The German label NoiTekk can be surely called the quintessence as being the label responsible to represent the still rushing Hellectro/Harsh EBM. Their latest signing, as well as mostly all of their past new signings, is again a US-based act entitled Xentrifuge. Compared to their uncountable and comparable colleagues, Xentrifuge comes out quite different with full-scale Powernoise influence, which gives a sort of authentic note to this act. We’ve taken the chance to ask for some more info about this act.
Chain D.L.K.: Hello Chris, you seem to be the founding member and so responsible for the music production work of Xentrifuge. Please introduce us yourself, your involvement into music and the finding of your project.
Xentrifuge: Hello, I’m Chris X, vocalist/core member of Xentrifuge. I’ve been involved with music all my life. I started out in many different bands and projects. Eventually I was introduced to artists like Leaether Strip, :Wumpscut:, FLA and I began experimenting with synths, drum machines and samples. Then I moved on to software based synths etc.. I finally put together a solid EBM project Xentrifuge. I brought in Ray H. and Paradox shortly after.
Chain D.L.K.: You’re combining harsh EBM textures with even more rougher Powernoise influences. Is it for you that kind of style which pushes Xentrifuge out of the mass of uncountable so-called Hellectro-acts, is it somehow a possible niche for you? In which part of your compositional process you like to add the rhythmically noise elements?
Xentrifuge: We do feel that the combination of Harsh EBM and Powernoise separates us from the masses while still being able to fit in. I wouldn’t say it is a niche but something we set out to do. This combination was always the original idea for Xentrifuge. The one thing that we keep in mind while writing is to maintain an equal balance of the two styles. While one song may be driven by noise sequences, another will be driven by synth sequences. Within the songs themselves, there are verses and choruses that also switch between noise and EBM structures.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you get in contact and signed to NoiTekk? Can we also blame Chris of Life Cried for this decision? Do you plan some more collaborations with him besides the track “Paragon Void” available on your debut CD?
Xentrifuge: As you know and just in case you don’t, I am the drummer for Life Cried. I was performing with Life Cried at a Grendel show in NYC. Marco (NoiTekk) was there and I gave him a demo. Later we were contacted and we signed to NoiTekk. Although there is nothing planned, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before we collaborate with Chris of LC again.
Chain D.L.K.: Like the most US-bands providing your kind of music style you also like to perform live on stage. You have also integrated some live musicians to provide a more powerful show. Tell us a bit about your latest gigs, and your stage performance. How much is really played “live” at your gigs?
Xentrifuge: We definitely like playing live. It’s probably the best part of it all. Right now for live performances I have Ray H. providing live soundscapes and noise and I have Paradox providing live vocoder and synths. I provide the vocals. Obviously we can not perform everything live but we try to do as much as humanly possible with what we have. Our shows are very energetic and we try to put a visual presentation to our music. We also always keep the possibilities open for different instruments and musicians to help form a live rotation. Don’t be surprised if you see a percussionist at one show and then a bass player at the next.
Chain D.L.K.: Since your musically output can be called brutal, I guess no one should expect some “sunshine & love”-content in your lyrics. Which influences and experiences have to be named to explain your raging lyrically onslaught? What’s the deeper meaning behind “Deliver Us From God”?, a quote printed in your cover art? Is this slogan easier to speak out while living in New Jersey instead of a Southern US state?
Xentrifuge: Yeah, our lyrics are not the happy type. Our lyrics are inspired by real life situations as well as things that we believe may happen or wish to happen one day. For example, extinction of the human race caused by our own hands is a major topic. Also, belief is another thing we talk about in our music. None of these topics approach the happier side of life. Aggression and anger is always put into our lyrics. “Deliver us from god” is some of the lyrics from the song “Apostasy”. The song is about the conversion of ones beliefs. This is punishable by death in some regions of the world. It seems that religion is used to cause more harm than good. Living in a northern state of the U.S. has nothing to do with it. I’ve lived in both the southern U.S. and northern U.S. and there is a difference between how religion is perceived, but that has no effect on our lyrics.
Chain D.L.K.: Lets talk a bit on some tracks on “Light Extinguished”. The track “ICBM” is surely the noisiest piece. Please add some background of this track. What’s the meaning of this abbreviation?
Xentrifuge: “ICBM” is an abbreviation for “Inter Continental Ballistics Missile”. This song focuses on the process and aftermath of self-annihilation through technology. The samples are of a nuke launch in progress. We added the lyrics “suicide, genocide” to emphasize the aftermath of an event on this scale.
Chain D.L.K.: “Oblivion” still isn’t designed for the fainted of heart, but this one has for sure the most melodic and remarkable content to offer. A Harsh-EBM-ballad and a special proof for you and your listeners that you’re easily capable to deal with rather dark-melodic textures as well?
Xentrifuge: Yes, “Oblivion” is more of a cold melodic outlet for us. “Oblivion” is about being completely forgotten. To not exist, the absence of life and afterlife. “Oblivion” allowed us to use a different approach rather than the standard upbeat 4/4 format. We were able to slow things down and still keep it aggressive and melodic at the same time. This also gave us the chance to use different sound textures as well.
Chain D.L.K.: I also like to ask about your favorite gear. Since the software solutions of VST synths and effects grows and is still very easy to get and use spontaneously, which kind do you appreciate and use more, the hard- or the software-based one?
Xentrifuge: Most of the other projects we were involved in were mostly hardware based. The birth of Xentrifuge is when we really began to use and appreciate software, although we have not E-bayed our hardware yet. A lot of people have the idea that computers and software are an easy way of writing music. I’ve been involved in many different types of bands and projects and I can easily say this is the most challenging project of all. What people don’t realize is the fact that everything is done by computers, from the chip in a guitar pedal, to the sound system in a venue. Most recording is now done by computers. No one is really using reel to reel anymore. We’ve all gone digital.
Chain D.L.K.: Comes the always and often asked question about your upcoming plans. How is it with gigs in Europe, any new releases already in the pipeline?
Xentrifuge: We are very busy with the new album. We just completed a song called “Into Descent” which will be featured on the upcoming NoiTekk “United 2” comp. We also have some remixes that we’ve completed for such bands as Acylum and Wynardtage which is soon to be released as well. We recently got back from Europe after a few shows on the Tactical Sekt/Life Cried tour. It was great. A lot of good people and beer. We hope to come out again next year. Vote Xentrifuge for WGT!!!
Chain D.L.K.: Some final words from you to conclude this interview?
Xentrifuge: Thank you to the fans. Look for the next Xentrifuge album in 2008. Thanks for the interview.
Visit Xentrifuge on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]