First of, 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?
lizzy obscura - vocals
joe pagano - music
we both live in the high desert of Southern California
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?
(joe) we are so far removed from the sounds of our local community. most bands in our area are punk or metal, with a few random ones trying other things.... like us. but despite all this, there is actually a lot of talent in our hometown...
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes?
(joe) musically, i just aim for dark and dance-y. at times aggressive.
(lizzy) lyrically, themes range from love and sadness, to magic and sex. 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?
(joe) these themes do seem common in industrial music, but i wouldn't say they are common in our music. as for the current state of affairs, the world does seem to be getting worse with each passing year... it’s quite concerning.
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
(joe) we will soon begin work on our 3rd album. our first album was pretty darkwave/80's sounding, while our 2nd album is a bit more industrial... but still with pretty vocals. it's hard to say where our sound will head from here, but we're excited to be adding some new gear to the mix soon. when this happens, i expect our new songs to be as different from the first 2 albums, as the first 2 albums are from each other.
The interview continues after this video and all further streaming content...
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?
(joe) Front 242, Clock DVA, and old Skinny Puppy were huge influences on me early on.
Are you musically self-taught? Or have you had mentors along the way to help you develop?
(joe) i had some schooling for music, but not nearly enough. while it did help a bit, it also boxed me in creatively to some degree... too often staying in the scale, or using chords i learned, rather than messing around and seeing what i could come up with outside of the traditional rules of music.
(lizzy) i took chorus in junior high, but i've been singing my entire life.
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?
(joe) i rarely have a vision in mind. usually i just start playing around, and if i like something i start layering things til i have a song. i'm envious of people that can hear something in their head and bring it to life. i've only done that a few times.
Do you ever find it difficult to balance the creative and technical aspects of musical creation? How do you strike the balance for the need to craft and tweak your effects and sounds, in contrast to actually just getting the song itself created with structure and melody? What sort of element of creation do you prefer, the sonic shaping or the song creation?
(joe) i'm much more into song creation than tweaking individual sounds. i prefer to have a wide array of good sounds to choose from, rather than shaping the sounds themselves. i realize this goes against how so many approach creating music in our genre, but it's just something i've never really enjoyed doing (or had the time to do). give me a shit load of good sounds to choose from, and i'm happy.
Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?
(joe) just make sure to be with a significant other that supports what you do, and is ok with you practicing or creating a few hours each week... at the very least.
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
(joe) i’m just on the side playing my keyboards… lizzy is really the show. between her outfits and make up, her singing and dancing, she does a great job putting a spell over the crowd.
When it comes to performing, what are your favorite sort of venues to play in, and what are your favorite areas to tour? If you could tour with any other band in the world who would it be and why? What are some of your favorite memories of touring?
(joe) venues with good sound systems. we prefer clubs over bars… we also aren’t fans of places that have 20 bands playing in one night… where every band is a different genre, just playing for the sake of playing, without having the right audience or vibe. not that variety is bad, but a country band probably shouldn't play with an industrial band, for instance...
If you could play any anywhere, with anyone, in the world, dead or alive, who and where would it be?
(joe) we both love Depeche Mode, so lets go with them. plus, imagine the size of audience we'd be playing for...
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?
(joe) for our 2nd show, we played with the 80’s band When in Rome at the Viper Room in Hollywood. that was pretty cool. otherwise, what keeps us going is the feedback from people when they hear our music. it tells us we're onto something, and to keep at it...
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
(joe) finding a permanent guitarist. we finally gave up. haha
Outside of Industrial music, what other genres could you see yourself composing music in? Or should I say, do you see yourself inspired by? Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity?
(joe) if i had the time, i wouldn’t mind playing in a more aggressive industrial band, with a male singer or screamer. and on the opposite end of the spectrum, i’d probably also enjoy playing in a band similar to Mazzy Star or Portishead.
(lizzy) a female fronted Rammstein type band. Or a symphonic metal band.
If you could collaborate with any musician or artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what in particular draws you to want to collaborate with them? What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?
(joe) Skinny Puppy. they are just amazing...
Promotion can be one of the most difficult things in the music industry. Do you have an agent that helps book shows and manage your online presence, or have you decided to trek it out without and mantle the reigns of the social media apparatus yourself? Is it difficult engaging the online world consistently and originally, or do you find it easy?
(joe) we do it all ourselves, and we tend to keep our postings simple and to the point. "check out our new song", "our next show is xxxx date, hope you can make it"... that sort of thing. we're kind of a "no bullshit" band when it comes to social media, which kind of goes against the design of social media, specifically Facebook... i prefer to be "to the point", rather than disingenuous, asking things like "so what's everyone listening to?", or "where do you live?" ... sure, people will interact more with these sort of posts, and more people will end up seeing these sort of posts, but it's just not us...
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
(lizzy) video games. dancing at clubs.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
thank you for the interview! both of our albums are free to download at bandcamp.com … go get them! :)
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