Binary have just come back from touring Europe with Marilyn Manson. They were personally picked, and an interesting choice; they’re not metal, in the slightest. What Binary do though, is create innovative angst-ridden alt-rock – like some sort of ace mutant hybrid of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails – dark, decadent and in your freakin’ face. We chat with the band’s vocalist David Troster about touring with shock-rock’s finest, their own material and plans for the rest of 2012.
“’Modern Man’ is a ‘fu** you’ to mass-market culture”
S] ‘Modern Man’ is a sure-fire shot at a lot of stereotypical music coming from out of the UK today, so where were you, and what were you doing when you thought of that tune?
DT] “It wasn’t really a specific moment but more of a general reaction. We are constantly being force fed mindless banality, whether its in the form of a lame reality show or a pop artist with nothing to say. What really pisses me off, is that we all seem to go along with it and even worse, accept it. So rather than just being apathetic, we wanted to bring that angst into our music and just say fu** off to mass-market culture.”
S] What was it like working with Sean Beavan on the record – he has, of course worked with one of the bands biggest influences in Nine Inch Nails?
DT] “Sean is a great guy and an incredibly talented producer. He definitely understands where we are coming from and what we are trying to do. It’s quite funny because we are big fans of his work and reference a lot of it, so sometimes I fear we come off as ‘fanboys’. A lot of the time we try to push the boat out as much as we can sonically and Sean really helps us with that.”
S] We’ve heard Manson is a difficult star and that not even you guys were allowed to make eye contact with him – how’s it been touring with the band in Europe?
DT] “The eye contact thing is total bull**it. Look, Manson attracts controversy, so I think people are just keen to put him into a certain light. He’s definitely an intense character but to be honest from what we saw, he’s a pretty private guy.”
S] We’ve heard about some interesting antics from former MM band members – what was the most interesting thing that happened while you guys were around?
DT] “One of the shows in Italy was pretty mental. The venue was a total shit show and completely disorganised. The power cut just before Manson was due to come back on stage for his encore and the venue crew were fu**ing useless and were struggling to get the power back on, so Manson decides to trash the entire backstage area! He’s definitely flying the flag high for rock ‘n’ roll!”
S] You worked with Alec Empire and Atari Teenage Riot on a remix of ‘Modern Man’ recently, how did that connection come about?
DT] “We’re big fans of ATR. They’re a really unique band and true pioneers of experimental electronic music. I first saw one of Alec’s shows in Berlin a few years back and was completely blown away. I’d never seen or heard anything like it before. It was so aggressive and intense. We reached out to him over e-mail and he was into the music.”
S] Does ‘Modern Man’ itself represent how future Binary material will be crafted – is it, for example, a good indication of how a Binary full-length will sound?
DT] “It’s the direction we are moving in. We are definitely trying to combing heavier guitar sounds with a strong electronic influence. However at the same time, keeping it quite melodic. So those are the three elements that are going to shape the Binary sound.”
S] David, it’s an unusual question we guess, but can you talk us through the decision you made to quit Yale and proceed with Binary – a lot of young people and creatives have to make difficult decisions about their future every day, and could perhaps take some inspiration?
DT] “Leaving Yale was definitely a hard decision to make. A lot of the time, when you choose a more creative or unconventional path you can feel immediately overwhelmed with self-doubt and fear. You know, like how can I make this work? But if you have real love for what you do, you have to take it as far as you can.”
S] Do you have a favourite city to visit when playing up North in England, and why?
DT] “Leeds. Without a doubt. We played Live At Leeds earlier this year. The energy at the show was incredible. Sometimes people tend to read or hear a lot about a band before actually listening to them or watching them play live. So, some audiences can seem a bit distant in comparison to other places. But the vibe in Leeds always seems to be crazy.”
S] What about outside of music, what films and/or art inspire Binary?
DT] “In terms of directors, it has to be: Stanley Kubrick, Dario Argento, David Lynch, John Carpenter and David Cronenberg are pretty big influences. Both myself and Francesco Bondi [guitars] are big film fans, so we’re constantly searching for weird stuff to sample and inspire us.”
S] What are your plans for the rest of this year?
DT] “We’re looking forward to more live shows. We’re headlining a show at KOKO in London this August. Our next big focus is on recording our debut EP which we hope to release at the back end of this year.”
S] A couple of random questions then, now. If you could create a Frankenstein’s monster for Binary’s sound, for example, the head of NIN, the arm of Marilyn Manson and the leg of U2, what would it be and why?
DT] “David Bowie’s head with the arms of Smashing Pumpkins, the torso of Nine Inch Nails and the legs of Radiohead. Twisted and strange yet longing to be loved…”
S] In the event of a zombie outbreak, what weapon would you use to defend yourself and why?
DT] “Right that’s easy. Basically we would get loads of treadmills and arrange them into a massive, complicated track. (Like that OK Go video but with zombies). So then when they attacked us, they would get stuck on this treadmill system and starve to death.”
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