Interview with NoiseBox on 10/28/95 by Kevin Congdon with assistance by Jester

Thanks to the members of NoiseBox: Dre - vocals, rhythms, synths; Josh - sequencing, sampling, mixing

Kevin: Could you describe how NoiseBox first got started?

Josh: In 1987 or so, Dre and I got together and hooked up a bunch of tape decks and a bass and a huge amplifier and a green analog delay from Radio Shack - a little reverb thing - and it was fun, we had a good time doing it. And we've been doing it ever since.

Dre: Just with more stuff.

Kevin: Does Cleopatra keep in contact with you to let you know how your albums are doing? Or is that something that you're not really interested in?

Josh: That's not something we're even really interested in. We just do this stuff to have fun. Other people kind of dug it. If we get a little money for it, that's great. It's always nice to have other people appreciate what you have fun doing.

Kevin: Do you get a lot of flack from people who don't understand your music, who see it as just violence without catching the humor from the music?

Josh: We have fun with our anger

Dre: We have fun with violence. Violence is good

Josh: If you perceive it wrong, that's just you.

Dre: Actually I think it's better. I think it's better when perceive it wrong and get all upset. Those are the exact people we're yelling or singing about. Which actually, maybe those people understand far more than the people who say "Ooh, this is kind of pleasant, I can dance to it."

Kevin: How would you describe yourself as coming across in a live situation?

Josh: We're much better live.

Dre: I don't like the CD recorded stuff.

Josh: It's neat, but it's only that one time of that particular music. It's different every time we play. The music changes depending on the mood we're in. Listening to the CD is just that one point in time.

Jester: What motivated you to put out Nuffnutz? Was it the label or did you just feel like you wanted to put out your original material?

Dre: Money.

Josh: It was a combination of all kinds of things. It was the label that said hey, "Do you want to do a little remix type release?" "Do you want to remix some new and put some old ones on there?" and we said sure.

Dre: Plus it was about time for that anyway. Because we had so many other things we were working on that we weren't finished with yet.

Josh: We almost have enough stuff for a whole new record.

Kevin: Do you enjoy doing remixes of your own songs and other bands' songs?

Josh: I like listening to all the little sounds, and the bits of songs, before I actually hear the original completely. I take those sounds and write the song the way I would have written that song. Then I listen to the original and see how it compares; sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.

Kevin: Could you give a little background on the Sonic Terrorists Unit?

Dre: It s a collection of psychopath hackers and bit junkies.. That's like the other face of NoiseBox, the DarkBox. It's more of a covert noise thing. There is some STU material that is usually incorporated into a NoiseBox show. We have songs that we definitely consider as STU material as compared to NoiseBox material.

Jester: What prompted you to play tonights show?

Dre: Realistically, money. I don't know hardly any of these people coming to this show. If they groove to it or get off on it that's cool. But I'm playing for Josh & me and our few friends who like our stuff. We're more of a homey's type band more than a heady type band. If the sheep enjoy it that's cool, and if they get mad that's even better, because that means we've won.

Jester: Do you play music for the audience or yourselves?

Dre: We compose the music for ourselves. The music has to pass both of us before we pass it onto the public, even on tape. There's tons of stuff that none of the public has even heard, stuff that we might play tonight.

Kevin: So are you always in the process of creating new music?

Josh: Yes. On the weekend, because I had to get a day job.

Kevin: Do you find that drains your creativity or is it something you know you just have to do?

Josh: I'm kind of used it and with the money I've earned, I've bought a lot of stuff, mostly computer stuff.

Jester: Do you get a lot of feedback from the Internet?

Josh: Tons of it. 90% good, 10% bad. I don't get bad stuff often, but I do, which is good, because if everybody liked this stuff I would be afraid. It's good some people don't like our stuff.

Kevin: Do you take any negative comments from people concerning your music and try to improve your music or are your the changes you make more a product of your own criticisms?

Josh: I listen to outside things. Somebody could bring something to my attention that I don't hear. That doesn't mean I have to agree with it, but I'll take that suggestion for what it is.

Dre: I'd say 10% of the people who come at us that way are usually correct in some way. We just don't like comments like "you have to be more industrial." What is industrial? We're not Test Dept. or SPK; we're not banging on shit.

Kevin: You mentioned before that you might have ended up on Re-Constriction, but Chase wanted you do to more rap oriented stuff. How did that come about?

Dre: Chase was really one of the first people to talk to us. But we didn't want to come across as something like Beastie Puppy.

Jester: What was the motivation behind naming the release Nuffnutz?

Josh: It's neat to make people to say that. They have no other choice than to refer to the release as such. The same with Monkey Ass.

Dre: It's an ongoing joke. It's like "let's make people say ridiculous stuff."

Josh: It made us laugh for a long time

Dre: It made us laugh for days. And if you can't see the humor in that...

Jester: You shouldn't be listening to the record.

Dre: We were going to originally call the release Castrated.

Josh: Because we didn't get to put the punk rock songs on there

Dre: We had three just total guitar-bass-drum-yelling songs, but the record label was afraid the audience wouldn't understand. So naming it Nuffnutz is kind of fucking around with the label -- taking advantage of the situation. Basically because you have the most control over it. We were also going to put a cassette release only out called Taunto (Tonto?), full of songs to just taunt people. And maybe put a bunch of covers on it. And we'd be like "sue us, we don't have any money."

Jester: Who would you cover?

Dre: Sound Garden, Cannibal Corpse , Grave, Madonna, Sara McLachlan, Nirvana.

Kevin: Could you describe your song writing process?

Dre: It's like a silent democracy. It's like we'll recommend stuff by saying "why don't you put some guitar on that track?" It's not like, "No, we need to make it sound like FLA in a car wreck with Die Warzau while hanging out with Orge listening to Slayer with Sarah McLachlan." But at the same time that could be one of our songs.

Kevin: But it's not something you go into intentionally wanting to create?

Dre: We don't do anything like "we need a Trent song". It's never premeditated.

Jester: So you never take any undue influences from anyone else, it's just a straight creative process?

Dre: I wouldn't say it's that, because the influences show, the various styles show. But it's never in a conscious thought. It's not like "I'm going to sound like the Klinik because I listened to their CDs last night." It might be more like Josh listened to a hip-hop song and makes a hip-hop beat and I listened to some crazy metal or techno and we merged it.

Josh: You have to make it fun too.

Dre: We never know what the songs are going to sound like.

Kevin: Does you feel this adds some spontaneity to the music?

Dre: It makes it sound more like we want to do, rather than just pushing some buttons..

Jester: Where do you come up with some of your sounds? Is it all an effects board or sound CDs or do just take stuff from places?

Josh: Anyplace

Dre: It's a skillful weave of samples and synths.

Kevin: Josh, what do you like to do outside of music? I know you spend a lot of time on the computer.

Jester: Do you spend a lot of time on the Internet?

Josh: I'm addicted to that shit, I'm always downloading files like crazy.

Jester: Is that what you do for your job? Or do you have another occupation.

Josh: I'm a games technician. I sit around and solve peoples problems for them. It is really quite annoying. It's cool, but it can try on your patience.

Jester: Does it pay well?

Josh: It pays very well. Lots of cool shit out of the deal too. And it makes me a little better on my computer. I can set up a game for anybody now. You can be dumb and 900 miles away and I can fix your game for you.

Kevin: So what are you hobbies Dre?

Dre: I'm always looking for sounds. And playing video games. I've got a really weird work ethic. It depends on what month it is or something. Sometime I'll really be into doing our music, which is what is basically paying the bills. You've always got to think about that, but then I think about music all the time.

Kevin: Any games you're addicted to now.?

Dre: Vector man on Sega. That's bad. But once I get a Play Station, that will be my new hobby. But I just got my sampler back, so I'm just total sample-mind oriented right now. That's all I live and breathe for right now.

Jester: Do you sample off of any of the video games you play?

Dre: Actually yes. You'd be amazed at where some of the snares and the little vocal things come from.

Josh: We sample from everything.

Jester: Have you ever just blatantly swiped something from somewhere?

Josh: That only would only be if we were butchering something.

Dre: I can't thing of anything we've recently butchered with samples lately; just that Moby song.

Josh: Yeah we were mad at Moby that day.

Kevin: For what?

Josh: For being mean to us.

Dre: It wasn't really his fault. It was the circumstance. It's just the curse of being us. That's why we don't play out live. Because if something bad goes down, you just start the tape deck and you'll know.

Kevin: Sort of like bad karma?

Dre: I don't believe in that karma shit. Karma is just for people who are guilty of something. Fuck guilt. Guilt pulls you back from too much stuff. If you can do something and be guiltless about it, then that's good. I'm not saying go out and stab people or something like that. But guilt is ridiculous, unless you intentionally fuck someone up. If you knew full on what you were doing. But if you're going to be like that, do it, but be guilt-free about it.

Kevin: So would you say guilt is what is wrong with the public, that it keeps them from reaching their potential?

Dre: No, I think most people are sheep. They are too worried about what other people are going to do or react or how they perceive or say things.. That's why you have all this sub-genres of people; you've got the hip-hopsters, fetish groups, ravers, batcave-gothicos, and industrial heads. It's because no one is content with being everything. I think that's what everybody's problem is. I can go hang with gothics, or skinheads or Rastas; it no big deal, because I'm not one or the other. Just like our music borrows from all that. I'm hip to all that, but you would never know because you would never see me in baggy pants or look like a death rocker. That's why we play as how you would see us on the street. We're no different than anybody else. We're sure not making enough money to be different.

Kevin: Josh do you have any other hobbies besides hanging out at the computer?

Josh: No, we're basically just nerds.

Jester: Who've taken advantage of the record company?

Josh: In a sense, and they've also taken advantage of us in a sense. It's a give and take situation.

Dre: We wouldn't be signed if we couldn't make them some kind of money. They had to see some potential to put in their money and time. But the weird thing is that in the end, it doesn't really matter, because you can release things that say Monkey Ass and Nuffnutz, and I think that's funny. It's almost like evening it out. Because they screwed up on our liner notes so bad, it took them three times, we put just fucked up shit on them. It's like the saying "don't get mad, get even."

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