full of passion…let it be all that it can be for each of you. Yum, that drink does sound good. (:
Grave Concerns: If you could have a movie director direct your next video, who would it be and why? And which song would it be?
David Fincher should make a video for “Anger”.
Grave Concerns: Well, get on it then Jan! Make it happen. David Fincher…c’mon, sir. (:
Grave Concerns: If you had the power to live the life of any character in a movie for one-week after the end credits rolled, who would you choose and why?
I like the somewhat damaged and bruised heroes form Rodriguez’ Sin City.
Grave Concerns: Fantastic movie! I know what you mean…such gut-wrenching emotion plagued those characters…brilliant all the way through.
Grave Concerns: How do you differentiate a real good song, from a classic? In other words, what really makes a song stand out and last? And with your music, which song or songs do you feel have met that challenge, have come close to it, or are you currently just enjoying the creative bliss?
It’s hard to predict what song will become a hit or a classic. You definitely can’t use a formula that will guarantee you a club hit. All an artist should do is make a good track in an honest way. If luck is on your site: it will be a hit! The creative bliss as you describe it, is the most important thing for me however.
Grave Concerns: You’ve been asked to create a new word defining your style of music. What is that word?
Grave Concerns: I’m thinking of a number from 0 to 881. What it is? I’ll tell you what mine is, when I post your interview.
Grave Concerns: (: Nice number Jan…and because of that number, you’ve been the closest so far…719!
Grave Concerns: As a musician, how does the music in movies affect you? And if you were asked to compose a song for a soundtrack, which genera would that be in? Now let me take that question even further---actually backward; if you were to go back to the past, with your current music in hand, and were asked that same question, would any of your songs stand out as a good fit? If so, which song and movie would it have been?
I think music is very important in a movie. Actually I realized even yesterday that I really would love to fix a soundtrack for a movie one day. Action, fear, sadness are all emotions that can be translated with cool sounds and music. If I could travel back in time I would like to hear “Anger” in The Matrix. Btw, some German amateur directors who made their own action/detective series used a Diskonnekted track for their soundtrack.
Grave Concerns: That is so cool…which song did they use? That’s awesome Jan! You must be so proud. (:
Grave Concerns: What has been the most beautiful sunrise or sunset that you’ve seen?
I live at the coast side, so I see beautiful sunsets quite often. Some that are stuck in my mind though, are some sunsets I saw in Venezuela and some beautiful views in Vancouver Island, Canada.
Grave Concerns: What’s your favorite Belgium expression? What’s your favorite American expression?
“Fuck off” which works perfectly both in America and Belgium! ;-)
Grave Concerns: That’ll work! (;
Grave Concerns: Do you have tattoos or piercings?
Not that I am aware of.
Grave Concerns: Righty or Lefty?
Grave Concerns: Lefty.
Grave Concerns: Tell us, your fans; what are some fun things you enjoying doing in your spare time?
Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.
Grave Concerns: Jan, you are SO the “rock star” mold…you’re cracking me up! (:
Grave Concerns: Do you believe in ESP and ghosts or “other” unexplainable occurrences?
Well, I don’t believe in supernatural things. So if something is unexplainable at this point, I am sure science will be able to explain it later on. So I don’t want to fill in the gaps with ghosts or other strange stories.
I am a skeptic. ;-)
Grave Concerns: (: And my friend, that is your right to feel that way. See how easy that was. (:
Grave Concerns: Have you ever had to perform CPR?
Grave Concerns: Do you have any pets?
Not anymore. At my parents we had a cat “Mieltje”. And then later I had a dog “Breezle” who is in dog heaven now. We’re thinking of having a cat again though.
Grave Concerns: Great names! Animals are apart of the family…and they are so dear to my heart. I think you should get another cat. Animals are a joy, and such a blessing. Our cat ‘s name is Ashes. I brought her home for my brother…and she adores him and my dad! My mum and I too...but she has her own unique ways with all of us. (:
Grave Concerns: If you had the ability to change the color of the sky during the daylight hours to a color of your choice…once every 3 months, what four colors would you choose, and why?
Green. Just because it would be weird.
Grave Concerns: Weird is good. (:
Grave Concerns: What are a few of your favorite local radio stations?
Local? Not any I am afraid. They all play bullshit here. But I tune in on some online stuff like Digitally imported or some industrial stations like Digital Gunfire and others.
Grave Concerns: Other than musical inspirations, who are your favorite authors, poets, painters, or any other artistic creators whose work you respect?
To name a few: Adam Douglas, Albert Camus, Wim Delvoye (Belgian artist who created the ‘shit making’ Cloaca), Panamarenko
Grave Concerns: When is your birthday?
September 19th. I am turning 30 this year. Damn, I am getting old!
Grave Concerns: I marked it on my calendar. (: Mine is next week! June 16th.
Grave Concerns: Have you thought how hot some department store mannequins look? And then you think...I’d like to see them wearing a different dress, or shirt, or a brighter-colored scarf?
Or... I’d like to see them naked? Seriously though: you mean the puppets in the store? I wouldn’t say those dummies are ‘sexy’ but they definitely look interesting. I always wanted to do something with them on stage. Any idea where you can buy those?
Grave Concerns: That’s funny! I like that…and you’re right too! Hmmm, not sure. I know there are those life-like blow-up dolls around. Maybe online…or check with a department store, maybe you could borrow one, and in exchange, sign some CDs…or pass out some tickets. If I owned a store, I’d do it! Hey, maybe even sign the mannequin when you’re “finished with her”…yeah, that could work. Let me know if you do inquiry about it.
Grave Concerns: I love the smell of rain, especially at night, during the warm months when the windows are open, and there’s a soft breeze along with it. The sound of it touching the ground, and landing on the leaves is very calming. How about you?
Hehe, you describe it here in a very charming way. And yes, I like that too. During winter, when it’s cold and windy, I don’t like rain at all. But as you describe it here, you can count me in. Where do you live?
Grave Concerns: Thank you, that was very sweet of you to say. (: I live in Dedham, MA., which is close to Boston.
Grave Concerns: If your were to write a short story or a novel based on one of your songs, which one would it be? And if it was to be adapted to the silver screen, who would be your leading actor and actress?
Funny question. I am not sure, maybe we could arrange some kind of modern “1984” story out of NuSpeak, which was of course inspired by that book. I want Christian Bale as a hero, and Christopher Walken as the bad guy.
Grave Concerns: Do you know how super-cool it would be to have both actors playing those roles? Yeah, VERY cool! GREAT actors…I’d go to that movie! (:
Grave Concerns: Do you think evil is born or raised? How about the goodness in people? Can people change…for the better, and for the worse?
I guess ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are inventions of the human race anyway. Nature is amoral, but as a human with a conscious mind we can understand things and judge them.
Grave Concerns: What is something about the human race that really gets you down…make you wonder…how could that person do that, act that way…say that?
I can be quite irritated by any form of fanaticism, especially religious fanaticism. Maybe I could feed the impression that I am very intolerant towards religious people, but that is not true at all. My father for examples believes in God, and I don’t have problems with these personal ‘private’ ideas. I am very open- minded about it. People have the right to believe whatever they want to believe. God or whatever. But if this ‘personal belief’ gets mangled up with, say, politics or science, then I feel my disgust rising. I was especially inspired by some American situations where schoolbooks get screwed by religious ideas, where politics is inspired by divine ideas, and where there’s an absolute certainty that God is on ‘their side’. It’s scary because it’s no personal idea anymore, but truly a general one saying “one nation under God” having a whole propaganda machinery supporting that idea.
Grave Concerns: Well said Jan, thank you for that! I’m all for people being who they want to be, believing in what they want to believe in, as long as, it isn’t damaging to others. I don’t want people to push their beliefs, and then say if you don’t believe in them, you’re not a good person, or you’re going to hell. We need peace, we need freedom, but we need to be respectful and not cause harm in the process.
Grave Concerns: What then, on the other hand, does the human race do to make you feel simply proud and amazed by?
Their inventions, e.g. those tall and heavy airplanes that can fly. Medical progress. In fact: knowledge in general. Quite amazing!
Grave Concerns: It really is! It blows my mind away, what can actually be created.
Grave Concerns: What would you like to say to your fans right now?
Thank you for being part of the story! Without fans, a band is of course nothing. So thank you for growing with us!
Grave Concerns: Jan, it’s been such a wonderful pleasure to meet you, and we here at Grave Concerns wish Diskonnekted continued success in all of their artistic endeavors. May great rewards come to you all through your new album, “Old School Policies”. Please keep in touch! Cheers!
Thank you for the interview! Sorry for the waiting btw!
Grave Concerns: You’re VERY welcome, Jan. And please, no worries at all, we’re so happy that you wanted to have this interview. (:
For more information on Diskonnekted check out http://www.myspace.com/diskonnekted and http://www.diskonnekted.com/
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