I am an oldschool industrial lover, in fact, the one who first coined the term Rivethead as part of promoting a club in San Fran I used to put on in the summer of 1990 - sixteen years ago. (Though Ben Hamper, the GM employee who grew up with Michael Moore in his home town who wrote a book with that for a title, about how fun it is to work in a car factory while being a total hell raiser, apparently he actually invented the WORD, but no one was using it to refer to music before I did it. Big deal.)
I'm probably way older than everyone in this forum, but you never know these days - sometimes I get surprised.
Sometimes, I get depressed, though: and sometimes, is now. Because I wanted to hear some industrial music, and I have been here for an hour and have not heard anything but pop and knockoff club music.
Something by "Parallel Process" is playing at the moment. This is what industrial has sunk to? A third generation knock-off of Switchblade Symphony (those girls started that band the year I ran Aggrotech, I knew they'd go somewhere, but too gothy for my tastes, for the most part.)
This seems to be one knock-off template and we all know the other one: Front Puppy Skinnyline Assembly. And what do you know, the next thing that plays is Covenant. Jesus Christ hanging upside down from a disused phone-pole, this stuff sucks. 16 years and still every band sounds the same. The Switchsymphony Symblade and the FPSA sound is EVERYWHERE, with even the better new bands only adding a micron of originality here and there.
I've been messing around with enough audiosofts lately to know that THERE'S A LOT OF REALLY DIFFERENT SOUNDS you can make on your own computers, folks, and this still-the-same thing leads me to conclude that no one is daring to be adventurous with their music out of a phobic fear of Not Being Played.
But why? This should NOT be happening with underground internet streaming media, damn it. Now back in my day (yeah, I know, this is turning into that annoying sort of rant old people always are spouting - but man, this is really a spot with me) it used to be an industrial band HAD to do IBM or IDM in order to get any exposure because clubs - not radio at all - were the only places that dared play anything remotely industrial. (And what the hell is the difference there, would someone please tell me? i can't for the life of me hear any.)
So now here it is 2006 and a plethora, a SLEW of digital streams are out there to go take a dip in--it doesn't HAVE to be dance music any more to get PLAYED!
Hooray, I think, I'm going to get to hear some new and I want to go whitewater rafting over a waterfall and surf a hurricane, in other words KEEP ME OUT OF THE SHALLOW WATERS at all costs. I finally get broadband installed this week, grudgingly install Realplayer, grit my teeth after watching a TV commercial and then type "industrial" into the searchbox and you come up.
You apparently have the same rules for your content as any club would have had.
I have a very strong feeling that you would not play anything like Choronzon. It's not dance music, it's sure as hell not pop. It's not Einsturzende Neubauten or Das Ich either but those are influences. We don't even call it industrial since we don't want it associated with this knockoff shite, we call it Xeno, which means, from somewhere else entirely, and that's more accurate.
Do you ever play any REAL industrial? And yeah, I know that fist fights break out over whether a band is real industrial or not, and even in my day it got ridiculous...But sheesh, there's a limit. "Never Look Back"? God, this is putrid. There isn't even any noise in the pop - oh, there's a synth-widget doing a sweep every 16th beat, BFD. Get this out of here.
Front 242 are the only band that ever - in my not too humble opinion - EVER successfully did pop industrial, and it was really enhanced by the intriguing LYRICS. These guys were geniuses with multiple meanings and in multiple languages yet (being from Belgium, that's how they THINK) and I spent a few hours talking to Jean-Luc DeMeyer, and that man is very, very intelligent. Which is why that last Front 242 album was...unlistenable, rave music, wtFFFFFUUUU? No Jean-Luc? Who's that new guy? Oh man. It's hard to lose a favourite band to sell-out, but I did, and it hurt. Then John Balance died and no more Coil.
This is weird, I just realised I don't even know what would be my favourite band any more, except that I do, the answer is way obvious. My own.
I could be making music right now instead of listening to this insipid crap, I've been here and the last six songs you've played have all been 120bpm pop with salt-shakerfuls of noise added to be 'edgy'. Now I know what all my friends who like the sort of thing Choronzon does, which I will admit is going to be too bizarre for 99 percent of your tastes, and out of the three of us, one is a musician and another (myself) is a feedback sculptor. Choronzon is the third member and is...well, from Somewhere Else entirely. :wink:
But the stuff we do isn't ambient closet futzing about either, it's psychotic, conceptual, and besides destroying and re-assembling industrial to be more true to its original manifestos it destroys occult/religious cliches as well. There's some people who can't take our totally bizarre thinking: that there is no good and evil, only chaos and order...that "God" and "Satan" are on the same team, so to speak, and always have been...that sex is possible without ever touching bodies together...and don't even get me started on politics, which are not in the MUSIC at all but behind it, like these other things, plenty. That's just for starters.
P. Emerson used to do black metal but that turned itself inside out and became Choronzon. He had a project called that, and I had a project with the SAME NAME, we'd both been doing this for fifteen years (with mine inactive for a long stretch when I didn't have access to equipment; I just switched over to different media while I waited...) and then in '02 I'm looking up the name for a lark and his site comes up. My jaw dropped, I wrote him, told him I started a noise project with the same name as yours in '89, he writes me back telling me that was the SAME YEAR his began.
What else could we do but merge them. I knew it was going to be interesting but things have happened with this experiment I never knew possible, and I'll leave it at that. The site where you can hear this if you're the daring stuff is on my profile. I was thinking of sending it here, but I can see it's not the right format for this station, unless the Friday night show is more mainstream by default, which is the way some streamers do things. Can anyone tell me if there's a show at Digital Gunfire that gets into more outre' stuff?
I'm spoiled, forgive me, in my day, people had a LOT more imagination in their music.
Goddamnit, why does every - EVERY - band that gets signed to any sort of "label" these days - even an indie - utterly lack imagination? Even industrial - the style of music I love most along with old psychedelic bands, is ruining itself by the new projects and bands alike ('bands' jam together and do live gigs, 'projects' do not) are melting into a mainstream mold out of fear they'll be making music no-one will hear. Labels are totally neophobic and won't sign anything people can't relate to by tagging it to a sound they are ALREADY familiar with. And why is this, anyway...?
If anyone guessed "Um, because the Shrubbery tanked the economy and put it all into a war so they could get rich and play Command and Conquer with live human units, people have to have money to eat, and when you have a situation like that, no one ever can afford to be experimental and daring, they are thinking of the rent money and eating next week and the bills, the endless bills, because people use credit cards in ways they were never supposed to and never USED to, not THIS much." you get the diseased AnnCoulter Kewpie doll. Sorry to piss off the neocon fan club, but this disgusts me. It has so many side effects and I just discovered another one.
But that's a rant for another place and time.
I think I know what the other problem is. I know this will ALSO piss off some people - the above probably has half of you foaming at the mouth already.
I think lack of the right kinds of drugs might be contributing to the imagination deficit syndrome. That, and an increase of the wrong kind - antidepressants, flattening agents that destroy sexuality and make people into good little workerbees and small-talkers, essentially idiots who think everything is cool as long as they have proof of this coolness by seeing lots of other people agree that it is, first. Antidepressants, and those not taking those are regressing to alcohol since in a lot of places things have become so tightassed it's the only thing they can use without becoming unemployed. When a person goes to work at a convenience store, why do they need a random drug test? They didn't have that in my day, and in my day, the music was 500 percent better. Connection?
Antidepressants, booze. Coffee. What's missing? The weed. The acid. The mushrooms. The people who can take nothing at all but when they hang out at an acid party are on a contact high, all that is missing from this benighted, lame decade. In America, anyway. Russian kids are becoming trippers majorly now that the repressive totalitarian government was lifted off their heads and landed squarely...onto America. Listen to some Russian industrial some time. That stuff is wild, because they aren't having all these problems, or else have ALWAYS been poor and aren't money-obsessed, so are not WORRIED about this crap. (And their businesses don't want the added expense of drug tests?) Wish I knew WTF they were singing about, but it's cool. They play that at 'massives' instead of the sappy rave stuff, man, why didn't I study Russian in college like all the wannabe spies did?
Now, I was about to leave you all alone and split but there's a Yavin 4 song playing right now, and what do you know--I actually like this one. But, it's still got that limited-range-bpm pop template behind it, it's just that Yavin 4 colour beyond the lines and add their own drawings to the colouring book line-drawing of that template.
That's the best you can do, I guess.
Hm, is your station underwritten by a corporation, by any chance? Like Real, perchance? That would explain EVERYTHING, and if it's not your fault, please forgive my vitriol. But this is killing music, try to understand, these guys are as bad as Clearchannel. I had high hopes when your submission form said "No RIAA bands", too...You DID say something about lacking the money to run this, and that usually means you submit to the tyranny of underwriting, and if you are underwritten, you are usually NOT allowed to play anything the underwriters don't think's gonna have 100s of album sales from. In other words anything really "underground."
Which is sad, because I have a feeling MAYBE if you had freedom to play anything you wanted I'd hear a wider range of industrial besides EBM that hasn't changed a whit in 16 years...
I beg you, reverse the trend, get some bizarre, weird, "What the HELL was THAT, I never HEARD anything like that before! I have to find out who this is so I can get the album!" music in here, PLEASE. Tell your underwriters (if you have any) that you had a really peeved listener who would have bought something if you were allowed to play beyond the template, but instead she took off and went somewhere else".
And it IS time to go work on Choronzon and SHUT THE HELL UP, because I think by now, you get my point already. Funker Vogt is another FPSA band but at least they're passably industrial - and this song's riff says it all.
But where ARE those black market dealers?
"It's the summer of oh-oh-six,
and we cannot get
what we need."