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dimanche 26 mars 2017

Album de la Semaine : Adult. - Detroit House Guests

Detroit House Guests

Interview d'Adult. , par Michael Byrne de Red Alert

My first question is about Detroit, that’s also where I’m from, my hometown. Every time I talk to someone about Detroit, I get two reactions: the first, it’s just this totally gross wasteland, and there’s a second reaction that’s almost the exact opposite of that, from the urban decay fetishists, that it’s just this theme park to explore. The only people I’ve met that aren’t in those two camps are the people that actually live there, who are obviously neither, and, as someone from Detroit I find both reactions offend the hell out of me equally. But I have a hard time describing the middle ground to people, what it means to call Detroit home. What is your Detroit?

Nicola Kuperus: I think Detroit’s kind of a love/hate kind of thing, but I think when you live here you can be that way. Most people that live here are really Detroit proud, Detroit-centric and...

Adam Lee Miller: I know people that have so many different opinions on Detroit from just within Detroit. I know people that say they are not actually Detroiters because they don’t belong to the majority population of Detroiters because our incomes aren’t 200 dollars a year and we’re not black. A lot of people would say that to be white and to have employment in Detroit is to not actually be a Detroiter, which I’m not sure I agree with. But, people like my parents who lived in Detroit until I was 14 years old and have actually turned their backs can’t understand why I would still want to live here.

NK: I think the great thing about Detroit is that it’s really cheap, for the most part, to live here, so you can do whatever you want to do without really being bothered.
ALM: I think it’s the primary thing if you’re asking an artist why they’re living in Detroit it’s because they can keep their expenses low. I mean if you ask somebody on the street why they live in Detroit it’d be something completely different. No way out. That’s often been the case with me: there’s no way out. The expenses are low.

Sam Consiglio: I have a really conflicted opinion of Detroit myself, where one day I love it and one day I hate it. It’s like a family member for me when someone says something like, Oh, you live in Detroit...isn’t that shit? I’m like no, Detroit’s awesome. Shut up. And then if the person’s like oh, I love Detroit, I’m like it totally sucks, shut up.

ALM: I think everybody from here feels that way.

SC: When you talk to someone that’s not from Detroit, and they want to put their two cents in...you’re like shut up, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

NK: It’s kind of a scene in a bad relationship...

ALM: And, it’s like I want the city to do well, but whenever there’s a traffic jam or something then I’m just oh, man, I hate this...this city better not ever get people moving in here. Those kind of conflicts are constant.

Do you have an idealized vision of what the city should become?

ALM: Sometimes you thrive on the isolation, but sometimes you, ah, just want to go to the store. Sometimes you just want to go to be able to go to a store. You’re from Detroit, so you know there’s nothing of that kind in Detroit. It’s not like in Portland or New York or whatever and walk down to the corner and just get yourself a head of lettuce. We’d have to hop in the car, probably in the snow...

SC: There’s like one good kind of hippy/organic bakery/coffee place in the city and it’s so funny...every time you go there you end of parking your car in the alley because every parking spot is taken. It’s only...there’s so few things.

I think I might know the place you’re talking about. What is it?

ALM: Avalon.

Over on Cass?

ALM: Yeah.

I’ve been in there.

SC: You know Larry, the homeless man?

I don’t think so.

SC: Well, he lives in front.

ALM: I think if you ask Larry about Detroit, like what is Larry’s Detroit?, it’d be completely different from our Detroit.

NK: Probably loves it...he’s probably so rich...

SC: Did you see the eyeglasses on recently? He had on the fanciest eyeglasses. Larry always has something for sale, and one time I accused him...I said, well, did you just steal it from somebody? He said, “Sammy, I never steal from anybody. I find everything in the garbage.”

Moving into music: who should we be watching in Detroit music, outside of your label, and over even outside of...well I guess just overall, whether it be techno or rock or...

NK: Probably the band we’re touring with, Genders

SC: Yeah, we’re really proud of them–they’re like our little brothers.

What are they doing?

SC: They have a new sort-of mini LP coming out on Tigerbeat6 and they have a few homemade releases. And they had a real limited run on Ypsilanti Records. I think right after this tour...I have high hopes that this is their introduction to the world, the US.

Are you deliberately moving away from techno, with the inclusions of the live guitars and bass?

ALM: I never thought we were techno, so I would say we’re moving towards it incorrectly because we were never near it, so we have to be getting closer...

NK: I think the history of ADULT. is kind of weird in that, for years and years and years, people have put us in all these strange categories, none of which we’ve truly ever really belonged in, not that we belong in anything now...

ALM: I think I can kinda understand, though: we have a lot of different things going on in our music. If someone’s really into...if someone’s a poet, then they’re going to listen to the lyrics; if someone’s a programmer, then they’re going to listen to the drumbeats; if someone’s a producer, then they’re going hear the mix. I guess if someone listens to a lot to techno, they’re going to really hear the electronic elements of the music. If someone’s more into indie, then they’re going to listen more to the structure and the message. Whenever someone listens, they come with their own set of baggage that’s going to enable to hear something someone else might not. It’s always very odd to hear someone talk about our stuff because for me nothing sticks out.

NK: I think the first things we wrote up until now... We’ve obviously changed as a band, things are a lot organic sounding and less...things are a little looser and less...

ALM: Programmed.

NK: Even myself being a singer...I’m a lot more comfortable being a singer now.

I’ve definitely noticed that in the progression of albums, that the vocals are a lot less manipulated, more live sounding.

In an interview quite a ways back, like back in '99, you were describing a musical movement...you called it “generic music:” music that’s hops genre, that’s always changing. What’s that state of “generic music” now?

NK: Still generic!

Still generic?

ALM: It hasn’t caught on.

NK: Yeah, it hasn’t caught on yet.

ALM: Well, there’s more bands that would fit in it nowadays than back then. It could be a really big bin in the record store.

Name some bands that are doing it right...

ALM: Chromatics, Genders, Numbers...

Going back to genre labeling, which I know is kind of dumb and hurts music ultimately, but people like me love to do it because it makes our jobs easier. Given that, can I use this word: electropunk? Your reactions to that?

NK: I don’t know. People have been throwing that around...I can’t really say I love that...

ALM: I always have a hard time with those things because the definition of each of those terms from one person to the next is completely different and when you throw of two terms with dubious definitions together, it doesn’t make it any more clear what it is so...I mean...

(a phone starts going nuts with video game noises)

SC: Sam’s phone’s about to get techno on us! I mean electro...

NK: Can’t we just fit into the “weird” category?

SC: Yeah, I forgot, we wanted to change “generic” to “weird-o” where the “o” stands for Oprah...

Okay, I like that.

SC: That’s our new genre: weird-o, like Cheerio’s.

NK: It’s good, isn’t it? Then you just know whether you’re going to love it or you’re going to hate it because it’s weird...there’s no expectation like pop music...pop music is pretty across the board. But when you’re in the weird category, it's like, well, you don’t really don’t know what you’re going to get.

ALM: Then, hopefully, the Abercrombie and Fitch jock baseball cap wearing crowd, that’ll hopefully turn them away. Just by the name alone. Punk: you know you’ve got Green Day now, where you’ve got these total doofuses wearing these Green Day shirts–which makes sense–but if they see the word “electro-punk,” they’re not immediately turned off. They’re like, "Yeah, I’m into punk, I love Green Day!"

You don’t even want to convert this crowd?

ALM: No.

Nothing to do with it?

(affirmative vocal noise)

How did Sam come about, in the band? What’s the story behind that?

NK: We kidnapped him.

SC: They’d been emailing for, like, a year trying to get me in.

NK: Put a gun to his head.

ALM: Originally, we’re art space buddies...then we got creepy.

NK: We’ve been releasing music from his other band, Tamion 12 Inch, for a long time. And, um, we needed someone to tour with us because we couldn’t everything ourselves for our D.U.M.E. EP and then it just worked out really well and here we are...

ALM: Sam broke a really nice vase in our house, and we’re making him work it off now.

How long does he have to go?

NK: A loooong time.

ALM: Looooong time.

NK: Waterford Crystal.

You start touring the 19th?

ALM: One week.

One week from today.

NK: That’s my line!

Where are looking forward to playing?

ALM: Portland. Portland. That’s our number-one-looking-forward-to city...is this article for Portland? One my top three favorite people in the whole world moved to Portland recently. And I’m going to see her when I go there.

SC: Wow, who are your other top-two favorite people in the world?

NK: We’ll all be together. I’m really looking forward to play Tucson.


ALM: And Los Angeles.

What about Tucson?

NK: When I was a teenager, I was in Tucson and saw one of the best hardcore punk shows I ever been to there. I got slashed in the face with a nail!

SC: She’s looking forward to it for revenge.

NK: I am looking forward to it. We’ve never played there... Hard to say what will happen.

ALM: Montreal, the MEG festival, with this band Der Plan. I ‘m really excited about that. They’re a very important band.

Who’s responded best to ADULT. in the past? In terms of touring...what cities?

NK: We had a really great show in LA in May.

ALM: And Paris. We’ve had really great shows all over. We like the shows where people are losing control, and you can always tell when people are losing control. It feeds you. And in LA, they really lost control recently. And they also did in Paris...

SC: San Fran, Detroit, Chicago...those are always really good cities for us. Glasgow was really good. Moscow was really good, surprisingly, we didn’t think anyone would know who we are. We’ll see how the rest of the world is ready to meet the challenge of those other cities and show us their cities are ever more off da’ hook. D. A. Hook.

Line Up :
Adam Lee Miller
Nicola Kuperus

Label :
Mute Records

Tracklist :
01 – P rts M ss ng
02 – Breathe On
03 – Into the Drum
04 – We Are a Mirror
05 – Enter the Fray
06 – Uncomfortable Positions
07 – We Chase the Sound
08 – They’re Just Words
09 – Inexhaustible
10 – Stop (and Start Again)
11 – This Situation
12 – As You Dream

dimanche 19 mars 2017

Album de la Semaine : The Underground Youth - What Kind of Dystopian Hellhole Is This ?

The Underground Youth
What Kind of Dystopian Hellhole Is This ?

Interview de The Underground Youth, par Roman Rathert de It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

Can you talk a little bit about how the band started as a one-man recording project?  Where did the initial idea come from and just how did it begin?  When was that?

I’d been writing rough amateurish poetry since the age of sixteen or seventeen.  When I heard Bob Dylan for the first time I realised that I didn’t need any more than a few guitar chords to turn these into songs.  In 2008 I started recording songs in my bedroom with some basic recording equipment; I guess it’s all grown from that.

You recruited band members for live performances in preparation for your tour in 2012 after signing with Fuzz Club Records, how did you go about choosing members or did you already have people in mind? 

I didn’t have anyone in mind from the start, it all just kind of fell into place.  I met our guitarist Tom through a mutual friend.  I’ve never felt more comfortable playing around another guitarist.  Our drummer Olya is my wife, so her entry into the live band was a little more natural.

Was the transition to a full band difficult for you or was it kind of a natural evolutionary process?

It started out easy but then got difficult.  I guess to call it an evolutionary process is the best way to describe it.  While it progresses it changes.  As a live band we will change in time, there’s room for more people and more instruments, it will never feel complete.  I like that about it.

What’s the band’s lineup?

Right now we just use a guitar, a bass and two drums which Olya plays standing up.  Sometimes we just play with two guitars.  It’s a stripped back sound, especially in the psychedelic scene where you can find other bands utilizing four or five guitarists.

Are any of you in any other bands?  Have you released any material with any other bands?  If so can you tell us about it?

Olya and I recorded an EP under the name Noise Exposure.  It was sort of a side project where she had more creative input.  Tom is constantly writing and recording under different names.  I’m not sure which one he’s using right now.

How and when did you all meet?

I guess it was 2011 I first met Tom.  He’s from Liverpool but we met up in Manchester.  We spent an evening drinking wine and discussing music, we’re very different people but we have a connection that really works.  As I said before, Olya is my wife, that’s all you need to know.

Where are you originally from?

I’m from a town in North-West England, Blackpool.  Olya is from Siberia and Tom is from Liverpool.

Where is the band located now?  How would you describe the local music scene there?

Manchester.  For me Manchester’s musical history is better than anywhere but unfortunately, there isn’t much excitement around any new “scene” right now, at least not for what we’re doing.  I think it is growing but in its’ current state there isn’t much to write about.

Are you very involved with the local scene?

No.  We’ve played a small handful of shows in Manchester for a small handful of people.

Has it played a large role in the history or evolution of The Underground Youth?

I would say no but it’s hard to have perspective on that from my position.  It’s been said that The Underground Youth “sound very Manchester”, which is probably just a way of saying we’re obviously influenced by Joy Division.

What does the name The Underground Youth mean or refer to?

One of the early poems I wrote, around the age of eighteen or nineteen, was called Underground Youth.  There’s actually a horribly rough recording of it on my first album of songs Morally Barren.  I just decided to name the project after that song.

Who are some of you major influences?  What about the band as a whole rather than as an individual?

I am hugely inspired by the work of Anton Newcombe and The Brian Jonestown Massacre but the sounds of other psychedelic groups are obvious in the music as well.  Olya’s drumming style is lifted from early Jesus and Mary Chain but she’s also one of the biggest Spacemen 3 fans there is.  My writing is inspired by Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, and there are flashes of post-punk in there while Tom brings a garage blues influence to the live show.

Can you describe The Underground Youth’s sound to our readers that might not have heard you before?

Something between psychedelic rock and post-punk.  It’s haunting and dark but with flashes of a melancholic lightness.  A word that often comes up is cinematic, I’m a huge fan of cinema and my music is hugely influenced by film. 

Can you talk about the songwriting process when you were still a one-man band?  How has The Underground Youth’s songwriting process changed since the addition of the live band?

The songwriting process is, and always has been the same, although a live band is now representing the music and I take this into account when recording.  The songs are all my own creation, for me writing alone is much freer.  The freedom of writing and recording alone is waking up in the middle of the night and creating something from nothing.  The danger is working your way into a corner with no one to bounce ideas off.  But my process is very much at my own pace.  With the right inspiration I can record a whole album in a week or two. 

You self-released five albums before signing with Fuzz Club records and reissuing the Delirium 12” and The Low Slow Needle 10”.  Can you tell us a little bit about the recording of those early albums as a one man project?  Where were they recorded?  Did you record the material yourself?  What kind of equipment was used?

Everything, including the new album, is recorded at home.  I do everything myself on my own cheap and simple equipment in my home.  Over the years I have improved the recording and production of my music, but essentially the equipment and process I go through is the same.  It’s only recently that I started entertaining the idea of working with someone else in the recording process.  There’s a chance the next album I record will feature someone else in a production role, but I definitely prefer to have control.

What were the names of those initial five albums?  How were those albums originally released?

Morally Barren and Voltage were released in 2009, Mademoiselle and Sadovaya in 2010 and then Delirium and the Low Slow Needle EP in 2011.  Back then I would just make copies of the albums on CD myself and send them out to people who got in touch online.  Eventually I uploaded everything online and made it available for anyone to download.  Through the following I built up with those albums I was approached by someone who was “thinking of setting up a record label”.  From there everything happened really fast for both the band and the label.

You compiled some of the tracks from those albums into the Delirium and Low Slow Needle releases, how much of the material from those early releases were compiled to make those two albums or are they straight reissues of the original albums?  Are there any plans to release the rest of that early material in physical or digital formats?

Delirium and Low Slow Needle were released on vinyl exactly as they were originally recorded.  The idea is to work our way through the back catalogue and release the early material on vinyl.

You also recently released a 7” through Fuzz Club Records, Morning Sun.  Are these tracks culled from that pool of older recordings or were they done for this release more recently?

Morning Sun and the B-side Art House Revisited were songs from the album I recorded in 2010 titled, Sadovaya.

You also released a split with a band I’ve been into for a long time at this point, Little Daggers.  How did you get hooked up with them?  Where did the track Juliette come from, was it recorded specifically for that release?

Jacob from Lil Daggers got in touch with me about arranging some shows together if they were ever to come over to Europe but our conversation ended up with us making a split 7” together.  I wanted to record a new track for it, so I wrote and recorded Juliette, which is also on our new album.

You have an upcoming album scheduled for release in the next few months.  I know the band was involved with recording for the first time, was it strange or difficult for anyone going into the studio this time?

August 2nd.  As I mentioned earlier the songs are all my creation.  I had my friend Daria, who lent her vocals to the Low Slow Needle EP, sing again on this record and Tom recorded guitars on a number of tracks.  There’s also a song that came from a bass part that Olya created.  I really do work best on my own, sat at home recording.  It’s much more effective for me than all the pressures that come with studio recording.

Can you tell us a little bit about recording the new album?  What can our readers expect?  Did you try anything radically different with songwriting or recording on this album?  Where was it recorded and who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?  What’s the name of the album going to be?

The album has a different feel to it for sure.  It’s my most mature work and has a much wider array of influences.  It’s a really dark and raw record.  We live in an apartment overlooking the outskirts of Manchester’s City Centre so I recorded the album looking out onto this.  I think some of the atmosphere was soaked up by the recording.  There are also some of the most fragile tracks I’ve ever recorded.  I think it’s the best of everything I’ve done rolled into one record.  The album is called The Perfect Enemy For God.

Other than the upcoming full-length do you have any other releases planned for this year?

I have a few new songs that I’ve been working on.  I might end up building them into an album or an EP but it’s too early to say, we’ll see how the new album is received before deciding on what to do next.  We had the idea of re-recording some of the older tracks, compiling a best-of and recording it in a studio with an established producer.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

With the insane recent postal increases here in the states where is the best place for US readers to purchase copies of your music?  What about international and overseas readers?

Fuzz Club Records ship worldwide and I know they try and keep the shipping costs as low as possible.  We have records in a number of independent record stores around the world.  I’d suggest people contact Fuzz Club and ask for more information.

What do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?

We’ve got a few shows in Europe around the release date of the new album.  The release party on August 2nd will be in Berlin.  Following that we have a tour of Russia, some dates in the UK and another European tour that’s currently being booked for October/November.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows that you’d like to share with our readers?

Well we have the usual band horror stories of terrible shows, guitars breaking, drums being knocked over; a monitor once fell on me during a gig.  I love that rawness of a live show though, I don’t go and watch a band play live to listen to an exact recreation of a record I have at home.  I want to see a raw and passionate representation of the music, snapped guitar strings and onstage disagreements included.

Where’s the best place for our readers to keep up on the latest news from The Underground Youth like upcoming album releases and shows at?

The best way is to follow our Facebook page.  I update news on there regularly.  We also have a Twitter account or you can sign up to a newsletter and find other updates on the Fuzz Club Records website.

I must admit to loving my digital albums.  Having the ability to take music wherever I want is really cool, but I just can’t shake my obsession with physically released product.  Having an album to hold in your hands, artwork to look at and liner notes to read all make the listening experience more complete; at least to me.  Do you have any such connection to physical releases?

Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more.  Having a digital copy of an album is great for the ease of listening to it anywhere, but for me you can’t beat listening to an album on vinyl.  For the obvious joys such as soaking up the artwork and the quality of sound, but I think appreciating a record from start to finish is so much easier when listening to vinyl.  With no easy way of skipping a track it’s much easier to appreciate a record as a piece of art.  I understand that this isn’t the most common approach to buying/listening to music, with that in mind all our records come with a digital download included.

While digital music might be undermining decades of infrastructure in the music industry and causing a lot of turmoil it’s also exposing a lot of bands that I otherwise would never have had the pleasure of discovering.  What’s your opinion on digital music and distribution as an artist during these turbulent times?

For me the simple fact is that without the option of creating digital files that could be sent to all corners of the world via the Internet, no one would have ever heard my music.  I certainly would never have been approached to create a physical release.  It’s great for musicians and fans alike that music is so accessible.  I hate most things about the commercial music industry so I try not to think about it too much. 

I try to keep up on as much music from around the world as is humanly possible, so I ask everyone I talk to this question.  Who should I be listening to from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of before? 

As I mentioned earlier Manchester isn’t really the home of a “scene” for us right now but the European psych scene is exploding with great bands!  If you check out The Reverb Conspiracy compilation record it’s full of hidden gems.  My favorite band didn’t get featured on that record though, The Blue Angel Lounge, I can’t speak highly enough of them.

Is there anything that I missed or you’d just like to talk about?

I can’t think of anything, thanks.  Let’s hope we can get over to the States soon to play some shows.

Line Up :
Craig Dyer
Olya Dyer

Label :
Fuzz Club Records

Tracklist :
01 – Half Poison, Half God
02 – Alice
03 – You Made It Baby
04 – Beast (Anti War Song)
05 – A Dirty Piece Of Love For Us To Share
06 – Amerika
07 – The Outsider
08 – Persistent Stable Hell
09 – Your Sweet Love
10 – Incapable of Love