Jun 122006
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Next to STARK, this Australian solo project headed by Charles Fenech surely earns the most recognition with his strong European-influenced kind of Electro/EBM/Industrial music. Still releasing under the Australian Ground Under Productions (GUP) label, Angel Theory could also enter a licensing agreement with the German Endless Records, and secure a lot of attention through some live performances at big festivals like the “WGT”. Charles also just released his newest full-length CD “Re-Possession” on which he has developed a lot in comparison to his past works. So, time to renew all important info regarding this act for our magazine here…

Chain D.L.K.: Hey Charles, you are back with a new CD called “Re-Possession”, which is already your second full-length release. Besides this, you have released three EP’s, which is not done that frequently by bands in the Electro/Industrial genre. You must be a happy man regarding the fine and steady releases you’ve had, but lately I’ve heard some rumors that you are looking for a new label. What’s going on with GUP?
Angel Theory: Yes, I am very happy with the constant releases ANGEL THEORY has had over the past 2 years. I think it’s important especially in the early stages of a bands career to always remain in the public eye with releases, and remixes etc. Unfortunately the rumors about GUP are true. Like many labels at the moment they have had to close their doors. The music industry is in very bad shape. This is the 4th label that has closed down in the past 6 months, which have had bands signed to them where I know the band members personally. So in actual fact there are probably a lot more that I am not aware of. So yes, I am looking for a new label now. It will be difficult, and I’m not sure how successful I will be in getting another label interested due to the current climate.

Chain D.L.K.: Australian Electro/Industrial acts are still seldom present at the international scene. Please tell us a bit about your home area concerning upcoming bands, clubs, and people not to be missed. How is it with the global acceptance of the audience and press over there?
Angel Theory: I believe the electronic music scene in Australia is reaching a big turning point. We have more quality bands than ever doing some great work. And the thing that I believe is the strongest part of it is that no two bands sound the same. We are influenced by different styles and different periods of music. Aside from the Crash Frequency Collective bands, there are more bands coming up which I believe will again show the diversity of musical talent coming from Australia. Sydney, Australia based band “Empty” are about to release their debut EP, “Open Aeon”. I was fortunate to be asked to handle the mixing duties for it, and contributed a remix as well. It’s going to be a very strong debut release for them. And once again, will add to the strength of our music scene.Clubs come and go like in most cities, but we do have 3 which are constant. Melbourne actually has a good club scene, but I rarely go out myself.

Chain D.L.K.: You are an active member of the Crash Frequency community (www.crashfrequency.com). Please give us an overview of the ideas and activities of Crash Frequency…
Angel Theory: We put the collective together originally to help increase the awareness both in Australia and abroad of the growing dark music scene here. As a complete unit, we feel we can achieve this better, rather than doing it as individual bands. We use the collective to share ideas, borrow gear, share contacts. It’s very much an “all for one, and one for all” mentality. We will soon release our second compilation, “Crash 02” June 1st, which will be a double CD set, and it will show the electronic world that there is a lot going on here, look out for it !

Chain D.L.K.: Last year, you were also in Europe and Germany to play a gig at the large WGT festival. How was your trip and this happening for you? Some remarkable stories you would like to tell us? Any chance that you will be returning?
Angel Theory: WGT last year was a lot of fun. 4 days of seeing bands, meeting new friends, seeing old ones, and on top of this getting to play in front of a big crowd. Although AT is still relatively unknown in Europe, the crowd was most responsive, and I managed to make a lot of new fans too. The only story I have to share with you is with a fellow we named, “the egg man”. He prepared our eggs each morning at the hotel breakfast, he was quite the AT fan. LOL. Otherwise, I’m planning on coming back to Europe in 2007 to hopefully do more festivals. It’s quite an expensive flight; Australia to Europe, so if I can do some festivals to pay for my ticket I will be happy.

Chain D.L.K.: The German label Endless Records has licensed your stuff for the European market from GUP. How satisfied are you with this deal and what are the overall reactions of the European audience to your material?
Angel Theory: Tina at Endless Records has done a great job in promoting AT, she has helped with interviews, gigs, and festivals. She has done a lot, and I am very thankful GUP went with Endless in Europe. European audiences’ reaction to AT has been a mixed one. The sound is a little different for the European market in comparison to most dark Electro bands, but I’m hoping the difference will eventually work in my favor. The USA however has been more open to the AT sound, so I’m hoping to get there soon for some more shows.

Chain D.L.K.: How and when will you enter the oceans to terrorize the ears of the American audience? Some plans to come out there to meet your audience in person, as opposed to being heard just through some hard-to-get import CD’s released by DSBP?
Angel Theory: I actually did 4 shows last year on the east coast of the US with Assemblage 23, and they where very good for me as now I get a lot of correspondence from US fans which is great to receive. I would like to go back there again in 2007, but for now it’s just a thought. DSBP and Metropolis stock AT stuff, but it would be nice to have a label in the US, so that the fans can buy it at a cheaper price, rather than at import price. The AT web site now has its own shop, so you can get all releases through there if people are having difficulty tracking things down, and I always throw in a bonus CDR of unreleased stuff …

Chain D.L.K.: Your track “No Frequency” is a collaboration project with the US Powernoise act TERRORFAKT, and TERRORFAKT also presented this track on their last release “Cold Steel World”. How did you get in contact with them and when and why did you decide to do this collaboration track? Where did you get the German voice samples which are integrated in this track?
Angel Theory: I met Ben from TERRORFAKT when I was doing the 2004 tour in Europe. We played a couple of shows together and found a friendship very quickly. I really enjoyed his music, and he mine, and from there we talked about doing something in the future together. Sometime later he told me about the remix album he was putting together, and I was asked to contribute. I really love the “No Frequency” track on “Cold Steel World”, and thought it would be interesting to add a vocal to it. When I told Ben I was going to add vocals to the track, I think initially he was a bit leery. Thankfully though, when he heard it, he loved it. It’s a great track — one of my favorites on the album. All the samples were given to me by Ben, so I’m not sure where the German sample come from, or what it says!

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Chain D.L.K.: I am quite impressed with your style of including on almost all tracks your dark but melodic Synth layers. Is it always your intention to fill in some remarkable melodies to establish a good recognition of a “distinctive” sound from AT? What inspires you overall?
Angel Theory: Yes, each track has this trademark and that to me is what makes them AT songs. I like the use of layers of melodies and pads, this is what gives each song its own special atmosphere and life. The pads and melodies work to bring out the emotional intent of the song. And I make quite a conscious effort not to overcrowd the arrangements, or make them too busy. Less is always more. What inspires me is creating an atmosphere which is tangible to an emotion, or even a physical place. The music itself should be able to express this without the words I believe.

Chain D.L.K.: Any plans for a new release you can already confirm here? What do you expect for the future of your project?
Angel Theory: With GUP closing its doors, any future release at this stage will have to be self-funded. I am looking at self releasing the first SOLAR album, (my side project) later this year. SOLAR is an instrumental project along the lines of the early works of Delerium and Synaestheasia. Also with money permitting, I will be releasing a remix album of tracks from “Re-possession”, which will also include 3 brand new pieces. I have collected some incredible remixes by so many talented people, that these should be heard by everyone and not just be sitting on my PC, which is quite frustrating.

Chain D.L.K.: What are your interests and hobbies besides music? Do you still have to go to work to pay all your bills, or are you now a pure musician? I have read somewhere that you have your own fitness studio in your area, how does it run?
Angel Theory: Music composition has always been my main hobby since my teenage years, so I really don’t have any other hobbies as such. I enjoy weight training, exercising, and reading otherwise. Like everyone else I know in music, I also have a regular job. There is a big misconception by people that musicians actually make money doing this! Unfortunately it is very far from the truth. The truth is I spend more money on making music, than I ever get back, and I know I’m not alone there. But I do it for the love of it, and I do love it very much. I used to work in the fitness industry but finished that at the end of 2004 after 10 years service. I have my own gym set up at home now though, which is nice.

Chain D.L.K.: Any final words for your fans and our readers you would like to fill in here?
Angel Theory: My sincerest thanks to those who are buying my music and are enjoying it. My hope is I can do more live soon and meet you!

Visit Angel Theory on the web at:

[interviewed by Matc Tater] [proofreading by Brandon L. Clark]

May 192004
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Chain D.L.K.: What’s new? What has Angel Theory been up to most recently?
Angel Theory: The last thing I have completed about a week ago was a remix for New Zealand dark ambient band, “ Clear Stream Temple” . The original track is a dark hypnotic piece, which has the speech that GW Bush gave after the “ twin towers” came down, running over the top of it. So from this I constructed an up-tempo piece complete with my own manipulations of his words. I’ m very happy with the final result, and yes, you have to have a sense of humor.

Chain D.L.K.: What are some of the concepts or themes in your latest recordings?
Angel Theory: There is a common theme running through a lot of the music I create. I like my music to be soothing on one hand, and quite aggressive on the other. One of the major themes with the lyrics on the “ Fatal Condition” album is about dealing with being a spiritual being in a human body. There is a lot of frustration and confusion, as you attempt to reconcile events that happen in your life. This is something we can all relate to on one level or another. Its also about how we try to escape this situation, the things we do that help us cope with day to day living, forms of escapism.

Chain D.L.K.: What’s coming up for Angel Theory? New recordings, tours, etc?
Angel Theory: Now that the “ Transmission” EP is out, and the album should be out by late April, I’ ve come to a bit of a cooling off point. It’ s been fairly intensely busy over the past 18 months. My immediate plans are organizing the European Tour for August this year. I’ m playing at Summer Darkness Festival in Holland on the 13th of August, and at Infest UK Festival on the 30th of August. There will be more dates occurring in between these, with a possibility of swinging by America on the way home. Also, I’ m going to start writing some new material in the coming weeks.

Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about your live shows. You are a solo artist, but I heard that you use other musicians sometimes when you play shows, and you use visuals. What’s the set-up like – i. e. , instruments, equipment, etc? And what kind of visuals do you use?
Angel Theory: The live show is myself on vocals, and I have two backing keyboard players with me onstage. I incorporate visuals in the show as well that compliment the music, and reflect the lyrics. Images of urban desolation, and isolation are a running theme. Although this all sounds very “ heavy” , the actual show has a very up vibe about it. It is very enjoyable for the audience and myself. It’ s a thrill to watch people dance, and get themselves lost in the music, that’ s what its all about.

Chain D.L.K.: A lot of electronic music live shows are pretty much just one person standing there with a laptop, and the audience often doesn’t know whether to dance or to stare. What have your audiences been like?
Angel Theory: Thus far, the audiences have been brilliant. It’s very much a two way street, I perform, and hope the audience gets into it, once they are there, we then feed off each others energy. To me, the whole idea of performing live is to connect with people. Connect with your eyes, your words, and motion. I don’ t see the point of being trapped behind a laptop, looking like your surfing the net.

Chain D.L.K.: What conditions are most conductive to working on your music? Where do you find inspiration? And what’s the creative process like for you?
Angel Theory: The best condition for me to work on music is when I stumble across the unexpected surprise. What I mean by this is, when I compose, I usually begin with random sounds, and loops, and just see what happens. The unexpected surprise sometimes is the mistake you make, or the sound that when manipulated by effects, or by editing becomes something greater than its original. This is when I become quite inspired, and motivated. Also I have found the less I think about what I’ m doing, the better for the writing process, I in affect remove myself from the creative process, and let the song write itself. The best inspiration for me comes from personal experiences. It is here that I connect with something real, and something that is a truth. I usually use random lyrics initially to get an idea for vocals then I will go back and think a little more about what I want to say.

Chain D.L.K.: Suppose there was a “heaven”, and you went there – what music would be playing there? What would be playing in Hell?
Angel Theory: Well for one, I would take with me a handful of my favorite CDs just in case, I don’ t want to listen to the harp all day. So some Bowie, early Human League, Brian Eno etc. And in hell, well they are playing this awful stuff that you know is just wrong, and hurts your ears… you know that cheap, and cheesy money making cover version of that really good song from your childhood. Forever ruined.

Chain D.L.K.: What do you think would surprise people about you if they knew?
Angel Theory: That I got out of bed this morning on my day off at 5am! I like being awake.

Chain D.L.K.: Any good stories from your music-making/ music-playing experiences?
Angel Theory: There are no good stories thus far, but if you catch me again just after the tour of Europe in August, I bet I’ ll be full of interesting ones!

Visit Angel Theory on the web at:
www.angeltheory.com and at:

[interviewed by Ant & Maren] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]