Three years after their first official release “The Venom Is Going Global”, the Swedish Electro/Industrial act The Pain Machinery (www.thepainmachinery.com) returns with a new output called “Hostile”, out on BLC Productions (www.blcmusic.com). Consisting mainly of Anders Karlsson with some friends and guest musicians, this act provides a unique mix between the Electro and Powernoise genres by adding several Punk-like attitudes and chaos into the music. They can be called one of the very few bands with an authentic sound and style. This following interview with Anders will lead you into the disturbing rotten world of The Pain Machinery. Always remember, kids – the pain is good for you…
Chain D.L.K.: Back for good with your new CD “Hostile”, almost three years after your predecessor “The Venom is going Global”. Where do you see the biggest differences to the past album and what would you say is the biggest development for you musically?
The Pain Machinery: My intention was to make “Hostile” a colder and more electronic sounding album than its predecessor. The element of chaos and disorder from my earlier work is still very present and it will always be an important part of my sound. I believe that the biggest development for me between the two albums is that I’m becoming better and better at incorporating this mixture between cold, minimal electronics and brutal chaos and multi-layered noise in my song structures.
Chain D.L.K.: “Hostile” also marks the first follow-up release for a band signed to BLC Productions, when we do not count the left act Agonoize to this. I’ve heard also in between about some different opinions between you and your label. So how is the currently co-operation with BLC?
The Pain Machinery: I don’t think we have any different opinions at this point. I must say that I am pretty happy with working with BLC Productions. Brandon is a great guy and he has a big passion for music. As a band you could always wish for more promotion but that costs both time and money, which is something all smaller labels have limited amounts of. On the whole I think BLC has done a good job so far. More and more people discover both BLC and TPM all the time and I believe that we have got the future on our side!
Chain D.L.K.: With a look on the list of the participating musicians I would say, that you haven’t changed too much regarding the line-up. It seems that you’re very satisfied with their contribution, right? When will you take yourself again the microphone for a vocal performance?
The Pain Machinery: I think the guest musicians did a great job and I am very satisfied with their work. I actually might do a bit of singing again on a few tracks on the next TPM release. But as I have access to such a great voice as Jonas Hedberg’s I also hope to have him working with me on the next album as well.
Chain D.L.K.: “Hostile” draws a depressive vision of a police state of hostility, while the inner sleeve features a photo collage with some critical catchwords. Please give us a description behind the art and musical concept of your new release…
The Pain Machinery: The collage in the cover is kind of “sampling” with images and quotes instead of sounds. It’s sort of a Punk thing and I think the sleeve fits very well with the overall feel of the album. The album deals with the darker side of humanity both music wise and in the cover art. I’m very fascinated by the fact that most of us humans are actually pretty decent people – and at the same time we are all capable of performing horrible acts under certain circumstances, both as individuals and as a part of a system.
Chain D.L.K.: By listening to the first seven tracks of “Hostile” I got the feeling that they are mostly more inspired by the electronic side of TPM, while the last 5 tracks turn into more harsh and Powernoise-influenced efforts. Why this special arrangement?
The Pain Machinery: I never plan how an album will sound in advance – it’s all about instinct. I worked a lot with the track order of the album in order to get the right “flow”. I wanted the album to get noisier and more “Hostile” as it progressed. Personally I enjoy listening to albums that “go somewhere” rather than being just a collection of songs.
Chain D.L.K.: You are praising the voltage on the “Voltage” track and it is for sure the most important part when you produce music. Would you do music without the existence of the voltage?
The Pain Machinery: If you refer to “Energy” then you are absolutely right; energy is a crucial part of my music making.
Chain D.L.K.: “Hostile” was mastered by the Belgium Industrial musician C-drik, and I think it is the first time that you gave an own recording out of yours or Tolufim’s hands. How did you get in contact with him and are you satisfied with his work?
The Pain Machinery: Yes, this is the first time I let someone from “the outside” do the mastering for me. I am very satisfied with C-drik. I have been familiar with both his work both as a musician and his mastering skills for some time. I really appreciate his work and most of all I like and feel connected with his attitude towards music.
Chain D.L.K.: You are using again your label “First Aid Recordings” to bring your own stuff out. Are there plans for the future to open your label for other bands?
The Pain Machinery: Not at this moment. For the time being, First Aid Recordings is a label for my own (and some close friends’) stuff only. But you never know – if I ever get some time and money and find a really interesting artist or band I might consider releasing it on the label.
Chain D.L.K.: It seems to me that there is a strong new generation of Electro/Industrial bands like Severe Illusion and all of their side-projects, Necro Facility, Sturm Café, Terror Punk Syndrome or Morticians which luckily avoid the Synthpop genre, for which your country is so well-known. Also a few new labels did receive some attention lately like Plutonium, Death Propaganda or Progress-Productions. You are an active member of this scene, so how would you explain the current evolution?
The Pain Machinery: I don’t know if I have that much in common musically with the bands you mentioned. I think it’s great that a new breed of harder electronic bands and labels are emerging from Sweden. In one sense I feel that TPM is part of a scene but I think it’s more in attitude than in sound. I am good friends with the members of Severe Illusion, Tarmvred, LEAK, System, Dupont etc and I like and support what they’re doing. At the same time those bands all have their own image and sound very different from TPM (and each other).
Chain D.L.K.: Comes the question to your future plans…
The Pain Machinery: I’ve begun working on a new TPM album which will be even more electronic sounding than “Hostile” and at the same time it will have a more “organic” sound with more guest musicians involved.I also hope to come out and do some live gigs soon. It’s been a while since we were out playing and I really want to hit the stage with the live band soon. At the moment we feel like a task force just waiting to strike!
Chain D.L.K.: Any additional words you would like to tell us here…?
The Pain Machinery: Thanks a lot for the interview and the support of The Pain Machinery!
Visit The Pain Machinery on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Brandon L. Clark]