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Interview: Noize Foundation - August 1998

Interviewed by Doug Lemmon

Thine Eyes is one of the ever-emerging, up & coming Northwest electronic/industrial bands. They just released their first full length American release, "Christian Sex Loops" on Doppler Effect Records. This month the Noize Foundation crew hooked up with Tanner, Laird and Rian, collectively known as Thine Eyes, for an email interview.

Doug: First things first, who is Thine Eyes, and what is the role of each member?

Tanner: Laird, Rian and I all make sounds. Laird and I are the chief sequencers, and I occasionally sing. We're all producers.

Doug: Where did the name Thine Eyes come from?

Tanner: Laird and I were in a Shakespeare class together years ago. We were reading King Lear, and wanted something with a visual implication and that would have that all-important literary tone to it. We all kind of regret the name at this point

Laird: Yeah, it's a little high-brow for us.

Doug: With the two core members of Thine Eyes living so far apart from each other, how do you manage to write and record music?

Tanner: Laird writes a bunch of lousy music, sends it to me, and I fix it and make it good.

Laird: Yeah, or Tanner writes some bitchin'ly groovin' music, send it to me, and I make it bad. We both have big Mac computers and Akai samplers so collaboration hasn't been too hard.

Doug: The first time I heard your music was on the Doppler Effect compilation, "Resurgence," with "Short but Crushable." That track is made of a wide assortment of samples, layered upon each other. Tell me about it.

Laird: heh, well, that track was kind of an experiment with layering tons of lounge-music loops over big beats. To be honest, Amon Tobin and the like do it better, but ya gotta start somewhere. "Short but Crushable" is a testament to our love of the program Recycle!.

Doug: In the biography sent to me by Doppler Effect records, it mentions that your new CD, "Christian Sex Loops" has "...ventured far beyond the rigid drum machinisms of industrial music." How would you differentiate your music from the definitions of "industrial" music?

Tanner: Industrial just don't got da funk. We try to have some fun. I think we're much more in the idm/hard-core techno realm.

Laird: Hard core techno? Ambient/D&B might be more accurate. We're still a bit industrial, we have a lot of noisy sounds and samples, some machine-gun beats and even some electro bass lines and such.

Tanner: True, and we still dig really spooky ambient melodics.

Doug: You have a long history of releasing tracks on compilations, including Resurgence, Undercurrent PDX (both on Doppler Effect), Construction No. 9 (Arts Industria), There Is No Time (RAS-DVA), and others. How does it feel to have your own full length CD out?

Tanner: Sexy.

Doug: What kind of technology was used on this CD (keyboards, effects, recording, etc.)?

Tanner: Macs.

Laird: Macs control synthesizers and lotsa samplers, which are recorded by other Macs using Pro-Tools, sounds are then tweaked via various programs,sent back to the samplers, the whole lot is rerecorded and mastered on the computer.

Doug: Where did the name "Christian Sex Loops" come from?

Tanner: Laird?

Laird: Tanner? Both Tanner and I were talking one night on the way to McMiniman's, and our friend MC Death fused both of our conversations into the phrase "Christian Sex Loops".

Tanner: It's utterly meaningless, but apparently a decent conversation piece!

Doug: Who in the band is Christian?

Tanner: Nobody, though I think Rian was reared in a Christian family. I think all the Christian questions are funny. If someone named an album Muslim Dump Trucks, I doubt anyone would presume they were Muslim. Hee hee. That should be our next album title!

Laird: Oh, we should have foreseen the confusion.

Doug: Where do each of you stand in regards to organized religion?

Tanner: To each their own!

Doug: Christian Sex Loops has a wide variety of music, from industrial based instrumentals, to more eclectic sounds, such as on "See Saw." Is this indicative of one of you being the driving force behind some of the songs, and the roles switching on other songs?

Tanner: Yeah, some what, but Laird and I tend to trade styles as well as the helm from song to song. One week I may write something silly like "See Saw," whereas the next week Laird may write something equally silly like "Is It All Red?"

Laird: The Thine Eyes enigma is fun for the whole family! We dare you to try to divide our CD into "Laird" and "Tanner" tracks! Seriously, though, Tanner and I have been writing music together since 1991, we are so of the same mind now it's not even funny.

Tanner: It's good to have Rian around to infuse some left-field ideas.

Doug: A few of the tracks on Christian Sex Loops reminded me of some early Skinny Puppy instrumentals, or Doubting Thomas. What does Thine Eyes listen to when your not making your own music?

Tanner: We used to listen to all that stuff. I suppose we're still showing some of that influence. I mostly listen to contemporary trip-hop and techno, though, Massive Attack and Autechre and such.

Laird: Contemporary trip hop. Contemporary? As opposed to all that trip hop from the 40's? You're a nut. But, yeah, much more we're listening to more Plaid and Squarepusher than industrial bands. I have, though, been enjoying the new Snog, SMP and Noxious Emotion, Tear Garden and such.

Doug: What advice would you give to someone just getting started in the music business?

All three in unison: You must like Sock monkeys. They're made entirely out of socks.

[Thine Eyes]
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