2007-03-02 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
and Brian Backlash |
Brian Backlash: Your homebase of Austin, Texas, is a seething snake pit of industrial and heavy metal music. NINa and I have happened to interview a number of groups from the area in the past year. How in the hell has a city in Texas become the new home of industrial music in ? Is it just one tough, shit kicking place to be?
Hello NINa and Brian, first I want to say thanks for giving us this opportunity and promoting Pulse Faction, we appreciate it. Yes, there are many heavy, aggressive bands coming out of Texas. I am not sure why…maybe it’s the heat.
Brian Backlash: You started Pulse Faction in 1998 as a solo project. What got you interested in turning knobs and strumming strings in the first place - and at what point did you decide to take the project as a serious full time endeavor?
I think frustration motivated me to start a solo project. After playing in bands for years I became frustrated due to the volatile relationships within them. For example, as soon as things started to progress in a band I was in, someone else’s priorities would change. Someone would overdose on drugs, get pussy whipped, or move in a different musical direction. I seemed to be in this perpetual cycle of finding band members, writing, rehearsing, and then breaking up. I felt trapped and didn’t like depending on others in order to succeed as a musician. I had to separate myself from other musicians, bands, and the whole music scene in general. One day I had enough and decided that the only way I could make my dreams a reality was to take extreme action and do it myself. I was already a guitar player so I learned how to sing, play bass, keyboards, and program drums and percussion. I also bought a computer, sequencing software, and a digital mixer. I dedicated a lot of time, effort, and money into developing my skills as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. As soon as I took matters into my own hands great things started to happen.
Brian Backlash: Where do you think Pulse Faction has made it's biggest impact thus far?
So far I think Pulse Faction’s biggest impact has been in the entertainment industry. Up to this point I have placed all nine songs from “The Celestial Hellgrounds” in film, television, and video games. Now that Pulse Faction has evolved from a solo project into a band I want to make an even bigger impact with our live presence.
NINa: The Celestial Hellgrounds album has the predominant theme of self destruction. Do you often feel that way about yourself, about life? Or is it simply a theme you wanted to explore on the album?
“The Celestial Hellgrounds” is a very personal album to me. It is about an extremely dark period of my life. During this time I was self destructive because I was completely consumed with an enormous amount of hatred and animosity for one particular individual in my life. I struggled with it on a daily basis for years. It was killing me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Subconsciously these extreme emotions took over, dictated the course of my life, and lead me down many dark roads. And believe me, I paid for it. It inhibited my personal development and deteriorated relationships with family and friends. It got to the point where nothing mattered, I didn’t care about anyone or anything. I felt like I had nothing to lose, and with that mentality I was capable of doing things I never thought I could do. In the midst of all this chaos, one day I had the urge to write down these scary feelings and experiences. When I was through getting it all out, I was exhausted but had a sense of release. I started to write on a daily basis and these journals eventually evolved into lyrics and music. Years later it all culminated into “The Celestial Hellgrounds”. At face value the content and subject matter of the album is dark and hateful, but I think the overall message is positive. Even though I was in that horrible state of mind somehow I found the inner strength to command and channel that negative energy into something positive, my music.
Creating this record helped me get through it all. It gave me an emotional release and an objective perspective on all the issues I was facing at the time. I gradually came to terms with some of these feelings and circumstances and now I am a better person for it. I am still extremely angry about certain aspects of my life, but it doesn’t control me to the extent it used to. In a way I have come full circle with a new empowering perspective. I am grateful that I did not cross the point of no return in dealing with this person. I am moving on with my life and will never fall back into feeling that way again.
Brian Backlash: Industrial and metal has traditionally always been a very lyrically dark and intense form of music. In your opinion, why have such dark themes pervaded electronic rock music, as opposed to dance, rockabilly, or pop music or swing?
I think it depends on the individual who creates the music. I can only write about what I feel. Whenever I am inspired to write it ends up being a direct reflection of whatever emotion I am experiencing at the time.
NINa: The list of movies your music has been featured in is impressive. What do you do (or can do) to make a film director interested in your music for use on a soundtrack?
It depends, sometimes I’ll contact a music supervisor attached to the film. There are a few people in the film industry that call me from time to time about projects they need music for. I also go through a publisher.
NINa: Did you like the Aeon Flux movie?
Aeon Flux is visually stunning, and there are some very cool special effects going on in the film but I didn’t care much for the plot.
Brian Backlash: You recently had several songs licensed for use by Spike TV, then shortly after by MTV, at a time when industrial and metal acts get minimal to no play on the network. Has the licensing boosted your exposure? Are any more deals in the works with MTV or another television network?
The licensing deals are really great. When I released “The Celestial Hellgrounds” the thought of licensing songs to the entertainment industries did not even cross my mind. Months later I happened to read some articles on the subject, did my research, and got to work. It does provide some exposure and it also leads to more opportunities. The competition is beyond comprehension but the licensing deals just seem to keep coming.
Brian Backlash: Your drummer Johnny Ostrem is a former drummer for the long unsung industrial metal group Rorschach Test. How did you meet Johnny, and when did he come on board to play with you?
When I decided to turn this studio project into a live band I put out bulletins for a drummer and bassist. For months I spoke to a lot of musicians and listened to many demos but it went no further than that. Then Johnny sent me his promo kit. He learned a few songs off the CD and soon we were in the studio. When we were going over the material, I was surprised to find out that Johnny didn’t actually practice the songs-he learned them by memorization alone. During this time Johnny was in the process of relocating to Austin and he didn’t have a rehearsal space to play his drums. He was the first and last drummer I went into the studio with.
NINa: What exactly became of the industrial metal band Rorschach Test? Their music was incredibly powerful and even one of their records was produced by the famous Neil Kernon. I really miss RT! Is there any chance the band will be reunited?
NINa: Have you kept in touch with the former members of Rorschach Test? Do you know what they've been up to the last few years, or how we might be able to get in touch with them?
I never say never, but... NEVER.
NINa: You’ve been a drummer in an industrial metal venture called Contingence for some time. I saw their Myspace profile by chance - is the band still active?
Myself and 2 original members of RT make up Contingence and we only conjure up a new studio album once every 4 or 5 years. It is a pleasure to have joined forces with David and Patrick here in Austin with Pulse Faction. I couldn't have found a better project to apply my craft to. Hope to see you in sometime in the future.
Brian Backlash: Have you been looking into any signing with any record labels for your future releases, or do you think they'll be self-releases?
We have not approached any labels for record deals. To be honest I am really not worried about getting signed. The way I see it, if our success is meant to be then it will happen with or without a label (and I prefer the latter). As long as we stay true to our vision and approach this project with passion, determination, and patience then we are doing everything in our power to succeed.
Brian Backlash: You've only recently begun playing live shows. How have those experiences been?
So far, so good. We are booking more shows in Austin and in other major cities across Texas. The audience response has been great and the bands we play shows with have been very cool to us. At one recent performance all three of us were sick, including our soundman. Before the gig all we wanted to do was turn in for the night, but as soon as we hit the stage I completely forgot about being sick and so did Patrick and Johnny. After watching our show, a musician from one of the other performing bands said that we were the best band he had seen since Tool. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.
Brian Backlash: Who are some of your favorite acts in and around Austin?
I'm still pretty new to the Austin scene and don't get many chances to get out, but the guys in Set Aflame are worth checking out and I still support all my homies in southeast Texas like Dead Man Walking, Bogg Down, Killjoy 72, The Molly Maguires and my friends from Louisiana like Sekrum, and Vertigo Sun.
NINa: What do you spend your time doing when you're not a musician - provided music doesn't eat up all of your time?
When I'm not playing in Pulse Faction I'm playing with Asking Thieves. When I'm not playing, I'm either in working towards my chemistry degree or at my day job. However if I'm not doing any of that, I've probably found some good drugs.
Brian Backlash: What would you like the next step or phase in the project to be?
We have already started the next step by playing out and rocking people's faces until they melt. I just want to continue to melt faces and take this bitch on the road (either in the or Europe or possibly even ). I'm an equal opportunity face melter.
Pulse Faction at Myspace
| official website
Pictures come from Pulse Faction's archive, all copyrights reserved by © their authors.