In our next Artist Spotlight, we chat to Benjamin John Power of Blanck Mass about new music and inspirations on forthcoming record, ‘Animated Violence Mild’ which comes out next Friday, August 16.
How does Blanck Mass push you in new ways as an artist?
Everything I do as Blanck mass has been self taught, so it’s been a real journey from having next to no studio knowledge to recording and producing other artists, let alone myself. I’ve also been working with narrative as a strong theme throughout my career and have more recently started to work with more original soundtracks to motion picture.
How has this record moved things forward for you?
I feel that that this record has been an exercise in ‘letting go’. For a long time my creative habit has been one of seeing an idea through until the bitter end. I had to let go this time around and found myself destroying tracks, flipping them on their head and building them up again in a different form. I suffered personal loss during the creative process and feel this particular way of working has been beneficial in shifting focus and perspective, accepting that something isn’t right /isn’t meant to be and using that as a new foundation. The outcome is perhaps the most direct record I feel I have made to date.
What makes you passionate about creating music, outside of music – think specific people, places, games and movies for example?
Over the past few years, movies been a real drive for me. I mentioned before that narrative has always had a a strong presence throughout all of my work but with recently branching out into soundtrack work. it has a particular relevance. I also love the point of sharing my music with everybody, which is as terrifying as it is exciting.
How do you look back at ‘Dumb Flesh’ now?
Love it. Sounds like a different artist to me but I like to stay on the move. Dead Format is a particular inflection point for Blanck Mass and Detritus might be my personal favourite of my career to date.
How do you yourself define success these days?
Please excuse me this one eye roll moment, but it’s the fact that I get to share my music on a global scale to a receptive audience. I can’t ask for more than that. I feel very lucky and pinch myself often.
Does this give you a different level of catharsis to Fuck Buttons?
Well straight off the bat, it’s entirely different. Fuck Buttons is a collaboration. Blanck Mass is a completely honest snapshot of where my head personally is at any given point. It’s me stripped bare. It’s liberating to work on you own but that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with it’s own internal challenges. The internal dialogue I have with myself is often loud and aggressive but on the flip side I get to be as self indulgent as I like with seemingly limited repercussions. Plus I can work on music whenever the mood feels right without having to worry about anybody else’s diary, which is definitely a gift.
I enjoy the concept of the Serpent of consumerism you have discussed previously, do you believe that there is a way for society to emerge better off?
I think that at least having an understanding of our surroundings is the first step in changing things for the better. It seems to me that we are waking up to the world that has been built around us both politically and environmentally, and people no longer want to be left in the dark or non-present in decisions that affect us all and our future.