Already being a veteran and active since several years in theElectro/Industrial scene is the US act Velvet Acid Christ. Recently onreturning Bryan Erickson aka HexFix93 has released a new teaser called”Wound” and a new full length CD “Lust For Blood”. And with both releasesBryan proves his exceptional status in between a stagnant scene by simplyproviding his fine mixture between genre like Dark Electro, Trip-Hop, Goth,Industrial and Noise in a new and refreshing style kind. There’s no need toinvent anything new, since his style how he produces music is stillup-to-date. The master himself is alive and gives his followers a hard nutto bite. Check out this interview with the latest info of the VAC homebase…
Chain D.L.K.: Hello Bryan, after the finishing of all that stressing studiowork to bring out your both new releases, “Wound” and “Lust For Blood”, howare you now? Are you feeling proud if you hold the first pressing of a newrelease in your hands?
Velvet Acid Christ: Well, I’m a perfectionist. So I’m happy, but I know I can always learn,improve and do better. And that is what I try to do all the time. I havefelt a little disconnected from everything, lots of things shifted in mypersonal life, battling demons again. I have some new friends, but have moredistance with the core friends I used to have. I am really proud of the factthat we wrote “songs” you know, songs that you remember and can sing alongwith. I think more than anything, that is why the new VAC is more velvetthan acid or christ. We wanted to make songs, and focus less on atmosphereand dance and aggression.
Chain D.L.K.: I saw you recently selling some studio equipment to earn some bucks for an upcoming VAC tour. How are the sales, can you already confirm some dates and plans? What about that equipment, no further use for it? Or is it like to sale some body parts of you?
Velvet Acid Christ: I dunno, nothing happened fast enough. I couldn’t get everyone on thesame page here with the band image, and it’s getting to be winter and I willnever tour in winter. I think I’m hitting the studio to finish up the newToxic Coma and the next VAC CD, I hope to have it all done by spring of nextyear, then I will play the festivals next year… but who knows, I couldstill play some one off this year. It’s all up in the air, who knows…
Chain D.L.K.: Wasn’t it you who feared that a complete tour away from yourhome area would kill you?
Velvet Acid Christ: I think it did kill me last time. And yeah, if it’s not done right.Yeah, it can destroy everything in your life, it almost devoured me lasttime.
Chain D.L.K.: I think you are pretty much involved and dedicated tohardware synths, how do you think of the use of software-based synths (VSTi)generally? How do you review some kind of works only based on softwaresolutions like the last :Wumpscut: full length for example?
Velvet Acid Christ: I have not listened to :Wumpscut:’s last LP. From experience, I can sayI prefer the hardware. But I do use software exclusively on my side projectToxic Coma. Both can sound great if you know what you are doing. But thereare some things you have to do analog, and drum production is one of them,you need high end analog EQ to pull it off. Analogs have that more up inyour face sound, digitals seem to be more distant and need more FX to soundgood. As to where analogs just kick ass raw with out any processing. Analogssound alive. Digital sounds canned and static.
Chain D.L.K.: Some words to your relations with Dependent, Stefan Herwig andThorsten Stroth. On “Twisted Thought Generator” you have thanked Jim andDave of Metropolis for the safe “of these Germans”, with “Hex Angel(Utopia – Distopia)” you made a comeback on this German label. Now, with”Lust For Blood” there’s no licensing deal to Dependent, also becauseMetropolis has now a constant distribution through Alive! for Europe. How isit with them, is it possible that Thorsten will join you again as a live musician if you would play in Europe?
Velvet Acid Christ: Thorsten will always join VAC live if he can. Things just have not beengood with Stefan, Thorsten and I get along great. But Stefan and I have hadproblems. And it’s not just me. In fact I think Ronan Harris (VNV Nation)also has some problems with Stefan as well. There was a time when Stefan dida great things with VAC, but I had to pay a huge price for it. And the truthis, if it wasn’t for those guys, I would not even be in the music scene. SoI do tip my hat to Stefan for some things. But there is a lot more to thebusiness than that. And that is where things seemed to fall apart. It reallysucks, because I was a really great friend of Stefan a while ago. But moneyand job issues tore that apart, it was painful honestly. He was like a bestfriend at one time. Torsten and I have never had problems, never had moneyissues. He is who got me signed, and promoted the fuck out of us. Stefan ranthe business side of things. So don’t confuse the issues. I’ve never everhad a problem with Thorsten. ever…
Chain D.L.K.: Also a look back to the “In Between The Eyes 1 – 4” series.Does this collection series really have all pieces on board which werepreviously released on your first recordings “Fate”, “Pestilence” and bothfirst versions of “Neuralblastoma” and “Calling Of The Dead”? Does therelease of this series help somehow to avoid breathtaking prices at internetauctions for your classic releases?
Velvet Acid Christ: We put it out because I never liked “Church of Acid”. I felt these CD’s stood on their own, and making a greatest hits out of them bothered me,and the hardcore fans demanded the full releases. We had to reprint the backcatalog some time, that time came up and instead of just re-issuing “Churchof Acid”, we released the music the way it was in the beginning on EDT. Ididn’t get any mainstream credit for those old records. In fact it’s morefor the hardcore. But we have gained in popularity because of it believe itor not. This is what the net tells me any how…
Chain D.L.K.: Now up to the new CD “Lust For Blood”, first the artwork doneby Christen Kojnok aka Axentric. How did you find her and her work atwww.axentric.org?
Velvet Acid Christ: I met her at a show out east. It was brief, I knew her from some chatIRC channels. We were online friends. I used to hang out on #industrial and#gothic on IRC. and #ebm and #ant-zen on effnet, a long time ago. This iswhere we met. We didn’t always have a great relationship, we would hate eachother at times. We had a lot in common, and she got really good at art, onedays she showed me some stuff, and I was blown away. So it made sense. Itsthat cancer – libra thing, heh. Sometimes we rub each other the wrong way.But over the years we are still friends, its amazing really. She has been asupported from the get go tho.
Chain D.L.K.: I’ve noticed a far lesser use of that dramatic voice samples,which was next to the genre diversity a trademark of your music. Did you runout of good samples or did you get tired to use them?
Velvet Acid Christ: I wanted to make better songs with less side show antics, I wanted theharmonies and melodies to dominate this record. Trust me. I still am thesample king, listen to Toxic Coma. That is where most of the samples for VACwent, into my side project Toxic Coma…
Chain D.L.K.: It seems also that you could remember your earlier days tocreate a Goth/Wave-inspired track like “Crushed” with some acoustic guitars.What has driven you musically to create this piece? Or can the reasons forthis track explained in the fact that you have with Todd Loomis aka Elegiafinally a partner to trust in? How do you generally see the situation toinclude a second member to VAC, since you had some problems in the past,remember Gary Slaughter?
Velvet Acid Christ: “Crushed” was easy. I have always done songs like this. especially whenI write with acoustic guitar. Back in the “Fate” days I wrote with anacoustic guitar as well. It all depends on the instruments I choose to use.And no, Todd do not influence the direction of the band that much, he camein and added strings and epic movements to the project over the ideas Ialready had. And honestly, Todd helped on “Crushed” but I wrote 90% of thattrack myself. Todd didn’t do all the strings either. Todd really did about15 to 20% of “Lust for Blood”. Todd did do a lot on “Discolored Eyes”, andhe did “Machine” all by himself. He wrote the initial progression on “GhostIn The Circuit” as well. I was younger with Gary and Chris. Todd and I are alot more mature than I used to be.
Chain D.L.K.: “Ghost In The Circuit” – can we call this track a typical VACinstrumental piece? Please fill in some insight how to work on such trackswith thick melodious synth layers, which equipment comes to use and whatkind of mood do you generally need to produce those tracks.
Velvet Acid Christ: The instrumentals are always Roland analog based. “Ghost In TheCircuit” is a Jupiter 8 dreamscape. some Virus C was used on the end lead.But it’s mostly the Jupiter 8 doing the arps, sweeps, sound FX, bells. TheSH2 did the bass. Todd came up with this string progression that was veryPink Dots like, he emailed it to me. Then I produced it in a day. So he didthe main string movement, then I added a choir patch to his strings, thenwrote in all the arps, bells, FX, leads, drums. It was very cool how fast ithappened, how it just clicked.
Chain D.L.K.: Politics and the current world-wide situation doesn’t seemto have a stronger influence on your lyrics. But I’m sure also this complextheme doesn’t leaves you unimpressed. A rant please…
Velvet Acid Christ: On “Lust For Blood”, there are a couple of tracks, “Lust”, “Blood”, and”Discolored Eyes” as well as “Polyester Meth Zues” are all very political,anti war, anti right wing. Read the lyrics, seriously, that politicalmessage is still there in full force… Wait till you get a hard copy, readthe lyrics. On “Lust For Blood”, we seriously set out to make a more femmerecord. I seriously was listening to the advice of some of the female fanswho said “sing cleaner”. Some of them loved “Fate”. And since the oldrecords got re-released, it allowed me to go ahead and do less dance, andmore musical songs. I wanted a record for rainy days, road trips. Sitting inthe rain with an iPod in nature. I wanted songs from the “heart” and we didthat. The record is more velvet than acid or christ. Don’t worry. This isnot the permanent face of VAC. I have already started work on the nextrecord. It is going to be a dance record that is more upbeat and angstdriven. Tight beats and arps, its going to kick ass.
Chain D.L.K.: Besides producing music, what else does the daily life holdfor you? Any further interests, relationships, hobbies?
Velvet Acid Christ: Sometimes I watch anime, play RPGs. I no longer play fighting games. Iwatch “Angel” and “Buffy”, stuff like that, sci-fi. I work out twice a dayat a gym. I’m always reading about production, gear, and how to make bettermusic, studying music theory. Experimenting, helping my friends with theirmusical projects.
Chain D.L.K.: Your hopes and plans for the future? Any upcoming releases youcan already confirm here?
Velvet Acid Christ: Yes, a new Toxic Coma CD, and a new VAC CD in spring of next year…VAC is dance aggression. Toxic Coma is just sample heavy fun strangestuff…
Chain D.L.K.: Any final words you would like to fill in here…?
Velvet Acid Christ: I’d like to thank all my fans and friends who help me with all of thisstuff. It’s hard… technology is a constant struggle, never works right. Ipull my hair out doing this stuff, it’s crazy…
Visit Velvet Acid Christ on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]