MiXE1 – Reflections

Like so many bands, British trio MiXE1 has teased and taunted rich attention with a host of ear grabbing encounters but have yet to fully ignite the sparks set through those imaginative success deserving releases. It is easy though to suggest and expect that break through with the band’s new album Reflections; a collection of striking tracks combining to create their finest most striking moment yet.

From a solo project created in 2010 by Mike Evans (Vocals, Synths), MiXE1 has grown into a formidable creative proposition with the addition of Lee Towson (Guitars, Live Bass, Synths, Vocals) and Lee O’Brien (Drums, Synths, Samples). Similarly their sound has evolved and blossomed across EPs and a well-received debut album as electronic adventure has increasingly aligned with alternative and rapacious rock tenacity. As Reflections shows, it is music and imagination which continues to explore and discover greater depths; the new album embracing a broader canvas of sound as the snarl of metal, boisterousness of pop, and epic rock enterprise all collude with the band’s already established creative instincts.

With the release also seeing the band joined by a host of guests across its increasingly magnetic body, Reflections opens up with its title track, the song looming in from an instantly busy distance on a tide of synth and guitar to swiftly establish an inescapably tempestuous and gripping lure. Evans’ vocal roar carries a similarly ferocious edge, attitude still lining the melodic prowess which soon springs from his throat amidst the compelling storm. With hungry hooks and fiery melodies igniting the multi-flavoured and easily devoured trespass, the song continued to nag, enthral, and incite.

The following Get Out Alive rises with a similar recipe of flavours but quickly sets out its individual character woven on melody, aggression, and eager imagination. As its predecessor, its infectious breath and moves are at odds with but the perfect companion to raw ferocity; again a union which attacks and seduces within a stirring tapestry of sound and texture.

Though released a couple of years back, Don’t Break Apart could be described as the lead single of the album and has lost none of its potency over time. In many ways the moment the band’s sound marked its latest evolution with its earlier release, its potential has been fully realised across the album and still fires up the appetite as it builds on its pulsating electronic start to cast sonic virulence upon the senses. Gentle caresses lead to inflamed eruptions and compelling melodic intimation builds to dark and rapacious incitement, the track pure magnetic and intimate drama only elevated by the additional contributions of Lawrie Bayldon (Studio-X) on synths and Erlend Eilertsen (Essence of Mind) alongside Richard K (Machine Rox) on vocals.

The rousing Spectrum is next up, immediately casting a melodic web with metallic strands around a robust rhythmic canter, the track a voracious mix of pop catchiness and electro shadows all toned with flirtatious temptation while successor, the equally irresistible Align revels in vociferous industrial instincts to create its very own contagious incitement. There is a great irritable edge to the electro rock based outing, antagonism soaked in melodic tempting reminding of former UK band Ghost In The Static.

From a dystopian atmosphere Nexus steps forward next, the track another with an industrial rock breeding embracing and employing a wealth of electro and rock strands to cast its magnetic web. Rabbit Junk’s JP Anderson joins Evans on vocals, his raw antipathy a tantalising companion to the more flirtatious harmonic tones of MiXE1’s frontman. Yet again ears were gripped and vocal chords incited with Fall straight after thrusting its rapacious rock ‘n’ roll upon the senses to similarly take control of body and attention with increasing rewards if ultimately only teasing the heights of the previous tracks. Still though, it just captivated before Monochrome with Roman Marisak (Professional Murder Music, Spacetime) guesting on vocals provides the darkest and most corrosive moments of the release whilst forging another of the album’s striking propositions in sound and enterprise revealing richer depths by the listen.

Yet one more major highlight comes with next up Creations, the song casting an atmospheric suggestiveness from which emotive and melodic imagination blossom their radiance. At its volatile heart is the vocal coupling of Evans and Natasha Cox (Mankind Is Obsolete, AL1CE, Alice Underground), both pure enticement and the latter simply mesmeric within a climate which simmers, seduces, and subsequently erupts with physical and emotional turbulence.

The final pair of Authors and Quasar ensure the album’s close is as stirring and impressive as what came before; the first an eager slice of electro rock as anthemically infectious as it is intimately heart bred while the latter takes the listener across an ethereal landscape before taking a spatial flight enriched with celestial harmonics and spirit raising dynamics. It is a glorious and imaginative finale exposing yet another aspect in the creative kaleidoscope of MiXE1.

The Hertfordshire band has never been a stranger to providing striking and seriously enjoyable encounters but Reflections simply eclipses all that has come before so surely the time is ripe for MiXE1 to be embroiled in the attention and success their music if not before now definitely deserves.

Reflections is out August 9th with pre-ordering available now @ https://mixe1.bandcamp.com/album/reflections

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Pete RingMaster 23/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Martyr Art – FearFaith Machines

Self-Dubbed as digital metal, the Martyr Art sound is a voracious mix of varied metal and industrial/electronic textures with more besides from an artist which embraces technology as eagerly as the cauldron of flavours woven into his bold recipe of enterprise. FearFaith Machines is the new and fifth album from the band, a release which for fans and newcomers can only make for one compelling adventure.

Martyr Art is the one man project of Joe Gagliardi III, an Orange County musician whose skills on the guitar are as captivating as the songwriting, vocal prowess, and imagination which equally escape his invention. The band is truly a solo project with Gagliardi playing every instrument before recording, mixing and mastering every second of adventure making up FearFaith Machines. Since emerging in 2004, Martyr Art has shared stages with the likes of Corey Glover, Doyle, KMFDM, Drowning Pool, Saul Williams, Full Devil Jacket, Brick By Brick, Dead Empires, and Moon Tooth whilst releasing a host of well-received singles and EPs as well as those previous four full-lengths. Up to this point Martyr Art had evaded our radar but FearFaith Machines has corrected that and will for a whole new tide of fans such its striking offerings.

The album starts with Motion, metallic electronic pulses and temptations luring ears before raw steely smog brings a rousing scourge of groove and alternative metal awash with industrial espionage. Quickly Gagliardi shows his vocal diversity as throat scarred and clean tones intermingle with the former heading the virulent contagion. Equally his craft on the guitar further ignites the tempest, shredding and picking multi-cultural sonic temptations.

The following cyclone of The Pleasure of Pain is just as invasively magnetic, its industrial inclinations steering the listener towards the waiting metal bred uproar. The cycle repeats with even greater heat and intensity, vocals again a great blend of attack and enterprise matching the adventurous emprise of sound. Like a maelstrom of Rabbit Junk, Squidhead, and Cynical Existence, the track is a captivating fury more than matched by next up Who Are You. The third song scowls as it plunders the senses, raging with punk dissonance as again a web of styles and flavours unite with voracity and imagination on the way to forging another major highlight within the release.

Across the sinister almost psychotic Just and the superb Constrict, the album simply expands its landscape of sound and captivation, the second of the two almost primal in its breath yet precise in its layers of boldly varied texture and spicing while their successor, Thundering, is a dark seduction with hues of bands like Type O Negative and Sisters Of Mercy to its irresistible gothic rock/post punk serenade.

Final track is Binary Slavery, a carnivorous slice of industrial metal gnawing at the senses yet soothing the wounds with melodic caresses though they too come with an edge of trespass to their infectious exploits. It is a rousing end to the album highlighting the craft, imagination, and bold fusions making up the heart of FearFaith Machines.

Gagliardi creates something that is nothing less than unique from the familiar styles and sounds he weaves with, indisputable evidence coming with one of the most fascinatingly individual and simply enjoyable encounters this year.

FearFaith Machines is out now; available @ https://martyrart.bandcamp.com/album/fearfaith-machines

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Pete RingMaster 01/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gloomy Hellium Bath – Sistema Solera

ARTWORK GHB_RingMaster Review

Always partial to some creative bedlam or a seemingly deranged adventure which, no matter how much you think you understand it, never fails to surprise and leave a vacant expression of pleasure on the face, Sistema Solera was destined to spark an eager appetite here for its sonic psychosis. It is easy to predict that the riveting debut album from French trio Gloomy Hellium Bath is not going to be for everyone but if the likes of Pryapisme, Mr Bungle, or 6:33 light the fires, then this unique fusion of industrial, electronic, and metal bred incitement is well worth exploring.

Gloomy Hellium Bath is the union of former guitarist Würm Edgard Chevallier (guitar/machine/samples) and Christophe Denhez (guitar /vocals), the latter no stranger to exciting ears through his work and releases with Nerv, Mur, and Område. Emerging in 2014, the Val d’Oise hailing project, with a line-up completed by bassist Neil, also previously of Würm, takes no prisoners with its infestation of the senses and emotions. Their sound is compelling aural violence and off-kilter enticement spun with black humoured mischief and realism caked antagonism; the result a cacophony of raw and intricate ideas honed into a roaring storm of gripping chaos and as shown by Sistema Solera, deviously captivating.

Fight is first, instantly throwing a melee of voices and fizzing sound at ears before leaping into a psychotic stomp with carnivorous walls, ravenous vocals, and warped electronic flirtation. Imagine Mindless Self Indulgence and Rabbit Junk in a dirty fusion with Young Gods and you get a whiff of the lunacy soaked enterprise, though from its ‘mid-season’ break it returns as another fresh industrial shaped punk of a proposal with the vocal alone insanely bewitching.

It is a great start continuing with Alcoholique Djerk, the track organically evolving from certain aspects of its predecessor to explore an even more industrial metal hued canter quickly working its way into the psyche. Equally it is unafraid to expose raw nerves with caustic eruptions and abrasing animosity, or indeed to throw one or two exotic or incendiary sonic slithers of surprise in to the mix too.

Fuck It swings in next, warm yet fuzzy air and sound coating ears as melodic rock with grunge lined edges colours the song’s sinister intent before hardened and rapacious provocation blends with funk urged enterprise and vocal revelry. Across its body, the track reveals a host of flavours, country rock and jazzy scented essences amongst the metallic turbulence again walling in varied endeavours within the song.

The album’s title track merges haunted and dark natured ambience with atmospheric volatility straight after, its Nine Inch Nails toned electronic grumble drawing in lighter exploits throughout to evocatively spark ears and imagination whilst setting up the tenaciously energetic and dynamic Lady Boy with its steely schizophrenic rock ‘n’ roll carrying elements of Trepalium and We All Die (Laughing) to it.

Across the sonic dissonance of Ouarchhh and the industrial neurosis of Bloody Mary, band and album wrong-foot, ignite, and twist body and thoughts inside and out. The first of the pair has a slight whiff of US band Pere Ubu to it in many ways as essential grooves and hooks lurk and spear an unpredictable landscape of dark intrigue and disorientating aural dementia with emotions to match whilst its successor scythes through and permeates the senses via a debilitating cyber invasion.

A melodic calm of sorts mellows things a degree or two through Fucking Mashine, its emotive and enveloping croon expectantly laced with provocatively disturbed and manipulative additives bringing light and dark, reserved and twisted elements in potent collusion. The track brings another open and striking variation to the album as too the CD version’s closer Dead Rising Horse, a drama of piston driven rhythms and scuzzy temptation aligned to melodic seduction and tempestuous extremes in sound and creative provocation. It is a rousing conclusion to a release which might need time to get fully under the skin but is ultimately very likely to if the kind of warped imagination it holds is the kind of pleasure which gets the senses and passions inflamed.

As suggested for some it might be an adventure too far, but Sistema Solera for the rest of us is as easy to greedily devour treat.

Sistema Solera is out now via Dooweet Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/fm/artist/gloomy-hellium-bath/id1057587349


Pete RingMaster 17/12/2015

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Cold Cold Ground – Lies About Ourselves


Having been enlisted into their dark rock sounds with the excellent Blue Light Circus EP of 2008, Finish industrial punks Cold Cold Ground have continued to whip up our passions here but now really gone to town on them with their new album Lies About Ourselves. An intensive brew of seductive atmospheres around a carnivorous predation which stretches and pushes the release the release is a riveting mouth-watering furnace of energy and startling noise sculpted invention, an industrial punk/metal fury with a devilishly twisted intent. It is the Helsinki quartet’s finest moment to date, ten rapaciously ravaging slices of heavy, dark, and exhausting brilliance.

Cold Cold Ground was formed in 2004 by Hauptmann D, NooZ, Mr. Bunny, and John Paul Jr, and was soon grabbing attention through their trio of EPs, the Lamb and Custom Built EPs of 2005 and 2006 respectively as well as the previously mentioned Blue Light Circus. With an all senses engulfing live show and their well-received debut album This Side of Depravity of 2010, the band only enhanced their stature and fan base which Lies About Ourselves now takes to another level. On their second album the band quite simply is at its most inventive, volatile, and furiously impacting yet.

The album instantly is savaging the ears with opener My Fist And I, the track a tornado of energy and aural spite from its 1460209_10152038643995903_1113209224_nopening second, and though it has moments where it takes a step back in aggression it feels like it is merely taking closer straighter aim for the next tirade of thrilling voracious intensity. The vocals of Hauptmann D prey on every syllable given, fuelling them with a venom which matches the hunger of the riffs from Mr. Bunny and the prowling bass of NooZ. With the unforgiving rhythms of drummer Hoker Dine puncturing the punk storm brewed, the track is a stunning slab of intensive defiance and industrial antagonism. It rampages like a blend of Pitchshifter and Rabbit Junk with essences of Rammstein and Lard, but equally has its own rabidity driven uniqueness.

The following Welcome to Hell has a less intensive and more electro based presence but is still fuelled by a punk voraciousness which snarls at and chews the imagination excitingly. Less instant and commanding than its predecessor the track still grips a wildly attentive appetite for the varied and inventive sounds offered. Its successor Suck and Pay feeds that same hunger with its exceptional fire of cantankerous energy and invention. Like Fuckshovel does Fear Factory whilst on a sonic hallucinogen, the track is a glorious charge of ingenious enterprise and daring, unpredictable and wholly addictive.

The pleasure and ravenous craft of the album continues to excel, through firstly Model Citizen where thumping rhythms frame an intensive brawl of riffing before taking centre stage whilst coaxing in further scythes of guitar and electronic teasing. The bass also finds a new darker growl which excites the ear and helps create a Marilyn Mansion toned presence as the track hits its stride. It like the following venomous We Are the Sun slip a little below the plateau set by the album but with bodies of inventive hostility and imaginative provocation neither leave satisfaction or hunger wanting, the same as the contagious Tourist, another song which cannot quite match the highest pinnacles but forges its own memorable dark rock heights.

The brawl of the insatiable punk fuelled Cocaine In My Ass slaps another major highlight down on the senses and passions, the great bass taunting and esurient challenge of the riffs and rhythms colliding for an illustrious aggravation which is viciously anthemic and barbarically addictive. The song puts up a real test for those following to equal which none do but certainly they all make valiant impressive attempts, Drive the first stepping up to take the listener on an exhausting and highly satisfying charge of caustic rock ‘n’ roll to be followed by the stalking and compellingly imaginative title track, a song with melodic flames and bold textures as gripping as its extensive intensity, and finally the smouldering electro embraced Things Fall Apart. The last offering continues the great diversity across the album, its melancholic beauty and seductive balladry mesmeric if maybe lacking the wonderful addiction brewing toxicity of previous songs.

     Lies About Ourselves is a scintillating confrontation, a thunderous and greedy assault of industrial seeded punk and rock excellence. Cold Cold Ground just gets better and better.



RingMaster 18/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ghost In The Static: Fallout

Pic – Wicked Boy Photography

Already having garnered a strong and eager fan base as well as strong acclaim for their previous album and EPs, it is not pushing the realms of credibility to predict Ghost In The Static will put it all in the shade once their new album Fallout hits the world on September 1st. The album is quite simply immense, a magnificent explosion of electro industrial metal  which takes the senses on a massive thrilling ride. If you were impressed by their previous work and who could not be with its vibrancy and cutting energy, Fallout will leave you in rapture.

Formed in 2009 by frontman Steve Fearon, Ghost In The Static explored, experimented with, and evolved an evocative and stirring sound which was impossible not to connect with. Their Open Eyed Dreamer Part I: Revelation debut album of 2011 fully impressed as it showed a band still evolving but already creating compulsive inciteful sounds. Earlier this year two EPs The Infection Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 gave a teaser to what was to come and certainly ignited great anticipation though neither gave real warning of the incendiary levels of invention and  imagination to come. The new album has more muscle and intensity thrusting through its sound though the band has not neglected their electronic and melodic side. They have evolved it all into a striking consumption of emotional blistering and concussive energy. Think Celldweller and Suicide Commando in a riotous union with Nine Inch Nails and most of all Pitchshifter and you get a sense of the storm of creativity which envelops and brings climactic pleasure to a head.

Still within the world of post-apocalyptic struggle which themes their music, the new album is not so much a united series of songs as on the last album though all are linked by an overall  vibe to stand powerfully individually or as part of Fallout. This gives it a better balance than its predecessor in many ways but no less expansive in its atmosphere and depth. It is also more direct and intrusive, the attack a perpetual and sustained insistence from the first full track to the last lingering note of the release.

Starting with Armageddon, a brief intro setting the landscape the album is set in, the release slams into the ear with the title track, a stirring electrified rub of energy upon the senses. There is an immediate hunger to the song which takes no for an answer as the guitars of  Gareth Stapleton and Lewis Collins score the senses with sharp and impactful riffs and melodic surges. The synths of Collins sizzle like acid on flesh across the air of the track to disrupt the already riled energy pervading every pore, whilst the edgy basslines of Mike Fearon simply leaves one looking over their shoulder. A step into a graceful melodic aside gives brief respite though even there the tinge of destruction is whispering in the ear. The track is openly infectious and bustles thoughts and emotions in to a sense of something even more special to come.

      Another Day builds on the excellent start to raise the temperature even higher. It is a provocative and challenging slice of invention which straight away evokes imagery and emotions. A distressed ambience opens the song with the fear and desperation of someone lost calling through the sonic distortion. The plea is smothered as the track erupts into a boiling maelstrom of energies and aural disruption. The rhythms of drummer Martin Rogers echo and pulsate within bone as the song ignites the caustic air with its contagious tarnished melodic enterprise and insistent niggling synths. It is the triumphant brassy jazz sounds though which provide the match to full rapture which lingers long after the closing return to the lonely voice.

The muscular and venomous IWTMT  brings a fluid union of metal and electronic craft to keep things stewing perfectly whilst the ferocious stomp of Saviour and the corrosive breath of Rapture just give further abrasive charges of electrified pleasure. Each and every track leaves nothing but awe in their wake but when it comes to Not Enough and Fallen Gods it becomes something almost illicit. The first is simply infection gone wild, the rampaging energies and hooks barbed with addiction making melodic poison as it sweeps limbs and senses up into a brawling and insatiable tornado of sound and passion. Once bitten the song remains within forever, a companion in sleep, thought, and those intimate moments though its rhythms make a great pace maker. Fallen Gods is the same, a song which refuses to leave without an exorcism. Like a rampant Rabbit Junk, the band teases and molests with more of their adoration baiting melodies and inspirational imagination and both confirm what a strong vocalist Steve has become. Both carry a more electronic gait in contrast to the harder earlier songs though all are perfectly unruly and powerful.

With two vocal guests in MiXE1 on Lost and Cease2Xist  in Everyone, a couple of emerging industrial/electro powers, and the closing dark elegance of Judgement Day, the album is the fullest feast of experimentation, imagination, and irresistible energy. The pleasure does not stop there though as the CD version alone contains the brilliant and slightly punky YDNTL plus the equally stunning Nihilism III, which to our mind makes the download redundant such their greatness, but do not tell the band we said that.

Fallout is one of the best albums to come out this year and within electro industrial metal possibly the very best so far. Ghost In The Static has come a long way since those early days and just keep getting better and better. Whilst you mark that release date  off on your calendars we are off for a cold shower, phew!

To find out more, pre-orders etc go to http://staticdistortionrecords.co.uk

Listen to Ghost In The Static tracks from Fall Out on The Bone Orchard podcast from The Reputation Radio Show

RingMaster 16/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Interview with Steve Fearon of Ghost In The Static

UK electro industrial metal band Ghost In The Static has captivated our and the genre’s ears for quite a while now with their vibrant and striking sounds. Their music is powerful, thoughtful and loaded with irresistible hooks and melodies alongside exhilarating and intrusive direct intensity. They stand as one of the bands at the fore of UK Industrial music and  with their recent Infection EP’s one which is giving it a new heart, something their new album later in the year is promising to endorse and beat louder with. Long overdue we finally got down to grabbing some of  band founder and vocalist Steve Fearon’s time to find out more about Ghost In The Static, their music, and more.

Hi and welcome to The Ringmaster Review. Many thanks for talking with us.

Firstly could you introduce the band?

We have myself, and the main vocalist, Gareth who is our rhythm guitarist, Lewis who is the lead guitarist and synth player, my brother Mike who is our bassist and Martin our Drummer.

How did Ghost In The Static begin?

The origins of the idea behind Ghost In The Static came about in about 2003-4 when I was still at uni and I began working on the idea of a music project with a deep universe within which it would sit. Me and my good friend Marcus used to brainstorm ideas about the storylines that could be involved and what the music would be trying to evoke.
However neither of us really knew anything about recording or programming so it stayed a mostly theoretical project.
I kept the flame of the idea within me for years afterwards but never really acted on it until Lewis and Gareth (who were playing in another band at the time) suggested it might be fun to actually try and make some Industrial Rock music.

Despite knowing next to nothing of the processes involved, or the techniques used by many Industrial musicians, the writing process was very easy and I think we had the majority of ‘Prophecy’ (opening track on Open Eye Dreamer Part I) down after the first session.

So industrial metal has not always been the area your music has been based in?

Not really, we have all come at this from other projects, and have differing influences. We have to a large extent all come from a more mainstream alternative (oxymoron?) background with Metal and Punk, but have all gravitated towards the variety and challenge that electronic music can provide.

Many industrial metal /electro bands only have a full line-up for live shows, the studio work and creativity coming from one or two members. What is your set up in both areas?

Originally the band was built around me, Lewis and Gareth, with Mike and Martin effectively coming in as live members.

However, over the course of writing ‘Fallout’ (our 2nd album due 2nd half 2012) we have involved them more and more to the point where Mike comes into a lot of the writing/recording sessions now and Martin creates midi files for the drums to help create a more accurate and live feeling sound which has had a big impact.
Everyone also gets a say in the mixing process so I would say at this stage it is as collaborative an effort as we have ever had, and the plans for album 3 intend to develop that even further.

Your music has echoes of the likes of Gary Numan, Celldweller and Suicide Commando but where does the harder edges sounds come from, thoughts of Fear Factory and Rabbit Junk come to mind but you are quite unique in that area. Does this side basically come from your work/tastes before Ghost In The Static?

I would think that is fairly accurate. Whilst we have all listened to FF previous to GITS, I would probably say it would be bands like Metallica, Tool, Disturbed & Rammstein that give us the heavier inspiration, certainly on the riffage side of things.

One gets the impression Ghost In The Static is about putting on a show in all aspects whether live or recording wise, every aspect deliberately and thoughtfully created. Is that the reality?

Definitely. Long before the music was written, we had a very strong vision of what we wanted to achieve.
We wanted to create a musical landscape that could take the listener out of their seat and into a new reality.
Movies were a big inspiration, and we wanted to capture a bit of that by having a cinematic style to our music, and our first album was very much built on the concept of each track being a scene in a larger tale.

Our approach to live music has always been to make it into a real show, with our costumes, face paint and projections. We wanted to recapture a bit of the wow factor that has been lost in recent years with so many bands wandering onto the stage in band shirts and jeans.

Everything we do has a lot of thought put into its purpose, desired effect and quality, and we hope that comes across.

..and it has always been like that, that thought and intention the seed from day one?

As mentioned earlier, the rough idea and vibe had been developing for a long time, and before we even sat down to write the first song we had discussed what we want to achieve and how best to do so.

One of the things that keep us focused is the depth and planning in every track.

How has your sound evolved to your mind since the beginning?

I think as we have learned more about production/mixing and electronic music in general, we have improved at being able to blend the rock and electronic aspects in a more effective way. We are not interested in being a synth metal band or an EBM band with guitars, we want to use the most effective tools in the right situation, and with each song we write we get a little better at developing that blend.

Also the musicianship of everyone involved has improved from the first album to the next; everyone has more to offer now in terms of what we can achieve in new tracks. I think vocally we are all much stronger now than when we started, and the mastery of our instruments is something that will only get better as we go.

Same question but regarding the actual songwriting?

Well the first album was essentially planned out like a script due to the conceptual nature of the tracks.
Certain tracks had to be big and fast and others slow and subtle, in order to reflect the mood we wanted to convey at that part in the larger story.

However we took a break from that approach on the 2nd album, which whilst still deeply embedded in the concept, took a more freeform approach.

We intend to return to a stricter concept album from album 3, albeit with a more organic approach to song writing, as we are intending to write a lot of material in the practise room as opposed to sat by a computer, which will be an interesting change!

We came across you by your debut album Open Eyed Dreamer Part 1: Revelation, though I believe you had an earlier track out? Tell us about the theme behind the album?

Open Eyed Dreamer Part I: Revelation was our first full release, we had put out a couple of demo EPs (Fatalism being the main one I can recall) but really this was the first ‘finished’ article.

The theme is built around my love of dystopian sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic struggle. In a future where invisible powers control every aspect of human life, one man wakes up one morning and finds he suddenly understands the system, and can see the puppet strings everywhere.

We allude to chemical controls, curfews, martial law, and corporate governance.

There are a lot of political undertones to it, perhaps in my clumsy way to emulate Orwell or Philip K Dick, but I feel there are a lot of parallels within the concept to the way this country is run, in fact as time goes on, increasingly so.

From the album and as shown from subsequent releases there is a lot of thought and planning behind the songs lyrically, musically and their union. What comes first generally, words, music or the concept idea?

Concept always comes first.

When writing a new track, I will usually already have a rough idea of what I want to convey within the track, be it a protest to authority (‘Lost’*, ‘Hope’ or ‘Resistance’), a introspective character monologue (‘Forlorn’, ‘Journey’ or ‘Judgement Day’*) or a more plot based scene setter (‘Pursuit’, ‘Change’ or ‘IWTMT’*)

Usually the music will then come into it, and finally the words.

*denotes tracks from the next album 🙂

How does the songwriting process work for you?

For me personally, it will usually start with an intro, be it a guitar riff, synth progression or a rhythm.

I tend to put a lot of thought into how a track will start, as I often find if you are going to hook someone into the world you are creating, you need to build the atmosphere.

Then I work section by section as it comes to me, it is usually a quite natural process, with one idea flowing into the next…but it isn’t always that easy.

Things will work slightly differently going forward as we are trialling the idea of ‘jamming through’ song ideas in a practise studio in an attempt to keep things fresh and give album 3 a more organic and different vibe to the coming album.

Musically it is a full band involvement in the creation of a song?

It is nowadays yes. Quite often it will start as an idea, progression or riff suggested by a band member, and then we will throw ideas at it as a unit.

We have the motto ‘give it a try’ and we have had some hilarious, horrific and genuinely surprising ideas come up from the most random suggestions, but it keeps the process democratic and keeps things fun.

What inspires your creativity and ideas?

There are probably 3 main areas that influence my personal approach to writing:

  1. Personal Experience – First world problems am I right? Some songs I write to channel some frustration, same as most people I would imagine, although I try to hide my personal agenda or emotion behind a concept-relevant façade.
  2. The World – in particular politics, war and religion. There are a lot of things going on in the world that are so blatantly greed or power driven that I channel my frustration into giving it form in the Open Eyed Dreamer’s world.
  3. The Future – I have a fascination with what is around the corner. Channelling my love for films such as Equilibrium, The Matrix, Logan’s Run, Soilent Green, Akira etc into exploring this desperate world.

As you say you bring a definite Sci-Fi flavouring to the songs but find relevance with reality and our world. Is that a defined aspect to your writing and think we connect to that easily because our lives and world is becoming more like a science fantasy?

I think dystopian sci-fi has always been linked to what was happening in the real world. Was Orwell’s 1984 really predicting the CCTV nation we have become, or did he simply interpret correctly the way the country was headed?

Books like ‘1984’ and ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep’ deal with the reality that our decadence and apathy will lead us to a shallow and limited existence at the hands of a ruthless ruling class.

Were they wrong?

A lot of bands bring their political opinions/agendas etc directly to the listener whilst others address things with a more dare one say artistic and welcoming substance. You are in the latter camp with any ideas and opinions you wish to present. Is this deliberate or just the way you naturally are?

There are plenty of people I would like to grab and shake until they saw things the way I did, but I know from political doorknockers, evangelists etc that if someone TELLS you something is wrong/right, the initial reaction is to tell them to do one.

No one wants to be told, they have to discover it for themselves. The problem is that this country has been in an apathetic slumber for so long that people don’t dig for the truth anymore, they just taking the easiest to reach approximation.

We simply try to provide a few questions, in the hope that it will lead the listener to ask more themselves.

The biggest tragedy of our generation is that we have stopped asking questions.

That’s why journalists are more interested in what Cheryl Cole has to say than the hundreds of thousands dying in the Middle East or the covert dismantling of the NHS.

You started the year with your latest release The Infection Vol 1. led by the excellent track Not Enough. Tell us about the song?

‘Not Enough’ was one of the first songs we finished for ‘Fallout’ and I think it was a sigh of relief. OED Part I was a lot of hard work due to our inexperience, and the amount of ideas we were trying to convey.
We decided early on that we weren’t going to plan this album to the same extent, and were just going to focus on writing strong individual songs that fit into a larger theme.
‘Not Enough’ was us basically saying ‘let’s write a straightforward, riffy barn stormer that will be fun to play live’.

In terms of the concept it’s a look at the world after the apocalypse, and thinking this is all we have left now…and it’s not enough.

In terms of the meaning behind the lyrics, it is the idea of looking around you and saying ‘No, I am not happy to just work a dead end job for 60 years only to have the banks squander my pension, No I am not happy to vote for a political party and then have them change their promises as soon as they are elected, No I am not happy to see schools and hospitals closed and sold off to fund the building of nuclear warheads’.

The track is accompanied on the release by remixes of the song by the likes of Cyvergence and Witness The Apotheosis. Was the addition of these tracks always in mind or came about from the great work these people did?

Cyvergence had remixed us before, and he is an amazing producer, so it was always hoped he would get involved. Witness The Apotheosis I had spoken with previously when myself and Mike were producing the ‘Incoming Fire’ Podcast for Grave Concerns Ezine, and they showed an interest in getting involved. I knew that they had a very original sound to them and were very creative so I knew they would come up with something very different.

You made the lead track a free download off the release rather than the additional material. Seems over generous, what was the reasoning and do you fear it makes the other tracks seem more important?

I must confess that was my mistake! I made the EP as a whole available for free, but didn’t make all the individual tracks free, meaning you could get all of them for free, but only ‘Not Enough’ individually for free.
So it wasn’t my intention!

The idea was always to use the ‘Infection’ EPs to remind people that we were still around, and to keep us in the forefront of the scene as much as possible whilst we finished ‘Fallout’.

Vol 2 followed early this year comprising of remixes of the song Saviour, this a complete free download release. Tell us about the actual song they are covering?

Well ‘Saviour’ was a track we wrote for the ‘Electronic Saviours Vol 2’ compilation, but we decided to update it and give it a different mix and use it on the album (hence the ‘Ghost Mix’ on the EP).

This one has a very aggressive, dance vibe, almost early Rammstein like, and has me taking a more aggressive approach with my vocals.

Lyrically it is all about finding strength within yourself, and not relying on family/friends/God/Government to do everything for you.

As you said you are working on your new album.

Yes, we will be releasing ‘Fallout’ later this year, we are just in the final stages of the album production, with our good friend Steve Alton of System:FX coming as us Co-Producer to help us make the tracks the best we can.

We shall be announcing the launch date VERY soon and will be releasing it on digital and CD formats on my label Static Distortion Records (http://staticdistortionrecords.co.uk).

What treats will it have in store for us, and does it take the band into new areas?

This album is a more immediate and sustained attack of an album, with each track playable in its own right.
We have eased up on the storytelling for this album, preferring more of a general vibe to a specific story before returning to a heavily storyboarded album 3, due in 2013 😉

I think there are a number of tracks that will surprise people, a couple of vocal cameo’s from some of the UK industrial scene’s hottest artists, and some really catchy songs on there, so there is a lot to look forward to!

Will it have some sort of theme or concept too?

This album is a themed release, each song has a vibe, and general feel to it, without being tied down by specifics. This is a much more easily accessible album than OED Part I in my opinion.

You are on Static Distortion, your own label. Tell us about the idea behind the label?

Well, I have always been interested in the workings of the music industry, and I get frustrated by the rather blinkered approach that a lot of the big labels have these days.

I wanted to create something that was up to date, community based and focused on trying to bring alternative electronic music to people beyond the narrow confines of industrial.

Was the starting your own label forced upon you simply to get your music out there or is it the natural next step in your ideology as an artist and musician?

Well its true what they say these days, every band is effectively a record label if they sell their own music. But I saw an opportunity to gather together several artists and get us pushing together in the same direction. Cross promotion and word of mouth is the best way to promote music unless you have a million pound budget per album to spend on bribing radio ‘gatekeepers’ to play your tracks on mainstream radio.

I love music, and I love working with talented driven people, and I believe my skill set allows me to help those around me. All I did essentially was formalise this ideal and call it a label.

Do Labels have a future? Not in the traditional sense, I think most people can see its going to be more about building relationships with customers than selling them products, and when the industry changes I intend to make sure my artists benefit from the music ‘renaissance’ that I believe is coming.

Apart from the band, who else is there on the label that people should take a deep interest in?

Well at the moment I am fortunate enough to share the label with 3 other artists J

MiXE1 is a well established artist with an unmistakeable sound and is possibly one of the best songwriters I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He blends the raw energy of rock music with the power and majesty of electronic music. We are lucky enough to have him featuring on a track in ‘Fallout’.

He has an EP due out on June 16th titled ‘Module 02’

Digital Deformation released one of the best independent albums of last year ‘No Signal’, and is a real creative force in industrial music. He can find melodies and rhythms where no one else would, and weave them in an organic and powerful statement of political intent.
He is currently working on the follow up to ‘No Signal’ and its sounding HOT!

Finally I come to our most recent acquisition, Digital Diktator!
Based in Slovenia, these boys have a similar love of sci-fi and concept albums and have produced their first EP in quick time!
They have a real sense of atmosphere and scale, and they will be going places before long.
Their EP ‘At The End Of The Universe’ is available from May 4th.

I am also in negotiation with some very exciting artists at the moment, so watch this space!

All of these releases are available at http://staticdistortionrecords.co.uk

You have big gigs coming up I believe, can you give some details?

We are fortunate enough to be supporting Dreams Divide on the 5th May at Electrowerkz in London, which is great as we are big fans, and Synchotrax Promotions are one of our favourite promoters.
We also are playing as part of the Music 4 Mental Health Festival in Reading on May 19th which is for a good cause and has a big line up of awesome acts.

Other than the album and events what is next for Ghost In The Static?

Once we have ‘Fallout’ released and have tired of whoring it to everyone twice, we will be writing and recording ‘Open Eyed Dreamer Part II :  Ashen’

In terms of the timeline involved it goes: OEDPART I > OED PART II > FALLOUT

but we like to be difficult. How does the world go from a faceless dystopian city in OED Part I to a post-apocalyptic wasteland in Fallout? You will have to wait and see 😉

Again a great thank you for talking with us, it has been a pleasure.

Would you like to leave us a last thought to get our minds into?

Just the usual musician/label thoughts really…

If you like an artist, buy their music, support the little labels, and go to gigs.
Everyone complains that they don’t hear enough new music or new directions but they are out there, you just need to spend some time looking around!

We will continue to develop the Ghost in The Static Universe, and push the envelope for Electronic Rock music, as we believe it’s a genre that is woefully under explored.
Come explore it with us!

…and finally you know we have a kind of problem with remixes here haha, their purpose etc, so would you like to end by explaining their validity and what we are missing in trying to understand them?

Well Remixing is a nice way to get other artists introduced to new audiences, and to show how a song could have been made if it went in a different direction.

Its not always done right, but the best re-mixers can take a song and turn it into something beautiful…we have had several remixes done where we complained that it was better than our original version *shakes fist*.

Read The Infection EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/ghost-in-the-static-the-infection-vols-1-2/

The RingMaster Review 29/04/2012

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