Interview with ATD Convention - conducted by e-mail - 10/96

Jester: How did you meet Hal?

Sheldon: Well I met HalVx2 on the internet....we happen to post info to RMI around the same time. On many an occasion we would chat about the "scene" in Toronto.

Jester: How did that lead to the two of you forming a band together?

HalVx2: At the time we first met (in real life), we did a cassette swap and both mutually enjoyed each others music. Sheldon had already released several ATD demo tapes, and tracks on several CD compilations. So, ATD was already established prior to my joining.

We began by starting with the notion of beginning a new side project together but when Sheldon suddenly needed a keyboardist for an ATD video shoot, he asked me. I listened to some of the songs he wanted and was asked to add whatever I felt appropriate. Well, I guess I did something right, because soon after, I was a permanent member of ATD as co-composer/producer/performer.

Jester: What happened to the web site?

HalVx2: Sheldon forgot to pay his bills.

Sheldon: Yup! forgot to pay the bill....with all of the stuff going on to make the move to London U.K. The good news is a new ATD site is going up as we do this interview.

Jester: What spurned the move from Canada to London, England?

Sheldon: I was offered a job sound engineering for a very cool project that jams live over the internet. I had been a internet musician with RRS (Res Rocket Surfer) for the past year and was alpha testing their jamming software when they asked me to move to London to work as an engineer on the album.

Jester: How has becoming a studio enginner changed the way you look at music?

Sheldon: I have been a sound engineer for both Live and Studio projects for many years now, and feel that alot of works are over produced and too "clean". The whole digital and analogue recording war is always funny...seems that everyone forgets about making music.

Jester: How is the underground music scene in England as compared to Canada?

Sheldon: I have found the music scene in London is really BIG and in the open, but in Toronto I find it more underground in small numbers. If you have the right stuff here in London as an underground band/remixer/DJ you can reach number one on radio just by getting 12" white labels out into the clubs and in the right radio DJ's hands. I have also found that EBM is not always marketed in London as Industrial. I have been so busy in the studio that I have not had a chance to hookup with the Cybertec guys or many of the people HalVx2 and I know in Europe.

Jester: What is the primary motivator for you to make music?

Sheldon: Experimenting with sound...well pushing the envelope of analogue and digital sound creation. I have always been influenced by K.Stockhausen and his strange compositions and experiments of sound.

HalVx2: Enjoyment of creating music, experimentation of sound, and expressing my thoughts and emotions would be my primary motivator. First and foremost, I write music for myself. If others like what I'm doing, that's an added bonus. Money, fame and all those superficial things are really unimportant (though, sometimes it does help my ego) ;)

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

HalVx2: Although I'm not an avid fan of the television, I feel it plays a huge part of my musical influence. Whether it's social or political, it's reflected on the tube and in a bias fashion. The thought of a government controlling information, like television broadcasts, that is force fed to the public is disturbing. That is why the US government fears free information like the internet, pirate radio, etc., because they fear anything that can empower the general public. This is also a main theme used for the song Mass Media.

Sheldon: I feel that the control of governments and business is a good target for most of my sampling. Therefore I guess that I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to government ruling. The recent campaign in the USA about the internet is a good example of humans trying to control their biggest fear....themselves!

Jester: How has Furnace Records treated you since you have been signed to them?

HalVx2: Furnace who?

Jester: Will you be looking for a new record label for all future material?

Sheldon: We have to find out all of the fine details on our present contract with Furnace. I have a personnel management company dealing with the details of the contract here in London. All that HalVx2 and I want is to get our music out to the people...if it means another label, then so be it.

Jester: Can we expect another release any time in the near future? (I assume you are still collaborating with Hal via e-mail)

HalVx2: Yes, we are currently working on a new track, via e-mail. As I'm on the end of an ISDN connection now, we are also exploring various methods of mixing down a track as we now have the ability to send a CD quality digital audio stream and mix down the audio at either studios. In Toronto or London. Should be exciting! Look out for more ATD tracks soon to come.

Sheldon: Yes!! Maybe with some proper hardware for a full on line shockwave internet album release. This would save the problems with record labels.

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

HalVx2: Sheldon and I have talked, in great lengths, about the next 5 years of ATD and as we progress as musicians, our music progresses. Amongst other things we want to drop, we are dropping the Convention from our name. So, look our for more dance oriented experimental electronic from ATD. Noise mixed with heavy percussion programming and retro-EBM rhythms. Intense and sterile at the same time. These are some things you can expect from ATD in the future.

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

HalVx2: I started a four member EBM band called Ersatz Beat Resistance back in 1990 which was short lived. It taught me a lot of things though, including a major lesson I live by. And that is that you really have to choose a music partner wisely, or it's not going to work. And that's a lesson I live by. The first time I met Sheldon, I chatted with him and then met him in person and then performed live with him, I knew that I could really work with him and we just gelled together. Before I met Sheldon, I was doing a lot of songs for myself and never really did anything with them. Working with Sheldon taught me how to merge old ideas with the new and how to recycle them.

Sheldon: Lets see, I was trained as a jazz musician. I later moved into a home studio and started experimenting with samplers and reel to reel machines. I studied synthesis and quickly found my self fully into program'n analogue sounds on machines like the SC Pro-1 and Korg Poly Six.

Jester: Why did you choose a 'technological' motif for your music?

Sheldon: Seems to be the topic that HalVx2 and myself understand. Both of us do technical things for work and play. I still feel comfort in the techie genre because I know that ATD is truly a "Technical" band, we don't use the tech motif to be hip.....we just make music...whatever that may be?

Jester: What is the status of ATD ever performing again now that you are physically separated by the Atlantic Ocean?

Sheldon: I travel back to Toronto often. Once I get some time away from studio work, HalVx2 and I will perform live again. I find the live show the most powerful part of ATD, not to mention I really love it!

Jester: What does Hal do in his free time besides making music?

HalVx2: I am the Internet representative for MACOS so I dedicate alot of time with that. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my 5 year old English Bulldog named Rocky and am a semi-confessed amateur hacker : ) so I spend alot of time online too. But, free time is getting harder and harder to come by these days, unfortunately.

Jester: What ever happened to PORNOgraphic Apparatus?

Sheldon: PORNOgraphic Apparatus seem to dissolve after Rob and I went our own ways in music. Rob moved on to form a Grunge-alternarock guitar based band and I moved in the direction of ATD.

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