VampireFreaks: Interview c Celldweller

Дата: 27 мая 2010. Автор: czone. Рубрика: Интервью
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[singlepic id=253 w=200 h=240 mode=web20 float=left]Новое интервью Клейтона сайту Interview with Celldweller By Rafi Shlosman

Celldweller has always been a project that has gone against the grain, and made no apologies for it. Frightening thing is it is the brain child of only one man; Klayton. Before the launch of the download phenom and networking site mash up, Klayton has been churning out his unique vision by means of digital distribution before any of those guys came along. His music has seen the soundtracks of blockbuster hits as Spider Man 2 and 3 as well as Iron Man. After several years since his last live appearance, it would appear Klayton is poised to return to the stage and kick your face in one more time! He is coming to New York this summer for VampireFreaks’ own Triton Festival. So sit back and get educated in all that is Celldweller:

Rafi: One aspect of your versatility that has been met with high praise is your multi instrumental background; did you start your musical education when you were very young?

Klayton: Yeah started pretty young, at about 13 I got my first drum kit. I remember when I got it I was so excited that I couldn’t even breathe. I even set it up completely wrong, I believe that I had the kick drum facing up and was hitting it with a stick and the high hat to the right. I realized then that I wanted to create music, I didn’t necessarily want to learn how to play Mozart or music theory, I just heard the music in my head and wanted to get it out there. I would say I was an observer, very shy and quite kid so I always watched what was going and learned. I remember going to the music stores and just watching other guys play beats that I liked and I would go home and practice constantly to try and emulate the sounds. You have to remember this is before Youtube so all the instruments that I learned were pretty much self taught. It was mainly me trying to get these melodies and ideas out of my head rather than me wanting to be like Yngwie Malsteem or something of the sort.

Rafi: I understand that you were a total metal head.

Klayton: I was a complete metal head man. Things like Slayer, Exodus, and Anthrax; I definitely leaned more to the darker side of the music genre. For me it was all about the Thrash and playing things faster and heavier. That was where my heart was at the time till I just got bored with the whole guitar, bass, and drums music and started to look for something more. Plus being a drummer that is the guy that people usually throw in the back and doesn’t expect to say much. So that didn’t help in allowing me to get down the music that I was hearing and wanted to get out. So while we were in the studio and the guitarist would go get something to eat at the deli, I would sit down and try to emulate what he was doing; that is how I learned my first power chord. Once I found things like sequencers and such was the last time I worked with anyone else.

Rafi: I understand from a previous interview that everything changed for you when you heard Skinny Puppy for the first time. What was it that impacted you and how?

Klayton: It just flat out blew my mind; I couldn’t believe how heavy this music could be. I was definitely drawn towards darkness and aggression, to hear electronic music carry those ideas really changed me, I had no idea that this type of music even existed. I researched what they were using to make this music and went out and bought a sequencer and keyboard right away. So I started taking Slayer like riffs and playing them over programmed drums and that is how I started finding my sound.

Rafi: Now when you started Celldweller you mainly distributed your material via digital distribution, this was before Napster and Myspace came about. Now that the digital distribution has taken over what do you think of it and where it is going?

Klayton: Well that is a very multi-faceted question with multi-faceted answers; really the main reason why I started to distribute my material that way was because of necessity. I didn’t have a label or any money at the time, so I had no money to even press a demo CD. So I chose to embrace what little movement of the digital age that existed then. was the main place to drop your tracks on and try to get people to come along and check it out. I am really thankful for that opportunity because now I am building this whole empire on that very concept. That is what it takes I think, was to do it digitally and sometimes just giving your music away to people so that they would invest in you as an artist. Things have really changed over the years, especially in the last ten, where most people I know are actually downloading material anyway that they can as opposed to buying it. It is kind of going backwards right now, where the whole value of a full length album is disintegrating. Pre 1960s people like Elvis were not making their money off of albums but singles. Artists now are putting out one or two tracks at a time and the fans are buying just that. I have seen from experience and from other artists that you can disappear for a few years and work on a full length album, put it out, and people will just buy one track from that album and that is it. So you end up with about nine other tracks on iTunes and nobody gives a shit about those. I hate filler music honestly, that was what I think was wrong with the artists of the 80s and 90s, they would write one song for the radio and then fill the CD with material no one will care about.

Rafi: One aspect of this digital download era that I have a gripe with is the loss of good physical product (i.e. cover art, liner notes, lyrics, etc.) do you ever miss that?

Klayton: Absolutely, I have, as I am sure many of your readers have, bought albums based on the label or the artwork attached to that label/album. That was a hard hill to get past, with no money to hire a graphic artist or a publicist, so I had to compensate for that. It makes you think on a different level, for example my new album is going to be released two tracks at a time and each set is a new chapter, so in total you get 10 songs that show a whole story line. With every chapter there is a whole slew of merchandise that correlates with that chapter and everything is limited edition. So you can get a t-shirt that is splashed with the artwork on it that is based on that chapter. You can also purchase for two dollars more a series of about 10-15 demos for each of the two songs, that way you can see progression everything took to get to the finished product.

Rafi: So the artwork you are talking about is going to be directed in telling the story of each chapter?

Klayton: Well each panel is a piece of a puzzle, once you bought all five chapters and put them together it forms one final picture. The artwork is starting to unfold into one big picture is the idea.

Rafi: You must be pretty excited to see all of this materialize for the fans.

Klayton: Absolutely, unfortunately I don’t make simple music so it takes me awhile to put it all together. Another way we are getting the fans involved is that we have them come up with art for the chapters themselves. For instance right now I am getting ready to release the third chapter which are the tracks “The Lucky One” and “Tainted”, so I release the lyrics for them so that they can base what they do on that. In the end I sift through the images, and when people purchase the deluxe edition it will feature 15-20 different images painted by the fans. In a way I guess you can say that we are trying to take that whole aspect of the physical product to another level.

Rafi: I hope that the music industry takes note of this idea, as the way they have done things for so many years is failing right now.

Klayton: I think they are literally holding on for dear life right now. Album sales have dropped dramatically, and I don’t think they have really embraced the whole iTunes thing as well as they should. They think that things will go back to the way it used to be, but it just never will. It is the new era, and either you go with the technology or die.

Rafi: You had a project with Chris Angel (Mind freak), and from what I understand he used illusions on stage during the performance. I am interested to know what kind of tricks did he do and what was it like to perform whole this was going on?

Klayton: Well this spanned about six years, but it was a very large production when we did play out. It was never meant to be me sitting at a keyboard playing music while he did some card tricks. (both of us laughing) it was very well thought out and I was definitely involved in the whole production of it all. We worked together really well, we always bounced ideas off of each other and it was really cool.

Rafi: I have read about your dislike for touring and I have to wonder with this album in the works do you miss it enough to maybe give it another go?

Klayton: There are just so many things that I could list off that I dislike about touring. I think what happened was that I came back from the last tour that I did and just felt so demoralized and lost so much money; that I just said to myself I would never do this again. So I started in the last few years to rethink my approach and see what I didn’t like about it, and I questioned why I was touring as a full piece band? Because that was my background, I was a metal kind of guy. I mean most of the music I listen to now is electronic so it’s only like 1-3 people doing this, why can’t I just go out and do this on my own. It’s changed now and I am bringing on Brett from who is signed to my label, along with. We will be doing complete reinterpretations of my entire catalogue, even as far back as the material I came up with Circle Dust. It is going to be more dance floor friendly and performance art oriented. So all of this has actually got me really excited about playing out again, it is going to be a whole new experience for everyone including myself.

Rafi: You mentioned that it is going to be a complete reinterpretation, from what I gather usually when you play live the fans are getting a changed version from what they are used to. Does this add any pressure on you?

Klayton: It put a lot of pressure on me. There is so much that goes into it, right now I am reworking all of my catalogue and there is so much to take into account, like; what equipment am I using, how do I want to change it, and just the numerous amount of material that is being changed is crazy. I guess you can say I am in hell right now (both of us laughing), I am excited how it will turn out it is just getting there that is difficult. This is going to be completely different than when we did the touring rock band thing that consisted of really bad sound, feedback, terrible sound guy that was traveling with us. Right now I am also trying to figure out how to get my fans the reinterpretations so that they can check it out before the live shows start.

Rafi: Your music has met with quite a bit of success licensing it to movies, video games, etc. I am sure you have met with some words of opposition doing this.

Klayton: Yeah man that is for sure, but early on in my career I just learned that you cannot please everyone. If I cater to one group of people and make them happy, then there is another group that just ends up pissed off. So I just do what I do and don’t let it bother me. I never went into this thinking that my music was going to be used in movies like Spider-Man 2 and 3 and Iron Man. My manager was starting a company at the time and that is an approach they were leaning towards which is licensing. The first movie that my music was used in was a really terrible Anaconda rip off called ‘Python’. I never actually watched the movie, but my brother did knowing my music was in it, I guess it was being used in some lesbian scene before they get killed.

Rafi: It is not everyday that someone gets their music put to a lesbian scene.

Klayton: Exactly! Most of the early stuff was free and that is how I got my start on that side of things; just worked my way up.

Rafi: Back to the live topic, you are getting ready to play VampireFreaks’ Triton Festival in New York, what do you have planned for those in attendance?

Klayton: Well I am pretty sure that I will have red hair. (both of us laughing) Rafi: Well at least the fans can hold on to the old photos still. Klayton: (laughing) Yeah definitely hold on to the old photos. I am kind of still figuring that part out, I know what I want it to be in my head, but I am still putting it all together.

Rafi: Being an individual that is so intimately involved with the DIY approach to music, what advice do you have the young inspiring artists on VampireFreaks?

Klayton: Well if you want to learn anything from my career is that, don’t quit. I knew from a very early age that this is all I wanted to be, I wasn’t cut out to be a doctor; which is what I was originally studying to be. I decided I just don’t like people enough to do that. Music was all that I wanted so I made so many sacrifices for it all, sacrificed my time, friends, and party time on weekends to just stay in and work on this. Don’t quit is the best advice, if you believe that you have the skills or will have the skills just make sure to follow through.

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