Tuesday, 21st August 2018. 5:28:46pm ET
Interviews Ethereal Interview- Submarine Fleet
Band: Submarine Fleet
Interviewer: Jules Cohen
Date: 2/1/05

Five piece plus electronics. Rolling deep bass guitar. Standard electric guitar and baritone electric guitar in jagged cross-relations. Swirling, moody overtones. Eclectic. Eccentric Lucid lyric tours from unexpected territories. Stylistic residents of the "shoegazer-ish" neighborhood (is there really even a proper name for it?). Submarine Fleet formed gradually, one member at a time. Conceptualized in the fall of 2001 by Trance to the Sun and Blade Fetish guitar player Ashkelon Sain who relocated to Portland, Oregon for the express purpose of launching the group. Joined by long-time long distance collaborator Ashe Ruppe of Nocturne~pdx~, The Elysium Facade and d|sekt, the band began to take shape after eventually adding guitarist Lauren McKenzie of Saturnalia Trio in July of 2003. Finally, in August of 2004 the vocal talents of Blade Fetish vocalist & guitarist, Mark Linder, were added on permanent basis. Ashkelon, who produced Cinema Strange's recent album "The Astonished Eyes of Evening", and has worked with such luminaries as Gordon Sharp of This Mortal Coil and Cindy Talk, released several albums worth of his solo material under the quasi secret name of "Submarine Fleet", which has progressed into this version of the band. The band is currently working on a full length album with newly added drummer Dan Canty.-www.submariefleet.com

Interview with Submarine Fleet

Mark Linder, vocalist

Ashe Ruppe, bassist

Lauren McKenzie, guitarist

Ash Sain, baritone guitarist

Drummer Dan Canty not present.

-Jules Cohen for GC

JC- Submarine Fleet.

How are you all doing and how is it going with this latest project?

A.S.: I believe that Mark feels as though he’s just escaped from the loony bin. Mostly he acts like he ought to be in one. What was it today, like 31 degrees Fahrenheit? And you show up for rehearsal in shorts and flip-flops?

M.L.: We are not crazy.

A.R.: By the way Mark….you need to clean the bathroom…it’s your turn!

M.L.: No, I cleaned it twice; you’ve only cleaned it once. Still your turn.

AR.: You ARE crazy!

A.S.: At least we don’t ALL live together. We’d kill each other. I suppose we’re good though. Ashe and I have been working as taxi drivers here in Portland, while we’re not working on music. Lauren does some fine illustration work which she’s working on getting published. If you’ve seen our flyers that we post around town, (not on the internet) that’s her work. Dan’s not here tonight, but I should say with some enthusiasm that he’s the drummer we’ve always wanted.

AR.: Yes I actually work maybe 2 or 3 days a week. I have been spending a lot of time in Texas with my fiancé and working on my other two bands The Elysium Façade and d|sekt, but Submarine Fleet is one big happy family! haha

JC- I know that you are all veterans in the music scene...is this an offshoot of Trance to the Sun and Blade Fetish?

A.S.: No, it isn’t. The main reason being that T.T.T.S. and B.F. no longer exist. The next reason being that we’re performing 100% new material.

JC- Is this a departure from the mentioned bands or a natural progression?

M.L.: I’d say it’s completely different. Ashkelon and I are both in this band, yes, but Submarine Fleet shares very little else with either of those two bands.

A.R.: Different mindset… different time period… different musicians… it’s just not the same thing. Mark and Ashkelon both were in Blade Fetish together and worked together in Trance to the Sun, I was even a live member in TTTS for a short while. Perhaps it’s a departure and a natural progression at the same time, regardless Submarine Fleet is an entirely different entity from the other aforementioned bands.

A.S.: Yes, it’s true; I’ve been playing for a long time. And I’ve played in a fair handful of groups since moving here four years ago. I even went on tour as temporary keyboard player for The Prids last winter. And I played in a Cure tribute band for a while. But at some point I realized that the most rewarding musical experiences I’d ever had were in association with Mark Linder. So we made the effort. We went cross country. And now Mark and I are able to pursue music together again. We have a very odd manner of working together. One of us usually will explain what the concept for a song is to be, in an intellectual manner. Then the other one of us writes it.

And yes, maybe our project is, as you suggest, a ‘natural progression’. But we’re not writing music in an attempt to please some supposed fan base that may or may not remember who we were. This is a clean slate for us, writing music that we would like to listen to... writing a kind of music that seems to us to be absent in the world right now. Call it what you want.

M.L.: I couldn’t have put it more succinctly, Ashkelon.

A.S.: Certainly, you ought to knock off some points for it’s long windedness.

M.L.: A+ for content, B- for length.

JC- I just learned that Ashkelon produced the latest Cinema Strange cd. Yay...lets all speak marauder...lol...How does this all fit together?

A.S.: I love Cinema Strange. They do freaky art music. I’d already recorded a couple of singles for them when they asked me to produce an album. It was completed in about a dozen 12-hour sessions. My primary effort was in keeping the mix as trippy as possible. One day when the song we were working on didn’t sound trippy enough, I made Michael do a keyboard track blindfolded while the rest of us swung the keyboard around like a piñata. I’m proud of the way that album turned out. I think it stayed true to everyone’s intentions, mine and theirs. I’d work with them anytime.

JC- Will this be a project that will have cd releases or will it be just a live gig effort? What are your plans for Submarine Fleet?

M.L.: This isn’t really a project. It’s a full-blown commitment, for everyone involved, I believe. With that said there will be both live shows and released recordings.

A.S.: We have plans to record a 5 song EP next month. And if you know about the music I’ve done in the past, then you know that working with a non-synthetic drummer is something I haven’t done a lot of. So I upgraded my studio to 24track.

A.R.: Playing live is a big part of what this band is about….its really the best way to experience our music….there is just something about playing live that you just cant capture in a recording environment. By bringing in Dan on drums it has really changed the overall energy we have when we play…especially after using programmed drums for so long. This whole project began a while back under the name Electromagnet which involved Ashkelon, Lauren and myself along with a different vocalist and programmed drums….We played several shows under that name until we felt that some changes needed to be made….namely live drums, specifically for live performances, so really playing live has been one of the main focuses of the band since its inception. You can certainly expect lots of live shows as well as cd releases from us.

JC- Can each of the band members tell me what your influences are.

A.S.: I hate the infamous “I” question, I really do. But I’ll tell you what’s going on in the room right now. Mark is playing song after song by groups I claim not to like. Right now we’re hearing “Nobody’s Fault” by Beck. I think he had P.J. Harvey on a minute ago. Failure before that. I have to admit, though, these particular songs are pretty good. Whoa! I spoke too soon. What the hell is this?

M.L.: It’s Salt. It’s a band from like Greenland or something. You don’t like them?

A.S.: This song is bothering me.

M.L.: Ok, I turned ‘em off. Influences? Dunno. There are hundreds of artists I admire, but I’m not sure you could say I am overly influenced by any of them.

A.S.: Are you influenced by David Sylvian?

M.L.: No, not musically at least. His music influences me in other areas though. I think that’s how it should be. Ashkelon, are you influenced London Suede…?

A.S.: I certainly learned a few things from them about what works well when writing a song from the melody on down. What about you, Ashe?

A.R.: Well…I certainly….without a doubt draw my biggest influence from Fat Albert and the Junkyard band……….with a little Jesus and Mary Chain, The Damned, Echo & The Bunnymen and Play Dead thrown in.

JC- please post here an MP3 to share with our readers so that they can get to know Submarine fleet. Can you also give us any other addresses...are you on myspace?

AR- We are on indeed on Myspace…..isn’t everyone!?! …. Here are some of our links

Submarinefleet.com

Myspace.com/submarinefleet

Mp3.com.au/submarinefleet

There is some info on the Latex Records site since Im personally signed to that label with another band that I no longer perform with. Latex always promotes my projects. Latexrecords.com

You can find us on Live Journal too. Our username is “submarinefleet”

JC- Great talking with you and have a blast with this latest musical project...somehow I know you all will.

AR- Thanks!!


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