Hailing out from the Boston area here comes the newest signing of the growing DSBP roster, America’s Underground label No. 1: TYPE001. It is the solo effort of Matt Ossen, a guy some might have already have read about in reviews and interviews for online magazines like Black Sheep or Wetworks. Not many other debut releases are capable of offering what his CD “Multi-Track Alignment” offers: a wide range of different styles and marvellous ideas layed down in an overall attractive dark electronic sound. This is music that must be heard – it is not mainly designed to satisfy the short-hair EBM purists although some tracks can easily fill a dancefloor. Time to give this promising act the opportunity to spread some more news and comments out to the world…
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Matt. Please start by telling us something about you and how TYPE001 came about. How and when did your interest for dark electronic music start and what makes this music that enjoyable to you that you’re now also producing some?
TYPE001: Hmmmm, where to begin… Well growing up I spent most of my time in school bands and drama clubs. Some of my close high school music-scene friends and I started jamming and playing live shows here and there. I did a lot of the vocals as well as keyboard and guitar work. However none of that stuff really went anywhere, and I started to get frustrated with a lot of those jam sessions hat basically just left me with headaches. Since I’ve always been a fan of the keyboard more than anything, I started really getting into Depeche Mode, and then eventually harder bands like Puppy, KMFDM, and 242. The rest is actually pretty simple… I just kept getting more and more into the Industrial/EBM scene while I was in college in Boston, and my writing and production abilities gradually got better as an effect. I preferred doing everything alone, and I eventually came up with the name TYPE001 while I was still in college. IMHO, I made a lot of good demo albums right up until I started MTA in 2003.
What’s always been making dark electronic music the most enjoyable for me, is the emotion and the innovation behind the composition and layering. Those are the specific elements that just can’t be recapitulated in other genres of music.
Chain D.L.K.: For some strange reason you wrote in an email that you are a “normal guy”. So what is a “normal guy” in the face of this music style?
TYPE001: I guess relatively speaking I am a “normal” guy. Mainly just because I don’t get much opportunity to dress up in the scene gear. And believe me, I have absolutely nothing against the fashion whatsoever. Goth chicks are so hooooooot! Don’t tell my wife I said that 🙂
I do make it out the club every once in a while, and people are really really cool there no matter what your preferences are.
Also, I absolutely love baseball and football so much, and I am actually a very active person. I play baseball and volleyball, and I go mountain biking every week as well. I guess that’s what I meant by “normal”.
Chain D.L.K.: You are also married. Would you mind shortly introducing us to your wife, simply because I think that she also did some nice vocal interpretations on a few tracks from your debut CD “Multi-Track Alignment”. Has she also got some deeper influences on your music? He-he, and when will a young Mr. or Mrs. Ossen come into this this cold and mad world?
TYPE001: Yes, she did do some vocals. That is my wife Karen. I had her sing in a few places on the album where I thought it would be nice to have a slight contrast to my voice. Karen is very supportive of TYPE001, but she doesn’t have too much influence per say. She doesn’t contribute any composition, but I do get her opinion on how things sound. As far as a young addition to our family, I think that will be a little further in the future. We definitely want to have a child, but we are still young and wild right now 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: You are hailing from Watertown, near Bosten, MA, where you have some sort of an Industrial scene with wellknown acts like InformŠtik or Battery Cage. Any deeper friendships and contacts to this scene?
TYPE001: Not really any deeper friendships as of now. We all know who each other are. I am pretty sure that most of those guys/gals are pretty tight. David Din gave me some mastering advice in 1997, and he was totally nice to me. Tyler and I talk via forums, and we actually agree on a lot of things. But that’s pretty much it. Those guys actually moved out to San Fransisco a little while back. I exchanged a couple of courtesy emails with Stacia Tucker of Infrastructure (excellent debut album btw). I would love to meet some more of the artists in the Boston area at a club or something, and there is definitely a lot of them out here… Pneumatic Detach, More Machine Than Man, Control.Org, etc.
Chain D.L.K.: Lets talk about your marvellous debut CD “Multi-Track Alignment”. You decided to bring it out via DSBP. What makes Tommy T’s label that interesting and trustful for TYPE001 that you have choosen to go with it?
TYPE001: The answer is very simple. Most of my favorite bands are on DSBP, and Tommy T is an awesome label runner as well as a true friend. We have been real good friends now for over a year and a half. Tommy is awesome, because he tells you things the way they are, and he never holds back! He does everything that is possible for all of his bands, and his faith in us allows us to produce the music that we do. When MTA was finally complete, I sent it to Tommy, and he invited me onboard the DSBP roster knowing that I wanted to be on there in the first place.
Moreso, DSBP artists and supporters always do what they can to help Tommy and the label be as successful as it can be. In return, true fans and artists are always willing to support Tommy because of the courtesy and support that he provides for his artists and fans.
Chain D.L.K.: I am surprised by your wide choice of very different music ingredients on “MTA”. We get to hear almost every kind from Synth Pop to EBM/Electro to some Ambient/IDM-like styles. It is mostly based on and around a dark electro edge, but where and how did you get all those wide range of musical influences?
TYPE001: Thank you for comments! I guess the wide range goes back to my new wave/synthpop roots like Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order, and Duran Duran. Take those elements, and then start adding the Puppy, Leaether Strip, 242, and XMTP influences. You know, I really hate to have to list these bands, because this is basically the same answer that everyone gives when asked a question like this 🙂 Besides those bands, I am most influenced by Spahn Ranch, Haujobb, Aghast View, Croc Shop, Diverje, Ionic Vision, and VAC. And for the new generation of electro, I am most into Testube, ESR, Mercy Cage, Mind.In.A.Box, Severe Illusion, Android Lust, I,Parasite, Synaptic Defect, Infrastructure, Run Level Zero, Void Kampf, UV, Dubok, Alaska Highway, Phenotract, Stark, Psychobitch, and The Pain Machinery to name a few.
Chain D.L.K.: Several tracks have a very critically point of view of the human mankind which we hear often in Electro/Industrial music. What inspires you lyrically?
TYPE001: I am mostly inspired to write about things that I do not agree with, whether political or personal. And believe me, if there was ever a time to write about how fucked up shit is, NOW is the time! 😉 I don’t write any sappy or “My life sucks, I’m depressed” lyrics at all. I should probably state here that “Engaged In Sorrow” is in fact not one of those tracks. Rather, it is actually a positive track that is meant to lift you out of whatever overwhelming situation you are attempting to get out of Some of the lyrics are metaphorical poetry for personal stuff that has happened in the past such as “Apathy And Shattered”, “Life Ahead”, “Red Ink Attack”, and “Home”, and my hope is that some people can relate to some of those lyrics regarding personal stuff in their lives as well.
Chain D.L.K.: I also think that your music is able to fill a dancefloor with tracks like “Life Ahead” or “Message Received” but it is mainly not designed for it. Would you say that “MTA” could easily work better in clubs if you were to include some typically 4/4-floor-boom-boom tracks or is this out of the question for you?
TYPE001: I like to include tracks that might be dance-floor friendly, but I am not intentionally making songs designed for the dancefloor specifically. I like having a lot of variance on my albums, so there are definitely going to be those harder-faster tunes that would definitely work on the dancefloor. But to be honest, I am not even sure there is a standard “dance-floor” track anymore. I say this mainly because I get dozens of club playlists emailed to me daily, and all 13 tracks from MTA have been played numerously at given times at clubs all over the world.
Chain D.L.K.: And now, Matt, please explain us the secret behind the well hidden track “Made You Cry” on “MTA”. It is mentioned on the tracklist but it is not included. What’s happened here? And are there similarities to your track “Made You Mine”?
TYPE001: I really wish there was a secret here. But unfortunately, the secret is that the wrong master got sent out for the initial run. Originally, I wasn’t going to put “Made You Cry” on the album, because I had another intention for it. But then I decided that it would be a good idea to include it, so I threw it on the master and redid the tracklisting on the album. The correct artwork got sent, but the new master was not. It’s nobody’s fault really, and it’s not really a big deal. We decided that the album was still great enough to release, and only the first 500 copies don’t have “Made You Cry” (that is the only difference between the masters). Someday it will be a collector’s item just like Puppy’s “Rabies” and “Last Rites” and basically every FLA album.
“Made You Cry” can be downloaded for free in the highest quality possible at: http://www.type001.com/MadeYouCry.mp3
“Made You Smile” and “Made You Cry” are parts 1 and 2 of the unofficial “Made You” series. “Made You Mine” is part 3. “Made You Cry” and “Made You Mine” are not so much “remixes” of “Made You Smile”, rather they are continuing tracks. As of now, the plan for “Made You Mine” is that it will be the opener for “Re-Aligned”, which will be out next year. For now, you can get it on BLC’s “Interbreeding III” compilation. Oh yeah, there is absolutely no difference between “Made You Mine” and “Made You Mine (Forced Seduction Mix)” that appears on INT3. Brandon from BLC actually thought it would be cool to give it one of those synthetic/alien/remix names that all the other tracks on the compilation have.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s get to your marvellous track “Fragmented Memories”, a deep atmospheric piece filled with countless melodic chords and layers. I think it differs a lot from your usual stuff. What are your thoughts and feelings behind this piece?
TYPE001: Thank you very much! I am very fond of “Fragmented Memories”, and it is definitely the best instrumental track I have ever done. When I do instrumental tracks, or even remixes for that matter, I like to do them in sections rather than patterns. “Fragmented Memories” has 4 distinctive sections that I think work really well together and the track overall has a very hazy emotional feel to it including a sense of abandonment and regret. Given all that, I think that the name is perfect for describing the song itself as well as the structure.
Chain D.L.K.: Please describe to us a bit the ‘work in progress’ stage of a TYPE001 track. How do you normally start when you create a new song? Is there an existing track of which you could say ‘that it is a typically TYPE001 track’?
TYPE001: Damn, that’s a good question. To answer the first part, the process could be one of many ways. Sometimes I come up with some beats/rhythms first, sometimes I have a melody in mind already, sometimes I play it a whole song on the piano first, and sometimes I have lyrics already written. Once the initial groundwork is laid out, I start gradually layering more parts. Some stuff gets tossed immediately. Usually the samples, noise, and atmospheric sounds come last, because I feel that none of that would sound suiting without the foundation and structure of the melody and rhythm. And 99% of the time, the vocals are recorded last. I think I spend the most time mixing the vocals with the proper treatments and/or effects.
As far as a typical track, that is hard to come up with, but I like that question a lot, because it proves to me that the album is in fact very diverse. I have actually tried to think of which track on MTA would be the one that some people would associate with the name TYPE001. When the album first came out, “Misaligned” and “Project 8” were definitely getting the most airplay and club-spins. Then “Made You Smile” and “Engaged In Sorrow” started getting a lot of play. Those tracks are definitely the most radio/club friendly, so I guess that they would be considered the most typical in that respect. For me personally, as the composer, it’s hard to answer this.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever done a live performance? Are there plans to present your music on stage?
TYPE001: I am actually planning on starting live performances in the spring of 2005, and there will be an actual band on stage as well actually PERFORMING (Future-pop bands please take note). We will have a keyboardist, a drummer, and myself on vocals, keys, and possibly a little guitar. I have played live lots of time, but not for any of the songs on MTA yet. I can’t wait to hear how they will sound! 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: You are also doing interviews and reviews for magazines like the Black Sheep or the entirely Wetworks magazine. Does this cause problems for you to talk about other band’s music while you are yourself a musician?
TYPE001: Nah, not really. In fact, I would think that it would help out, because it shows that I am actually dedicated to the scene. There’s no fun being an artist in the scene if you are not going to be excited about it. As far as the reviews, I tend to only write reviews for albums that I like. Instead of writing a bad review of an album that I do not care for, I just choose to provide good feedback for other artists who deserve it. Also, if I am not really into something, I don’t think that it’s fair to bash it. Some music shouldn’t suffer publicly from my personal opinion.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you a better musician or a better reviewer of music? If for some reason you’d have to decide what to be in the future, which would you choose and why?
TYPE001: I am definitely a musician over anything else, and that is where my heart and dedication is. In fact, I had to give up the ownership of Black Sheep, because I couldn’t fully dedicate my time and effort to it. Doing reviews and interviews for Wetworks is perfect for me and my schedule, and I love being a part of that team. Gunhed is strictly a dedicated zine guy, and he is awesome to work for!
Chain D.L.K.: Talking about your upcoming plans with TYPE001. There are already plans and a track list for a follow-up EP with several remix works on your website. Any news for us about when this will be out? How is it going with the the new tracks for your next CD?
TYPE001: All of the new stuff is sounding incredible, and I am so pleased with the results so far! In addition to the brand new material for the follow-up album, I am compiling a bunch of unreleased tracks and remixes from MTA as well as from the next album. It’s most likely going to be called “Re-Aligned”, and it was originally intended to be just an EP. However, I have recently decided to make it a full-length, and I am going to work it out with DSBP so that I can release it at the same time as the second album as maybe a bonus disc or a special package. Currently there are 12 tracks that will be on “Re-Aligned”, and the list is still growing. The website will have all the details as it progresses.
Chain D.L.K.: So here we go with the final question about your hopes and wishes for your personal future as well as your final comments for this interview… Anything to add?
TYPE001: Regarding music, I just want to keep doing what I am doing. The feedback has been superb, so I am very appreciative there. In general, things are pretty good. I would really like to see George W Bush, Dick Chenney, and all of their hillbilly supporters to take gun shots to the head so that we can prove to the world that the citizens of the US are not all oil-greedy, money-loving assholes who are out to destroy others for their own benefit. They are the true terrorists, because they lie about their intentions with misdirection and no regret about it whatsoever. Fuck them big time!!
Chain D.L.K.: Thank you very much, Matt. Keep on your diverse music style which impressed me so much! All the best and good luck!!!
Visit Type001 on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]