InSoc Interview:
08/97 - OING magazine.

OING:
1. It has been 4 years since the last album, what all have you been up to since then?

InSoc:
I've been working on the new album, which is due out 09/23. I've also been doing music for video games. Some of the songs on the new album ("Don't Be Afraid") are being used in games.

OING:
2. I know there have been a lot of changes within the band. What is the current line up?

InSoc:
Well, you need to make a distinction between the live show and the business of making albums. I'm the only one who owns the band, I make the decisions, and I make the records only with a producer. But there will be people I hire and pay a weekly salary to be the touring group. There will be some turnover, but I HOPE that they'll all be with me for a long time. One of them is my brother, and I'm sure he'll be on stage with me for as long as I do shows.

OING:
3. You were originally based in Minnesota and have since relocated west. Why did you decide to do this?

InSoc:
I moved to New York because it was a great experience to live there for a while. I moved to San Francisco because it is the best city in the country. I know; I've been to them all.

OING:
4. Where is your biggest fan base and why do you think that is?

InSoc:
Where in the U.S.? Southeast. From Florida up to North Carolina over to Texas. I really don't know why.

OING:
5. You were recently featured in Keyboard magazine. Can you talk a little bit about that?

InSoc:
Well... there was a guy who wanted to interview me for Keyboard, and he did. He came down the the studio Steve and I were working in, and asked me questions, took some pictures... the interview came out in the July issue.

OING:
6. You recently signed with Cleopatra. Why did you decide to sign with them...

InSoc:
They were the only label that wanted me.

...and why did you choose to do a cover for your first release on that label?

InSoc:
1. - It's my favorite song of all time. 2. - In 1993, when I first recorded my version of it, I felt the time was right for covers of Gary Numan songs. I told everyone that this was the case, and no one believed me. Now look. Sigh.

OING:
7. Can you tell me about the new album (title, release date, the making of, etc...)?

InSoc:
It's called "Don't Be Afraid." The release date is 09/23. You and your readers are invited to check out http:
//InSoc.org for extensive information including sound clips of all the songs. Feel free to cut and paste anything you find there into the interview.

OING:
8. You've done a lot of work with video games in the past. Is that something you're still doing? How does doing music for video games compare to writing your own music?

InSoc:
Yes, I just started a new game with Crystal Dynamix for the Sony Playstation. It is very different from making albums. I found it quite calming and refreshing. I didn't have to worry about the really painful artistic conundrums like "Is this really a good song?" or "Does it really fit into the current trends in music in a marketable way?" or "Are these lyrics stupid, or am I just being insecure?". If it sounds good, and it works, then you're done. I really needed that for a while. It's still nice to have both outlets, though, because you can't REALLY express your deepest feelings when your'e doing video game music. Not often, anyway.

OING:
9. There have been a lot of changes in the "pop" music world since the last album, and now it seems as though it is turning more to the genre of electronic music. How do you feel about that, and has that affected your sound at all?

InSoc:
Whee. Let me see... is this the 6th or the 7th time I've heard that since we started being an all-electronic act in 1982...? I believe that this is what will happen:
Although there is currently a validly definable genre which you could call "Electronica", and that the labels want to sell it to the record-buying public, by the time the labels have quantified and defined it in a way which can be sold at Best Buy, they will have lost the disctinction between it and "techno", and at that point everyone will lose interest. I mean, remember The Shamen? They're electronic, and their songs started coming out in at LEAST 1991... was THAT Electronica, or was it techno? Remember Howard Jones? Remember Art Of Noise? Remember Kraftwerk? Remember Buchla? I think the labels will all drop this "Electronica" thing so fast it will make your head spin, and they'll do it within 12 months. That's about the minimum time it would take a new band to change their direction to accomodate the new trend, write new songs, record them, get them to a label and get signed. Just as they wrote their names on the paper, the label would drop thm and say that Electronica was last years news, and couldn't they try doing something with a more Nebraska Corn-Rock Rap kind of feel? Start all over again.... Electronic instruments do affect the music produced with them, just like any other instrument. As a "genre" however, I doubt it will ever achieve a solid enough definition to count for much. Watch. In 9 months, everyone in the record industry will be saying "It's just techno again.", and they'll be off to chase Russian Reggae, or spoken word, or whatever. If I were a label, I'd invest in white rap masquerading as "spoken word". Like Cottonmouth Texas.

OING:
10. Do you have any tour plans coming up?

InSoc:
Touring is in the works, but I can't yet say exactly when. I will say though, that it will be the best InSoc live show ever. I'm not using any tapes. 5 people, All live, all electronic, NO DAT.

OING:
11. What music are you into at the moment?

InSoc:
See http://InSoc.org/texts/Listen.txt

OING:
12. What got you interested in doing music to begin with?

InSoc:
Paul Robb, mostly. But once I started, I was drawn to it for the same reason I did painting when I was a teenager:
The deep gratification and pleasure of having created something.

OING:
13. What are your aspirations for the future?

InSoc:
Well, I try to live my future in small, manageable chunks of 2-5 years. For now, I just want to do this album, build the new live show, do another album right away, tour on that, and then take 9 months out and think about what to do next. During all of this, I want to continue building my career in doing game music.

OING:
14. How can people reach you?

InSoc:
E-Mail - vector@InSoc.org
Web - http:
//InSoc.org
UseNet - alt.music.info-society
IRC - irc.insoc.org, every thursday at 9PM central time.