The Troll Finder General aka the big TFG, is back with Phobos Reactor and their double the trouble remix called “DELIRiuMX“, where we believe the MX stands for mix and not Mexico. But speaking of Mexico, that is where No Devotion Records the label is also based. Annnd life goes full circle……
“Kangastuksia” gets the Finnish Oldschool Union RMX and true to the name, it gets the old school stompy action going with Mac Hine guiding the wubbing delights about going a bit crazy after a night on the turps and the mother of all hangovers. Then there is the decent into whirling synth induced dizziness with the second version of “Kangastuksia” from yet another TFG comrade in arms, Australia’s General KangarooSGS, who also moonlights under pseudonym Ant Banister.
The theory is to fix a massive hangover, is to keep drinking, which is for most of us, probably a very bad idea and for the character in this scenario, something to regret later but at least he got two big remixes for his trouble!
Arctic Lights from County Cork in Ireland, have released the new video to the single, “Holy Joe“. If you want to know about the track, then you might have to read the review or watch the video….. or even better, do both! All I will say that this track reminds me of the off the wall style of the beloved Love & Rockets………
Last year, we reviewed the industrial EP, The Alarm by French duo The Shadow’s GoneOut. The guys have just released a video for this billowing dirge and klaxon filled title track, which wavers between violent protest in the streets and near oblivious behaviour. So please enjoy The Shadow’s Gone Out with “The Alarm“.
From the gothic wildlands of San Jose, Costa Rica, Ariel Maniki And The Black Halos are back with the single “Supernova“. It has been bat stamped from the label Deepland Records, a precursor to the new album, FRACTALS, which is slated for release at the end of March, 2023.
There is a low ground swell that bursts forth, shimmying drums, cheeky synths, and the guitar chiming out before delivering you into vocal arms of Maniki. The brightness of the guitar work enhances the deep, melodic drawl of the vocals.
If you suffer from epilepsy, then you should probably steer clear of the video, but otherwise, drench yourself in the sumptious delights of both the visual and sonic. Maniki’s admiration of The Cure is easily heard, and yet there is no mimicry, just a reflection. A love so intense, it burns like a “Supernova“, eventually transforming into another celestial entity that affects everything around it. An extraordinarily beautiful post-punk track from Ariel Maniki AndThe Black Halos.
We Are the Compass Rose is the first solo album from Paul Devine: undoubtedly best-known as the frontman and driving force behind 1980s Sheffield UK post-punk / early goth outfit Siiiii. The band formed when Devine was just 19, and were initially active from 1983-1986. Equally notable, then, is the fact that Devine’s solo debut comes forty years this year since he first formed Siiiii.
For English speakers, Siiiii would be more correctly pronounced “See” (not “Sigh”), taking their name from a passage in William S. Burroughs’ The Soft Machine, in which a Spanish-speaking man enjoys being rogered in a public toilet so much that he exclaims, “Siiiii!”. The band themselves, however, have always happily gone along with either pronunciation, thus becoming better known as “Sigh”.
In their heyday, Siiiii shared stages with The Psychedelic Furs, The Chameleons, and Artery; shared members with Pulp (guitarist and drummer Wayne Furniss); and appeared on compilations alongside The Birthday Party and Public Image Ltd. After first quitting the band in ’86, Devine also played with The Niceville Tampa (later simply Niceville), and in 1989 moved to South Wales, where he played for a few years with DVO.
Siiiii reformed again from 2005-2014, even playing as far afield as New York in 2006, having been “rediscovered” by global audiences, who first heard about them through the diligent efforts of goth / post-punk historian Mick Mercer. But during both incarnations of Siiiii, Devine struggled more than most with the pressures of public attention and performing live, later learning with professional help in 2019 that he was experiencing ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Tourette’s Syndrome. More recently, Devine has instead been making a name for himself as an author, publishing four (count them) – four fucking novels since 2020.
We Are the Compass Rose is in many ways a far cry from the jagged and spiky post-punk of Siiiii, albeit peppered throughout with elements that will make perfect sense to fans of that era. Eclectic in nature, We Are the Compass Rose focuses more on the weird and wonderful aspects of dark and gloomy music, from pastoral Avant-folk, to spoken word set against minimalist sound collages, and indeed elements of those earlier post-punk roots. A sensible writer might recommend the best parts of this album to fans of early Bowie (c.1968-71), Current 93, Syd Barret-era Floyd, Coil, classic Bad Seeds or solo Mick Harvey, or The Legendary Pink Dots.
‘Come Unto Me’ is a sort of droning gothic plaintive chant set against sparse psychedelia; blurring the lines between sacred and secular ecstasies. ‘Hearse Song’ is an adaptation of a traditional song, also known as ‘The Worms Crawl In’, commencing with the cautionary line, “Don’t ever laugh as a hearse goes by”. Popular during the period of the First World War, fragments of the lyrics are found as far back as The Monk by Matthew Lewis from 1796, often hailed as the first gothic novel. Devine’s rendition is the rattling bones of an acoustic Bad Seeds outtake; a rickety horse-drawn undertaker’s carriage making a frenzied, spiralling descent into madness; the wooden wheels about to fly off at any moment, while layers of nefarious character voices assail the ears like a swarm of muttering, fluttering bats. ‘The Mill’ could be The Smiths at their most maudlin, and is among the most obvious and accessible conventional ‘song’ forms on display up to this point.
‘Seeing’, which contains the titular line “We are the Compass Rose”, is a striking highlight. Devine’s oratory style here is both masterful and hypnotic, a soothing rumble in one’s ear (albeit with suitably theatrical dynamic to remain engaging throughout), while the prose recited comes from the segue between books 1 and 2 of his most recent novel, Gerda’s Tower. The disquieting motifs of a muted, organ-like tone drift in and out of earshot, barely accompanied by a ride cymbal and incidental percussion. It may also serve, perhaps more by accident than by design, to remind some of us that we have been sleeping on Devine’s literary talent for a little too long.
‘One Skin for Another’ heads back into heavily Smiths-inspired territory, and feels perhaps a little superfluous in context, albeit fairly well done. ‘For the Love of ParkusMann’ is a tender ballad, with a sense of uplifting and transcendence from sadness, which suddenly turns all spacey, awash with flanger effects and sweeping filters, a-la Donovan. ‘Jherome’ is closer to the angular post-punk of Siiiii, whereas the recording and production sounds more like a band of performing flies in a shoebox, recorded by a solitary contact mic.
‘Your Spell’ is a short but satisfying love song: very pretty acoustic guitar arpeggios and tender vocals, accompanied by washes of synth-strings. It ends leaving you hanging on wistfully for more, but that’s also what makes it so perfectly complete. ‘Lassie’ uses the old standard ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’ as its intro, blending seamlessly into a swampy-blues-meets-post-punk singalong-dirge, led by intertwining Howard & Harvey Birthday Party-style guitars and Fall-ish vocals. It suffers a little from some of the same recording and production issues common to most “band” (guitar, bass, and drums)-based songs on the album, but is otherwise quite enjoyable.
‘The Mermaid Song’ is another standout: a song describing an unknowable song. It calls you in to the idea of a mesmerising siren song that will lead you down into the deep, without you ever having actually heard that song, which ultimately led the protagonist to his own doom. Devine is in fine voice here, smooth and lulling, with intriguing acoustic guitars and lovely string arrangements behind him.
‘Every Day is One Day Closer to the Grave’ is both an obvious truism (which the album is littered with), and a better example of a “band” sound than any other on the album. The sound is bigger and fuller, while vocally, Devine shares some similarities here with the late Terry Hall. There is backing from at least one of many credited female backing vocalists, and the whole thing collapses into some kind of astral dispersion of its core elements, ultimately becoming stardust.
‘I Am What I Am’ is the old Broadway musical number: starting with atmospheric piano and intimate voice, before moving into a more vaudeville-meets-English music hall rendition. It quickly moves from there to a stupidly overblown cabaret showband arrangement, complete with elaborately nonsensical brass and strings, and works perfectly as a conclusion to the album, insomuch as the Sid Vicious rendition of ‘My Way’ serves as an entirely appropriate conclusion to the Sex Pistols.
All this from a man who would happily show you his arse and bollocks of a late evening, if only Facebook would allow it, while a long-suffering person named Linzi shakes their head in dismay. We Are the Compass Rose from Paul Devine is a very good album, from a very important artist. The album would probably be even better with less than a handful of songs omitted. Devine showcases here how diverse and eclectic his vocal talents are, ranging from droning choral gloom, to weird and wonderful character voices, through to brilliantly smooth lead baritones in a goth, new-wave, or post-punk style, and engagingly theatrical spoken-word oration. Finding his own voice in amongst all of this is occasionally a challenge, with some songs jumping back and forth stylistically between The Smiths and the Bad Seeds/Birthday Party. But the vast majority of the album, and certainly its strongest moments, don’t rely upon those tropes at all. Musically, conceptually, and creatively diverse, there is real art in what Devine is doing all these years since he first began with Siiiii, and one can only look forward to a second album with an identity entirely its own.
Andy J. Davies and James P. Quinn are the men behind the British goth band, Sirens Of Light, a project that they had originally started in the early 2000’s, when they released the album Nullus Margis Gothica, in 2004. Sadly, the album didn’t really gain the attention it deserved at the time, sinking into obscurity. Fast forward to 2021, where the guys have resurrected not only Sirens Of Light, but also revisited their debut album, revamping it with the original recordings and renaming it Nullus Margis Gothica MMXXI. The album is a cornucopia of gothic rock, with its roots firmly planted in the 80s and 90s but with a modern edge. This is where I tell you that I was lucky enough to speak to Andy, who is not only the lead singer, but also had classical training, was a member of the popular punk glam Soho Roses and is the founder, and current owner of TheAnalogue Room and Damage Recordings, involved in recording and production. If you want to know what bands Andy would choose to headline a festival with…..then you better keep reading… though honestly, I would give him at least a three day run!
Welcome Andy J. Davies of Sirens Of Light, to the hallowed hall of Onyx, where even the shadows are inky pools where no light shall touch.
Andy, you were involved in the band Soho Roses and James, I believe was in Last Rites. Have you been involved in any other projects other than these?
I’ve been in many bands over the years and worked with loads in the studio as a producer. James and I have been in several bands together over the years, Bombchild, Gilla Bruja, and most recently Delany.
The band, Sirens Of Light came together in the early 2000s, in the UK. How did this come about and what roles do you play within the band?
I’d had the idea of doing a traditional Goth rock project for several years as I seemed to me at the time no one was really doing that kind of style . I was spending some time at my parents home and started working on a couple of tracks, Maria and Prayer. A short time later I asked James if he’d like to come do some, and that’s how it happened…
The band was situated in London, so what was the gothic scene like then as compared to now?
It was kind of dying off by then, that’s kinda why I liked the idea of doing a more traditional style….mostly, Goth seemed to have turned into metal by the late 90’s and I remembered how great it was back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and wanted to bring that style back into play.
In 2004, the album “Nullus Margis Gothica” was recorded and in 2005, it was released on Bad Head Records. In your bio, it says the album had limited release, so what happened?
We did a very short run of CDs of the original version of the album. At the time, we didn’t do any PR around it or promote it in any way as we both had other projects that we had to prioritise so, apart from that initial release, the album was left alone.
So, in 2021, the both of you are back together and release the single “Justine” which was your debut single. What happened at this point in time that made you decide to give Sirens Of Light another go and why did you pick “Justine” as your single?
Ever since we left the album years ago, we had both said we should really do something with it many times. I thought I had lost all of the original multitracks from 2004 but found them, completely by accident, in early 2021 on an old hard drive in a draw in my studio….finding the original recording gave us the opportunity to update the album to be more currently relevant and so it seemed the time was ripe to do it.
The end of 2022 sees the unveiling of “Nullus Margis Gothica MMXXI”, where a lot of the original recording was used? What changes or additions were made this time around?
The original recordings were mostly complete but there were a few parts missing here and there. These obviously had to be replaced anyway. The biggest update was with new vocals on most, but not all, tracks and making the sounds in general richer and more modern……all this was done with the intention of not loosing the original atmosphere of the album, but the original has a charm all of its own!
You have electronic musician, Kandinski Noir, as a guest vocalist on the track “Siren Of Light”. How do you know Noir and how did he end up on this track?
By chance Kandinski released a single called Justine around the same time we did. He messaged me on social media and we started chatting here and there. When reworking Siren of Light, the idea came up for a new chorus part and the idea of having it in German worked for the track. I asked him to translate for us into German and it seemed a natural and interesting idea to me to see how our voices and styles would stack up, so asked him to do a vocal on the pre chorus and chorus…worked out great!
The album was designed as thematic concept from the start. Can you please tell us more about this?
Well, we originally set out to make a Gothic rock album that reflected the roots of the genre and, as the record developed, that would take the listener on a sonic journey. The subject matter of the songs were all treated from the same emotive standpoint and the material and lyrical content is meant to be thought provoking and create an atmosphere. Conceptually speaking, it’s a reflection on some of the more interesting aspects of the human condition, the emotions we all feel, the experiences we have…some more unusual than others…the questions we all ask. There are various sub concepts within the record as well, but on the whole, the record is meant to resonate with listeners on their level…there’s a lot of layers in it!!’
What is it about the power of femininity that drew you in to explore it?
The power of the feminine has been ever present throughout history. I’ve always found it interesting and I think it is an important subject that deserves exploration.
Do you have a favourite track off the album?
That’s a difficult question to answer….I like them all for different reasons….If I had to pick one, Rearrange….always really liked the vibes it gives off!
There are definitely tell tale time signatures and riffs, that speak of your goth rock influences, but I also feel there are sounds within of glam rock and synthwave? What are your musical influences?
What I’m really influenced by is great songs, films, books, ideas and people from all eras. I love music that’s evocative and impactful so anything really, regardless of genre or era. If I had to pick one big influence, I guess it would have to be David Bowie, one of my favourite all time artists…timeless!
Who do you listen to now?
I listen to more or less anything that comes along that catches my attention…I’m very much a song and sound head so, if it catches my ear, I’ll listen and enjoy….I still listen to my favourite music from over the years but the catalogue seems to be constantly expanding!’
What are your thoughts about the state of the gothic music scene at present?
To me it seems that the scene has continued as it did coming into the early 2000’s…goth seems for the most part to have become metal or EDM, any bands doing a more traditional style are very few and far between or are the actual bands reforming and performing their back catalogue. There are a couple of exceptions but very few as far as I’m aware….I may be way wrong about this….
Has this new found fan base inspired you to think about a new album in the future?
Well yes, were planning a new album for later in the year and an ep sometime spring or early summer with a very limited vinyl release of MMXXI in spring as well.
Sirens Of Light are going to headline a one day festival and the best bit is that you get to choose the other acts and we can even time travel to a certain era to steal them away. Whom are you choosing and from which part of their career?
Wow…what a question…David Bowie – Aladdin Sane period, AC/DC – Powerage period, Sisters of Mercy any period, Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man era, Hanoi Rocks – Saigon Shakes period, Hüsker Dü – Flip you Wig period, Pink Floyd from the 70’s, The Stranglers IV – ’77 to ’79, Sex Pistols – ’77, Iron Maiden – Di’Anno era, Blue Oyster Cult – Agents of Fortune, Fire of Unknown Origin era, The Cult – Love/Sonic Temple eras…….I could go in like this for hours…how many days is the festival???
Is there anything else in store for Sirens Of Light?
As I said before, we have the vinyl version of the album out in spring and a new e.p. to go with it, and a new album later in the year. I’m sure other things will come up as we go, there will be videos etc for example….watch this space!
Queensland band, Atticus Chimps, released their new single, “High At The Sight Of You” on February the 8th, The pop/punk/grunge duo from the Gold Coast Hinterland, are picking up air time on the alternative radio waves and also touring their high on life form of music.
A sonic hail of guitar noise hits your ears and it is a bit like a trip back to the 90s grunge era that spawned the wonderful Brisbane band Regurgitator. The cooed ooooo’s especially, that lapse into uplifting sound of the chorus’ gleeful announcement of being high at the sight of you. This song would have to go off live with the energy it brings.
Atticus Chimps have a huge verbosity about them for a two man band. For me, I really enjoyed this track with its massive sonic booming guitar and of course the thrashing drums that run this song at full throttle. The vocals are so utterly open and compliment “High At The Sight Of You“, giving you the taste of love’s first arrow in the modern era.
Diane Dubois and Kevin Hunter are Lunar Paths, an experimental darkwave transatlantic project and the 10th of February, saw the release of their newest single “Yeraz“. Yeraz is the Armenian word for ‘dream’ and the track itself features the Armenian wind instrument called a duduk.
There is a mix and flow of both traditional and modern drone in the form of drums which could mimic the dhol (Armenian Drum) and modern percussion, that creates a hypnotic undertow, giving a platform to the vocals, piano snippets and the duduk. The duduk is an exotic inclusion that paints a picture of faraway places in the Middle East.
The duduk is the a star of the track, with its low and warm tones that conjure visions of ancient peoples and meandering waterways. It is mesmerising while the even lower tones beneath, take on the sound of deep prayers in a temple. The vocals snake through the ethereal dreamtime. Join the the Lunar Paths new world order with “Yeraz“.
40 Octaves Below is the industrial project for Canadian Drake Moore and the newest album is MetaVerUs, released in January of 2023. This is the third studio album from 40 Octaves Below and is packed with a whooping fifteen tracks. The theme that ties this together is that the global network of media are creating mass misinformation, which in turn creates mass hysteria and hysterical populations are easier to control, never thinking to question why their rights are dwindling. The music itself is intense, with driving rhythms that you can easily lose yourself in, and dance to. So, we thought we better talk to Drake about MetaVerUs, that is about everything versus us, the average humans, and ask him all the important questions about this album, his collaborators and why it took thirteen years for 40 Octaves Below to release the first album….
Welcome Drake Moore to the desolate isle that is Onyx.
Hi Onyx. Pleasure to connect.
Your first album, “Digital Fracture” came out in 2019, but on the Bandcamp blurb, you mention that it was 13 years in the making. Can you please explain what you meant by this and what the culmination was leading up to the first release for 40 Octaves Below?
It’s a long story that pre-dates the current technology that allows most people with a decent workstation and DAW to produce music. It began with Propellerheads’s Rebirth software and lead into Reason later which resulted in a very nasty little release entitled “Sick Machine” under the name “Gore-Tek”. The ability to evolve beyond this was hampered by perceptual roadblocks, denial and a steady downward spiral into addiction. A lot of music was produced in that period. Some half finished, a lot of it just not very good. It was an ongoing mess of consumption and composition. The trick was the trap of thinking the substances were providing an expansion of mind which would result in brilliant musical output. And we were very dedicated and productive with the amount of garbage produced. A new awakening and sobriety came around 2010. It took seven years of stone cold sober before we could begin composing again. Around the end of that seven year period, the move into physical hardware made all the difference and things were really flowing.
Are you a native of Vancouver, in British Columbia and how do you think this has influenced your musical sound as well as the way you view the world?
We are from the Toronto area originally and have been on the west coast (on and off) for over 20 years. The earth magnetics are different out here and it has an effect on the people. Time elapses and is perceived in a slower manner. It had that effect on us and was where the love affair with electronic sound began. In a creative sense and also through community gatherings like live shows and raves. Music was huge on the west coast in the 90’s. Compared to then, today is a bit of a dead scene for live music. It is a challenge to optimistically perceive the world post global tyranny which tends to overshadow. Screaming at the top of one’s lungs is a release but is hard to gauge the spread. Love seems like a good answer but most days we just want blood.
Is there much of an Industrial scene in Vancouver and how do you find yourself relating to the scene?
The industrial scene here is largely a small group of DJs who keep the dance going. It’s a goth, fetish, dance type thing with not much in terms of local industrial bands. We’ve been trying to crack into the local DJ sphere and have found little to no response. The DJs in Toronto like Dwight Hybrid, Live Evil, DI Auger, Anthony (H) and others have been very supportive and are all about elevating Canadian talent.
“MetaVersUs” is your 3rd studio album, which came out this year. Did you find this album easier to write than the previous two, especially with the world starting to emerge from the Covid cocoon?
Our eyes opened wide when the evidential truth of 9/11 hit home. That was a great veil un-lifting and like taking that dreaded “red” pill. Since then, we’re constantly looking over our shoulder and striving to keep our own mind free from the programming. “MetaVersUs” is a lot more blatant in its message but is still harping at the same themes from the previous two albums. At this point, it’s all been said ad nauseam. We perceive the logic in the evil. Logic however has failed us as has science. We are now staring into the face of madness and the new physics. The production was a little slower as we share a single vessel and are forever honing new knowledge into practice. What comes next will be of a new skin entirely.
I have to say the title is a rather clever. Was it always going to be “MetaVersUs”?
Since Meta’s inception (under any previous name), is has always been against the people.
There are 15 tracks in all, so was it a conscientious decision or did you just find that those tracks just worked together?
We work mostly with Elektron gear these days (a trio of the Analog Four, Octatrak and Analog Rhythm). The first two albums were eight core tracks and that was primarily because the Octatrak (which is used as the master sequencer) has the capacity for eight songs in a given project. In a live scenario, it seemed optimal to have the tracks within one project per grouping to address the time lag of load time in switching projects. In approaching “MetaVersUs”, we wanted to create something larger and ended up chaining arrangements together within the same song and later breaking things apart for production in the DAW. This was a strategy used to create some sense of continuity as well. The number of tracks in the end was not entirely planned. At least not consciously.
Do you have a favourite track or tracks, off the album that you are proud of?
Not sure that there is a favourite. Each track expresses a deep feeling. Although it may appear there is a lot of anger in the expression, it comes from a tremendous love and want for humanity to do better. “Echoes” features a selection of samples taken from YouTube posts by our very dear late friend Raven Rowanchilde (Love and the Muse). That track is special. Raven had a lot of wisdom to share with the world and we wanted to present a sample while honouring her. Our collaboration with our good friend DI Auger on the track “MthrFckr” was a collaboration first and was a lot of fun to work on. “What If” was a last minute track and also a collaboration with EKaterina from Passion For Hypnosis. Both DI Auger and Ekaterina are a pleasure to work with and those tracks are unique in their own ways.
This latest album is a commentary on the current state of the world. What were the major ideas and statements you are making in “MetaVersUs”?
Our largest point of vulnerability is the media and the palm sized super computers we are addicted to. Our movements are tracked and our minds manipulated. We are all vulnerable no matter how clever or cautious we think we are. Denial runs thick with addiction. Very little is what it appears coming through the screen. The screens and platforms do not connect us. They are used to disconnect and divide. Who is responsible? We guess that a very small number actually know where the top is. We don’t but it is real and it is happening. We must claim back our minds if we are to survive. We must not divide.
You are definitely making political statements in your music, so do you feel that music is an important platform to create awareness and start conversations?
There is so much division and suppression of truth. It is nearly impossible to convince a robot that it is a robot if that information is not part of its programming. Music is the only platform where we can communicate ideas currently without immediate censorship. That could change but here we are. Anyone who listens closely and disagrees can turn it off. Perhaps through that experience, we have planted a seed. In the end creating music is what is keeping us relatively sane.
Chris Lefort is a classically trained pianist and his project is the gothic/industrial Di Auger from Ontario. He has appeared on most releases, so can you tell us about his contribution to current album but also the relationship you have with Lefort?
We connected with Chris shortly after “Digital Fracture” was released. We immediately clicked and were invited to play a show in Toronto opening for Trick Casket, Phantom High and DI Auger. That was a good show and opened the door for some remix collaborations with new friends. Chris has done a number of remixes for us and they are always killer. It was his idea originally to collaborate on “MthrFckr” which was going to be a single. It ended up on “MetaVersUs” because we thought the subject matter in line with the overall theme. “MthrFckr” is going to be released as a single separately in a couple months with remixes by DI Auger, Anthony (H), Live Evil Productions and 40 Octaves Below. Chris is just an all round great person. He does a lot to support industrial music in and around Toronto. It is a pleasure to know him.
You had guest artists do remixes of your two previous albums, that became their own releases in album form, so is there a plan in the future to go this way with “MetaVersUs” as well?
Yes this is already in the works. A couple surprises in store with this one.
Drake, you also have another electro-industrial project called Mesmer’s Ghost, which seems to have kicked off around 2020, so can you tell us what compelled you to start this separate journey?
Mesmer’s Ghost is a collaboration project with our friend James Seaborne (Innanfrá). We connected with James shortly after “Digital Fracture” and James immediately wanted to collaborate on something. He had this “Mesmer’s Ghost” name concept tucked away for the right time and so we set out to create some tracks. James comes up with these weird little musical journeys which served as the tone for each composition. This was inspiring. James wanted to handle the vocal side of things and leave most of the arranging to us. It is a nice palate cleanser after coming out of the 40 Octaves Below noise tunnel.
How would you say the styles differ from 40 Octaves Below and Mesmer’s Ghost?
Mesmer’s Ghost goes into a little more experimental territory and later works more into the gothic realm. There’s less anger expressed in Mesmer’s Ghost composition and more moodiness. We are a good way into a third Mesmer’s Ghost release that should be ready later this year.
How do you decide which songs you write are for 40 Octaves Below or Mesmer’s Ghost?
Each Mesmer’s Ghost track starts with some derangement of James’s. Anywhere from there ends up ghosty. There’s very little overlap in terms of production. We’re either working on 40 Octaves Below or Mesmer’s Ghost so there is definitely a switch that goes off in the head.
Are there plans to do live shows for “MetaVersUs” and is playing live something you like to do?
We love live. What is most likely to happen (working on the concept currently) is more of a DJ performance. We want to present something that is less structured, more improvised and in response to the audience. The idea involves the construction of a massive library encapsulating all our projects. You will hear little bit of this and a little bit of that and it’s going to absolutely slam. The challenge has been how to vocalize whilst presenting something dynamic instrumentally as a single entity. As the music has become more involved and complex, the live version has honestly suffered. This new approach will address all that.
Who are the bands/acts that really got you into this style/scene?
Music exposure was so limited as a young person prior to the explosion of the internet. It was all word of mouth or what one picked up randomly on college radio or television video shows that catered to the “unusual” like “City Limits” on Much Music in Canada. Nine Inch Nails was a welcome punch in the face the first time we heard “Head Like a Hole”. Then there as the “Land of Rape and Honey” Ministry release. Things were not quite the same after experiencing these artists. Life seemed more exciting. Here was something that felt so personal and invigorating. It was just so exciting to drive around blasting this music that no one else seemed to understand and was just so goddamn good at the same time. It was validating and left the feeling of not being so alone in a world so different and lack lustre. Skinny Puppy also played a huge influencing role but was another world that would open up later on.
Now for the fun bit…. you are gearing up to put out the remix version of “MetaVersUs” and you can choose anyone you want to do the mixes, living or or dead, whom would you choose?
Oh shit. Straight off let’s say this list does not include any past remixers. We are blessed to have worked with them ALL and would love to work with them again. Future remixers include Skinny Puppy, Combichrist, Omniflux, Ladytron, Massive Attack, Jimi La Mort, Trent Reznor, Ken Marshall, Jimmy Urine, MXMS and Gothsicles to name a few. A couple of these mentioned are happening…
What is on the horizon for Drake Moore?
More music is certain. Industrial Trip Hop? If we are hit by technology crippling solar flares, tribal drum jams in the forest. Come find us…
Californian foursome, The Writhers, are no dummies when it comes mosh pits. So the psychobilly, horror punks have written an ode to the church of the mosh pit and those that do not participate in the joyful flailing aptly called “Pit Dunce“. Now there maybe or maybe not wild accordion within, so hold onto your bobby socks, it could be a wild ride.
The soulful doo wop and harmonies take you back to 1950s America when bands such as the Del-Vikings were creating waves…. but somehow, you just know this isn’t going to last. Abandon all hope now, as we are flung into the abyss, as the band kicks in. Crashing guitar, rumbling bass, and thunderous drums are only rivalled by the enthusiastic vocals chastising the pit dunce, whom has flaunted moshing etiquette and not joined the motley dance by submitting their body to the tumultuous hordes.
This is just so much fun. The energy and passion is real, confirming the horror punk genre is very strong currently. There was a sneaky accordion in the intro…. we have been marked safe for now however. Don’t be the “Pit Dunce” and throw yourself into the fray with TheWrithers.