Maybe a bit overlooked and surely hidden in the shadow of his famous label comrades at Accession-Records like A23, Psyche or [:SITD:], is the German one-man project Painbastard, consisting of Alex P. Alex could now release his second full length CD “Overkill” and this release could be easily taken as outstanding and representative of hard EBM/Electro/Industrial music. So now we present here an interview with Alex which discovers all important facts as well as some difficult and critically points which are present in his music…
Chain D.L.K.: Almost and often the same question is asked first, but nevertheless we need some facts: Please introduce yourself and your project Painbastard, and please tell us a bit about the finding of your project. The origin of the band name could be also interesting….
Painbastard: I’ve started making music in 1995. At first I surname my project “blackdressed”, “frost” and “affinity of souls”. In the year 1998 I’ve recorded my first electro – song “extreme” (later known as “a piece of hell”) and the typical Painbastard – style was born. At the same time the name of my music project was formed: Painbastard. It’s a synthetic word compound of the pain I felt and the estimation of my own worth. You have to know at this time I saw the world through the different eyes of a “young boy” who tried to find himself. Now – seven years later – I found myself and I’m able to estimate the life and myself. But nevertheless the name Painbastard remains …
Chain D.L.K.: With the help of your label Accession-Records you could now release your second CD “Overkill”. Although it is difficult for the musician to explain and review his very own work, what do you feel are the most remarkable and outstanding aspects of your music, and where do you see the main differences to comparable acts?
Painbastard: It’s simply Painbastard – neither more nor less!
Chain D.L.K.: With the previous question in mind: Compared to your debut, where do you see the main differences to “Overkill”? Where did you experience a development as a musician and how much influence has Krischan of Rotersand, who did the mastering, have on your work?
Painbastard: I think “Skin on Fire” is still a good album but it was not a typical Painbastard album. I also think that every album of Painbastard will sound different. For instance “Overkill” is mainly minted by the negative feelings of our social misbehavior of the current times. And influences you can get everywhere and every time. You only have to open your eyes, ears and mind. Krischan of Rotersand did a great mastering – but “only” the mastering. He is a great musician but has nothing to do with my music and also has no influence or anything else.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s talk a bit of the art concept with the “angel of death”. By listening and consuming the overall mood of “Overkill”, I could conclude that your new release is a very depressing conceptual album. Please tell us a bit of the “angel” concept. Can we call “Todesengel” the main track and base of all ideas behind this?
Painbastard: The dark angel embodies the innocence and the purity of humanity and illustrate our humanity which has lost all this forenamed characteristics. The dark angel has also a symbol character. In order to give this dark angel more expressions I changed the color from white into black. But “Todesengel” is “only” one track of the album and doesn’t stand for the whole work of art on “Overkill”.
Chain D.L.K.: I have also noticed a critical argument of the daily madness in your lyrics in tracks like “System Failed” or “A short Moment of Love”. The daily news seems to be a good choice to sort out inspirations, am I right? Or would you name something different to get inspired?
Painbastard: You’re right. I already said: Open your eyes, your ears and mind – and you will get overwhelmed of inspirations.
Chain D.L.K.: Taken from the track “Nervenkrieg”: “I don’t accept your nationality and exterminate disliked races.” Well, this is a statement that needs your clear explanation. Did you ever have an experience where people asked you about your lyrically content? Please do not be angry with me, but why do you have this tendency to deal with these racism-influenced lyrics?
Painbastard: Does it really need a clear explanation, doesn’t it? Don’t you have enough faith in the intellect of the listeners, do you? And do you really think I need dealing with “racism-influenced lyrics”? No, I don’t! The song “Nervenkrieg” is about the sort of men who don’t accept nothing but their own points of view and do everything to exterminate strange and uncustomary things and people. For my understanding it doesn’t matter if I use the words “color”, “clothes” or “nationality”. NOT A SINGLE WORD (!!!) in all my lyrics – doesn’t matter the song you choose – has something to do with racism, xenophobia and / or nationalism! I didn’t and don’t and also won’t misuse my musical influence for political polemic.
Chain D.L.K.: I have also found two different calendar dates at two different tracks, 11th of April 2001 at “Wenn die Zeit still steht”, and 28th of March 2000 at “Final Day”. What’s the meaning behind this?
Painbastard: These calendar dates are too privately… sorry.
Chain D.L.K.: You are presenting your music live on stage. Do you get some assistance at your gigs? What does a Painbastard show look like, and how much content do you really play “live”?
Painbastard: I present my music live on stage with my long-standing friend Alex K. How does a show look like? I think we’re very powerful. You must visit one of my shows. At this time I let make some special movies which are compatible to the songs for my live performance.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your future plans musically?
Painbastard: The future will show – my life will guide me…
Chain D.L.K.: “When all is said…”, any final comments you would like to fill in here?
Painbastard: Profoundness ends where the repute begins. Thanks for the interview.
Visit Painbastard on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Matt Ossen]