Quit Bitching. Make Music.

Quit bitching. Make music.

Quit worrying about perfect production, that new softsynth or vintage whatever-the-fuck-you-saw-for-way-too-much-money-on-ebay, your fucking hair extensions, those new vinyl pants and those 16 hole $300 New Rock boots. Stop whining about how X-band shouldn’t have gotten that opening spot and that person kisses ass and name drops and sucks that band’s cock for an off mention in some douchey blog. Stop caring about what every other artist does and worry about your fucking backyard and how good it’ll look if you log out of some dickwaving forum and actually lay down some honest, real IDEAS for a change.

Quit saying “if only I could get X-budget so X-person would mix my shit” and find someone as hungry as you to give it a shot for a lot less money, and if not accept that you’ve just decided to bet against the music business’ current model and will get screwed financially. Educate yourself on the ways to do it cheaper, and better, and know where to spend your money so you’ll actually get more bang for your hard-earned buck.

Stop scheming to go viral or to get that massive club hit if Ronan Harris would just answer your Facebook message and touch the tip of his dick to your track to make it sound like EBM gold. Forget about your place in the pecking order and simply work to put out the best, most sincere, ORIGINAL music YOU can make. Worry about being fearless and confronting every weird notion that would actually make your music INTERESTING and forcing it out of you like you’re a virgin giving birth to triplets conjoined at the hip.

Put in the time, put in the work, put in the effort, and leave your ego at the door if the rest of the world doesn’t drop to their knees and sing your praises. Fail better. Work harder. Earn your supper. You don’t decide that the world accepts you and what you do, and when it comes down to it if the world doesn’t it really doesn’t matter if you’ve created something you’re happy with. And if you’re NOT happy with it work HARDER, and stop with the emo gothy pity party bullshit and grow a pair, sunshine. Get some calluses, wo/man up, and join the fuckin’ feeding frenzy. It ain’t easy but it’s still the way it is, so suck it up, drink a Red Bull, and wear a helmet.

The only people who should be disappointed are those who whored and pandered and put out their equivalent of a sonic sex tape and even then STILL nobody wanted to jerk off to it. Let them deal with their fractured, sold out egos and deflated souls while those of us who push and force our damaged, imperfect hellspawn out of our infected holes know that We Did The Best We Could with pride.

And fuck ’em if they don’t like it. And fuck ’em if they aren’t impressed. And fuck ’em if they don’t get it, or think it’s shit, because 99% of them don’t have half the sac to even open their mouth to do a duet at a karaoke bar without pissing themselves, and the other 1% hates you because they’ve already failed and the only way they can look themselves in the mirror is by shitting on someone else’s birthday cake.

You’ve got one life. Live it right. And quit bitching.

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A Great Blog and a Great Interview

http://blog.nulldevice.com/2010/04/fix-it-in-the-mix/

Eric Oehler is quickly becoming a Fairly Big Thang with his mastering. This is a great read on why you should always give the person mastering your CD the best possible version of your music, as they may be able to fix small errors, but at a price.

And here’s a great interview with my pal and sometime collaborator Dan Clark from ReGen Magazine. Lots of great advice in here, too.

http://www.regenmag.com/Interviews-316-The-Dark-Clan.html

DIY Do or Die part seven: The Experiment

So this is it– I decided to make an affordable CD on my own terms and meet the consumers, best as I could, literally half-way.  No sneakiness.  No reverse psychology.  No bitterness or anger at people downloading it illegally.

If it works, even just on the digital dl front, and if it sells well at $5-6 (depending on the website– I kept it as low as I could and hope that they all keep it at that price point– if they don’t look elsewhere, okay?  Fuck ’em if they don’t listen:)) I’ll keep doing it, but if it doesn’t and it sells a similar amount to what I normally do (or less) then I’ll just start selling each CD at $2000 because hell, why not?

Again, no bitterness, but I’m giving my fans and the consumers a chance to show that if an artist is willing to sacrifice profit (which I’m all too willing to do.  Seriously, who gives a fuck in the end?) to help them feel more comfortable spending the money on my art then I’m all for it.  It’s not really some ultimatum and if it doesn’t work I really won’t be all that disappointed, because really then the consumers will lose out because I won’t do it again and they’ll either have to spend more to get it (and who wants to do that when there’s pizza to order and the new deluxe edition of Sherlock Holmes to buy?) or just download it illegally, which, despite people’s willingness to do it, I don’t really think they always WANT to if there’s a legal means to get it for a more reasonable price.

You see, in the past when I’ve been broke I too have downloaded music illegally (and I don’t say that with pride– It Just Is), but when I see a CD I want on amazon.com when they do their “100 mp3 albums for $5 each” thing I ALWAYS take a chance and buy it, even if I’ve just HEARD the CD was good.  No guilt in blowing a measly $5 in my mind, y’know?   I’ve blown that on a magazine I wanted to try out or just lent it to a friend without thinking.  So that’s the concept here.  Real simple.  Real straightforward.  No gimmicks, no strings, and no commitments outside of just spending a couple bucks and, hopefully, enjoying what you hear and telling a few pals.

I just want  my new music out and affordable to as many people that want it legally.  I know it’ll get illegally downloaded to death too, and that’s fine because honestly there’s nothing I can do about it if people want to take it.  If an artist offered to PAY fans a dollar to download it off their site some dipshit would STILL want to get it off some torrent site just because…I have no idea.

I’m not Radiohead and I’m not Nine Inch Nails.  I don’t sell out stadiums and I’m not trying to beat the Big Corporate System, because I’m not a part of it.  I’m just trying to figure out a model that works for fans, consumers, or hopefully fans-to-be for my music.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

I’m already extremely fortunate in that I have modest production needs and have been blessed with a core fanbase that helps me by buying the limited editions and allowing me to recoup most of my initial investment quickly.  I truly appreciate that, more than you know.  I see dozens of artists whose talents I’m dwarfed by struggle to even come CLOSE to breaking even, but through however I do it I’ve got a much better situation and I in no way take that for granted.  If nothing else that core fanbase allows me to even ATTEMPT ideas like this, so I raise a glass of soda water to you all, my friends.  Thanks.

And to new friends and fans willing to take a chance on the new Caustic CD, I thank you too.  Let’s hope the experiment works.

You can already get the new CD in mp3 form at Caustic on FiXt
(Exclusively until April 13th, when it’ll be up everywhere)

You can preorder a physical copy on Crunch Pod Distro

This one’s up to everyone, so if you like what you read and want to support it I appreciate it.  And tell some pals.  Like I said: I think it’s a good deal.

Thanks.

Matt, aka Caustic

DIY Do or Die part six: That worked?!?

So, in short, the plan worked.  I sold out of the limited edition in 18 days.  By setting it up and pricing it the way I did I’m now in the black on the whole new CD, which of course doesn’t factor in all the hours I’ll be putting in packaging and mailing the damn things, but at least I know I won’t lose the farm on it.  I’m sure some douchebag will read this and go “Good!  I don’t mind stealing it now!”, but since I already explained how I wanted it to work I just felt I should be honest in saying “Yeah, it did.  Aren’t I smart?  Or something.”

I’ve talked here and there about never being complacent in creating art, and this CD, for me, is really the totality of that.  It’s for all intents and purposes actually a “serious” CD for me, dealing with a lot of things in my past it took me a long time to get grips on, mainly my alcoholism (which I’m working on- 12 days sober as of writing this).  It’s ridiculously fitting that the last song on the CD is the one I’m actually freaked out the most by, and that it coincidentally ends up being a hopeful swansong to my longstanding relationship with booze.

I’ve listened to the new CD innumerable times and I’m really proud of it, and the response to it from my friends who kindly previewed it and gave me feedback was of positive confusion (and meant as a compliment– they didn’t see it coming:)).  I released a bunch of tracks to DJs today and the response (and demand) has been much more positive than I expected.

You don’t make music for anyone but yourself, or at least I don’t, but it’s of course nice that people appreciate what you do.

Part of me hopes this shuts a few of my naysayers up that I can’t just make “funny songs” (which is fucking ridiculous if you actually have listened to a lot of my stuff– the titles notwithstanding, I have a lot more “serious” songs than I get credit for, but whatever).  If it doesn’t it’s not going to really affect me one way or another, because I now have a lot more confidence in what I can do as an artist.  Does that mean I’m going to turn into fucking Coldplay?  Hell no.  I have many, many bad ideas yet to unleash on the electronic scene, but at the same time I don’t feel any obligation to act one way. 

I feel bad for an artist who feels they can’t express a thought other than one they’re “known for”.  Maybe that’s a confine of popularity and not wanting to disappoint, but to me it’s self-censorship, and that’s completely against how my head works.  If an artist wants to be fearless they need to confront what’s expected of them and not rest on their laurels.  Be what you are, not what they want you to be.  Screw the opinions, as most of those people are too afraid to even TRY to accomplish what many of us try and do.

I’ll probably do a few more updates on the actual release when it’s ACTUALLY released– right now the master is at Sooperdooper and will be sent to replication soon, but I’m cool leaving it here for right now.

The official release date is April 13th.  I’m really looking forward to it.

Now on to the new EP, the Causticles CD I’m working on with Brian from The Gothsicles, and the live DVD for Kinetik in May.  Thanks for sticking around.

Samples are here:

http://vampirefreaks.com/caustic

http://www.reverbnation.com/causticmusic

http://www.myspace.com/causticmusic

BREAKING NEWS! Matt Fanale gives up drinking

BREAKING NEWS March 17th, 2010 12:00PM EST

Popular/only jizzcore artist Caustic, aka Matt Fanale, has announced today that he stopped drinking alcohol as of March 13, 2010. “After 18 years of making an ass of myself I feel it’s time to let another generation have their chance to systematically destroy their livers and embarrass those who love them. And also have a lot of fun.”

Fanale, who will be releasing his new CD “…And You Will Know Me By The Trail of Vomit” in early April, has long been known as “That guy who drank all the band beer. Seriously, he couldn’t leave one freakin’ bottle for me?!”

Class action lawsuits are pending from the beer and liquor industries against Fanale, citing millions in potential lost revenues and scores of layoffs if he continues with his planned cessation. At least six bars in his hometown of Madison, WI have already closed, citing “inevitable bankruptcy” due to the imbibing stoppage.

Tavern League of Wisconsin President Rob Swearingen immediately released an official statement earlier this morning, stating “Thanks for f–king it up for all of us, Fanale. Enjoy soda, you prick.”

Globally the announcement has been treated similarly. Several death threats have been reported from the Mexican tequila industry and German Chancellor Andrea Merkel spoke on behalf of Jagermeister, comparing Fanale to Hitler and then stating “It’s a fair comparison for what he’s doing to us. Really.”

Montreal’s Kinetik Festival was luckily spared in the onslaught, as they were able to markedly reduce their beer order for the festival in time. Beer sponsor Boreale did report several suicides within upper management due to the announcement, however.

Fanale’s only statement in response to the massive criticism and chaos was “It’s fine. I’m used to disappointing people.”

________________

Be like Fanale and quit drinking. If this proves harder than you thought, get a hand with Alcohol rehabs.

DIY Do or Die part five: The Releasening

So first off apologies to the few of you who were reading this and wanted an update on the new CD.  What was meant as a “quick and dirty let’s-just-get-it-out” CD turned into a “holy shit a lot of life crap happens and I wasn’t able to finish it until a few weeks ago”.

With that said “…AND YOU WILL KNOW ME BY THE TRAIL OF VOMIT” is done and currently being mastered by Ben Arp (aka C/A/T, Captive Six, and owner of Crunch Pod, my label).  I’m self-releasing this one for $5 a pop with hand drawn art in a plastic sleeve.  This is for a several reasons (some of which were mentioned in the earlier posts regarding the CD):

1) I wanted to try a more DIY aesthetic on it and literally do almost all of it LITERALLY myself, hence the hand drawn art (and laid out- no graphic design programs were used).  Even though this will be a professionally replicated CD like you could buy in any store (hell, it’ll have a barcode), it was done in the spirit of the indie releases I used to love finding at small record stores.

2) Shipping is much cheaper when you aren’t sending full-sized jewel cases.  This makes it easier for me to sell the CDs cheaper to fans.

3) I wanted to produce and release a CD, including all the incidentals like extras for the limited edition, printing costs, etc, for as low an amount as I could while still supplying the quality I wanted to.  Everything for this CD is costing around $1050.00 (usually replicating 1000 CDs costs $1200-1400, and this includes EVERYTHING not related to the replication), and since putting the presale up on Sunday (meaning 4 days ago) I’m about 3 CDs away from already breaking even.  I’m not saying that to brag (as pleased as I am with that fact), I’m saying that to show there are ways to do this that won’t destroy you financially and, obviously, if you can build a fanbase of people who are willing to support you.

4) I wanted to give Crunch Pod a reprieve from having to release a weirder-than-normal Caustic cd and not tie up money at the label so we can get other stuff out.

And the extra fun part for me is that very few people have heard ANYTHING on the disc.  Why do I like this?  Because it means people will still be awesome and buy music without having to hear every fucking note thirty times.  That makes me happy.  So there.

Speaking of happy, I’m actually pretty damn happy with this CD.  When I sent it to a select group of friends I got similar reactions along the lines of “this isn’t a typical Caustic CD…but is.”  It’s more personal in many ways and stylistically I tried to push myself in some different directions.  It’s not as much a 4/4 stompfest (although there are a few tracks like that) and I enjoyed going for more sparseness on certain tracks than I feel I’m known for.

Also, I’m scared to release it in some ways.  I was terrified until I got the feedback from my pals assuring me it didn’t totally suck, and to me that fear makes the CD a success regardless of anything, because it demonstrates that I didn’t fall back on the same bullshit.  I want to be scared creatively, as even if the whole track (or CD) isn’t successful I know I learned something and can use it later.  I don’t ever want to put out the same CD twice, or half-ass one.  I want to force myself to fight my natural proclivity to say “eh, that’s good enough.”  I need to know I won’t settle, and hopefully that’ll show through to those who listen to it.

Anyway, here’s the link to order it.  It’ll be out in April. 

 http://www.facebook.com/causticmusic#!/note.php?note_id=361600854192&id=36781326564&ref=mf

CAUSTIC
…AND YOU WILL KNOW ME BY THE TRAIL OF VOMIT

The Saint of Fuck-Ups
Piss and Vinegar
I to Id/Id to I [idiot]
Meat Market Carnivore
Chewing Glass at the Zoo (Caustic vs The Vomit Arsonist)
Altered Ego 1
Bad Habits
Appetite for Distraction
Bueno Excellente
Shrapnel Condition
Fail Better
My Crutch (w/Dan Clark of The Dark Clan)

Lost VF Mag interviews: Blaqk Audio

A few years ago I was a writer on the short-lived VF MAGAZINE.  I think it only got 2 issues out, but I had the pleasure of conducting some interviews that unfortunately never saw the light of day.  One of them was with Davey Havok of BLAQK AUDIO (and better known as being the frontman for the huge emo/punk Bay Area band AFI, of which just released their new CD “CRASH LOVE”)

Anyway, I thought the interview(s) were pretty damn cool, so I thought I’d put ’em up for posterity.  Enjoy.

_________________________________

BLAQK AUDIO: Cex with the Lights Out

Interview by Matt Fanale

Davey Havok and Jade Puget are known worldwide as being part of A Fire Inside, aka AFI, but in a drastic (yet logical, if you read on) change of pace, Havok and Puget have founded the BLAQK AUDIO electronic project, combining classic synthpop, modern ebm, and a little bit of the old geetar.  Their first disc CEXCELLS is now out on mega-label Interscope Records, home of Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, and, well, AFI.  With the record industry’s sales tumbling another year, Interscope has taken a significant challenge on with a genre of music that isn’t quite as popular as the heyday of Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, or Erasure.  Havok took some time to talk Blaqk Audio with me while on the promo listening tour for the new CD.

VF Magazine: Let’s start with some basics—when and how did you and Jade come up with Blaqk Audio and the new CD CexCells?

Davey Havok: We began discussions of forming black audio around 2001 or 2002, I believe.  Jade and I are longtime fans of electronica and we wanted to create a dance based band that had a strong vocal focus while still occasionally touching on the darker side of the beats. Jade had begun programming and around eight songs came out of these formative years but with the increased amount of time we needed to dedicate AFI at that time, the writing ceased until recently. With the exception of “Snuff on Digital” all the songs that appear on CexCells were written and recording during the few free hours we had amidst, and in between, the Decemberunderground tour dates. 

VF: AFI, or at least you, have had a long history in the goth/industrial scene.  I remember years back seeing you walk around the crowd at the Warped Tour in a Cure shirt, and also seeing multiple pictures of you in magazines wearing t-shirts from bands like Apoptygma Berzerk and VNV Nation.  Describe how the genres have influenced your music over time, with both AFI and Blaqk Audio.

DH: Really, the dark alternative scene has been something that has appealed to me for as long as I can remember.  I suppose if I must point fingers the Cure started it all for me (although I could also finger being enamored with those beautiful mall death rockers in Sacramento as lad) and Bauhaus was just waiting in the wings to perpetuate such love. The list goes on and on and the affiliation with the dark electronic scene I need not explain, though I will say that it was ebm/industrial that worked as gateways to other electronica for me. As far as anything directly inspiring Blaqk Audio I can’t quite say, but certainly spending many sweaty nights on the dark dancefloors over the years lead me to where we are now. As you pointed out, I’ve worn many an influence on my sleeve – and some under my skin – most of the aforementioned bands included. They mean quite a bit to me.

VF: You’re one of the first unapologetically full-on synthpop/ebm projects to be signed to a major U.S. label in quite some time.  Obviously being in AFI helps, but what’s Interscope’s take on Blaqk Audio and their enthusiasm towards putting out something in a genre that hasn’t been “big” for quite some?  Is the label taking a more grassroots approach to marketing it in “the scene”?

DH: We have a very good relationship with Interscope and our wonderful A&R guy Luke Wood. Because of this, we were lucky enough to have him agree to put out the record before he ever heard a single song. It was however, clear that most people at the label, and most people in general, presumed that Blaqk Audio was going to sound more like Coil or Skinny Puppy rather than be based deeply in melodic vocals and poppy synth lines (why this was, I cannot quite say). When we finally finished the record and the label heard it the interest in the release became great and what could have been tucked away as a niche record has been getting far more attention than most electronic acts do. The radio play at modern rock (despite there being absolutely nothing rock about the record!) has been fantastic and [label co-founder] Jimmy Iovine himself gave high praise to CexCells. As well, the label has hired Metropolis Records to service the record to the clubs in the scene – something that was very important us – so that it didn’t fall between the mainstream cracks. The success of the record has yet to be seen. As of now it has not been released, but hopefully if it does reach a large audience it will cause an upswing in interest of the greater scene.

VF:  What was the process that Jade and you used to create Blaqk Audio’s music, and how is it similar or different to the process by which music is created for AFI?  How long did CexCells take to come about from idea to completed work and when the hell did you guys have time to work on it with all the touring and recording for AFI?

DH: Every moment that Jade was busy with AFI last year he spent programming Blaqk Audio tracks – on the bus, at home, and in is hotel rooms he sat at his laptop for hours. On our few days off between tour legs, he would send me completed files that I would write words and melodies to. Eventually, we amassed an albums worth of songs and converged in Hollywood (again, on any day we had off the road – which were few and far between) and tracked the vocals in pieces. It allowed us zero time off, as has promoting the record currently, but we are so passionate about the music that it was a pleasure to create. We really felt it was time to make it happen and dedicated ourselves.

VF: Does BA allow you to explore different elements of yourself than songs from AFI, either thematically or emotionally?

DH: Absolutely.  The music inspired me to go in an entirely different lyrical direction than any I’ve touched on in AFI. CexCells is primarily about sex, a topic never quite focused on in all 16 years of AFI.   

VF: Name six albums, three classic and three current, which have influenced Blaqk Audio’s sound?

DH: For classics, Underworld’s Dubnobasswithmyheadman, Depeche Mode’s Violator, and Ministry’s The Land of Rape and Honey.  For current, VNV Nation’s Empires, Apoptygma Berzerk’s Welcome to Earth, and Covenant’s Northern Light.

VF: Do you work on lyrics before or after the tracks are done, and do you write them (if before) saying “these are for Blaqk Audio” or “these are for AFI”?

DH: All Blaqk Audio lyrics were written specifically for Blaqk Audio. Most were directly inspired by the music. It is however, not uncommon for me to have notes that I’ve taken during moments of lyrical inspiration that hits outside of writing.  Some of those eventually became Blaqk Audio songs as well. 

VF: Your first live date for Blaqk Audio was just announced in your hometown of San Francisco.  Are there any plans to tour on this CD and if so do you have a wishlist of who you’d like to open for you?

DH: We are indeed touring CexCells beginning early September in Atlanta and hitting a select few cities in North America. Whether or not we take it international depends on how the record is received. The shows will be opened by DJs.  

VF: BA’s first single was “Stiff Kittens”.  What part did you have in the choosing of this and who remixed it, such as Assemblage 23’s Tom Shear (also featured in this issue)?

DH: We definitely played a hands on role in choosing remixers for the single and we approached Tom having both been longtime A23 fans. We’re hoping to have a second single for which I could create a huge list of hopeful remixers – including but not limited to: Andy Laplegua of Combichrist/Icon of Coil, Ronan Harris of VNV Nation, Justice, Paul Oakenfold, Crystal Method, Amon Tobin…I could go on forever. As far as choosing the single itself we leave that up to the label and the radio station. We don’t put anything but songs we love on a record and which works get showcased as singles makes no difference to us.  

VF:  “Stiff Kittens” is a reference to the legendary post-punk band Joy Division (eventually, of course, becoming New Order after Ian Curtis’ suicide).  What brought that tip of the hat about and, maybe more importantly, are you as excited about the new Anton Corbijn directed film of Ian Curtis as the rest of us fans are?

DH: Jade and I are both long, long time Joy Division fans. We actually share the same Joy Division tattoo. The title of the song accompanied the file of the music sent to me by Jade. He named it before the lyrics were written which is common. Typically with BA I’ll change the title to fit the lyrics or write the lyrics based on the title. On this occasion I did neither. The name Jade gave it was too good. As far as the Corbijn film goes, I cannot wait, though I’ve heard rumors that New Order pulled the plug on it. 

VF: AFI’s fans, to say the least, are devoted.  What has the response been from them to the clubbier sounds of Blaqk Audio in relation to the rockin’ of AFI?

DH: Well, so far the majority of people we’ve met at the listening parties have been AFI fans. In general I think most AFI fans are open-minded music listeners and thus, will not be opposed to looking outside of Rock for good music. That’s not to say that there won’t be a group of AFI fans who just can’t get with it. I certainly don’t expect that they will all understand. 

VF: Would you be interested in taking Blaqk Audio to the large European fests like Wave Gotik Treffen or Mera Luna? 

DH:  Though I’ve never made it to those fests myself, I’m well aware of them. If the record is well received in Europe and those festivals invited us I’m sure we’d get on the plane.

VF: How important is it to you both to be accepted in the underground ebm/synthpop scene and not just seen as “those AFI guys slumming for the goff clubs”? 

DH: Hah, well, I’ve never quite thought of it as slumming and most people (in the California scene at the very least) are familiar with me as I’ve been haunting the scene for years now. Our intentions our pure, our roots are deep and we’re extremely proud of the record. Certainly CexCells potential to hold great appeal to fans of futurepop, ebm and synthpop, but if someone wants to discriminate against the record simply because it was written by Jade and I, that’s fine – silly, but fine. I’m proud of it either way. 

VF: BA’s sound harkens back to 80s synthpop like Depeche Mode, OMD and classic new romantic like Human League —I kept thinking it would have fit perfectly on a John Hughes soundtrack —what’s your favorite 80’s movie soundtrack and why?

DH: High flattery, high flattery. Thank you. Pretty in Pink is PACKED with great songs though obviously the quintessential Brat Pack Song is “Don’t You Forget About Me,”…or wait….is it “If You Leave”?…hmm…

VF: VNV Nation’s Ronan Harris helped you on Decemberunderground, as well as supplying a remix for “Miss Murder.  Do you think the “futurepop” sound is getting wider acceptance in the U.S. market?  Which bands do you think have the best chance of breaking onto American radio, if any?

DH: Clearly futurepop has been growing and growing since the late nineties. Simply looking at the attendance at VNV and Apoptygma Berzerk shows around the country can show this to the case. Breaking into American mainstream radio is SO difficult unfortunately. The system radio stations use to decide weather to play a song is mind blowing and we are SO lucky as both AFI and Blaqk Audio to get radio play (Blaqk Audio especially.) I’d have to say that “Once in a Lifetime” may be the only song that comes to mind that might have gotten a shot at mainstream airplay and if Wolfsheim wrote a similar track it could possibly have a chance. I base this simply on my knowledge of how things work in that world and I’m certainly not saying that I think it’s right. If I were in charge the airwaves would sound much different. Oh, a piece of advice – XM Radio’s “The System” is a great listen. I think it’s 82 on the dial.  (editor’s note- this is correct, and he’s right, it’s great.)

VF: For all the gearheads out there, what hard and software have you used to create CexCells?

DH: I’m not going to pretend I know anything about the technical side of creating electronic music. I am not even a novice.  I am but a melody and lyric writer. Jade is the beat maestro. Please don’t quote me but I think I’ve heard him say words like “Reason, Pro Tools, Reactor, Acid….” How does that sound?

VF: The 80’s new wave sound has made a resurgence with the electroclash scene, but more frequently bands like Blaqk Audio and others like Kill Hannah and The Bravery are reincorporating an “old school” sound into their music.  What do you think is drawing bands back to those sounds and do you think the cyclical nature of old becoming new again means industrial will be making a comeback as well? 

DH:  Well, I can only speak for myself here as other’s intentions are unclear to me. Any “old school” sounds that seep through in the rock of AFI are simply a result of all the members of AFI having grown up to such music and that foundation seeping into our song writing. As far as industrial goes, the Skinny Puppy reunion shows seemed to be a big success and I hear Nitzer Ebb is working on a new one so the future may be bright!

VF: Who’s the biggest synthpop nerd between you and Jade, and what criteria are you using?

DH: Honestly, unless you take height and weight into account, were both equally big nerds. 

VF: What are you listening to these days and what’s keeping you on the dancefloor?

DH: I’m literally listening to the new Chemical Brothers right now. Combichrist will undoubtedly get me on the floor. The “Military Fashion Show” [by And One] single always has me shaking as does the Justice song. Though, not electronic, The Scissor Sisters Ta Dah may be one of the most danceable records to be release in the past few years. I’m always a sucker for anything Iris as well.

VF: What heroes of yours from the goth/industrial/synthpop world have you had the fortune of meeting and what was it like? 

DH:   I’ve met so many people from the scene over the years and it was a relief to find them all to be very nice. However, I’d have to say that with having grown up with The Cure and The Cult by my side, the acquaintances that I’ve established with both Robert and the Wolfchild have been the most touching.

VF: If you’ve conquered both the arenas and dancefloors, what’s next for the ever-expanding Havok styles?  Gregorian chants?  R&B?  Klezmer? 

DH: I’ve got my sights set on the fashion world! 

VF: How will Blaqk Audio live be different to AFI?  Will you both be playing onstage and/or will you have other members exclusively up there for the live show?  

DH: Blaqk Audio will be extremely different as a live act in comparison. It will just be Jade and I, some lights, some projections, some computers and some keyboards. Think Erasure…though I won’t be wearing any underwear.

VF: Okay Davey, let’s bury the hatchet once and for all on the AFI/Caustic “controversy”.  For the history– AFI has a song called “Kill Caustic, to which I, “gangsta rap beef-style,” retaliated with a track called “Kill AFI (they started it)”. [Note that AFI’s beef was in fact tofu. –ed.]  Can you let the people of the world know that we finally met in person and sorted out our differences without a single bit of bloodshed spilled?

DH: The hopscotch at high noon was heavy, but in the end we resolved our differences and the Noise and Alt Rock worlds were once again at peace with each other. For the record, I laughed out loud when I heard about the song for the first time and was quite happy to commend you in person. 

VF: Thanks for taking the time to do this, Davey, and good luck with the new album.