Fall 1998 Interviews Ė Electronic Music

Interview with

Torn Skinís

Drew Calvetti. September 1998.

Tell me about how you came to call yourselves Torn Skin. Is it a reference to the Cross? Are you aware of the late 80's hard rock band from Ohio of the same name? Lets' see...the name. It all started as a joke, way before I was in the band. Rob and Jen started the band, so I don't know the exact details. (For further info, see the blacklight web page at www.blacklight.com) No, I had no idea there was another band named Torn Skin! Are they still around? (I donít think so) Are we going to get sued? (I doubt it) Someone at C-stone this year told me that there used to be a christian sk8 thrash band called Torn Flesh (more like hardcore wanna bes). Maybe that's what you're thinking of, or maybe it's not. mmmmm......interesting. Really, we're just too lazy to think up a better name. That, and we already have name recognition, so changing it now isn't the best idea. What term or terms would you use to describe your music? How would you label yourselves?

Man, I seriously hate labeling myself or my music. To me it's just industrial. Some people have called us "coldwave", whatever that is. There's just too many little sub-genres of electronic music anymore for me to keep up with.

How would you describe your goals as a band?

To make good music, plain and simple, but I'll elaborate so as not to bore the reader and explain what I mean. Rob and I do what we do because we feel it needs to be done for the sake of the music style and the people involved in the scene. Industrial music has a tendency to be very negative and just plain repetitive. It's been getting old for a very long time now. I mean it's just so over-done and boring anymore. It's really sickening how far it's gone and how long it's been there. Basically, we want to make music that's intersting that will take the listener somewhere and dig deep into their emotional psyche. And at the same time, not bring them down and pollute their mind and soul like a lot of secular music will. We want to incorporate musical elements into our music that aren't commonly found in industrial. We try to use melody as much as we can, but of course, there are times when melody just isn't called for.

How long have you been together and what releases/appearances do you have?

This incarnation of Torn Skin has been around since the summer of '96, when I joined on as the permanent guitarist, but Torn Skin was around before that, but it was all a joke, as I said before. So far, we've only been on compilations. "Machines in the Garden" was our first appearance anywhere. Reaction to that song, "Shoulders of geniuses", was better than I ever expected. Truthfully, that song is so old and so underproduced compared to our newer stuff that we can barely stand to listen to it. It also appeared on a few other comps by the likes of Evolution Child records and Silence No More records, to name a couple. (see the blacklight web site for exact details) We just recently released our second song, 'Shame" on the blacklight comp called "Collapsing Stucture".

Do you have any releases coming out soon?

"Shame" may appear on some more comps, but I'm not exactly sure when or on what labels. On Jan. 24th, 1999, we will release our first maxi-single for our song called "Mislead" on Blacklight records. There will be remixes on the single by our label mate Fatal blast whip, 16 Volt, Colossal Spin, Sanctum, and Pivot Clowj, to name a few. The song is a little more catchy and less guitar oriented than our previous releases, but everyone who has heard the song so far loves it. It's still pretty dark sounding. It's just somewhat dancy. I've heard most of the remixes that are going on the single and I was really impressed! I'm very excited about it coming out. Our full length album is scheduled to be out sometime in June, but it's still too early to say. It's hard to get a lot accomplished since Jen and I are off at school right now. I make it home to work on stuff on a fairly regular basis, though.

What would you like to say to someone who's never heard you before?

Wow, that's a tough one. I'm not sure. Hope you enjoy it! Sorry. That's as eloquent as that one's going to get.

Do you have a mission statement?

It's nothing that we've sat down and written out. It would take too long to do that. Like I said before, we just want to make good music. We want to avoid the lyrical and musical stereotypes about industrial that drive us crazy. Basically, we're doing industrial the way we feel it should be done. I'm not saying that we lack appreciation for other people's music, we just want to make music that takes US somewhere, not just the listener. We want our music to be somewhat of a roller coaster of music and emotions, where there's always truth waiting at the end of the ride. Rob and I want Torn Skin to be the sound track to our lives, and hopefully, some other people will identify with that. If not, oh well. At least we will feel like we've accomplished something musically on a personal level, and know that we did it for the right reasons.

Interview with Don Maxwell (a.k.a.


Tell me a little bit about your name.

The name, evonica, really dosen't have much of a meaning to it. It's simply a elaboration of my middle name, Evan.

Are you a single person or a group?

I prefer to work alone rather than in groups; because, when there are a number of people trying to input their ideas at one time, things start to get quite stressful, and the directio of the song is often lost.

How would you describe your sound?

Well, my older stuff was composed in a world beat / synth - pop sort of style; but my work as of late has been very industrial - oriented. Although the lyrics Ií've written recently possess angry and somewhat confusing overtones, I still retain my original purpose of trying to bring people together. Too much emphasis is placed on the surface of humanity, and not enough on the minds and souls that power every human action.

How long have you been at this?

I've been active with it for about two years.

Tell me about your releases and appearances, please.

There have been two evonica demos released within the last year, and i have songs on three Blacklight records compilations including, Collapsing Structure, Machines in the Garden (re -release version), and Tierra Ferma vs. the Atmosphere.

Do you have anything in the works?

Well, most of my effort right now is being placed on my side project called, tethered roses. It's a collaboration between vocalist Vallery Brown, and myself. Our first demo will be available sometime in October, and we have a website at www.oocities.com/sunsetstrip/disco/1080/ . As far as Evonica goes, I've been working on creating more pop - oriented material. It is being done in a much more organic, flowing sort of style similar to artists such as Delerium and Enigma; but with radio - friendly song structures and powerful, emotion - filled vocals.

Any last words?

People need to accept others for who they truly are, and not be frightened or offended by superficial differences.

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