Damage Control: Infidel Interview #52


First I just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. With this interview let's just start with a bit about yourself. Where are you from, how old are you, and how long have you been making music for?

Bill: Hey Matthew, It’s my pleasure, thank you for your interest in us. Sure, I am from Birmingham, UK. Although the band are from Germany, Australia and the UK with Canadian producer Chris Peterson, we are collectively all over the place. Ultranoia from Damage Control will be my first official release. Now, I am in my early 40’s. As an 8 year old, I noticed the likes of John Foxx, Gary Numan. Fad Gadget. This had a profound effect on me. I have loved music all of my life and began studying Sound Engineering in 1989. I have been around electronic musicians especially, for most of my life. I have a particular fascination with this kind of music. Although I had dabbled with drum machines, synths and samplers in the early 90’s with friends back in Birmingham, it was my move to Sydney, Australia in 1996 that was a turning point. Soon after I invested heavily in sampler, synth and digital recording technology. I always swore to myself, if it is not material I would love to listen to myself, then why bother releasing it. It is only in recent times that the planets have aligned. Some of the material on Ultranoia began 12 years ago. Some of it began 2 weeks ago. One thing’s for sure. The album is almost done and I like it a lot.

Jason: Hi Matthew, thanks for taking the time out. I’m also from Birmingham, UK. I am in my 40's too and am one of the guys from the 90's Bill talks about. I've been messing around with drum machines, analogue synths and guitars since my early teens. On and off with Bill for years. Electronic music has always been my thing and I love extreme industrial music, be that Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Godflesh etc but i love the emotive melodic side too, from depeche mode to kraftwerk. Its all good for me, music for moods. Different sides of the same coin. I really love that schizophrenic side to electronic music. I just adore screwing sound up and bringing the madness or then making haunting ambience. As Bill said, we are busy finishing the album and excited about how diverse and textured it's sounding.

Damian : Hi Matthew, I’ve been making music since I was 14 years old, and still have my original recordings on cassette tape. I’m from Sydney, Australia. I have always been interested in experimenting with electronics, and electronic music, so i guess pulling apart a Casio keyboard was what it was all about in the eighties for me. However, recording music is now in my DNA, I fully appreciate the spontaneous aspect of it all. So a thought will not be lost, and the creative process is realised in an instant. Being the oldest member of the band at 47, is absolutely no change for me, as I have always been the eldest member of every single outfit I have been in and worked with .

Markus: Hello Matthew, I am the german member of the band. I got in touch with electronic music, when in the 80`s, I was forced to learn to play the organ. Soon I grabbed all my savings together and bought the brand new Yamaha DX-7, which I still use today as my master keyboard. Being in my 40s now, I look back on 30 years of pressing buttons and turning knobs.

You have a variety of different projects and musicians that you collaborate with in some capacity. Could you talk about how you came about to be so diversified in these projects, and how do you find the time to manage all the projects, and how do you seperate your creative capacities for each?

Bill: For me, Damage Control is the central outlet where we are bringing all projects together. We feel the debut release offers a diverse mixed bag of vibes. Because there are a few of us, we have a production line of ideas and creativity. We throw a lot out, not that some of it isn’t good, it just all has to flow nicely within the central focus of Ultranoia and essentially be a collection of our best work. Bringing Claus Larsen, Craig Huxtable and Chris Peterson on board in production, remixing and guest performances happened naturally as I am a fan of theirs and I see eye to eye with these fabulous artists. I (we) have so many influences, we all do in this band. A passion for sound design and composition although not classically trained musicians for the most part, we love the freedom to create through synths, samplers, modern recording technique etc. I also very much admire my fellow band mates talents and attempt to showcase the best of everyone involved on this project.

Jason: Ours is a strange family really. And somehow it all works, all sheltering under this musical umbrella. Damage Control is certainly an apt and poignant name for us ( laughs)

Markus: A strange family indeed, but isn´t that how it is supposed to be?

When you first started making music, was there a particular sound or artistic/musical influence that you would say was your biggest inspiration to start pursuing the creative path yourself? What led you to electronic music, particularly the heavier kinds of it?

Jason: For me in my early teens it was all about MUTE records, The Normal, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Silican Teens etc that lead me to getting my first synths and experimenting. Then discovering things like John Foxx, Yello, Kraftwerk etc Then in my later teens i discovered bands like Bauhaus and that lead me to being in that type of raucous raw guitar bands. I have just always loved sound and sound experiments and writing songs.

Bill: In the early 80's I started playing around with splicing tape and creating cacophonous noise with ghetto blasters connected to each other. It was all I could do as I had no money for any gear. In 1989 when I went to study audio engineering, I was exposed to c lab notator along with Yamaha DX7's, Yamaha RX5 drum machines and Korg M1 synths and Simmons electronic drum kits. I first got my taste for sequencing at that point. Although I have been into electronic music since the 70's such as Tangerine Dream and Jean Michelle Jarre which had