The Canary Islands – warm temperatures and sunshine almost the whole year, white and sun-floated beaches, a paradise just to relax and to spend some holidays – and a Harsh-EBM project entitled Plasmodivm – how does this fit together? This Electro/Industrial-project can be called the new bright star out of Spain. Founded by Sandro V., Plasmodivm is one of the very few projects capable to convince in this often praised, often cursed genre. His official debut ”Paradise Under Fire” is out since a few months released by Caustic Records, so it was about time to introduce Sandro and his views and visions on Electro/Industrial music.
Chain D.L.K.: To start this interview I would like to ask for a biographical review and an introduction of Plasmodivm and its band member…
Plasmodivm: I decided to start with Plasmodivm eleven years ago as my personal project. It was 1998 and I was very fascinated with the entire EBM and Electro/Industrial-scene. Bands like FLA, 242, Klinik, Haujobb, yelworC, Sleepwalk, E-Craft, Skinny Puppy, Suicide Commando, Portion Control, Numb, Mortal Constraint or Leaether Strip among others were important for me, so I started with my own project and, in 1999, I released a self-produced demo on cassette format entitled “Shock Treatment” with ten instrumental songs in a very Industrial way. After that I decided to take some time to improve my equipment and the production of new tracks, including vocal lines and more electronic-minded. After a few years I finished my first demo on CDR format called “Second Suite Generated” and I decided to send it to some labels of the electronic scene. This demo caught attention of a few labels of the electronic scene, but finally it never saw the light. After that all has been hard work and gear improvement to reach the sound of “Paradise Under Fire” – the first official step of Plasmodivm, but not the last yet.
Chain D.L.K.: I thought that Gran Canaria is a paradise to spend some sedating holidays. Why do you feel the need to set fire under this paradise by recording such a rough Electro/Industrial album? Has the area around you any inspirational influence on you?
Plasmodivm: You’re right. Do you know the Canary Islands? It’s a place to visit once in a lifetime, a must. I live in a beautiful place full of marvelous sun-sets and sun kissed beaches. It sounds weird, but to tell you the truth, I don’t think this place has been an influence when I’m writing songs for an album. The title of the album means a metaphorical side about a personal experience, about all these dreams we reached and ruined in a short period of time, consumed by fire.
Chain D.L.K.: There have been some rumors, that you would sign a deal with the US-label BLC Productions. Please tell us some background on this matter. Why hasn’t this finally worked out and how did it happen to jump on Caustic Records?
Plasmodivm: Yes, that’s true. As I’ve finished to send out “Second Suite Generated” to some labels, I received good feedback from Alessio from Decadance Records and Micah from Negative Gain Productions, but it was finally Brandon L. Clark, mastermind of BLC, who was more enthusiastic with the possibility of a BLC release and offered a deal to release “Second Suite Generated” under BLC. We started to speak about that and signed a deal to release the album but after six months we both decided to part ways and follow our own ways separately, but I would like to point out, that all of this happened in a friendly manner. Differences of my musically approach have forced my departure of this American record-company, nothing more and nothing less.While I was in BLC I started to compose new stuff for a new release, and after the departure of this label I decided to remix three songs of “Second Suite Generated” (“Rise”, “Be Impure-Stay Impure” and “Life as Slave”) to fill the next release “Paradise Under Fire”. After I’ve sent the stuff to Manix S., mastermind of Caustic Records, who showed a positive feedback and offered me a contract instantly and so finally “Paradise Under Fire” saw the light. I can assure you, that I’m very glad about the response of the audience worldwide and the support of the radios, magazines and web resources. That’s an important goal for me. And so the story goes….
Chain D.L.K.: Your new album combines traditional Dark Electro music out of the mid-90s with the newest sounds of the Hellectro-era. Can we say, that you try hard to filter out the best elements of the tradition and the current styles? Please tell us a bit a bit of your usual composition process.
Plasmodivm: I don’t follow a specific scheme when I’m composing. Through the years I only decided to follow a more electronic sound, less industrial than the early stuff and more based in the Dark-EBM style of the 90´s . That’s the sound I really like, tough I find some interesting sounds and structures in the Dark Electro scene of nowadays too. But I must, say that the current sound seems to be very monotonous. There are many bands using the same sounds, the same voices and music patterns, who create upbeating tracks only and ignoring such details as the final production and sound design in a more personal way. Anyway, there are a few bands who really have a well-crafted sound and caught my attention. Bands like Punto Omega, Hex RX, Hocico, the last release of Grendel, Die Sector or Tactical Sekt among others offer a more interesting sound and have been a great influence for me to compose. I agree with you that I have tried to base my work on the sound of the nineties, but without neglecting some elements, that I like of the current Dark Electro style.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s talk a bit of the content of your album “Paradise Under Fire”. One of the most remarkable tracks is surely “Be Impure – Stay Impure”. What about the virus you mention in your lyrics? Please tell us a bit more about the meaning behind this track.
Plasmodivm: Thanks for the kind words! “Be Impure…” has a special meaning for me. It was one of the first tracks I wrote for Plasmodivm. Its sound has changed through the years, but it has always been very effective. It deals about the need of man to search answers in religion without ever finding them. I think the only solution is to rebel at this and remaining impure, without follow any kind of dogmas or pre-conceived ideas about faith. Impurity is a virus, so let’s stay impure.
Chain D.L.K.: Some tracks like “Fade Away” or “Embrace My Fear” offering a pause of the hard and forward moving Electro/Industrial music and can convince with dark layers and an ominous mood. How much meaning have those rather Downtempo-like tracks for you?
Plasmodivm: I think “Fade Away” is one of the best tracks of the album. I am very proud with the final result. It has a special atmosphere and oppressive ambiences. I really enjoy these Downtempo tracks because I’ve always been a great fan of bands like The Klinik, Mortal Constraint, the first Polygon or Suicide Commando (especially with Johan’s three Off Beat album releases) and songs like “Fade Away” or “Embrace my Fear” (even the harder “My Ghosts Are Being Fed By Fear” or “Ruptura Inminente”) are my personal tribute to these great sound and a source of inspiration for the future of the project.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s talk a bit on Spain and the scene in our country generally. I think currently the recognition and acceptance also thanks to the hard work of a label like Caustic Records grows. Please give us some insight and hopes for the future. Is there a chance that this kind of music can leave its niche to reach a wider audience?
Plasmodivm: In Spain the dark Electronic scene is growing fast but due to the Spanish character, is very difficult to stop being an underground style. As for a major label, which enjoys of the international recognition we have only Caustic Records with bands like Pail, Tannhauser, HIV+ or the new and excellent Splatterpunk release “Channel 83” . We had too some great bands, that have released on international labels and could earn a lot of attention of the audience. Bands like Allied Vision, Dioxyde, Culture Kultür, Asseptic Room, Larva or Gradual Hate are good examples. Apart from that we also have new bands soon to be recognized beyond our borders. Stay tuned!!
Chain D.L.K.: How does it look for you to do some live performances in the future? How does a gig of you look like, for all those who aren’t able to watch your stage actions?
Plasmodivm: I haven’t planned any live performance yet. I live far from the central Europe and it’s very expensive for me to do live gigs. Apart from that I have my daytime job and my family. These are the reasons that I don’t think about a live performance at this moment but I would like to play live one day. Time will tell….
Chain D.L.K.: Any plans for a new release to confirm here? What do you expect for the future of your project? Any news in the pipeline of remix works, collaborations etc.?
Plasmodivm: I’m working on a new album due to get released during the next year. I’m writing new songs full of influences I really like and I’ll try to bring in a different approach to some of them, with influences coming from Darkwave to IDM with a more melodic side, but without ignoring the 90´s dark Electronic structures of “Paradise Under Fire”. I think it will be a very multi-faceted approach, and working in different ways helps to get a more matured sound. I hope the best, that people like it. Please stay connected using my Myspace site for more information.
Chain D.L.K.: Any final words you would like to fill in here?
Plasmodivm: Thank you very much, Marc, for your support and your great words about “Paradise Under Fire”, it has been a great honor for me, that you enjoyed the album. When I started to work on “Paradise Under Fire”, I couldn’t imagine all these positive reactions about it. All I have to say is thanks to all!!! Greetings from Gran Canaria. Stay Impure!
Visit Plasmodivm on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Jean Mason]