"I am really concerned that the UK is one of the most censorship-obsessed countries in the world, to the point that it is encroaching on individual freedoms," says Jonathan Sharp, discussing motivations behind his electro outfit, New Mind. "I really do thing that my music is a reaction to the environment I am in, all the information I am exposed to as I process it."
Responding to right wing turbulence in his home country, England, Sharp chose to title his band New Mind to reflect looking at a situation in a really left-field/extreme/non-PC kind of way to see something different -- a new way -- or something equally profound. Sharp is remarkably mild-mannered, a trait that characterizes him more as an individual than as the voice and vision behind New Mind, a band which has, for example, displayed a picture of a woman being raped at gun-point on the cover of his release, "Zero to the Bone". "I will use whatever means I need to make my point," Sharp explains, "and if that means showing a woman raped at gun-point on my sleeve, I don't have a problem with that."
Sharp indicates 'Touch (Can't Afford to be a Woman)' as being seminal to "Zero to the Bone". Touch is seminal in that it beautifully personifies everything that is exciting about New Mind. With an intense vibrance, guest vocalist Jane Helena's voice rises and falls through subliminal resonance and stinging melody. 'Touch' proves Sharp can balance lyrical musicianship coupled with dancefloor perfection.
Touch also proves New Mind is not for for the philosophically faint of heart. Sharp explains that the origin of the track's samples is a documentary on a sexually-abused woman who turned to anorexia as a coping mechanism. "The only way she can deal with her emotional trauma is to negate her sexuality and become a child again (returning to happier times prior to the abuse) and she can only do this by self-destructing her body so it's no longer the body of a woman. I take that as an example of enforced gender transcendence." Concluding ruefully, he adds, "What does an individual truly have control of other than their own body?"
Like an electronic music crucible, New Mind melts and assimilates elements from all lifeforms in the synthetic universe. Tracks off of New Mind's first album, "Fractured", displayed strong attention to EBM with a nod to Skinny Puppy-style electro in songs like 'Guilty' and 'Enviro4'. "Zero to the Bone", on the other hand, with its ambient twists and occasional techno beats, more openly surveys the electronic music horizon, imparting a harder and more exploratory sound than its predecessor. "It's no great master plan to invent some new genre," Sharp says of the New Mind modus operandi. "I just want to experiment and challenge people a little."
Challenging his audience is undoubtedly what Sharp intends to continue on his third New Mind LP, "Forge". Incidentally, New Mind isn't the only pie Sharp has his hand in. Sharp uses Bio-Tek, also a one-man project, as an outlet for his sometimes overpowering urge to create straight EBM. He is also involved in Hyperdex-1-Sect, a collaboration between himself and X Marks The Pedwalk deity Sevren Ni-Arb. Also infesting several European compilations is Hexedene, Sharp's techno project featuring a live guitarist and a female vocalist.
As for the future of New Mind, Sharp enigmatically declares, "I just hope that I can keep developing my ideas, integrating new ideas/styles/sounds and keep it all interesting. Oh, and jerking the chains of small-minded people... my MIND is all I have."