Roughhausen is the current project of former Front Line assembly,WILL& DECREE guitar player Jeff Stoddard who is joined by the delicious hello kitty sexiness of death rock bassist Lin Pei-yin and the psychotic groove funk punk poundings of Asian metal circuits legendary Billy Drummed,The Medicated Generation is Roughhausen's 4th full length LP and debut on U.S. based Labtoy Music.
Phill – Thank you for giving Grave Concerns Ezine this interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Roughhausen - Thanks for the bail money, I was getting a weird vibe from that one legged dude in the Santa suit. Ok so about me, I was born in the back seat of a Ford Pinto during half-time of an Illinois Bunnies game. They lost and that set me on the road to ruin. I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners and the taste of children’s' tears and bitter disappointment.
Phill – Roughhausen started as a side project in Skinny Puppy's studio, when was it that you realised it was more than just a side project?
Roughhausen - Hmmmm, interesting question... certainly not while I was at Puppy's studio. I was there with Peterson working on the first Decree album “Wake Of Devastation “ all the Roughhausen stuff was recorded after hours, late night sessions, and early Mornings. Eventually, we finished Decree and then all the stuff with Dwayne happened and I was having some chemical issues of my own. I just kind of lost focus so I left Vancouver to hang out in Europe and Asia and took a break from music, but 3 years later. I was still thinking about the material you know? It was left open, and I had brought the dat and sessions tapes with me so eventually I just settled down in one place long enough to open up the tapes and finish the album. Once it was finished I wanted to tour on it and then putting together a band to tour it became my focus.
Phill – Your blog is amusing Jeff, but why call it Piss & Vinegar [Memoirs Of An Asshole]?
Roughhausen – Ha! I called it that because I get a lot of hate mail. The blog is supposed to be satire infused with sarcastic social commentary… there are more than enough blogs pandering to the delicate sensibilities and fragile egos in the scene. That kind of self-serving “look at Me! I'm taking a pouty selfie in the bathroom but I'm edgy” douche-bagery is just as bad in the electro scene as reality TV and honey boo boo.. it's just a different flavor so I thought it apt to let people know right away that there was some shit throwing inside. I'm a huge fan of social satire and the comedians that shut down a room with a joke that is so true yet so uncomfortable people don't know whether to gasp or giggle. I honestly think art is supposed to be uncomfortable at times..at the very least reflect parts of ourselves, our culture that warrant parody or scorn. Apathy is the enemy of a life well lived. I'd much rather have someone saying “fuck you you suck!” than “meh whatever” At least with the fuck you I have forced some kind of feeling, Shit I still get hate mail from songs on the first LP and I currently have a whole new slew of hate mail regarding the song [sic] fuk and my obvious “hatred of women”.. if thine stick was removed from thou ass long enough to actually listen to the lyric you'd realise it's about club kids turning to prostitution to pay for the party drugs and that men and women are painted with the same pathetic, broken-down, morally corrupt brush. Christ!! The girl that sang the female vocal on that song. English is her second language and it took her all of 30 secs to get what it was about...
Phill – You have just released The Medicated Generation, all reviews have been amazing, but what is your favourite song from the new album?
Roughhausen - Oh you heartless bastard! How can you ask such a question? Honestly man I can't answer that. I assume you've heard the album so you know that it crosses a few different genres and styles. How do you choose between peanut butter and chocolate? They both have their place and time.
Phill – And why call the album The Medicated Generation?
Roughhausen - This is by far the most medicated society in all of human history and I think that the news belies the fact that the general physical health and emotional well being are absolute shit. This generation is trying to medicate life away. Life is not a spectator sport you know? Pain is part of life, as is uncertainty fear longing remorse etc. So maybe it's time to live life with all the colourful emotions that entails instead of hiding behind a pharmaceutical rainbow of dulled senses and apathetic doldrums.
Phill – Of all the people you have worked with in your musical life, who has been the one that has inspired you the most and who has been the most fun to work with?
Roughhausen – That sir is a fantastic question! Never been asked that before... Years ago I did some television scores for the CBC ,Canadian Broadcasting, for my non Canadian friends and this old guy that worked at the studio in the station did musical scores and folly in-house. I worked with him for a week and what struck me was his ability to write in different voices, you know he did whimsy, fear, anger, joy lust etc whatever was needed. At the time I was pretty much limited to one or two emotions and it really made me notice how limited my skills as a writer were, after I finished that job I worked hard for years to develop the skills to write in different voices, to understand the musical math of emotion...
…....Now The most fun person I have ever worked with.....hmmmmm I guess Shikee from Android Lust, that girl is nothing but sunshine and good times a real pleasure to be around.
Phill – You recently moved from Shinto Records to Labtoy Records, why the move to Labtoy?
Roughhausen - Oni is busy with some other projects right now and Labtoy was just starting a new push into the market, it just seemed like the right choice. They were looking to expand and I wanted to let someone else do more of the heavy lifting so we could concentrate more on touring and playing. We also signed a deal with Crysella Records in Germany to press and distribute Roughhausen CDS in the EU and they booked a European tour for us in March.
Take a listen: Miasma
Phill – What is Roughhausen's ethos?
Roughhausen - Why does it hurt when I pee?
Phill – How did you choose the remixes that appeared on The Medicated Generation?
Roughhausen - I contacted a group of friends and said “Look these are the songs that need to be remixed pick any song you want and do anything you want”. I was very specific in my choices of
remixers not so much remixes if that makes any sense? I choose friends and collages that were super talented but also who had a musicality in their work. I chose players who had production skills, but were not just technicians. I wanted the songs reinterpreted and to do that you need musical skills... to change arrangements, key, time, feeling, whatever. I get a lot of work mixing and remixing stuff and it never ceases to amaze me when a client will send me 12 two or four bar loops and I'm like what do you want me to do with this? Do you want the song remixed and just edited with some studio flash?, because there is a huge difference between remixing and editing.
Phill - 'The Medicated Generation is not your average electronic album, this is a hardcore revelation for ears that can handle the Roughhausen sound!' is a quote from a very good review I read. What is your reaction to this quote?
Roughhausen - I loved the not your average electronic album part. I love electronic music but I personally feel it's gotten lazy, average, safe, and unimaginative. It’s been in a rut for years. Labels only want to release stuff that sounds like something that worked before, artists are playing it safe to scape the same few dollars from the myopic “that ain't industrial” and the “music is free now man” net debating wankers. I don't know if it's a reaction to the free for all download rape-fest or just a style that has run its course but either way it bores me...I'm not saying my shit is the be all end all , hate me, hate my stuff ! Give it a shit review, but at least notice it ain't flavour of the week. I get lots of bad reviews mostly for being too this and not enough that, but I've never been accused of being mediocre or not having point of view. That would be a crime against the art of music.
Phill – In your mind what is the Roughhausen sound?
Roughhausen - A sleazy sarcastic romp through the piss stained sheets and blood stained streets
Phill – Sum your life up in two words?
Roughhausen - and now?
Phill – What one thing would you consider is your favourite toy?
Roughhausen – Does my penis count?
Phill – What one thing do you hate about the youth of today?
Roughhausen - iPhones
Phill – Thanks so much for giving Grave Concerns this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Roughhausen - Thank you for inviting me and thank you for supporting independent music and art.
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