The main project from industrial metallers Testify, this is the more angry, raw and sheerly industrial side to it all. Let’s take you into a trip into the Black Anger…
Chain D.L.K.: As you may remember, we interviewed you for Testify not long ago. Howhave you guys been in the meantime given the climate in Germanyconcerning the economic problems there and the war going on?
The Fair Sex: Myk: Indeed the mood in Germany for the time being is not the best. Itwill seem that the economic problems are not that easy to handle. Ourgovernment dares only very vague and careful steps of reformation whichalways find too many opponents who are willing to slow down the pace, fearing a loss of money for themselves. So we are running, as it willseem, in a circle where solutions and exits out off the current stateare hard to find. Concerning the war: the German government has beenagainst it due to the well-known reasons which many people anddemonstrators in the whole world too had: War is always connected withoverwhelming loss in any aspects of life. Such things are occupying ourminds, yet do not keep us away from being creative. (They may eventrigger ideas for lyrics or sound construction)
Chain D.L.K.: With the title “Dark Ages” I think of the medieval ages. Are you meaningthus by the title, or could it be any age in general, even today’s dayand age?
The Fair Sex: On “Dark Ages” there are gathered some older but also new tracksfrom The Fair Sex, there is a compilation of some titles that werereleased in Germany in the years 1987 – 1994. The time of creating someof them lies so far off, back the haze of vanished history, that it isproper to say they present the Dark Ages of our band.
Chain D.L.K.: For those who are not hip to the group or the new sound files, tell us abit about the new direction of the CD versus “Fine We Are Alive” or eventhe last Testify release.
The Fair Sex: As you now see the new sound files are both new and old files, andso it is not amazing that they differ from what is gathered on “Fine. WeAre Alive” which itself was a compilation of TFS-tracks of the years1991 – 1994. The Dark Ages might be of less elaborate diligence, as onemight say, for in those days we had to record anything in a much fasterway than in the latter days.
Chain D.L.K.: The CD does sound a good deal more angry and more stripped down. Are thebase industrial influences the same as in the beginning or are thereinfluences from the newer electro and EBM scenes as well?
The Fair Sex: Some of these tracks were the very beginnings of The Fair Sex! Andin those daysour sound-constructions were quite rude, rough, and full of the wrath ofyouth, so to say. We wrote the songs in quite a fast way as if to getrid of an enormous pressure inside. We were of course inspired by thescene of those days, though the German scene itself was not that big. Wewere one of the bands helping establishing it!
Chain D.L.K.: Does that feel leave you kind of left out in Germany where the marketleans towards techno and mandates of club hits? Or is there a prettysolid audience for it?
The Fair Sex: The Fair Sex always celebrated a mixture of electronics andguitars, and it is very strange but this blend has to fight hardstruggles against pure electronic which has a high time here in Germany. For several years now this kind of music has been dominating thescene. Slowly I grow a bit angry about that, for the addition of guitarsmakes it all more interesting in my eyes. I have proved to be patient; but now I feel I might will be running out off patience.
Chain D.L.K.: Would you say there is any humor as there is in Testify, or is this moreof the place to put your anger?
The Fair Sex: Hmmm. You bring me to think about that (which obviously I had notbeen doing for years). Originally Testify was founded by us to put allour anger into: That’s the reason why Testify exist. But – you’re right: for some reason quite a big amount of humor slipped into theTestify-ideology. I fear that amount might be a bit higher than thehumoresque resources of The Fair Sex – but I don’t know the reason. As Isaid: you have brought me to think about that. Maybe some day I willfind out why the Testifylers are somehow more the sort of merry fellowsthan the TFSlers.
Chain D.L.K.: What are some of your inspirations, both band wise and organically (asin trees, cars, people, etc). ?
The Fair Sex: Dreams in the darkest of nights, anger about what I learn of thisworld watching the news, the yearning to tear as under the constructionof time (which knows only this one course: forward), the wish to be abit destructive, and The Big Gnawing Dissatisfaction mingled withnerving restlessness: these are some of our sources of inspiration. Especially mine.
Chain D.L.K.: I read in your bio you’re influenced by something called The BlackAnger. What is that exactly and how does it fit into the group?
The Fair Sex: Most of the phenomenon’s mentioned in the answer above, mingledwith aimless wrath, jealousy of all and everything, hatred against theugliness of people’s minds: all this together, with perhaps even moreingredients, lead to The Black Anger. Ruling all, eating away your mind, body, soul, spirit. Beware!
Chain D.L.K.: How does it feel to be playing at the Wave Gothik festival this year, given its prestige?
The Fair Sex: We have played on the Wave Gothik Festival in 1995, and in 2001. Soit is not an all-new experience for us. But we are quite curious aboutit, and happy to be there.
Chain D.L.K.: You have distribution under Van Richter Records (whom I used to workfor. Very good company! ) in America, but what do you do aboutdistribution in Europe?
The Fair Sex: Our European releases are handled by distributor EFA.
Chain D.L.K.: Vocally on the CD there seems to be almost none of the stereotypicaldistorted vocals that are in a lot of groups. You feel more comfortableletting the emotions out with distorted vocals or all natural vocals?
The Fair Sex: Even on the last Testify album we have rarely used distortion – incontrast to the early Testify records. But I like distortion! Theproblem is: the other guys don’t like them too much. So they remove thedistortion-gadget before I enter the studio. Then during the mixingprocess I use to say: “OK. Great number. Almost finished. Now distortiononto the vocals! ” – then they use to shrug and smile and tell me of thesudden unexpected loss of studio-equipment. Then its my turn to shrugand sigh, and we complete the title.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there any kind of vocals exercises or pre show rituals you guys dobefore each show?
The Fair Sex: No, no vocal exercises. (which possibly might be better-considering my miserable noisy voice). But 24 press-ups – that’s theminimum I simply have to do before entering the stage. And gazing intosome very dark corner, bent in thoughts of nothing. Why? Hmm. I think itis a kind of ritual I am addicted to.
Chain D.L.K.: In the beginning, you used to be strictly organic music, no synths, nodrum machines, just stripped down playing. But over time the electronicaspect has come into play, though in tune with the organic aspect. Whatbrought this about?
The Fair Sex: Yeah that was in the very very early beginnings, in the gloriousyears 1984 until 1987, when there was not a sequencer or a computer amember of the band. What brought about the change? In 1986 electronicmusic sounded much more fascinating than rock music of those days – inour eyes. We wanted to be one of the electronic bands. And thus slowlywe grew into that direction.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you feel more energy hammering out on a keyboard or riffing out on aguitar?
The Fair Sex: As you see: I am the vocalist, and one of the programming guys (theAtari-guy). None of the others would allow me to touch theirinstruments…I feel the energy strangling the microphone cable. But invery early days I used to the rhythm-guitar player. And I think theguitar is the better instrument considering the hammering-out-of-energy.
Chain D.L.K.: Are there any solos or riffs on the CD, or acoustics?
The Fair Sex: Hmm. can’t remember. Tell me – are there any? I don’t think so. We usedstuff like Soli, acoustics very rarely – which will change I thinkthrough-out the near future. But riffs: yes. There are riffs. Lots ofsynth-riffs, and some guitar-riffs.
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve also played with some very established bands in Germany as oflate, such as Psyche and Project Pitchfork. Could we be seeing The FairSex hitting it big in Germany?
The Fair Sex: The Fair Sex used to be bigger than them, but that was back in1874. OK – as some of my answers, this is not thoroughly the truth, itis mingled somewhat with my imagination: We were somehow a bit big inthose days – but not bigger than they all. And we will rise again.
Chain D.L.K.: I’m also curious what that is on the front of the CD. Is that a facecoming out of a rock?
The Fair Sex: I am not the art designer, but…yes I think it is a face comingout off a rock. The Unknown Stranger From The Far Side I fear he is.
Chain D.L.K.: Ok time for the more laid back off the wall questions! Is it possiblethat we could someday see Paul (Abramson from Van Richter) play withyou guys live? That I’d pay to see! Paul seems like the type who couldput on a good show, or even be a good stage dancer (haha).
The Fair Sex: We have not made plans yet concerning such activities, but you havegiven me quite new conception-ideas for stage performances. I will givethem deep consideration!
Chain D.L.K.: Ok pretend we put you in a pit and to free yourselves, you have to outdrink both Pantera and Lemmy from Motorhead. Think you could pull itoff, or how else would you escape? If you choose escape you have only aplastic spoon, a raisin and an olive fork to fight with, though.
The Fair Sex: The out drink-activity I will leave up to Kullf whose weapon willbe Stauder Pils (German beer). The raisin will be put up someadversary’s rectum who will be terrified about the outward appearance ofhis excrements and so give up the fight. The spoon will be used for ourheroin lending us new strength (mingled with plastic the effect is muchmore overwhelming, as you should know). With the olive fork we will pickup snails and worms for our provisions.
Chain D.L.K.: Anything thing else groovy, spooky, or just funny for us out there fromTFS?
The Fair Sex: Spooky? Funny? Ask the Testifylers who are much more in that tinybit of humor. We the severe knights of The Black Anger. Thank you very much, Shaun! Shaun: And thank you as well, Myk!
Visit The Fair Sex on the web at:
[interviewed by Shaun Hamilton] [proofreading by Erica Breyer]