The most important thing to convey about Dave Phillips is that he fuses rawness and intensity with meticulous composition, rendered with an indelible form of scarcity. Whether it is short, sharp, and sparsely explosive tracks, or what Ron Lessard called “Otto Meuhl having his way with Hermann Nitsche”, Phillips uses body sounds, amphibian field recordings, conventional musical instruments, or things like party balloons, with widely varied results, but most apparently as a means to “activate primordial shared emotions otherwise hidden by civilized experience”. Not limited to that, “dp” has been participating in various punk, hardcore, metal acts or projects that are as light hearted as covering the B-52s, or the somewhat absurdist collaborations with Tom Smith (To Live And Shave In .LA), or Schimpfluch Gruppe, and others, since 1984.
Full interview beneath the fold...
The second set was even more visceral, a video montage of animals being skinned alive, a live wolf getting its leg hacked off and its head stomped into mush, or a dead monkey with the word “CRAP” carved into its forehead occupied the screen alongside messages like “errare humanum est” or “the self some imagine surviving death is a phantom even in life”. Walking around with a mask on, breathing into remote loop pedals, and triggering various sounds of animals screaming over string samples, Phillips chiseled together a dizzying miasma of tragically unnecessary pain, graphically unrelenting death, and the intrinsically cruel nature of human condition, who in its “civilized” state, refuses to tend to the ugly corners of reality. It was still the most effective exhibition I have ever seen, and I think that Dave Phillips will be remembered as a shining example of someone who transcended academic circles and noise or music scenes alike.
As much as a call to action “message” is usually an added “bonus” to the experience that I prefer to pass on, Dave Phillips creates something that is larger than life, and leaves the audience member feeling cauterized, thinking that a mere art gallery, theater, or music club is dreadfully inadequate and insulting in its lack of scope unless it is in the middle of an inclement rainforest or a haunted slaughterhouse.
At Neon Marshmallow Fest (Chicago 2010), I experienced your "video aktion", and I'm willing to say I have a very thick skin for this kind of brutal imagery. Nevertheless I was particularly affected by the performance, and I'm inclined to guess that it wasn't even so much the combination of sounds and imagery, augmented with messages that perhaps affected the brain like a trifecta. What I experienced was on an instinctual level, in something that for me manifested physically where my hands were shaking and so forth.
I think it's safe to assume that animal instinct is in there somewhere as part of what you are informed by or as part of your dialogue as an artist to some degree. Did you use some kind of animal panic signal as source material or something? Is there anything you'd care to share about your source material for that performance?
this live action does include sounds that i have culled from recordings of animals in distress - dogs in kennels, a fly trapped in a jar, cows and pigs being kicked around and slaughtered alive etc. maybe that's part of what you sensed. But what makes this piece "happen" for me is that everytime before i present this piece, like an hour or so before actually perform this set, a tensity happens in me, a very clear focus appears, i can't really talk to anybody, i become fragile & nervous but also very determined, my being is engrossed by this set i’m about to perform, there's an intention to this piece and a passion about it and this takes over my body, my self... this is probably the most effective "source material".
You're a regular collaborator with Rudolf Eb.er. It goes without saying that you two have differing perspectives on animals. How does that relationship work? I don't worry about hypocrisy, but I also can't help but to point out a strange similitude in your work as it relates to seeing a photo of Rudolf wearing an animal's organs on his head. Does your work with him serve as a dualistic expression or is it an extension of your solo work that is somehow aligned?
rudolf's perspective on animals is probably not as far away from mine as you think, although we clearly draw different lines. someone who uses animal parts in his performances (or eats animals, for that matter) is not necessarily mindless or careless, that would be far too simple. besides, a single issue only describes a single part of a persona's character. rudolf and me have more in common than we have differences, even though we may express things differently. our work together is a dualistic expression as much as an extension of our individual approaches as well as neither or all.
In another interview, you mention having a "utopian dream of abolishing religion". The reason I say this, is I'd say that some of your work has a certain ritualistic undertone, or maybe that is far-reaching. Maybe it would be more adequate to say that your work suggests more than simply a passion for sound, an inherent depth, to a degree that latently implies maybe something spiritual, a belief of some sort. Much has been made of your background in punk and hardcore, but it's important to note that you also have a background with classical music. Are "psycho-acoustics" the end and the means?
the religion i talk about abolishing is the organised one, the one that divides people, that leads to hate, fear, separation, superiority, war etc., the one that is conditioned, has become a dogma, is used as a tool to manipulate, has become a political instrument. in other words - you can have all the imaginary friends you want, if you keep it to yourself i have no problem with it.
the ritual, or ritualistic actions, on the other hand, is something that seems more inherent in mankind's being and although it takes on many questionable forms, in its essence it is something i can relate to, and, as you point out, something i also like within a musical context. rituals as personalized means of expression can be powerful tools but are nothing more or beyond just that: a person's expression, even when aligned with an intention. an expression within a musical context is always much more though than its core ingredients. "psycho acoustics" does not have to be the end and means but if i look back on the way that music influenced me - punk & hardcore as well as classical music, for example - it has always been much more than the core ingredients that "did the trick".
I know that punk, hardcore, and metal are still part of your vocabulary, but I'd really like to know moredetails about your inner dialogue, as you went from being in a hardcore band to doing sound art, field recordings, cut ups and etc. How did noise and your personal philosophy with regard to sound come about? For me, I have a more modest but related background, and just sitting in front of a device informed me of how to appreciate this language of experimental music. Where would you say that seed was planted with you, and now that it has taken on a wildly different course, how has that changed the way that you look at punk? Does punk still do it for you, or does it fail to go far enough?
my interest in and liking of different musics was triggered pretty early actually. my dad is a music aficionado who liked comedy too, for example. hearing the goons "ying tong song" at the age of 4 left a lasting impression. later on i heard stuff like stan freberg, spike jones.... my mate tschösi (guitarist in fear of god) lived in the same village as i and from the age of 9 or 10 on we spent lots of time together listening to music, and it wasn't just iron maiden or discharge but also captain beefheart, miles davis, the swans or classical music/contemporary composition - the interest in that was actually triggered through soundtracks, mainly of horror films ("the shining" for example has music by ligeti, penderecki, bartok....). When i was 18 i started work for a label and distribution of independant music (rec rec, zürich), and that taught me a hell of a lot too, about all those acts that one might deem "unclassifiable"....
My interest in "different music" (which is always subjective) opened into all kinds of genres to the point where the genre became unimportant. though i started playing in a hardcore-punk band, having interest in more experimental/abstract stuff happened in a flow, i didn't really perceive the differences in that and in all those genres, to me it always seemed to be about a certain level of energy, a type of protest music that has a liberating quality, something life-affirming but angry too, an authenticity in expression, sounds of a free spirit etc etc. and seen that way to resulting expression can be manifold, can’t it? Sure, hardcore-punk and metal influenced me but it was never the music or the style itself. punk was to me always more about an attitude than a genre. what i do today is not really a wildly different course, just an individual extension or a personalisation of what formed me... or something like that.
Most "newer" punk-music (i mean anything after 1990) hardly touches me anymore, but people/acts that i feel have been touched or inspired by that certainly do, and beyond. i mean, daniel menche is as "punk" as is evol as is the haters as is galina ustvolskaya as were the viennese actionists as are some black metal acts, yet they’re more than that too, or more so.
On your album, "6", there are a lot of track titles which are political in nature. I'm wondering if "6" is a concept album of some sort, and what you would say to someone who thinks that "messages" or a call to action, especially when it's of a political nature, diminishes or undermines the content itself?
the “political“ aspect has always been an important part of my work. my other "number" albums have titles (or texts, such as IIII) too that have a certain "political" inclination. it's the way i act/move/think. but also, for example, "they live", which omits any written statement, has this political notion, and even my field recordings dabble with political intentions (more so when i perform them live).
if someone thinks this diminishes the content, i can understand that, but maybe then they should just exclude the titles/texts. the pieces work without that added level. titles/texts to me are extensions of a piece, the music communicates with a part of the being that might not primarily be "intellectual" or rational". also the titles/texts don't necessarily always harmonize with the music, even though sometimes they work well together, for me they simply add another dimension. take it or leave it.
but, what is "political"? life is political, is it not? it's a matter of definition really. i’ve always been kind of dissatisfied with the solely „abstract“ or „academic“ or purely „aesthetic“ quality of most noise music, even though i admit that there are a lot of liberating elements there too. yet i like to add "political" content because i like to make a somewhat clearer point, to take a stand of some sorts. admittedly this can be overdone, but i don't mind risking that.
You've done a lot of field recordings in places that are not just simply forests. They must be more like jungles or rain forests. I listen to this stuff and I think that there must be huge frogs, dragonflies, mosquitos, and beetles around. Or maybe I have been in an urban environment for too long. What is it like? Are there any wild stories?
being in that kind of environment IS wild! there’s no use explaining. and my field recordings offer a mere fraction of that.
I read that you helped Rudolf Eb.er cook Kangaroo. I can't help but ask if you have any funny stories about working with Schimpfluch Gruppe.
oh there's so many funny stories i wouldn't know where to start... but helping rudolf cook kangaroo wasn't anything special really. we were at swerve's place in sydney on our first or second night in oz and rudolf had scored some roo, he just wanted to try it, so he started cooking it, and for some reason he had to leave the stove so i took over, and why wouldn't i?
You've collaborated with a wide array of artists. What is your criteria for collaborating with someone? How have you found your somewhat singular vision to intersect with that of other people?
i haven't collaborated that often, at least that's how it seems to me, as i tend to be rather picky about collaborating and i've declined many more offers than i've accepted. as i don't feel too comfortable with improvising and i'm not really into the "let's record together and that's it" situation, there
has to be more than just my musical fancy that is tickled in order to collaborate. i prefer to collab
orate with friends - people i know and like, and whose work i admire and respect. and i need to be able to approach things at my pace.
Your precise audio editing and good production, coupled with your reworkings of Fear of God among other things suggest that you do a lot of work with computers, but yet, because of the mannerisms that you have with audio, it also would not surprise me if you were using reels or samplers. Even some of your shorter pieces have a fully realized quality to them. Do you have a lot of analog equipment? If so, are you able to improvise pieces, or are you someone who will go over and over something until it feels finished?
i tend to sit on a piece or a body of work for a rather long time until it feels somewhat finished, and a lot of pieces i mull over so long that consequently i lose all objectivity, so that a lot of pieces never feel fully finished, which i try to counter with some sort of deadline. but i always make an effort to deliver my best.
99.9 percent of all sounds i use are played and recorded by me, which means it goes through a microphone, sometimes through a microphone connected to an effect-tool (mostly my loop sampler). i practically never use synthesized sources, i like an organic sound, and i like to create all sounds by myself, it's a kind of "code of honour". other, say, "concrete" sounds recorded outside of my room/studio happen because i often have my recording equipment with me. i do sometimes take sounds off other sources, such as documentaries, videos or the internet, but this is quite the exception. this, just to explain the sources of my sounds. a lot are basically just recordings that end up in a soundbank, until they are processed. sometimes i use improvisation in the process of recording, especially when recording my voice via my loop-sampler, yet most of the time i have a pretty clear idea what i want to record and then i'll just record until the wanted sound is achieved. about 80 percent of all i record i never use. i record onto mini-disc and tape, and that's about it for home-recording equipment. the composition then happens in the computer, and that takes much more time than the recording itself.
I remember getting a link in one of your posts to your mailing list where you were collaborating on some kind of "noise opera". I can't find it now, and I don't see a link to it on your site. I listened to some of it once, and remember it being unique to my ears, but at the same time, it seemed reminiscent of old time radio in some ways. I think that's a facet of noise that is somewhat untapped. What was your motivation in working on that project? And do you think we will see more of that type of thing from you?
the project in question is "camp victory" and here's the link: http://www.soundimplant.com/campvictory/
it was indeed a unique project, instigated by gilles aubry and including antoine chessex, which is why i got involved - i love those guys (and their solo work as well as their band monno) and it also just seemed a highly interesting challenge.
i can't say if you'll see more of that from me as it depends on someone instigating something like that again and asking me to participate...
You clearly have a pronounced understanding of music, and can play some instruments, but at the same time, your CD "?" is somewhat enigmatic in the sense that it has the practicality of evocative music, while also being alien, precocious, and stripped down. To what extent do you understand music, and how does it apply to your composition process? Do you seek to dismantle music in a cognitive manner or if not, how do you turn that part of your brain off ?
i don't know if i have a pronounced understanding of music. what i can say for sure is that i have an immense passion, perpetual interest and an unquenchable hunger for music. i'm more of a music-fan than a musician, really. my understanding of music has to do with whether music touches me or not. i could maybe add a bit of supposed theoretical blurb to this but i think that’s not gonna tell more.
subsequently, the creative process is something i feel, more than anything else. i guess all the music that i like to hear can influence my compositional process. i don't try to dismantle music in any manner, at least not consciously, much rather it's a child-like curiosity and drive that might seem to push the boundaries, with an interest in pursuing the audio images in my head, heart and elsewhere, combined with the life-related, emotional or rational or political or simply aesthetic idea that is the starting point of a piece or body of work, and trying to translate that into sound. just like a "what happens if?"-scenario. the creative process is something somewhat "magical" for me, i use that word only cause i can't otherwie describe what it does to me, it's a realm of its own, but it's about as important for me as breathing.
When you collaborated with GX Jupitter-Larsen at Neon Marshmallow fest, you walked around making geometric shapes on the ground with masking tape, and repeating a message into your effected headset mic. I heard something that sounded like "There is no right or wrong" or "There is nowhere to run", and and the end of the set, you wrote "DIG" on the ground. How did that idea come about, and would you care to elaborate on it?
in a live-context, i like a "frame" for a piece, something that offers an opinion, an idea or demands pondering. GX reckoned we should keep it simple, so i based our collab on GX's instrument, which on that night was an amplified shovel, and the line "there is no right or wrong", which i culled from a song by rudimentary peni called "choice of evils". basically the piece is meant to refuse simplification in human interpretation and understanding. the geometric patterns on the floor were, first, a circle (not very round, i know) drawn (with chalk) around "the whole" (most of) the audience, and then circles drawn around single people within the audience, describing the ambivalence of inner and outside perception, objectivity and subjectivity, micro and macro levels, etc. in order to describe a certain complexity of the matter on hand. these circles were then broken (by another material, masking tape) by lines drawn through and across them. the word "dig" written on the floor at the end was simply a call to dig deeper, to go below and beyond the surface.
What was the most memorable response to one of your performances?
there's been a lot of memorable responses, in many different ways, but a really funny one was when this guy approached me and rudolf backstage, after we played what got known as the "spaghetti performance", in paris in november 1996. this guy had this large cut across his forehead and lots of blood coming out of it. rudolf and me kinda gulped when we saw this as this kinda thing is not at all what was intended - although we greatly enjoyed our performance getting out of hand as the audience started to participate and spaghetti, chairs and other objects started flying around the venue. anyway this guy comes up to us and says his forehead got hit by a chair flung through the air - and that he just experienced the most memorable performance of his life!
What role did you play in the live collaboration with The New Blockaders? How did you approach working with a "supergroup" kind of line up?
instructions for this performance given by richard rupenus were simple: you are a new blockader. each of us prepared accordingly, there were no roles anyone had been given, or seized.
all co-performers for this event were not just friends but people i've worked with previously, some of them i've known for 20 years, so it never felt like any "supergroup", it felt like playing with friends - couldn't be better!
To what extent did Cornelia Hesse-Honegger collaborate with you on the "Mutations" LP? Did she provide source material or other input of some sort? Did she actually take part in the manipulation of field recordings?
the collaboration on 'mutations' is an ideological one. cornelia and me share a passion for insects and are both critical of certain man-made effects on the insect-world and thus on the eco-system in general, which forms a central aspect of this collaboration. her form of expression is the word and especially paintings and drawings, my communication is through sound, and that's how the collab came together: cornelia was responsible for the artwork and i composed the music.
When you mention "magic" or "imaginary friends" in relation to religion, I have to ask, are you an atheist? Is there a spiritual bone in your body?
of course i'm an atheist, any one in their right mind is. c'mon!
"spiritual" is not a word i like, mainly through it's associations. i mean, i don't even know if there's a soul. "spiritual" seems a word (often) used through lack of understanding, or maybe the whole idea of the "spiritual" is only wishful thinking. it could also just be badly interpreted. i don't think any explanation is better than none. i'm not saying though that i'm not somewhat "spiritual", whatever that means. there are "energies" that we don't understand or misinterpret, or just can’t explain yet, that do exist. for some of these energies we have words such as "love", even though that's not really a graspable concept either, it really has way too many forms for it to have just one word to describe it. these energies show, for example in the forceful chemistry that can happen between two people who get close - whatever kind of "close" you can think of. one thing i'm sure about is that these "energies" always have their source in, or are the result of, two or more living beings interacting (or simply sharing some kind of space); there is abso
lutely nothing paranormal, otherworldly, divine or "spiritual" about that.
How do you feel about "cosmic consciousness" or "the unified field" or ghosts or coincidences? To what extent do you believe in energies? Do you think ghosts are more than hallucinations? If you hear someone talking about the same concept, or if a concept appears to you several times within a short period of time, what do you think of it? Is it just a random intersecting series of occurrences? Or is it a manifestation of some of the "energies" that you speak of? What do you think?
i had to look up "cosmic consciousness" and "unified field" cause i didn't know what they were.
so, "cosmic consciousness" is defined as "the idea that the universe exists as an interconnected network of consciousness, with each conscious being linked to every other." well. i believe conscious beings can be linked to others - if that connection wants/needs or has to be established, for whatever reasons, consciously or subconsciously. but the idea that every conscious being is linked with every other one just sounds... unreal. i think if that were the case the world would be a very different place. don't get me wrong, i do believe in some forms of connectivity, but that idea is just...
the unified field theory, when i look it up, seems more appealing. i like the way it speaks of an interactivity/connectivity that implies a bigger picture, which i believe is there. though it also seems a bit of a trap to try to apply too many theories to such a bigger picture... it's like one of those definitions or patterns that we want in order to understand, we kinda know it's there, but to formulate it could be a reduction, a limitation... the tragic beauty of these things is that any form of definition will eventually work against itself.
energies exist, of course, but again i think the problem comes with interpreting, describing and defining them... we emit energies as much as we perceive them, so occurences that seem to appear several times could simply tell us that we are wanting/needing/seeking them. patterns help us understand, but are they really there or are they just imposed?
ghosts... that's something i either haven't come across yet, or don't perceive... maybe they don't exist, or maybe the concept of "ghosts" implies a lack of being able to understand or explain. these experiences are as individual and as manifold as there are explanations. life is.. uncertain. any explanation is not better than none.
in an case i believe there's a great untapped potential and a lot of learning possibilities ahead of us...
The "Mutations" LP uses composition with source material of insects, some of it still seems like intersplicing of different field recordings, while at other times, there is a more compositional drone effect achieved. Did you aim to create alternate atmospheres? Hand crafted sound effects, so to speak? It's an idea that I've tried to do, as yet to no avail, but I wonder if this is a hint at future directions for you?
field recordings of the type that i prefer, namely of insects, amphibians and other such sentients, are rich and rewarding material to work with. the wish of processing/manipulating these stems from the idea of how other sentiens might hear them - taking into account the possibility that insects etc might experience these sounds at a very different speed or frequency than the human ear does. thus the methods of manipulation (for this release) are fairly simple, it's mostly just pitching and time-stretching. one "conceptual" idea is thus to bring closer to humans the way these sentients might hear each other. both pieces on 'mutations' are composed, whereas one contains a larger number of sources, while the other plays on mainly one source. it's amazing what qualities these insectan or amphibian sounds reveal when extremely pitched down or time-stretched. alternate atmospheres? field recordings, for me, have that quality anyway, in fact it's what initially attracted me to them. a future direction? i've used such manipulated field recordings before, but not within such a clear-cut concept. they probably will appear again, who knows. still i do prefer the pure, untreated, raw field recordings without manipulations.
I know that you use body noises, I know that you've released untreated field recordings before, and I've seen your collaborative performance with Eric Boros of "Easy Vegan Cooking". I know that you generally have some kind of purpose or concept in mind but you also have a sense of humor in your work, and to some degree there is room for meaninglessness. Or maybe not. Are you looking to change perceptions, or is it a matter of fun with the case of "Easy Vegan Cooking?" This leads me to another question: What do you think of Andy Warhol? Is he a bullshit artist or an alchemist? Was he smart for trying to remove the hand of the artist as much as possible from the art, or was he an asshole? Some people said he brought a new form of "realism" to the art world, and to me, I only really like a little bit of his work, I like the fact that he cultivated a cult of personality more. How do you feel about it?
the idea for "easy vegan cooking" comes from my love for cooking, plus it offers an interesting set-up, with kitchen-utensils amplified. it is meant to be taken with a grain of salt of course, but it is not devoid of some obvious hints which talk about matters that matter to me.
andy warhol, frankly, i hardly know much about the guy except the couple of images that have made him popular. i do get the impression though that his playfulness with art and his pushing it into different directions were historically important and executed with a lot of cleverness and humour.
I was very impressed by the guest podcast you did for my radio show. I wonder if you would mind sharing a little bit of what you have been listening to lately, or some of your favorites (other than Ligeti and Rudimentary Peni etc.)?
that's always a difficult question, as i listen to and like a lot of music. i mean, a lot. this list will never be complete, and i will always have the feeling that i've forgotten some essentials but....favourites... foetus, krzysztof penderecki, amebix, kiss, swans, nurse with wound, southeastasian pop music, big black, coil, abba, venom, iannis xenakis, frank sinatra, julie london, cyanamid, wipers, autopsy, tiny tim, enrico caruso, sergey prokofiev, extreme noise terror, plastikman, morton feldman, john carpenter, deathspell omega, michael nyman, etant donnes, morbid angel, khanate, hafler trio, chris watson, diamanda galas, crass, peter sellers, discharge, g.i.s.m., confuse, muslimgauze, britney spears, dean martin, butthole surfers, jerry goldsmith, john duncan, spike jones, luigi nono, japanese nô theatre music, john carpenter, balinese gamelan music, giacinto scelsi, tammy wynette, bernard herrmann, corrupted, hate forest, sortsind, manowar, laibach, johnny cash, missing foundation, john watermann, die kreuzen, anti cimex, skinny puppy, rattus, siege, g*park, runzelstirn & gurgelstock, tools you can trust, darkthrone, sublime frequencies releases... like i said this could go on for ever... recent-ish (2009 - 2011) obsessions include... francisco guerrero, wolves in the throne room, gnaw their tongues, portal, ajattara, gloria coates, tommy four seven, perfume, coh, friedrich cerha, gnaw, more gamelan music...
You took part in a band called "Ketsu No Ana" ("small anal" or "ass with no hole" apparently is the meaning of that phrase) based in China, how did this come about? How did you write conventional (metal) music with people who are apparently in China? What does the future hold for Ketsu No Ana? Do you plan to write proper lyrics and songs in the future?
ketsu no ana basically means asshole, the name came from a japanese friend, but the band is - was - based in zurich, switzerland. where does this china link come from? [the website url suggests that the band is in China] that's quite curious. well, the band is no more, the drummer was a brasilian illegal in switzerland and went back to brasil, the plan was he'd return legally, and well, he stayed in brasil. the squat we rehearsed in got raided and is no more, two band members were on travels and had somewhat of a falling-out... well, the band fell apart.
In Dead Peni's "2 - 4 + 1" CD, there is a video by moju of effected footage from Alcatraz Penitentiary. Did you have any input or direction on the production of the video? What were you trying to get across?
moju is a dear friend from lausanne and he works with video... when i gave him the first dead peni release, a self-issued cdr containing just the piece '1', he liked it to the extent that one day he surprised me with a video to it... it's not wanting to get anything across, it's mood/atmosphere, just like dead peni.
Do you think Dead Peni is moving forward as a sort of doom band? Is there a progress happening with that broad, but somewhat simple premise? Have you been building riffs with that project or stripping them down?
the peni project is fairly difficult to keep going, it takes a lot of rehearsals to play live, and laying down tracks is a lot of work... and i have to be in the mood. the songs tend to be tributes or covers, so the riffs derive therefrom. the last dead peni release was a split-lp with c-utter from barcelona and contained a laibach cover and a cover of a dp track. "building or stripping down riffs" is not a criteria i apply, dead peni is mood music. the direction might change too.. i prefer the criteria of heaviness rather than just doom...
In the emails from 2000 that Tom Smith (To Live And Shave In L.A.) shared about how you wanted OHNE to come together, you describe it as"Psychological border-crossing and the blackest of all humours with lewd concupiscence, deviated sensual affronts and most bizarre conundrums strewn in for good measure.“ Do you think you achieved what you set out to do? How did you exceed or side step your expectations? Do you think that it manifested itself well on a recording? Is there a future in mind for OHNE?
OHNE was definately a intrigueing project with a great potential, some goals were certainly achieved, some ventures went beyond all expectations, but disappointments and side-stepping were as much part of the process. the one studio album we did captured us pretty well i think. whether the essence of OHNE manifested itself in the live-albums that were released is hard for me to tell, the live-situation itself will always be more intense, and different from a stereo-document, and since i was present i lack the objectivity to judge the recordings. but OHNE is no more and i think that's fine.
Do you have plans at all to release a DVD of any kind?
not until recently, although i've been asked this question quite often. just recently though i finished a rather long tour and parts of it were captured on film in a way that is rather interesting, i think, if it turns out to be interesting enough a dvd could be the result thereof.
What do you plan on doing in the future?
i'm currently preparing for a tour that will take me through latin america for all of september and october. there are a few releases in preparation, like an album of indonesian field recordings, a new lp, a 2-cd collection of rare tracks and oddities, a book. that's the immediate future. other than that there are so many ideas and wishes about that i'd be hard pressed to put my finger on one of them - i'll do as it feels right, or is possible. i'd love to compose for an orchestra..
You did a collaboration with Francisco Meirino called "We Are None of Us", apparently it took 4 years to do. It's impressive in its density in that it is widely varied but cohesive. I've spent some time looking up the definitions of all of the track titles and seeing how they relate to the material. Are you telling a story? Did you speak on the phone about what was going on conceptually? Or is each track a sort of snap shot?
this collab was done with both of us physically present in the same room, in our homes in either lausanne or zurich. we live about two and a half hours on the train from each other and meet maybe twice or three times a year, usually for an extended weekend, which is why it took that amount of time to put the album together. the central theme/idea/concept for this record is our love of 70's and
80's horror-films and especially their soundtracks, so this can be considered a tribute to people like john carpenter, jerry goldsmith, wendy carlos, fabio frizzi and (many) others, but it's obviously more about atmospheres than styles of these people's works. whether you perceive cohesion or snapshots, both approaches are equally valid - and interesting. the titles came from a list of possible words we liked and we chose them according to the way they related to the material. what story/stories would you like to hear?