Lexincrypt is the solo effort by the Symbiont musician Justin Cameron (see interview somewhere here on our pages…). He could already gain a lot of attention with his first solo CD “My Sepulture“ out 2003 on the US label DSBP (www.dsbp.cx), and also with his long awaited second full length CD “This Descent”, he could fulfill all expectations. Unfortunatly some bad rumours about a stop of his musical career were in the air, so we have here a great new interview with Justin in which he gives us a clear statement…
Chain D.L.K.: Justin, a lot of people and fans have heard some bad stories that you stopped all activities with Lexincrypt. Please tell us that this is only a bad rumor! If not, please give us an officialstatement and explanation for your reasons…
Lexincrypt: I sold my soul to the devil that is music when I was a kid. I lived music; I breathed music; As a fan and artist both, I’ve given more to music than I’ll ever get in return – not that I want anything inreturn, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve given more to music than I have anything/anyone else in my life. With that said, several months ago I felt like I was burning out. Not only was I burningout, I hadn’t heard much new material from anyone else that was worth much (with very few exceptions). It felt like music, the one thing I had given my life to in every regard, had betrayed me in a way. Everything I was hearing was uninspiring and everything I was writing was uninspired.Not too long after that I just woke up one morning with the answer in my head clear as day: I needed to find something else. Weeks later I finished up a collaboration I was working on with Filament 38 andfinished up my own album, then gave music a rest for a while to see if it would blow over. It didn’t blow over. A lot was happening in my life and I finally decided to go to college to get some direction. Between going to school full-time while sustaining a full-time job, there really isn’t much time for anything else. That’s the long answer, even though I’ve kept it in a pretty brief format. The short answer is that it was just a combination of a lot of things that just happened to occur at or around the same time. I haven’t sworn off music – I’d be willing to collaborate or contribute vocals or something in the future, but I have no explicit intentions of writing another Lexincrypt album anytime soon, if ever again.
Chain D.L.K.: Also your cooperative project Symbiont together with Xon lays down now for a while until further notice. The listeners are still lurking for some new stuff. Can you fill in something new that could awaken some hopes for a glorious return?
Lexincrypt: I’m afraid that Symbiont has been in stasis for some time, and now with other recent developments I see it in the same place that Lexincrypt is.
Chain D.L.K.: With the last question in mind you also moved now to Seattle, far away from your old home area in Salt Lake City. What are the reasons for your move and has this also anything to do with your departure from Xon’s Backscatter label?
Lexincrypt: I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Salt Lake City since my late teen years. I tried to leave before but I always ended up moving back. In late 2002 I met the best person I have ever met, though she happened to live in Seattle. In the summer of 2003 I ended up leaving Utah and moving in with her in Seattle. Xon had also recently been seriously seeing a woman he is now married to, so it was just kind of weird timing that this all happened around the same time. He understood, and we went our separate ways. We had every intention of figuring out a way to make music in a long-distance fashion, but it just never really happened. We’re still friends and maintain regular contact.
Chain D.L.K.: Seattle has a big and strong underground scene wouldn’t this help also you to keep on your music? How much are you already integrated into the dark scene of Seattle? And how did you get in contact with Scott Sturgis?
Lexincrypt: I keep to myself for the most part; I don’t really talk to anybody or try to market myself or network in any way, so I have not taken advantage of Seattle’s scene, though, from what little I haveexperienced, I think it’s over-rated. To answer the second part of that question, Scott Sturgis and I had been in contact via e-mail off and on for several months. When I moved to Seattle we met up and talked a bit. I am a really big fan of Pain Station and was really looking for someone else to do vocals on at least one track on the album; I wanted a track with vocals that weren’t so consumed by distortion, but I wasn’t willing to do them myself. I asked him if he’d do it and he agreed, which made me very happy. I love the way that track turned out.
Chain D.L.K.: Lets talk a bit about “This Descent” and its content. “This album is dedicated to all who had lost their will and turned to a means of self-infliction. I hope you have found whatever it was life could not offer, and may you forever rest in peace.” These words are taken out of your inlay and I would like to ask about any deeper meaning. How much personal content and meaning stands behind this quotation?
Lexincrypt: Death is a really hard concept for me to grasp. It seems pretty simple and straight-forward, but for some reason it’s just really hard to wrap my mind around it. Everybody I’ve known that has died from suicide, which has made it all the worse I think. This is basically the theme around “This Descent”, though not all of the tracks were written specifically about it. “Some Other Way”, “Dead by Morning”, and “One Way to Escape” were all written about individuals that have committed suicide. I’d like to elaborate, but I don’t feel very comfortable talking about it. That’s the beauty of music: you can just throw it out here and leave it open to interpretation. An interview like this just gets too specific.
Chain D.L.K.: Especially on tracks like “Beginning of the End” and “One Way to Escape” I have noticed a slight dedication to a more danceable and accessible sound compared with your debut. A normal development in your music?
Lexincrypt: I wanted to try something a little different to balance it out. Lexincrypt has always been about maintaining a balance between aggression and depression, and I feel like I accomplished that more so on this album than the first album because of the faster-tempo, more high energy, tracks like the two you mentioned. I don’t know if I would do it again if I were to write another album. I’ve always been partial to the slower-tempo, grinding, anguished tracks, and it seems like a lot of the fans like those the best as well.
Chain D.L.K.: Still a refreshing kind of style is your use of uncountable voice samples taken out of different movies. Mostly they aren’t heard before in any other genre-like production. So where do youget all this stuff and what inspires you to include it in your tracks?
Lexincrypt: I see samples as just another instrument. When I’m putting together and song there is always something missing, whether it’s an some percussion, strings, a bassline, or a sample. They can help carry a track or glue two pieces together; sampling is an art within itself (I’m not saying that I’ve perfected it by any means, but I respect it as an art). Most samples that I use come from movies, but I’m always looking for samples everywhere. I have gigs upon gigs on audio files that I spend quite a bit of time searching through when I feel like a track needs a sample. But when you find that “perfect” sample it’s all worth it.
Chain D.L.K.: There is also an instrumental track entitled “Hilf Mir” (help me). Why the title in German?
Lexincrypt: I really like languages. I was studying German at the time and was watching a lot of German films. I figured it might come across as cliche since German is “all the rage” in the scene, but I didn’t care. I liked the samples in it, even if I could barely understand them. The point was that you don’t need to understand the samples – it’s the way the words are being said. I decided to title the track in German to stay in line with the context of the song.
Chain D.L.K.: Business as usual, like on “My Sepulture” there is also on “This Descent” a hidden track at the end of the CD. Has this one a title name and what meaning has it for you generally to include this piece?
Lexincrypt: Neither of unlisted tracks from either album have names. The one on “This Descent” was about the same subject matter as “One Way to Escape”. The samples are an elaboration of the samples from “One Way to Escape”, which are about a boy who killed himself because he wasconstantly harassed by his schoolmates. It sounds kind of dumb out of the context of the songs, but I just happened to have the TV on one time in the middle of the day and Dr. Phil came on. I heard this agonized sobbing and tortured voice that really caught my attention. I connected a few cables and recorded the audio of the complete episode. I think Dr. Phil is a pop-psych douche bag, but the woman he interviewed in that episode captured the very essence I was striving for with this release.I’ve gotten so many emails since the album’s release asking, “Did you sample Dr. Phil?!” Yes, I fucking sampled Dr. Phil. Now you know why.
Chain D.L.K.: I have also found somewhere a printed address on your cover artwork covering the city Kuala Lumpur. What is the meaning behind this?
Lexincrypt: This is the first I’ve heard of it. Davyd from Hive Records did the art for the album. Perhaps he recycled the art for something else.
Chain D.L.K.: Comes finally the question regarding your future plans, also if it is besides music…
Lexincrypt: I’m currently a college student working toward a few degrees. That pretty much consumes all of my time. Who knows what else the future holds, if anything at all.
Chain D.L.K.: Any final words you would like to tell us?
Lexincrypt: Yeah. Since I know President Bush reads your zine I’d like to tell him to bring the troops home. I’d also like to let him know that a retarded monkey couldn’t fuck shit up worse than he has. Thanks for the interview, and thanks to all the supporters.
Chain D.L.K.: We have to say thank you, Justin. All the best for your further way.
Visit Lexincrypt on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Brandon L. Clark]