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Interview with AREA88 - conducted while some members of the band enjoyed their favorite pastime of watching bad porn - 9/5/97

Cryonax: We are not associated with the sex industry, but we would like to do sound tracks!

Jester: How did you first get involved with music?

case: It all boils down to early years of Phil Collins. Seriously, 'Tonight, Tonight, Tonight' really rocked and I loved the keyboard sounds of 'Sussido' as well. I also went through my Depeche Mode period that quickly escalated to Skinny Puppy.

Jester: When did the bug to make music first hit you?

case: When I was 17, I realized that I had enough money to buy a four track recorder and a Mirage keyboard.

Jester: Obviously you have a very mature studio now. How did you first get involved with production work?

case: I spent a lot of time trying to get my music to sound really good rather than doing the live thing. I messed around for a while and just got better and better and I got new equipment. Then I hooked up with Eric Powell of 16 Volt and we did a bunch of stuff together because we never had any budget we did all the stuff here or at Whitehorse Studios.

Jester: What motivated you to eventually perform in a live setting and add more members?

case: When you are a solo project you can do pretty much whatever you want, with extra members there is a lot less work it seems.

Cryonax: We also got tired of seeing alot really crappy bands playing out and decided to do something about it!

m.c. death: We just like to bring a great deal of energy mixed with the studio sound of AREA88 and try to translate it into a high energy live setting.

case: I did do a few live shows a long time ago, but now the band feels more like a real band and I wanted more of a real band. Playing live is great.

Cryonax: Playing live is intense. There is an exchange of energy between the performers and the audience. It is just an amazing feeling to be on-stage pouring out your heart and soul into the music and have the crowd return that feeling. Once you play live you either love it or hate it. I think we all have caught the bug.

m.c. death: It is very addictive.

case: It is a very natural drug. You get a great rush and it continues long afterwards. It also adds a bit more reality to the situation. anyone can have a paper business or band, but to actually make it live is way different.

Cryonax: It allows you to realize that your music is having on actual impact. That it is not just floating in the ether but that people are appreciating it.

Jester: Why did m.c. death and Cryonax join the band?

case: They were the only talented musicians left in Portland. m.c. death because he has been doing the keyboard thing for quite some time. I have known him better than other people and he seemed the logical choice because he was into the music rather than the concept of being in a band.

Cryonax: We had always thrown the idea of making music together back and forth for a few years. The idea sort of became a reality one night after attending a concert and we saw that the bands really blew. We realized that we could do what they were doing a hell of a lot better. My solo project fell apart and his project got stronger. So we decided to hook up.

case: It is fortunate to have two people that are so into the music and that really enjoy playing live so much that it would be okay if that was all we ever did with the band.

m.c. death: Anyone can get up live on stage, but to actually get up onto stage and put forth alot of energy cannot be done by everyone. To see the response we get from the audience it is obvious that we have achieved the level of energy we feel is needed for a band to performed live. Playing live is also a very powerful way to get our music out to people it forces us to promote ourselves better

Cryonax: It is very inspirational to see the reaction of people when they hear your music. You play and you hope that someone appreciates it and there is some sort of presence to your music when it is live. We do not believe in going through the motions when you play. You need to be able to get into your music for it to be worthwhile to see a live show. If you wanted to see someone not getting into it at a show, you are better off just buying the cd.

m.c. death: A huge part of AREA88 is that we are a very visual band. If we don't make the show entertaining it is as if you are paying $20 to see a Karoake show, and I don't think people are into that.

case: The live shows sound very different than the CD.

Cryonax: We try to remix the songs, add a lot of new elements and exterior energy. It is actually rather hard make a recorded songs really thick, dense sound because of the limitations of the media, but you can get more out of layering when you play live. So it adds a certain ambience that you cannot get through a stereo. We want each show to be a unique experience so that people come back and see us again.

Jester: What is it like to go from writing music all alone to having two additional people helping out? How has that changed the way that the music of AREA88 has gone?

case: Musically it can only get better as opposed to it remaining just me inside my little closed reality. Each of them has a unique insight into the music and can really help out when I might not be able to come up with a certain sound because I am only limited to what I have experienced. They each have their own experiences to bring to the music that can really help out instead of being stuck for a week writing a song because I have writers block. I can just ask them for ideas right away. Of course I do not like to give up total creative control. There is a certain amount of trust that we all have to have so that no single one of us is going to do something stupid.

Cryonax: We each have our little areas of expertise or styles of compositions that we like better than others.

m.c. death: What it boils down to is that we know what the concept of the band is, so we work within each of our own unique fields and talents while at the same time we try to write music in the AREA88 mode.

Jester: What is in the future for AREA88? You have done Undercurrent and Cyberbabies; two release parties, and the Kinetic Events Northwest Fest.

case: We are working on recording a full-length album and want to get it out by the beginning of 1998, but no promises. We also plan on doing an independent tour next year and we do not plan on doing too many local live shows.

Cryonax: We do not want to burn people out. There are some bands that play every single week here, and we do not want people to get bored with us because we have not done anything new for quite some time. A live show is supposed to be something unique.

case: We want to keep the live shows few and far between so that each time we do play live it is more of an event. It also allows us to do a bit more production between shows and increase the quality of our performances. Then we will just keep going and hopefully when it is all over we will have a lot of albums out and a lot of cool memories.

Jester: AREA88, when sex sex sex isn't enough. Explain?

Cryonax: AREA88 deals with the darker side of Human nature. Carnality whether it be darker emotions, aggression, angst, or more of a primal nature, sex, lust, greed. So sex sex sex is about as primal as it can get. It just sums it up.

case: You can go straight to the Freudian theory that everything is motivated by sex, and it probably is, but most people simply will not admit it. Some people are more honest about it than others. It is kind of hard to be honest about these things because not being politically correct is such a bad thing these days. I always thought it was healthy to admit your obsessions and be honest instead of hiding the fact. I feel this way and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Jester: What are you using you music for? A tool to preach or just an outlet of your emotions, a release?

case: They always say write about what you know, not that I know about sex or anything but I am human and I do have certain feelings which include carnal desires. I do foolish things which I am aware of and get involved with crazy people, in a sense I write about those things. I do not have a particular message that I want to give out to people, it's just a method of expression. I do not want to be a preacher. I feel that when you can lay yourself out in the open and state what you are to the world it is kind of liberating.

m.c. death: Hopefully someone will connect with that message and get something out of it.

case: I certainly do not mind being used by a person when they connect with my music because I like being used. It is very positive. I do not want to have a negative vibe or message and I do not want to be the next Marilyn Manson and make you want to kill yourself. I am not the god of fuck. I just enjoy the pure energy of the percussive beats.

Cryonax: I am pretty sure that we could write all of our music as instrumentals but the sheer fact is people want lyrics sometimes you have to write lyrics! We do not want to preach. We just want to explore facets of our ourselves that exist within all society. Stuff that people normally do not want to talk about. We will be your scapegoats.

Jester: Any last words?

case: Pornography is beautiful and is a important part of society there is nothing more beautiful than people expressing themselves sexually and not being embarrassed about it.

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