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Interview with Velvet Acid Christ - conducted by e-mail - 12/9/97

Jester: You mentioned once that you were unhappy with "Church of Acid" as an album. Why is that?

Bryan: Well, I like the OffBeat version because it has 'Futile' and 'Disflux' on it. We had some problems with sample clearance from some TV shows, so we chose not to release those tracks here, now I feel that the U.S. release is not as strong as the original. Most of the music was written on dated gear back in 1993-94. We have evolved much since then. The new album "Calling Ov The Dead" reflects this.

Jester: What is it like running both a record label as a business and trying to to release and promote your music as an artist?

Bryan: It is weird. It started that way, I never wanted to be signed, I never tried to be signed. I gave some CD's to Bill Leeb at a show, and he gave em to OffBeat and they hunted me down. How could I refuse being on a label with most of my idols on it? I think it is cool to have all the label mates that I have now. EDT lost VAC, due to some internal band problems. They have been worked out, and the next release after "Calling Ov The Dead" will be an EDT release with the new VAC members.

Being on the net is hard, because I try not to take it so personal. I try to be objective most of the time, but I have slipped up on RMI a few times. I no longer promote VAC, as is not my job until Pendragon releases the three EDT releases . Then I hope more people will work at EDT and they can do it so I can work on the music side more.

It is hard, I mean, I used to post on RMI a lot before I was signed, I used to discuss and talk about music as a regular fan of Industrial. I try to stick to the "each to their own" thing. But many in our scene feel it necessary to bitch and flame any and every band. I know I should just ignore it. But I get sick of the shit eating attitude that most of these so called "elite electro heads" have towards Industrial and Electronic music. So I decided to revel in it and annoy these flamers, get them to flame VAC so it becomes this big deal.

I always liked controversy. But you know, being in this scene and then all of a sudden being signed, it kind of alienates you from the public a little. Not that I am too good for people or anything, but I became the subject of scrutiny and praise, it is odd. I am not used to it at all. I am not the rock star type. I am more of a computer nerd who likes video games, music, and technology and scenes revolving around this.

Jester: Electro Death Trip Records has started out as a label licensing releases from Europe (Suicide Commando, Klinik, etc). Are there any plans to sign artists directly your label?

Bryan: Yes we have signed Aghast View and are looking for others! Celtic Circle just went under so there are a lot of bands out there who need homes.

Jester: Whose idea was it to have EDT design and market Pendragon Records and Offbeat Records on the Internet?

Bryan: I did it. I did it to help the scene, I don't really get paid for what I do, I do it for the scene. And to help other musicians and labels that I find very respectable. I did it with their permission, and they liked the results and were very pleased. The OffBeat page has won some awards over in Europe I am happy about that. Not everyone likes the pages, but I get more praise from it than anything.

Jester: From what I've heard of your music, you seem to use a very blunt in your face and often abusive attitude in your lyrics. Why is that?

Bryan: A lot of the VAC message is personal, a lot of it is about personal experiences and about specific people I have encountered in my life. VAC is an emotional release for me, it is where I put all of my anger, depression, and hate. I really am a pretty easy guy to get a long with underneath this music and the imagery. I don't discriminate as much these days. I am very political, and you must remember that a lot of what I wrote on the first VAC release was years ago in my adolescence. I am growing, it kind of sucks, the scene watches me grow now. I know there are others who have been through what I have been through and can relate to some of the messages in the older stuff, and that is why I decided to put it out. Maybe it is not for everyone. but most bands are not. Some bands are a lot worse than us when it comes to that.

Jester: Can we expect to see any type of VAC tour in 1998 to promote the new releases?

Bryan: I hope so, but we are in the production stage of all of that now. We will tour in Europe, so we will see how things go there and try and improve for the States. We plan on an elaborate show, I hope we can entertain, we want lots of technology at the shows, including video, so we are working hard not to do what everyone else has done before live.

Jester: Any timetable on when we can expect a VAC versus Individual Totem Remix Wars release?

Bryan: There are no dates are set, but I plan on working on it in the months ahead. Probably before spring is when it will be out, but who knows?

Jester: Don't you find it at least a little hypocritical to be both vegetarian and yet indulge in chemical alterations via hallucinogens? To me it seems like these two personal life style choices are in opposition.

Bryan: Not at all. I am not a vegetarian for my health, I have moral reasons for it. Sure people die from drugs, people die from cars, and guns, sex, and food too. Should we ban all of it? I became a vegetarian on acid. It made me look at what I had hidden from myself all those years. Acid changed me drastically. It helped me get past religion and many other things that were oppressing me. It does not do that for everyone, but that is the experience that I had with it. I grew. I am not an addict, I think the last time I tripped was over a year ago. it is a recreational and a soul finding drug to me.

I don't need to be messed up on drugs when I am running the label, or doing web pages, so I don't do them most of the time. But I still like to write music under the influence of many drugs. I do caution people and all my friends to stay away from hard drugs like crack, coke, heroin, and meth. Those drugs will ruin most people who take them. I am not the hap-hazard hippy that some call me. I do care about people and this world. I try to be responsible. But I still have to be myself. I don't think all drug use is bad, but drug abuse is very bad! People need to be responsible for their actions. Some ruin themselves with things, and some use them properly and for productive causes.

Jester: Where did the Disease Factory nickname originate from?

Bryan: I put a little philosophy and irony into it. A factory that creates disease to kill off the human race. Kind of like what most of the corporations in today's worlds are doing now. "Call me paranoid" . Its more of a joke than anything, but the name stuck, it was my nick name when I was a warez hacker/demo coder/hpavcc phreak. Later I started a side project called Disco Disease Factory, it was a parody of bad Techno music and stuff like C + C Music Factory. It was a division of our other side project Toxic Coma.

Jester: What do you do in your spare time when you are not working on music, the record label, or the web site?

Bryan: I play a lot of video games (PSX, PC voodoo), Listen to a lot of music, and have great relationships with many close friends. I read a lot as well. History, Philosophy, Science, Quantum Mechanics but I don't as much these days because I am too busy.

Jester: Have you been forced to obtain a day-job to help fund the record label or are most of the costs covered by Pendragon Records?

Bryan I do web page design for some companies that do pay well. However I don't put that on the EDT web page because it is corporate stuff, and I don't think they would appreciate being associated with a bunch of weirdo drug satanic looking freaks. Sales are good for VAC, but they don't pay the bills yet. It took many big acts until their 4th release for them to make money. I buy gear a lot now, and that puts me in the hole but I always manage.

Jester: What people actually compose Electro Death Trip Records?

Bryan: EDT is Steve Bird from Toxic Coma, Dan Olson from VAC/Toxic Coma, Sage of Culture Shock Magazine, Michael Prejean, and myself. We all share in the same vision to bring out good music and to get these talented bands the credit and recognition that they deserve.

Jester: At times you seem extremely jaded at the current directions of the Industrial scene. What motivates you to still make music?

Bryan: Music labels bore me for the most part. I like good music, I write music that I think sounds good. I listen to many artists that go beyond Industrial. I try to mix all kinds of influences into VAC, we are not just Industrial, or Techno, Or Trance Goa, or Gothic, Or Grindcore, Or Metal. We are all of the above meshed together in one sound. However, I would say Industrial and Goa are my favorites, but others in the project delve into other styles. We just try and bring them together to make it original. All scenes have their good and bad, I try to be influenced by the stuff I like no matter what style it is. I do love a lot of Industrial. I just don't like some of the scene that comes with it. To many negative people trying to ruin it. People seem to be abandoning Industrial for Techno/Trance Goa these days. I can't say I blame them, Goths and Industrial people can be some of the most UN-friendly people that you may encounter. Not everyone is like that in the scene. I have met many who have been some of the coolest people, but most of them are swaying towards the Techno thing as well. I will never go one or the other, we will always mix it up. I don't see VAC as just an Industrial band. If I did, I would have little faith in the project. Most DJ's, and record companies are stuck in the past and do little to help the new wave on Industrial. But there are Die hards out there who will always make it a niche in the world of music and I respect those people. But people tend to get really fascist with their cliques. It gets annoying how closed minded some people can be.

Jester: What do you think the single greatest problem facing the Industrial scene is today?

Bryan: DJ's don't spin the stuff, there are too many people stuck into the Goth thing, and Techno for the most part these days has the new ideas and the better dance beats, effects, and atmosphere but Techno tends to lack the personality that most Industrial has. I don't think Industrial will ever completely die, but if musicians and DJ's don't pump some new life into Industrial and play with fusion, it may fade. Haujobb tend to do this well, they move, and evolve, they are not stuck in the same EBM rut that a lot of acts seem to be stuck in. The new FLA is innovative, because it mixes more elements into Industrial, thus making it melodic, it has personality, and it has the new beats. I think if more people open their minds and keep playing around with new sounds in Industrial, that Industrial has a bright future. it may over take the faceless Techno scene if the record labels market it correctly and put money back into it.

Jester: What is your favorite VAC song? Why that song?

Bryan: It is hard to say, Right now I like 'Malfunction', it is tight, I like the melody and the lyrics., It's a good dance song and it has the Industrial flair mixed with Goa tinge. You can hear it on Tyranny Off The Beat IV or listen to it on "Calling Ov The Dead". Both are out now, but only in Europe.

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