Recently we had the chance to chat with the members of Manchester-based electro-rock band Resist about their career so far, and their plans for 2010. We speak with Mark, Misha, Ema and Lex about Manchester and the “alternative” north…
“Our music has to be loud, dark, driven and sexy”
S] How do you feel about the dark alternative scene in the North of the UK at the minute?
Mark] As with most places, the Manchester music scene runs in cycles. For quite a few years now the alternative scene has taken somewhat of a back seat but in the last year or so a revival seems to be rising from the graves. Places such as Satan’s Hollow, The Kitchen and Jilly’s Rock World seem to be coming more and more popular and the whole goth scene is becoming less of a minority. With weekends such as ShadowDaze bringing dark music from all over Europe to our hometown of Manchester, things are looking up.
Misha] In Manchester particularly there is a strong determination to revive and reinvent the Goth. We are definitely a part of that movement.
S] You are based in Manchester, are you influenced at all by your surroundings?
Misha] I spent some time in Amsterdam and was heavily influenced by the culture I experienced there. It’s a lot like Manchester except it’s all wrapped up in magic. I am proud to be Mancunian though. Manchester is always changing and evolving so I suppose I’m influenced by the way it always seems to reinvent itself. I do have a vivid memory as a very small child in my pushchair seeing all the punks congregating outside HMV on Market Street with their vibrant style. I wanted to grow up to be like them but by the time I was walking they were all gone.
I held on to that image and always wondered about them. Now it’s the emos that gather outside Urbis every Saturday. As a teenager I became a cyberpunk listening to industrial-dance before discovering the crossover to rock. Manchester has always had a strong dance scene but the whole indie generation never really captured my imagination. Our first full UK tour though was with a Manchester punk band The Fall, which was cool for me.
Mark] As far back as I can remember, Manchester has had a thriving music scene. On any night of the week, there are always live events to attend and I suppose it’s this rather than the physical surroundings that have influenced me more. To have seen so many great artists in Manchester and then had the pleasure of playing on some of those stages – it’s so much different on stage looking out than it is on the floor looking up!
S] Do you see a really difference between the scenes in the North and South?
Misha] Well there’s a lot more money in the South but it tends to be invested in street poetry, pop and R’N’B. I think the alternative scene is pretty similar wherever you are in the UK.
Mark] In every part of this country there are pockets of every scene so I don’t think the North and South divide is that great. Manchester has Affleck’s Palace which has been for a long time an alternative shopping market. London has Camden Town, a haven for the dark-clad artistic type.
S] Can you explain the inspiration and events that led up to the creation of ‘Tattooed’ specifically?
Mark] It was one of the first songs we wrote on the album. We had agreed that we wanted to write something that had balls and would kick-a** with a huge heavy groove.
Misha] I wanted to push my production skills and multi-layer the vocal. I think I’d been listening to Puscifer at the time and was inspired by Maynard James Keenan‘s experimental vocal style. The lyrics are about carrying memories as internal scars and the past being an inescapable place that can never be erased.
Mark] I just think it kicks ass, especially when we play it live and Misha gets her megaphone out. (Not that she needs it). Someone at Waragem (Belgium Goth Festival) saw us and said ‘I remember you. You were great. Any band who are so loud that their singer needs a megaphone gets my vote’.
S] How do any of the new songs you are currently working on represent Resist’s themeatic and sonic progression since your debut material?
Misha] The debut album was about defining our own sound. The second album was about exploring different avenues within that sound. ‘The Ride‘ is a return to our original ideas but we have learned so much along the way that it is much more refined.
S] Your sound is a mix of Industrial rock influences – can you explain what inspires you about this style?
Misha] Well, for me music has to be loud, dark, driven and sexy. Also, it has to be fun to perform. We were very influenced by Nine Inch Nails performances through the 2005 and 2007 tours. Although we don’t always take ourselves too seriously, it can be extremely intense when we do. That’s what it is all about – intensity of emotion, whatever that emotion may be. That’s what we are striving towards.
Mark] Artists such as NIN inject so much passion into their performance with so much visual content that it is impossible not to come away inspired. Rammstein, A Perfect Circle, Gary Numan and others all have elements of driving dance rhythms combined with throbbing heavy rhythms on guitars and bass. That really does it for me.
S] You were in the finals of ‘Live And Unisigned’ in 2007 – were you surprised at the success you achieved in such a “mainstream” environment?
Misha] We didn’t like it and wouldn’t ever do it again. It was incredibly un-cool. It was done on an audience text vote at a quid a text. What!
Mark] We entered on a whim not knowing what to expect. Our first audition was acoustic and anyone who has seen us live would know we don’t really do acoustic but for some reason they loved it. Once you’re in such a competition it seems stupid to pull out so the obvious way is to carry on till you get kicked out.
S] What are you most looking forward to about 2010 – you have dates booked for all of this year?
Mark] We are very excited to have signed to Remote Music. As a band we have taken this as far as we can and I’m sure 2010 is going to be intense. New material is never far away and besides the dates we have in the UK it would be nice to come over to Europe for some shows.
Misha] I am most looking forward to Club Antichrist in London at the Coliseum in March. I’m expecting that whole night to be totally far out! I hope it lives up to my expectations! It’s a fetish night, the theme is Alice in Wonderland and there will be freak-show acts, fire-breathers, stilt-walkers and the whole carnival vibe.
S] How do you feel you have progressed personally through the music that you have made since the project began in 2005?
Misha] I’ve come such a long way as a songwriter, performer and producer. I didn’t initially want to be the singer for this band as I suffered with stage-fright. Those days are so long gone I barely recognize myself. I’m quite the extrovert now when I perform. We just have the most fun doing what we do and that is what life is all about. I’m really proud of ‘The Ride‘. There aren’t many girls out there who produce and engineer their own stuff. I’ve had to work so hard to get to this point and now I feel we have all the tools we need to step this whole thing up to a new level.
Mark] When we started this we couldn’t have imagined we’d have taken it to this point. There have been some ups and downs through the last five years. I’ve learned that it takes a lot of time and focus to drive things in a positive direction and I’m deeply proud that we’ve managed to get this far and with the help of our management and label we have every intention of showing the whole world what we are made of!
S] On a random final note, if each member of the band could sit down around a table and have dinner with one person and listen to Resist, who would you choose and why?
Ema] The rest of the band. I mean, we play it and we rehearse it but we don’t sit back and listen to the recordings together. Other than that, Trent Reznor because we are all individually influenced by him so much.
Mark] I would pick Misha because as soon as a project has been completed a line tends to be drawn under it and its on to the next thing. We never really have time to review and appreciate what we’ve done. At the same dinner table it would be nice to have maybe the head of Sony BMG so he could see what the f*** he’s been missing out on.
Misha] I’m always a bit embarrassed listening back because I think I could have done better production wise. I look forward not back. I learn and move on. I would like Trent to hear my version of ‘The Great Destroyer‘ though but it would put me off my dinner to sit with one of my heroes like that, listening to myself. That would be really creepy! Like I was his psycho-stalker or something.
Lex] Arnold Schwarzenegger because if I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to have dinner with anyone in the world, Arnie would win every time! He’s just so goddamn cool!
S] What has been the standout moment of your time together as a band so far?
Mark] The stand out moment for me was when we finally had ‘The Ride‘ finished and all of the artwork complete. We are now just looking forward to its release hopefully in the spring.
Misha] Probably driving to a rehersal and randomly hearing one of our songs played on the radio. That’s always a bit weird especially when you didn’t expect it. I’m pleased now with the finished album so I’m really looking forward to performing it in 2010.
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