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Interview with The Aggression - conducted by telephone - 8/14/97

Jester: How did you get in contact with Tinman Records and end up having them release your debut album?

F.J.:: Years ago, Jeff from Tinman posted on-line looking for bands who wanted to play live with Crocodile Shop. We replied and ended up being booked in this seedy bar in Hoboken, New Jersey. We became friendly with Jeff and just stayed in touch with him over the years. When the time came to shop our album, we ran through a bunch of labels and Tinman was the first label that was really interested in giving us a good deal and a great situation.

Jester: Who is going to be doing work on the remix EP that you will be releasing next year?

F.J.:: Crocodile Shop, Acumen Nation, Marc LaCorte from Black Metal Box, a Techno band called The Fourth Level, Jason McNinch from Lick did one with us, I think Howard from Terminal Sect, maybe Van from Die Warzau, and another from a band called Cedonia that might be getting signed to Tinman.

Jester: Does the EP have a title yet?

F.J.:: It will be called "Pure Liquid Ego". It will be released in January and it will include four new songs apart from the remixes. All four of the new tracks we produced with George Hagegeorge from Urania about a month ago.

Jester: Why does it seem like there is a great deal more electronics in the mix on the new album than on the early demos?

F.J.:: A lot of it has to with the mastering process. The demos werent mastered, so a lot of the electronics got lost. I had never really mastered an album before and when we sat down and actually had it done we realized how different the songs sounded. The band has always been half guitars and half electronics but we go back and forth with how much we use on each song. Some of the newer material uses a little bit more guitar in my opinion and sounds a little like old school Wax Trax. Its a nice balance. The whole key is to not keep repeating ourselves and to always change for the better.

Jester: Did you master the album yourself?

F.J.:: We didn't actually do it ourselves, but we sat in on the mastering session and supervised it. We didn't push any buttons, all we did was ask for certain parts to be louder and others to be turned down.

Jester: How did you get Jamie and Jason of Acumen Nation to help out on 'The End of Everything'?

F.J.:: We've just been friends for awhile and it transcends the music. Over New Years last year, Jamie and Jason came to New York to spend some free time and talk with their new record label. They ended up coming into the studio with us for a day and spontaneously added a bit of guitars to 'The End of Everything'. They also helped with the final mixing on 'Cockdiesel'.

Jester: What is the bonus track on the album?

F.J.:: Its called 'The Chicago Drinking Song'. That song was written when we went to the Warzone a second time. We were in the studio, and Chris Randall went home early with his computer to do something. So we ended up with a lot of extra time in the studio and no computer. Mark and Tom swiped a pair of acoustic guitars from the room next door and I played keyboards. We wrote the whole song in about two hours and we decided that it would be the bonus track on the album.

Jester: Where did the title "Whitelineoveride" come from?

F.J.:: I can't tell you that. It has several different interpretations, the least of which are drug references.

Jester: What about "M.O.G. Productions"?

F.J.:: One of the original line-ups of The Aggression was called M.O.G. It stood for Memory of Doug, but I was so drunk at the time I came up with it that I said M.O.G.. So it is all a joke since Doug really isn't dead but I thought he was at the time I cam up with the name. So when Mark joined the band we changed our name to The Aggression and kept the old name as our publishing company.

Jester: Is Michael, the keyboard player a new member of the band? I don't recall meeting him the last time we spoke.

F.J.:: Yeah. His nickname is "The Kid". He joined the band about halfway through the writing of the album. When you last saw us, we were just a three piece band and were looking for a new keyboard player. I've known Mike since he was born and one day he mentioned to me that he was taking piano lessons to help him join my band. So I gave him a tape of the current material, and by the time we had another practice session he was playing those tracks. He didn't end up writing anything on the current album, but he does a ton of programming on the upcoming EP and has played in all of the live shows during the past year.

Jester: Do you plan on doing an East Coast tour now that the album is out?

F.J.:: We had planned on a tour to happen in late August but no one else is touring. We really can't go out on our own because we are too unknown so we have to find someone else to support. Acumen Nation is looking to go out later in the fall and we'd like to join them, but we will probably just play a few sporadic dates instead of having a real tour.

Jester: What kind of response have you gotten from the album so far?

F.J.:: It is still slowly filtering out to the press and radio stations. Overall it is really tough being in this genre of music and be relatively unknown. It is finally starting to end up in stores even though it was released in May. I have received a rather large amount of positive praise for it recently which has really surprised me. I've only seen two bad reviews and they were obviously written by people who didn't usually listen to the music. We actually were going to release the remix EP in November, but the release of the first record has been so slow that we have held it for January to give the album time to work it's way through the press.

Jester: Who is distributing the album?

F.J.:: Caroline & Metropolis. They are better distributors than most, so if people cannot find it in stores, they can at least order it. People are starting to buy it but we are not really into this for the sales figures. I just want to let people have the option to hear my music, whether or not they choose to buy it, I don't care.

Jester: You've mentioned previously that the New York crowd isn't all that responsive to your music. Why do you think that is?

F.J.:: It's hard to explain. When we play here, people see us as the guys they see in clubs and at concerts all the time. when I come to your city, you see me as a member of The Aggression. So they take us for granted here and don't feel the need to buy our CD or come to our shows. A lot of it has to do with a great deal of bad booking and time-slots in the past. Whenever we play in other cities we also seem to end up with a really good show, yet when we play local people don't show up. The clubs also treat you like crap here and forget to pay you or screw you over in some other manner. Overall a lot of it is just bad luck and hopefully that will change in the future.

Jester: What would you consider your favorite song on "Whitelineoverride"?

F.J.:: Right now it would have to be 'Airily'. It has more of a rock feel to it. That track used to be called 'Cocaine Sue'. I like it because I was very pleased with the way the programming came out. It has this really cool Lou Reed sample in it that I've always wanted to use. I always like tracks when Mark sings and I don't, yet I sing it live now. I am also fond of Tom's riff that leads into the chorus. In fact 'Airily' will be appearing on a new None of the Above compilation sometime in the future.

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