Fade Kainer is the very definition of a creative individual, and someone deeply planted in the musical realm. In this interview we discuss his latest project Statiqbloom, whose upcoming debut album will be released through Translation Loss Records, working in a band setting and a solo project, processing chains, effects, audio engineering, remixing, comparing painting to songwriting, spirituality and meditation among more. And some unfortunate news about Batillus come up.
I am quite curious about the name of the project Statiqbloom, since there is a contradiction between the word “static” (q) and the word “bloom.” I was getting the image of something coming out from a state of equilibrium. But of course “static” also being a type of electric charge, makes deciphering the name more complicated. Can you explain what was the inspiration in that choice?
Actually, yes it is from the thought of something coming from a state of equilibrium. embracing the light and dark, negative and positive inside and without.
There have been a few releases from Statiqbloom in the past, with Black Mirrors and the split with Zex Model, but I think the project was flying a bit under the radar. How do you feel now that the project’s debut full-length, Blue Moon Blood, is coming out through Translation Loss?
Yes the full-length is coming out via Translation Loss Records, I’m excited to present my first full-length album. I feel that it is a cohesive piece with intertwined themes.
You have been dealing with a lot of different themes in Batillus, be it spirituality, loss, addiction, love. Has your perspective shifted with Statiqbloom? What would you say are the themes you are exploring in this work? Are the tracks connected in a wider concept?
Yes, I would say that I’m still dealing with the same themes in Statiqbloom but I am also looking outward more so than I did in Batillus, in this album Blue Moon Blood there is a reoccurring themes of being haunted by external and internal forces and the processes of dealing with those phantoms, and like the mention of equilibrium earlier sometimes negatively or positively.
Compared to your other projects I get a more catchy feeling with Statiqbloom, while at the same time you have managed to retain your familiar dark aura. Was that a conscious move, in getting more hooks in the music?
No I don’t think it was a conscious choice, when I initially began writing Statiqbloom material it was personal I didn’t even plan to share it. I was using it as a cathartic tool to express things inside and I was longing to create the atmosphere of a lot of music that really affected me when I was younger, music that really helped me transcend reality and open new portals, I’m always trying to create that feeling, the one of overturning a rock and seeing what’s crawling underneath.
Blue Moon Blood includes the industrial and doom aspects, influenced from Ministry and Godflesh, but I also get a slight post-punk quality in there, which at times, makes me think of Killing Joke. Was that an element that you wanted to highlight in the album?
Those bands are definitely an influence. But I’m not consciously trying to emulate them. The thing that turns me on about industrial music from the 80’s and early 90’s is a lot of the unpolished grittiness of a lot of it. I really don’t like a lot of electronic music that has slick production. I like things to be a bit noisy and fucked, I’m really into texture.
You have been in a band scenario with Batillus, and currently also in Tombs. What aspects of production/songwriting/performance is it that you find easier to do when you are working on your own project, and what harder?
Working alone has the benefit of being able to present a distilled concept hopefully realized from its original vision. Sometimes in doing that it’s hard to make choices and edit yourself because I can get immersed in the concept and it’s hard to see things that might not be working with a piece of music. For this album I narrowed 100 ideas down to 10, but I needed feedback from some close friends to help chose to the final songs to complete, because in my mind I have all these concepts and can visualize the end result of something that might seem like a simple short idea of a track. So in working in a “band” situation its easier in that respect because you’re just responsible for your part in enhancing the song with your contribution. As far as performance when I’m doing Statiqbloom live if it is going well I really feel I can authentically be expressive of who I am, or at least the parts of me that I don’t share in my daily day to day life. As anyone who knows me personally can attest I’m somewhat of an introvert so like most musicians/songwriters/artists this is all just a tool for me to express what I cannot in everyday personal interaction.
Your lyrics and your music in Statiqbloom, and your other projects/participations display a degree of spirituality. What is it specifically that you find alluring in spirituality, and you draw inspiration from it? You have also mentioned that you practice meditation in your everyday life. What has been your experience with it, and has it helped you in being more artistically creative?
As far as spirituality, I feel there is so much that we don’t or are incapable of understanding; I feel there is definitely power within intention, and I struggle with light and dark, negative and positive. Meditation helps me not get caught up in a lot of useless noise in my mind, and to be open and allow creative ideas to flow without all the static in the way.
Let’s move on to gear. What setup do you have: analog, digital or a hybrid approach? What is the equipment that somehow always finds its way in your signal chain when producing. And more specifically, how did you approach the production of Blue Moon Blood in terms of setup?
My set up is a hybrid of digital and analog – I use a combo of outboard gear and plug ins, one of my fav synths that I use a lot is a Waldorf microwave XT, and I really dig the Soundtoys plug ins, but I don’t have a specific approach when song writing. I like trying not to fall into patterns of production while writing, I feel it gives each track its own feel if they are all written with different approaches, gear and microphones.
In a previous interview you stated that you also work as an audio engineer. With what artists have you worked recently on the production helm? Has the discipline also helped you understand more the ins and outs of audio equipment, synths and effects?
I mainly do live audio engineering for other people, it has taught me to trouble shoot in a fast-paced environment which is useful in any live situation either for my performances or others.
You are also famous for your remixes, from artists such as Nachtmystium, Corrections House, Secrets of the Moon and Circle of Animals. What is the process that you follow? Do you, for example, tailor the remix around your interpretation of the original track?
Actually, my preference is to do remixes without hearing the original track, and use the provided material to reconstruct a track from the ground up.
Apart from music, you also paint and you do artwork for other bands. How would you compare producing/writing music to visual art? Do you find overlapping aspects between the two?
Yes I do find that painting is similar to writing/producing music – music is very visual for me and that is what drew me to electronic music in the first place, the broader palette of sound and texture.
It was also stated that the live incarnation of Statiqbloom will feature collaborative performances with Denman C. Anderson (Semita Serpens). How exactly are you going to approach the live setting? Do you have any upcoming gigs you would like to mention?
Denman has been playing live with Statiqbloom for the last six months now. He’s awesome – he brings a lot of energy to the stage, and having him allows for more flexibility with improvisation within the song structures and the ability to do more things live as well as allowing me to focus on doing a lot more as a frontman. As far as notable upcoming shows, I will be playing a few festivals, Coldwaves and Apex Fest this summer and fall; I’ll be playing the Los Angeles area in May, and in NYC I have a few shows booked playing with Kontravoid then Yob.
There is a question I am slightly afraid to ask. What does the future hold for Batillus? It has been four years since Concrete Sustain, and I am worried we have not heard more stuff from you, other than the split Kowloon Walled City and the Andy Stott remix.
Do you have any upcoming releases you would like to mention, with any of your myriad projects?
I’m currently working on a split record with an Australian doom/noise band Whitehorse – it should be out in six months or so on Vendetta Records. These Statiqbloom songs will be the first to include Denman in the mix.