Back in 2002 my small town adolescent age group only listened to the pop punk and nu-metal that were spoon fed to us by Kerrang and MTV. This was until Alec Empire’s â€œbreak into the mainstreamâ€Â post-ATR solo album, ‘Intelligence and Sacrifice‘ was injected into these very medias.
The album ripped into your ribs with its hard cannon thumps and screaming politically-driven lyrics, making it an instant a winner. In turn, this shone light to the likes of Digital Hardcore Pioneers Atari Teenage Riot and electro mind-fuck musician, Nic Endo.
6 successful years on, Alec has his focus on new Label ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ and release of “The Golden Foretaste of Heaven” from earlier this year.
Keep it Fast had a chat with Alec Empire and here’s how it went:
1) Have you ever been surprised about any reasons why your music has been banned in the past?
Yes. I don’t understand why any music or art should be banned. I believe that people can make up their own mind. Of course there is music which would need explaining and background information when for example somebody at a young age is exposed to it.
We have seen that even light pop music can trigger frustration in people which then can lead to actions they regret later. Very often music can be an indicator for far deeper problems. It’s important to see that.
In Germany we have the problem with neo nazi bands becoming more popular. I think it would be important to see this development in the charts for example. Now it’s a hidden problem and nobody is doing much against that. (apart from having an outdated law which bans this music – in the internet age it is more than easy to bypass that.)
2) Which Atari Teenage Riot / Alec Empire music video do you feel best suits the track it was created for?
I like many of them for different reasons. Sick To Death by Virus was probably the first video done on a small Macintosh computer. That’s why it looks so lo-fi and pixeled. Years later this became a style for electro-punk, electro clash and so on.
3) When creating such tracks as 2641998, do you have a structure set out, or clear ideas of how it will sound?
Yes. I set the corner stones, take a deep breath and then roll. It’s like surfing. I shape the sounds as I go along. It’s a technique I applied from Jazz. I hate editing a session like this one, so I get it right in the first take.
4) While touring recently, have you had any supporting acts that you were particularly impressed by?
Yes, The Big Pink. I love these guys. They are fun.
5) Will there ever be an official release of â€œAlec Empire Vs Elvis Presleyâ€Â or will it forever remain a bootleg?
Yeah , it is the definition of the bootleg really…I guess that’s part of the appeal. When I recorded it, I didn’t think about how far this could go. The video is part of MOMA in New York, many people rate it as the first mash up ever made, it created this cult following all over the world. At a show a guy showed me a tattoo of the record sleever on his shoulder. I still remember any second of it, I mean the recording process.
Alec Empires latest release ‘The Golden Foretaste of Heaven’ can be purchased on the Hellish Vortex website and the usual shops!