Necropolis- Who is Kill Switch...Klick?
d.A.- KsK is actually two separate entities. On the recordings it is me writing & performing pretty much all the music & vocals with occasional appearances by other musicians. When KSK plays live it is me running the sequences, singing, playing slambar, percussion & other odd instruments; Mike Ditmore on drums; & Jeremy on electric bass & percussion. Mike has been with KsK since the very beginning. Jeremy has been with us several months. He used to be in a New Jersey band called Transylvania.
Necropolis- How did KsK happen?
d.A.- Technically it "happened" when I came up with the name Kill Switch...Klick. I was working a landscape labor job & one day I got this old mower that kept sputtering & coughing blue smoke. During one of its fits I though, "I better hit the kill switch," which is the switch that turns off heavy machinery. Immediately I knew this was the name for my project; it was as if a light went off in my skull! I later added the elipses & the word "Klick" to make the name more unique. The elipses are also the verbal equivalent of a pause or rest in music. If the name Kill Switch...Klick were a musical rhythm, it would be quarter note, quarter note, quarter rest, quarter note (in 4/4 time). It's a very rhythmical name. Anyway, after I had the name I felt compelled to get something out as soon as possible, so I did a cover of the Sex Pistol's "Submission" & started mailing out my cassette single. It got airplay on Seattle's biggest commercial radio station which was encouraging considering it was an "alternative" type station. After that I finished a seven song demo & put together a live band to play shows. Our first gig was an art gallery opening & the Seattle Times just happened to be there doing a piece on this co-op gallery, so our very first show got us some very serious press. This all happened in 1991-1992.
Necropolis- What were you doing before KsK?
d.A.- I've been in different bands in various capacities since 1981 when I started this hardcore punk band called Xijix writing music & playing bass. After the demise of Xijix in 1983, I joined an avant garde latin techno ensemble called Freaks Amor playing bass, trombone, & synth. We put out a four song 7" EP & got opening slots in LA for the Suburban Lawns & Kommunity FK. We played out regularly, but I wasn't happy, I didn't have enough creative input, so I quit & formed a minimalist three piece called Desole Cafe that only lasted for a couple of shows & fell apart. Shortly after that I ran into hard times & had to sell my bass & synth. I couldn't play, but still wanted to be doing something musically. Fortunately, this band Montage asked me to sing for them, which took some getting used to. All of my life I had been a musician who occasionally sang, but in Montage I just sang; it was scary for the first few shows, but it eventually gave me confidence as a frontman. This was in 1984 & southern California was in the folk/anthem rock thing. Consequently that's what montage sounded like. We put out a self-released four song 12" called "Celebrate the Misery" (same lyrics as the KsK song) & sold some 500 copies. We got pretty famous in our hometown of San Bernardino, but I wasn't satisfied with being "just the singer" so I quit, bought a 4-track, a synth, & a drum machine & began recording. I released a cassette calling the project Aside/Beside. This was in 1985 & I soon found myself wanting to perform in front of an audience again, so I hooked up with two backup singers & a couple of keyboardists. We looked like a gothic Human League. We played one show that went well, but the seriousness of the other musicians wasn't there, so I broke up the band & moved to Maryland. I met some very intense industrial dance bands like Bats without Flesh, Furnace, & Trisect Deafen who gave me a creative shot in the arm. When I left California, glam rock was just coming in as the "big thing" & it wasn't easy for bands without guitarists or drummers. On the east coast it was more accepted & that in itself was the encouragement I needed. This was in 87/88 & although I never got a band together while I was there, I did a lot of writing & bought a sampler. From 88-89 I traveled around the US living in Atlanta, California, & finally ending up in Seattle. I originally came to Seattle to be closer to the Nettwerk Records offices in Vancouver BC. I figured there had to be an industrial scene in Vancouver, but soon found out there wasn't. I decided to stay in Seattle because it is such an incredible place to live; mild weather, a lot of clubs, & a progressive arts community. Then in 91/92 all grunge hell broke loose. I was just laying the ground for KsK when Nirvana broke national & Seattle became the center of the known pop musical universe. At the time I felt overlooked, but now I'm getting my revenge, one cd release at a time.
Necropolis- What motivates you to make music?
d.A.- Making music for me is like breathing, if I don't do it I die, really I have no choice.
Necropolis- Who (or what) influences you musically & otherwise?
d.A.- Many of my musical influences were from the bands I listened to in the early 80's. It was during this time that I was learning to write Lyrics & music & I was very open to influence. It was also just after the initial punk explosion & more experimentation was going then than in today's music. Every band wanted its own unique sound instead of trying so hard to be the next big thing. I haven't heard much current music that is worthy of being an influence. That is unfortunate. I am also a sculptor, not in the chisel & stone sense, but I build these six foot tall constructions made from plastic bits, glue, & paint. Sometimes when a song is not going anywhere, I'll start working on a sculpture, this usually unblocks my psyche & starts the creative flow again. I feel art & music & literature all come from that "other place," beyond our day to day selves, above our animal natures. The human condition lies somewhere between the instinctive animal & the perfect spirit. I feel art brings the spirit into the animal world.
Necropolis- What sources do you draw on for imagery & inspiration?
d.A.- Basically I am inspired by life experience both good & bad & because I can't change the way the world is, I feel compelled to write about it. This is a form of self therapy & motivation. I also read to open other avenues of thought. The Dhammapada (sayings of the Buddha), Jack Kerouac's The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, The Teaching of Yogi Bhajan, & Guru Nanak's Japji are all books I use as inspirational sources. Sometimes I'll just pick up one of these books & open to a random page & start reading. Many times it will be a passage that strangely has to do with a current problem or dilemma.
Necropolis- Take a moment to tell me about Kardboard, how is it a departure from KsK?
d.A.- Each song I write has its own personality, like a character in a book. I've heard interviews with novelists where the writer says his characters take on a life of their own, almost as if he was observing the characters through a mental window, building the story without his help. Most of what I write has a KsK style personality, but on occasion I write something that doesn't fit. Kardboard material is like that, it has a different feel. The Kardboard sound is centered around the bass guitar, with percussion & a cleaner (not a lot of distortion) lead vocal. It didn't start off as something planned, it just kinda happened. Mike (KsK's drummer) gave me a bass for christmas & after not having one for six years I played it every night. That led to some songs that didn't have the KsK sound, so I decided to collect four of them & put them out on a cassette. One of those songs, "Thick," is featured on a German magazine's cd compilation called Vertigo. We also just formed a live incarnation of Kardboard with two bassists & a drummer. We should be playing out by the end of the year.
Necropolis- Tell me about One Minute Endless, are there any future releases planned for the Indvsta Mvsic label or was it created solely for the purpose of releasing One Minute Endless?
d.A.- The stuff that I released as dA Sebasstian is more ambient && off the wall. The cd One Minute Endless was a case of very mixed personalities that were not KsK or Kardboard-like. I collected all these songs together & put out the cd on my own label Indvsta Mvsic. The overall feeling of this cd is like the collected personalities on a crowded rush hour bus, none of these songs should be on the same disc, but they have to be. I'm planning on releasing other discs on Indvsta, possibly a spoken word cd. it's a matter of finance.
Necropolis- When & why did you get involved with the Northwest Elekto-Industrial Coalition (NEC)?
d.A.- The idea to start the NEC came up after I was contacted by And Christ Wept. I was talking to the singer Chris Massey on the phone & we got to talking about having a meeting of all the electronic & industrial bands we knew. Chris gave me Dre from Noise Box's phone number. Dre also thought it was a good idea; so Chris, Dre, & myself called all the bands we could think of & set up a meeting at the Puss Puss Cafe here in Seattle. The next thing you know, we had all these bands sitting around the cafe organizing what would later become the most influential force in elektro-industrial music in the north western United States. Many of the NEC bands ended up with record deals, including KsK, Noise Box, And Christ Wept, SMP, & Journal of Trauma. The original purpose of the NEC was to get the bands local shows, not national record deals, but I guess that's a testament to the talent of the bands involved. The NEC is now on its fourth generation of members & I've become less involved. I think the NEC needs these new bands to keep it fresh & not some old timers club. The NEC has a new compilation in the works called Contents Under Pressure Vol. 3 that will be available on cd.
Necropolis- How closely do you work with other NEC members? Is there any collaboration with other bands?
d.A.- KsK & And Christ Wept are still pretty close. We practice in the same rehearsal building & are talking about releasing a versus cd with KsK covering ACW songs & vice versa. It should be fun. As far as the new NEC bands go, I don't even know all their names. I do see the guys from SMP & Noxious Emotion around at shows. Other than that I don't see many NEC members on a regular basis, ever since we stopped having our monthly meetings.
Necropolis- How was the Muzak for the Masses mini-tour? How was playing with And Christ Wept? What was the story behind the San Diego show thatnever happened?
d.A.- And Christ Wept & KsK set out on a two week west coast mini-tour last year that went really well. Our first stop in Sacramento was great. We played the Guild Theatre & the promoter, Sasha, did a kick ass job of putting it all together. After that we played Backers Field, Reno, two shows in Phoenix, San Bernadino & finally San Diego. The San Diego show was shut down because the warehouse space where it was put on had been the home of several raves & had made the San Diego City Council's most wanted list. When the police saw something was going on, they brought in the council & even though it was a peaceful gathering, these old fucks with their clipboards & police bully boy escort closed the show on some license infraction or some such bullshit. I think this kind of police state meddling makes for crime. If you shut down all the cool underage shows, younger people don't have anything to do but vandalize & get in trouble.
Necropolis- How do you feel about Seattle & the image many people have of Seattle & the connection your city will always have with grunge? How about Kurt Cobain?
d.A.- Seattle really is a diverse musical city, as well as a cool place to live. People forget Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Kenny G, Heart, & Queensryche are all from Seattle. As grunge fades, so too will the image of Seattle as a flannel wearing latte drinking "Sub Pop" music community. The fact is Seattle has a great club scene for such a small city, & that goes for all types of music & this will always attract musicians. Musicians are what makes a music scene, not the music media & major labels. As far as Cobain goes, I respect him as a songwriter, I feel he was a major talent; but being a father, I think he should get the "Most Fucked Up Dad of the Decade Award." To kill yourself is a selfish act, to do it when you have a child is ten times more selfish.
Necropolis- I have to ask with all the buzz about heroin, what are your thoughts on the subject?
d.A.- I've never been into heroin. I had a big problem with crystal meth years ago & am a recovered alcoholic, so I understand addiction, but luckily heroin wasn't prevalent during my drug days. People experiment, they want to experience new things, that is human nature. The problem with heroin unlike other drugs is it can easily lead to hardcore addiction. I've known several people who died from overdoses & heard about dozens of others. All of them had become hollow shells of their former selves. A few years ago a friend of mine's boyfriend died of an overdose. She told me how she begged & pleaded for him to stop, how he had ruined all his relationships with friends & family & pawned everything he could to finance his addiction. When I first met him he was trying to get clean. He died a few months later. I feel you're born pure, you should die pure; not with a body full of shit. Necropolis -- With much of what was once "underground" now quickly becoming mainstream, how do you feel about the present industrial/goth & techno scene? Any nostalgia for the past? Any predictions for the future? dA -- I think all the scenes are healthy & will continue for a long time. In the future more cross-pollination will occur. Country-Goth? Industrial-Folk? Who knows? I know the future is an open book & I've got a few more pages to write.