Chain D.L.K.: How did you meet and why did you decide to form Blue Velvet?
Blue Velvet: The band was born in 1999, in Torino. Dogh and Andy Head are thefounding fathers, they created an innovative music project to expresstheir advanced research of electronic and industrial sounds. Throughthis project myself (Dohg) and Andy got a change to start arrangingsome of our sounds with hardware equipment such as groove-box andsynthesizers (because software and computer music were just in theirearly stages back then). The result of the project was up to ourexpectations. The sound was harshly distorted but melodies werepeculiar and our sounds experimentation was innovative. In 2003 Malcom11 (bass, programming, keyboard) joined us and we self-produced oursingle. We recorded different instruments like guitar, drums, bassguitar and we also experimented with processing sounds and settings.Back then there were no downloads and it was all CDs. We decided topress 500 copies in order to use them as free promotion for the band.After a short time we got some early feedback, every one was differentfrom the others, and it seemed to us that experimenting with this kindof music was working well. Infact, many people contacted us to tell usabout their feelings concerning our “Cd 43/XXX”.The positive feedback pushed us to publish another sound experimentwith a new multimedia CD named “XXXXXX/0003″ (2004). Each CD’ s namewas personalized by a series of sequential numbers (in place of the”X”) so that every person would have their own personal copy. Therewere three songs in the CD but two of them were made up by asynthesizers and sampled parts, some sung lyrics and some detailsvisible only on a computer. After a short time we started to searchfor a new member, the drummer. Darkendawn (electronic/acoustic drums)joined us coming from another band.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you have a band manifesto? If not, what are the core ideas of yourmusical project?
Blue Velvet: Every one of us has their own manifesto.Starting with ’70es rock music we also love New Wave and EBM, Metal,Industrial, Drum’n'Bass, Dark Ambient, Harsh Industrial. Our purposeis to test different styles following our inspiration.
Chain D.L.K.: As a fellow citizen of Turin I can tell this city isn’t reallysupportive of new bands. What has been your experience in/with yourhome town?
Blue Velvet: The problem is not that Torino doesn’t help bands (it is the italiancity with the highest number of underground bands per inhabitants).The big problem is that all the venues where one could play aremanaged by incompetent people that are in the position of art directoronly to earn money. This “business” is a problem also for all thepeople that want to listen to the music. As a matter of fact, oftentimes people wait for the end of the concert so they can get in anddance to ordinary music!! It’s absurd. This is the situation of ourcity!!!
Chain D.L.K.: You formed in 1999 but your first album “The third” has been releasedin 2006. What happened in the between?
Blue Velvet: During the six years before the publication of the album named “TheThird” we have been looking for a common sense of music and a balancebetween the experimental sounds. We were also concentrated on findingpeople that could help the band create an album with electronicexperimentation, new sounds and new lyrics to express all the presentemotions.In this period myself (Dohg) and Andy studied sound engineering toimprove our knowledge of hardware and software so that could work onour album.
Chain D.L.K.: “The third” showcases a band confident of their skills: it sounds wellproduced and the tracks could compete with major overseas names, so,why did you decide to self release it?
Blue Velvet: “The Third” was self-produced because our music is unconventional andin Italy nobody would invest in that. That CD was something differentin the national music system; we tried with majors and some importantlabels but after 3 years we are still waiting to hear back. Nowadays,we think that music is suffering a lot because it is hard to sell itand it is easy to downloads music for free. That’s why self-releasingis, at the moment, the only way to get our music out there.
Chain D.L.K.: Koldfinger decided to help with distribution. Has this changed things a bit?
Blue Velvet: After the publication of the album “The Third”, we met StefanoRossello, the Bahntier’s founder and the owner of the sub-labelKoldfinger. He listened to the album and wanted to support us.Obviously we accepted !!! After that meeting something happened: weappeared on important music newspapers and also abroad our band wasappreciated!!! In 2008, because of the crisis in the worldwide musicbusiness, Koldfinger said they might have to shut down. In fact, theband Alien Vampires, which was produced by Koldfinger, found anamerican label instead. At the end of 2009 the Koldinger confirmedthat they wouldn’t be able to support us any longer.
Chain D.L.K.: What does the title “The third” refer to?
Blue Velvet: The name “The Third” is inspired by one of the song that you can findin this album: “The Seeds of the Third Millennium”. The song tells thestory of the seed that once planted should grow perfect to representthe hope for a better future. This is the sleeping seed of the presentmillennium.
Chain D.L.K.: Titles like “Animal soul”, “Abnormality” or “Manipulated Soul” seem tocome from a cyberpunk background. What are your influences?
Blue Velvet: I appreciate that you perceived this but it is not actually ourintention to find inspiration in cyberpunk, even if the style is veryfuturistic and pragmatic. Our musical influences are a proud researchof unconventional musical schemes and the breaking with tradition. Forexample the techno music style is very close to the cyberpunk stylebut the evolution is different and so is the birth of Clock DVA, whichwas a new style that developed a strong appeal for experimenting withsounds.
Chain D.L.K.: Last year you released the remix album “Rotation” on the newborn labelBreakdown Records. What convinced you to work on remixes rather thanrecording new stuff?
Blue Velvet: We want to clarify that Rotation is not a remix but a true album.Inside this album you can find some songs from “The Third” producednew as a whole Like we said before, Koldfinger confirmed to us thatthey would have to cease distribution. The CD was ready to be printed.In October 2009 we contacted the Breakdown records’ managers; theylistened to our tracks, we got a good vibe from their smiles and thatwas the beginning of our work together with them.
Chain D.L.K.: “Rotation” is more electro industrial sounding, more hypnotizing, withless guitars and sometimes dancey rhythms. What brought you to thiskind of solution?
Blue Velvet: “Rotation” is the result of a natural arrangement process whichfollows our musical instincts and draws inspiration from our differentpersonal emotions about obsessive and nervous industrial sounds. Wegave up creating an album with “typical instruments” and instead wewent with softwares and electronic elements. We wanted to create aparticular sound in order to mix all the different elements andexpress the different effects. In fact, if you listen “Rotation”,every song has different kind of sounds that change throughout. Wethink of each song as of the beginning and the end of a movie. In “MySad Happiness” you can find this idea because at the end of the song(like a movie) all the problems are resolved giving the listener asense of calmness.
Chain D.L.K.: What changed from the “old” Blue Velvet?
Blue Velvet: The Blue Velvet have not changed but they improved their style. Weexpanded our music knowledge with modern production techniques. We aregiving time to free music expression which breaks the conventions ofother kinds of music.
Chain D.L.K.: I read that you are working on new songs. How do they sound?
Blue Velvet: We already have some songs with particulars sounds mixed with olderwork as well as some all new stuff… we think it’s too early to tellwhat the exact musical influnce of the new album will turn out to be.Our works are always in a state of evolution.
Chain D.L.K.: Future plans?
Blue Velvet: At the moment we are promoting “Rotation” and trying to book livegigs. Soon the first Breakdown records festival will take place. Wealso would like to tour Europe soon!!! Live concerts are veryemotional. They are an explosion of energy and lights in sync withour beat and all the instruments, keyboards and computers. We inviteyou to come to our concerts or to take a look at our videos to seewhat’s going on on stage.
Chain D.L.K.: Anything else you’d like to add?
Blue Velvet: We hope that Rotation will satisfy our expectations and also meet theesteem of all the people that are not used to this kind of music.Thanks to CHAIN D.L.K. for your time and thanks to Breakdown recordsfor their work and thanks to all the people that are supporting us. Avery special thanks to Sonia Jurlina for the industrial-accessoriesthat we put on.
Visit BlueVelvet on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]