Chain D.L.K.: Who makes up Symbiont and what musical backgrounds do you have?
Symbiont: J. Cameron: Symbiont consists of myself and Xon. My musical background isunfortunately pretty shallow. I was never classically trained with any instruments or learned how to read music. I’ve been a huge fan of music ever since I started listening to it when I was a child. Nomatter what genre I was into at the time I always took great joy in themusic ‘experience’ and somehow knew that I would be writing my own one day.
Xon: I took basic piano lessons for a couple of years when I was 10 yearsold, but quit because I was feeling forced by my parents. Subsequently, Iforgot what little I had learned. I picked up playing keyboards, sampling, and dabbling when I was 15, started programming synths etc when I was 17 and been doing it ever since.
Chain D.L.K.: How long have you guys been making music together?
Symbiont: We met in late 2000, and we started working together in early 2001.
Chain D.L.K.: The project is known for its harsh textures, a refreshing change from thelighter synthpop stuff that passes for industrial these days. Was this a conscious effort and is this the type of sound that inspires Symbiont to create music?
Symbiont: J: I don’t think it was as much of a conscious effort as it was just doingwhat we do. I think we both knew, before we even started writing the material that it would be dark and aggressive. It was a very natural approach rather than deciding, “We shouldsound like this! “
X: We both listen to hard electronic stuff for the vast majorityand both grew up listening to lots of darker metal stuff.
Chain D.L.K.: How and why did your label Backscatter Compositions come together?
Symbiont: X: I started Backscatter in 1995 to facilitate the release of many CDs I had recorded. Over the years, it developed into more of a label/licensingcompany to retain recording rights. A few other local acts joined over theyears as well. We’ve also done a couple of compilations.
Chain D.L.K.: Was the alliance between DSBP and Backscatter created easily?
Symbiont: X: Yes, it seemed a logical and fluid move for both parties. Tommy T [dsbp] liked the Symbiont track [as well as a few others] on the Backscatter comp”Electraglow” that we sent him and he asked to hear more. We sent him a fewmore demos and Tommy invited us to put a track out on a large scale onCybonetix 2001 with the track “Aggro Culture”. We worked it out to releaseSymbiont’s first full length later that year as a collaborative effortbetween DSBP & Backscatter. We have worked well together ever since. Tommyis a great guy who is really dedicated to the music as well and has beeninstrumental in helping build Backscatter’s recognition.
Chain D.L.K.: Debates have been rife on this next question for quite a while now. What types of gear do you prefer to compose on, digital or analog?
Symbiont: J: They both have their strengths and weaknesses, so that’s a tough one. Analog is bit more temperamental, but usually has a nicer, warmer overall sound. Digital is easier, and sometimes better. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have no preference.
X: I prefer digital, just because analog is too much of a pain in my asswhen I’m working on 40 plus songs at once, having to recall specific presets by drawing charts and diagrams of presets just how they were to continue recording a piece or live.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you play live very often?
Symbiont: J: No. We’ve only played 2 shows. Once before ‘Ology’ was released, and once after.
X: Both shows we opened for Assemblage 23.
Chain D.L.K.: Which projects/songwriters are you inspired by?
Symbiont: X: When I was younger, it was stuff like Megadeth, Leather Strip, Testament, X Marks, Evils Toy, Bach, Beethoven?I still listen to that stuff, but in more recent years it’s been stuff like Gridlock, Icon of Coil, Synapscape, Mimetic, Diary of Dreams, Pulse Legion, etc?way too many to name though!
J: I listen to a variety of music, not necessarily restricted to electronicbased music. Very rarely does a band like that inspire me, but System of a Down, Faith No More, Deftones, and Tool are a few exceptions. Other than that some heavy influences of mine are Squaremeter, Hocico, Gridlock, Aslan Faction, Venetian Snares, Numb, Synapscape, Pulse Legion, and Beefcake.
Chain D.L.K.: ‘Broken Silence’ is the second release for you guys after the verysuccessful ‘Ology’ full length debut released in 2002. The new release is a collection of remixes from several other projects such as Aslan Faction, Control. org, Pneumatic Detach and God Module among others, as well as four brand new tracks. Not what you would refer to as your typical remix disk or EP is it. Why did you decided to do the release this way?
Symbiont: J: I think it was very important to us from the get-go that the remixes that would be on the album would cover a broad range of sub-genres, trying to keep it as diverse as possible. Doing a few collaborations (Andraculoid, Imperative Reaction) was another good asset to the album andyou really don’t see that done much anymore.
X: We also wanted to give people a taste of new material, so it wasn’t all “recycled”. We debated doing a single of sorts to be releasedafter the remix disc came out, but we just decided to throw it all on one instead. It’s way better to get more tracks of an artist you like when you buy their disc, because sometimes you feel cheated paying upwards of $20 for some import that has 8 tracks on it, when you know they are holding out just for more money when they do another 7 track “mini-album” a few months later.
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve done remixes for Diverje and Pneumatic Detach already, any remixwork going on for you guys currently?
Symbiont: Besides those two, we’ve done remixes for Davantage, Forced (RIP), andAssemblage 23. The latter two will probably never see the light of day.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell me a little about your side projects? Is it difficult tokeep everything going at once?
Symbiont: J: Lexincrypt is a project that I’ve been doing since mid 2000 or so. Inever was very good at trying to explain what the project is or what it’s about. It’s just something that I do. I never found it very difficult to keep everything going all at once. Lexincrypt was always something I would work on alone, and when the two of us would get together we would work onSymbiont material. Both of our side-projects existed before Symbiont, so Ithink we both have a mutual understanding that all 3 projects get the time that they need.
X: Everything in due time. For my other project Boundless there hasnever been any specifically defining stance besides a personal one. It’sjust how i feel sometimes I guess.
Chain D.L.K.: Anything else you’d like to add?
Symbiont: We like hearing feedback, we can never have too much. Tell us what you think about Symbiont (or our side-projects) through our site or email. Thanks for all of the great support so far, and thanks for the interview!
Visit Symbiont on the web at:
[interviewed by Steve Taylor] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]