An Interview With Dead Again!
A new release from Dead Again! bridges the gap between an electronic and an industrial set of textures and tones that come together to breed an atmosphere that's all its own but still keeps this sort of familiar and comfortable undertone.
"Output12" is one of the latest in a series of songs and pieces released from the project and definitely showcases the envelope pushing production style that breeds something that becomes quickly driving and can be very edgy but also has amazing builds and attention to detail in terms of arrangements.
Quite an outstanding and outlandish use of since swirl around you and hit hard with an aggressive approach at times that build an intensity and become explosive.
One of the coolest things about this is the fact that the beat part of it has this heavy metal feel to it as does the entire thing at times which is an attribute of industrial music and sometimes genres like cold wave for example.
There are some really cool changes and breakdowns, builds and swells that happen throughout the song's course and it just has the ability to take you to a different place altogether.
As I mentioned before, "Output12" is just the latest in a series of songs which the of first group was released as an album that was dubbed Human Interface Device, and if you go through that album in particular you get the full roundabout feel and style of this project because it goes through these phases and chapters and it is indeed heavily influenced by classic late 90s underground Industrial soundscapes.
You do get a mix of crazy drumming and percussion along with guitar and synth riffs that take you for one hell of a ride.
The album itself is a massive and vast series of sucker punches to the gut and it's awesome.
You get all kinds of cool ambient breakdowns and sections that drift about in the air that surrounds you before it takes you back to that ground pounding aggression again.
It all has a way of being almost cinematic with itself which is all engulfing and it feels good to be in golf by this record in general.
This album is a perfect example of escapism and records like this are meant for exactly that. You're supposed to be able to step out of your life and just be focused on the music itself while it takes you to these different places and through these different series of emotions at times and forget about the world around you.
While the latest single is prepping to be released everywhere, we wanted to touch base with Dead Again! To see what the track is about and what it will be a part of in the near future.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Okay Timothy, let's start with "OUTPUT12". This had a killer heavy edginess to it but also crossed genres smoothly! How did this track come about? Thanks! I'm always happy to hear that my overgrown-teen-angst still translates! I used to care a lot about genres and trying to adhere to the rules of this or that genre. Back when I made dubstep, it was ONLY dubstep. Then, I started making electro-house and it was ONLY electro house. Then I graduated to drum&bass and neurofunk, which meant 174 beats per minute, not 175, not 173, only 174. It just became such a creative roadblock to adhere to genre standards. I know that, in electronic music, there is a good reason for these guidelines: it's so that when a DJ is playing a set, and your song comes up, they don't have to drastically slow or speed up the song before or after your song; they just flow together. A very good DJ might even make sure that the keys of the songs are either the same, or relative to one another, which is another can of worms that I won't get into. I eventually completely broke off from the social media shitshow of various producers all trying to get their music on this or that Lebel by posting the dankest possible memes, instead of making good music. A few years back I went through, and manually deleted each and every post off of my Facebook - over 12 years of posts, multiple posts a day, it was exhausting, but Facebook doesn't let you just delete your account. They're too spooky for that, they just keep your information forever no matter what. It wasn't until I did this, and actually completely stopped even listening to music at all, that I was able to find my own voice, so to speak. I didn't actually listen to any music for about 6 years before coming back and making Human Interface Device. I believe that it is by far my best release to date. OUTPUT12 is part of the follow-up album, HID2, which is still in the making. You can expect it to be even heavier still than HID was. The edginess is something that just seems to be inherently a part of how I compose music. I don't think I could write an uplifting and happy sounding track to save my life haha. It's 2023, and so I think it's safe to say that we've all struggled with at least one flavor of mental illness or another - if you haven't, then that's fantastic for you, and I don't mean to dismiss you if you're totally healthy in that regard, just as I don't mean to either minimize what you are going through just because I say that we are all fucked up in some way; but because of this, any music that is not angry, or sad, or both, just strikes me as disingenuous. I don't have lyrics in the vast majority of my songs. That's because I just don't have the kind of confidence that is required to directly speak the message that I'm trying to convey, so I try to build a space and a feeling that conveys that message nonverbally. A lot of people have described my style as very cinematic, and I think that's a good way to describe it. I am, in essence, trying to take the listener to a place and time that is familiar, to a degree. I know that I'm going on an on about this, and it's only question one, but I'm going to quickly give an example: In OUTPUT10, the beginning has these warped booming sounds, which later evolve into the main bass sound. On this warped version of the bass, there is a delay effect, which sounds quite a bit like rolling thunder. I quite like to use this particular method of creating atmospheres, because it instantly sets the stage as dark and gray. Additionally, there is a prolonged, monotonic, whining guitar throughout the first half of the intro, which, by the second half of the intro, is rising in pitch and then dropping back to it's original pitch, and then slowly rises and falls over and over. If you listen closely, the guitar actually sounds very similar to the whine of a Stuka dive-bomber, a German warplane whose unique diving sound has become a staple in cinema. Later, when the song picks up, the kick drum and rhythm guitars both play these very fast blast beats, which is more or less the focal point of the track. It doesn't take much imagination to interpret these blasts as machine-gun fire. Now, is that song actually about the invasion of Normandy, or some other such battle? No, not really. The song is intended to place the listener into an environment which is familiar, stressful, and seemingly hopeless. All of my tracks can be interpreted in a similar fashion - if something sounds like a scene from a movie, then try to put yourself in that scene, and go from there. Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you musically?
I've been producing music for over 13 years now; since.. god.. I guess since I was 12 years old. I'm just another one of those 12 year old kids who had heard Skrillex's Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites and arrogantly said to themselves, "Psh... I can do that...", and then proceeded to fail miserably for years and years until finally finding something that actually worked for them. It took years and years of relentlessly trying to catch up with the greatest producers in bass music, specifically Noisia, actually. When I started making music (well, I guess it wasn't really "music" I was making at the beginning, as it was objectively more akin to the noise a garbage disposal makes when there's either a spoon, or perhaps, a small rodent of some kind, in it.) When I was very young my mom would take me to church on Sunday, and I would sit in the very back where the mixing console was and I just wanted to touch it so badly but, of course, there's no way in hell anyone is letting the child start pressing buttons on the thing hahaha - but I honestly think that may have had something to do with my initial interest in the production side of things. The music side of things, was definitely from my dad - he was and still is very into music and musicians. Remember those zip-up car CD organizer things? Well he had about three of them - not small ones, either - in the back seat of his car. For his sake, I won't say what kind of car it was, but it rhymes with "Nissan Murano". Anyway, I remember he would always ask me to find a specific cd for him while he was driving, and so I would be looking through page after page after page trying to find the right one. I got a lot of exposure to all sorts of music from him. To this day, my some of all-time favorite albums and artists I first heard out of those damn zippy books. Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
Honestly, my process is mostly a matter of creating a sound, either with synthesis or by resampling, and doing so much shit to it, just to see what it does, until the sound is no longer something that I have control over the shape and behavior of, and then doing everything I can do make it do what I want it to. I hope that makes sense... Most of the inspiration I have is born out of experimenting with effects and synthesizers until something sounds cool enough that I want to keep it. So then I turn it into an audio file which can no longer be tweaked like it could be while still just an instrument and effects rack. Once it's audio, that's it. I just have to get creative with it, and make it behave in the way that I need it to, and from that comes the rest of the song, which is little more than compromises and accommodations for the initial experimentation. I wish I had a more profound answer to this question, but, really, that's where it all comes from.
Buzz Slayers: This single has some great styles combinations on it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
I spent years chasing Noisia's production quality and trying to encapsulate the cryptic nature of Gorillaz, and they are by far my biggest influences, but I think it's safe to say that neither are really in the same vein as whatever the hell it is I'm doing haha. That's kind of the point, though. I find that I'm far too impressionable, when it comes to music especially. If I hear a song that I like, I will try to recreate that song, but that's not what I want to do, I'm not trying to be a Noisia cover band, so I actually try not to listen to even my biggest inspirations while I'm working on a project like HID or HID2. It must be a disorder or something, honestly. If I hear something that I enjoy I am compelled to try and do the same thing, and that has never worked out for me. Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I write a lot of python code these days. I had been working on writing trading algorithms for the past couple of years, and as soon as I had a good, solid system figured out, it seems that the very next day this ChatGPT thing drops and now everyone and their mother has an algorithm that they just magically conjured in like 2 seconds! It's so frustrating that I can't even put it into words. The only thing that makes it even a little ok is that those GPT trading bots usually suck ass, while mine is really f****** good hahahaha - so at least there's that... still feel like I wasted a couple of years there, however. Oh well, at least I know python now. That was on my to-do list since I started working in the IT field. Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
At this very moment? I am! I'm working on my next track(s), so I've been listening to the same guitar riff on loop for the past three or so hours trying to decide if I should cut the lows a little lower or just leave it! Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
No, not at the moment. I've played at one wedding ever, and that's the entirety of my performance experience hahaha - the idea of being on stage is terrifying to me, I'm very much an introvert. An introvert who won't shut the f*** up, but an introvert, nonetheless. Buzz Slayers: Did you record yourself or hit a big studio for this?
It's all me, baby! No big studio, just my MacBook, logic pro, and an irresponsible arsenal of distortion, compression, and eq plugins. Not to sound conceited and certainly not to imply that I don't still have much to learn, I do think that the quality of my productions sets them apart from others. Again, there are plenty of producers out there that make my music sound like wet garbage in comparison, but I'm very happy with my latest tracks, and it's kind of flattering that you would ask if a big studio was involved. It's possible that you ask everyone that, I suppose, but either way, thanks! I've been asked a lot wether I play the drums for my tracks; so I'm gonna put it on the record that I do not. I program them entirely by hand with MIDI, and the same goes for the guitar. I simply do not have the discipline required to learn to play the guitar hahah! I have tried, though. Didn't work out. That's why I try to stick to the electronic music scenes when platforms ask for the genre - it's definitely got a lot in common with metal, but I just feel like I would be roasted alive in the metal scene when I show up with a laptop and no guitar hahahaha. I went to ICON Collective, and have spent countless hours over the corse of 13 years KNOWING that if I just kept improving, that I would, obviously, be a rockstar when I grew up. That hasn't taken place yet, but I figure I'll keep trying anyway. Worst case? My dreams are all left in the same dusty box that everyone else's dreams are in; and that's fine! At least it was fun!
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
Probably an apology for something I said because I thought that it was funny at the time but in retrospect it was not. OH you mean musically? Oh, well they can expect the next chapter of the story told in HID - If you've heard HID beginning to end, you may have been able to pick up a certain storyline. This story is not over, and that means that there will be more "skits" like OUTPUT07, to provide a bit more context, Hopefully by the end of the series it will all be clear, what it is I'm actually going on about! Very hard to tell a story with virtually no lyrics, so we'll see! Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Hi, Mom! Hi Dad! Hahaha! But seriously; I could probably thank each of my fans by name, honestly! I'm not a very well-known artist, but I'm working to change that, if possible. Okay, I know that what I'm about to say is probably the least hardcore, brutal, and metal, thing that I could possibly say, but the idea of someone really, truly, appreciating the work that I've put into this project is indescribable. I am truly so thankful to each and every person who has given any of my tracks even just a moment of their time. I actually check the analytics on my soundcloud regularly; on there it shows my top listeners for the day, week, month, etc., and I will often reach out to the top listeners directly to thank them for giving me their time, especially when it's apparent that they've been listening to my profile every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I'm not a big name artist or even anything close to that, but it brings tears to my eyes to see how positive the feedback I've gotten on these projects have been. Weather there are tens of thousands of people listening, or just, like, seven.. the fact that anyone would take the time to listen feels almost exactly like when you put a dollar in the vending machine and it accidentally gives you two of whatever you were trying to get.... Yeah, that's actually spot on, what that feels like.... So what I'm trying to say is, Thanks! A lot!