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Interview with Jim Marcus of Everplastic - conducted via telephone - 9/19/98

Jester: What have you been up to recently?

Jim: I have been busy having kids for the last two years. When was the last time we talked?

Jester: I lasted talked to you on your Birthday about three years ago when Christ Analogue opened for Everplastic at the Metro.

Jim: That was a long time ago. We just played a show there back in July.

Jester: Was that for your CD release party?

Jim: No. We played with Sister Soleil. I do a lot of work with them. Everplastic doesn't perform often. We tend to spend a great deal of time in the studio. However, we will be performing at several local benefit shows in the near future. One of the great things about having my own band, is that I get to make all of the decisions. Which means that we mostly play benefit shows.

Jester: Is Thickface Records your label, with distribution support through the [t-26] font foundry?

Jim: Yes. However, the label is in the middle of a number of changes. I am not terribly interested in being a rock start or selling a million records, however, I want to retain control over my own music.

Jester: The last time I interviewed you during the final Die Warzau tour, you mentioned starting you own label to release hand crafted, one of a kind releases.

Jim: That is actually one of the new directions I want to take the label in now. The Deep CD did come with a hand assembled and decorated cardboard box, enclosed in a corn silk bag. It is an excellent example of what I want to do for all the releases on my label. The only problem I am finding is, I do not know if people will want to listen to my music.

I still listen to the Deep album at least once a week. I really like it a lot. I know it is one of those releases that few people will enjoy, but I don't have much control over consumers. A lot of people who enjoy ethnic music think the Deep CD is too Experimental, while those who listen to Experimental music think it is too ethnic.

Jester: The track titles on the Deep CD are in a language with which I am not familiar. What language(s) are used for the track titles?

Jim: All the track titles are named after creation mythology. Obukula is the great egg, the whole, or the world god. The theme of the album, in as much as a record without lyrics can have a theme, was creation.

Jester: If the theme of the album was creationism, why is the cover art so mechanical?

Jim: In a lot of ways the artwork doesn't fit the album at all. It was part of a whole series of a photographs that were taken in a machine shop and digitally metamorphosized to make them look organic. The whole idea was to create something organic and living out of metal. In essence it was like creating a new life.

Jester: On the Everplastic EP, you once again chose the naked female form for the cover art like the older Die Warzau and Sister Machine albums?

Jim: Yes. The woman on the cover is actually my wife. It was taken when she was pregnant with my second child. She was five months pregnant. It doesn't show that much because she has such a tiny body frame.

Jester: How long has the Everplastic EP been released?

Jim: Technically, it isn't officially released. We are selling it, but I haven't started promoting it yet. The EP was meant to exhibit some of the more Experimental pieces we have been working on over the years. Right now we are working on some 12" dance remixes and new material. We have about forty songs on tape that we are trying to piece together and decide what to release next.

One of out future projects is a Porn Funk record. All of the song on the album will sound like they belong on 70's Porn Funk records and films. A big problem with most of the music we are writing is that it cannot be played on the radio due to the choice of song lyrics. The EP contains our five least offensive tracks in our catalog.

Jester: Can you give me any information about the members of Everplastic?

Jim: I am really proud of the people who make up the Everplastic band. The saxophone player plays with Sister Machine Gun. The guitarist, Greg Lucas, used to play with Final Cut. The bass player used to be in a band called Alpha Team who wrote the Speed Racer theme song.

Jester: Who came up with the witty slogan that appears on the Everplastic CD platter?

Jim: I came up with that slogan. I have a lot of similar puns on our web site in places as well. It is really hard for me write seriously about myself for my band. The whole point of making music is to have fun.

We are not grim, gritty musicians. Industrial as a genre does not fit my personal attitude. I realized this when I was in Die Warzau when we wanted to write songs that were stories rather than about ourselves. Unfortunately, one of the goals of Industrial music is to write song about yourself.

If you look at Nine Inch Nails lyrics, Trent Reznor is writing about himself. If you look at Sister Machine Gun lyric, Chris Randall is writing about himself. I hate to pigeon hole the entire genre, but so much of the music is, "Woe is me! My life sucks!" That isn't what I am about anymore. In fact, I don't think I was ever that way.

I always appreciated the aggressive nature of Industrial music, but I never appreciated the lack of lyric writing talent involved. For example, if you opened up a Liz Phair album, and looked through the lyrics, there are great stories there about other people. As Die Warzau we had very little success writing those types of songs. We were almost forced to write songs about ourselves to succeed in the Industrial medium.

Jester: What do you think lead you to this realization and the desire to change how you wrote your song lyrics?

Jim: I have never enjoyed talked about myself. To be an Industrial musician, you really need to be really involved with your own psyche. In the case of Nine Inch Nails, you really get the feeling that Trent enjoys talking about the demons in his closet.

I think a large portion of my change of heart is the fact that I am actively anti-drug. I used to be involved with a community that was a little too eager to consume itself with drugs. Part of this change was forced by the constant and forced self introspection of these people. The feeling that nothing outside of themselves mattered at all.

I thought that attitude was very self destructive. I saw people, who I considered really good friends, ruin their lives with drugs. They would do this with the excuse that they were learning more about themselves.

Jester: Have you shed yourself from that community? Are you still involved with Warzone studios?

Jim: No. I am totally disconnected from that community now. However, I still talk to Van Christie every once in a while. He is now clean and has a new record out. What I have tried to separate myself from is everyone that I knew in the past who did drugs. I know that sounds strange, but I really had no desire to involve myself with that anymore.

Something weird happens when you have kids. You realize that musicians have responsibility to those fans who will listen to our craft. I want to use my responsibility differently than other musicians. For me to believe that music can have a positive effect on people, also leads me to believe that it can also have a negative effect.

Jester: What are you doing these days besides music?

Jim: I spend a great deal of time with my family. My family is really important to me. I have always wanted to be a father, even when I was young. So now that I have children, I want to enjoy it.

I design fonts on the side. I also do a lot of computer programming. I am heavily involved with the Year 2000 correction program. It is a very lucrative issue right now, even though I think the problem is inherently grotesque.

Jester: What other projects are you working on both musically and with art design?

Jim: I designed the artwork for the new Sister Soleil album and single. However, I did not work on the promotional single. I am really upset with the artwork on that single. I don't think that Stella realized that she could exert more creative control and allow whomever she wants to be involved with all aspects of her artwork and music. I have written some music for her, but I do not want her to use it. I think it is really important for a female artist to be self sufficient.

Jester: How do you keep the musical directions of your various projects separate?

Jim: Once you become immersed in something, it is very easy. However, it took me a long time to find the right musicians for this to be able to happen. With Everplastic, the current theme we have immersed ourselves in, is Funk. One of our goals is to write the funkiest record ever.

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