I recently got the chance to catch up with independent artist, Marc Broude which gave us the perfect chance to discuss his latest venture within the music world, which is re-releasing a record that was previously only available on vinyl to the digital world; Psychological Warfare. Read on to find out just why this record has so much meaning behind it, and remember to stay tuned for Previous Magazine’s review of the release.
Hi there Marc, it’s lovely to be chatting with you today!
Good morning Chrisselle, I love your name by the way.
What first got you into the mindset of being a music artist?
When I was 8 I would record tape loops and record rants and spoken word over it, but it all really goes back to when I first discovered noise music. I was sickened by a lot of things, especially mainstream music and the close-minded people that listen to it.
Mentally, I was in the worst place I could be. My life was a disaster and eventually I found music, or music found me. All of my friends were in bands, their friends were in bands and an ex of mine was in 3 different bands all over the place in genre. I had gone through an long childhood of psychiatrists and medication and found catharsis going to my friends’ shows, rehearsals and following them on tour.
I got to a point where I had nothing to do with anyone that wasn’t a musician, writer or artist of some sort as I could no longer understand another way of life. I thought everyone else was a carbon copy of something forged and I became addicted to music and its power. It was like visiting another country and not wanting to leave. I am still here and I am never coming back.
In 2005 I discarded my life as I knew it and moved into an art collective where I started experimenting with all of my friends’ instruments and software while drawing inspiration from the creativity around me. It’s a drug of its own and I have an addictive personality.
Why did you choose to go the independent route?
I am an anarchist at heart. I have issues with being co-dependent and a label would destroy me. If Universal Records called me and asked me to hop on the 360 revenue train to sell-out hell I would probably discontinue everything and burn all I have done.
There is certain power you gain being exempt from capitalist companies that UPC or ISBN the mark of the beast on your forehead and treat you like their favorite prostitute. Its funny Universal Records is the first thing that came to mind as a friend of mine was signed to them for 7 years. She started like me, releasing very unique and original stuff through her own label and in less than 2 years of being signed they forced her to translate and cover a ridiculous Turkish song and everything went downhill.
With the ever-growing technology we have these days, being on a label does nothing as far as I see it. If music is a job and you want to be hired by a specific company and follow assignments to get a paycheck, creating trite music for 4-chord conforming minds I guess a label is necessary, but I won’t do that in my worst nightmare. I think that is what is wrong with the world.
Where did the inspiration for this record come from?
When I was a kid I was in love with Wax Trax!, bands like Die Warzau,16Volt, Acumen Nation and KMFDM but I was too young to go to shows and get into the scene and when I first started recording all of that had died. That also made me angry though I understood that is what happens in time. Psychological Warfare happened as a statement nonetheless. With the New Weird America and indie gone mainstream shit that happened in the mid-2000’s I wanted to create something nostalgic while spitting in the face of mainstream pop.
I think mainstream music got its worst around 1998 when bands like Smashing Pumpkins with Adore, Marilyn Manson with Mechanical Animals and even PJ Harvey started incorporating electronica and adding this new polished, over-produced sound contaminated by 400 different producers and it just continued and never stopped.
I remember buying all those releases and throwing them away after 1 listen. I kept thinking “fuck, I wish I could be 21 in 1990” and that inspired me. It wasn’t the electronic addition that bothered me but the neglect of organic rock and the disregard to loyal fans. All I was listening to in the 2000’s was early 90’s music so I thought “I will make new music from the 90’s”. There was a war in my head about using software and neglecting hardware synthesizers and a lot of solo artists I knew were doing cheesy electronic shit with Sony Acid and Fruity Loops. I wanted to produce something that sounded more intelligent and like a band instead of one person while simultaneously challenging myself to pull it off. I think that idea defiantly cultivated the sound I chose. My only regret was using a Yamaha RS-7000 for drum sequencing instead of real drums.
Here at Previous we’re a gang of vinyl lovers and we’re really interested as to why you chose to previously only release the record on vinyl and not digitally?
(laughs) I hate CDs. The physicality of vinyl makes music complete as far as I see it. A friend of mine had a small label and everything he released was on vinyl that he had pressed in the UK. He loved Psychological Warfare and said “I am having this pressed”. There was a short run of 50 and he paid for it so I couldn’t complain about quantity. They sold through MySpace in less than 2 months when MySpace was my only source of promotion and I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing.
Why now, have you chosen to release it digitally?
When Psychological Warfare was released it was not digitally available. There were 30 second clips on MySpace and that was it. I was so musically schizophrenic at the time and moved past that sound immediately after its release and therefore it wasn’t appropriate to put out in any other format because I didn’t want to confuse anybody with the other things I was doing at the time.
I was in Chicago this last winter and went to Reckless Records to drop off 200 demos for my last project with Tim Lash, Sick Spider and while flipping through a vinyl bin I found Psychological Warfare for $7.99. (laughs) I went to the front counter and said “Why are you charging 8 bucks for a used 7″ EP?” The cashier said something like “It is probably very rare or out of print” and I thought to myself “that it is”.
So considering how scarce the release became over the years, the slight increase of industrial rock and a larger following I thought a reissue was a great idea. I also think the idea of finding new music should include old music one has not heard yet.
What is Sick Spider?
Sick Spider is sad. Tim Lash and I started Sick Spider last October and spewed out about 17 demos. There were countless problems involving drugs, studio time, inability to play correctly because someone was inebriated, inability to tour immediately and everything in between. A friend of mine called Sick Spider “A lovechild between Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine”.
Again, “New songs from the 90’s” and a totally different direction for me. We released 10 of the demos in January on a self-titled album. 5 of the best demos I never even got a PMCD for because the studio essentially fucked us over. Another issue was 2 people playing drums, bass, guitar and doing vocals. The mixing process was a living hell.
This was all in Portland and we spent a week trying to find a steady drummer and failed as everyone we met was also a wasted disaster or too punk or metal for the project. We don’t talk anymore. It’s really sad. I think this has happened to me about 5 times now.
Anyhow the album is on all digital music outlets and the CD is on Amazon. I was hoping to resurrect Sick Spider but that failed too so I guess it’s a just a sign, though I don’t believe in signs.
What are you going to do next?
I did a 29 minute dark ambient piece I plan on releasing in November though while I still have time I am considering doing a 29 minute video to go along with it because I don’t want to be redundant with dark ambient and drone releases and have a catalog like Steve Roach. I also plan to do an experimental silent film with Chris Rentzel who did “The Many Strange Stories of Triangle Woman”.
Do you have any advice for any bands or music artists out there that are currently trying to find their break?
If you love what you do, that is all that matters. Be yourself and always be honest. Be your #1 fan and don’t let anything stand in your way. In 2011 you don’t need a label. If you put your heart into what you are doing and have the right people by your side the options are endless. Don’t create what you think people want to hear. Don’t follow trends because they will die before your eyes. Allow your body, soul and mind to speak for you.
Also, don’t release every single thing you record. Think about quality and not quantity. Always remember why you are doing whatever it is you do and evaluate yourself. Know what you are getting into and never forget who you are.
Music is a huge inspiration to a lot of people; who, or what, is your daily inspiration?
My daily inspiration is life. The world around me and the emotional impact it creates. Be it gray skies, a state of mind, an experience, religion, war, a painting, a sculpture, philosophy. I feel and think too much and I need to purge it to survive.
I’m really looking forward to letting these guys know my opinion of the record! Do you have a personal favorite track?
The title track and I say that for a multitude of reasons. Aside from the musical inspiration I described earlier, this was very, very inspired by the countless years I spent as a kid in different hospitals and state-funded group homes being a guinea pig for pharmaceutical companies and forced to comply with a retarded milieu designed by Christian Nazis. The lyrics “I’ve been despised, idolized, terrorized, dehumanized” and “my distorted visions will tear your eyes” really expel the rage I felt. I can actually listen to this song and feel the visceral drive behind it.
What would you say to someone who has never checked out your music to convince them to do so?
I suggest giving it a listen. I refuse to use Facebook as a promotional tool because I don’t want to be one of 100,000 musicians spamming unfinished demos and pictures while begging everyone to ‘like’ my page and I don’t use Bandcamp for similar reasons though I find incredible music on there all the time.
I give the option of paying for MP3’s via digital music stores, or CDs through Amazon and independent retailers but everything is also available for free so I would suggest starting there.
Download Psychological Warfare through a blog, there are many and if you don’t like it, delete it. Psychological Warfare is much more structured than other releases so it might be a good place to start. I am very schizophrenic with sound so you are bound to like something I have done at some point. In its genre I think it is a great fit while still being an outcast and I have never been one to congratulate my own work. If you like Godflesh, early Ministry and even Zeni Geva I think you will like Psychological Warfare.
Anything else you would like to add before we wind up?
Who the fuck is Lady Gaga?
Thank you so much for chatting with me today Marc, it’s been an amusing and extremely interesting, pleasure!
If you would like to do as Marc says and check out Psychological Warfare, you can download it from Amazon here.
Also remember to keep your eyes peeled for Previous’ very own review of Psychological Warfare!