Interview with Warren Wheeler of Cradle->Grave

TOM: Is your original release still available?
WARREN: All of the tracks on Moths have been used on compilations, which is kinda why we're not printing anymore. If you wish to track them down here's a list:

a. “FreedomSlave” was on Flaming Fish's Ballistic Test 2. It's also scheduled to appear on Ballistic Test's True Crime Scen disc shortly.
b. “You Are of the Broadest Skies” was on Awaiting the Dawn.
c. Moth was on Machines in the Garden and will be on the re-release of said disc.

TOM: You have a disc due out from Velvet Empire in December. Can you tell us the title and what it means?
WARREN: Saper Vedere is latin for 'Knowing how to see' and will include 10 tracks/54 minutes of dark electro and ambience. There will be a re-release for Australia and Europe in January thru Australian label Heartland Records. This may or may not include bonus tracks and different packaging.

TOM: Please tell me the ideas both spiritually and musically you hope to convey with this CD?
WARREN: This is such an immense question. Where do I start? I guess we'll start with the more tangible aspect; music. Musically we hope to express a dark, dank feel with elements not typically used to reach such a platform. We've used a lot of beats and running chord progressions as opposed to long, drawn-out synth movements. We've also used vocals in a very unusual way. Instead of the typical half sung/half spoken deep Goth vocals, we've used minimalist poetry with various effects. On one track we've substituted the vocals for direct film samples. We are both inspired by film and the thier soundtracks and hope to work in that field a bit more in the future. Spiritually, we have settled with just trying to express ourselves. We believe that any true artist will use their spirituality (or lack of) in their art - whether they are aware of it or not. That said, we just went about writing and what came out, came out. I made certain Matt knew what the lyrics were about so as not conflict with his beliefs. Just because we're both 'Christians' doesn't necessarily mean we share the exact same beliefs.

TOM: From your description and from what I read off the Velvet Empire website, the music on this CD is going to be quite different from what we've heard and, not exactly ambient?
WARREN: C/G is still undoubtedly ambient. However, we took a more beat oriented approach with the CD. That sounds strange but if you really digest Bjork or Scorn you'll see they use many of the same musical theories as Eno or Morricone. It's all about atmosphere and the creation/distortion of such. There's a few tracks that are less ambient - such as 'My Life is My Infinity' - but our introduction to the world was through FreedomSlave, a beat/loop oriented tune. Then there's Deadman's Ocean with which we really played on the ambiences of sound.

TOM: How would you describe the CD to someone who has never heard you guys before?
WARREN: Hmmmm.... I usually tell people it's dark electronics. It is tough with so many genres and style-hopping going on. Basically it's a lot of electronic beats, mixed with dark, choral like synth sounds, a few world/tribal elements and some thoughtful poetry.

TOM: Is there any poetic structure you follow with your writing (madrigal, sonnet, etc.) or would you call it free verse?
WARREN: It's just free verse. I have studied a little poetry, but found it too one-tracked. Very few could understand what I was doing because I was toying with minimalism. Very few words that say a whole bunch. In fact, in a group discussion most thought You are of the Broadest Skies was a song to an ex-girlfriend - which of course it's not. Point being, because I'm not writing about being gay, or how my parents screwed me up, most writers don't get what I'm saying.

TOM: Do you consider the style of music you do as philosophically reflective of the post-modern age?
WARREN: As pompous as that sounds, yes. They say music goes around in cycles. And I feel that ambient and the related genres are reflective not only of today but all of times past. So darkwave is like the 2000 classical. The way the band operates, the way we write, and what we write is all a direct 'up yours' to the music of today. It's an insult to our metal history because there's no guitars, it's upsetting the darkwave crowd cause we use beats. It's annoying the dance people because we use vocals, and it upsets the radio crowd because we ask people to think for themselves. Which is all very reminiscent of Eno, Harris (Scorn/Lull), Thrussell (Snog/Soma/Black Lung) and Verhagen (Shinjuku Thief/Filth)

TOM: Who does what and how do you arrive at a song?
WARREN: This is perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of c/g. Matt and I live 3hrs away from each other. We usually meet up once every few weeks and lock ourselves in a room and see what comes out. Matt's the real musical one so he'll come with patterns, beats (he's originally a drummer) and sounds while I direct the structure and flow of the songs. I also write the lyrics with Matt helping with melodies (when they exist). As a result we don't tend to list who does what as it is more a collaboration than a piecing together of individual concepts.

TOM: How exactly do you say the name for your group?
WARREN: Cradle->Grave can/is pronounced in many different ways. Most Americans say Cradle to Grave. A lot of Aussies say Cradle to the Grave. We say Cradle Grave. The idea of the arrow was to add a bit of audience participation. Say it how you like.

TOM: Warren, you mentioned a possible project with Nathan Morris (EnGrave, Nova Sphere)?
WARREN: The project with Nathan is all talk right now. He's caught up with study and I'm the cradle thing. We should be contributing a track to an upcoming Stryper tribute. Basically it'll revolve around tape trading and email suggestions until we have a product we're both happy with. Personally I'd like to add a lot of eastern influence into a darkwave format with spoken/whispered word. Nathan is from Cyprus so hopefully the eastern idea appeals to him also. But we'll have to wait and see.

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