[ interview ] [ fan q&a ] [ bio: j.s. clayden ] [ bios: mark clayden ] [ bios: jim davies ] [ bios: jason bowld ] [ bios: dan rayner ] [ p.s.i. intro ]
[ there's no place like home ]

Weapon of choice: Well, in Pitchshifter my weapon of choice is quite obviously my ESP 7-string guitars. I also have a Schechter A7, a cranked Fender Jaguar (gotta love the shape), and a Fender Thinline Telecaster. Oh, and a handmade classical guitar made by this luthier Jo-an in southern Spain. Outside of Pitchshifter, I might say a sampler, or a loaded computer, but I love my guitars whatever I'm doin'.

Also known as: Since everybody I know seems to love makin' up dumb names for everybody else, I have quite a few. This band mainly calls me "Atlas," and I think it's the "D-1000 Kill-Bot Drinking Edition." It's obvious, I know, but it rolls nicely off the tongue. Timbob from Drawbacks has too many names for me to mention, mostly involving "you count." Often, it's "Dano," "Danbert," and sometimes "Nathaniel." I wish it was "Dragon," though. Don't know why, probably 'cos I'm a black belt.

How did you end up in the band? Ha, ha! I ended up in this band in a pretty rock 'n' roll way, actually. Jim and I were introduced by Al Baker (Drawbacks drummer and Shifter drum tech) and we hit it off. Jim came over to dBs studio to fuck around with some ideas, and eventually Drawbacks ended up doing some of the programming for P.S.I. with Machine in New Jersey. After that, we briefly discussed my joining the band and a few weeks after that we did the Ministry show.

If you weren't in Pitchshifter what would you be doing? When I'm not in Pitchshifter I'm a full time member of Drawbacks. We've been workin' our balls almost off for about five years now. We were signed to Bolshi/Biglife as Hijinx but we didn't wanna do bigbeat or lounge music, so we parted ways. Drawbacks is best described as "hardcore electronica" -- it's pretty organic. We have a deal with BML in the States with two EPs slated for release, and an album deal that's taking eons to come together. While we're still looking for a deal in the UK we license a lot of tracks out, do film work, and stuff like that. Check out http://www.drawbacks.org.uk for more info.

If you had to be any other member of the band, who would it be and why? If I had to be? That's hard. I guess it depends what I'm listening to at the time. If it was "In the Air Tonight' by Phil Collins, I might wanna be Jase. If it was "Eruption" by Van Halen (I've never listened to it, by the way), I'd wanna be Jim (plus, Jim lives near me so I wouldn't have to relocate if I became him). I used to sing quite a bit, and it's always cool being the front man for various reasons, but I think J.S.'s a one-off -- he's fully switched-on, if you know what I mean. I respect that 'cos motivation isn't always easy to come by (he's not my boyfriend, though). I love the bass, too (the funk is the force after all), and Mark's just a cool guy, really relaxing to be around. I'm sure he has his moments, but I'd consider him to be the Godfather of 'Shifter.

How do you prepare before a gig? There's always a devil on my shoulder -- a gay monkey on my back, if you will -- saying, "Get so wasted that you can't stand up," and occasionally I listen, though thankfully that's usually at the after show nowadays. I might do a bit of vocal warming up, couple of brews (unless I'm thirsty) and I stretch a lot, otherwise I turn to stone(d). Actually, after wardrobe and make-up have been in, there's not a lot of spare time before I'm into the golf buggy and onto the stage.

What's the first album you owned, and what's the last album you purchased? This is okay to say thanks to my pops. When I was seven, he bought a new [stereo] system and gave me his old one, along with Led Zeppelin II (single vinyl, gatefold sleeve), which was pretty rad. I'm always buying CDs looking for inspiration. Pretty much all dance music blows, and a lot of metal stuff has a good single and then a shit album. I think the last album I bought was Hi-Fi Serious by A. It rules, actually, and they're English. So many great choruses and amazing vocals -- a break from the really heavy shit. I love the heavy stuff, but it has to have melody and groove, and most of it doesn't.

Last great book you read? I read a lot -- from scientific to historical to fiction -- but I love biographies, so I'd say the last great book I read was The Dirt, Motley Cre's biography. I was never into their music, but the band have always been surrounded by filth and money, so I knew it would be good.

Three things you couldn't live without? I'm incredibly materialistic. There isn't a gadget that I don't have; and if there is, I want it. But I'd have to say my Chica, my dog, and my bro'. If it was material, then my studio, my barbecue, and my BMX...off the top of my head.

Biggest misconceptions, both about the band and you personally? I couldn't really comment about misconceptions about the band, except that no one knows I'm in it yet! Personal misconceptions I never really thought about or cared about. I wish that some young mothers wouldn't cross the street for fear of me eating their babies. I think people expect me to be more aggressive, and it's funny when people discover what a g-g-great guy I actually am! (Most of the time.)

People or organizations who are, or have been, influential visionaries to you (musical, literary, artistic, political, social, etc.). Scientific pioneers, especially astronomers -- a lot of whom came from within the Church and came across science while looking to "the heavens" and were not allowed to divulge there secrets. People like Surfers Against Sewage and Greenpeace spend their lives trying to save us all from ourselves. Genuine mediators. Skaters like the Gonz, Natas Kaupas, Mike Vallely and The Man Hawk.

Absolute must have's while on tour: Zantac 75, Pepcid 2, Diarolyte, Vicks Sinex, water, glucosamine sulphate, magnesium, centrum, booze and weed, PS2, strippers, laptop, minidisc, telephone, shades, clothing, guitar, and money!

Pitchshifter has one simple rule while on tour: make it to your bunk before passing out and you're home free -- fail to and you're fair game for any number of embarrassing shenanigans. Who/what is your favorite tour story involving this? This band hasn't fucked me up yet, but on one occasion I was variously shaved, momentarily set on fire with aftershave, and then extinguished with pints of ice cold water, without waking up. The fucker was that I had made it to bed, but because I never passed out everybody agreed to it anyway. The worst thing was waking up thinking that I must have "had an accident!"

What would the title of your yet-to-be-written Pitchshifter tell-all literary masterpiece be? Nott 'Arf. Whadya think? I like it. I just thought of it.

Your favorite recipe? Frozen daiquiris (most flavors).

What has been your best experience while in the band? Feeling all snug sleeping between Jim and J.S. in the big Pitchshifter bed on my first night in Nottingham. Actually, being naughty in New Jersey while workin' on P.S.I. (though that was before I joined the band).

Three things you could live without? Studying economics -- there is no answer. Quasi-religious motivation. The deification of house DJs.

Your choice: the contents of your wallet or the contents of your refrigerator? Nothing too exciting in my wallet today. Four credit cards, two bank cards, health card, donor card, pool club card, snow dome card, my last lift pass, phone numbers, picture of my lady, my photo license, five pounds (count 'em), a huge check, and about 15 receipts.

And the worst? Every morning in Nottingham! It's the place I learned to sleep standing up. Apart from that, it's all been a bed of roses; though when Timmy dB and me flew to New Jersey I sat next to a complete fuckin' smelly lunatic, who complained about everything, ate nothing, and forced me to touch his food to test the temperature. The airline actually compensated me for sitting next to such a prick for eight hours.

20 years from now, what do you want Pitchshifter to be remembered for? When you make music you don't have to worry about leaving a legacy 'cos your music is it. I think Pitchshifter are already known as the band that fused breaks and metal guitars back in the day. The Pioneer Spirit, maybe? I'd like us to be remembered for being the band who always washed their hands before dinner.

[ dan rayner ]

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