Litany: Interview Archive

cEvin Key. Interview by DJ Bractune. Electro Shock Treatment on 104.7 KSCR, 30 March 1998.

The following is an interview conducted with cEvin Key, on March 30, 1998. It was a live interview by DJ Bractune on Electro-Shock Treatment, the Electro/Industrial radio show of 104.7 KSCR. For any questions regarding this interview, please email Bractune at

Bractune: Before I sat down and thought about what I wanted to ask you, I had a lot of trouble, because you are involved in so many things.

cEvin: I am a sleaze bag, yeah?

Bractune: haha, I don't know if I would say that. I wanted to know why you are in so many projects. Is it a kind of thing to express a mood at the time or is it a certain level of music you want to cover?

cEvin: How it all started is when we were composing stuff for Skinny Puppy, it wasnt really a hit or miss everytime we compose. We sometimes feel it was a Puppy song and sometimes feel that it wasnt. And so we used to put them aside and put them into a different catagory. And those catagories slowly buy surely over the years developed into different personalities and I was lucky enough to find a home for all those personalities, with the Tear Garden with Edward Caspell, or with Download with Phil Western, or Plateu with also Phil Western, or any of the other incarnations. It's been good to have a place to put all of these ideas.

Bractune: The thing that amazes me is that you are in all of these projects, and they are all so good. They are all pretty successful, and you are covering so much ground. Its actually a very impressive accomplishment if you think about the whole scale of music right now. Nobody is going out and doing everything and doing it well.

cEvin: I take that as a great compliment, thank you.

Bractune: That leads me to another thing. I am sort of confused. I am looking at all of the different kinds of cd's I have from you. It seems that your music is on so many different labels as well. I mean, your new on is on Metropolis, Download is on Network, and you have your own label, Subconscious as well. I am not sure behind the reasoning behind this.

cEvin: After being envolved in the record Company business for quite some time, I think it was apropriate for us to form our own. That way we could license the apropriate releases to the apropriate labels. We felt that,.. even Metropolis suggested that they wanted something more Industrial or wierd. I hate use the "I" word, but I did. And our on going relation with Network has always been good, so I keep the long term projects there. The new projects, there are always friends of ours that we're producing and stuff like that too. We dont want to keep everything in the same area, we'd like to space it out. Lately, we are developing newer bands that has yet to have a release yet. We are branching out even further, hoping to one day get envolved with other people on another level, and maybe even form a bigger label eventually.

Bractune: You recently moved to Los Angeles. Did you move Subconscious there as well?

cEvin: yep

Bractune: How about the studio?

cEvin: yeah, everything.

Bractune: Is there a reason why you chose Los Angeles? or is it just because its the "Music Mecca" or whatever you want to call it?

cEvin: "Music Mecca", and also the place we found is ideal for the studio and making music, potentially better than the set-up that we have had for the last four years. I must say that, for a lot of personal reason, that I had to step into a situation, with some new and different influences. I almost feel that there are in someways good and someways bad ghosts linguring and I just feel that in order to refresh myself and my life for my own sake, I need to put myself in a situation where I can feel alive and more inspired. So sunshine... there was a factor there.

Bractune: Change in general is necessary, especially in this business.

cEvin: Change is good. I have always felt change is good. As far as I am concerned. I travel alot. I like to spend time in Amsterdam. I think its a great place, for obvious reasons, hint hint. Also Jamaca is a great place, for obviuous reason, hint hint. Over and above those obvious reasons, they are also wonderful places to visit, as a just a general sort of buzz. You leave with a thrill for live. I think the property that we found here in the Hollywood Hills is a "Buzz" property. I am pretty psyched. Hopefully we are going to be able to get out and start doing some craziness around L.A. like doing some shows, some one off things, doing some Djing, doing some scary ambient stuff. I dont know what we are going to do, we have lots of plans.

Bractune: Fantastic. I probably know some people who who can talk to about that as well.

cEvin: It's an open invitation. Get up on the phone and call us up. We will show up and turn your place into a morgue.

Bractune: How do you know I don't live in a morgue in the first place? I guess we should talk about the new album, 'Music for Cats', which has a very interesting title. Where did you come up with that title?

cEvin: The concept was that I was capturing music just. Music that was just spontaniously created that I had to reach down and turn the record button on. Later I appreciated how many times I did that. Then I spend a great deal of time editing and creating music that I originally felt that when I was first making would be really weird and really experimental and so I felt that the frequencies would probably only be relevant to cats than humans. But upon listening to the album after it was finished, I dont feel that it's as completely wierd as I intended, but it still retains the spontinaity and some of the 'that only can happen once, I don't know we could ever do that again' theory. And also the music is a bit more like the type of music I like to listen to because of those factors. I'm a cat lover, and cats have basically been keeping me my whole live. Cats really have raised me, and so I felt that it was appropriate to dedicate something to my cats.

Bractune: ahhh. How many cats do you have?

cEvin: I have two currently. I have had these two for quite sometime. They are just like people. I just love animals. I am a complete animal lover.

Bractune: The new album has many different sounds to it. You said it was a product of experimentation. When you were actually sitting down and recording it, was it just a record that was recorded and not even knowning what it was sound like or your goal was that 'I have these bunch of songs and I want to redo them again on a record'?

cEvin: It actually comes down to having four years of time collecting variuos pieces which I would assemble mostly thorugh collage recording techniques and piecing some stuff together and after a few years this stuff was really fitting together as a theme. I felt it was appropraite at this to out it into this format and to.. it felt appropriate to be together as music.

Bractune: Someone was askng me what it sounds like and I stopped for a minute, because I'm not quite sure how to put my finger on it. The way I sort of put it was a combination of early Industrial/Experimental and Download, but it doesn't sound like that either. It is very interesting. I also heard a lot of ambient and analog keyboard sounds. Did you use a lot of old analog equipiment?

cEvin: Absolutly. This album is not about samples. Its really about tweaking the old beasts and getting dirty with the old analog stuff. There is a great.. there is something about those old things. You are not going to get these sounds out of anything else. Though there are people who strive to get the biggest sounds, the most beautiful sound, but to me this is the real sound of electronic music. I think it's what attracts me to it. There is something there that is.. there is a connection to some sort of electronic theme for me.

Bractune: And there is sort of a analog resurgence going on in music right now, as far as equipment. Companies are going back to knobs and switches on keyboards. Obviously a lot of people agree with you in that way and they are trying to get back to how it all started, and I like it alot. Also, the album is part one of three. Does that mean there is a Music for Cats part two of them coming out soon?

cEvin: I am signed with Metropolis to do two other solos albums, so thats what it's in reference to. I hope it's on a yearly schedule with that, so I going to do two more. I am not sure what the new ones will bring. They are going to be different in some way, but I try to keep a theme going with each record. You never know what will happen with the next one.

Bractune: Are you planning to work with the same cast and crew, you call it the Subsonscious Orchestra. You have Genisis P. Orridge, Mark Spybey, and such. Are you planning to work with them as well on the new stuff.

cEvin: Yes, I plans to do full length album again with Mark Spybey. We havn't really figured out what we are going to do. I also have plans to do more recordings with Genesis P. Orridge as well. I am really planning to record right now with the Legenary Pink Dots and the new Tear Garden. We are hoping to tour this year and plan live for the first time in July and August. That's really something that will probably take the better part of my time. As well I am working with Phil Western on new Plateu and new Download right now. I have been also speaking with Orge trying to see if he may be interested in doing a track in the future. As of right now, I can not say whether or not that will actually happen.

Bractune: I guess that clear up a lot of these rumors that are going around of anything resembling a new Skinny Puppy album or track or anything like that I guess.

cEvin: Well, there is a new remix album coming out, that has been worked on for quite some time. Featuring some really... I can't to hear some things. Adrian Sherwood is doing some remixes amongst other people, which at this time I believe is confidential. I believe Cleopatra has put togther a tribute album. As well there are two sampling cd's with the Skinny Puppy name, which are actual samples that we made and it does feature a lot of great sounds, so that anybody fiddling with electronics can go out there and just start with some great raw material. That will be coming out on Time and Space via, Zero G, East West, the typical sampling cd company

Bractune: Moving on to other things. What kind of music are you listening to these days?

cEvin: I just finshed listening to Muslim Gauze, Asssasin. I think that's a brilliant album. if anybody has every heard of Muslim Gauze and not really ever heard the definative album this is to me a phonominal electronic album. It's got a yellow cover, pretty phonominal. Like I said, I have been listening to a lot of stuff from the Chain Reaction label lately. Vainqueur, Monolake, Porter Ricks, Maritzio. I think they are doing some cool stuff. Of course I think the new Autecure is really cool. I think those guys are pretty there when it comes to being about today. Music for today I think is really important.

Bractune: No you have worked with so many people. The list goes on and on. Anybody who is anybody in the, I don't want to say Industrial, but the electronoic music scene. Is there any favorites that comes to mind, or anybody interesting or that sticks out that you would like to share?

cEvin: I really enjoy working with all the people who I have worked with. I think the collaboration and the spirit of wanting to get to somewhere toegther with someone is often an intense type of goal. I love working working with Edward Kaspel. I think he is a great friend as well as a lyrical genius. Ryan Moore, I am going to do some more stuff with Ryan this year, of the Twilight Circus and Legenary Pink Dots. Generally I just feel pretty fortunate to be where I am at and to have the chances to do the things I do. I hope to branch out a bit and work with people in more of an experimental sense. I would really like to get into some film work. After working with Jim Vanbetter and Charle'e Family and doing that type of thing. I'm really into the low-fi side of film. I'd really like to get into doing some Dali-esque or Lynchy type of things.

Bractune: That is another direction you can take your whole attititude towards things. Another way you can express yourself I suppose.

cEvin: I think Graham Revel from SPK has sort of shown that someone, even though we make dark music, can be applied in very appropriate ways.

Bractune: Do you ever sleep?

cEvin: well.. occasionally

Bractune: hehe I am going throughout this thing. My God, you are doing so many things. It seems like you are always busy

cEvin: I was just setting up my drums when you called

Bractune: Sorry about that. Othat than the Tear Garden tour, are there any tours, or anything live coming soon, being planned now, other than local stuff?

cEvin: Phil and I are planning are doing some live shows for Plateau and Download, but we are just still trying to get, shall I say, tied in with the right network of people who can safetly take us from point A to Point Z. I said Z now, not Zed. A to Z without getting stuck at J or K. So we are trying to set up a good network for touring. If so, we can do so, I guess we have decided to wait a little bit. Should be this year.

Bractune: Cool, I look forward to it. Maybe some animal sacrifice or something like that?

cEvin: Definatly not with me

Bractune: haha, ok, just kidding. Do you have a favorite track on the new album by the way?

cEvin: Well, I am really effectionate to Meteorite. Only because the night that which that happened. It was recorded live between me and my good friend, and retired partner, Dwayne Goettel. There is such a good vibe to me about that, cause we were looking at each other and we giving each other a look like 'Can you believe this?'. If you play it really loud under the right conditions, i think you may be able to tie into that vibe.

Bractune: I actually got that type of feeling. I was driving on the freeway. Although my driving was eratic, it was a cool track. I have one last question for you. Who's your favorite Spice Girl?

cEvin: Good Question! We were thinking about that the other day. Maybe Baby Spice.

Bractune: There you go everybody, the answer to the question you have been staying up nights for. Baby Spice!

cEvin: No no no.. I think it was Posh Spice. She is the one who we were thinking was the our favorite.

Bractune: yeah.. she ranks up there as my favorite as well. I don't know, maybe a cEvin Key, Spice Girl colaboration?

cEvin: Oh God. Actually, I would rather work with Madonna.

Bractune: Actually that would be interesting.

cEvin: I think I would try to pull more 'Justify My Love's' out of her.

Bractune: hahaha. Well I guess thats about it for right now. I thank you very much for giving me the time to do this. I know there is a lot of people who are really interested in what you are doing and what's going.

cEvin: Thanks Everyone! Stay psyched!

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