the dose. music. lifestyle. technology. cyberpunk.

date: 2006-02

Pioneers of cyberpunk-fashion-electro turned into revolutionary electro punk rockers, GOTEKI is right after an album release and their biggest gig so far that took place on the boards of an exclusive venue: the Artemovsk 38 vessel, located at Budapest, Hungary. We've gotten hold of Ross Tregenza alias Sneaky to talk to us about the new album entitled Revolution and some more...

THE DOSE: The history of Goteki begins with SEGA's futuristic racer, Wipeout 2097 and a band named Sneaky Bat Machine. How do these two collide and what is the basic history to know for starters behind Goteki?

GotekiGOTEKI (Ross): Ok, here's the short version so that I don't send you all to sleep! We started somewhere in the mid-nineties as Sneaky Bat Machine, which was a bizarre cartoon gothic band - it was great fun but pretty limited in scope in the long run, you can't spend your whole career singing songs about bats! Around 2000 we decided it was time to change. We wanted a cool sounding name with a futuristic feel but didn't really mean to much, so that we could give it its own meaning. Goteki was perfect, and I'm still happy with the choice. My favourite band names have always been the abstract sounding ones - Photek, Aphex Twin, Supercollider - stuff like that.

THE DOSE: Your latest album Revolution is out on Alphastar Records. How do people react to the fact that you're less cyber and more synthpunk in style and in general what do they think of the new Goteki?

GOTEKI (Ross): It's been received in a very different way to previous albums. Previously, Goteki has been a band based on the 'right now' factor - repeating lyrics and hooks and lots of gimmicks. This was something I wanted to get away from and start working on more substantial, mature arrangements - I guess that's just a natural progression. So now, instead of an immediate 'yes' or 'no' reaction, to the album, people are taking some time and digging into it, and I think in the end this means the newer stuff has a lot more depth of personality. I hope so anyway!

THE DOSE: What made you change the Goteki genre, the lack of Cyberdog clothes and going for the live guitar sound?

GotekiGOTEKI (Ross): I'm really proud of how involved we were in the whole 'cybergoth' style of music, but I'm also really pleased that we've moved on as a band. There's nothing I hate more than a band who find a succesful formula and stick with that forever - it's cheap, lazy and insulting to the fans. The lack of Cyberdog clothes, well that just ties into the album style. With Goteki O/S, we had a futuristic cyber image so we have stage clothes to go with that. For Revolution we have underground revolutionary-military kinda style, so we wear clothes that tie into that. The next album is starting to develop a visual style too, so expect new clothes in 2006! The live guitar sound is another step in our live music evolution. We try hard to put on the best show possible and find a good balance between presenting as much music live as possible, and also entertaining the crowd - you can never do both as much as you want! With guitars, you get to express yourself a lot more live, which means you don't have to watch a few geeks standing behind some synths looking bored for an hour!

THE DOSE: The album was accessible to certain people way back ago who received download links. Weren't you afraid about your digipack sales? Do you have such a loyal fanbase that they buy your records even when they can download it?

GOTEKI (Ross): Nah, clashing with the download hasn't been a problem. In fact, the CD release of Revolution was prompted by fans emailing me asking for me to release it. It seems that although we're in a very digital age, people still like to have the CD product, and I can't blame them. It's still nice to have something to hold onto, and artwork to look at. Plus the digipak is SO pretty, I'm very proud of it!

THE DOSE: Speaking of the digipak, the cover features adult model Veronika Zemanova with an AK47, she also shows her vocals on the Kama Sutra track. How did you hook up with her and how was the cooperation going on?

GotekiGOTEKI (Ross): I did some remixes for her a few years back (but her CD never came out, which is a shame). I stayed in contact with her management, and they let me use her vocals on my album, which was cool. Fits nicely. I think she's retired from the modelling world now, which is a real shame. She's hot.

THE DOSE: You did remixes for bands like Zoot Woman, Seize, Psyche or Icon of Coil. Who are the bands you'd like to work with and be reworked by?

GOTEKI (Ross): Hmmmm tricky - I'd love to remix somebody in a very different field, like Willie Nelson or Hank Williams Jr. Anything far away from what I do, so the clash of styles would be interesting. As for people remixing me, I guess anybody who really takes the song out there, like Squarepusher. Or Stuart Price (of Les Rythmes Digitales, Zoot Woman, and Madonna's new album), he has a great sense of arrangement and timing.

THE DOSE: This year you also joined oldschool wave idol Visage on guitars. What's it like to work with Steve and does this new experience give you some extra kick to work with Goteki?

GotekiGOTEKI (Ross): It's been great, a really-really cool time. Steve's a wonderful guy, full of crazy rock'n'roll stories and a lust for life. All the guitar playing in Visage has made me aware of how you can fit guitar into electronic music without having to be full on rock. These days I really enjoy layering on extra guitar when a track is almost done, it gives more of a human vibe that makes the music less alien.

THE DOSE: Who is the best remixer in your opinion and why?

GOTEKI (Ross): Stuart Price, definitely. He does what a good remixer should do - finds and distills the best elements of a track and plays them up, and then adds some cool beats. His remixes always sit well on CD singles, as they work as a dancefloor compliment to the main track, but at the same time don't step on the toes of the original version.

THE DOSE: For all the rookies, what is there to know about the UK industrial/electro scene, top bands, organizer groups, places to visit, fests to check out?

GOTEKI (Ross): Hmmmm don't know. It's a funny time in the UK. There used to be a scene, but it's a little scattered now. I prefer the more adult, fringe elctro scene these days. The music that's grown out of gay clubs and the tech-house scene, then mixed with garage rock and geek indie. I think it has a lot more to offer than the EBM scene. I think things went wrong with the EBM scene when a small group of bands suddenly started doing so much better than the rest (as in APB, Covenant, IOC, etc.). All the other bands became jealous of the success of these few, and started emulating them, and the scene became stupidly safe and conservative. That's in no way a dig at those successful bands though, they're all very talented and I think it's great that they all keep pushing into new directions. I just other people would do that too!

PC or Mac?
Mac. Although the difference is getting smaller.

Retro SHMUPs or Doom 3?

Coffee or tea?
Coffee. I wish I drank tea though, it's funny because it's so English.

Substance or style?
A lot of both.

Jet Li, Jackie Chan or Tony Jaa?
Not my thang. I like my Asian cinema ultraviolent but laid back.

Livejournal or Myspace?
Both, sadly! God help me!

God, Allah or Buddha?
None for me, but I don't piss on other people's beliefs.

Analogue, digital or physical modeling?
Analogue all the way! Dirty filthy power!

Black, white or greyscale?
Grayscale - nothing in life is simple!

Internal, external or combined force?
Internal, learn about your own strength! Grrr!

WGT, Infest or Convergence?
InFest - I love it, it's like electro-Ibiza!