Infidel Interview #101: [ π Ξ þ ∫ ø Η α Λ ]

First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?

We are PERSONNEL, a hot duo from cold Siberia, we are playing something like electro-industrial with horror-elements. My name is [littlefoxy] and I'm in charge for lead vocals, music, lyrics and this interview, I'm 30 years old. My colleague - [eule] is in charge for bass and back-vocals, she is 23. We live in a sunny industrial city Omsk :) How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity? Our city has nurtured us and shaped our psyche - it is kind of its own reflection. As for the music community - concerts are held regularly in Omsk, but mostly it's rock or metal. Dark-electro bands go on stage much less often, as happens in many cities of Russia. I can't say that the local scene somehow influenced us - I think that western bands had more influence on us. What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Industrial music scene? It's hard to be objective about your own creation. When creating music, I adhere to some principles that I have developed over a long time of practice. I don't like the classical sound of dark-electro and EBM, so I design the composition in a way that most of it is made up by live sounds. Because of abundance of layers of sounds the music quickly turns into one big pile of trash very often, and it's very difficult to find a balance :) As for the synthesizers, I try to pull them to the background if possible, or not to use them at all.

What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes? Nightmares, sci-fi horrors and inner dramatic experiences. They fascinated me from the very childhood, and to this days. I think that only strong and sincere emotions are able to inspire a person, everything else can not be a good fuel for creativity. Industrial and Attitude seem to go hand in hand. With global war, civil unrest, injustice, and political revolution being primary musical themes that dominate your music, how do you feel nowadays about the current state of world affairs? We are far from it. Our creativity is not connected with politics, religion, ecology and quite far from common human problems - they are not interesting for us, and in fact they are very fleeting: in each epoch they are different and constantly replace each other. Sometimes it happens that some band inserts the names of some politicians into the lyrics of the song, and 20 years later no one remembers who was it ... No, our music about terrible and ugly worlds, about extreme environments, about distant space, about extraterrestrial monsters - in a word, about an alien nature. What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output? It's hard to guess anything here, the world is too chaotic and unpredictable :) Now we need to finish the recording of the debut album as soon as possible - we thought that we would make the release back in August, but underestimated the amount of work. Then we need to find a label that could support our music, and then - take a breath, and try to take a new height :) We want more concerts and quality content - especially video, we don't have good ones.

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? I have been composing music since 2003, but back then it was completely different than now - I think I was just slowly accumulating experience. The PERSONNEL project was formed later, in the winter of 2009. My former vocalist and I were fond of many groups - Skinny Puppy, Das Ich, Depeche Mode ... We wanted to make music as cool as they are, but in our style, which still had to find. When it comes to your musical self and your real-world self, would you say that there is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self? These states are diametrically opposed, but to a certain extent they penetrate each other. I think if I had an ideal life, I would not be able to create such music, and vice versa - what I create, greatly affects my life. On ordinary days, like many people do, I like sunny weather and tasty food, I like it when my family is in a good mood. But as soon as I get down to work on songs, streams of cruelty and nightmarish visions start to flow from me. At this moment, no matter how disgusting the world I depicted, no matter how ruthlessly I kill the main character in the lyrics - it would never be enough for me :) Are you musically self-taught? Or have you had mentors along the way to help you develop? I learned everything myself - working with a virtual studio, composing skills, mixing and mastering. Vocals had to be mastered mostly intuitively: sometimes on my own way, sometimes with the help of video lessons. I must admit that I'm still not very good at it, and I hope that after we release our debut album, I'll find a good teacher who can help me ... As for [eule] - she and her 5-string Schecter learn from each other :) When it comes to composing music, do you approach things with a clear vision in mind, or do you prefer to let songs feel themselves out? Do you have any particular techniques or tricks you use to keep yourself creative and consistent? Each composition is collected sequentially, layer by layer. The image of the future song is born immediately and completely, but I detail it gradually, step by step, intuitively picking up the necessary details and strokes. In general, I do not have creative crises, I write easily and with pleasure, but when it comes to recording, polishing the sound, searching for the right samples, the real hell begins. Here I overcoming myself beyond measures, and I do this for months, until I get the right result, until I feel that I have nothing more to add to the song. This greatly exhausts, sometimes even breaks me, but most likely, there is no other way. ​​When it comes to making music it can be difficult to balance atmosphere, song progression, musicality, and excitement. Do you have any tricks, techniques, or methods that you commonly use to help your music sound coherent and engaging? I just sing how the environment of the song feels. I close my eyes and clearly see that, for example, in this moment the door should slam shut, at once cutting off all sounds (as in the "Industrial Song"). And in this moment, for example, I need a roll of thunder, because the scene that unfolds there must just light up with a flash of lightning (as in the song "Agent"). Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it's a balance between the two? What' your relationships with presets? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music? I take the necessary sounds from everywhere - from movies, from video clips, from sound libraries. Most of them we record ourselves. This takes a huge amount of time and effort - sometimes the sound, which lasts only half a second, can not be found for several days. Then, slowly, but surely, a structure is built up from different sounds, they set on each other - in some songs the number of audiotracks grows to the murderous one. For example, in the "Industrial Song" 237 tracks work. As I said above, I rarely use synthesizers and do not pay much attention to tuning their sound - I usually just take the factory preset that I like and pass it through a whole cascade of external filters that spoil and crumble it into dust. As for the melodic passages, here, alas, I'm not particularly strong, but of course, I try my best - in this way I'm really more of a software musician :) I will not say that some means are vital for the creation of music. The first recordings I made on an old