| Band: Null Device|
Interviewer: Matt Willis
Null Device has clearly emerged as one of the best Independent electronic bands. I had the honor to sit down with Eric Oehler to discuss the past, present, and future of their music.
Opening Statement (Matt): It is an absolute pleasure to have you join us for an interview at Grave Concerns E-zine website...
Null Device: My pleasure.
Matt: What have you guys been up to musically and leisurely these days now that the London EP has been released?
Null Device: Leisure. Hmmmm? Don't see much of that anymore! We're currently suing the time to write some new material, get some new live arrangements nailed down, plan our next tour...the fun never stops.
I've been cooking a lot, though.
Matt: The London EP is a brilliantly crafted piece of work and in my estimation your most polished and well-rounded album to date. Can you elaborate on the overall production for this album and how it has differed from others. Explain the song "A Walk in London" it seems very story driven? Can you elaborate on this??
Null Device: Thanks. This EP was conceived as another sort of "midway point" between our last album (A Million Different Moments) and whatever we do next - although I'm not entirely sure what that is yet - and also served as a sort of testbed for some new production techniques and such. It gave us a chance to polish (and have some remixers polish) some of our tracks again. And Dan Clark, our guitarist, did just an amazing job arranging the acoustic version. It's gratifying to know that under all those layers of bleepy noises, there's still an actual song there.
The song itself comes from our last album, and it is essentially story-driven. I was planning a trip to London when I wrote it, and pretty much all the things mentioned in the song were in fact done on that trip. Of course, nobody wants to hear me reciting trip itineraries, so we built it around a sort of broken-heart song as well to make it a bit mroe interesting.
Matt: Take me to the beginning, how did you guys meet (Eric Oehler/ Eric Goedken). Describe your partnership with your band-mate(s). How long have you been working together and how does he compliment you musically? Give me a timeline of the band.
Null Device: Eric and I met our first week of college, many many years ago. He and my roommate shared a few classes and he came over to study while I was listening to the first Electronic (New Order side project) album. He asked me about it, we started talking about music and we've been friends ever since. I eventually started writing music, and Eric G started writing lyrics, so we started working together. Since then we've added people with the live band - Dan Clark and Chuck McKenzie - who also contribute the process. We're still trying to settle into a more collaborative process, which takes time, but so far there've been no major bumps and everybody still seems pretty interested in making music.
Matt: What are some of your favorite synths, machinery, and other musical equipment that are essential to your sound and used in the realm of production?
Null Device: Right now I've become a whole-cloth convert to Apple's Logic Pro. It has some quirks, but the sound routing architecture is so amazingly flexible, and it has some really nice built-in timesavers for processing vocals, guitars, etc. I've been using Ableton Live a lot recently. That's just fun to use.
Other than that, everything's up in the air. We tend to swap around hardware and software synths depending on what fits the song. I have an array of weird ethnic instruments stacked against the wall of my studio too, which get used from time to time.
Matt: What are some of your past musical influences that have inspired you?
What are you currently listening to?
Null Device: We're all over the map. There're the obvious Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode influences, Dr. Goedken likes A-Ha a lot too and you can hear echoes of that in his lyrics, I listen to a lot of pop music from the middle east and india, as well as a lot of UK club music, Dan's got some majestic metal and punk on his iPod, Chuck listens to bluegrass, and we all listen to various alt-rock bands...we're kinda all over the place. In the end we end up writing music that hopefully has few obvious influences but a ton of less-obvious ones.
Matt: Your song-writing ability is phenomenal.What is the song-writing process for you? Who are some of your favorite song-writers?
Null Device: Thanks! The process tends to be pretty fluid. Often I'll get lyrics from Dr. Goedken, or a guitar riff from Dan, and kinda go from there. Sometimes it's the other way around - I'll start writing a song and get Eric and Dan to fill in the blanks. I tend to write in a pretty linear fashion, and let the harmonies sort of develop on their own.
Matt: Finally, Give us a preview of what's ahead for Null Device. Any new albums or material on the horizon?
Null Device: Well, we're deep into the production of our third full-length album, which we hope to have done by next spring. Then we hope to tour on the back of that. We've also got a few festival gigs in the pipe as well. We're going to be busy.
Closing Statement(Matt): Thanks a lot for joining us. We wish you great luck in anything that you do in the future and thank you so much for joining us today!
Closing Response (Eric): And thank you!
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