Music Interview

Interlace

By Kim Mercil

Can a band be as good as Skinny Puppy or Die Form? One listen to Imago, Interlace's newest CD, and you will answer "yes" with no hesitation to the above question. Interlace brings us to a whole new level within the context of the music they create. They weave a new insight on cultural expressions that they feel are void of content. Thus giving the audience new knowledge while letting them get in touch with their emotions about it. Other than music, Interlace incorporates many different artistic forms into itself, hence their web site www,designforanewbreed.com. Interlace will change their stage shows with new props for each conceptual phase. It is for this reason Interlace is one of the few bands I would kill my parents to see live.

1. Who’s in the band Interlace? Where do you call home?

Interlace has four members. We live in Malmö, Sweden.

Imago2. Interlace formed nearly a decade ago, but the band didn’t get underway until 2001. What other artistic engagements led to the delay of Interlace?

Just as you say, the blueprints for Interlace were conceived in the mid nineties. At that time, we didn’t have the resources to pull off a project of this scale, so we decided to wait until the time was right. In 2001 all the pieces finally fell into place, and we were able to take on the massive task of realizing Interlace.

3. Your debut CD Innuendo was written and produced in three months. How long was the production time for Imago?

We entered the studio in November 2003, just after the Euopean tour with Suicide Commando, and delivered the master copy to Memento Materia in February. So it took about three months this time too. Although we are quite comfortable with working like this – in shifts around the clock with sessions spanning days, having to plan every detail meticulously in order to be able to meet the deadline – we have decided to try a slightly different approach for the next album. In the end, our production methodology perhaps isn’t ideal from a health or social point of view.

4. Imago is my first contact with Interlace, how would you say Imago differs from Innuendo musically?

Imago picks up where Innuendo ended. We want Interlace to evolve, gradually shifting form while remaining true to the fundamentals of the project. The biggest musical difference between the two albums is probably that we decided to be quite open with the musical roots of Interlace on Innuendo. With Imago we didn’t feel this responsibility, and instead allowed ourselves to bring forth more of the true musical core of Interlace.

5. Interlace’s music is created to form a new state of awareness. What exactly is it that you’re trying to make us aware of?

We feel that a lot of the cultural expressions that surround us are void of content. There is colour, shapes and sound, but neither heart nor brain. Do people really want to be treated as if they were imbeciles by those who make a living out of entertaining them? We think not, and we are devoted to creating art that stir emotions at the moment of consumption as well as leaving the audience with something more lasting – the seed of a new insight, or a piece of knowledge they did not previously have. We see no contradiction between these two objectives; rather, the best art is often that that evokes both direct and indirect emotions. We want our audience to expect nothing less from us, thus contributing to a society in which the line between the entertainers and the entertained is erased insofar that cultural expressions aren’t produced and then consumed, but rather created at the moment of interaction between the object and the subject. That is, a piece of Interlace art isn’t truly created until the moment it gives rise to emotion or insight – until then, it’s merely data. We want people to raise their expectations on culture and demand to be treated as individuals with the potential to mold their universe, as opposed to passive receivers of products that fail to stimulate the very processes of mankind that separate us from animals.

6. What would Interlace say is the most difficult and controversial issue of today?

There are obviously a number of important issues that mankind has to deal with, but we generally prefer to communicate our opinions on them in the context of what we create rather than in interviews.

7. How would you describe Interlace as being a virtual laboratory?

InterlaceIt’s important to us to place our art in a context that is perceived as meaningful by our audience. However, we despise artistic pseudo-intellectuality. We have decided to pursue an academic discourse for Interlace, and this implies a responsibility to actually know what we’re talking about. This is why Interlace could be described as a virtual laboratory – the project itself calls for constant knowledge creation. For instance, Teiaiel spent weeks studying organic chemistry and the anatomy of the foetus before designing the Innuendo incubator. If the details aren’t correct, the whole picture isn’t credible.

8. Interlace has released two full-lengths and an EP prior to Imago. Yet Imago is your first north American release. Why is that?

Innuendo was available in North America through Metropolis’ catalogue as well as via Storming the Base. For Imago we wanted an American license, because you need skilled marketing people who continuously promote your products in order to actually penetrate a market. Artoffact had all that we asked for; it’s a competent and dedicated label, and so far we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

9. How did you go from the Swedish label Memento Materia to the Canadian label Artoffact Records?

We are still on Memento Materia, who licensed us to Artoffact.

10. Interlace is also sub-licensed by German Dependent Records. Are you still with them? Why are so many labels involved with your music? Creatively speaking, is this a good thing or not?

Yes, we’re still licensed to Dependent. Interlace, like all international bands, needs a global network of skilled and dedicated people in order to function well.

11. After listening to Imago a few times, I feel a musical similarity to that of Wumpscut and early Skinny Puppy, do you agree? Would Interlace consider Wumpscut and Skinny Puppy as influences?

Skinny Puppy is an important reference for Interlace, at least in terms of the approach to the music making itself. I wouldn’t say that our music is particularly similar though. As for Wumpscut, I only know them by name.

12. On Imago, why is track seven titled Track Two?

Actually the title has nothing to do with the track order of Imago.

13. How does Interlace come up with their song titles?

The names of the tracks describe their contents, that’s really all I can say.

14. Interlace remixed the track Rain Of Brass Petals for the soundtrack to the game Silent Hill 3. How did this happen?

We sent a copy of Innuendo to Akira Yamaoka through his Team Silent, and he appreciated the music and concept so we decided to do some kind of artistic collaboration. A remix exchange followed, in which we wrote a version of Rain of Brass Petals called Three Voices Edit. The remix is included on the Japanese soundtrack to Silent Hill 3. Akira chose to take on our Missing Link, and created a magic track that we released on Under the Sky.

Interlace15. Do you find it more beneficial to do remixes or have studio versions of your material appear on compilations?

We definitely prefer remixes, since most of our audience already has the original versions on CD. However, we get too many compilation requests to be able to provide a unique track for each one – it’s a lot of work to produce a quality remix that stands out enough from the original version to make it worth releasing.

16. Why was your band’s website created using www.designforanewbreed.com instead of the band’s name?

Although first and foremost being a music project, Interlace spans over a variety of artistic forms. We strive to incorporate all these expressions into one coherent framework, where each component adds to the total experience rather than being an independent piece of art. We use the term Design for a New Breed to encapsulate all Interlace art, and this is the logic behind the address of our official web site.

17. How did you come in contact with artist Dave McKean, who provided the cover art for Imago?

Teiaiel designed the cover art for Innuendo and Under the Sky, and she agreed to do Imago too. At the time she lived in London, working with digital effects for Dave McKean’s new movie Mirror Mask. Teiaiel introduced Dave to Interlace and asked if he would be interested in doing the Imago cover art together with her. He agreed, and that’s how the exciting collaboration came about.

18. Teiaiel, www.teiaiel.com, has designed accessory apparel and props for Interlace’s stage show. How did this working relationship come to be? How long has Teiaiel been doing this for Interlace? Besides neck corsets and the bishop’s crosier, what other items have been designed for stage use?

Teiaiel is a good friend of ours, and we’ve been working together for several years. The props you mention are part of the Imago stage show, which Teiaiel designed and built together with us. Since each conceptual phase of Interlace means a completely new stage show has to be created, there is a lot of work involved in the live dimension. Teiaiel is a leading Scandinavian designer, and it’s of great value to us to have her involved in the process.