Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Interview with Cities in Desolation

CiD are Greak/Swiss noise/industrial duo. We had a chance to talk to them after the gig they had in our town Nis. Let's hear what they have to say. Interview by Nenad


Lets start with the most actual thing, your tour you've just finished. It lasted for about two weeks. Where have you played and what were the impressions? How you liked gig in Nish where we met?
it was slighlty more than 2 weeks. we started in instabul then we played at sofia, skopje, nis, pancevo, split, ljubliana, udine, castelfranco where we said goodbys with eric (hermit) and on our way back we did one more concert in thessaloniki. it was a great time, fortunately we also had a few days inbetween the concerts to enjoy our surroundings.
The gig in Nis was fine, in particular the people who organised it and the ones who we met. The place where we played was nothing really interesting ofcourse; but that's something to be expected in small cities. All in all, all three of us were very happy to have played in nis and  travelling through serbia.

You travel a lot and CiD played in different countries. Are there any differences between playing for example at Turkey, in Serbia or Swiss?
Yeah fortunately there are still differencies. As things go all places tend to become the same; a no-place full of advertisements, coca cola, lost time and fragmented space. But still there are differencies, especially in balcan countries like bosnia, serbia, bulgaria or macedonia. Things are somewhat less professional (with its good and bad aspects) the people who come in the concerts are usually few but very much concerned about the music (in contrast with places like germany or switzerland where sometimes the people seem saturated with new music and many times they come in the concerts but they don't really bother to listen).  

What were the usuall and unusuall places you played, squats, exhibitions,??
We played mostly in squatts and social centres. But there were gigs in clubs (like the one in nis for instance or another in turkey) and we also played in a sort of gallery in pancevo. We don't have a lot of control over the places where we play especially in small cities, we trust the good taste of the people who help us to make the gig, sometimes it is hard to find anything else apart from small clubs or bars.  

You are from Athens and Ruedi is for Swiss. How did you met and started to work with CiD? What was the connection and common with you too?
We met with ruedie nine years ago and are friends since then. Ruedi spends a big part of his time in greece, we actually live together in athens and we used to live together before ... so playing also together just came naturally.
We started making sounds in the studio of our squatt back in 2002 working as a trio, together with cellist yiorgia. After big gaps, travelling etc we ended up as a duo and changed also our sound a lot.   

Since Ruedi lives in Swiss and you in Athens how often can you play?
As i said above ruedi mainly lives in greece. That is he is in athens for 5-6 months every year. But we don't actually play a lot, since there is a lot of travelling, work and other things inbetween us, we ususally first arrange some oncerts and then decide to go in our studio and start playing.  
Is you music/noise a result of moment inspiration? I know that you recorded your tracks live but do you record your stuff in studio or something like that?
Not really. We usually start with some ideas (either some sounds, loops or bass lines) and we improvise on them, keep what we like, play again etc. We try to record  stuff that we prepare for lives in studio. The result is not the same of course. But quite close: when we play live it is  part improvisation but there is also a structure and laying out of sounds which we try to follow.

In show in Nish you used laptop, effect petals, bass, some kind of pots and screwdriver I think, and metal-glass objects. What else you use to create the atmosphere?
In this tour this is more or less what we use indeed. That is, a laptop with 2 effect petals, bass, contact mics, metal and glass objects, amplified coils and mic. We use verious instruments/objects when we have access on them, like strings, synths, more effects but when we are on a long tour through trains we try to be sensible and carry only the absolute necessary stuff - which was also too much!

It looks like the Greese noise scene is well developed. I know about bands M5x6, Migra, Distopia and labels such as Poeta Negra, RottingHam and Violex. How noise and experimental performances are frequent? How well connected are you?
well, is it? i don't know. for instance i don't know m5x6 or Migra. Same goes for RottingHam and Violex labels. first time i hear about them. to be honest, i don't really look for connections with just anybody who does noise or experimental music and comes from greece. what i do look for is people who deal with their music in an underground, non-maistream way. When they also come from greece and they are into experimental music then that's even better. But for me, the way you deal with your music is more important than the actual genre you happen to play. For instance i am closer to some guys who are into noise techno and we see things more or less in the same way, than with various experimental artists who regard their music as a product.
Experimental concerts are frequent ideed the last 4-5 years. BUT, it is mainly in fucking clubs and art houses as experimental music is becoming a posh new thing for the art world. Small diy concerts with noise music happen much less frequent. In fact in athens we (as a company of people) are the only ones who do it on a regular bsis and there are people as well in thessaloniki and kavalla. i hope soon there will be also other people involved.

It looks like your label 1000+1 Tilt is pretty productive. You released 9 compilations and numerous releases.
yeah, i keep on releasing stuff that i like, at times seems pretty futile though.
How do you pick bands that you release and what is advantage and disadvantage of having your own label?
1000+1 TiLt started as a label for releasing music from people who had no previous release in any other label and they were not interested in any major contracts. so the idea was mainly to help people reach some audience.Almost 15 years have passed from then though and things obviously changed quite a lot. I still try to release honest. non-commercial music that i like from people that i also feel we are more or less in the same side regarding our relation with music industry, copyright etc. One basic rule for any of my releases is anticopyright. Then of course it's the impression i get from the guys i am in contact with, as long as you can understand anything through emails, i am looking for people who don't see their music as another product to sell and try to find new channels for communication. the same procedure goes for bands that i know personally, that is people from greece. I don't release major acts or people who are into fame or money from their music. Ofcourse i also have to like the music in the first place. Or at least feel that it is something that worthes to be heard.
The above procedure is not failsafe. from time to time it happens that i realise that i released somebody who has nothing to do with the things my label is striving for. this has happened years ago with a norwegian band in an old compilation and it also happened recently with a cd release i did. Both were people who, as i realised later, should have nothing to do with the label cause they belong to another world completely. But what to do, things like this happen, i just hope mistakes are helpful to broaden your understanding and make you able to avoid them in the future (or enjoy repeating them).
One obvious disadvantage of having your own label: YOU have to do all the running, printing, losing money, "promoting", spending time and effort in general. Advantages: i really enjoy most parts of the procedure of printing something, that is mastering the sound, designing the artwork, printing it in our silk printing installations, emailing people around to for trades. And you meet nice people, listen to new music. And most important: you are part of the building process of a community of like-minded people.
PS Stamps Back is you solo project. How different it is and what is the difference between PSSB and CiD?
I'd say ps stamps back is more concrete stuff. I don't know, the differencies are mostly in live gigs playing with another person gives you more freedom to improvise and experiment live, while when i play alone i have to keep everything under control which is usually not only difficult but sometimes tiring as well.

What and when was the key moment when you said "yes noise experimental is the right thing for me"?
Never said enything like that. When i do sounds i don't have in my mind a music genre or style from before. I do what expresses me better with the instruments i can use - yeah this usually comes out as experimental music. But this is not something i choose ; i am happy when i like some sounds i do, regardless of the genre they might belong. There are influences ofcourse, too many to mention, i think a major one was listening the treetop drive cd by deathprod. on a tape, a dawn on a boat to italy, 10 years ago.
At the end I hope you enjoyed the interview as I did. For the very end please say something about noise conspiracy. When is noise gonna dominate and rule the world or it is maybe rulling allready?
The most charming things, make you wanmna puke when they become part of the "ruling" process. Same goes for noise. Thanx for your interest and good luck for your zine.

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