Canadian pre-apocalyptic Industrialists Post Death Soundtrack create haunting soundscapes that blend with hard-rock and metal influences for a chaotic concoction of crossover madness. If you like your music progressive and melodic, brutal yet filled with soul or acoustic with a mechanised heart then please look no further, this is the soundtrack to your escape from the average. We chat to the two men and the centre, Steve Moore and Ken Buck about the project’s evolution.
“Let’s tear this wall down of ‘We will play a song and you will be entertained.’ Let’s go a little deeper.”
S] For those that have not heard PDS before, what kind of emotions and ideas do you think your album ‘Music as Weaponry’ will conjure, as you aim to create music for the individual – how is it more than just a way to communicate to a listener that ‘you have a voice to make a change’?
Steve] I don’t have an agenda lyrically other than to express myself and say what I’m driven to say. That being said, we tend to enjoy lyrics that we ourselves find potent. Most people use the written or spoken word to motivate themselves by taking ownership of powerful quotes and so forth. We do the same thing, so it’s very important when you have an album to work with that you express yourself clearly. I don’t know that the ‘you have a voice to make a change’ is totally true (we’re not fans of The Secret or anything like that particularly) – however we certainly took that attitude on this album. Our approach was “Even if no one listens, this is what we will do and say”. There’s a beauty in that. Screaming to the void – like that scene with the megaphone in ‘Waking Life’. Like Refused said on ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’ – “Throw a rock in the machine”. It’s desperation and no one cares what you think is one view. But there’s something beautiful about it. If people find this project and connect with it, of course that’s even better. The goal is to communicate and to inspire.
S] Do you see yourselves being able to tour internationally within 2009 will there be a UK release for your album and some promotion hopefully?
Ken] It’s funny because we never really planned on turning PDS into a live act. Steve and I started writing these tracks solely because we love music, communication, and the process of creation. However, through the last couple years the project has really developed into something bigger than our original vision. We have been very fortunate to come across other musicians that identify with what we are trying to do. As a result the project has really started to take off, and I think we are all willing to go wherever it takes us. If that means taking the act on an international tour then we will certainly do that.
Steve] All force and focus forward for us this year. No stopping for pedestrians. This is important.
S] You have said that your next record will be more unpredictable, but how will you expand thematically – will it see a completion of what you began with ‘Music as Weaponry’ ?
Ken] For me, ‘Music As Weaponry’ accounts a personal journey from being completely naïve, to truly thinking about and questioning the world. It captures the moments and stages of waking up to a place that isn’t the fairytale we were led to believe. These stages are apparent from the disheartened and broken qualities of ‘Serenade’ to the absolute catharsis in Hegemonic Bastard Network. For the next album we are going to explore the different facets and polarities of each song we write. The effect lyrical content has on a person can be drastically changed by how it is presented. We want to do our very best to make the message come forth in different shapes and forms. For us each song is almost a form of exorcism, and it’s always tough to tell what will come out next. When we get together we don’t typically have any pre-written material. Instead we go where the session takes us, and get to be just as excited about what is going to happen next as anyone who listens to our music. I guess in many ways ‘Music as Weaponry’ is really the beginning, the first step down the rabbit hole. Now we need to find out what happens next.
Steve] I feel that it won’t be a completion but more of a natural continuation. We seem to be wanting to make some more eclectic song choices at this point. Breaking our own barriers and rules when we find them can be a rewarding thing. There’s a lot more we want to say and do and it’s all fueled by a love for the art so I’m looking forward to what’s next. We want to expand on the extremes. Some tracks will be intended to be extremely uncomfortable to listen to, music that forces you to listen or press stop – no in between. There will also be music that expands on the vulnerable side of what we did on ‘Music as Weaponry’. The extremes of human emotion have always been interesting to me, and I find myself drifting from one to the other at times. When you push that out into song, it becomes less like a traditional song and more like a movie scene or surrealist expression. It’s exciting not being tied to any style or agenda so we can do what we want.
S] Can you tell us where you wrote the song ‘Euchreist’ and who if anyone inspired it, as you have said before it’s inspired by people indoctrinating others? – Do you have a favourite place to write, and do you write together?
Ken] ‘Euchreist’ is commentary on the various institutions within society, and the role they serve in creating a cognitive map for people. The obvious one that we talk about time and again is religion. Religious institutions are very powerful entities and the impact that they have on the lives of people is immeasurable. I was strongly influenced by the writings of Karl Marx and his classic labelling of religion as the opiate of the masses. To me it is the epitome of people being asked to blindly follow explicitly what they are fed without question. Richard Dawkins tackles this subject really well in his book, ‘The God Delusion’. Anyhow, without going into great detail, the Eucharist is a Christian ceremony where the followers consume wine and bread, which is supposed to be symbolic for the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ. Some even claim that upon ingestion the bread and wine truly become these materials in a process known as transubstantiation. Our song ‘Euchreist’ is actually a play on the spelling of the Eucharist. Or spelling is combination of the word “Euchre”, and “ist”. “Euchre” comes from the card game of the same name, which is built around using deception to get the upper hand on ones opponents. “ist” denotes a practice or following. For example a fascist is a follower of fascism. So essentially a Euchreist is a person or institution that uses deceit to gain the upper hand on their/it’s followers. Even more so, the word connects with that idea that the people weave such ideas in their cognitive map where they become very real and powerful in dictating their decisions and lives. The opening line of the song “conditioned and heartless, moving through darkness” first brings this idea forth. One of our main goals is to stimulate discussion, and thought. Just like Dawkins, we want to take institutions off their pedestals so that they can be properly questioned.
Steve] The lyrics come either before the music or are inspired by it. Sometimes we will come up with concepts and musical arrangements, then play it repeatedly as we write lyrics. On other occasions, we will have pre-written lines or full pieces that we feel strongly about and will even write the music based on those pieces. Ken has ‘Simulation & Simulacra’ written out in full and with it looking complete, we used it verbatim. No rules, really. If we like it, chances are we’ll use it. Like I said earlier though, we will piece lyrics together and try to make it as potent as possible by only choosing the strongest lines.
S] How is the element of release or catharsis different within PDS than both Steve and Ken’s other outfits including Inner Surge and Huckster Rayzor?
Steve] I think catharsis comes from need, and there was a strong need here. The album was therapeutic to record at times. All I can say is we were uninterested in revealing things in a superficial or typical way, and will continue that. Post Death Soundtrack moved into some more extreme territory when we got to recording tracks like ‘HBN’, ‘Serenade’ and ‘I’ll Meet You At The End’, all tracks that strive for deep communication and carry some unexplainable human frustrations and meanings. There’s something to be said for controlled storytelling, but it’s not what we’re doing here. Differing from Inner Surge, I would say that the personal aspect peels off more layers. Some of this material moves away from proper song structure, more of an anti-music feel – let’s just talk here and get to the heart of things. Let’s tear this wall down of ‘We will play a song and you will be entertained.’ Let’s go a little deeper.
S] Obviously your music contains so many different influences and styles, what fuels your passion for dark electronic music?
Steve] For me it’s the sounds and moods you are free to create. I’ve always loved the material Skinny Puppy, has put out. They couldn’t have done that if they took the attitude “Only guitars, bass, and drums”. Same thing with singing. Why sing if you don’t want to? There are no rules. You can recite poetry, use spoken word, scream, express yourself. There’s a lot of room to break style barriers as well depending on how you choose to build the material.
S] Why should people in the UK check you out, what stands you above others on the world’s alternative music stage right now?
Steve] I’m not interested in plugging a list of reasons why we may or may not be above others on the world’s alternative music stage (insert infomercial with suitably loud host), but if you can find a CD or project that sounds remotely like Post Death Soundtrack, I’d like to hear from you and we will be pursuing litigation.
S] Can you tell us some of the big events that you are most looking forward to in the next year and also how will you be looking to expand the visual and sonic elements of PDS?
Ken] This next year we are hoping to finally start playing some regular shows. After working on the project for multiple years, it will be nice to be able to take it to stage. Being an independent band means that we have to really work hard on all aspects of the project, including the business side, unfortunately. It will be nice to be able to get to the point of the project and play the music we love while trying to communicate with people on a deeper level. We are very fortunate as a band because we have members who are truly into what the project is about. We are continually looking at new ways of expanding. Right now we just want to make the live show as powerful as possible so it properly conveys how passionate we are about the music and the subject matter we tackle.
Steve] Also, the band just shot our first music video for the track ‘Euchreist’ that we have discussed, so we’re excited as to how that turns out and also what kind of word-of-mouth that will bring. Overall, it’s getting this project out there and the possibilities that seem to be in the air that are inspiring. The people who will get something out of Post Death – we will put our best efforts into reaching them this year.
For more information, check out the band’s official Myspace and website.
Buy ‘Music As Weaponry’ HERE