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Interview with Fishtank No. 9 - conducted by e-mail - 8/8/97

Jester: How did Of Skin and Saliva end?

War-N: The standard artistic differences story. I needed more of a creative outlet than OSAS could provide. I found that I was limited by the style we had established for that project. The music we created all became too one dimensional for me. I was getting bad vibes man! Kain was also headed in a different direction artistically, so it seemed silly to continue with something that just wasn't clicking any more.

Jester: Are you still on good terms with your former band mate?

War-N: Oh yes. We don't speak to each other very often, but that isn't because of bad feelings. We didn't really have that much in common towards the end of OSAS, which was also a contributing factor to it's demise. There isn't any nasty stuff between us though.

Jester: How did you originally get involved with COP International Records to release an EP?

War-N: OSAS was sending out demos like mad things, and we got a few responses. COP seemed to be more genuinely interested in the music and the creative aspect than most of the other people we talked to. They made us an offer and we went for it. The rest is history...OK so one EP isn't much of a history, but there you have it!

Jester: In your own words, how would you describe to a listener the difference between the musical styles from Of Skin and Saliva and Fishtank No. 9?

War-N: Fishtank is more melodic than OSAS was, both musically & vocally. There is a little more stylistic variety in F9 music. OSAS tended to be more evil/demonic sounding than Fishtank, and it kind of got stuck in that niche. On a personal level, I feel a lot more "into" F9...probably because it's just me writing the music & the lyrics....a lot more of "me" goes into it. I have had both positive and negative feedback on the direction I'm going in with Fishtank, but for me it's nothing but positive. In order to grow creatively and personally I have to change constantly....even if just to keep from getting bored.

Jester: How did you first get involved with making music?

War-N: Mum & Dad bought me one of those electric chord organs that has air blowing through them. I used to wedge things between the keys so they would get stuck down, then I would turn the power on and off. It sounded quite horrible...I loved it. What followed was several Christmas's & birthdays worth of various keyboards and drum machines. I started by just emulating the the artists I loved (Depeched Mode, Yazoo, Gary Numan) but I always had this loopy side too that wanted to make weird noises and mash things together. It seems like this is the first time I have been able to get it ALL out under one project.....AHHH the relief!

Jester: Why did you choose to compose electronic music as opposed to any other style of music?

War-N: I started writing on Keyboards many moons ago, and have built up a small pile of synth based gear. Nowadays, those are just the tools I use because they're available to me and I'm familiar with them. In the future I would like to experiment with more acoustic instruments, especially percussion. I just don't have the resources at the moment. I am by no means an "electro purist" much of what I listen to these days is not really electronic music for the sake of being electronic. What tickles my tomato is when artists combine acoustic instruments with very "techno" sounds. I love hybrids like that.....

Jester: Where do all of the synth-pop influences come from?

War-N: I grew up in the joyous technopop days in England: Howard Jones, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Gary Numan. I guess it's all coming back to me now. I've had many comments about certain styles that people hear in F9 that I wasn't even aware of. It's Interesting to hear somebody else's take on something you wrote. What I love about the synthpop bands isn't necessarily the sounds they use, more the fact that there are actual chord progressions and melodies in the songs. So many bands in the "industrial" realm seems to ignore that, and as much as people knock 'em, the artists that are successful in the genre are decent songwriters...not just endless "bumpy bumpy.....growl"

Jester: Where do you draw your lyrical influences from?

War-N: Inside. Most of my songs are about my emotional state and what goes on in my noggin. It's been rather a unnerving experience to reveal myself like this. I don't even know if people pick up on what the songs are about, so perhaps I should shut up before people start analyzing me! It has been very good therapy though....letting it all out. I highly recommend it to the other crazys out there. Turn your nuttiness into song fodder, make new friends, impress the neighbors :-)

Jester: How did you get involved with writing music on the new Deathline Intl album as well as playing with the band live?

War-N: COP asked me a few years ago if I wanted to come out to SF and play a show with DLI. We had a great time and it took off from there. We don't get together as a unit very often because everyone is so spread out. That is part of what makes DLI interesting though I think.....many varied inputs. I'm planning to move out to the San Fran area early next year so, perhaps there will be more opportunity to collaborate with Deathline.

Jester: Will Fishtank No. 9 ever tour?

War-N: One of these days. As I said, I plan to move out to the SF bay area in March. I doubt anything will happen before then. I will spend the next 6 months writing new material and then record a new CD. Then perhaps a tour or at least some live shows. My main problem where I live now is finding willing accomplices for live shows. I want to present F9 as a live band, not just me and a DAT deck.

Jester: What is the scene like in Cincinnati? (pathetic?)

War-N: You named that tune in one Jester! There is an industrial night or two at a couple of local dance clubs, which do surprisingly well. But as far as the live scene goes....there really isn't one. It isn't just the industrial scene either. People just don't seem to go out to see bands here. The CD always sounds better anyway...hee hee.

Jester: What do you do in your spare time outside of composing music?

War-N: Computer geek type things. I do a bit of web publishing (see & - blatant plug). Online that. Correct...I have no life, but it works for me!

Jester: What did you dislike about the original cover art for the debut Fishtank No. 9 album that made you request that it be changed?

War-N: Oh toilet!...that has been an ever joyous source of frustration for me. It didn't come out anything like it was supposed to. So COP and I both agreed to reprint it, and since we had the opportunity, decided to redesign the whole thing. It looks much better now. The plot thickened when the postal service lost the new artwork somewhere between here & Germany. But the last I heard, the new artwork was being stand by.

Jester: What is your favorite track you have ever written? (OSAS or F9)

War-N: That's a tough one. Usually my favorite piece is the one I have just started working on. By the time something is released I'm usually pretty sick of hearing it. Some of my previous faves though are 'Deadlock' & 'Smashing the Mirror', both from "Itself". Those two songs have a lot of personal significance to me. The lyrics are from the heart and the music makes me happy. I think the melodies and chord progressions work very well in those two. In OSAS land there is a track called 'Flowers of Rust', which actually has never been released. I would like to see that one on a compilation or something in the future.

Jester: Anything you'd like to add that I haven't covered?

War-N: My fond desire for the Spice Girls and grand plan to become one of them as soon as I save enough cash for the surgical procedure. Donations can be sent c/o The F9 Member Removal Fund. Peace..out...stay loopy....and stop that you'll go blind!!

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