Bryan Erickson of Velvet Acid Christ recently interviewed us for his Electric Deth Trip Media blog. This was our first interview in a couple years, and we think it went very well. He asked good questions, and we tried our best to give good answers without rambling too much. See the transcripts below:
Intro by VAC: I have heard a lot about some of the new bands, from a lot of drama i experienced from doing an interview with a certain someone that turned out to be a big mistake. It opened this huge can of worms. That is how I first discovered this band. So yeah, I went out and listened, and really liked what I heard. They are synth enthusiasts like myself. Finding out we have a lot in common. Very cool band(noisy industrial, brutal, fetish, blood, dirt), I wish I had discovered them sooner. Any how I took some time to pick their brains. Interview is below.
VAC: How are you doing?
Nikki: I’m doing well in this flesh prison On a creative binge
lately. Working on the next Prometheus Burning album. A few circuit
bending projects in the works. Performing with the Bridge City
Bombshells burlesque troupe. I’ve also started a new series of art
pieces made out of dolls that I mutilate and display in real
Greg: I am doing well I suppose. 2009 was a hectic year. Lots of eye
opening and life changing events unfolded all at once. I am not sad to
see this last year pass and look forward to 2010, as well as finishing
up our next album which is in the final stages of production.
VAC: What inspired you to make music initially?
Nikki: When I was around thirteen I was exposed to Industrial music.
Around this time I was learning to play the Piano and experimenting
with my Casio keyboard. Industrial seemed the most natural path for me
to take with my music, as my childhood sound experiments always led me
to tune into the noise and listen from within. I like music that makes
people look inside themselves. That’s what I strive to create. That
connection in the first Industrial music I discovered helped save me
from the isolation I felt. It gave me something to connect with when I
had nothing else. I’ve made art using various mediums all my life, but
have found music to be the most powerful. Music has the ability to
instantly effect the emotions and mental state of the listener. This
phenomenon and my sensitivity to it is what sparked my interest in
making music. The ability to amplify and transfer energy and emotion
VAC: What is the main theme of your band?
Greg: We try to infuse each song with as much depth, subliminal
themes, and jagged emotional fragments as possible. We strive to make
Prometheus Burning something different by encapsulating as much of
ourselves and the things that inspire us, frustrate us, scare us, and
enlighten us. The more that we put out there and expose of ourselves,
the more like minded individuals we encounter. People with similar
thoughts, feelings, interests and ideals that find something they can
relate to within our music. I suppose you could say Prometheus Burning
is more of a project than a band. An experiment which we are
conducting upon ourselves, hoping that in the process we might just
learn something greater about the dimensions inside us and around us,
while inviting others to take part if they so desire.
VAC: How do you go about making music?
Greg: Set and setting is very important. Finding the right state of
mind is also key. I have found over time that my most creative moments
are when I first wake up and am still in a dreamlike state, or very
late when I am getting tired. Sometimes even altered states of mind
brought on by sickness has aided in our creative process. We recorded
the basic structures of our first album “Influenza” while I was very
sick with the flu. I would wake up from a fever dream and stumble into
the studio to capture the sounds in my head while Nikki would be
working on the melodic elements or the occasional vocals found on that
album. We also rely heavily upon concepts with our albums, and try to
shape the music around them. With our “Beyond Repair” album, we both
delved into our painful childhood memories for inspiration. We would
read our old personal journals, poems, sketch books, confronting old
demons and deconstructing years old mental scar tissue. It was a
difficult and emotionally taxing album to create, but one that we felt
was necessary for us to move forward. For our recent release “Plague
called huMANity”, we wrote down notes detailing an entire fantasy
story of a girl named Nyx and how she brings about the end of the
world. We then used this story as a blueprint for the lyrics and
music. Nikki and I feed off of each other when in the studio.
Sometimes a song will start from one of her poems or synthlines, other
times from a beat or sequence of noise from me. Our formula is
continuously changing and evolving.
VAC: What gear do you use?
Nikki: Access Virus Ti. Bugbrand AudioWeevil08. Akai r-50e drum
machine circuit bent by Alien Devices. Yamaha VSS-30 circuit bent by
myself. Eurorack modular system consisting of modules from Harvestman,
TipTop, Doepfer, Flight of Harmony, Make Noise, WMD, and Livewire for
the most part. Boss effects pedals and rack mountable units such as
the FZ-2 and SE-70. Lexicon MX200 delay. Freakshow Digilog delay. King
Capital Punishment devices. JoeMeek SixQ compressor. Theremin.
VAC: What is your favorite Instrument?
Nikki: The Virus Ti. I spend more time with it than anything else in
the studio. There are so many possibilities. I can get lost inside it,
spending hours crafting sounds. I love the modular too but nothing
beats being able to save my patches.
Greg: Our modular system “The Beast”. I like the level of
customization and openness you get with modular. We are constantly
expanding and changing our system, swapping modules for others we find
more intriguing. I especially enjoy the interface, manually patching
the cables and tweaking out.
VAC: Do you like playing shows?
Nikki: I definitely enjoy playing live shows and feel the concepts of
Prometheus Burning really come alive on stage. During our live shows I
get to use not only our music, but my body, motion, visuals, and
symbolism to express myself and our art. There are so many more levels
of expression at my disposal live than when we are in the studio. What
I love most is connecting with the audience though, and being totally
free and raw in front of them. Each performance is like a
transformational experience for me. I tend to loose myself in the
moment. I often recall shows afterward as if they were vivid dreams.
The last tour was our most extensive. We did twelve shows in two weeks
and traveled across the Midwest, the East Coast, and even a bit down
South. It was a life changing experience that has inspired me greatly.
I look forward to touring more in the future and playing as many shows
Greg: Yes and no. I have a condition called “Panic Disorder” and live
shows can really be difficult for me because of it. Where as Nikki
finds freedom on the stage, I consider the studio to be more my
element, away from the crowds I am often a complete mental wreck the
entire day of our performances. But nine times out of ten, I am always
glad we did the show in the end. When things come together and an
enthusiastic audience gathers to lend us an open ear for an hour or
so, it can be quite powerful. That’s when you know people are not only
listening to the music, but they are feeling and experiencing it right
along with you. There is nothing greater than that.
VAC: What is the funniest experience you have had while touring?
Nikki: We both agree on this one. I’ll let Greg explain…
Greg: After our final show on the “It Ain’t Dead Yet” tour in Atlanta
Georgia, Kellie Laplegua took me, Nikki, Matt of Caustic, and Brian
and Katja of The Gothsicles to a little joint called “The Clermont
Lounge”. This place is not your typical stripper bar by any means, and
felt like something straight out of a John Waters film. It was trashy
as hell and we all felt right at home. At one point a dancer old
enough to be my grandmother came over to us and gave Brian a strip
tease and a lapdance. Shortly after that, another dancer by the name
of Blondie came over to us and offered a dance. Blondie was an
overweight older black lady with huge sagging tits and long blond
curls. After doing her dance, she crushed one of our beer cans with
her giant tits (which Matt Caustic had her autograph and kept as a
souvenir), and then proceeded to smash me in the face with those huge
sagging tits. She was hitting me in the face so hard I saw stars. I
thought she was going to knock me the fuck out. I stank like her cheap
perfume the entire drive home from Atlanta to Pittsburgh. Everyone
shared some hardcore laughs at mine and Brian’s expense.
VAC: What is your favorite hair style?
Nikki: I’ve had many hair styles; shaved, hawked, dyed… loved them
all but I really like the style I’ve recently cultivated. Long hair,
pointy bangs, pin straight or teased to giant proportions. I couldn’t
name a favorite. All depends on how it’s worn. I like it when hair
expresses one’s individuality and creativity.
VAC: Where is your favorite place to shop for clothing?
Nikki: My favorite places to shop are the Goodwill and Thrift stores.
I enjoy modifying second hand leather and vintage items for myself. I
find some really unique items. For the “It Ain’t Dead Yet” tour I had
a custom outfit made by Artifice Clothing. I’ve also commissioned
Weary Drearies, and am currently collaborating with a local designer
Emilee Kohan of Lucid Wear on an outfit I designed to use for future
shows. We also make it a point to shop at NorthBound Leather every
time we visit Toronto.
VAC: I’ve noticed you guys are into circuit bending, elaborate please.
Nikki: Bending for me is an intuitive art. I find it cathartic to sit
down and mutilate circuitry, pushing old toys and forgotten
instruments to make new sounds they weren’t intended to make. My most
recent project, the Yamaha VSS-30 aka “little devil”, has seen a lot
of use since its rebirth. We strive to craft a unique sound and these
custom devices aid us in achieving our goal.
VAC: Who are your main inspirations?
Nikki: I’ve been inspired by many nameless faces as well as those
close and distant. Some are famous people who have altered my
perception of reality, reinforced what I feel at my core and have
inspired me artistically. Those people are: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge,
Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Christopherson, John Balance, Nivek Ogre,
cEvin Key, Al Jourgensen, Bjork, William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin,
Timothy Leary, Clive Barker, H.R. Giger, Aleister Crowley, Austin
VAC: List your top ten favorite LPs.
Coil – The Ape of Napels
Skinny Puppy – The Process
cEvin Key – Music for cats
Front 242 – Geography
Converter – Blast furnace
Numb – Language Of Silence
Gridlock – Further
Ministry – Twitch
Portion Control – Filthy White Guy
Ah Cama-Sotz – 10 Years Bat Vibez
Coil – Loves Secret Domain
Mr. Bungle – Disco Volante
Venetian Snares – Doll Doll Doll
Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
Ministry – The Land of Rape and Honey
Skinny Puppy – The Process
Noise Unit – Decoder
Download – The Eyes Of Stanley Pain
Tarmvred – Ileus
Somatic Responses – Touching the Void
VAC: List your Top 5 favorite movies.
Firewalk With Me
A Clockwork Orange
Natural Born Killers (directors cut)
A Clockwork Orange
Bladerunner (directors cut or final cut)
VAC: List your favorite books.
Hatchet – by Gary Paulsen
The Great and Secret Show – by Clive Barker
The Illuminatus! Trilogy – by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
The Law Is For All – by Aleister Crowley
Wreckers of Civilization – by Simon Ford
Imajica – by Clive Barker
Design for Dying – by Timothy Leary
Invisible Monsters – by Chuck Palahniuk
The Ultimate Evil – by Terry Maury
Media Virus! – by Douglas Rushkoff
VAC: If you could change anything about the scene, what would it be?
Greg: We believe that by dedicating ourselves to our art, we already
are working to change the scene toward our own personal vision of it.
The definition of Industrial and the expectations of “the scene” mean
different things to different people, and the argument is a long dead
and well beaten horse. There is a definite rift between certain
mindsets within the community. A community which has been greatly
weakened by this lack of a common ground to stand upon anymore. In
fact, some of the most “Industrial” music we have heard or experienced
live over the last few years at shows or a Midwest warehouse party has
come from outside the scene. Certain artists and albums and events
being labeled as Breakcore, Dubstep, Power Electronics, Technoid, etc,
but containing more abrasiveness, creativity, anti-pop elements, and
DIY Industrial ideals than most of the releases found on some the
biggest Industrial and EBM labels out there at the moment. Most of
what is being slapped with the Industrial brand name these days is
sterile. Conformed. Accessible. Systematic. Assimilated. Predictable.
We are disappointed, certainly, and wish to see the return of more
intelligent, interesting, creative, and challenging music as the
“common ground” that we can all stand upon once again.
VAC: What kind of vocal effects do you use?
Nikki: Not trying to sound vague, but we experiment with literally
anything in the studio that can process audio. Hardware or Software,
if it has an input, we’ve jacked a microphone into it. We’ve been
having fun using the “The Beast” for vocal processing lately, as well
as Native Instruments Guitar Rig. We ended up selling all of our TC
Electronic hardware. We tried using their Fireworx and VoiceWorks
units, but found them too limiting for our type of vocal
VAC: Where do you hail from?
Greg: Hello from the gutters of Pittsburgh, which are filled with dog
manure, vomit, stale wine, urine, and blood.
VAC: How did your band come together?
Nikki: Synchronicity. Fate. Call it what you will.
VAC: Are you into comics?
Greg: I used to read “Heavy Metal” religiously and collected every
Clive Barker related comic I could get my hands on. Every so often I
pick up a manga or graphic novel or art book if it catches my eye. I
have always been into the erotic side of art more so than action types
of comics. I grew out of “Wolverine” and “Spiderman” quickly, and
started exploring erotic graphic novelists like Milo Manara, or
erotica photographers like Eric Kroll at a very young age. The guy at
the comic book store used to tell me “as long as you parents don’t
show up here to bitch at me”, he would sell me whatever weird shit I
would find interesting in the Adult section.
VAC: If you could pull off the ultimate prank on someone, who would it be, and what?
Nikki: If we told you it would ruin everything…
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