Interview by DJ K-Y & Jules (Side-Line #29, Nov/Dec/Jan 2000)

Bio-Tek’s third release, “Punishment for Decadance” (Doppler Effect Records) is a turning point for England’s Jonathan Sharp.  This album reveals a sinister side to Sharp’s traditionally upbeat style, while still maintaining excellent dance tracks.  We recently had the opportunity to delve into the inner-workings of Jonathan Sharp and discuss his latest Bio-Tek release.

SL: “Punishment for Decadance” is the third full length from Bio-Tek.  Why did you decide to release this project on Doppler Effect Records?  Also, how did you come across this label?

JS: This release has been round so many different labels I seriously wondered if it was jinxed!  I ended up with Doppler Effect, as they made me a very fair offer and I was looking for a label with a small roster that I knew would push the release.  Instead of being with someone bigger who has maybe 30 bands and doesn’t have adequate promotion.  How did I find them?  Well the two guys who maintain my web-site are in Portland and they know Chris from Doppler Effect pretty well – that kind of sparked the initial contact idea.

SL: The artwork and lyric’s behind this release are rather dark and S+M’ish.  What instigated these ideas and what are your thoughts on this subject?

JS: Bio-Tek has been developing these ideas and images since way back on the first release – most of the content and imagery is based around themes like religion and sex.  This time it all got a lot more overt!

SL: With all the projects you seem to work on, how do you keep them separate and what are the key differences between Bio-Tek and the other projects?

JS: Bio-Tek has a very clearly defined remit – it’s EBM, it’s got orchestral overtones.  I deal with certain themes with this project – the whole religion issue and the sex and power themes, etc.  So I’m working to a clearly defined game plan.  Other things I do are completely different, the aim behind each project makes for each one sounding different.  Bio-Tek is probably the most mainstream in industrial terms.

SL: Do you ever plan on touring with Bio-Tek in Europe?  If so, when?

JS: No, never.  This has always been a studio project only.  In fact, the only live work I’m doing at this point is with Hexedene.

SL: You are always working on one project or another.  How do you find the time and energy for so many projects?

JS: Well, I remember having a conversation in person with you and us discussing the fact that when you make an album you can wait for six months to get a release, from the point you finished it.  So in that time between completion and release I’m away making more music.  I just keep going, keep writing and experimenting.

SL: What was the main inspiration behind “Punishment for Decadence”?

JS: Hard to pin down really, but probably it’s rooted in my uh, appreciation for trashy 1970’s horror movies, occultism, transgressive writings, and s+m imagery.

SL: What sort of message are you trying to portray through your music?

JS: Different projects have different aims – it’s really up to the individual to interpret any meaning they want.

SL: With all the different styles of music you create, what do you see happening to electronic music in the next 10 years?

JS: It’s going to keep developing and genre boundaries are going to get more and more blurred.  The way the technology has developed even since I started 10 years ago is incredible – that is going to have a profound effect on where the music goes.  Right now – it’s hard for the casual listener to differentiate between a track that’s constructed on a computer to one that’s 100% live.

SL: Are there any last words you would like to share?

JS: Smoke crack and worship Satan – as my T-shirt says…