Another Coldwave/Industrial veteran act hailing out of the rich scene of the North-West, USA is SMP (Sound Of Mass Production) lead by Jason Bazinet. Recently back in the ears of his audience with a new album “The Treatment” and a coast-to-coast tour as being the drummer for Chemlab, Jason found a free minute to answer on some questions…
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Jason, why do you name the abbreviation SMP Sound Of Mass Production? I don’t think that your music sounds like mass production, but the old name Synthesia Murder Program had some more flair…
SMP: Yeah, well, we never liked that old name so we dropped it when we got our deal with Reconstriction Records. I like Sounds of Mass Production. it’s the sound of industry, capitalism, and population out of control. A cold and unthinking juggernaut of destruction.
Chain D.L.K.: It seems that “The Treatment” on you has had some failures, because on one photo you’re sitting in a wheelchair. What happened (seriously asked: how are the reactions on your new album so far)? 😀
SMP: I am fine I assure you, the wheelchair was just a prop in the photo shoot. Reactions to the album are positive. I have heard people say it is our best yet.
Chain D.L.K.: Please give us some background info on the things which happened between you and the label Static Sky Records. Two years before they announced SMP as being a new signed act, but before any collaboration came up, they closed their doors. What were the reasons and how did you feel by this?
SMP: I don’t know why they closed their doors, you’d have to ask them. I am happy to release records on my own imprint for now.
Chain D.L.K.: You can be named a veteran of the Industrial scene around Seattle, plus SMP was one of the founding members of the NEC, the North-Eastern Coalition. So you’ve seen and experienced a lot through all the years. In which kind has this music scene, style and quality developed? What can you personally still learn from the music-producing kids of today?
SMP: The NEC is no more. It served its purpose and dissolved once it was no longer needed. Seattle has a very healthy industrial scene thanks to the NEC and others then and now that supported the music and the culture. As for what I can learn from the kids, I always have my ears open to new music and new ideas. In fact I am working with a new act called 64K (www.64k.us) and we should have a record out in 2008.
Chain D.L.K.: Through your long-year career you’ve also worked and collaborated with many people and labels, among others Chase and Re-Constriction. What were the reasons to try it on your own with the finding of Music Ration? Where do you see the pro’s and con’s of being responsible for all required “label” activities?
SMP: Most labels can’t, or are unwilling to, offer me anything I can’t do myself at this point. There is maybe only one label in the scene that I would consider signing with.
Chain D.L.K.: For the production of “The Treatment” you’ve again received the helping hand of Wade Alin of Christ Analogue. He’s also one of the additional musicians doing some programming and guitars. It seems you’re quite satisfied with his work and your collaboration, which happened again on your past album “Crimes Of The Future”. But why do you generally like to use additional musicians providing guitars, for sure the mostimportant instrument in SMP?
SMP: Well, I don’t play guitar, so it is a must that someone do it. In fact, we have Steve White of KMFDM/PIG on deck to play the guitars on the next record. And Wade will be there to produce that as well.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s that special meaning of the cover track “Who Is Who”, originally composed by The Adolescents, a CA-based Punk-band?
SMP: Well, I didn’t write the song, but I can comment on what I think it’s about. It’s about not fitting in and paranoia. These are things that everybody has to cope with from time to time.
Chain D.L.K.: Talking on “Metropolis”, well, Superman isn’t there, but I like to ask if this miserable story-board has some personal background from your side. Please give us some insight on this tune…
SMP: This song is straight up cyber-punk. Cobbled together from my love of the genre. Lot’s of pop-culture references in there too.
Chain D.L.K.: Besides SMP you’re also a member of both projects 64K and The Loyal Opposition. Please introduce us both shortly. With The Loyal Opposition you’ve done some first tracks for your compilation “A Murderous Mix”, available on your own Music Ration label. But the website of TLO likes to keep all details on this project in secrecy – why? Is the political content behind this project that “hot” that secrecy is required?
SMP: I already mentioned 64K earlier and The Loyal Opposition is my good friend Garrick Antikajian from the group Doll Factory and myself. The record is thematic and should also be out in 08.
Chain D.L.K.: What else do you expect from the future, musically and for your private life? Any new and upcoming releases in the works which you can already confirm here?
SMP: I’m on tour this winter with Chemlab, playing the drums. We’ll be working on a remix album of “The Treatment” and the follow up to “The Treatment” as well. Aside from that I plan on growing older and bolder.
Chain D.L.K.: Your final words to our readers to conclude this interview?
SMP: Live long and prosper. Jason
Visit SMP on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]