the dose. music. lifestyle. technology. cyberpunk.

date: 2006-02

Two releases in the same year. Vocal skills unbroken,developing - and a voice that can't be mistaken for anybody else. A surprising new album out on Alfa Matrix. Yes, we're talking about Jennifer Parkin, probably better known as AYRIA. We exchanged a couple of e-mails with her to get to know the circumstances of Flicker's making and a couple of other topics you wouldn't want to miss.

THE DOSE: All in all, both personally and musically, what are the most important things that you remember when thinking back to 2005? What are the best moments, albums, movies and books of this year, who are the coolest persons you love remembering to?

AyriaAYRIA: 2005 started off very busy but on a more private and personal level. I went to work finishing up the demos that I had been working on in 2004 for Flicker. I joined forces with coproducer Joe Byer (who also has his own project v01d) in late December and we stayed completely dedicated working straight from January to June to get everything done. In that time, the My Revenge On the World EP was released and at the end of May, we traveled to California to play a big show with Psyclon Nine and The Azoic. The summer was quiet and we took a bit of a break preparing for Ayria's UK debut in September. That was an amazing trip. Then Flicker was released on October 10th in Europe and December 6th in North America and the fall was a whirlwind of shows and touring. We played with Front 242 in Montreal, we went back out to the West coast and did a tour there to end a very productive year. As far as other media like books and films, I didn't actually get to read as much as I would have liked to. I read a lot of murder/detective novels (a guilty pleasure of mine). I read the Da Vinci Code which was pretty good. For films, I loved this one film called The Descent and for CD's, I discovered I AM X as a new favourite, Rotersand's latest album was great and so was the new Depeche Mode and Fischerspooner. As far as coolest people met: Psyclon Nine (especially Eric who I became close friends with and who became one of my live West Coast keyboardists), The Azoic were super nice people, System Syn (whom we toured with out West). There's really just too many to list here. I love meeting people so it's a definite highlight and bonus to touring.

THE DOSE: Your new album out on Alfa Matrix, Flicker, is girly, pumping, loud and refined both in its sound and energy. What changed inside you between Debris and Flicker?

AYRIA: The biggest and most obvious change is that I didn't work with Shaun Frandsen of Glis this time around. I really wanted to write my own songs. I knew it would be a risk and a change but it was worth it to me to develop myself further and see what I was capable of doing and learning. Industrial and electronic music is supposed to be about experimentation above all, in my opinion, so that's what I was doing, experimenting with new ideas and taking new directions. I'm not sure that the next album will be done in the same way either. I liked working like this but my main passion is still for vocals and collaborating with others helps me bring out melodies I wouldn't normally think of. Basically, I don't like repeating things. I'm excited for the future as I think my vision of what I want to do is getting clearer.

THE DOSE: You previously mentioned that you work with Cubase and Reason. What are the (are there any?) smaller addons, soft synths, etc. that you use? What are those feature that you miss from these softwares? (Yes, customer service to the rescue!)

AyriaAYRIA: I will give you the list of the technology behind Flicker. Joe and I were lucky and had a long list of tools at our disposal. I actually only owned the Nord Lead 2 myself and I don't have a preference between soft synths or hardware as long as we could achieve the sound I was looking for but here's what we used: Software: Propellerheads Reason 2.5, Cubase SX , Logic Pro 6 and 7, ProTools PT|HD3 (Version 6.x) with plugins by Waves, McDSP, Eventide and Bomb Factory, soft synths by Arturia, Native Instruments, Korg, VirSYN. Hardware: Nord Lead 2, Korg MS2000r, Yamaha CS6r, Waldorf microQ, Access Virus, TC Powercore, Technics WSA1r, Line6 PodXT.

THE DOSE: Why did you hook up with this scene? What does this genre give you in terms of self-expression and belonging that all the others cannot?

AYRIA: Well, I've always been into industrial and darker underground music. I got into it because it was so raw, deep, emotional and offered something that mainstream music definitely lacks. I loved the experimentation of it all. I also love the fashion and that I could dress how I wanted to and no one cared. I like the dramatic. Now I create music and try to carve out a space for myself to experiment within. I actually don't consider myself "Goth" because I don't listen to much Goth music.

THE DOSE: More and more artists appear on community sites like LiveJournal or MySpace. How did that change your social interaction - more time writing emails, avoiding stalkers, good networking or on the contrary?

AyriaAYRIA: I have a few stalkers (hahaha!). LiveJournal let me get closer to people and have that interaction. My LJ name isn't Ayria since believe it or not, was already taken, but I've been on there for years. I joined MySpace just over a year ago and the friends increase exponentially and it's a great way to promote your band but you definitely don't connect with people as much as you can on LJ. Unless I'm using it wrong. I do get a lot of emails and I get really frustrated that I can no longer answer them all! That was so important to me from the start as the people that like my music are the most important thing to me but it's just become a bit overwhelming and would take all of my time to get back to people unfortunately.

THE DOSE: You mentioned an Ayria video shoot on your LJ dated to November 2005 - which I believe is for My Device - how is that progressing? The video, as far as I know, includes martial arts scenes.. how are your "mad kung fu skills" developing? What style of martial arts would you choose if you had to stick to one based on your current stamina, health levels and personality?

AYRIA: I'm pretty energetic actually but that one full day during the video shoot, we had to do this choreographed stick fighting and the next day I was so sore, I couldn't walk! I love the empowerment that martial arts made me feel and I would love to be able to kick ass but I'm more into other forms of exercise such as rollerblading, cardio/step classes and dance. As far as the video for My Device, we have one more shoot that's supposed to happen this February and then editing will begin. It got delayed when I had to go out West to tour in December.

THE DOSE: Which is the movie you would like to have at least one Ayria track on its soundtrack? If you could make - as in write and direct or even act - a movie of absolute Ayrianess, what would it be like?

AyriaAYRIA: Wow! What a crazy question! I love it! I think it would be about a female main character who's lonely, isolated yet as powerful as any man out there. Actually, maybe she's part cyborg to take away a bit of her human qualities. And maybe she's in a band! Ok, now this is sounding like the My Device video. But I think there would have to be not only fighting scenes full of revenge but also a love story and a social aspect. Ok, maybe it sounds quite typical and I'm not sure if anyone will go see this movie as they'll probably cast someone I can't stand as the lead but in my head, this movie is awesome! ;)

THE DOSE: If you could choose one and only one performer or band from any period of musical history, who would you work together with?

AYRIA: This is just much too difficult a question to ask. I respect so many artists and bands and they each have given me something different in my life and add to my list of influences. There could never be just one! I also like way too many styles of music so I wouldn't even know where to start! I guess if I could have been part of any band through time, I guess I'd love to sing for Depeche Mode, perhaps worked with Nitzer Ebb, maybe have Trent Reznor do music for me to sing on, Front Line Assembly too! The list could go on forever!

THE DOSE: If there was only one thing you could teach to the younger generations of this age, what would that be?

AyriaAYRIA: Oh god, I really don't want to be a role model! But I guess I'd tell them that if you got into this genre because of anger and a self/world hatred, things do get better in life and you will develop a better sense of self. If you got into this genre for the music, demand a lot from what you listen too, the genre shouldn't only be about club music but should make you feel and think beyond what mainstream would. I'm not sure that's really teaching people stuff they don't already know but like I said, I feel like a terrible role model. I mean, I look like a deranged pop star that sings about slashing herself! ;)

THE DOSE: What plans do you have for 2006 and beyond? Do you have any hidden secret plans about touring Western/Eastern Europe besides a potential WGT gig?

AYRIA: My only definite plan is another North American tour hopefully this May focusing on the East and Middle. I would LOVE to go to Europe but it's hard not knowing many people there to set up shows. I've heard that the type of bands more in demand in Europe are the terror-EBM stuff so since I don't fit that mold, it's probably more difficult to get gigs. But I could be wrong. I really hope that by this fall, I'll be able to set some shows set up though!

THE DOSE: Finally, do you have any message to broadcast to The Dose readers?

AYRIA: Just that I love you for reading all this and still liking Ayria and that someday, I will take you all out one by one and have my revenge on Europe! ;)

God, Allah or Buddha?
No comment. I'm definitely a spiritual person though but it's personal to me and me alone.

Windows, OS or Linux?
Windows because it's what I use. I'm aware of the limitations.

Analogue, digital or physical modeling?
ANALOGUE!! Enough said.

Black, white or greyscale?
Haha! I like striking colours and contrast so I pick black and white.

Internal, external or combined force?
Internal forces (gravity, electrical forces intrigue me more than applied forces.)

Jet Li, Jackie Chan or Tony Jaa?
Tony Jaa in Tom-Yun-Goong.

MP3, CD or pay-per-download?
Any form as long as it's not stealing.

Europe, Asia or America?
Well, America is actually the country showing Ayria the most love but I also love Europe and I've never been to Asia but I love the culture.

Official site, fansites or community sites?
Any sites that are constructive, that eliminates most forums.

WGT, Infest or Convergence?
I've never been to nor played at any of these so I choose the first one to ask me to play! Haha!