One of the new signings of the rising German label NoiTekk could release its officialdebut “Burning Heaven” within the fall of 2K6. But this Winnipeg-based act isn’t at all abloody newcomer and has had already a notorious past at the days where MP3.com was up andwith a self-released and extremely limited EP “Left Alone To Die” in 2K2. There has beensome time in between, so here’s an introducing interview with mastermind JeremyPillipow…
Chain D.L.K.: Hello Jeremy, first some words to you. Could you please fill inbiographical details of you and your music project Distorted Memory?
Distorted Memory: I am based in Winnipeg, Canada and have been writing electronic musicsince around 1999. This project was on hiatus until sometime last year when I decided tocome back to it and wrote a full length album which was released on NoiTekk and COPInternational at the end of last year.
Chain D.L.K.: I can remember the days of MP3.com on which you were already activepresenting some tunes of your self-released debut “Left Alone To Die”. But this hashappened 5 years before, so there’s the question of where have you been?
Distorted Memory: HA! Wow, didn’t think many people remembered Distorted Memory fromthose days, but I guess I did manage to build up a bit of a following at that time. To behonest the reason for the large time gap between the demo EP and first full lengthrelease was due to a loss of interest in Industrial/EBM music. Right around the time Ihad sent the demo to NoiTekk and was asked by them for a full length I had grown reallybored and jaded with the industrial music scene and the never ending flood of clone bandsdoing the Suicide Commando shuffle, but not as well. I had begun listening to other formsof hard and aggressive electronic music, stuff like Hard House, Gabber, D’n’B, Breakcore,EST and these other music styles really opened my eyes. I decided to start anotherproject called Cake Builder to experiment with a different sound. This project ended upbeing a mix of very dark Drum and Bass and Breakcore and I have since released a 12” onAd Noiseam, along with several other releases, remixes and compilation appearances.Although this new project let me express some of the musical ideas I had that didn’t workwith Distorted Memory it still did not completely satisfy me and I decided to return tothe Distorted Memory project and write that long awaited full length for NoiTekk, but onmy own terms, with a new edge, a new style, taking influence from all the new music I hadbeen listening to.
Chain D.L.K.: What, in your opinion, are the reasons that the almost same musicallyformula works much better in 2K7 with your recently released CD “Burning Heaven” comparedto your self-released debut “Left Alone To Die”?
Distorted Memory: To be honest I think there are some very significant differences in themusic on each of those releases. Although at the time of my demo EP I was doing things alittle differently than most bands out there I was still very much following the EBMformula. The new album is really a finer tuned, matured, version of the stuff I was doingin the past. I think that the style of “Burning Heaven” works at this time because peoplein this scene are becoming more open minded to different, more techno influenced stylesof music.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you get in contact with Marco and NoiTekk that he has signed you? Iguess it somehow belongs on the fact that a Canadian label providing this harsh kind ofEBM/Electro/Industrial music is rather hard to find…
Distorted Memory: When I wrote the demo EP back in 2002 I very selectively chose labelsto send it to. I only sent it to maybe 5 labels or so, labels I very much believed in,labels that I felt were moving in the right direction and would suit my style well.NoiTekk to me was where my music fit the best, not to mention Marco is extremely friendlyand treats his artists very well. Needless to say I chose to sign with NoiTekk. Theoption of signing with a Canadian label would have meant music career suicide as none ofthe labels based in Canada are large enough to really support me in the way that I waslooking for.
Chain D.L.K.: Some of your tracks on “Burning Heaven” are obviously dealing with religionand Christianity. But regarding your “band” photos available on your website, you don’tlook too much like a god-fearing man 😉 Please tell us bit about your vision…
Distorted Memory: No…no, definitely not. I am not a god fearing man whatsoever. If youread into the lyrics of the album you will see that they do not express an outward hatredtoward god, nor a supportive view of god and religion. The album takes place in a worldof fantasy where angels in heaven are fighting a war over the love of god. Everything onthe album can be looked at as a metaphor for something important in the listeners life.
Chain D.L.K.: Regarding your track “God’s Wrath” you seem to wait for the final punisherto end mankind’s existence. How to your opinion does such a scenario look?
Distorted Memory: I’ll be honest. I strongly believe, and fear, that the end time isnear. I however do not think it will be rung in by four horsemen of the apocalypse andall that other Christian dogma. The end time will come soon as a result of mankind’stotal lack of respect and care for the earth we live on. It will come with a flood frommelting ice caps and rising heat. Wars will be fought, but will have nothing to do withAmerica’s make believe, population brain washing, fear tactic, oil money based “war onterror”… no wars will be fought over what land has not been destroyed by the dominoeffect of global warming and countries will be forced to either help or fend off wavesand waves of environmental refuges. It will be much worse than the New Testament authorscould even have imagined.
Chain D.L.K.: Some instrumental interludes can be heard on “Burning Heaven” with thetracks “Hellion’s Fall”, “Sons Of Perdition” and the final piece “Psalm”. All of themseem rather to concentrate to offer ominous melodic layer and string sounds instead ofproviding more rhythmically treatments. From your side as a musician, how important andmeaningful are these tracks for you?
Distorted Memory: The track “Psalm” is actually one of the most important for mepersonally as a musician on the album. It required the most skill to create and in doingso I was forced to deal with many production and song writing situations which would notnormally come up in the club tracks. I also feel these interludes are very important forthe listener as it gives them a break from the pounding dance tracks and puts them intoperspective. There needs to be balance, without somber interludes there is no frame ofreference for the harder tracks.
Chain D.L.K.: Lets talk on the technical side of producing music generally. Which kind ofsynthesizers do you prefer, hardware or software-based? Where do you see the pro’s andcon’s on both kinds? Compared to “Left Alone To Die”, which to my taste was a bit moreminimal arranged, what has changed in your equipment list?
Distorted Memory: Personally I prefer hardware synthesizers over software based ones. Iam not against softsynths however and use them as well. Hardware synths in my opinionhave a much richer warmer sound, but despite what most people think this isn’t from thesynthesizers themselves but rather the fact that the sound is sent through physicalmixers which add natural warmth and saturation, the same effect and depth can be added tosoftware synthesizers by feeding the audio out from the computer and back in throughmixers / compressors etc. Also with the improvement of computers and soundcards as oflate softsynths will soon be on par with, if not better in many cases than hardware. Thebest thing about software based synthesizers over hardware is the fact that so many newideas and synthesis types can be created and used that would be far to expensive toimplement with hardware. In truth the “Burning Heaven” album and everything before waswritten primarily with software due to the fact that I only had two hardware synths atthe time. Since then the studio has changed dramatically and several high endsynthesizers (Virus C, V-Synth, JP-8000, K-Station, and others) have been added to thestudio. The new material which I am currently writing for the next album is about 90 %hardware based and 10 % software. Anyone interested in what equipment I use can checkwww.redroomrecordings.org for a full list of my gear.
Chain D.L.K.: How is it with live gigs? The new tracks should work well to animate themasses, so what do you expect? Any touring plans you can already confirm?
Distorted Memory: At the moment I have not performed live with the Distorted Memorymaterial, but if the energy level from practices is any indication the shows will be veryintense. For the live show we will be doing something different from other acts. Ratherthan running all the songs instrumentally off a DAT or laptop while the singer sings anda keyboardist pretends to play we have created extended mixes of each song which mybackup member Dryad will mix live on CD decks. This will create a non stop, beat matched,very high energy set. We are taking the rave DJ mentality and performance style andtransferring it to EBM. No tours are currently planed as I can not be away from home forlong enough to do so due to my schooling, however several individual live dates areplanned. There will be a show here in Winnipeg next month and we will be playing the verylarge COMA 4 festival in Montreal this April along with acts like Hocico, Tactical Sekt,and Decoded Feedback.
Chain D.L.K.: Please let us know about your upcoming plans, some new releases you like toconfirm here? Is it thinkable to re-release “Left Alone To Die”, as it was limited on avery few exemplars?
Distorted Memory: The next new material you hear will be on NoiTekk’s “United Vol. 2” dueout in the first quarter of 2007. The track on the comp is titled “Seven Voices of Hate”and will give fans a very good idea of what to expect on the next album. The next albumis currently in the works, but will not be rushed, you can probably expect it early nextyear.. At one point I would like to release a bonus CD which includes songs from the demoEP as well as some others written afterwards but were never released.
Chain D.L.K.: Some final words to our readers to conclude this interview…?
Distorted Memory: I’d just like to thank everyone who has shown me their support sincethe release of the album, especially those who have actually bought the CD and not justdownloaded it.Cheers!
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]