Electro waltzes and deviancy: the Mr. Strange Interview.

 

Mr. Strange 2015 _RingMaster Review

Some know Mr. Strange as the former frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks The Shanklin Freak Show, others more some from their solo exploits and especially outstanding 2014 album Wonderful World Of Weird. What is beginning to be recognised is that the sound conjuror of musical deviancy from the Isle of Wight is one of the UK’s most imaginative and unique songwriters. Proof to that has come with their fiercely tremendous new album The Bible of Electric Pornography, the first offering since the rebirth of the persona and sound of Mr. Strange over past months. The just released album is a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth”; a thrilling incitement of electronic and rock ‘n’ roll alchemy with the unique Mr. Strange imagination. A certain album of the year contender for a great many, we grab time with its creator and took a look onto the defiant invention of The Bible of Electric Pornography.

Hello Mr. Strange, thanks for letting us peer into the heart of your new album.

Before we do though, you are already known for your tapestry of sound and flavours. What are the major inspirations which have most coloured your ideas, songwriting, and approach to making music?

Historically, the culprits in the inspiration department are; Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Dr. Steel, Alice Cooper, Gary Numan, etc., anything theatrical, weird, and dark that I can “escape” into. Musical ability has never been that important to me, the atmosphere and/or uniqueness in music has always been more appealing, personally.

I’ve always wanted to create “worlds” for listeners to get lost in; you can see this in each Mr. Strange album, no matter what changes musically the escapism is always there.

Inspirations for this new album are a little different though; Krizz Kaliko, Prince, Peaches, Nine Inch Nails, Lady Gaga, Perturbator, Die Antwoord, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, Dead Or Alive, Dirty Sanchez (the electroclash band), Electric Six and Gary Numan have all played a part. Anton LaVey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ has been an influence, also.

Being primarily an electronic composer I’ve always worked using software, so no Mr. Strange song (or earlier Shanklin Freak Show) song have ever come from a traditional “jam” – all songs are created in a methodical, multi-layered, jigsaw-like way. I imagine this approach, while not in any way unique, has had an effect creating the Mr. Strange “sound” over the years.

As with any artist, everything influences me in some way or another, a lot of it subconsciously. The quirkiness of video game music has always been a large influence, especially pre-2001, before games started trying to ape films so much.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

You have just released your new album The Bible of Electric Pornography. Can you give us some idea to the evolution of your craft and music shown in previous propositions and has culminated in the new incitement of ears and emotions?

This album’s been on the cards since about 2005. Originally it was just an idea to make a sleazy electro-rock album called ‘Sleaze Pit’; a few demo songs were written, only one of which survived and made the album. The ‘Sleaze Pit’ idea has always been there, all this time, but there has always been something else I wanted to try when it came to the “next record”. That was until Wonderful World Of Weird came out, then it was a toss-up between doing a metal album or this Sleaze Pit album. My guitar amp broke so I went with Sleaze Pit’!

It was only supposed to take 6 months but took 2 years… It evolved in to a monster.

Ideas kept coming, both musically and thematically. It tied in with a pivotal moment in my life, so I could pour a lot more of myself into it without it feeling at odds with the albums themes; I am the albums themes. There’s a sincerity and “realness” behind the theatricality now which may not have been there before. I hope it comes across to people listening to the record.

In my opinion, this is easily the best album I’ve worked on. I’ve never been very confident or overly pleased with any albums up until now. There’s always been time constraints forcing me to rush to completion, or a loss of interest in the project that has hampered its potential. This is the most personal, well-realised and accessible album I’ve ever done. I’ll be happy if this is the last album I ever do.

Some may mourn the loss of the old Mr. Strange quirky goofiness, but I needed to try something else for this album. I’m sure it’ll be back, though.

Mr. Strange EP album cover _RingMaster Review

You mentioned the time it has taken The Bible of Electric Pornography to grow and emerge etc., can you give us more insight into its writing and recording; also were there any collaborations also involved thus time around?

It was a bit more of a solo effort than Wonderful World of Weird, which was a very collaborative effort between me and Mr. Stench (guitarist). This is mainly due to how electronic the music is, so there wasn’t as much for a guitarist or live drummer to do. It was only meant to take 6 months; I didn’t mean to leave my band mates twiddling their thumbs for so long! But we have written a lot of music together though, it’s just not on this record…

The collaboration with Global Citizen (on the track D/s) came about very naturally. I co-produce their music, so have access to their track “stems” and decided to play about with one of their songs one day. I did a remix/remake, of sorts. It sounded great and fitted with the new album perfectly, so I asked Global Citizen if I could use it on the record, they said yes! I thought it’d be cool to have them sing on it too, their brand of lyrical filth seemed a natural fit.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 3_RingMaster Review

 

Tell us about the lyrical themes and sparks for some of the tracks within The Bible of Electric Pornography.

There are two main themes running throughout Electric Pornography; Satanism and sexuality. For hundreds of years, religions have led people to believe the two are as one. This has led to an extremely repressed society, ashamed by default, born sinners. Christianity has had such a huge impact on the mentality of the western world over its 2000-odd years; its grip is loosening, but very slowly. The ingrained shame still exists in the western subconscious; some can overcome it easily, for others it can emotionally cripple.

I wanted to make a liberating album; I’m tired of hearing and feeling that I should be ashamed. I want to be the antithesis of that kind of thinking, the adversary of it. Seeing as so much repression, shaming, and bigotry stems from religion, I thought I’d side with one of their classic adversaries, metaphorically. If I’m a deviant abomination in their eyes, so be it, I’ll just embrace it. It’s a middle finger, really. Calling the album a ‘Bible’ is a cheeky slap in the face to the Jesus freaks; it also holds just as much relevance as their Bible, which is none. That’s a positive statement I wanted to make for people who might find this album and who may have to deal with religious bigotry on a daily basis. If it helps just one person feel a little better about themselves, then I’ll call that mission accomplished.

The sexuality in this album is very over-the-top, dark and nasty. This isn’t so much how I view sex and sexuality, but more of a symbolic revelling in the so-called “sinful” debauchery of it all. If I feel a certain way about something, I always take that to the extreme in my music – I blow it up so it’s ten times bigger and more exaggerated than it really is. People who already know my music and “get” it see past the pomp of it all and appreciated the real sentiments behind the overblown way I present them, but I can imagine that to the uninitiated I may seem like a self-obsessed sociopath or something!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 4_RingMaster Review

Is there one core message within all those aspects it looks at and explores, and specifically that within the album’s finale, The Last Song?

It’s unapologetic and unashamed, and hopefully it will make people feel that way when listening to it.

The finale has two meanings.

The first: the end of a beautiful relationship. A mutual parting of ways that is sometimes necessary and unavoidable.

The second: a farewell to people who may not wish to follow me anymore. I look different and I sound different, I AM different, and that doesn’t always go down well with music fans. The first line sums it up perfectly for me:

 

“I know this isn’t what you wanted,

You wanted more of the same,

But that’s a game I cannot play”

The future for Mr Strange

The future is electric!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 6_RingMaster Review

Read our review of The Bible of Electric Pornography @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mr-strange-the-bible-of-electric-pornography/

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com  https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange   https://twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Mr. Strange – The Bible of Electric Pornography

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

For a long time Mr. Strange has been one of the British music scene’s most imaginative and unique songwriters and artists, and one of its biggest unrecognised talents. Whether as the frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks, The Shanklin Freak Show or in solo adventures, he has teased and stoked the imagination whilst exciting ears with perpetual regularity. Potent spotlights have always seemed to fall elsewhere though, but that might be about to change, in fact expectations are sure it will as new album The Bible of Electric Pornography spreads its electronic seeded sermon.

The persona and sound of Mr. Strange has undergone a rebirth, a major evolution in all aspects in the time between acclaimed previous album Wonderful World Of Weird and the new slab of alchemy from his deviant creativity. Embracing fresh industrial and electronic temptation whilst weaving in numerous other rich flavours, Mr. Strange has opened up all sides of psyche and imagination whilst wrapping new songs in the so-called deviancy that others claim is pestilence. Thematically The Bible of Electric Pornography is defiance and a middle thing to the oppressive ‘normal’, an anthem for the supposedly grotesque, for the freaks and the like-minded unique; an encounter which also happens to rock like a thousand orgies to stand in the words surrounding the album, as a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth!”

Mr. Strange EP album cover NEW_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Born Again, and the birth of they, of Mr. Strange. Upon arrival electro pulses and shimmering melodies crowd around the creative cot, his vocals providing the commentary as synths strengthen their drama and the atmosphere becomes shadowy. There is a portentous air to the track but one breaking into the dawning of climactic sounds and the heralding of Mr. Strange’s new realm of invention, which in turn sparks the stomp of Deviant Ritual. Making a sort of bridge between past triumphs, the song sharing open essences of The Shanklin Freak Show and previous solo album, keys swing and vocals entice as beats grip with potent temptation. In no time the track has the body acting like its puppet, limbs and energies flung around to the wicked swagger and infectious seduction of the outstanding protagonist.

Disco Bitch is on an immediate prowl next, though its gait has a more boisterous than predatory energy and design to it. Quickly into its robust stroll with compelling walls of electronic tenacity and enterprise, the track resonates with Being Boiled era Human League potency and colouring, a scent dirtied and fuzzed up by the craft of Mr. Strange as electro squirts lure and bassy rhythms dance with the passions. As its predecessor, the track is a blaze of dance-floor devilment and raucous sonic eroticism, incitements to get the defiant and proud party started before the album begins setting its sights on prosecutors, Electric Pornography continuing the festivity whilst flirting with the devil and its breed like a seductive pout of devilment. Amongst inspirations for the album, Mr. Strange offered Electric Six recently and definitely the track shares their kind of dance/rock devilry.

A thicker air of intensive energy soaks the following Tension, its emotive breath crafted and accentuated by darkly enticing rubs of guitar and moody bass tones as synths cradle the warmer hues of voice and melodies. It all unites in provocative electro rock persuasion which again has ears, hips, and thoughts emotionally and psychically involved.

A tirade of sample pieces spouting religious and social bigotry fattens God Hates Me next, keys initially a misting of melancholic elegance eventually brewing into more dramatic smog, though still with despair rather than outrage as its hue. The piece leads into the remarkable Jonathan, easily one of the pinnacles amongst a constant range of peaks within The Bible of Electric Pornography. It is a narrative for and growing support of the track’s oppressed champion which as the character, grows into its mesmeric creative skin as simple melodies align to weaves of electronic and industrial resourcefulness. Ebbing and flowing in intensity as the voice of Mr. Strange reveals all, the song is simply glorious, as lyrically impacting in its croon as it is invigorating musically, and easily one of the best things heard this year.

Do It Like… is another exhilarating whipping up of body and soul, a song inspired by Pete Burns and his life/attitude whilst musically drawing on the contagious invention of Dead Or Alive and indeed Nightmares In Wax which evolved into the former, and merging it with Celldweller like steeliness . Every element of the song has the body, inside and out, bouncing and swinging whilst again nudging thoughts with its lyrical potency.

The bubbly punch of I Like Girls & Boys is the next to take over, sculpting rousing crescendos of skittish beats and scuzzy electronics along its magnetic body, expulsions conducted by the ever Mr. Strange 2015 pic 7_RingMaster Reviewalluring tones of its creator. Though not in an obvious way, there is a definite feel of Fad Gadget to the song, to its theatre and emotive richness whilst My Addiction gets down and funky offering up hints of a Heaven 17 and Blancmange in varying degrees. By now it is not unusual to leave a song without a smile on the face and appetite, this of course no exception with its warmly stimulating hug.

The noir jazziness of Sodom Nights brings yet another eclectic shade to the album, its melodic waltz and electronic seduction a sultry fondling of the senses and inciter of lusty contemplations, that dark romance followed by the rapacious sinister sizzle of D/s, a fuzzball of temptation featuring Global Citizen. The crawling magnetism of the track is just sonic addiction matched by the bold lure of Stormtrooper In Drag, a striking cover of a solo song released in the eighties by Tubeway Army guitarist Paul Gardiner and featuring Gary Numan who co-composed, sang lead vocals, and played on it. It is one of those ‘lost’ gems now given new life, re-vitalised by Mr. Strange’s innovative touch.

Closing up the album is firstly Fag, a leviathan of rhythmic tempting with a Manson-esque snarl providing the most irritable proposal upon The Bible of Electric Pornography and in turn one of its numerous slices of ear slavery and lastly The Last Song. Providing a bewitching serenade with a message for those who hate change, and might argue about the new direction Mr. Strange has taken, its defiance to any complaints openly and mischievously argued by the strong and highly enjoyable Kraftwerk influence, the track is pure captivation bringing the album to a thrilling close.

Familiarity and uniqueness collude within The Bible of Electric Pornography, with the latter the overriding substance, the album leading the second coming of Mr. Strange and easily eclipsing previous solo offerings, as impressive and they were and still are. We are looking at a release boldly challenging offerings from the supposed electronic big boys and girls, challenging and surpassing.

Mr. Strange is dead. Long live Mr. Strange!” Time for all to join the resurrection.

The Bible of Electric Pornography will be released November 16th, pre-ordering available now @ http://mrstrange.bigcartel.com/product/electric-pornography-cd-album-pre-order

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange https://twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Pete RingMaster 05/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/