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This is Tarmvred's second tour of the United States with Ad Noiseam sponsoring, almost as if Tarmvred is the house band for the label. Who did you tour with on the Sub-Snow tour last year?

Nicolas: It was Tarmvred alone, but there were a lot of opening bands. Iszoloscope opened twice in Canada. Navicon Torture Technologies opened once. Wilt opened in Chicago. Antigen Shift.

Jonas: Initially for this tour the idea was to have Cdatakill as well.

Nicolas: Yeah, we were going to have Tarmvred and Cdatakill touring, but that didn't work out. Cdatakill couldn't take the time off so that's why he got replaced by Iszoloscope. But I think something with happen with Cdatakill in the future.

How different are American audiences? I know you have the Hands festival and Maschinenfest in Germany which are dedicated to this type of music. We don't get that lucky over here, so do you prepare differently for American audiences? Do you expect a different sort of fan base over here?

Jonas: I think it is pretty similar, actually. I live in Sweden and there we don't have this scene at all, in a way. In Sweden, there is more of a synth-pop audience. I can probably play in some other kind of club in Sweden, but for harsh music in general -- electronic music, that is -- there's no scene for it at all. I think perhaps in America there is a genre crowd. In Europe there is more of a mixed crowd, old and young people. Here, it is more of a teenage revolutionary thing.

Nicolas: I don't think there is a big difference between crowds in the States and in Europe. The crowds in the States are younger, certainly, but I think the main difference is not where you are, but what sort of event that it is. The Maschinenfest crowd is a very, very good one, but it is also very precise one. It is a big event. It's not different because it is in Europe, it is different because it is much bigger. People are waiting for it the whole year. People are coming from all over the world to attend it.

[ yann faussurier aka iszoloscope works the knobs ]
photo by mark teppo

One example of this would be that Jonas played twice in Berlin. The first time was at a noise, gothic, dark music environment and the audience was...okay. It was that kind of audience. And then you played in the same city a year later and it was more of a festival setting and people were coming from all over the country -- from outside the city -- and they were more enthusiastic. They were dancing more and enjoying it more. The difference doesn't come from where you are; it comes from what kind of event you are playing at. If you are playing at a weekly or monthly gothic night, you won't have the same audience that you would at a big yearly festival.

Jonas: If this would have been in like 1998 or so, there would have been a big difference. Because of the Internet. It has brought crowds together more. I guess the whole scene is kind of a European thing to begin with. In America, there was more of a guitar-based industrial thing going on.

So you wouldn't be here if it weren't for the Internet.

Jonas: I don't think I would have been signed if it hadn't been for the Internet.

Nicolas: Well, yeah, there wouldn't have been Recycle Your Ears, and so on.

Jonas: Exactly. I wouldn't have sent that demo to Nicolas.

You wouldn't have sent it to one of the print magazines?

Jonas: There's a fun story in of itself. Because I had three envelopes to send the CD in, and I wanted feedback on this seven track demo I had made, the Ileus EP. I wrote the address for Recycle Your Ears, Ant-Zen, and Hands on the envelopes, but I only sent the Recycle Your Ears one because I didn't have enough money to buy stamps for all of them. Recycle Your Ears was the only sure way I knew that I was going to get a review, that I was going to get some sort of response back. That's why I sent it to Nicolas. And, like, three weeks later he approached me about doing a CD.

[ various artists - krach test ]
[ give a listen! ] "Amfetakrom" MP3

On the music side, what is the one piece of equipment I need to have in order to make noise?

Nicolas: A Synthstation. [Laughs]

Jonas: The most important piece of equipment? Hmmm, nowadays, just buy yourself a PC computer.

Say I already have one of those.

Jonas: Okay. Then, yeah, a Synthstation is a favorite of mine. Yeah, no shit about one of those. It's a Swedish product as well. [Laughs] It all depends on the kind of music that you want to make, but yeah, a Synthstation is good. It does have limitations, but yeah. There is so much gear you need if you want to make something good. You have to have effects -- stuff like that -- but all of that is incorporated into PCs now.

With all the gear that is available today, how much easier would it be to record Subfusc today if you sat down and created it all over again?

Jonas: I think I have a weird way of doing things, perhaps. Everyone has to find their own way to record, to make the sounds they want to, and if I were just to use a PC to make Subfusc, it would take longer actually. Back then I was more used to hard gear -- hardware -- but now I'm leaning more and more towards software. It is so much easier to produce electronic music with it. I've been making music for such a long time now and it is easy to get into programs.

I don't know what to say, really. If you don't have a computer, you need something like, yeah, a Synthstation -- some sort of synthesizer. You'll need a mixer. You'll need hardware effects. Something to record it all to. It's all bound together in a way.

Is it easier to be mobile now? Could you build a track from the back of the van as you were touring?

Jonas: Yeah. That's a big, big plus. The downside of a laptop computer is that it is kind of boring to do shows with it. Well, not for me personally, but it isn't something that you would enjoy seeing on stage. Watching some guy tweaking on a computer. It's a hard thing to even be on stage for an electronic musician, always has been. Personally, I find it more interesting to watch someone tweak knobs on a synthesizer than to watch a guy work a laptop. Because it looks like you're actually not doing anything actually.

[ tarmvred wreckin' the house ]
photo by mark teppo

I saw a Bitter Harvest show in Canada once and the guy would start with this single tape loop that he would run up on a reel-to-reel at the front of the stage. Then he would build sounds, sample them, and loop them into the structure, and it was interesting to watch.

Jonas: That is a nice thing to watch. When I played Berlin for the first time, we saw this Japanese band called Guilty Connector. He just had a lot of TB-303s connected together in a line and with a lot of heavy metal pedals -- for distortion and all that -- and he had them all trigged off a trigger mic which he banged off a big steel barrel. It was just crazy; it was all over the place. He jumped on the equipment. And the whole set took, like, five minutes. It was just pure noise.

Nicolas: Yeah, it was probably the best harsh noise concert I have ever seen, but it was for five minutes. I wouldn't have taken it for an hour, but for five minutes, it was great.

Jonas: It is more fun to watch someone go crazy and be all over the place than to watch some laptop geek like you're going to watch tonight. [Laughs] It's like there is no presence. Well, there is presence, but it is inside.

Nicolas: Since there is nothing to see, it is more of a party than a concert. Like a DJ thing.

Jonas:I'd rather do the show from the DJ booth. That way, no one is watching me.

Nicolas: When you go to a party and there is a DJ playing, you don't watch him spinning the records. You listen and dance and even turn your back to him. That's something that people don't really do at a concert like Tarmvred is going to play tonight. I'm sure more people are going to watch you than dance even though they don't need to watch you. You are going to do something, but there is no "show" in a way. It's not a playback show, but there is nothing to "see."

Jonas: Well, there are always ten young boys who have to watch and see what programs I'm going to use. "What's he using? Oh, it's just Fruity Loops. It's just a Fruity Loops machine." [Laughs] "He's a loser." They're all tech guys. I think it was Andreas Tilliander who once said that if you were in the electronic music scene then, instead of getting horny 15-year-old girl groupies who would come up to you after a show, you get 15-year-old boys who ask what equipment you used. [Laughs]

One last pop question: rhythm or texture. If you had to pick one and only one, which would it be?

Jonas: I would go with both. [Laughs] I think it has to be a combination of it, actually. It is really important to me because if you just have rhythm, then it isn't dynamic enough for me. It can be, but if you have the right effect on it, but... [Long pause] ...this is a tough one to answer. But if you were going to kill me if I didn't pick one or the other, I would say...rhythm.

On the web:
Tarmvred (official site)
Ad Noiseam (label for Subfusc and other Tarmvred releases)

Inside Earpollution:
Subfusc album review

[ tarmvred - subfusc ]
[ give a listen! ] "Subfusc (Part V)" MP3

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