SUMMER, 2000

1. You are called "the masters of progressive darkwave". are you satisfied with that label?

I'm not sure, although it's certainly far better than being called the masters of scallion cream cheese. I think it's important to produce music that you believe in, that represents a unique voice - a progressive voice. Simply because you enjoy the music of others is no reason to duplicate it and pass it off as your own - that's not progressive. Unfortunately, that is generally what record labels gravitate towards - a facsimile of a product that has shown itself to be investment worthy. When we first started producing music, I had been completely removed from current musical trends, listening to absolutely no music whatsoever for years. We had no concept of descriptions such as goth, industrial, progressive, ambient, darkwave, or doom metal. It was only after we started receiving reviews that those terms came into play. I'm of the belief that a definitive sound or image is worthless if good songwriting is not present. Our approach is 'a good song is a good song', whether it's ska or trance or power metal. I'm sure we approach melody in much the same ways that pop songwriters do - it is simply the format that is different.

2. Could you in the beginning tell us something more about the history of the band? in your official newsletter it is stated that you "originally were conceived as a studio project", are you now a full-time band? what is your recent line-up?

In the early 90's, I was finishing study in psychology at New York University, and felt a tremendous hesitancy towards continuing my education directly after college, with specific regards to engaging in research at the Ph.D. level. Having abandoned music altogether after a miserable year at the New England Conservatory three years before, I decided to give music another shot and began to search for musicians through classified ads in several local music papers. I received hundreds of tapes over the course of a year, but the only ad I responded to was vora's search for a singer. The bio is correct in stating that we were 'originally conceived as a studio project" - our sessions mainly consisted of writing material, developing lyrical concepts, and committing them to tape, some of which would appear on 1994's Shadows EP. It wasn't until a year or so later, when I wanted to perform live, that I actually saw Vora and Notorious (our first drummer and co-founder) actually play. We spent the next five years playing in and around New York City. Braindance consists of Vora Vor, responsible for production, programming, arrangements, and guitars, and myself, responsible for minced onions, parsley, and braised shallots. We have between three and five revolving members, human and otherwise, responsible for percussion, basses, keyboards, voices, and a myriad of other aural excitements that we'll be performing with live with, as soon as Redemption is released....

3. Did you make it completely by yourself or maybe someone helped you at least little bit? did any label release "fear itself" in the meantime? who did the outstanding comic-like artwork for "fear itself"?

Aside from a very talented group of artists, designers, street teams, and fans who help us survive as a self-produced entity, Vora and I are completely responsible for production, promotion, publicity, bookings, management, and financial considerations. I would have loved to have received aid of some sort, particularly financially, however, when you attempt to achieve something different, sometimes you're forced to pave your own way. Out of necessity, we've had to learn production, engineering, publicity, promotion, and management as we went, because I believed that we owed it to ourselves to become recording artists. I wasn't going to wait for someone else to allow me to begin my career. Aside from various independent distributors and online distributors, Fear itself and Shadows have been, for the most part, distributed through Double Edge directly, either through mail order or at Braindance shows. I'm a tremendous fan of comic and fantasy art, and when we started recording Fear Itself, I knew exactly what I wanted stylistically with regards to cover art. The front page of Fear Itself (and Redemption) was penciled and inked by the very talented Kinchi Marc Latrique. Marc Silvestri, the man behind Top Cow Comics (Witchblade, the Darkness) was kind enough to allow us to use his work on the inserts of Fear itself...

4. Your newest album called "redemption" even though it's not completely finished yet it already is gaining very positive opinions from the critics and from the fans. are you happy with that fact?

We're thrilled by the response - it's obvious that there are more misguided individuals out there than we had thought. I think we've been extremely fortunate to receive an overwhelmingly positive response to the pre-production material that was sent out over the last year in preparation for the release of Redemption. We wrote and subsequently tracked the album over the course of 1998, and into 1999. Unfortunately, several tragedies would follow that prevented Redemption from being released as scheduled. Currently, we're in mix, and hopefully, looking at a release before the summer's end. With a self-produced entity that survives primarily through word of mouth, there can be quite some time between release and reaction. Believe it or not, Fear Itself (released at the end of 1995) still moves very well through many underground distributors and shops, as more individuals are infected. Perhaps the disasters that have delayed the release were, in part, a small blessing in disguise, as the buzz has gradually increased in the underground.

5. Who is the main music creator for the albums? who is responsible for the lyrics and what are they about? what does the latin sentence mean and why is it before this track? Why all the titles of the songs are beginning with "r"?

Generally, Vora will come to me with the framework of a song, complete with arrangements, and it is then up to me to place concise vocal melodies and lyrics within that framework. From there, we both shape the song, and send it up to the head office, where it is then covered in a fluorescent caramel coating and packaged for the world's children to enjoy. The creative relationship we have is quite symbiotic, not unlike stuffing ground pork within the soft, textured envelope of an awaiting dumpling. I believe in a good measure of ambiguity when writing lyrics...naturally, the themes have specific meanings for me, but I try not to assign definitive conceptual values to phrases, because listening should be somewhat interactive. Insofar as everyone's experiences are different, so should their interpretations be. Whereas I might see despair and desolation, someone else might see cookie dough.... The Latin phrase preceding the title track of Redemption essentially means, "as above, so below," and can be interpreted as 'what comes around, goes around,' or karmic intervention, a central theme within the album.... With regards to the "r" at the beginning of songs, we were unable to secure permission to use the remaining 25 letters of the alphabet....

6. I've listened to many bands and materials but with a voice like yours i'm meeting for the first time. is it your natural voice or was it maybe a bit steered up? who is responsible for the female vocals on the album?

I've been doing the steering for quite some time now...Vora and Robynne (Naylor, our last keyboardist) took care of the backing female vocals...

7. What inspires you the most in your life & as a musician? which bands you might point as the ones in your life as a musician? what are you listening in your private lives?

I'd rather not delve into my private life, as it is quite secretive, mysterious, and immeasurably linked with honey roasted peanut butter. On the whole, and not surprisingly, I'm a fan of all of the sub-genres that make up braindance - goth, industrial, progressive metal, darkwave, classical, progressive trance, and sauerkraut - generally, anything with dense programming, multi-layered composition, distinct melody and/or of a darker nature. Currently I'm listening to a lot of house, progressive trance, and techno...I'm also listening to Cradle of Filth, anything by Leeb/Fulber (Front Line Assembly/Noise Unit/Synaesthesia), and darkwave hybrids such as Samael, Theatre of Tragedy, Paradise Lost, Within Temptation, Zoar, Lycia, and Tiamat...

8. What are your future plans connected with braindance?

Future plans include fame, fortune, and the amassing of large quantities of cleansers....