Max Wax: Why donít you guys just tell me a little bit about, I know itís hard to categorize yourself, but what is your style of music, what would you call your style of music in general?
The Demix: Itís experimental. Thatís a very broad term nowadays. I guess experimental ambient, psychedelic, death metal, breakcore. You donít really want to break it down into genres. Just mix all the music together that I like. Itís not like one specific thing, I like everything. I just try to put together and build a new piece of music out of artists that Iím really into. Whether itís a classical record, mixed with Pink Floyd, over some techno beats.
Books On Tape: Demixís stuff is everything I like about like spacerock, like pink Floyd, and everything I like about Atari Teenage Riot, and Napalm Death. It goes from nice spacey atmosphere, to just like grinding in your face. It really takes the art away from the turntables to the level Ė I havenít seen anything else anywhere. Forgive me, Iím losing my voice really bad.
MW: Sounds like you guys had a good time last night.
BOT: Way too good of a time.
D: Way too good of a time.
MW: What is your setup when you perform?
D: Two turntables, two CD turntables, a KAOSS pad built into my mixer, Alesis air effects. I use my laptop. I run Reason, Ableton Live sometimes. Iím still learning it. So, I try not to get in over my head. Thatís usually it. Sometimes Iíll bring samplers or drum machines along but I have a habit of breaking things on stage so theyíre broken right now.
MW: Cool, wow. So you have a pretty technological setup.
D: Yeah. Itís usually four or five things that could be played all at one time. Usually thereís like two or three playing and Iím trying to cue one and two up in my headphones. Bring the stuff in and out.
MW: I wanted to ask you about one of the last tracks on your album with scratching.
D: Yeah, itís just me scratching through distortion. And I think maybe some reverb, too. Itís actually a DJ rectangle record, thatís why itís called ďWRECK TANGLE 1, 2, 3.Ē Thereís like three parts. Yeah, itís just me going to fucking town on it. Itís nothing fancy. Itís just scratching through distortion.
MW: So you use the CD turntables?
D: Oh, I have turntables, yeah. Two of each [CD and vinyl].
MW: What about your setup, Books?
BOT: I use an MPC sequencer/sampler, load all my samples onto a jazz drive because I just have a lot of songs. Iíve been doing this for a long time now. Zip drive was not happening anymore, so Iím on the jazz. I use a little Electribe which is pretty broken, so I run that directly through a reverb pedal before it gets to my mixer, I use a KAOSS pad, the second one, which is similar to his but not part of my mixer. And then, from my mixing board everything goes out to five different guitar stomp boxes and theyíre supposed to be for your feet Ė I injure myself on a nightly basis slamming on them [with my fist].
MW: So itís a hands-on experience.
BOT: Very much so. Itís like electronic music you can actually see happening...
MW: What can we expect tonight?
D: I donít know. It depends on the crowd. Last night it was real chill. Small crowd. I think tonight itís going be pretty hardcore. Really tear shit up. Loud, noisy ambiance, spooky, definitely creepy. Because this place has that evil vibe. The black and red [paint] Ė I donít know. The stained glass thing back behind the bar is just ridiculously cool.
MW: So what can I expect from you tonight, Books?
BOT: My thing is just because Iím using electronic gear doesnít mean it has to be typical electronic music, and just because some people choose to dance to it doesnít make it dance music. Iíve never perceived it as such, when I listen to it. I run around on stage. People are like, ĎYou dance,í and Iím like ĎNo, I run. Iím working.í Iím not trying to look fancy. Iím doing my thing. And, uh, my stuff can get pretty noisy, but itís more song-based. I stop between songs which really freaks some people out. ĎElectronic music with gaps? Does he know what heís doing?í Yeah, I think so. Iím not trying to be cocky or anything. People recognize my music and still think itís going be a DJ.
MW: Demix is kind of a DJ.
D: Kind of a DJ. Itís like elements of a DJ but I just make it to be whatever Demix is, the whole Demon DJ music.
BOT: Weíre both ...really into dark things. And lots of distortion.
D: Lots of distortion. And lots of bass. With just like bass rumbles.
BOT: I think we both have a habit of doing things that you may see other people do, but they kind of do it more for the shock value. Iíve seen Demix punching his records and itís like pieces of records flying around the room and you see other guys doingí that and fucking cutting up their chest, DJ Swamp and shit. But with Demix itís like a true love of the sound. Like definitely with me, too. I bleed, like a third of the shows I play. Itís like, you know, covered in blood here. Iím sure I have multiple bone fragments in my wrist. But, itís not going change, I do what I do, and it wouldnít be the same if I finessed it. I guess thereís a little finesse in what I do, but for me itís a full on raucous.
D: Itís very emotional for both of us, just like, you can tell weíre really into it. Itís like a show. Thereís a lot of electronic artists that are just, hereís my band, hereís my music, go look at the fucking lights. Fuck that shit. Weíre up there working our asses off.
BOT: I mean we have soul in respect. Thereís so much impact in what we do, I mean every show Iíve ever done has always been different, itís always evolving. I mean youíll remember something that worked really well at a show and, youíre like, oh yeah, flange there, but sometimes like fuck that man Iím going do something different. Itís just the whole matter of picking things apart. Remembering what works but also remembering where thereís room to experiment and mess around. And both of our music leaves a lot of breathing room.
MW: How did you guys get hooked up for this tour?
D: We actually met the first time at a barbecue at an associate of ours, a music associate, at his house. He throws a lot of parties out there. Itís called ďInfinite Complexity.Ē They do a lot of really cool underground events, probably a lot of like the most experimental electronic musicians, in LA Iíd say.
MW: Whatís next for you guys after the tour, do you have projects going on?
D: Iím going to go back to Milwaukee and work on a new record that hopefully Iíll be able to sit down and focus on for the next few months. I have a skeletal idea of what I want to do but I want it to be a step above ďThe Storm.Ē
MW: Is that your debut?
D: Yeah. I have lots of CDs that Iíve given out to people, but like as a whole piece of work, like ďStormĒ to be is just like, itís just like really perfect. Like the way it flows is really, really perfect to me. And the next thing I want to do, I want it to be a little bit more based on original material, like loaded with samples but cut up more, a little bit more structure, but still lots of chaos.
BOT: As far as whatís next for me I just finished my next release. Iím sitting on it to decide where I want to go with it. I have a couple of different ideas. And Iím doing a three week eastern US tour in April, just myself, which is a little intimidating. Iíve never hit the road for three weeks all by myself, different bills every night. Itís way more fun to go around with a good friend whoís a musician and know what you are going to get. Or not. But know that itís going to be good.
MW: Is there anything in particular you want Max Wax readers to know?
BOT: We both kind of secretly want to be Japanese noise rock bands.
D: Yeah. Absolutely.
BOT: Thatís why we have to have so many machines because we donít have enough people of mindsets and equipment, that we get along with or, I donít know what your reason is.
D: I think we both just want people to realize that electronic music can be just as exciting as like going to see a live hardcore band.
BOT: Bands are great. Weíre not coming from an anti-band, like Ďelectronic is the wave of the future.í
D: Weíre not anti-anything!
BOT: We say fuck all those boundaries, and fuck the boundaries between electronic and rock music because as far as Iím concerned Iím part of a rock band. And, Iím too small to hit someone who tells me Iím not, but if I was bigger, I probably would.