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We Got This Far - interview (2007)
[NINa and Brian Backlash, e-mail interview, 2007-02-03]


NINa: Tell our readership a little about the band please - when and where you formed it, and why?

JS: We actually met up while helping out another group called Stormdrain. What we found was that we shared a vision, and set things in motion by putting a couple songs together to get a feel ( which evolved into "Like Dying" & "Mistep" ) when we floated those two out into the world though, the response was amazing, it was a very overwhelmingly inspirational really. We have been in contact with some amazing people who really have their finger on the pulse of what is happening, like you for instance.

Brian Backlash: The Bay Area is well known for being the home of the COP International industrial music label, as well as the Rolling Stone of industrial music journalism, Industrial Nation. Have you approach either entity for releasing and/or promoting the band?
JS: Oh absolutely, right now we are designing every aspect, and will launch it all in a full blown way soon, COP International & Industrial Nation are two pillars that will definitely not be left out of that, and hopefully play dominant roles.

OM: Without a doubt there are some great resources in this area.

Brian Backlash: Have Bay Area industrial club nights been helpful in exposing you to a wider audience?
JS: The industrial clubs are phenomenal, for exposure to music and the subculture in general, really good people involved like Geoff with Elevatordown. It is so active, and there are so many appropriate outlets to gain exposure, luckily we have met some good friends who we will be handing off material to when we roll everything out in a full-blown way. DJ Maniacal, Transference and Juxtapose are three that come to mind immediately who plan set designs around the mixes we will hand off. We are even considering a handful of mixes designed for specific DJ's to capture their feel.

NINa: Which style of promotion is the most beneficial to you: A) street team, B) sending promo CDs to the music press and record labels, C) your own website, discussion forum, mailing list, myspace profile or some other internet tool of this kind?
JS: When we originally tested the waters with "Like Dying" & "Mistep" it was so early on, we did so to get a feel for the perception of the material, since then we have been preparing so much to launch this coming year, really designing the feel, material, site & everything. Right now the tools that have been most used are web based ( Myspace & wegotthisfar.com ) to stay on top of, and soon everything is going to go ballistic.

Brian Backlash: Your music has a rough but palatable texture to it. Are you more inclined to noise music or pop sensibilities when you're working on new material?
JS: Thanks! It really depends on the piece and what is being expressed; some pieces need to have all the sensitivity of a meat cleaver while others really are about nuance. Up to this point I think the balance has been there.

OM: Sometimes we try and take a more gentle approach to the songs, but for some reason after the harp and wind chimes have gone through three Scream Distortion units, they just don't sound so gentle anymore. Maybe we should try four distortion units?

Brian Backlash: In your view, has the internet and podcasting consolidated the industrial/goth/cyberpunk music scene, or fraqtured it further?
JS: You know honestly, it just seems in general that the splintering of subgenre's has been dominant for so long now that the effect has been more to trust artists as apposed to genre's when looking for veins of music. I do think that industrial, goth & cyberpunk have been placed together but some would toss a host of other genre's in also. What we are left with are listeners who have a far more honed taste for what they like personally rather than a herd mentality.

OM: I would agree it has fractured the scene a bit, but I think that is bound to happen to any genre as it grows. Personally, I have discovered the most interesting new bands through online industrial radio shows like Cyberage and RealSyntheticAudio. Embracing the Internet just seems like such a natural extension for this scene. What is punk without the cyber?

Brian Backlash: What contemporaries of yours do you keep an eye on? Do you listen to much new music in the industrial vein?

OM: On the pop-side of things Faderhead, Iris, and Imperative Reaction are some recent discoveries that I'm really getting into. I'm starting to get into Bella Morte quite a bit. To be honest I can't think of too many heavy industrial bands that have caught my attention lately. Psyclon Nine are cool. You'll have to give me some suggestions, I'm all ears.

JS: You know, lately I have been listening to a lot of Manufraqture and Switch, also for some reason remixes of almost every kind have just captivated me, I think it is more of being able to see the artistic and skill set differences from a production standpoint.

NINa: Let's suppose this kind of music you create becomes very popular and such a scene is followed by a bunch of copycats and ripoffs who stand for the same band wagonism death metal, gothic, pop, rap, hip-hop and emo often represent. Would you continue with your band or would you look for another identity and style to develop outside the scene?
JS: If you are true to the work, and have confidence in yourself as an artist then the work will define itself and evolve naturally. The goals need to be closer to having something to say & saying it though rather than popularity.

OM: I think trying to change our sound to avoid imitators would feel too much like running and hiding. Why not take the offensive? Take the best copycat band and make sure anything we do in the future is louder than them, heavier, more intricate, and we use at least twice as many distortion pedals and three times as many sub-woofers.

Brian Backlash: Is WGTF just a productive hobby at present, or is it a project you hope to be able to make a living off of?
JS: Man, WGTF is so much about expression and that really is the focus, the money that it generates gets plowed right back into it, opening up new options and ways to make it more vibrant. The money really is a tool to further the band, tour support, new gear, new albums, publicity & exposure.

Brian Backlash: Have you shared the stage with any bands? If not, what would be your dream show line up?
JS: OK, the 1973 King Crimson line up would portal back in time to open the show ( we would do a guest appearance on Larks' Tounges in Aspic : part 2 ), Merzbow would then do an acoustic set with triangles, and then we would do our thing for a while, maybe Ministry would guest for a Just One Fix spot with 1500 guitarists and we could set some fantasticlly pointless world record.

OM: I'd love to play a giant rave with a bunch of DJs. Actually jamming with the DJs I mean. Those events just seem to get it right. Amazing sound coming from everywhere, obnoxious low-end, lights on the crowd as well as the stage. It would be such an interactive experience for everyone. Did I answer the question? I guess not. F- for me.

Brian Backlash: What are your creative moods like? Are they continual, or do you have to be in a particular state of mind to work on music? Does anything external help you get into the right headspace when you're not "feeling it"?
JS: Misery helps, once you have moved past something difficult and reached the acceptance of something you can reflect, and you naturally grasp to understand, that is when there is the most clarity, and expression is most natural. It really comes down to clarity.

OM: We seem to be able to board the pain-train whenever we need to. All of the material is very honest and based off of real experience, so it's not hard to dig up the required emotions to make something sound extra miserable.

Brian Backlash: Where do you write/record your music?
JS:We tend to lay the tracks that require volume in San Jose, and most else in San Francisco, editing & mixing in San Francisco.

OM: The studio where we do all the loud stuff is about 100 degrees during the summer and about 0 degrees in the winter. I think that extra element of suffering has helped to mold our sound even more.

Brian Backlash: Have you been playing for a long time?
JS: About 19 years.

OM: About the same for me. Started my first industrial band about 12 years ago.

NINa: When do you plan to release a full album?
JS: Since finding our process we have been assembling so much and the first full length will be a part of that, we'll test & refine it on live audiences and then release it just as soon as it is ready, a bit later in 2007 most likely.

Brian Backlash: Are you looking to establish something new in the expansive industrial genre, or are you more interested in just making music you'd like to hear?
OM: I don't feel like we're trying to create something specific, we're just trying to express ourselves, and do it in a way that we enjoy playing and listening to. If it ends up sounding original, that's fantastic. If other people like it, we're golden.

JS: Funny how the nature of all of this is self-indulgence, and the more self absorbed and self-indulgent you are the more distinct the material is, don't get me wrong � that doesn't guarantee that it will be good, just distinct. But if the material conveys something real that we can reflect on 30 years from now and still slip right into the mindset of the piece, then it is a success as far as I am concerned. The other part is that through the design, if we can project energy in the right way through the live performance then we are definitely set.

Brian Backlash: Where would you like to see the band at the end by year's end?
We have been involved with groups up to this point, Ollie with Claymouth, me with Enclave, several different groups and countless live performances and WGTF is something really meaningful. We are stitching this thing together to have the maximum amount of impact possible.

We Got This Far at Myspace | official website

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