Music Interview

Noxious Emotion

by Jett Black

Noxious EmotionHigh-energy darkwave, peppy electronics and atmospheric trance-dance with samples lightly sprinkled throughout certainly influences the industrious new release, Symbols, by Noxious Emotion. Variety is the Spice of Music! Diversity in music generates certain specialization and auditory intrigues which will either grab you, or leave you cold.

Seattle, Washington, well known for providing sensational new music for more than a decade has not neglected to contribute to post-modern, post-pop musical styles. Gothic-Rock, Industrial, Electronic, Dance, Hip-hop, Modern Rock, Darkwave and other influences have conspired to experiment along imaginary musical borders of style and sound which have in the past been so uniformly imposed by the music industry. Unique and fantastic new music is available for all who are willing to find it.

Noxious Emotion reflects an evolutionary achievement and the product of talented and determined creativity. Vocals and programming spawn, Michael Wimer slides from one set of keys to the next and responds to a few quick questions off-the-cuff.

What is symbolized by the artwork on the actual Symbols CD itself?

Well, I was working with several different things on that. The symbols I used to name the songs themselves, but wait, there's more (hehehee, damn, I sound like Ron Popeil). The symbol on the back is a Uroboros (it's the symbol for water), a snake in a circle eating itself. And the background of the cover is water, just like Count Zero had a fire background And This Hallowed Ground has an Earth background...get it? The next CD will be called "Elements" and it'll have an AIR symbology to it.

When and at what location is your next tour set to begin?

We're gonna be touring in August across the Northern US. There's a list of shows at http://www.noxious.com.

Who is Fockewolf and how does their style compare with that of Noxious Emotion?

Well, Fockewolf is like a sister band to NE. I actually play keyboards with them live and Robert (from Fockewolf) plays keyboards live with NE. It's a very incestuous thing. Fockewolf will be touring with us in August and their basic "sound" is what most people call Darkwave. A lot like NE, but with a female vocalist added.

How did Fockewolf get paired with Noxious Emotion for the Late-Summer Tour?

Well, we're both ADSR Musicwerks bands. Plus, Robert and I have always wanted to tour together. Plus the music of both bands compliment each other very well.

Where will you be travelling during the course of your next tour?

It's gonna be the Northern US, Chicago, NY, DC, then back through Denver and Salt Lake City. It's gonna be a short 2 week tour, but it's gonna have a LOT going on...a show everynight...UGH...oh well, it'll be fun as hell!!!

Of the venues on this tour, which have you performed for in the past?

Actually, the last 4 tours have all been West Coast only so a lot of these venues will be completely new to us! It's a change of scenery for us and new clubs are always fun!!!

What do you look forward to on this tour?

Hanging out at the strip clubs after shows (*just kidding*...my wife is gonna shoot me for that one. D'oh!!!!).

Actually, the one thing that I REALLY enjoy on tour is finally getting to meet all the people that I have e-mailed back and forth with over the last few years. It's gonna be cool to finally put faces to the smart-ass remarks of the e-mails. We're thinking of calling it "The Face of E-mail" tour, just for that very reason.

Hate Dept., Kill Switch...Klick, Kevorkian Death Cycle, Christ Analogue, KMFDM, PIG, Mentallo & The Fixer. All bands with which you have performed in the past. What experiences seem most memorable for you and what have you been able to draw out of those experiences and into Noxious Emotion?

Oh, we learn from each and every show. Some that I will NEVER forget are the KMFDM/PIG shows. Those were INCREDIBLE!!!! There's nothing quite like going on stage in front of 3,000 screaming people...it's a rush!!!

Noxious EmotionWhat developments have Noxious Emotion members put into side-projects lately?

Well, I'm playing keyboards with Fockewolf (ADSR) and Ninth Circle (ADSR/IVY). Fritter is playing drums with Written in Ashes (Cleopatra) and there are a few others in the works.

What will you call the next release by Noxious Emotion?

Elements.

What songs have been in development since Symbols was released last year?

Well, I'm working on the next CD "Elements" already. It's gonna be along the same lines as Symbols is...maybe a little more melody.

Which songs will appear on this CD?

They're all in the studio right now, but one song that will be on it will be "Nitrogen" which has been publicly released on the Circuit Noir Compilation from the UEF.

Any re-mixes from previous releases?

Not on the next CD. I thought about maybe releasing a remix CD sooner or later, but not just yet...maybe in 2000? Say, how about I do 30 remixes of Headhunter? (Hehehe. **did I REALLY just say that?**)

After 5 full-length CD releases, which songs remain your favorites, and why?

Weeeeeeeell... let's see here. FPMO, Firemission, Boundary and Human Suit are some off the older stuff. As for the newer stuff, I honestly like almost every song on Symbols...if I do say so myself... hehehe. I hate to give you that standard band response in saying that the latest album is my favorite, but it's true!! I think that Symbols is our best work to date. It's shown a lot of promise in the charts and DJ play too. Guess I finally did something right!! D'oh!!!

Noxious Emotion appears on 3 compilations so far this year and a whopping 6 compilations last year alone! Very impressive! What's next?

There are about 10 more coming out throughout 1999. I've been trying to make sure that every comp gets an "exclusive" remix, that way the fans have something NEW to listen to. You know, it's been one hell of a busy year!!! Hehehe.

Noxious EmotionWhat changes have been made in Noxious Emotion during the last year, or since the Symbols release?

Actually, there have been no changes in the lineup of NE since Symbols. We did lose Shane (a singer from previously), but that happened before Symbols was released.

One change for NE that I'm working on right now is the whole distribution and networking thing. NE has reached a point where we're needing MUCH better distributing. If I had a dime for every time I got that 13 year old kid e-mailing me saying, "I can't find your last CD in Sam Goody," I'd be rich. D'oh!!!

What gear are you using to develop music for Noxious Emotion?

I use an Ensoniq ASR-10 as a brain MIDI'd to a Nord Lead, Korg Prophecy, Juno-60 and Kawai K3 right now. It's simple, but it does the trick!!

What new opportunities would you seek and develop to advance the music of Noxious Emotion?

Well, the distribution...definitely. I mean, getting the CDs to the people is THE most important thing at this stage for NE. We've got a decent following, now we just need to get to the masses that haven't heard us yet. That is happening, slowly but surely.

How do you relate with the music that you create through Noxious Emotion?

It all comes from experiences I've had, so I'm very close to it. I do all the programming and vocals, so what you're hearing is what I'm thinking.

Which musicians have won your admiration in the music industry and why?

Well, there's always the greats: Skinny Puppy, FLA, and Front 242, but the other one's that I've really come to admire are: Covenant, Apoptygma Berzerk and Project Pitchfork. Also, Biopsy (from Brazil). I never knew that Brazil had such a cool scene!!

What motivated the experimental forays into more synth-pop effects on Symbols?

Well, actually that was me getting back to my roots. I was brought up on New Order, Depeche Mode and stuff like that. Symbols was my way of doing some music that was EBM-Industrial, with just a hint of 80's new wave. Do ya think I pulled it off OK? Hehe.

What types of synth-effects will make appearances on the next release?

I'm not planning on buying any new keyboards just yet, but you never know, I mean, maybe Roland will release a new board that I MUST have.

What persuaded you to use drum machines instead of the live drummers you have available for the production of Symbols?

Noxious EmotionTwo things...the engineering of drum machines is much more controllable. I can make it sound like whatever I want. Also, our recording studio at ADSR is not equipped to mike that many drums. It would have been a real pain and it wouldn't have sounded as good in the long run.

What are you looking for in terms of musical styles and influences now?

I'm just gonna let it flow and see what happens, but knowing me, that means more melody and danceability. So it should be pretty cool. I think that if you like Symbols, then Elements is gonna be right up your alley.

What samples would you like to include into your next recordings for Noxious Emotion?

I'm trying to keep the "talking" samples down a little...maybe a few here and there, but I'm trying to make "stronger" songs instead (that don't need a sample to keep them interesting).

The concepts behind these relationships between the CD title, Symbols, the graphical representation of the name, Noxious Emotion on the CD cover, and the titles of the tracks on Symbols is clever and well-developed. This is no random occurrence. How did all of that come about?

I've always tried to make the covers of the CDs something that you can sit back and look at while you're listening to the CD on headphones and always see something NEW that you didn't notice before. Keep the cover basic, but make hidden things that the listener will find as time goes on. It's more interesting that way!

It also occurs to me now that the serpent biting its own tail reminds me of the television show called Millennium. Is there any relationship between the graphical representations on the CD and Millennium concepts conveyed on that television program?

Actually, no, but that's pretty astute that you'd notice the Uroboros from Millenium and the one from Symbols...very good eye!!!

What will you seek to accomplish through Noxious Emotion before the end of the millennium?

World Domination!!!! No? Ok then, how about...US Domination!!!! No? Well, then how about a cheese sandwich. Hehe. Seriously, I'm hoping to take NE to the "next step" as it were. As a band we've come pretty far. Now I want to get us to that plateau where we can tour all over the world and be recognized in the EBM community as serious musicians (not that I don't think anyone feels we're not serious). It's just nice to have that respect from fellow rivetheads.

How can music enthusiasts best contact Noxious Emotion? What other resources might be available for avid readers?

e-mail: noxious@noxious.com
There are always the webpages:
http://www.noxious.com, http://www.adsr.org