Interview by Dachar (Industrial Bible, May 1997)

I.B: How would you describe your sound of NEW MIND?

Psychedelic hate noise, thatís my buzz phrase.  NEW MIND is what happens when I sit down to make music with a computer and samplers...

I.B: Who/what were your influences?

Initially PUPPY, SWANS and Cronenberg, but musically I have a pretty wide taste.  I think the only way to progress is to take in a wide range of influences, as you can tell on "Forge", that CD covers a pretty wide range of electronic genres..

I.B: From where was the name NEW MIND derived from?

Well, it would be really cool if I could offer some lengthy post-modernist explanation, but really it comes down to the fact that around 1990, I listened to SWANS to the exception of all else.  The first track on their seminal "Children Of God" album is named new mind, but I chose this name as it does have wider connotations....

I.B: Recently, England has become a hot bed for electro / industrial music.  Has there always been a decent sized scene there, or has the scene slowly been building into what it has now become?

Okay, it's like this: there is a very big market over here for intelligent techno/trance/ dance music in general.....ORBITAL / PRODIGY / UNDERWORLD etc.  They sell massive amounts...but industrial music, no way.  It's the pariah of electronics over here.  If you do industrial in this country you can't:
a) get gigs
b) expect an audience if you do gigs
c) get your product distributed
d) get your releases reviewed in magazines.
Hot bed of talent?  Well there are a handful of people over here, like myself who have been plugging away for years and are finally starting to get some recognition.  There are no UK labels for industrial that actually manufacture and release their own CD's domestically in the UK.  "Forge" is the first NEW MIND CD to have UK distribution.  These are the facts.  They may surprise you.

I.B: Do you find that you have more fans in and around England, or is it larger elsewhere?

I think you could fit all the hardcore industrial fans (and by this I mean people into the real industrial bands, and not NIN and MINISTRY) in England into the playground of a small school.  So yes, most of the feedback I get is from outside the UK.  It never ceases to amaze me the places my music reaches; Croatia, Georgia (USSR), but obviously the main 2 markets are Germany and the USA.

I.B: When Fifth Colvmn distributed "Zero To The Bone" in the US there was a bit of controversy started by an electronic musicians magazine concerning the artwork.  Did this affect sales in any way?

I honestly couldn't tell you.  As to date I have had only one statement of sales from the said record label.  They currently owe me three more, so I have absolutely no idea who many units were sold and no I have not been paid by them either.  I only found out about the "controversy" much after the event.  Personally I am not interested in "political correctness."  The new BIO-TEK CD is going to cause even more problems I suspect.

I.B: In the past you've gotten raw deals with various record labels.  Are you happy with your relationship with OFF BEAT?

So far, yes, it's been fine.  I did seem to have acquired a reputation for being difficult so I think they were initially very wary of me, but several months down the line we seem to be getting along fine.  Of all the labels NEW MIND has been involved with, they are certainly the most dedicated and professional people Iíve worked with.

I.B: I had read that Out Of Line was to distribute "Forge" last year.  Why the switch to OFF BEAT and what was the reason for the delay of "Forge"?

You need me to spell it out why I wanted to sign with OFF BEAT?  No, seriously, I was contemplating doing Forge through Fifth Colvmn and Out Of Line are their German license partners.  They did release "Zero...", but as I already said, they weren't sending me statements etc. and when that happens you have to think seriously if it's worth while staying with a label that doesn't pay you.  "Forge" existed in a rough demo form by the middle of last summer.  OFF BEAT became interested.  We worked out a deal. I signed it.  We both agreed that as "Zero..." had only just come out in summer '96 in Germany, it was best to leave a few months space and release "Forge" in the beginning of this year, hence the delay.  But that also gave me some extra time to work on the actual recording, which it turned out that I needed!

I.B: Are you currently working on new NEW MIND material?

Yes.  The current plan is to have some new tracks on one of OFF BEAT's O-File releases later this year, with the follow up to "Forge" due in January 1998 (in Europe at least.) I am currently hoping that this will be a double CD, but that's quite a task to undertake.  We'll see.

I.B: Aside from NEW MIND you have several other projects going.  Can you describe each and tell what the differences between them are?

HEXEDENE: This is a collaboration type project.  I'm the programmer/producer.  Also involved are a female vocalist and guitar player.  It's probably best described as techno with guitars.  Have you heard the TRACI LORDS album?  We were trying to do something along those lines.
HYPERDEX-1-SECT: Well, you might know I was one of the founder members of CYBER-TEC PROJECT.  After my enforced departure, I really wanted to do something similar with a well-known European vocalist.  Most of the ground work to this was done by the MCT label.  They worked out the concept, name etc.  Obviously my musical collaborator on this is rather a well known artist in his own right, Sevren Ni-Arb, so musically it's the point where X MARKS THE PEDWALK and NEW MIND crash  head-on.
BIO-TEK: This is a "solo side project" if you like.  I LOVE that EBM sound, old
X MARKS and LEATHER STRIP.  BIO-TEK allows me to pursue this particular
musical obsession.  Also my obsession with obscure sleaze/trash/horror films.
GUNHED: Instrumental, break-beat mayhem.

I.B: Did I miss any?

Well I have some other things I'm messing around with, but no release details are confirmed yet.  You might be surprised to hear I'm currently writing jungle / drum 'n' bass material in collaboration with a female vocalist. I also just submitted a track for a release that Re-Constriction are doing: various people supplying the music for Maria from BATTERY to add her vocals to.

I.B: I have only ever seen remixes by GUNHED.  Will this be an actual recording project or just a moniker for remixes?

Several complete tracks are on tape.  I've just not yet found a suitable deal/label for this project.  The MCT label have one track on a compilation CD that's still not out yet.  Any prospective labels out there that want some demos, get in touch.

I.B: When can we expect a full length from HYPERDEX-1-SECT?

The first CD maxi, "Metachrome", is now out in Europe.  I don't know what the situation is RE: USA release at this point. I certainly don't think either myself or Sevren have the time to work on more material during this year.

I.B: Will this be a continuing project?

The actual deal is for 2 releases.

I.B: Did you actually ever meet up with Sevren, or was this entire project done in separate studios?

NO, we've never met!  I think it's pretty amusing that technology has now progressed to a point where by it's possible to make a record with the 2 artists in 2 different countries!  So yes, it was done in MISSION CONTROL my studio, and Sevren's T.G.I.F. facility.

I.B: How did you manage to get remixed by the likes of cEvin Key and Bill Leeb?

It's very easy.  You offer them money.

I.B: How did your deal with MCT happen?

Pete, the guy who runs the label is a long time contact.  The whole HYPERDEX concept was pretty much his handiwork.  I originally wrote the material for Jean-Luc De Meyer as my contribution to the unreleased CYBER-TEC PROJECT album.  I gave Pete a tape of the demos and he hatched the plot.

I.B: Will you continue to release material through them?

Yes, that's very likely.  Pete is one of my supporters.

I.B: When can we expect to hear some more from HEXEDENE?

Very, very soon.  We've had material on several compilations.  An albums worth is "in the can" with only a little tweaking needed for final release.

I.B: Do you have a label already interested in signing this project?

Oh yes!  I've had a LOT of interest in this project but at the moment the plan is to do a USA version of the album for Re-Constriction and a Euro version for SIDE LINE records, though this is not 100% confirmed til the paperwork is signed!

I.B: How did the Zoth Ommog deal happen?

I was trawling the BIO-TEK material around various different labels early in 1996 after I had got the rights to the material back...... Around this time Zoth Ommog was undergoing some serious "surgery", several bands left/got the boot...there had also been a change in A+R...it came to my attention that they were looking for bands...I sent them a tape...the rest is history...I'm apparently the only English artist to ever to have been on the label !!!  I have to admit that years ago when I was buying X MARKS and LEAETHER STRIP CDs that I never imagined for a second I would end up on the label!

I.B: When will the new BIO-TEK album be released?  Again on Zoth?

Well, USA release is running a long way behind, so the first one "A God Ignored"... was out in Europe late last summer but it's only due to get a USA release in the coming months... The second BIO-TEK "Darkness My Name Is" will indeed be released by Zoth Ommog.  Euro release is looking like May this year at the moment.

I.B: I was under the impression that BIO-TEK was a solo project, yet a lot of places (in zines especially) are saying that it is a collaboration between yourself and Seba. Is it or did !AiBoFoRcEn<- just do the remix?

Yes, it's a solo project.  100% me.  I don't know where people get all this speculation from?  So no it isn't a collaboration between me and Seba.  The situation was that I did a remix for !AiBoFoRcEn<- ( on "Face of Death" ) and in return they did a remix of a BIO-TEK track.  It was just a straight swap...

I.B: Do you plan on working with them ( or Ronan ) in the future ?

Definitely.....I've done another remix exchange with !AiBoFoRcEn<- ...I did a mix of 'The Dying Rose' and they are working on a HEXEDENE remix for me.  I love what they did with the BIO-TEK track...I thinks it's very likely we'll continue to mess with each others material..... Yes, Ronan is also penciled in to do another VNV NATION remix for BIO-TEK...his mix of 'Die-Sect' has been very popular!  Ronan and myself have been threatening to collaborate on a joint venture for some time but so far we've not managed to get our schedules to meet....

I.B: Who would you like to work with in the future ( either in the studio or via remixes )?

Well, I've just completed a remix for INERTIA which was a lot of fun to do.   I really do like remixing other people's material...getting to pull apart their tracks, see how they make them in the first place...if anyone is looking for remixes...get in touch...I'm open to negotiation... as for direct collaboration's I don't know...I think a lot of people would sell
body parts for the chance to work with Jean-Luc De Meyer and Sevren Ni-Arb...and I will openly admit that I learned a considerable amount from working with both of them... So who next ?  I don't know....Claus Larsen ?  That would be interesting!  I do have a "wish list" of people to work with but, they are outside the industrial field..and also unlikely to happen!

I.B: Describe the NEW MIND live experience ?

NEW MIND live has gone through various different approaches/line-ups over the years...originally we had a keyboard/powertool player, electronic drummer, live vox and DAT...Right now, to do the "Forge" material live it's narrowed down...to : a live guitarist, live vox and DAT.  Though we are currently planning to bolster this with a live bass player!  So maybe that's more "conventional" than people expect?  I don't personally see the point of putting keyboards on-stage just so some "electronically correct" people can feel comfortable with what they are seeing / hearing!  We have been described as being over-aggressive on stage but, hey it's great therapy!

I.B: Who have you had the chance to play live with in the past ?

Well, mostly in the UK, if you want do gigs you have to play with goth bands!  As previously mentioned there isn't much of a "scene" for industrial over here, so the nearest alternative is the goth scene, which does cross-over to an extent.  So yes we've done gigs with bands like MIDNIGHT CONFIGURATION, SUSPIRIA, all that crowd.  We have played with UK industrial bands as well though....INERTIA, MESH, CRISIS etc...and we just completed a very short UK tour supporting HAUJOBB on their first visit to England!

I.B: Do you have any plans to tour this year?  If so with whom?

That decision is very much down to the Record Labels.....we are hoping to do another UK support tour this year...OFF BEAT now has a UK office, and they are very keen to have the label bands over here, so depending who is coming over we'd probably support.  Similarly it's the decision of OFF BEAT in Germany as to whether we get offered a tour support with one of the other label bands...this all costs money, money I don't have.  So it's down to the label to decide what's viable.  With the best will in the world I would love to say, "yes, NEW MIND will play in the USA"...for the time being at least that's not going to happen.

I.B: What else can we expect from NEW MIND in the future?

Expect to be confounded, inspired and offended in equal measure.

I.B: Where do you see the electro / industrial music scene heading as we approach the millennium?

Unless there is some major cross-over into areas of acceptance...I think it's going to get cultier and smaller and run in ever decreasing circles.   That's pretty negative I know, but right now, from the perspective of someone who is directly involved..that's what I see happening...There are just more and more bands, more and more CD's released but the fan-base is not growing proportionally.  What we need is all those people who "think"
they are industrial cause they like FEAR FACTORY or MARILYN MANSON to see
the wider picture and start buying our product!

I.B: Where would you like to see your projects in the year 2000?

Selling in the kind of numbers I think they deserve to!  No seriously, it's not exactly far away is it?  I just hope I'm still in the position of being able to make the kind of music I want to make and be able to release it.  Obviously making some serious money from doing so would be a bonus!

I.B: You had mentioned that you had several possible deals in the US for distribution.  Have any of them come through yet?  Can you give us a hint as to who might be releasing your material stateside?

The biggest problem is finding out who you can trust, not only in another country, but half way across the world!  But I am making progress.  So, here goes.....BIO-TEK is now confirmed as being licensed to Cleopatra.  That is 100% confirmed, though as I explained...USA release is some time behind the European release.  NEW MIND is signed to OFF BEAT for the world, but they have indicated that "Forge" will be licensed to 21st CIRCUITRY for the USA...though at this point I can't confirm that.  HYPERDEX-1-SECT, again I can't tell you who is taking this one, I simply don't know!   HEXEDENE will be in the hands of Chase, for release on Re-Constriction...

I.B: Were you ever involved with any other bands prior to NEW MIND?

Yes indeed, though none of these ever got anywhere, or certainly no further than the demo stage.  When the last band I was in folded around the end of "89, I began working on what turned into NEW MIND in the summer of 1990.  The first NEW MIND demo was recorded in January of '91.

I.B: Was "Fractured" your first release?

No.  The first NEW MIND release was "Body Politic" 12" single I did for a UK label in 1991.  I also had tracks on several compilation CD's prior to signing with Machinery and doing Fractured.  This single was vinyl only, and I think only 1000 were pressed...it's pretty rare!

I.B: What inspires your lyrics?

I write all the time.  I keep copious note-books, I also do a lot of what you might call "automatic writing"..I just write and see what comes out... I go back through these books and see what is salvageable for use as lyrics... though sometimes it works the other way around, where I'll have a completed track which I have a rough idea what I want to do with, then I write some lyrics to fit.  Actually I do this more for BIO-TEK, with NEW MIND, the lyrics are built from note books...they tend to be less immediately coherent than BIO-TEK lyrics...

I.B: Aside from music, do you do anything else for a living?

Alas, yes.  Doing industrial / electro music is not exactly a lucrative field to be involved in.  I run my own MISSION CONTROL studio as a commercial recording facility for other people...mainly they are doing more mainstream dance music, but I enjoy doing music production whatever the style.  Other than that I work at a Cinema!  So yes, I get to see a LOT of film! I'm really fascinated by the way music is used in films...I do consciously try and make "cinematic" music.....

I.B: Any final / witty comments?

If you read this far...congratulations .... and thank you!