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Interview with Martin Myers of Waiting For God - conducted by telephone - 1/17/98

Jester: How did you approach composing "Desipramine" differently than you did "Quarter Inch Thick"?

Martin: To give you an idea of the massive time difference between the two writing sessions, some of the tracks on "Quarter Inch Thick" were written when I was still in Moev. When Tom Ferris and I started working on it, that material was destined to be a Moev record. Then Dean Russell from Moev died and we were left without a vocalist. As a result we decided to continue to record under new project name. Whereas with "Desipramine", the music consists of edited jams between myself and Greg Price.

Editor's Note: Sonic-Boom has since been contacted by Tom Ferris of Moev who made the following statement: "Martin Myers has never or will ever be in Moev." Why Martin made the aformention Moev claim will continue to remain a mystery.

Jester: "Desipramine" is much more minimal and noisy compared to your other material. Is that because the most was recorded during live jams?

Martin: Yes. All of the music was recorded live onto the computer using multi-track session editing. Then we went back and pieced together all of the parts we had played and then placed into some type of song format. This was the first time we had ever decided to write music that could be performed entirely live without the aid of backing tapes.

Jester: Why did you choose to name the album after an anti-depressant drug?

Martin: We were on the road touring with Waiting For God. We met a vagrant on the tour and he wanted to trade us his watch for a beer. We obliged, but once the beer was gone, he wanted his watch back. Our road manager made him trade something else for a watch and ended up with a bottle of Desipramine. The manager ended up taking the entire bottle of pills and got so sick that he ended up in the hospital. The whole event would have been really amusing except for the fact that we had to cancel a few tour dates. We decided to name the album after that event because of the irony involved.

Jester: How did the video for 'Positive ID" happen?

Martin: That came together through some friends of mine who work on the X-Files set here in Vancouver. They really liked the band and informed me one day that they could get a grant from the Canadian government to help finance the video if I could cover half the costs. I came up with the money, we set aside a weekend for filming, and put together a Rock video.

Jester: Why did you choose that song for which to make a video?

Martin: Between Re-Constriction and the crew filming the video, they felt that 'Positive ID' was the most commercially viable track on the album. Whenever you make a video, you intend for it to be played, so it made sense to work with the most accessible song we could.

There is another video in existence for a track from "Quarter Inch Thick" that hasn't seen the light of day because we didn't choose a good commercial track. We will see how well the new video does. Right now it is still sitting on Chase's desk. We are waiting to see how well the album sells before trying to promote the video.

Jester: How did you first get involved with Re-Constriction Records?

Martin: "Quarter Inch Thick" was originally released in Europe in late 1994 on SPV. We never really attempted to obtain any North American distribution. I built up a good relationship with Chase at Re-Constriction by doing remixes for bands like 16 Volt, Collide and Christ Analogue. I finally asked him to release my record domestically and he agreed.

Jester: Has your relationship with Re-Constriction turned out for the best?

Martin: It is certainly better than having my records sitting around my house collecting dust. To be honest, I really don't know how well either record has sold. However, I don't really care how many records we sell. I am into it solely for the music. Chase has done goods things for Waiting For God, so I will continue to release records through his label.

Jester: Will you be touring to help promote "Desipramine?

Martin: Yes. I am planning on heading out on the road in the summer of 1998. I want to play tracks off "Desipramine" as well as the new album that I am working on right now. I wait to preview the new record just as much as I want to play the "Desipramine" material, so I want to wait until the album has been out for a while and I have written a fair amount of new material.

Jester: What is the new album going to sound like?

Martin: It is a lot heavier than "Desipramine". There is no guitar whatsoever. It is very fast, around the 160 to 180 BPM. It is almost Gabba in nature. The closest thing I can compare it to would be Atari Teenage Riot with better production. I am really not into the low-fi trend. I can't listen to an album that is mixed horribly just because they want it to sound low-tech.

I am very fortunate to have a nice studio. I have a ProTools 3.0 machine, an ADAT, and a 24 track mixer so I am a little spoiled. However, "Quarter Inch Thick" was written on an EPS-6, PS16+, Matrix 6 and a Yamaha 4-track and it still sounds good. That was about as low budget of an album I have ever written.

Jester: What will the live version of Waiting For God look like now that you have lost Greg as a drummer?

Martin: I have been working a lot with a DJ. As a result, the live set-up is probably going to consist of a DJ, guitar player, keyboardist and the vocalist. I've been really happy using the noise guitar live. I have really enjoyed using delay and distortion to carry different tones so I am going to continue to use it.

Jester: I heard a rumor that your vocalist Daemon Cadman left the band?

Martin: That rumor is true. She left the band quite some time ago.

Jester: Have you found a new vocalist?

Martin: Yes. We are currently working with a new singer. We have already played shows with her here in Vancouver and she works great. Her name is Holly Westgate. She has sung in a number of Punk bands previously but nothing that anyone would have heard about outside of Canada. I will admit that the older tracks sound different with Holly providing vocals but I think it is a change for the better.

Daemon and I had worked together for quite some time and I decided that we were not really going to evolve musically in a situation with her as our vocalist. "Desipramine" was a really tough album to write because I was going in one direction musically and she was heading in another. She was moving towards a Pop sound while I was going more towards the experimental vein.

Jester: How did to you first get involved with composing music?

Martin: It all started with a Commodore 64 back I had when I was a kid. I pick up this device called an Alpha Centauri from a friend which was essentially a musical sync box. I attached it to a few older synths and my computer and goofed around. I was listening to bands like Portion Control and Klinik at the time so it was only natural that I start to compose electronic music. I ended up joining Moev because of the closeness of the Vancouver scene and my musical career went on from there.

Jester: How is the Vancouver scene currently?

Martin: It is very touch and go. There are a couple really good bands in town right now, but I am really not that in touch with the local scene. I am more into the Progressive Techno scene than I am the Industrial scene. The Techno scene is really amazing here, but as far as Industrial is concerned, the scene can barely support live shows.

Bands like Numb, Download, and Front Line Assembly do really well here but most of the other local acts don't seem play very much. When they end up playing, it is horribly underpromoted and booked in a bad club. The scene peaked a few years ago, but its time has passed.

Jester: Are you involved with any other projects besides Waiting For God?

Martin: I have a couple side projects. Greg Price and I co-wrote an album that will be released on Quantum Loop Records under the name Hemisphere. I have backed out of that project because it has gone into an ambient direction. Hemisphere's music consists of a lot of older Waiting For God tracks that never really fit onto the albums. The album is finished and Greg Price is going through with the release but I am no longer involved with it.

I am also working on a new project called Hydrogen and we are currently in negotiation with a few labels. Hydrogen is more in a distorted heavy Techno sound along the vein of FSOL and Goldie. There are a lot of fat Jungle drums, noise, and the Digital Hardcore sound.

A debut Hydrogen record will be released fairly soon. We have been very fortunate with the Hydrogen material. We already have two tracks in a feature film and a video is in the works for another track. We are planning on a Hydrogen and a Waiting For God tour in the summer. Luckily Hydrogen will have better tour support due in part to a larger label, so it will help out Waiting For God.

Greg Price has another band called Phaedra with is a mixture of Techno and Progressive House. I am really not in touch with Greg much at all anymore. We sort of went our separate ways about a year ago.

Jester: What is your opinion of the current state of the Techno scene?

Martin: The whole Electronica buzz has done wonderful things for the promotion of the Techno scene, yet the bands who seem to be popular are still doing the Rock side of the electronic scene. Bands like Chemical Brothers and Prodigy are really just Rock bands. I am surprised that people haven't gone after the more eclectic artists like Aphex Twin, FSOL, Fluke, Underworld, and Crystal Method who don't utilize Rock elements in their music.

Jester: Do you think any of that is due to the American pre-occupation with the guitar as the staple musical instrument?

Martin: Yes, but I think it is getting better now. It is really tough to get away from using guitar in North America. Just when you think the guitar as an instrument is gone, along comes another Heavy Metal revival. Unfortunately, I don't think that the guitar will go away. I am not a big fan of the instrument, but I do think that it serves it's own purpose.

In the end I think bands should just write their own music and avoid whatever the current popular trend happens to be. I know when Moev got signed to Atlantic Records, the label wanted us to write an album full of Duran Duran material. We didn't go that direction and the album still did okay, probably in part to our choice of sticking with our musical integrity rather than the whims of a record label. We did at least write a single track to appease the label but that was so we could pay the bills and avoid getting a day job.

Jester: What is your favorite track off "Desipramine"?

Martin: I love the live version of 'Inefficient Machine' because it really imitates the sound of Waiting For God in a live setting. We had really never captured the true live essence of the band before. I think it is probably the best track on the record because of that.

Jester: Who is Bill Briscall who helped out on that track?

Martin: He is just a friend of mine who plays live with us from time to time. He has played for a variety of Rock bands in Vancouver as well as the Vancouver Symphony. He is an incredible fretless bass player. He had never even heard that song before when we were recorded it. I just told him what key to play in, he showed up, and did it in one take.

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