INTERVIEW: Christopher

By Azriel J. Knight

Chain Border

ChristopherAzriel: Lets start off with an easy one, how did your music career begin?

Christopher: It began like many others: In my adolescence trying to find a way to get girls.

A: Just for all the tech-ies out there what do you use to produce your music?

C: Techies would be disappointed by my answer. Everything I did to produce this record would be deemed wrong and a travesty to audio engineers around the world. No compressors, no noise gates, just a cheap $100 microphone and lots of imagination. I did use various audio software to lay the tracks down courtesy of some generous friends of mine. I was too poor at the time to acquire the basic needs for a studio. I couldn't let that stop me from doing the wer Next Projekt. I did a lot of improvising.

A: Some might be impressed by that though, to break from the norm, and to improvise, just say "fuck it" and wing it. Tell me more about the Wer Next Project, starting with why it's under that title.

C: The title came to me in a dream. I don't know the significance. I do know that depending on the pronunciation of `wer Next' you could be asking a question or an answer. So I guess I can conclude what "wer Next Projekt" means: It's a question that answers itself.

A: The album seems to have some worldy cultural influences, a lot of chanting. Tell me about it.

C: I don't know why there is a `worldly' feel to the music. I honestly don't get that feeling. I will concede there is a lot of exotic instrumentation and I sing in a `non-western' way. I didn't think about what instruments I was going to use or how I was going to sing. It just happened that way, and I felt, at the end, the album goes for your throat. I don't remember actually doing much of the record, every time tracks were laid down I was in a trance or a zone of some sort. Something within me, or maybe even outside of me, drove this record to completion. A lot of fucked up emotions, weird occurrences, blood loss (literally) and a nervous breakdown all contributed to the creation of 'wer Next'.

A: Nokturne, the first song on your album, does make more sense now after you explain that. Tell me more about that song specifically though, I mean, the bloody thing is nearly 18 minutes long, but it's so well done.

C: Thanks. Nokturne is based on a 15th century piece called Come Heavy Sleep written by John Dowland, and a piece by Benjamin Britten called Nocturnal (for John Dowland) which is based around the themes of Come Heavy Sleep. Nokturne combines both of those songs together and I added my interpretations of both pieces. As for the length, it just happened to end up like that. I don't take most people's short attention spans into consideration. If it works at 17 minutes, let it be 17 minutes.

A: And you do all the singing on the album?

C: 90% of the singing is me. With the exception of a sample here and there because they were more appropriate to use than my voice.

A: At a part in Nokturne a woman speaks. Where did you get it from and what did she say?

C: The woman speaks in Portuguese. It is from the movie Black Orpheus. a beautiful Brazilian film. As for what she says, rent the movie, it's a wonderful piece of non-American cinema.

A: Delving into the more personal so people have a better idea of where your coming from lets dip into something strange, am I right in saying you once blacked out and woke up in the country where you couldn't speak the language?

C: Oh that, well, there was a time in my life just before the recording of my record I had this penchance for `medicating' myself quite a bit. And I medicated myself a little too much one day and ended up calling a travel agent (which I can't remember) and ended up in Spain for a day. I guess my senses recovered upon landing in Madrid and realized my precarious position. I was bummed, I went over at a time when they weren't running with the bulls.

A: Well that's a story if I have ever heard one. Tell me about "live" Christopher.

C: Live is going to be a really intense experience. I'm assembling a group as we speak. It's going to be a 8-10 person group (I really don't want to use samplers unless I have to) with tons of laser lights and hopefully use video screens. I'm working with a lighting designer right now and throwing around some ideas with various young and starving would-be directors. But despite all the lasers, smoke, imagery and maybe an exploding stripper or 2, the focus is on making the live experience as intimate as possible. The music is really most effective when heard by one person at a time. The music is not for stadiums or arenas. It's really just for...you and only you. So it should prove interesting what happens when this music is heard on stage for the first time.

A: What are the other future plans for Christopher?

C: Some people can plan years ahead of themselves. I learned from myself that I can't plan on anything really concrete. All I know is that there is a goal: To be heard by many regardless of where you come from, your color, your sex, or what scene you may be into. My biggest obsession along with music is people's distorted views on beauty. It disturbs me how we are driven by the media to have a washboard stomach and fit into a size 4 dress (I'm lucky if I can fit into plus sizes). 'wer Next' I think really fucks with the concept of beauty at times: Taking what you think is beautiful and cutting up its face and then taking what you deem as ugly and making it angelic. The worst thing anyone can do is use their physical appearance by making it a weapon of `have and have not.' Models look freakish and revolting. I wouldn't cry if the day came when they finally vomit up their vital organs rather than the Macdonald's they wolfed down 20 minutes previous.

Reprinted from Pandaemonium (www.pandaemon.cjb.net)
Christopher (http://www.comecloser.com, http:// www.mp3.com/christopherx)

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