Opening words: Velvet Acid Christ is hard to define. They have their own sound, and use many elements from many genres to make their own blend of alternative dark music. I think there is something in this band for everyone to like, no matter what kind of alternative music you lean towards. Click here to check out the Official Velvet Acid Christ Web site. We sit down with Hexfix93 the front man of VAC and ask him a few questions. Enjoy. Interview by: Krztov of Distorted Retrospect.
EDTM: How are you?
VAC: Strange. Isolated. Nervous about the new LP.
EDTM: You have a new LP out. What was your main inspirations for the new lp?
VAC: The end. The end of everything. The last 3 years have been hard on the personal level. My circle of friends has dissolved. Everyone has moved away, or not involved in VAC much. No socializing at all in real life. Empty. Alone. Giving up on people, the world, in politics, society and everything. Misanthropy.
EDTM: The lp is so different from the last 5, are you worried no one will recognize it as VAC?
VAC: Yes and No. The acoustic tracks might really put off the electronic heads and people who like synth music. I honestly have grown so tired of electronic music in the scene. Nothing really great has come out in the genre in a long time in my honest opinion. Everything now is all this distorted kick drum and detuned trance leads. It’s boring. I decided to make a really heavy record. Even the electronic songs are heavy on the new LP. So I dug deep, and ended up listening to a lot of acoustic music during this period. Mostly Death In June, Tegan and Sarah, old Current 93, old Sisters of Mercy, The Legendary Pink Dots, Old Mission UK, and Sorrow. When I was 20, these were the bands that I listened to the most, and these are the bands that inspired me to make Velvet Acid Christ. It wasn’t Industrial music that lead to VAC. It was apocalyptic folk, goth, and death rock. My image and look is more like this as well. The industrial thing kind of happened because I never had a band, so I used machines to replace people. It was then that I really learned to appreciate bands like Nitzer Ebb and Skinny Puppy.
EDTM: Who died during the making of the LP?
VAC: In my head? Mankind. Watching this political season has sapped the soul right out of me.
EDTM: Why so much acoustic guitar?
VAC: When I started making this LP, my technology was betraying me. The p.c. I had was on the fritz, I eventually had to get a mac to get tight midi, and a system that sounded good and was stable. I had to learn a new DAW “logic” I had been using cubase, SAW, and sonar before hand. This took some time. I got rid of most all of my preset synths like the virus, and jupiter. All I had was mono synths and a modular. So making this lp was like stepping into a brand new studio. It was intimidating, so I fell back on the guitar, and because I was listening to so much acoustic music, I really wanted to try my hand at it and put the VAC spin on it. It was fun and challenging to try and come up with simple and catchy songs that anyone could sing along with. That was my goal. My guitars are great, easy to tune, they sound good with out even having to fuck with them. All my synths I have to fuck with hard core to get any decent sounds out of them, they all have the What you See is What You Get Interfaces. That kept me away from going through presets, finding one I liked then tweaking it and putting effects on it. It really was more spiritual to me to just pick up a guitar and pour my heart out, all my honest feelings and frustrations. It was so therapeutic for me. I have never done anything like this before. Well, I have had guitar goth songs, but not with real acoustic guitars. I learned how to mic real guitars, I also upgraded my converters, mic pres, and compressors to get good results. I spent most of my money on this.
EDTM: What is your favorite song on the new lp?
VAC: Black Rainbows. It has this magic to me, on a really loud system, or on head phones, it has this drone, the melodic drone. It was inspired by some really emotionally heavy moments. The passing of loved ones. Having to talk one of my friends down from his mother dying. It was so hard. It has this endearing sincerity and love and caring in it that really makes it stick out in my head. Like singing about someone you love, and they die, or you die, you fail them, it fails. There is so much love in that kind of sadness. I kind of find it beautiful, it seems like we take each other for granted so much, and then when someone dies, you remember the good things and want it back so bad. There is this selfish love there that I find so beautiful in people. I am not a sadist, but there is something really pretty about the agony of loss. You really see how much someone cares in those moments.
EDTM: Who were your main inspirations on the new LP?
VAC: I knew that I wanted to make some club music, So I did that, and I used like Meat Beat Manifesto, NIN, Astral Projection, New Order, S-express, old acid house Psychic TV, and Juno Reaktor as inspiration for that part of the LP. The other half of the LP was inspired by all the acoustic music I was listening to. This LP was hard, originally there were more Electronic tracks on the lp, but they were instrumentals, and alt versions, and those will end up on the single as B-sides. I wanted to release two EPS, but the record labels were not down for that. So I was going to split the LP into two halves. I tried it and it Lulled. No matter how I set up the track list. So when I mixed all the tracks together, I found the best track order and balance to make the lp flow. I still think I should of done two eps. But, unfortunately I can’t have it my way all the time.
EDTM: Tell us about the artwork.
VAC: The art work happened in this weird way. I run this Media Blog now, Electric Deth Trip Media Blog, electricdethtripmedia.com, So I cover all kinds of media, photography and models. I was asking my fans for an lp cover, and one fan suggested that I use the model I featured on my blog. So I contacted her and found out she was a VAC fan, and then she got me in contact with the photographer and artist who did that photo. I was so happy that doing my media blog has allowed me to talk to so many other musicians, photographers, models, and artists.
EDTM: Why did it take you so long to put out this record?
VAC: Wow, the technical problems. Todd went off and did his solo project(the twilight garden) and didn’t have much time for VAC. So this was more of a solo effort. I had to get a job for a while, then I hurt my hand at work, couldn’t play guitar or synths, couldn’t bend my finger, I cut the tendon in my finger and it had to stay still for about 2 months. My new mini Dachshund puppies bit my ear playing around, it was bad. I got a cat scratch and had a super mega allergic reaction that almost killed me.:( Depression on top of that. I did have the record done last spring but it took the label a while to get it out.
EDTM: What is your take on the gothic industrial internet scene?
VAC: It is really confusing. Because there are so many bands calling them selves EBM that are really pop acts. Everyone is in a band, there is so much shit to wade through. It is mostly social networking sites now like facebook, myspace, and vampire freaks. To be honest, I kind of hate it. These things have replaced night clubs. People go online to date now, not to the clubs. Instead of listening to music on a big system, they now listen to a overly compressed piece of shit versions of the songs on computer speakers. Music has been demoted to the back ground music of females taking angled top down photos of themselves, on a mp3 player tucked away in the corner of their blog page. Music has been demoted. In the old days, loud music in clubs on impressive sound systems ruled the day, now it is center stage background music to the drama of personal profiles of blog sites.
EDTM: What are your opinions about the music industry?
VAC: CDs are worth nothing now on the used market, I blame cd stores for this. They helped music decline by cheapening the resale of cds. Cds are in less and less stores. No more posters on the walls in most shops. Promotion is a nightmare in the U.S, no magazines really covering this scene with a large reader base. Now when you use the only medium left, the internet, it is futile. It is like, you let people know when to go pirate the music. They don’t buy it usually. Only a few buy. So when they find out there is a new lp coming, they just pirate it. Because they follow genres and not bands usually now, they download everything and get ear fatigue and don’t really build bonds with their favorite acts, no reason to choose a few that your dollars can afford when you can have them all and get burnt out on over listening to it all. The clubs used to have a medium of all styles and you would not get burnt out as easily. Now you can have it all on demand fast, and I think that leads to the ultimate boredom of music in general. You lose respect for it, because you don’t work to get it, if you buy it, you cannot resell it at all and get any value back from it. In the 80s MTV killed the radio stars. In the late 90s, the internet has killed all music, devalued it. Made it sound like shit by compressing it. Then using it as a back drop on social networking sites even further devalues it. No one will pay for stuff when they can just youtube it, or listen to it on a social networking site for free while they sit on their asses. If you don’t stand, or dance for music, i think you lose your connection to it. Sitting on your butt listening to it in the background while you do menial things really isn’t as inspiring as a concert or a club night. I would say things are lazy now, people don’t go out, go to the stores to buy it, now they social network instead of going to the clubs. What really sucks on top of that, is that you cannot really do any target promotion on itunes, or amazon, or the stores that sell mp3s, so it is impossible to hype anything on the net where it really counts. Things are getting really bad. Soon, there will be no music. Less and Less are paying for it now. People have justified it with a million excuses, the labels are evil, they steal from the artists, blah, this or that reason. But still I don’t see them trying to donate to the bands directly either. It’s sad.
EDTM: How did you get into this scene?
VAC: Wow, a long time ago. I was never cool in school, moved around and was a social out cast from the main clicks. One day I saw these people picking on this girl all dressed in black, and I stood up for her, they were throwing rocks at her, and I was like WTF. Calling her a demon, and shit like this. This was in highschool. So that click befriended me, and that is how I found out about the music at first. My friend steve told me about this night club that played all the strange music that they used to play on the PBS alternative music video shows. So we went. I remember the first night, I was kind of normal. Didn’t fit in, well I wasn’t normal I was one of these kids that wore military clothing from his fathers vietnam days with a bad hair cut LOL. I remember seeing all the big hair, the wild clothes like nothing I had seen before, the club was packed, there were a lot of normal people, but 1/3rd of them were like uber weirdoes with huge hair and really weird clothing that you never could find in a store. It was magical. I got pulled aside by some girl, my friend dan had some outrageous bad make up on. She dragged us into the girls bathroom and gave us a make over. It was so cool. People were so open back then. They invited us to their parties. There I learned how to dress weird, ratt my hair, and make clothing. It was so magical. The 2nd time I went, I dropped acid, and I knew, this was my future. This is where I belong, this is where I fit in, this is the music that I relate to the most a vast variety of 80s wave, death rock, goth, industrial, EBM and acid house. I got a DJ gig at this club, and met other musicians. I was doing music with my cousins before then. So I started a band with this guy I met at this club. That is how it all started for me. It was a super magical moment in my life. I met so many people who made their own clothing, had their own styles, and were super creative. This club used to get 1500 people in on a saturday night back in 1991. We would always recruit weirdos, have parties and invite the normals, and give them mow-hawks and shit That was so much fun. That is why VAC even exists.
EDTM: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
VAC: Honestly, I would prevent the internet from being brought into existence. I think everything was better before. Music was better. Clubs were better, stores were better. The internet has dumbed down retail, made music, movies, worthless. Instead of sitting on your ass getting fat in front of your tv, now you sit on your ass and get fat behind the internet. There is so much great info on the net, no one really reads it. People use it like a fast food porn dating hub. Steal games, music, and movies. And play armchair critic. People are overly negative and lash out on the internet. Everyone has balls on the net, but not in real life. I feel like the internet destroyed the very things I know and love the most, Music, Movies, ART and photography. People don’t go out anymore to hear music, they check out myspace, and listen to it there and don’t buy it. It is so sad.
EDTM: If you could teleport, where would you go?
VAC: Now, in my old age, I would love to find a place far away from humans, with a fantastic waterfall or lake or mountain cave stuff, and go there to meditate and get away from the filth of humanity. The plastic and glass, the pollution and fast food.
EDTM: What do you think about Obama and american politics?
VAC: 1 year later and what has changed? NOTHING. He is the same war mongering asshole who we voted out. He lied! I hate democrats and republicans. They are the same thing. Just the good cop bad cop routine, one apologizes for it, and the other doesn’t that is the main difference. What has obama done? He created Socialism, great, oh, but wait, socialism for the BANKS, but not for US. FOR THE FUCKING BANKS, We bail them out, then they jack up all the rates on our credit cards to pay us back for helping them out! NICE. Obama loves REGAN. LOL, it shows.
EDTM: Favorite sport?
VAC: Used to be Hockey, now it is the UFC mixed Martial Arts. I love martial arts.
EDTM: List your Top favorite LPS.
#01: The Maria Dimension – The Legendary Pink Dots.
#02: Faith – The Cure.
#03: Violator – Depeche Mode
#04: The Witching Hour – Ladytron
#05: The Brown Book – Death In June
#06: Remission – Skinny Puppy
#07: Embryodead – Wumpscut
#08: The First Chapter – The Mission UK
#09: First Last and Always – Sisters of Mercy
#10: 99% – Meat Beat Manifesto
#11: In The Mix – Astral Projection
#12: Loved – The Cranes
#13: Sequencer – Covenant
#14: Beers Steers and Queers – Revolting Cocks
#15: The Fragile – Nine Inch Nails
#16: Toxic Coma – Toxic Coma
#17: The Tinderbox – Siouxsie and the Banshees
#18: Belief – Nitzer Ebb
#19: The Land of Rape and Honey – Ministry
#20: So Jealous – Tegan and Sarah
EDTM: List your top ten Favorite songs.
#01: Charlotte Sometimes – The Cure
#02: A ship named despair – The Tear Garden
#03: In your Room – Depeche Mode
#04: Censor – Skinny Puppy
#05: To Drown a Rose – Death In June
#06: Destroy Everything you touch – Ladytron
#07: Even Now – Edward Kaspel
#08: Is it you – Wumpscut
#09: Tabula Rasa – Covenant
#10: Tragic Beauty – The Legendary Pink Dots
EDTM: List 5 DVDs.
VAC: Farscape serises on DVD. Suspiria on DVD, Hellsing anime. Elfin Lied Anime. Fight Club DVD.
EDTM: Who were your idols in your different times growing up?
VAC: Growing up as a kid, the band RUSH. As a Teen, The Cure. 20s: The Pink Dots and Skinny Puppy. 30s: Death In June.
EDTM: Will there be tours?
VAC: Maybe Mini tours. Nothing major. I never want to tour with a big band. I don’t like splitting the bill, so I will have to pay for it out of my pocket, and get a band together that can rehearse. When that Happens and the look and art direction gets worked out. Maybe this spring.
EDTM: Who else is in the band?
VAC: Todd Loomis is still in VAC, but in a much diminished role now that he is so busy with his project.
EDTM: Favorite food to eat?
VAC: For health, Kale Salad. For junk, Raw butternut squash mango gazpacho. Love Curry anything vegan.
EDTM: What do you see happening in the future?
VAC: The world powers, the secret society, They will make the prophecies of the bible happen(fake of course), bring back a fake jesus, and purge the earth of all sinners so they can control a smaller population. The sad thing is, the gullible masses will buy into it. I think this day is coming fast. They tested the waters with 911 to see what they could get away with. I think the mass purging will happen with in the next 5 years.
EDTM: Anything else you would like to add?
VAC: Thank you to all my fans who buy my music and help my record label, and help me eat and put a roof over my head, clothes on, and food on my table. Thank all of you VAC fans who promote me to others. I really appreciate the ones who are left who are still really supporting me. Thank you all.