Friday, October 28, 2011

New interviews in Elektrauma and Aurora Borealis zines

We have 2 new interviews for you!

The first is from Aurora Borealis zine.  This is actually the same interview that was translated to German and published in the October 2011 issue of Zillo Magazine.  The original English text has been re-published at Aurora Borealis and you can read the entire thing (and see some new photos) here.

The second is an entirely new and original interview we did for Elektrauma zine.  You can read the entire thing here.  Due to some strange formatting the interview may be a little difficult to read.  For that reason you can also read the Elektrauma interview below the jump:

Elektrauma: Hello Shiv-r! How are you?
Lee Bulig: Well-caffinated and ready to share my opinions regarding the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. 
Pete Crane: Channeling satan and drinking coffee. Good times...
Elektrauma: How do you feel after releasing your new album „This World Erase“?
Lee Bulig: Listless and depressed, sort of like coming off amphetamines. You can’t seriously imagine that people that call their albums names like „This World Erase“ have a healthy positive outlook on the „world“. The day the album came out I spent the day pouring over budget excel spreadsheets for a brutally faceless money hungry board of directors, then went back to my shoebox apartment to get drunk and abuse benzos before repeating the same the next day. I also wrote some music that night, but that music will be inevitably linked to how I spent that soul crushingly numbing day. And when that music is next realesed, I can’t imagine life will have changed much. If life has changed, you will be the first to know as the next album will be called „I Own a French Villa and Quit My Day Job, Bitch“ and the music will be cocaine -driven latin- house.
Pete Crane: While we were finishing the album, it felt like there was a giant, parasitic tick on my back, draining all the energy from me, like I was feeding it everything I had. Now that the album is out, the tick has been set loose on the world. It is interesting to observe, because it contains me, but it is not me. Meanwhile I am empty.

Elektrauma: What does the name Shiv-R concerning your music stand for and why did you choose it?
Pete Crane: Shiv-r is a name we came up with while I was living in London, where it is incredibly cold and you feel completely anonymous and beaten down. It's a reflection on this time, that we exist in a world that is emotionless and without passion. We want to light a fire under people.

Elektrauma: Can you tell us something about the content of the new album „This World Erase“?
Lee Bulig: Yes, I can tell you that unlike the first album, the material for “this World Erase” was run through thousands of dollars worth of boutique vacuum tube audio equipment in post production. Very few people can hear the difference that made, and on it’s own it wouldn’t increase the number of records we sell, but it makes me feel good that we did it. It makes me feel even better to publicly tell people that we did it, because then that subjective auditory difference will become an objective reality, because people are gullible and stupid that way. It also makes me feel less gullible and stupid for spending thousands of dollars on vacuum tube audio equipment. 
Pete Crane: It feels like there is a lot *more* content than the first album. There are a LOT more lyrics, so the themes we cover are explored in a lot more depth. There is a lot of variation between tracks too and the album builds up in energy towards the end, with little breaks in between. It's a lot more deliberate in terms of energy-flow and intricate in terms of detail and production.

Elektrauma: Do you usually follow a concept when you start working on an album, or does every song stand for itself?
Pete Crane: The concept usually presents itself around halfway into the writing process.  Thematically and visually, This World Erase is very different to our first album with a lot of different sounds and symbolism being used. We let the music tell this concept to us though, rather than forcing anything upon the music.  
Lee Bulig: We have never actually discussed any concepts before or during the production of any album, but I do think concepts naturally occur. Between the first and second album it felt like there was a period of adjustment where the project’s direction changed or developed without it being consciously discussed. Similarly, now that we have finished our second album, it already feels like we are going through another period of adjustment before starting on the third. If you listen carefully to the album, there are recurring themes and musical motifs across all the tracks that are unique to this album. In that way, there is certainly an underlining concept behind “This World Erase”, though it can only be described as the ‘state of mind’ we were in during its production. It is a very different state of mind than “Hold My Hand”, and the third album will be different again.

Elektrauma: Where do you see the main differences according to the last album “Hold My Hand”?
Lee Bulig: To start with, I think Pete and I have become a lot more comfortable with the way we collaborate. Living in separate countries yet producing music together is challenging and I think it has taken us some time to find the best approach. In that way, I think “This World Erase” has a much more mature sound to it. In addition, both of our lives have changed significantly since the first album. Since the first album, we have been inundated with work such as remixes as well as maintaining release schedules for our own material, yet have also continued to hold fulltime jobs. While it has been great that the project has done well, it has also been a nightmare trying to keep up with all of those commitments. However, that sense of desperation and frustration has been something to draw from musically. The mood of “This World Erase” moves between frantically grinding to melancholy and foreboding, and I think that sums up the past year personally for both of us. 
Pete Crane: It's true, our inspiration evolves as we go on. Our first album was a reaction to our previous projects and us getting used to working together. Since then Shiv-r has seen as lot of live shows, reactions to the first album and a huge workload in the form of remixes, so that all goes into the new material.

Elektrauma: Can you outline what special style your music has? And in what way you would put the differences to other artists you compete with?
Lee Bulig: If we were to think electronic music were a competition, and we wanted to win the electronic-music-competition, choosing to write industrial music would have been a very stupid choice. If we were to think of the small world of industrial music as a competition, and we wanted to win the industrial-music-competition, you only have to listen to a few clips from the new album to know, we have again made some very stupid choices. We are electronic and we are industrial, but that has just been a natural evolution. Being a natural evolution, we have never felt the urge to conform to any particular stylistic template, and that’s why you can hear influences in Shiv-r that are far outside of the industrial scene. But, I suppose it is inevitable everything comes down to cock-waving competition for facebook likes and a place on the DAC, so in that case, the difference between us and whoever our competition is that very few people like us and we have thus far failed to chart with this album, but don’t give a fuck about it. 
Pete Crane: Our style is simply "industrial". What sets Shiv-r apart from other bands is that Shiv-r is made by Lee Bulig and Pete Crane. That is all that needs to be said from our point of view - the rest is the job of the journalists!

Elektrauma: How are you behaving in producing songs?
Lee Bulig: Because we work in separate studios, Pete’s production behavior is still something of a mystery to me. For myself, my studio is the antithesis of the Shiv-r sound. I have all my gear set out on coffee-table style benches in a room full of comfy pillows, because I like to sit on the floor and fucking HATE chairs of all kinds. Outside the window is a lush tropical rain forest with adorable squirrels making squirrel love, despite being in central Bangkok. I write music mostly in the early morning with a latte in hand. Also, the walls of my apartment are pink. How hardcore industrial is that? 
Pete Crane: I put my trousers on one leg at a time just like any other man, and I start my tracks with a kick drum or bass sound just like any other electronic producer. Then there is usually an entranced haze fuelled by caffeine that I can barely remember, and at the end a song is made.

Elektrauma: Could you please say something about the cool artwork of the new longplayer?
Pete Crane: The concept of the artwork is 2 opposing elements that follow the title of the album "This World Erase", which refers to deleting the world with which we are presented and creating a new one as we want it. First there is the white, sharp, clinical look, to represent the world being completely taken away and only a blank slate being left. Then, there is the black, organic, murky look where the bestial antlers are seen, which represents the primitive beginnings of a new world evolving. The whole thing took about 6 months to plan, starting with collaborating with Mother of London, who made outfits for Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper, as well as Gallery Serpentine from Sydney, storyboarding the shoot, and finally Kallisti Design did the final graphical layout. A lot of work went into it and when you hold the end product of the CD in your hands it is a very special result!

Elektrauma: What are you doing when you are not producing new songs?
Lee Bulig: Put on a suit and tie and make it my business to keep the poor man poor and the rich man rich. I enjoy it thouroughly. Fuck the socialist mainstream, I’m keeping it old-shcool. 
Pete Crane: When I need a break from producing songs, planning photoshoots and preparing for gigs, and I'm not at the dayjob to fund it all, I'm usually shooting pixels on my PS3. Currently waiting for Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 to be released. As Jeremy Clarkson says: a day in which you don't spend at least one hour shooting Nazi zombies in the face is a day not worth living.

Elektrauma: How would you describe your live shows? Are there any chances to see you on stage in germany?
Pete Crane: We have already played in Germany this year at Nocturnal Culture Night festival! We go to a lot of effort visually with our shows with extravagant outfits and so on. But our main objective is to get the crowd moving. A live show should be about participation, not observation. Unlike watching a videoclip or TV, with a live show "the fourth wall" is behind you, so you are part of the show if you are in the crowd. That is how we approach live performance.

Elektrauma: Who would you like to meet and get to know, whom not, and why?
Lee Bulig: There is nothing I hate more than meeting new people, having to remember new names and having to be socially pleasant, so I will skip to the second part of the question. I would very much like to not meet Lady Gaga. I find her masculinity very threatening and I would feel like less of a man standing next to her at the urinals and realising her penis is bigger than my own.
Pete Crane: I have actually had 2 dreams in which I was going out with Lady Gaga. In my dreams she was simply hard work. I remember her telling me in my dreams "This is boring. You're boring. I'm not having fun with you". Fucking hell, Lady Gaga...I'm doing the best I can here!!!

Elektrauma: Thank you very much for the interesting answers, and good luck for your future! The famous last words are up to you:
Pete Crane: Fuck Henry Rollins.