Spotlight: Caustic

This is black comedy-powernoise, This is music that is catchy and informative, this is the work of a premier Industrial DJ named Matthew Fanale, and last but not least this […]

This is black comedy-powernoise, This is music that is catchy and informative, this is the work of a premier Industrial DJ named Matthew Fanale, and last but not least this is most definitely jizzcore. We were fortunate to catch up with Matt recently to discuss his thoughts on his music, the industry and why he is so proud of the Industrial scene…

S] We may be walking into this one, but what kind of reactions do you want to inspire with your new album This Is Jizzcore?

M] Basically I just wanted to make a fun album (is “album” even the right word anymore?) that jumped around stylistically and suckerpunched people from track to track. It’s a bit of a dedication to all the kinds of music I really enjoy listening to, in attitude more than actual substance at times. Mostly it’s just me purging of a string of ideas I’ve had in my head for awhile, or ideas that surfaced while making it.

S] You have a reputation for interesting live shows so will you be expanding the stage show at all for this album or do you think that would take away from your DIY aesthetic?

M] At a Caustic show about half of what happens is actually planned. I come from a heavy improvisational comedy background so I trust the moment a lot and try not to overplan– the most chaos comes out of seeing an opportunity to unleash an idea and just going for it, damn the consequences, and I fucking hate a show where you can tell it’s been rehearsed to death. I can appreciate a show that sounds and looks “professional,”  but why come to a show where you know it’ll be the same as the last two times, y’know?  It’s LIVE. I don’t want it rehearsed, and as a performer I never really want to know what I’m going to be doing too far in advance. Most of the shows Caustic is remembered for are shows we thought something up for a few hours before the gig– like the gay porn shows where we showed hardcore gay porn and had pictures taped everywhere. Someone in the crowd brought douche [bodily fluids] to the show and it got sprayed everywhere and I ended up with a rubber chicken duct- taped to me at some point too– none of that was planned, but people like to think it was. I want fun chaos at Caustic shows, and the crowd, to me, is 50% of that. Bring the chaos, and so will we.

To answer your question though, we’re definitely going to be upping the ante on the IT AIN’T DEAD YET TOUR with Prometheus Burning and WTII, and the Caustic sets are going to hopefully have a little more stage fun, but mostly it’ll be just to make things bigger, better, and crazier. We’re touring light overall and don’t have any crew (hell, I booked the tour myself), so there’s no frills or rock star shit happening.  It’d be nice to get hauled around in a bus or something, but then again I don’t need extra excuses to indulge in life’s stupidity more than usual so it’s better that I have to drive sometimes.

S] What inspired you to write ‘Teabaggin’ and – where were you when you wrote the song?

M] I had the title Teabaggin’ before I had the song. Basically the thought of a song called that made me laugh, and whenever I have an idea dumb enough to make ME laugh I gotta use it. I actually had some beats I’d put together and was calling it Teabaggin‘ but it was only an instrumental, but I was putting together the set for a Chicago show that we were playing on Dave from WTII‘s birthday and I asked Brian from The Gothsicles if he wanted to write a stupid rap to go over the beat about teabagging. We told Dave that we’d do as a special treat for the show. He agreed and did it, and later we did it again for a few other shows (specifically tailored toward teabagging a specific band or person AT the show) and then I asked him to do some lyrics about teabagging ME for the CD. I wanted there to be a trilogy of “baggin'”s on the disc, but only did Teabaggin’ and D-Baggin‘.  AFTER the fact I realised I need to do Funbaggin too, but I’ll have to save it for later.

S] That leads into our next question, do you have a set place where you write I mean, we know that you don’t just sit in a bar – if you do have a place, how does it help you?

M] How the hell do you know I don’t just sit in a bar? STOP FOLLOWING ME!
Actually, I write all the music at home with ideas that come to me either playing with the software or specific ideas I come up with during the day, but most of the lyrics and a lot of the ideas DO come from having a few at a local watering hole. There’s a few bars I hit after work to put together ideas and lyrics since I stopped drinking at home a few years ago, so I toss back a few and let my mind roam free. I also write a lot of stuff on my lunch breaks– I generally eat alone and use the time to scheme stupid ideas, amongst other things. Whenever I have a little “me” time, basically. 

S] What do you enjoy most about the live experience rather than just working in the studio, which one do you prefer more and why?

M] To me a live show is a way to connect with people and just let off steam. I wrote Pull the Pin on the new album with that in mind. We live our lives and a lot of the time they’re pretty boring and rote, but when we get together it’s time to let off some of that steam and boredom and just kick ass together. Music’s always been a huge part of my life and that’s how most of my good friendships got started with people, so I don’t take it or the live shows lightly. I like the confrontation of the shows and really getting in people’s faces and seeing how they react, not in necessarily an aggressive or intimidating manner, but in an effort to really connect with the crowd. I’m stuck in my stupid fucking head all day, as much as I blog or talk to people, so to me it’s a very physical and almost spiritual way to express myself. “Spiritual” in the “getting drunk on stage and screaming about handjobs” way, of course, but still.

Working in the studio to me has its own benefits though. I like just being in the house with me and the dogs and cats and blasting beats and figuring out how I want things to sound.  I stumble on most of my good ideas, so it’s just a process of waiting for something cool to come out of me and embracing it, but it’s an awesome feeling knowing that something cool WILL come out of it. I have a lot more confidence with my process and head than I used to so it’s just a matter of waiting and knowing when shit’s getting good.

S] Tell us about your trip to Infest in the UK – what was the best experience of that for you in 2007 apart from braving Yorkshire’s cold weather?

M] Well, for one thing was that it’s not that cold there if you’re from frigid-ass Wisconsin, like I am. And in terms of the “best experience” I think it was just how much we were embraced when we were there, by the people at the fest, the organizers, and the other bands.  I have to say I’m deeply jealous of the amazing curry houses we ate at in Bradford and London, too. I’m addicted to Indian food now because of those places.

Since Infest was Caustic (and The Gothsicles) first non-U.S. show I can’t even express how nervous I was that our sets wouldn’t translate, but the more time I spent hanging out with everyone and talking I knew that when we hit the stage it would be awesome, and to date it’s still one of the craziest shows we’ve had.

Oh, and on the “we didn’t plan this” tip, people can thank Tails (Infest’s announcer) for getting together the sumo fat suit dancers that came out to shake their inflatable asses for the beginning of the set. I think he set that up in less than 24 hours after the idea struck us.

S] What fuels your passion for industrial now in 2009?

M] When everything in my life sucks and I’m down and feel like the world’s crumbling I still have music. When my wife wants to kill me and I’m fucking broke and I hate my jobs and feel like dying I still have music. So what fuels my passion? Music connecting people. Industrial’s a very interesting style in that people who love it LOVE it, but otherwise it’s under everyone else’s radar, especially in the U.S, but while there are so many naysayers and whiners out there about the current music industry and how things are I just refuse to give in or think “Industrial’s dead”.

I won’t be easily dismissed (much as some may want me gone) and I won’t give up on something that’s given me so much happiness in my life. Balancing that passion with “real life” is sometimes hard, but my passion for my music and my life pretty much never stop, even if I’m burned out like I am now on everything. I’ll get my millionth wind. That’s how I roll.

S] “The rise of the digital-age can only support niche genres like industrial music” – do you agree or disagree Matt?

M] The “digital-age” supports all types of music, but I think it helps industrial a bit more since fans of this kind of music seem to be a little more tech-savvy and internet based. The thing is that now instead of having one place to get music in town, you can get it delivered straight to your desktop pretty much any time you want. The competition is enormous if you don’t know what you’re looking for (think local grocery versus a huge market) but to me that levels the playing field and allows us to get in more ears if we know how to reach them. It’s just putting the time in, but mostly a lot of luck.

S]
Geoff from Modulate worked on your track The Bible, The Bottle, The Bomb on the new record, can you tell us if you will be doing some work for him or any songs you are looking forward to touching up this year?

M] Actually Eric Gottesman from Everything Goes Cold worked directly on the album version of the track with me, but Geoff was kind enough to remix The Bible, The Bottle, The Bomb since I did a remix on the ltd edition of his original Skullfuck EP for him. Funny enough Geoff and I have known each other since before anyone really knew Caustic or Modulate due to an Italian compilation we were both on.  In terms of working together again I’m always up for it, but as we’re both pretty ridiculously busy and I already have enough side-project distractions it would have to be a right time, right place situation. 
I still need to meet the handsome bastard in person, too! When we were in the UK he was pretty much in the same state that I live in playing there when I was on stage at Infest. One day though, hopefully…

S] How do you feel about the music industry now in relation to when you started out – when you think, do you feel positive about the future for Caustic?

M] I think there’s an evolution being forced on the music industry due to downloading, but honestly it only affects me in that I want Crunch Pod and my fellow artists to keep on going and not give up. It’s all about adapting and coming up with new ideas to appeal to fans and customers of the artists (which, regardless of how high and mighty of an “artist” you are, you need to keep going). I’m very optimistic about Caustic though, in that I feel like I’m coming out with the best music I’ve done yet, musically and lyrically, I’m challenging myself and what I think Industrial is and can be, and mostly just having an ass-ton of fun. Fuck, I finally get to TOUR this year, which is massively exciting, and we’re playing all over the place. Whether Caustic goes for a year more or ten is entirely my decision though, as it’s all me, but I’m enjoying myself more than I ever have, I’m loving the friends and fans I’ve made doing what I do. I’m really looking forward to hitting the road to cause as much chaos as possible and have some fun with all the freaks who will be coming out to the shows.

For more information, visit the band’s Myspace and website.

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