Chain D.L.K.: Why did you decide to form Agent Side Grinder and wheredid you get the inspiration for the name?
Agent Side Grinder: P: I was tired of my old band and really wanted to work with aprofessional orchestra then I run into Johan during a recordingsession with a band he played with at that time.J: I was playing in another more melodic band, but had a desire tocreate harder and darker electronic music with vintage synthesizers,drum machines and tape loops. Agent Side Grinder fulfilled this wish.K: I had never sung before but have always written and had been havingan urge for performance for quite some so it all came rather naturallyonce we started.
Chain D.L.K.: Your music is obsessive and there are parts of it whichsound like looped. Were you going for such a hypnotic effect? If yes,why?
Agent Side Grinder: J: We’re using a lot of repetitive bass lines and sound effects, buteverything is played live. In some ways good music is always hypnotic,right?P: It may sound like digital looping, but we rather like to play asexact as possible. The only looping we do is tape looping since Ithink that’s a more effective way to work with sounds. A sampler istoo much start point/end point stuff.K: Maniac-depressive trance has always been the best way to spread theword, don’t you think?
Chain D.L.K.: Along with the music you also have these vocals whichsound alienating. Do the songs originate from improv sessions wherethe induced catharsis created such an effect?
Agent Side Grinder: P: No, Kristoffer works very hard on his lyrics. Nothing is born outof improvisation.J: Except the screams, the moans and groans of course. That’s pureimprovisation I guess.K: In a way you are both right. As I write constantly, all of thesongs have been poems of mine at some point. When it comes to applyingthe lyrics to the rest of the music both cutting and pasting as wellas pure gut-induced improvisations share the leading role. I almostalways know what to sing but not when or where.
Chain D.L.K.: Your sound reminds me of Suicide/Cabaret Voltaire/SoftCell/P.I.L. mix. How much have you been influenced by 80’s music andwhat aspects of it would you like to reprocess in order to createsomething new?
Agent Side Grinder: P: We don’t look back! Some of the tools we use are the same that theyused in the ’70es but that’s the only thing!J: Naturally we love these bands but I agree with Peter, we’re nottrying to recreate their music.K: That’s right. If you want to track down the main influences to ourmusic I would rather look towards Elvis and the Doors.
Chain D.L.K.: You use exclusively analog gear to make music. Would youplease explain this choice?
Agent Side Grinder: K: With analog gear you get that sense of unreliability that modernequipment is built to be without. You need a risk of chaos to be fullyalive; we’re not computer-junkies; We’re punks!!!P: “A fire is a fire you can’t burn down things with something thatlooks like a fire”
Chain D.L.K.: On “Voice of your noise” you say: “I wanna be the rage,the cage, the voice of your noise / Freedom I fear you / Freedom Idare you…”. What kind of emotions are you trying to cover in yoursongs?
Agent Side Grinder: P: This is a question for Kristoffer!K: I always write based on my own experiences but often from a morecommon point of view. I invite the reader/listener to anultra-subjective journey through my mind, and in the travel maybe findan own path. The song you mention is a simple love ballad though…
Chain D.L.K.: In your music there’s also a good dose of soundexperimentation. Where do you feel this experimentation is leadingyou?
Agent Side Grinder: P: I would not say its sound experimentation. Our sound is more normaland closer to nature than the constant background sound from radio andother modern media.J: Yeah, a lot of the effects we use are actually excerpts from dailylife, subway trains, traffic, winds, rain etc.
Chain D.L.K.: What has been the overall response to Agent Side Grinder?
Agent Side Grinder: P: Very positive. Both the indie-kids and the black dressed peoplelike us. Our live shows are very much about pure energy withamplifiers screaming and 10 minutes versions of the album tracks.J: Our first 7” quickly sold out and the LP is doing really well too.Reviews have been surprisingly positive! People seem to like theauthentic sound of ASG.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s next?
Agent Side Grinder: P: We’re working on the drafts for the next album, I’m recordingsounds for the new tape loops and Johan is on the beach in Miami rightnow with his electric piano figuring out some melodies and Kristofferis writing new lyrics. The plan is to start practicing new songs thisautumn and then record another album in studio.J: We’re gathering inspiration from different parts of the worldright. But Agent Side Grinder will also do live gigs and festivalsduring 2008 to promote the album.
Chain D.L.K.: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers? Any advice?
Agent Side Grinder: P: The end of the album is the beginning of the album!
Visit Agent Side Grinder on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]