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This blog is dedicated to promoting mathcore/grind/experimental bands from Australia (predominately). If you like what you hear, go out and buy it, see a show or pick up some merch. Don't be a cunt. All the links marked "Mediafire" or "Rapidshare" (unless noted otherwise) are my own CD rips/Bandcamp downloads, so if you're from one of the bands and want me to take it/them down, just let me know.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Errata Interview

Interview with Atlen Vertez, guitarist of Melbournian jazzcore troupe, Errata.

Describe the writing and recording process for “Cognac Al Dente”. Were the majority of the compositional duties handled by a select few members, or was it a completely collaborative effort? Also, has the manner in which writing is conducted changed at all since the band's inception?

The process was long, fragmented, and often chronically painful. Jane and I would bring a few riffs to the table, and we would arrange them with the band in rehearsal. That was the easy part. What followed was months of sculpting, both as a live band, and in the studio. We spent epochs looking for a singer. Finding Mono was like a long awaited cum-shot release, and after that putting lyrics and melody to our music seemed to make everything come together.

The revised version of “Post-Coital (15%)” that appears on “Cognac…” retains the chorus from the rendition featured on the “Migrations and Mnemonics” split EP. Are there other instances where lyrics penned by former vocalist kb gomst remain intact? What was Mono on when he wrote the new ones?

Certain phrases, both musical and lyrical, were kept from that split EP thing. However, if gomst was the originator, we had no problem in our Oedipal slaughter of most of his ideas, replacing them with the more apt and, let’s face it, better looking Mono. I honestly don’t understand from where in his debased, violated psyche Mono pulls some of his lyrics. But I’m pretty sure he wanks and cries at the same time after he has written a song.

As an avid David Lynch fan, I couldn't help but notice the Lost Highway quote that appears on the “Information” tab of your Facebook page. What other non-musical influences have inspired Errata?

A whole range of things. Jane is an avid metal lover, leaning towards the more mathematical and experimental areas of that genre. I’m into jazz and funk, as well as experimental music of all kinds, including the “make your eardrums solicit legal council on a music rape charge” kind. Me and Jane share a fond love of film scores. Angelo Badalamenti being a prime example. Seeing Isabella Rossellini sing Blue Velvet makes me want to take up ice-sculpting.

Taking into account the impact Ephel Duath and The Dillinger Escape Plan have had on Errata, do you think the fact that both bands have only one founding member remaining is conducive to further innovation? Or are you of the opinion that their respective relevance has consequently diminished with each departure?

They are still relevant. Their early work changed the face of hardcore music for us. So, like all transformative bands, even if identifiable similarities wane, their influence can still be discovered if you join enough dots. What happens is you expand and augment your influences, break them apart, synthesise them in new ways, and hopefully come up with something original. I think most bands would agree we are nothing special in this regard. Except we are probably one of the few bands which harvest and knit together foreskins to visually reify that process.

Your forthcoming full-length “End of Narrative” has been in the works for quite some time now. Will it take shape as a concept album despite what the title seems to imply?

Who knows? I’ve come to realise that music evolves and mutates during the creative process and it’s hard to see where it will end up.

Australian bands tend to have very short life expectancies. Why do you think this is the case?

Significant others. Whether it be boyfriends or girlfriends of the band members. They sap the vivid sonic life-force libido out of musicians and leave them thinking it is completely necessary and critical that they make a down payment, buy a ring, pick out cots, and eschew the Satanic Bible they bought along with a bong designed to resemble John Howard’s head at a Smoke Dreams in the CBD one halcyon afternoon.

Speaking of which, what are your thoughts on the local and national hardcore/metal scene(s)? Any bands you’d recommend to those reading?
None come to mind.

As someone who has (regrettably) never seen you perform live, what can one expect at an Errata show? Does the band’s affinity for the oft-improvisational art of jazz ever manifest itself via extended jam sessions?

Yes. But we are still working on this. I’ve come to think we need a synthesizer, or like a massive sample bank full of bizarre mating calls to make it work.

Any plans to tour overseas? If so, which bands would you like to share the stage with?

Fuck, where does one start? Look, all I can say here is that we would love to tour with bands who have long, luscious blond hair, pluralise every word, and are so syncopated even their shits plop out on the off-beats. Also Botch.

A recent study by Dr. Katrina McFerran generated significant backlash within the metal community when the University of Melbourne issued a press release which erroneously suggested the results indicated that “young people at risk of depression are more likely to listen habitually and repetitively to heavy metal music.”

The prevalence of such sensationalised depictions of metal in the media can only serve to reinforce stereotypes of mental instability and suicidal tendencies. Despite this, do you think the stigma associated with extreme music and by extension its fans, is on the decline?

Yes and no. In general I think stigmas associated with youth cultures of all stripes which were once considered “extreme” are on the wane as society becomes more heterogeneous. However, I would also add that the persistent fear of the “other” is a fundamental tenant of human nature. Whether that be someone of different skin colour or someone who decides to adorn their body with piercings. The creation of academic discoursers which psychologise metal subcultures like you mentioned can be understood, I think, as a way of making sense of a kind of “other”. But remember, this kind of research will be based on short survey questions with pre-designed response sets (strongly agree, agree, disagree, etc…), where someone has aggregated a mean variable or some shit. I mean, how can one understand a cultural group through this method? Such an approach leaves alternative identities and communities beyond the apogee of mainstream understanding.

Even though pop-star Whitney Houston exercised very little creative control over the music released in her name, there was a rather strong public reaction in the wake of her death. What motivates you as a band to create such esoteric and eclectic music, given its ultimately inaccessible nature? In some bizarre way, is it more rewarding to receive appreciation from a niche audience as opposed to widespread recognition? Have you ever considered playing a more financially viable style of music?

I think many people, as they get older, can no longer be satisfied listening to the same old songs, or the same genres, even if they remain sentimental. I find enjoyment creating all kinds of music. I have a few hairs on my balls which stand on end when I play straight up bop, and I have a few follicles which go rigid for esoteric wank fests.

The increasing affordability of quality equipment has given many artists the freedom to build home studios and forgo paying for professional recordings. A number of bands that play a variant of progressive metal known as "Djent" have opted to produce their music in such a way. Due to its purported homogeneity, the advent of this particular sub-genre has been, and continues to be a controversial topic. Do you feel the more accessible the aforementioned technology becomes, the more an already over-saturated market is liable to be inundated with generic shit?

Great question. First off, I would agree with you, Djent does seem to be pretty flat and thin as a genre. But second off, I will disagree with regard to home studios. The greatest, most empowering, and democratising thing that has happened to the production of music is the creation of cheep music production software. It has already, in my opinion, engendered a vast plurality of new sonic terrains. Also, let me relate a story. I have a nephew and a niece. The niece is 10, she’s learning AMEB piano, learning to read music, etc… She is a musical stenographer, makes no emotional connection to the music, and lacks creativity. My nephew is 8, he tools around on Garage Band. The accessibility and ease of use of this program has allowed him to activate the innate creative and emotional musical aspects of human nature years before most people ever do. By the time he’s 15 he’ll be creating professional, original, amazing music on pro-tools, logic or whatever. Case closed. PS: FUCK LEARNING INSTRUMENTS!!!!

On a similar note, sites such as Bandcamp have allowed artists of all genres to self-release their material independent of label support; thereby cutting out the “middle-man” to a certain degree. How are you inclined to perceive such advances?

In a positive light. A band can use these tools to garner wide spread grass roots support. But it takes a fuck load of work.

In light of the emergence of streaming services such as Spotify, how do you see the future of the music industry unfolding? In your opinion, has physical media a place in this so-called digital age? Will album art soon be a thing of the past? Do you feel it has already become subject to considerable de-emphasis?

CD’s will die soon. However, I think album art will continue. However it may mutate, becoming more animated (say, through simple Flash animations) and varied. I reckon this kind of art will be distributed over various media – webpages, mobile phones, iPods, etc…

Finally, are there any amusing anecdotes you'd like to impart? If not, care to make one up?

Me and Jane came upon our musical spirituality through two distinct yet intangibly related moments which beg for the occurrence of a third instalment. Both times we were under the influence of mind altering substances which, I do not give any fucks what people say, are conducive of new ideas and lucid realisations. Both times we came across wasteland interstices. Seriously, like walked down a street in Melbourne, turned down an alley way then SHABAMO!, suddenly we were in Kosovo or something. It was while meandering through these enclaves, feet deep in menstrual fluid which rained down from little faginas flying all around us, that we realised we had to form a band. We are still waiting to make this double feature a trilogy.

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