Interview by Scott Mallonee (Grinding Into Emptiness)

GIE: Can you tell us about the next release you are working on for NEW MIND?

JS: I just completed the tracks for the 'Black Talon' ep, thatís part of O-Files Vol 3. which should be out soon I think. Right now though I'm working on the 4th album, 'Deep.Net' and it's proving to be the most difficult one I've done yet. It's also be the longest, running time wise.

GIE: I've read that there will be a SCAR TISSUE remix of multiple tracks at the end of the CD. Will this be a retrospective or will it deal only with the tracks from the new album?

JS: Well, what happened was I sent them a DAT with a purely arbitrary selection of sounds from each of the original tracks on the new album and said : do what you like. The end result is really cool. I like it a lot. The retrospective remix is a nice idea but it opens up all kind legal problems as certain NEW MIND tracks are still the property of certain labels, so does using a chunk of one of these constitute a new track or a remix of an existing one...it's difficult...you'd think sampling yourself would be the easiest thing in the world?

GIE: When do you expect that to be released?

JS: I hope the album will appear in Europe before the summer, failing that it won't appear until the autumn I shouldn't think, scheduling being what it is. The O-Files though is due very soon I believe. I've no idea when a domestic USA release will be, it's usually 6 to 8 months later.

GIE: Will you be distributed solely through 21st Circuitry or will another label take over for European sales?

JS: NEW MIND is exclusively with OFF BEAT. So it's really the other way around and a case of will a USA label license from them. Obviously it would be cool for 21st to pick up the Licenses for the new material. Hi Don!!!

GIE: Do you have any idea if a tour will happen soon?

JS: If it was my decision, I'd say yes : as soon as it could. The decision is not mine to make though. My feeling is that if it can't be done properly there's no point in cutting corners, so I need the financial support from whichever label to make it happen. This is the problem within the industrial genre...how many Euro bands have made it to the USA and vice versa??

We did some dates with HAUJOBB last year in the UK and that was a joy to do, even if we seemed to commit the gross heresy of having live guitars, lots of guitars and NO KEYBOARDS to mime behind!!

GIE: You've got a boatload of side projects. Could you explain what makes each one different?

JS: Stylistic approach for a start. NEW MIND is me 100%, no compromise on ideas or approach. When I'm doing BIO-TEK I'm working to a really strict genre defined boundary. The other things are mostly collaborations so I'm kind of pooling my ideas with other people and their input tends to make that additional difference....HYPERDEX...I mean you can hear my input but it's much different to NEW MIND, don't you think ? I'm just a compulsive writer, recorder...and I'm out to release as much as Bill Leeb does!!

GIE: Do you have any release plans for those side projects?

JS: Oh sure !! HEXEDENE's first CD is out on Re-Constriction this month, HYPERDEX is licensed onto 21st Circuitry and also out this month. Check the Mission Control web-site for details : http://www.sonic-boom.com/mission-control Other things will be appearing in due course.

GIE: What inspired the name NEW MIND?

JS: Around the time i started doing this project, maybe 1990... I was listening to SWANS pretty much to the exclusion of all else. NEW MIND you will find is the name of one of my favourite tracks on their 'Children Of God' album. It's as good an album now as it was then and still sits in my ten favourite albums list.

GIE: I've heard that you have been through utter hell with record labels and the whole Cyber-Tec thing. Has all of that been settled now? Are you once again friends with the band members?

JS: Utter hell, thatís not even close !! It's taught me a great deal about contract law I'll tell you that much ! Has the Cyber-Tec thing been settled ? Well to a point I guess so, but it seems like the American Licensor of the Ep, has never paid out any royalties...they certainly never paid me a penny for the NEW MIND album they put out either...you know the shareware concept with software...well it was put to me that anyone who owns a copy of 'Zero To The Bone' who feels charitable might send me some money. Because if you bought that CD, I never saw a single cent from the money it made....

No, I've had no further contact with the C-TEC band members, though as I've said all along, my differences were not with them but with the label. I do actually like some of their new album, HAUJOBB samples aside.

GIE: Has the move to 21st Circuitry brought up popularity in the States?

JS: Certainly, though I believe that the previous album 'Zero To The Bone' got some pretty positive response, so following that up with a release on a label that actually works on it's product had been great. I'd say about 75% of the response I've had has come from the USA.

GIE: What are some of your favourite sources for samples?

JS: Okay, this is the film thing isn't it ? Yes, hand in the air I admit to heavy pilfering of movies. I'm a total film freak though, I probably own twice as many videos and Laser discs as I do CDs and albums...I also get to see a lot of films in my current regular job. I consider my Laser player and Nicam VCR to be just as important as synths!!

But I source sounds from everywhere, even my own location recordings. Analog synths are also pretty important sound sources, you never get the same noise twice. My Minimoog is truly a beautiful machine as are my other analog toys...

I also trawl around the net looking for stuff to Download and mess with.

GIE: What release has made the biggest impact on your lyrical and musical styles?

JS: Whew!! That's some question. I don't really think I can pin it all onto a specific album and say thatís the one, that did it. As I've said, SWANS were a major influence, PUPPY also has to get the obvious mention. But music isn't my sole influence, and even if it was I've got pretty wide tastes in music which extend a long way beyond industrial...I mean right now I'm listening to a lot of drum'n'bass but also a lot of 70's progressive rock...go figure ?

If I was going to say though that a particular release really made an impact on what I'm aiming at with NEW MIND now I'd say imagine FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON's 'Dead Cities' and add some vocals on top of it.

GIE: Anything you'd like to add? Final words?

JS: Just to say an extremely big thank you to everyone that continues to make it possible for me to release music, it makes all the label crap worth it when I get feedback from the people who buy the albums.