InSoc Interview: DECEMBER 1997 - GRINDING into EMPTINESS.
Information Society have come quite far in the years. Once an 80's
pop-dance band, InSoc has turned into pretty much full fledged EBM.
Kurt Harland, the only existing member of the band, and who is solely
responsible for the work done on "Don't Be Afraid", InSoc's newest CD
spoke with Scott from GiE in early november over IRC.
OK...are you working on anything in the studio at this point?
Yeah, I'm doing a "re-mix" of Gary Numan's "I Die; You Die" for a
Clepatra re-make album of Gary Numan's stuff they're putting out with
re-mixes by various artists. It's ironic, because I did "Are 'Friends'
Electric?" on the new InSoc album, which is my favorite Gary Numan song.
And "I Die; You Die" is my second favorite. It was the first pop song I
ever performed in public... in Feb. 1982. The first ever InSoc show was June '82.
Other than that, I'm just working on some video game music, and the new website.
I loved your version of "Are 'Friends' Electric?", but i haven't heard the
original. do you try to stick to the originals when you do covers, or do you
totally rework them?
I totally re-work them. What's the point otherwise? That's what I don't get about "classical' music. Who cares?
Bunch of dumb-ass wussies trying to sound exactly like the originals. For $100 a seat.
I have heard about a tour for Don't Be Afraid...when is this planned?
Well, there are no hard plans yet.It all depends on getting this deal set up with
Polygram/Spotlight in Brasil. They're funding the tour. I don't know if I'll be playing
in Brasil first or not, and I don't know when any of this is going to happen. Obviously,
when I dropped out of the top-40 mainstream, financing became difficult and unpredictable.
From what i have heard, cleopatra has screwed plenty of bands over.
how has your experience been with them?
Where did you hear that?
Well they constantly change the bands' original artwork and alot of
them get mad for no promotion at all. Also, they have rereleased some
material without permission. Pig's "Praise the Lard" for example was released
without Raymond Watts's permission.
Well, they were VERY good to me about my artwork, although they did
have some typographical inaccuracy problems. As far as "no promotion" goes"...
Cleo is not so much a record "label" as a record store.
Most of what they sell is stuff that's been out on other labels first. They make
a LOT of compilation albums of stuff that's from other records.
They're more into selling records done by other companies than building up new bands.
Interesting...I have "Praise the Lard" sitting right here. The owner of Cleopatra gave
it to me by hand last Friday. Who told you it was without permission?
Well, I had heard that it was on a limited run because raymond watts
threatened a lawsuit for it. It could be just a rumour though
Well, no way to be sure on that limited information.
I think that a lot of new bands get very frustrated with small labels
because they think that these labels are going to make them stars and be
surrogate parents and pay their rent. That's just not true. In most cases,
these labels are just small businesses run by only a few people for a marginal profit.
Where did you come up with the artwork for "Don't Be Afraid"?
Well, I commissioned the painting from a friend of mine, Rachel Girard
It is based on a dream she had, and my interpretation of it. I asked her to include Sutro
Tower in the background. The border was my idea: If you look at the border on the front and
the back, you'll find that it's not the same. That's not because somebody painstakingly
made two borders. What I set up was this: I had a local artist, Katie Miranda
make all these square tiles. The trick is, they all fit together seamlessly with 4 other tiles.
Every tile, therefore, has 4 other tiles it can be next to. Then I had another guy, Chris Laurel,
make a program that randomly assigns tiles in a rectangular pattern and makes a single
image file. I then use that image file to make the artwork. I will use that border on
everything InSoc from now on. But every border will be different. The back cover I just
made myself in Photoshop. The inside was done by Cleo.
On that cd, i noticed you are the only existing member...
True. Paul quit in 1993. He had just gotten married, and his wife was pregnant, and Tommy Boy
had just dropped us (thank god). And he just didn't want to deal with it. I can't say I blame
him. The last 4 years have been grueling. Normally, there's only 2 years between albums.
But I had to find a new manager, a new record label, and make a whole new set of material
with different style. By myself. So... it's been slow. I'm not relaly complaining... it's
been a good work to have. But I don't like how slow it is.
Was this part of the reason that there was such a drastic change in
sound between "Peace and Love, Inc." and "Don't be Afraid"?
Yes, that's the whole reason. DBA is more like what I always wanted to do. But back then, I
was doing something which was more Paul and Tommy Boy's vision. Not something I could
completely relate to.
So, what music do you relate to? what are some of your favorite bands
and do they actually run concurrent with what you try to produce?
Ummmmmmmm........Foetus, KMFDM, Laibach, Leatherstrip, Siouxsie, Will, Hate Dept., Peter Murphy.
Stuff like that. Oh, NIN, I guess...I mean, I know he's a mega-star now, and that that
means that you're not supposed to like him anymore, but I'm 34 and I just don't care about
that proscription any more. I think NIN's music is just great. I also like The Swans, Death
In June, Current 93, Faith & The Muse, etc.
Every artist has some...what are some of your favorite sources for
Old TV shows. For sounds, though, I just make them myself in Sound Forge.
Ok, this is a complete change of pace, but i must know...where did you come
up with the name information society?
That's from an old Alvin Toffler book called "Future Shock".
**(Aard, a member of the InSoc Internet Terrorist Front, joins in...)**
In conclusion...a question every information society fan is dying to
know...exactly what is White Roses?
Hey aard, antiUS is interviewing me, and he wants to know about White Roses.
-aard- White roses? There shall be no white roses.
So..is white roses just a mystery that fans must find out for themselves?
White Roses is the 10th track on the album.
-aard- White roses is track 10. It's a loud and irritating screech. Really gets on my nerves.
Aard, I think it sounds like a modem, don't you?
-aard- I don't know. I usually have my speaker off. Hard to tell.
Well...I guess that about wraps it up...thanks for talking!
You got it. Bye.
Be Sure and check out the review of "Don't Be Afraid" in the reviews section!
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