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Interview with Collide - conducted by e-mail - 10/26/96



Jester: How did you first get involved with creating your own music?

Statik: I don't know what really led me into making music. I played the trumpet for a lot of years in school, but never had that much interest to write anything. I think it was because all that I was exposed to at the time were the basic high school orchestra brass/woodwind type of things. When I stopped playing my trumpet is about when affordable samplers came on the market. The first sampler I got was a Casio SK-1. It was cheesy and didn't have MIDI, but it was still more exciting than a trumpet, to me. After that, I talked my family into letting me use some of the money that I had set aside for tuition to be put towards my sampler fund. That's when I got the almighty Korg DSS-1. After that, songwriting sprang its big head, and it was fun, and pretty natural. The sounds would just lend themselves into full-fledged songs. I had a Commodore-64, with a sequencer with 8 tracks on it, and a four track that I borrowed from a friend. I remember a friend and myself essentially copying a Depeche Mode song that was on their first album...I can't think what it was...it was only on the import...anyway...we did that, and I was also working on a lot of stuff along the lines of the Adrian Sherwood 12"s that were out at the time...kind of noisy, with spoken word samples from radio and T.V. After that, I just kept writing and recording for the fun of it. Until I moved down to California with some people that I didn't know that well. It was a school thing. After a couple of months of living here and creating music in the apartment. My roommate thought that I should release an album. He was up for essentially acting as the record label. He was going to find people to invest in it, and he was going to distribute it himself. That's the first time I had thought of my music going out publicly. I sequenced it and recorded the vocals (of myself) at home, and we got a day in a local studio through some contact he had.

That was the first time I had been in a real studio. It was a bit overwhelming. There were these giant speakers, and this mixing console with fader after fader. I had no idea what I was doing. We ended up mixing all 4 of my songs at a very loud volume on the big speakers. I learned a lot that day. I wasn't 100% satisfied at all with the sound, and the way the mixes came out, but that's all of the time we had, and so that's the way it went to vinyl. It was called Statik "Machines". It did well where we could distribute it. We sent it to clubs and independent record stores all along the west coast, as well as Texas and Colorado. I remember seeing it on some playlists at some clubs in Vancouver, B.C. right up there with Ministry and Cabaret Voltaire. I think that's where I got the bug. But I told myself, I didn't want to be in that situation again where I was so out of control over the final product of the music. That final CD or record or whatever, is the only thing that people have to judge you from. Anyway, to cut out a lot of the story in-between then and now...I'm glad I can work at home now, and mix our music and record it with the time to really listen and think about how it finally sounds.

kaRIN: From the time I was a child I was always going around singing and making up my own little songs. I guess you could say I was the family entertainment. The first band I joined was at a time in my life when I was dealing with a lot of emotional trauma, and I needed a safe place to release my feelings. Since then, I have found creating music to be a nessesary part of my life.

Jester: Why have you chosen music as your primary medium rather than some other form of art?

kaRIN: I have always been expressive and creative in many ways. Right now I suppose my primary medium is actually designing and creating art jewelry, which is my day job, so to speak, and it pays the bills. I am also a painter, and dance is what I call my easy art, or my form of relaxation. I am the most passionate about music, and it is ultimately the most satisfying to me because I can come the closest to expressing myself in its purest form both lyrically and melodically.

Statik: There was a time when I was writing a bit of poetry, which I enjoyed. But after getting more into the music side of things, I found that music was where I was able to express myself most fully. I think people have a tendency to take a lot of what people write very literal, or examine the words and what you say very closely...and you can't do that with music. You have to listen to yourself and say...hmm...how does this make me feel? You may have the same feeling as the person who wrote the music, or you may not.

But to me...it's the process of making music and putting the whole song together, and being able to listen to it when it's done and have that feeling that it's still something that you like and can feel proud of. I think of making music almost like carving a sculpture. You add some clay, or take some away, or bake it, or paint it...but when it's done you have this finished piece of art that is like no other.

Painting on the other hand...I have a small, tiny, little painting that kaRIN got me working on, and to tell you the truth, it's not really going anywhere. I still don't know what it is, and don't really know what I want it to be. I know it's not done, but I really don't know what to do with it. It's far more frustrating than working on a song.

Jester: Where do you draw the most influence from when composing music?

Statik: My influences come from most forms of electronic music, whatever that may be. Some new wave, some industrial, some ...I don't know what you'd call it...all I know is most of it never gets played on the radio. I started listening to Laurie Anderson in high school, and she'd do this thing where she'd put a piece of audio tape on her violin bow and put a tape head on the actual violin, and play that over the top of something else she put together previously. I thought that was a great idea. Anything that was out of the ordinary really caught my ear. Some of the early 4AD I liked a lot. Not all of it, but Cocteau Twins "Treasure" was a great album. I listened to Gary Numan, Kate Bush, Queen (although they don't really fit into this electronic thing do they?) and a lot of stuff that I'd only get a 12" of. And a lot of those people didn't even have full length albums. In that respect, I liked and listened to a lot of remix and extended type mixes.

kaRIN: My poetry comes from all of my thought interpretations of whatever is impacting my life at the time. Mostly, I just write in a waking dream state, just allowing thoughts to flow out. Similarly, when I approach a new song, I just pour myself into it with my subconscious and do whatever I feel. Later, I may need to refine or structure things slightly. I really don't understand music literally, I just hear sound and emotions..

Jester: Do you have any social or political influences in your music?

kaRIN: Well as I said, I just write about whatever I feel, and as a social animal I guess there would be no avoiding social influences. As far as political, well I wouldn't consider myself particularly political, but I am very interested in mind control, brain washing and media control...so I would suppose that involves some politics. I enjoy the idea of a virtual reality, or of shaping your own reality. My life was definately catapulted by watching the movie Friday the 13th, which at the time, I was particularly disturbed by. Not necessarily by the movie, but by the obvious market for senseless violence. I decided at that time in my life not to participate in society's desire for this and began to sensor my incoming media. I did not watch news, and I would tune myself out to anything or anyone that I did not want in my life. Thus, I began to alter my own reality. Since then, I am not quite as drastic as I was for that period of my life, but I think it was probably a necessary experiment. It taught me some sort of control over what I did and did not like.

Statik: No. I'm not one to preach to anyone about politics or ethics. I think people know what is right and wrong, and I don't think that I'm going to change anyones mind by lyrics or music, if they have differing views from myself.

Jester: Have either of you had any formal type of musical training, vocal, instrumental or otherwise?

Statik: I took trumpet lessons in school for a few years. But nothing with keyboards...which I kind of regret. But oh well. I think the most beneficial thing that helped me is just making more music. Hours of fooling around with my equipment and computer. You learn what things work, and what things don't. It's all a matter of really learning to use the creative parts of your mind in the ways you want. Music at this point in time is flowing pretty freely. We've discovered that we may write our songs pretty quickly, but we spend a lot of time in the studio tweaking and refining them.

kaRIN: Up until this time, I have not had any formal musical training. When I was young I desperately wanted to take piano lessons, and the person that came to review me said I was too small and too young to begin- (evil man!) So although I regret not learning the basics, if I knew what I was supposed to be doing, maybe my approach would be different. As far as vocals, I haven't had any official training. However, I have been singing for a long time. I do vocal workouts as much as I can.

Jester: How did you meet up with Chase of Re-Constriction Records?

kaRIN: We picked him up at a bar... no really, we did an interview for Industrial Nation with Josh Finney while we were still shopping our demo and he suggested that we send it to Re-Constriction. So we did and Chase called us the next day.

Jester: How has Re-Constriction Records treated you since you have been signed to them?

Statik: Great. No complaints. We realize that Re-Con doesn't have the money or backing of one of the giant labels...so that's not what we expect. We want to be kept well informed of what's going on with our release, as well as others on the label...and that they do their best to get our CD out to the stores, and available for people to buy. Chase has been great about getting it reviewed, and setting up interviews, so things seem to be going fine so far.

kaRIN: Chase has been really good to work with...(other than he has some strange ideas, but that's part of his quirkiness that we enjoy). There are of course positives and negatives to being on a small label. The positives being special attention and lots of open communication. The negatives of course being financial...don't quit your day job, and there is not enough tour support.

Jester: How much and what kind of fan response have you had from the release of the album?

Statik: We've had a pretty positive response to the CD. We're glad we put our email address on it, so people could respond after buying or hearing it. It's kind of an instant feedback for us. We weren't sure how a lot of the "industrial" people would react to us, since that's what's Re-Cons fan base largely consists of. We don't typify a lot of the angry male vocal bands that are out there on the scene, but I think a lot of listeners have open minds and seem to be ready for something different.

Jester: Can we expect a tour anytime soon?

Statik: Oh...there's that tour question again. I can't tell you how many times we've been asked this the past couple of months. That's a good question though. We don't have one planned. We're both interested in touring, though. At this moment in time, Cargo just doesn't have the funds for us to do a tour the way we would like to. We put a lot of time and energy into our CD, and want our live shows to hopefully come off equally as well. So...it's definitely in our minds...but we'll just have to see what happens. Maybe ask us again in a few months.

kaRIN: We do hope to consider touring soon, however, so far our primary attention has been focused on creating in the studio, which is very consuming and has absorbed most of our energy. Touring is a whole other animal with a new set of problems; like some sort of financial support, being able to drag at least one live guitarist on the road with us (were taking applications), getting a good sound man etc. Detail, details, details... someone to handle our details.

Jester: Where can we expect to see Collide go in the future?

Statik: After finishing the CD, it was clear that we learned how to work with each other better. The songs 'Beneath the Skin', and 'Pandora's Box', were some of the last ones finished, and they are two that really highlight both of our strengths. We're going to keep exploring our creativity, and as long as there's a new sound out there, there's a new Collide song in the works. Did that sound hokey?


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