Saturday, 21st July 2018. 10:48:24pm ET
Interviews Synthpop, New Wave Interview- The Mystic Underground


Band: The Mystic Underground
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
Date: 8/5/04

Hey, how are you doing?

Doing peachy.... a lil stressed out but finding peace and relaxation behind this keyboard...

When can we expect your next release in 2004?

Our next release will be the long awaited debut album entitled, "The Nameless and The Faceless". It's the long bandied about offering to the masses that will finally make its way to your cd players this September. Right now, if you're looking through cyberspace, you can also hear our current single called "April Fools' Day".

What direction do you see this release heading after it is released?

Hopefully the direction of your cd player, walkman, or I pod. We want it all! Seriosuly, we would like people to listen to it and get a good feeling about it. Let us know what they think of it, come out to a show and feel the groove. We think there really is something for everyone on the record to get into and don't mind having a lot of people hear it as long they are fans of music and not looking to simply bide their time until something comes along.

Is this a self-release or do you have label lined- up?

This will be released through our Stereosonic imprint in conjunction with Eindie, a nice little label run here in NYC by a darling lass named Stacey (insert shameless plug here). We're looking into distribution into the UK but right now it'll be available through CDBaby, record stores with musical taste and probably, file sharing programs everywhere....

Was this album easier to work on?

Being that this album was for the most part self-produced, that in itself was hard for us because we're more accustomed to the songwriting aspect of things. Having to worry about the finer things of the music itself and how it sounded was tough because it involves editing yourself and being able to criticise yourself from a listener's point of view. It's one thing to listen to a track and stroke your chin and say,"hey, this is ace, who wouldn't love this" and then turn around and really look at it and realise that the average listener might have tuned out long ago. All in all, the album was a learning process but we're satisfied.

What did the two of you want to do differently with this album?

With this album and our ethic as a band is simply to hear what we hear around us, to take it in, and try to do it better. Being an electronic band, you naturally have to bear the brunt of the stereotypes that the machines limit what can be expressed from an emotional standpoint because the music sound so cold and inhuman. This album we hope to shed some light on that and add soul and feeling to the music. From a lyrical standpoint, I wanted to come from an area where there was a sense of indecision, not knowing what comes next and basically taking things as they come.

Have the two of you had any differences while making this new album?

Surprisingly, no. I was at my best behaviour during the recoding of this album. Ben and I tend to be very good about writing and recording songs. We have different tastes in music for the most part. He's into techno and house, while I'm all over the place but we find a common area which is a burning desire to write songs better than anybody else and utilising every sound known to man doing it. We basically don't want people to say, "Oh, that's The Mystic Underground, sounds like the last album..." Save that one for the White Stripes....

How do the New York crowds respond to your music?

The New York crowds are a fickle bunch to play to. It depends on which crowd since it's really diverse here. Now that the new new wave scene has taken off here with bands like Interpol, The Stills, Radio 4, what have you... people are looking fondly upon the 80s sound so it was only a matter of time before most people would give bands with danceable sounds a little more attention. On the flip side, the goth/industrial side has stayed pretty much the same, sometimes you wonder if anyone realised that there are bands in their hometown playing out, but instead they'd rather dance to Headhunter over and over and over and over.....

How are you promoting your current music within the synthpop scene right now?

At the moment, we haven't done too much. I don't think there's much in the way of a unified scene for there really to promote to. Everyone's into their own thing and don't really seem too bothered unless it's Depeche Mode related. These days we're been more involved with the local band scene in NYC but with the album approaching, we definitely hope that everyone will take a listen to it and find something about it they'll want to tell their friends about.

Of your two singles, Mary's Dead and April's Fool day, is there one that is showing a stronger response?

It certainly seems it would be AFD at this point. Mary's Dead definitely got us some notice but it could be said that the song was a little morbid. Dancing to a song detailing the attack and murder of a young girl probably is not one's idea of a great night out at the club! April Fools' Day is just a song we were proud of when we wrote it and had a great feeling about. It worked out because since the album took so long to get out and we have new songs in the can, April Fools' Day also offers a glimpse into one of the many areas out heads are in at this point. Seeing the results on Myspace and the nice words written by people on there have definitely been rewarding to us to say that we're on to something.

Is there really an "April" that has inspired this song?

Nah, not really, just coming to terms with a bad experience and putting it to bed. I'm sure we've all felt that way once... or every other month....

Are these two songs a good indication of what to expect the rest of the album to sound like?

It's kind of hard to say because since we like so many diffferent styles of music. There are sprinkles of everything on the record. There are ballads, there are upbeat, even a pseudo-EBM type song on there. I think people will get the gist of what we're about on the record throughout. There is some kind of theme amongst all this madness!

What was the main musicial influence for the music aspect of this new album?

I couldn't point to one musical influence for the record. We delve into so many sounds and take something from everything and everyone we've heard. Stuff we hate will still be appreciated in some form because it's all music nonetheless. We're all over the place, we're just a mess, a cacophonic mess!

Why is The Mystic Underground music considerd "The soundtrack of your life's trials and tribulations".?

Sinply because we write about life. Not in the everyday, "She hurt me, What will I do?", "Life sucks but i guess it'll work out someday" vein but from a more realistic place. Everything will not always work out, things will take longer than normal to pan out, if at all. I write from a lot of personal history but those pieces will evolve to include other things to tell a story, express a stream of emotion that might be felt at that time, what have you. Simply, we want people to feel. We don't want them to feel like they are killing time by having a Mystic Underground record on. We want to be the band where someone can turn around and say, " I was doing this and I had "Townies" by The Mystic Underground playing". We want to be remembered....

Besides making music, what do you enjoy doing in Long Island, New York?

Nothing... we work, we sleep, we eat, we wonder what happened? I live on the outskirts on Manhattan and mutter to myself while Ben tries to figure out what's wrong with me...

You are a Morriseey fan, what do you think of the new album?

Brilliant, it's right up there with Viva hate and Vauxhall and I. It's good to see him getting the respect he deserves especially in light of seeing all the bands blatantly ripping the Smiths off. The only thing that breaks my heart is seeing that Fred Durst was allowed to be photographed wearing a Hatful of Hollow shirt at a movie premiere and leaving without any sort of violent act acted out. Where's the humanity?

What are you doing this summer in relation to the new album?

Playing shows, promoting the album, it goes out for servicing as well in September so listen in and request the songs on your local radio station or we'll be forced to find you at your place of business and hang over you until you call....

Anything else you would like to add to this interview for Grave Concern readers? T

hank you for your time and patience, Julie. All of you in cyberspace... BUY OUR RECORD! Keep in touch with us at the website!

vladimir valette

stereosonic recordings

new single "april fools' day" available now


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