All-time Sydney favourite NEW PROJECT has been part of the London industrial rock scene for more than a year. We hooked up with marty to ask how things are with the tongue-in-cheek cyberpunk five-piece, now that they released their new EP Primal.Logic.Slave.
THE DOSE: New Project has changed a lot since we last talked. You've lost Thomas, moved your headquarters to London from Sydney and you're busily recording your LP. Please elaborate on that, what was life for New Project like after you've released Almost Time?
MARTY: "Almost Time" was released in 2002. We got some excellent reviews, put out the "Prime Time" single in 2003 and did two video clips all while being signed to an independent label in London. The label we were with had planned for us to record and release an album in 2003 but due to financial problems with the label it didn't happen. By 2004 we strayed a little and released "Princess" as Side Project which was a parody of nu-metal. We had a great laugh but knew that we had exhausted most of our options in Australia. In 2005 we moved to London! Thomas (our keyboard player) left before we released the "Decay" single in Oct the same year. He has stayed in London and has supported us since but prefers to lead a "normal" life. We decided to stay as a 5 piece and released "Primal.Logic.Slave." in Sep 2006 along with 2 video clips.
THE DOSE: Could you compare the Sydney and the London scenes a bit? What are the key differences, what are the characteristics? Is there anything that was better in Australia than it is in the UK?
MARTY: London is a thriving place for most cultures and sub cultures. The alternative scene is most definitely alive here. Any night of the week you can go to a gig, pub or nightclub playing your favourite music. The population in London is massive in comparison to any major city in Australia and therefore you have that many more people wanting to be entertained. What was better in Australia? The weather!
THE DOSE: Frankly, your album is a mystery to everyone! You've released quality materials all the way from EPs to videos and still nothing. What can you tell us about the LP - when will it be released, what tracks can we expect? Will you include classic tracks or will that be 100% new stuff?
MARTY: It will be 100% new stuff. Once we release something its down and out of the way. That feeling gives us a chance to move on and focus on new material rather than revisiting old tracks. The only exception to this has been Cyberpunk which appears on "Primal.Logic.Slave." We re-recorded it to try a few new ideas and it became the Zeus Mix which wound up on the Ghost In The Shell DVD in Hungary. The song may still wind up on the album as the Zeus Mix. We don't have a release date for it yet but I can tell you that we'll be working with Dan Turner who has worked with Cradle of Filth, Three Inches of Blood and Bullet For My Valentine. He has been awesome to work with so far and we are very excited to be doing the album with him!
THE DOSE: The London scene is one of the most heralded and established party scenes in Europe. What is life like for a cyber/industrial-rock band like you, how hard is it to constantly stay on top, how is life different to be in a band now than it was like five years ago?
MARTY: London is very competitive for bands as some of the world's biggest acts launch here. Most of the bands we play with are pretty friendly and we tend to help each other but you do have to work hard. As for staying on top...well...I'll tell you when we get there! 5 years ago in Sydney we knew exactly who our competition was as there were only a few bands playing our style of music. In London we have the whole music scene to contend with. A lot of bands come and go and survival is the key.
THE DOSE: Tell us a bit about Primal.Logic.Slave! Apparently you still haven't lost touch with cyberpunk and the mechanical/industrial topics..
MARTY: PLS was mixed by Andy Reilly in the US who had worked on our "Almost Time" EP. Working with that sort of distance between us is usually a worry but we trusted him as he knew the sound we wanted for our music. The whole sci-fi/ cyberpunk culture is of great interest to us. Apart from the artistic side of it, it collects the thoughts and feelings of what people feel the future holds for them.
..and we're really curious about how the track "Cyberpunk" came into being! It's one of the most nostalgic stuff I've heard, classic anime soundtrack-fare cheesy stadium rock! Once you hear it, it remains in your ears forever!
DREW: Well, I was reading a lot of William Gibson at the time and I was (and still am) very much into cyberpunk and that dystopian vision of the future. A lot of cyberpunk movies and fiction have an underlying warning, a message of stop-before-it's-too-late-and-you-destroy-yourselves, but for the song I imagined a future where basically humanity didn't stop when it had the chance, and everything was ruined and lost and life had reverted to an almost savage nd predatory urban nightmare. The thing that really caught my imagination about that idea though, the beautiful thing about it, was that there would be people trying to hold onto their humanity and their dreams through that darkness, they'd still be trying to keep their hope alive and not let their souls be destroyed by their surroundings. That's what the human side of the song is all about.
THE DOSE: You're planning a European tour, what are your plans, destinations, fellow bands and expectations?
MARTY: Main destination will be France as we've had an excellent response there. We're also penned to visit Belgium again and Germany. Dates are still being confirmed as I write this, but we're hoping to visit as many European cities as possible and play to all the people who have asked us to play in their home town! We're also hoping to play some of the upcoming European festivals. We expect less mob rioting (Belgium) and more food fights with escargot shells (France)!
THE DOSE: What's your opinion of the current electro/industrial scene now? What's good, what's bad? Who are those bands that you consider the most prominent and upcoming in your genre?
MARTY: The scene is not as strong as it once was but there seems to be a resurgence on the way. Everything moves in cycles and industrial music is geared to make a comeback. Without a doubt the band we now get most compared with is Deathstars. They are industrial metal but that is as far as I can take that comparison. Most prominent tho are still Rammstein and Rob Zombie.
THE DOSE: Lots of good things come out of collaborations, so I gotta ask this from you - do you plan any remixes, split EPs or cooperations with notable artists?
MARTY: We have been planning a remix EP of some of the new tracks in the form of an international collaboration with artists from all over the globe. We love remixes and have used them on all previous releases so we're looking forward to getting back into that as it is a lot of fun. It's always exciting to hear a remix of your song playing in a nightclub! Collaborations also help artists promote each other and let's face it, the industrial scene is stronger when united.
THE DOSE: You're all big fans of cyberpunk - what are the most recent films, albums or other art products that really caught your senses (and are also relevant to cyberness)?
MARTY: There is truly so much to be found in sci-fi that I could quite easily immerse myself in it for days on end. Some of the cooler flicks I've seen recently are Aeon Flux, Equilibrium, Appleseed, Casshern, Avalon and Ghost In The Shell – Innocence. Most of these movies and animations are a work of art in their own way and they are incredibly inspiring when it comes to us writing our music.