2013 has been a great year for interviews – we’ve gotten to know better some of our favorite musicians and artists through some fascinating, in-depth conversations. Here is a collection of our Top 6 favorite interviews we published this year, in order of their appearance on our site:
Oliver: Do you actually consider yourself to be a neofolk artist? Some other groups, like Of the Wand and the Moon, seem to be exploring psychedelic sounds. Rome has maintained a kind of experimental ambient angle in a lot of tracks, especially on Hell Money and Die Aesthetik… Do you see Rome going in any particular direction with the next LP or with any material you’re working on now? Can you give us a hint what that may be?
Jerome Reuter: I can’t really say until I am done with the work… I originated in the genre of neofolk but I’ve never liked being associated with it too much and I’ve always combined that style with other genres…so in a way I don’t give a toss about genres and expectations. I just do whatever I want to do, whatever I like. Just like my friend Kim from OTWATM. So, yes, I’m constantly exploring new terrain, but I am also always going back to some of the roots. Hell Money was all new to me. I feel like the next one is going a bit more towards a place that reminds me of Masse Mensch Material. It’s just how it happens. You never know where the song or theme is gonna take you.
What bore Youth Code? Why did you feel it was imperative to start now?
Ryan: YC wasn’t supposed to be an ongoing thing.. more of a test to see if we could actually pull it off. But that aside. I always felt this huge need to do something aggressive after Carry On split up. But I’d never do another HC band unless it was with Todd and he’s so busy with Nails and his family that it’ll never happen. I mean, modern Industrial/ebm is complete garbage and all the minimal synth shows we’ve been too are a total yawn fest. We saw there was a huge gap to fill in synth based music and just tried to provide some sort of alternative. Basically, like a lot of bands, we started the band we wanted to see/hear.
Sara: I had never really done music. I toured from when I got out of high school until just this past year, but only doing behind the scenes stuff (merch, tour managing…etc.). Ryan really pushed me to excel in creativity, and would start teaching me things about synthesizers to the point where we just started writing things together. I work at Vacation Vinyl, and they were having an all employee showcase of music at Pehrspace. I noticed that I wasn’t doing anything to participate so I barked up and told my manager that Ryan and I were playing our first show, and we were called Youth Code. It seemed like it would be a fun one time deal and then it just took off.We had a second show booked as soon as we stopped playing.
Photo: Wicked Ways Photography
Has growing up in the south had a major influence on the way you hear music? Was southern rock played in your home growing up?
LP – Southern Rock was not played in my home growing up. Motown was though. And, it’s hard to answer that question because I’ve lived in the south my whole life, you know? I do think that your surroundings play into your over all outlook. Those surroundings can be physical, emotional, cultural, intellectual, etc. That said, I don’t think my outlook would change that much if I had grown up somewhere else. I’d still be me, but slightly different.
PC- It’s hard to say, I guess in some way it’s had to have had an influence but when I was younger I always envisioned my self moving away. Now that I have had the chance to live out of it and I have gotten to travel all over, I have grown to appreciate many things about the south.
Southern rock was never played in my home, I actually hated it for a long period of time. I always associated it as redneck music and when I was in my teenage years rednecks were definitely the enemy. I can still clearly remember being younger and having my skate ramps destroyed by Jocks blasting it from their trucks. It took someone from California to actually get me to appreciate it. I can remember the first time listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Second Helping” and it sinking in. I was on tour with Damad and we picked it up at a gas station and listened to it over and over. From there I was able to get into other southern rock bands.
Photo: Carrie Whitney
Does anyone in APMD enjoy cooking? If so, hit us with a skull-crushing recipe!
OK. I am by no means an expert cook. I cook like a peasant and there is nothing precise or artistic about it. Really, it is pretty crude. However, if you want to make a meatloaf that will put some hair on your chest and impress friends while shaming enemies, make the following additions to a “traditional” loaf recipe.
1. Do not settle for just ground beef. What I like to do is combine a mixture of beef, pork and veal. Adjust to taste obviously, but a 45% beef, 35% pork, 20% veal is my personal favorite. Ground pork is cool and I use that most often, but some times I will get some hot Italian sausages from the butcher, strip the casings and use that, but it can fuck with the cook time…ANYWAYS.
2. Meatloaf recipes often call for breadcrumbs or oats. FUCK THAT. Get yourself a good Yukon Gold potato, peel the sucker, grab a grater and grate that spud good and proper. The moisture in the potato doesn’t lend itself to a nice bond for your loaf so you will want to add SOME breadcrumbs or oats to get those good, solid slices that you want. Who wants that bread-y, grade school lunch room loaf you have to soak in gravy to shovel into your pie hole? My rule of thumb is when you are combining all of your ingredients is to add breadcrumbs sparingly and only for cohesiveness.
3. This one is a no brainer, but buy fresh ingredients. Don’t be an idiot. Go to a butcher shop for your meats. You say you don’t have the time, I say your food is going to taste like shit. My butcher is great. He has one eye and minimal teeth and trust me his insight into cooking produces nothing but the most tender meats. Be selective when you pick out an onion. Don’t grab the first one on the pile, feel the fucking thing. NEVER use garlic powder, use fresh garlic etc.
4. So you have got your great big bowl full of beef, pork, veal. You’ve got your grated yukon gold, your 4-6 eggs, your garlic, your salt, your pepper… you have combined everything and added the minimal yet right amount of breadcrumbs and you’re about to stuff the whole mess into your loaf pan. Feeling pretty good about yourself eh? Why not make things better? While you were at the butcher shop you bought some thick cut bacon, right? You better have, because that is the key. Once you get that loaf jammed into the pan, lay 4 slices on top of it. Once you start cooking that fat will render down into the meat and fat is what makes meat taste good. For a real good time, mix up a blend of sriracha sauce and ketchup and paint the bacon with it. Fuck that is good.
You can look up a pedestrian meatloaf recipe online or swipe your mom’s copy of the Joy of Cooking. It will be helpful with cook times and boring details. Make these adjustments to it and within no time you’ll be cooking like someone that needs psychiatric help. Enjoy.
With Jesu, artistically you’ve been all over the place throughout the years. You’ve done sludge-doom albums, shoegaze albums, more industrial sounding albums and so on. This time you came out with an album that sounds even a little bit like Telefon Tel Aviv at times or like Boards Of Canada even more and that is overall very electro-sounding, what do you think?
Totally. Jesu is surely influenced by Boards of Canada, and the whole electro thing overall has been very hard for me to keep out of my music as an influence, as it is something I have always loved and drawn inspiration from. They in their turn are influenced by early Aphex Twin, which is another fundamental influence of mine. So it all makes sense. I’ve see some negative criticism floating around the internet about this album. Criticism that honestly makes me laugh, cause some of these people have said my shit is out of tune. That’s a ridiculous statement to make. I mean I’m fine with whatever, criticize the songwriting, the style, the sound, whatever, but criticizing my ability to tune my instruments is fucking incredible. Most reviews, even negative, are valid because they make a point, but in these instances you see how people are just fucking ignorant and annoying. You don’t get it, that’s fine, but don’t make a fool of yourself saying it’s out of tune. You don’t see this shit in other genres. Metal is sometimes the most narrow-minded and obtuse genre there is. You never hear this stupid shit from people who are into hip-hop, electronic or even pop. It’s a metal thing to be condescending, conservative and out of touch with reality. For instance, another thing that pisses me off are the Godflesh fans that hate Jesu and are vocal about it. It’s almost like Jesu offends them. For me, it just makes it fun, I find it hilarious that you can offend someone by playing to a different audience. Someone went as far as calling Jesu “gay music” and being downright offensive. How can a gender thing ever even fit into this equation? I don’t get it. Plus Godflesh is a band that is at its roots anti-ignorance so they don’t even realize that the band they love is actually hating them! People misunderstand you as an artist all the time as soon as you make music that goes outside of their comfort zone and blends different styles or experiments with other elements. But I enjoy metal just as I do, say, folk. It’s all just music to me and I’m a music lover, and I just find it hilarious that many people can’t get this simple fact.
Daniel: This might sound like a banal question, but I think we can reach an interesting point. Most of us like to grow long hair/beards, get tattoos, piercings (not to mention doing booze/drugs and in general have a fairly licentious attitude), while you seem to be quite out of this fashion. I wonder how important is to you to show a certain image in your daily life and especially if you take part of a musical project, considering your point of view from a graphic designer/artist and from a regular person.
Mark: I suppose I’m a bit of an unconventional metalhead. I’ve never had long hair, I’ve never taken drugs, I don’t have any tattoos or piercings, and I don’t smoke or drink alcohol. I know these are things are commonly embraced by the metal community, but they’re just not for me. I have an obligation to my family (including a child with special needs — autism), a full time job, and I must have a clear and focused mind to accomplish my day-to-day commitments. I take my work seriously; I don’t have the time or interest in anything that would potentially distract me from my goals and tasks. I don’t think this poses any damage to my “image” as an artist/musician. The subject matters I cover in my creative expressions certainly bring to light uncomfortable, aggressive, dismal, and dreaded components of the human condition. The idea of death and dying is something often placed in the back of people’s minds but it haunts me every day and in turn seeps through my art and music.