nTTx (Band Interview)
Today we speak to the power that is nTTx.
Let’s start with this: What’s the history of nTTx?
nTTx started out along time ago when I was still in high school. I managed to buy a couple of synths and a drum machine and started to make the kind of music I wanted to hear. I lived in a blue-collar town that was mostly metal and country music centric and I kept writing EBM and industrial music for myself never really promoted the electronic music I made. I was known more to be a drummer for post punk and rock bands.
What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?
I grew up in a musical, performing family. I first went on stage at four years old, I loved it! Only real “formal” training I received was in public school and a few years in the drum corps. I feel music comes from the heart and many of the styles I like contradict traditional “rules” of song-smiths anyway. It would be a cool thing to have in my back pocket I guess, but I tend not to think about it.
So what can you tell us about your latest album, “Of Beauty and Chaos” (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)
I never set forth to make any song or album conform to any restrictions. I warned Bart at WTII that my genre choices can sometimes swing wide. The same goes for inspiration, I really can’t say why or what comes to mind when I write. It is just like a radio gets tuned into my head and stuff just happens. I have no other way to describe it. I may sit down and do a stompy EBM bassline driven song, or some swirly smoky gothy thing comes out. Maybe it has to do with what I just ate?
How did you go about making it?
As a general rule I start writing with Reason. I find it is the fastest way to get my thoughts out and down to hard drive. I build out the basic structure and then export the midi data and stems to bring them into Studio One to further refine it. At that point I may add my hardware synths to the arrangement, record vocals and knock about the ones and zeros until it passes muster. Then send off to whoever will be mastering it. I believe the mastering is the final artist carving a place on the album.
Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?
Oh totally, always learning. Always re-thinking. It keeps things fresh and alive. Sometimes it sets me off into the “wrong” direction, but that is still learning. There are so many great articles and tutorials out there these days… I love it!
What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?
I have a bit of everything, I have some of my favorite hardware boxes that managed to survive these years like my Ensoniq ESQ1, Prophet 600 and my Kawai XD-5.. And on the next EP there will even be a few sounds from some preschool toys I picked up at thrift shops.
Anything you’re keen to use on your next album?
I can’t say I am ever lead by the want to use some bit of gear just to use it, but I am interested in what Behringer is doing with the reissuing of old gear.
Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?
Oh for sure! There were some technical issues that delayed this EP for a little bit, but they are solved now and the next EP is almost 50% written! I hope to pick up some more remix and production work too, as I love doing that most of the time.
Any plans for upcoming live shows?
I will be opening for Haujobb in October in Toronto and a fun home-town show in September. I would like to get out and play some other countries, but you know… money, Trump.. etc..
Let’s have a few general questions now. What do you see as a musicians role in society?
Entertainers first and foremost. Not that there is anything wrong with social or political comment, but there is so much of that these days that it seems to just add to the noise. There are people that know subjects better than I do, and I should just let them speak. I am too sarcastic and random minded to be taken too literally anyway.
Anything unique happening musically in your country? (We are based in England and South Africa).
I heard of some kid Justine Buuber? I dunno. I think Celine Dion is getting a bit of attention these days. (More Skinny Puppy, less peasant crap! -Ed)
Where do you stand on music videos?
I love music videos! I wish I could do what I have in my mind, but Romero, Harryhausen and Kurosawa are now dead and I will never get the chance.
Do you see their value in today’s world?
I think with the easy access for artist and fans to things like YouTube and Vimeo, videos can be a great way to connect. So much better than the old days where an independent artist like myself would never get the remotest chance to be seen.
What’s your take on the “new” technology? (Bandcamp, Soundcloud, MP3)
I love it! Yes, the webernets make it easier for people to copy and trade a band’s music without paying, and that sucks, but it also gives an opportunity to grow a fan base in ways that only a few decades ago would be only in the reach of major labels. I am amazed to see where I get heard.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Predatory practices of some labels. I have seen some labels that squeeze the artist for every cent and the bands end up owing more than they would ever make. I hate that! Then the labels have the nerve to blame fans! There is an excellent documentary made in 2012 called Artifact, about just this exact thing with 30 Seconds To Mars vs. Sony. Many people getting cash on the broken backs of the artists they are supposed to be developing.
Any advice for new bands?
Do what you feel is right. Beware of wolves with bad contracts coming to feed off your bones. Treat your fans like your best friends, you are not better than them. Treat other musicians with care and respect unless they fuck with you and don’t be a diva with the stage techs.
Any last words for our readers?
You only have a limited time in your life, if there is something you want to do, go out and do it. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.