Interview By adam Maladroit
Article By adam on Oct 14, 2002

 


maladroit is nic located in sydney, you can read a review of his cd in the cd review section. this is just a lame intro to the email interview we just completed, the answers tell the story, here goes...

adam: Firstly please just give us a run down on the history of your music making?
perhaps software/hardware you started with to what you use now? and if you
have released anything else at all, or put stuff online in the past?

nic: I got into the idea of writing music on a computer after seeing friends doing just that... Hedonist(b fist) was using fastracker, i initially was using the Acid program by sonic foundry, its a vey visual method of cut n paste... all this happened as i was going to art school, and id gotten frustrated by people wanting me to tell em what a picture meant, music is a more dynamic interaction... i think.... i got a bit sick of just painting etc, so...
Now i use Madtracker to sequence, n soundforge to edit/record... madtracker is ok, a dodge windowfied fasttracker, but i like it better than Acid, dunno why, its easier on my crap computer, but i like writingbreaks etc on it... the cut n paste aspect is good. I had a track on an old comp called "tracking for the masses", but its pretty crap.. systemcorrupt.com used to have stuff of mine online, the coretex labs website should have some traks... and powerviolence should have an .mp3 up....

adam: Your influences for this style of music?
and influences for music in general?

nic: I guess as far as electronic musicy stuff, bands like pop will eat itself were excellent, a bit of bloody fist stuff, especially syndicate,overcast n epsilon... the crazy breakbeat stuff is good... north american stuff like Venetian Snares, Abelcain,Have a Few Get Some... all have excellent stuff..Bong-Ra from the netherlands has some great break ragga stuff, great.
As far as general music, i grew up listening to lots of chuck berry n the beach boys, beatles, though HEAVY METAL has had some good albums... old metallica, slayer, death angel, danzig is good, bluesy sex metal...
dunno... frank zappa has some insane stuff, his jazz hell album is good, very overwhelming to listen to... i was listening to paul simons graceland, thats a good song. Lastly, stuff like Whitehouse and Boyd Rices' stuff is great too...its like armageddon cocktail music. Whoops i meant to mention MrBungle, a great band, see em if you get the chance.. side projects like secret chiefs 3 are incredible too...the idea that disparate elements can exist together n work well, it seemed like a noble aim, i mean weird al yankovic was a trailblazer too....

adam: whats the aim of your music, or maybe what have you achieved through its creation? more simply what do you get out of it? (maybe how serious do you take it also)

nic: i like the cut n pasting, its the same as my visual approach to art , the sound and dialogue is similar to the text and image of a picture, and they can be appropriated or not... its good to regurgitate semi digested these things we hear n see, sometimes its like it may be a sorta defence mechanism... your psyche saying "too much pop crap!!!" i take it seriously, i think... it might not always seem that way, but at the same time it is for fun, i think humour is important as a way of getting your ideas across... 
its this musical thing that is both laughing n crying at the same time , n that feels about right for me... its that sort of place where we get assaulted with ideas images etc, so to me , the music seemed pretty much a sorta growth from painting or whatever...

adam: how do you choose the pop tracks you corrupt?
some i imagine are out of respect and others out of disgust?

nic: the tracks i reanimate are ones i like, for one reason or another... not always good ones, but i think even the cheesiest song can have moments of transcendant beauty, 10CCs 'im not in love' a case in point... its a respectful disgust, its like worshipping an impossibly filthy idol, you do it, but its....  a lovehate thing, but every track ive done has been because it was good in some way, even if only i could see it. the 80s is a source cause its my youth, but my parents got me into lots of stuff when i was small, but i remember different stuff, the music from the film "the neverending story" really moved me emotionally, much as the music from "requiem for a dream" did, when i saw it recently... the movie "bugsy malone" has some awesome songs, "down and out", "tomorrow never comes" are top stuff.... it seems that every now and then some music lodges under my psyche, n thats how i scratch it out.

adam: Besides as an artist what is your association to Powerviolence?

nic: Im a hanger on i guess.. i know john from powerviolence, n i was happy to give him traks etc... i sometimes throw in my 2 cents in regards to cover designs etc, but that doesnt mean they listen... i act sometimes as flyer gimp, sticking stuff up etc... helping with setting stuff up, taking it down... sometimes. think of me not as the body, but as a groping palm, fearful an sweaty....

adam: i have nothing but thanks for all the guys running these small cdr labels, affordable music of quality is fantastic, what benefits or setbacks have you experienced from the kind of label it is?

nic: seriously, i have nothing but thanks for the people who enjoy the music, its great to be able to release stuff in the first place, people responding n getting into it is even better... sometimes i feel i can puff my chest n strut a bit, but those moments dont usually last. I think its good that there is an outlet for all our stuff, i get into pilfernators, fraughman, n misanthrope etc, cause its like my take, but different. playing my stuff live(off a computer) is fun, i enjoy seeing the party people etc, i guess that the whole thing of seeing that others might  actually share your insane vision is very gratifying, ive had people approach me at an exhibition n ask me about the meaning of a picture of mine, as if a meaning from me will be defining n override any others... which is not really the point as i see it. its harder to do that when youre reacting to music, asking the person next to you, how does this break + sample make you feel, from a  existentialist viewpoint, you react in a more primal n direct way, i  like it better, is what im trying to say....  we're like the frog-gene dinosaurs mutating in jurassic park , in order to fill a twisted musical imperative.  As far as setbacks, well some people prejudge me as a weirdo, but they said that about syd barrett n nikola tesla. Power Violence is well run by john 556a, i dont think there are too many setbacks, cause we dont make the impression of being anything other than what we are, loud n chunky...  A lot of  the interesting music i listen to thats recent is from labels like powerviolence, system corrupt... bloody fist is a great mine for music too, i think a point is that we have the technology, so we should use it to speak our piece before the world goes BANG. being nice to each other is good too.

adam: because it is still a hot topic in some circles and because i am keen to hear from
independant artists about it, what are your views on mp3s?

nic: it seems like a good format to transfer music files around, i dont have a real problem with .mp3s, pretty much all the ones ive downloaded are songs i wouldnt be able to find, or would have no idea as to how to find it, so .mp3s are good for that sort of thing, but i think our society still has a big fetish for the object, so people still seem to want to possess the "actual" piece, cd/vinyl whatever, i dont think society will go to a non-physical format yet(famous last words), itd slow pollution down, for one thing... i think its amusing that record companies are finding it difficult to stop, just like they thought vhs piracy would be easy to eradicate, audo cassettes, etc are similar, but the pc has the potential to store a huge amount of music as .mp3... we'll all have 20/20 hindsight though....

adam: another topic of recent debate that you mentioned before was live from the laptop, i think if theres someone with a laptop pressing play theres no probs as long as theres some kind of eye candy somewhere else, as in the great 7? visuals at most of the system corrupt parties, that said if theres a good crowd dancing thats also great visual entertainment.
i saw hrvatski last year at the TINA festival and there were no visuals so he was gettin up and about and dancing quite insanely for the crowds entertainment, do you think a visual aspect is necessary?
other comments on live from the laptop?

nic: yeah i agree, you tend to want a visual aspect to a performance, rather than a hunched shape in the shadows, but im not sure if thats because we expect it, or because its truly important to the work.... probably a bit of both. I enjoy a good live show, but i also like stuff like Syndicate from newcastle, n thats pretty much a "non live" live act, in that its done from behind an amiga, n thats about it as far as visuals go.
A good visual aspect can definitely add something to the act though, as i think 7?'s projections etc, really add something to the sy:co parties... Dancing is part of the visual thing at parties, it is closely linked to this sort of music i guess, so it could be seen as the visual expression of the music or something like that....  I wouldnt say visuals are necessary, but to a large extent we expect some sort of a visual aspect at parties, so there is a sort of social imperative to have something to look at, which is fair enough.
Personally, playing off a laptop is fun, but yeah, defintely better when youre jumping around like an idiot to it, i guees at its most basic, youre just showing that youre enjoying it as well...  the universality of the human experience.(ahhh)

adam: your name is on the 'goulburn poultry fanciers society' cd, which tracks are yours? any comments on gpfs?

nic: yeah, i did the "britney boobies" one and the "baker street repeat"...baker street is a song id heard on am radio about a million times, beautiful saxaphone..... a great song that may be seen as cheesy by some, but a beautiful one none the less. britney spears is an artist that i dont admire, save for her hypocrisy re: sex n drinkin', but the trak i remixed is this weird spears spoof that rants on about her boob job, so it pretty much birthed itself... 7u? liked it so that gave me the confidence for that... plus people seem to like it too, which makes me think that many of us have a bit of britney in us somewhere. for me, its near my left big toe. i like the goulburn cd, i mean the idea of redoing old tracks isnt new, but i think everyone on the cd have a "unique" take on old meat... its a good listen cause theyre all united by their insane vision... thre isnt really that much of this sort of musical mutilation in sydney. Everyone had their own particular perverted vision of what they wanted to do to their tracks, and i think that helped in the compiling of the cd. The only thing missing was a group track where we all mixed "we are the world" simultaneously. still damn enjoyable though. The next gpfs is gunna be a hiphop/rnb type thing (i think) so look out...

adam: okay ill rap it up here, the two tracks that you did on gpfs along with the superfreak/mc hammer mix are the favorites of mine and my friends baker street really does it for me subliminally cause my mother used to play it in the car all the time when i was young a really enjoyable track

nic: yes! i used to hear baker st so many times on am radio, but never heard the name of the song, so when i finally found it out, like years later, i knew what i had to do... thanks for the input, its good to hear what people think of your stuff.

adam: any last comments?

nic: geez i dont really know if ive got any closing thoughts, except for something cheesy like rock on, or keep the dream alive...

adam: excellent.

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