Discovered until now by only a very few supporters of Electro/Industrial music, the Canadian-based duo of Splyntr has recently self-released a first debut CD aptly entitled “Noise & Brotherhood”. Consisting of the brothers Peter and Matthew Kwantes, they like rather to follow the ideals of some veteran acts like SKINNY PUPPY or classic X MARKS THE PEDWALK compositions. Authentic Dark Electro with a diverse musically background is regaining ground and this duo is another fine proof. So we were courageous enough to ask them some questions…
Chain D.L.K.: Hello Peter and Matt, would you please inform us a bit about your activities under Splyntr?
Splyntr: (Peter): Hi Marc. I guess there’s two ways to answer that question. What have we done as a band, and how do we do it as a band…
Chain D.L.K.: Okay, let’s take this train…
Splyntr: (Peter): I’ll answer the second question. Our activities as Splyntr are maybe a little unique. We’ve actually done very little jamming to form the songs. The jamming usually came about near the end when it was time to lay down vocals. In the construction of the songs, however, we tended to work on things independently, and then transfer what we’d done to the other person, have them work it, change it, and shape it, and then transfer it back. That person would then do more stuff to it, and transfer it back again. The process continued until we agreed that a tune was done.
(Matt): To answer the first question, we have contributed to a charity remix project that will be out soon and we have been showcased on a compilation album called “Automata10.0”.
Chain D.L.K.: Please fill in all relevant details out of your bio. Do you’ve got some European ancestors? What’s so funny to settle down to Mississauga, Ontario, Canada? LOL!
Splyntr: (Peter): We are dual citizens of Canada and the Netherlands. Both of our parents are from the Netherlands (Dad from North Holland and Mom from Friesland), but we were born and raised in Mississauga, just outside of Toronto.
(Matt): We travel to Europe quite a bit. Amsterdam is always our entry into Europe. I think I’ve crossed the Atlantic more times than I’ve crossed the bridge into the States…
Chain D.L.K.: Now explain us the phenomenon that two brothers with a rich and diverse musically background have never before produced music until you’ve founded Splyntr at the fall of 2K4. How could this happened? How do brothers fight out different opinions of the musically outfit?
Splyntr: Peter): In 2004, we went to see the Skinny Puppy show in Toronto to support their “Greater Wrong of the Right” album. It was, bar none, the most impressive show I’d ever seen. After that show finished talked about what we loved about the show and what we didn’t care for in the opening act. I think we realized right there that we had the same ears, so to speak: we already knew we loved all the same music, but realized right then that we also had the same or similar ideas about what we would do differently with respect to the stuff we don’t care for. So, I guess, the best answer to your last question is that we haven’t yet fought out different opinions – it just hasn’t come up yet. 🙂
(Matt): We also didn’t find much time before then to start a project like this. I’ve always lived in and around the Toronto area and Pete’s been abroad getting degrees. So, it wasn’t until Pete came back to Toronto to stay that we could even consider what would become Splyntr/Waar.
Chain D.L.K.: Although “Noise And Brotherhood” is announced to be the officially debut, I’ve seen an image and a different track list of an earlier, maybe free downloadable release. The credits also refer on a third band member providing some guitar playing. Some details and insight, please…
Splyntr: (Peter): We released a demo CD in 2005. One of Matt’s buddies, who was a band mate with him some years back, played guitar on one track. We put the CD up on our website to download it for free. It’s not there anymore though, and the website has been inactive for some time. We’ve gone the myspace.com route for web presence; It’s just a much more personal way to make yourself known, a better way to find out who’s listening to your music, and most importantly, who digs it.
(Matt): His name is Adam Brylowski and is an awesome guitarist in a metal band called Wooden Ox. We have been good friends and had been band-mates since we were 16 years old. I’ve recently sent him some tracks for a new record and he is busily thinking of ideas for us. He will have more presence on a new album.
Chain D.L.K.: “Noise & Brotherhood” is a self-released album, although your booklet refers on Waar Media as a possible label. Your website offers a link to Mannequin Oddio Media. Please introduce us both resources and your relation to them.
Splyntr: (Peter): This album was going to be released by Mannequin Oddio Media out of Virginia. This past year however, the label made some changes to their business model that would have made it financially unlivable for a foreign act like us to remain attached to them. We had already finished the album however, so we did a bit of homework and decided that the best way to release the CD was to form our own label and release it on our own. Now, the Waar Media tag is more of a “brand” than it is a label; the intention was that Splyntr would be just one of potentially several projects that we might have, but regardless of the name on the jewel box, people would know it was Matt and Peter because of the Waar Media label.
Chain D.L.K.: Talking on your musically outfit, it is conspicuous that you like to share and present some ideas of older Informätik or Skinny Puppy, instead to join the rich camps of the Hellektro troops. Where do you see your musically quells of inspiration? How do you generally view the latest styles and hypes of the internationally Electro/Industrial scene, or don’t you take care on this at all?
Splyntr: (Matt): Call me a wimp but I don’t get a lot of the new electronic music. I understand the artistic elements of experimental ensembles… but like I said – I don’t get all of it. During the 90’s I purchased a lot of industrial music like Puppy, 242, Leeb/Fulber projects, you know…all the staples and then some. From those records I think I adopted a lot of sounds that inspire my writing. During the early part of the new millennium I regressed even further. Now I was in the 80’s I found myself listening to early DM, Erasure, New Order, etc. more melodic Synthpop sounds. Recently (well, for the last few years) I’m very inspired by some of the EBM danceable acts like Pride And Fall and Apoptygma Berserk . I’m mentioning all the electronic bands/projects but my musical taste doesn’t stop there, I’m a huge Will Oldham fan and I love the black rebel motorcycle club, I might not find direct inspiration from them musically but I’m sure it curves my style of writing in it’s own way.
(Peter): My own inspiration comes very much from the old-school electronic outfits. I’m also a huge fan of Tom Waits–go figure. I take a lot of inspiration from Skinny Puppy, Apop, Front 242, and any of the projects headed by Bill Leeb. At the same time, however, there’s some really brilliant stuff to be found in the old Erasure and Depeche Mode albums that, in my opinion, has a layer of sensitivity that is quite rare in Electronica these days. I’m not a big listener to Hellektro – synths and samplers have evolved to a stage where you can get such a vast amount of different sounds from them. Some of the very heavy bands I heard find ONE cool sound in their synth and use it to pound out 10 tracks on a CD. It’s very limiting, I think.
(Matt): Wow, I didn’t realize how “the same” we were until now.
Chain D.L.K.: I guess the most important track on “Noise & Brotherhood” can be named with the companion duo “Acid Rain/Acid Flowers”. Tell us a bit about the conceptual idea behind this piece. Why did you decide to present it as two tracks which fade into each other?
Splyntr: (Matt): Those songs are about our environment and how we have fowled it over the generations. “AR/AF” is a sort of “sonic timeline” of events. The beginning of “AR” represents the creation of earth, a peaceful planet, pure, wild floating in a cosmic heaven. Untouched… beautiful. As “AR” progresses a curve in the song (where a synth part and beat come in) represents the introduction of humans to inhabit the earth. Time goes on and on… that time carried is represented by a long and repetitive piano riff that carries to almost the beginning of “AF”. Now… “AF” begins skip forward the last 100 years. Industrial revolution, ignorance, over-harvesting of resources, blatant disregard. A knowledge overcomes humanity and they recognize what they’ve done, and they plea. “You and I, are meant to be, living in sanctity, purity.. – subconsciously” and humanity promises to change, fix what it’s done. But here is the catch… even when a wound is healed, it leaves a scar, a constant reminder of what has happened, and what never to let happen again. “Acid rain grows acid flowers”.Well, sorry for the long form of my interpretation or inspiration for those songs I thought it would be fitting to blend the songs because they are 2 styles of song acting as different chapters of a story.
Chain D.L.K.: Another important aspect seems to be the kind how you like to perform your vocals ranging between calm and melodic to outraging screams. Who of you does the main vocals or do you act here like brothers would do, you like to divide this job?
Splyntr: Peter): This album has us sharing vox, the next might have just me or just Matt. It really depends on what sounds best with the song.
(Matt): I think Peter’s voice is super-sexy.
(Peter): I think Matt’s voice is “Uber-aggressiv”.
Chain D.L.K.: How is it with the technical side of your music? In times of a growing evolution of computer-based software-synths, which kind do you prefer, the hard- or the software-based solution?
Splyntr: (Matt): Mid – late 90’s I started writing electronic music with a couple of mates. The only software available was the sequencer running on a 386 with the interface running through the printer port (remember those days?). We used a K2000,U-20, Alesis drum machine, MC-303, CS1x and some small Korg – can’t remember what it was. So…in order to make a song we needed our resident computer geek to spend most of his time behind the computer running the sequencer instead of contributing his musical expertise. Ok… now we had a few songs but: ..We still had to record them. Off we went to the analogue studio in our Nissan Micra full of gear. When I think back to those days I think “wow”! That was a great learning experience. The introduction of software synths/FX and recording software has made music productions more efficient and more affordable so average family guys like us can do it in our spare time. I don’t feel that it makes production easier, in fact because you have so much more access to sounds and other various plug-ins for your song, you will spend way more time on your music to get it to sound exactly the way you want it. So, I guess I’m indifferent, I know from experience writing on both hard and soft formats is a challenge, and uses the same creative forces.
Chain D.L.K.: What else do you expect from the future, musically and for your private life? Any new releases in the works which you can already confirm here?
Splyntr: (Peter): We’re really lucky to be brothers, band mates, and best friends. So, both musically and personally, I want to see a few more Waar Media albums. Gee, I hope Matt feels the same way… 🙂 As for another album, Matt has laid down tracks for several tunes for the next album.
(Matt): I have no expectations, I think when the creative juices are flowing is when you are going to see the most material from us. Of course we are going to have dry spells as well. Let’s face it, Peter and I can’t exactly break up… we share DNA. We will run Waar Media and its related projects as they come. Perhaps you will see solo projects by either of us, or collaborations with others – who knows? What I can tell you is that we have a lot of new material for another Splyntr album we are really excited about and hope to release in ’08.
Chain D.L.K.: I also like to ask for some details out of your private life, about your families, relations, further things of interest and hobbies…
Splyntr: (Matt): First, I’m a husband and a dad to 2 great kids. I own a home decorating company and have recently moved to Guelph, Ontario. Obviously music is my biggest hobby.
(Peter): I have a day job too. I’m a Cognitive Scientist trained in Psychology. I work in a government lab in Toronto where I build computer models of human understanding. I also do some teaching at a near-by university. I have a wife and a one year-old daughter.
Chain D.L.K.: Your final words to our readers to conclude this interview?
Splyntr: (Matt/Peter): Just to say thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. We are really happy that you’re enjoying the CD, and I’ll be looking forward to reading your feedback on the next one.
Visit Splyntr on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]