- Post Industrial Cyber Metal
In this episode we're chatting with Bryan Tabuteau of Wellington band Crash Scan. Before we get in to the interview I'd best mention you can download a free copy of their track titled "Chronic Atrophy". It is featured on the "S.I.N.G.E.D. 2" compilation album. There are links to video and more music below.
Interview by DJ Robot Citizen -
Hello Bryan, if you had to sum up what Crash Scan is about in, say, 30 words...?
Bryan of Crash Scan: Making sounds we’d want to listen to, repurposing field recordings and samples, mashing them into song structures and layering with our experimental electronic and metal influences.
Robot: Is there a guiding ethos/theme/philosophy/idealogy/subject-matter for your recordings and/or performances? If so please feel free to share about that.
Crash Scan: Not particularly. Recently our live performances have been attempting to push sensory overload both visual and auditory. Lyrically, I guess a regular theme would be railing against human stupidity and subjectivity.
Robot: What are the main items (like singles/visuals) you've released and where are they available from?
Crash Scan: We’ve had three main releases, the albums Catalyst (2009), Repeat Until False (2014) and the Formicophilia EP (2015).
There are videos on Youtube for our singles "Game Over" from Catalyst and "Choke" from Repeat Until False. Both efforts from some good local friends.
Robot: What's the background to your music work? When and how did you commence? What initially inspired you?
Crash Scan: We came together in 2008 I think, mostly meeting each other at various local shows and connecting over shared musical influences. Our lineup has shifted about quite a bit over the years with some core members and some regulars leaving and returning over the years. Primarily the band started out of a dearth of good local music that ticked the experimental industrial and metal boxes, and our need for new music.
Robot: What are some of the events you've performed at? What were some of the highlights so far?
Crash Scan: There’s not a huge audience in NZ for this sort of material, it’s still pretty niche and will probably stay that way. We’ve played some great shows around the country, normally shows we’ve organised ourselves or tours we’ve been involved in, but nothing that would be particularly interesting to a reader not familiar with us. A highlight for us might be a show we played in Auckland at the (now defunct alt/goth) Nocturne Magazine release party. A great night with lots of good people. If we can play a solid set and get some great response from the crowd we’re happy. We’d love to get over to Australia at some point and play some shows also, but we’d need a bit of a bigger profile over there before bothering with all the expense of getting members and gear on the plane.
Robot: What are your plans and ambitions for the near future?
Crash Scan: Near future? We’ve just started work on some preliminary percussion sampling and field recordings for some new songs. They’ll probably be part of a new EP, I think with a shift in sound to more organic and chaotic sounds, slower and doomier. Hopefully once we’ve got some of that done we’ll get another music video in the works and get some good live shows under our belt. We’re currently on the lookout for a new lighting designer/tech as our current man Kevin is shifting back the US to work on some amazing big shows, so we’re hoping to experiment a bit with our live show aesthetic.
Robot: Do you have other related media projects?
Crash Scan: We have many other projects various members are working on. Probably one of the reasons we’ve been a bit quiet on the Crash-Scan front lately. I (Bryan - Synths/Programming/Producer)) run/curate a local regular noise/drone/experimental night and record and perform with UZB96 (Harsh Noise), Nullity (Industrial/Alternative/Triphop), EIED (Dark Ambient Noise/Ritual), and The Devil’s Rejects (White/Rob Zombie Tribute). Ron (Vocals/Programming) is recording and performing in Vision Of Lethe (Goth Rock), Concrete Tomb (Experimental electronics/Noise)), Forklift Tragedy (Noise), and Narrow Utility Function (Industrial Noise), Vivian (Guitars) is recording and performing in Vision Of Lethe with Ron and also plays in a Type O Negative tribute band called The Drab 5. Stephanie (Percussion) does solo work as AltarElektra (Experimental electronics and field recordings/percussion) and is playing drums with Ills Winter (Electronic/Alternative), and I imagine a bunch of other things I’m not aware of. Ezekiel (Bass) has been involved with a bunch of bands and projects, but the only one I know of currently is The Devil’s Rejects. We keep ourselves busy I guess, haha.
Robot: In recent times what is inspiring you to create?
Crash Scan: I think there’s a bunch of great new music/sounds out there, both internationally and locally and hearing fantastic productions certainly pushes us to try and innovate sonically. I imagine we’ll have a bit to say about the current political situation and the downward spiral we’re seeing in society right now.
Robot: What do you feel are some key challenges that independent/underground musicians face today; overall/worldwide and, if anything, anything that seems specific to being in our region?
Crash Scan: Getting noticed in the huge sea of information is the main challenge. There are so many amazing acts that just sail under the radar, people with amazing musical skills, but with a lack of promotional ability or the networks and contacts that can make that happen. It’s such a shame that our current culture is so focussed on image and quick trends. With such a small population in NZ, it’s hard to keep a live scene invigorated, but we try our best. We don’t have an awful lot of international acts come through our country as there just isn’t the population to support a lot of mid level shows without the promoters taking a big gamble with the associated costs of getting acts down to a small country in the south pacific.
Robot: What are some potential solutions? Are there any particular positive developments that you're excited about?
Crash Scan: I think healthy local scenes and friendly collaboration between promoters across countries is key. From starting up our local noise/drone/experimental nights, I’ve seen how, with a bit of effort, good faith and respect for artists, along with collaboration with great venues we’ve been able to keep a regular little scene going and growing over the last couple of years. I think we’ve reached a place in regards to information overload on the internet where we really need to make very proactive efforts to curate and participate in communities in an effort to focus and not get lost in the scatter.
Robot: What are your websites where people can learn and hear more?
Crash Scan: We keep people up to date with our goings on here :
You can get all our music for free here :
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