Daniel Graves is an intriguing young musician with his tastes and passion firmly rooted within dark music. His main project Aesthetic Perfection has been gaining serious momentum recently with positive reviews from all over the globe and a series of hard-hitting live performances. We had a chance to catch up with Daniel for a short chat about plans for the new year and perhaps an upcoming trip to the UK.
S] We put your new video on the site because we thought it was awesome, can you tell us a bit about the DIY attitude you took to making the video for The Great Depression and how does it help you to put across the themes of the song?
D] Corporations don’t invest in drug addled artists’ videos. All funds came from myself and those kind enough to purchase a Bleeding Heart t-shirt. Guerilla filmmaking 101.
S] What are you most looking forward to this year in terms of your music and also outside of that?
D] I’m looking forward to an unsure future.
S] How far off is a UK tour for AP in your future?
D] The Queen and I are still in the middle of negotiations. 2009 for sure, though.
S] You have said previously you have a lot of time for fans and promoters in Europe, what do you love most about the Industrial scene over here?
D] The grass is always greener on the other side of the pond. People who love music are equally devoted no matter where they come from.
S] You seem to really enjoy taking Aesthetic Perfection out live, what measures are you taking to expand the live show this year?
D] A shitty performance is a shitty performance. It cannot be masked by smoke and mirrors. In the end, though, this is performance art, and a bit of icing on the cake never hurt anyone. As time goes on I will make our shows more elaborate and extravagant.
S] Can you describe to us the experience that first made you fall in love with industrial music (you have said it was around 14-15) enough to learn so that you could do everything yourself?
D] [It was]15 years old hearing Fit For Flogging [Leather Strip] for the first time in a friends car was an experience I will never forget.
S] Have you had a similar moment recently that has perhaps re-kindled your passion for the genre?
D] genCAB’s debut album II Transmuter.
S] How important is having Necessary Response as a side project – how is the element of catharsis you receive from that different?
D] Necessary Response is just as personal of a project as Aesthetic Perfection. The only difference is that Aesthetic Perfection makes up a larger portion of my personality than Necessary Response.
S] As much as you can, can you tell us where you and how you wrote the song A Quiet Anthem?
D] I was in Los Angeles at my old apartment attempting to write a new album.
S] How do both your albums as AP and one album as Necessary Response represent your growth as a musician and the different stages of your life since you started making music?
D] When I look back, Close to Human is a very self deprecating piece of work, it’s angry, but still a very I against me kind of theme. Necessary Response was similar, very self deprecating, soft but with a malevolent undertone. A Violent Emotion is definitely the point where I turned it all around. It changed from I against me to Me against you. When I superimpose my musical career against my real life timeline it matches up. Sometimes when I (accidentally) hear one of my own songs it reminds me of things I’ve experienced and since forgotten about. It’s weird having your life documented in that way. So A Violent Emotion is me right now…
S] Perhaps it’s a bit early to ask but we read that you are constantly evolving so how do you think any new AP material will sound, what direction will you be heading in?
D] Instead of taking any kind of break (except to tour), I’ve jumped right into working on new material. This is the first time in a long time I’ve been able to write for the sake of writing, without any kind of pressure to write a record for any band, anyone or to fulfill any expectations. I’m pushing myself very hard, and enjoying every minute of it. Only time will tell what it will end up being, though.
S] You are well-travelled and you are doing well musically, we have read that Hollywood inspires you a lot – what are your other great inspirations?
D] I love great art, great food, travelling, languages, music, sex, substances, movies, animals, everything. I do my best to take in everything I can, good or bad, it’s all what makes us human. And that’s what I am, a simple human trying to exist in the insanity and monotony of daily life, just like everyone else. What else could I be, anyway?
For more information visit the band’s Myspace and website.
The video for The Great Depression is below…