interview by Tommygun
Oldschool industrialists, beware! Industrial metal legend Pitchshifter is here. To put it shortly: they're 120% godlike.
THE DOSE: Two years after your ultimate DVD, P.S.I.entology hit the stores, you issued out a new EP, "None For All And All For One", which is a very special limited edition. Why this exclusiveness? Is it just a treat for the fans, or do you have something big up your sleeve and the EP's just the beginning?
J.S.: I was just really into the idea of rewarding fans with free music. Those fans that made it to the show got the new EP for free on the night. Everyone else has to buy it. The lawyers and accountants had a heart attack when I told them I was doing this, but what's the point of owning your own record label if you can't give your products away when you feel like it? It's a limited edition release also, so when it's gone, it's gone. I like the idea of creating somehting special in this world of mass-marketing and endless re-pressings.
THE DOSE: Talking about the DVD - a collection like that is usually published when a band faces its long years of work. Did it close something down for you, or was it the beginning of something new?
J.S.: It was more of a celebration of the journey that Pitchshifter had taken. When you're in the same band for 18 years, you have a lot of experiences and stories. We grew up in this band together as teenagers and have being doing music for our entire adult lives. I thought that demanded a DVD and we had all this footage. The DVD was a great experience to compile and a lot of Pitchshifter fans have contacted us to thank us for putting it out.
THE DOSE: It was kinda sad to see the idea of "Urban Uprising Festival" fly up high and crash down suddenly - especially coz it was organised and promoted by your own record label, P.S.I. Records. Could you share some words about this fest? What was the idea or the message behind it? Are you going to organize any own festivals again in the future? Are you going to organize any own festivals again in the future?
J.S.: The idea was to create a small inner-city scene. It was all working great until one us had an unfortunate personal situation that prohibited Pitchshifter from appearing. As we had initiated the festival for Pitchshifter fans, it seemed crazy to continue without the band and so were forced to cancel. This was a great shame, but unavoidable. My new ethos is not to get upset about things I can not change, it serves no purpose. I try to channel my energies into endeavors that I can change. I hope to redo Underground Uprising at some point in the future if at all possible.
THE DOSE: As long as we're at P.S.I. Records - tell me a few words about the enterprise as a whole! What was your aim when venturing into it? Did it grow up to your expectations? Could you tell me about any of the bands signed?
J.S.: The initial idea was to have control over our own records and be able to sell them at a price we felt was fair for our fans. Our first release was a double album for the price of a regular album. I felt that our fan base had been very loyal and deserved all the breaks we could give them. We then went on to sign a new band called This Is Menace (http://www.thisismenace.com) for their first album and later we branched out into music for TV, video games and movies (this is called music for synchronization or license) which has become the label's focus of late. Synchronization. It's fun, the money's good and you don't have to pander to any trends...
THE DOSE: Now something about the present. What has Pitchshifter spent the last few years with, altogether?
J.S.: Pitchshifter have been making music in the form of other bands, putting music in movies and TV and living life. It's nice to be in a position where we aren't slaves to our business.
We make music and do shows when we feel like it. The BullDog Bash in the UK was a great example of that. Europe's biggest bikerfest asked us to headline Saturday night on their bill and it was a great time.
THE DOSE: Any plans for a new album? New tours? Tell us about your experiences with recent tours and festivals! Tell us about your crowds - Pitchshifter has always been categorized way too differently to fit one or two genres - how is this with your audience? Who's listening to PS now?
J.S.: Pitchshifter crowds seem to be eclectic. Our music is a mangling of several genres and I guess that plays out in the crowd. The last show we did was The Bulldog Bash. My favorite part of that event was the custom choppers motorbike show and the jet-car drag strip. We saw a lot of old friends there and got to check out some tricked out bikes. New shows? I did hear a rumor about some UK gigs in October. New album? Let me get my planisphere and calculate the next alignment of the stars . . .
THE DOSE: You guys have always been big on politics. How do you see the world and the UK today, in 2006?
J.S.: Pitchshifter has always tried to write songs about matters and personal experiences that are of interest to the band. Politics has been one of those interests. For me personally, I think the trouble in the Middle East has been brewing since France and England first started to dabble in their political future many, many years ago. It is a Pandora's box and sadly we are unable to turn back. In terms fo the World, I think Al Gore is right, we need to quickly and dramatically alter the way in which we live on this Earth if there is to be any inhabitable habitat left on it in a hundred years. In terms of the UK, I left there some years ago. I try to keep up with UK politics and events through media channels.
THE DOSE: If you have a message to PS fans and readers of The Dose worldwide, what would be it?
J.S.: I would like to thank you all for your support of Pitchshifter. We are not a huge corporation, just 5 guys from poor families who decided to make their own music and use their own ideas. To have all of these fans and to be able to make music for so many years has been a real honor. You guys rock. Peace.