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K:Nitrate


An Interview with Graham and Christian
Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011
By: Ruud Dressen

We are very pleased to get the chance to ask you both a few questions. Thank you Christian and Graham that you have found time for this interview.

Both: Our pleasure. Can you introduce yourself and the band members of K-Nitrate to us?

Graham: K-Nitrate currently consists of two band members, myself and Christian Weber. I formed the band with Steve Etheridge back in 1993 after we left Cubanate.

Christian: I joined the band in 1998 after meeting Graham at a local gig and he's still not managed to get rid of me.

How did you get the name K-Nitrate?

Graham: It's a drug reference.

What kind of sound produces K-Nitrate?

Graham: Currently we're doing a mix of EBM, Industrial, with a bit of UK Techno added to the mix.

Who or what was an inspiration to you for your compositions?

Graham: Inspiration usually comes from whatever we've been listening to the most. It might not be obvious with how "Voltage" sounds but we were listening a lot to bands like Void Kampf, Orange Sector, Kloq, Nitzer Ebb and Modulate before the album was written.

Christian: Our previous album, "Active Cell", was quite light in terms of sound so with "Voltage" we wanted to write something heavier again. We decided that we wanted to write something that had a similar feel to Cubanate's debut album "Antimatter", that Graham co-wrote with Marc Heal, but we wanted to include EBM basslines and a more modern edge to it, I think we achieved that.

How did you came up with the title "Mutagen" (K-Nitrate latest CD) and what were your thoughts to have this finished album in your hands?

Christian: We did cause a bit of confusion with this because "Mutagen" isn't the latest release. "Mutagen" was originally released, unmastered, as a free downloadable companion to our previous album "Active Cell", in 2007. We recently released a mastered version of "Mutagen" as a downloadable release. It won't be released as CD. The latest album is "Voltage" and is available now from Advoxya Records.

Graham: Getting back to your question, there's always a huge sense of satisfaction when you hold your new album in your hands because a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to get it to that point. I'm not just talking about writing the music but negotiating the record deal, getting the artwork created and having the album mastered. You end up juggling a lot of things on what can be a tight timescale. Of course, once you've got the album, the serious work of promotion, rehersals, negotiating with promotors and gigging starts along with the scene politics that you try your hardest to not get involved in.

What is your opinion on the current state of this genre scene in Cambridge, UK.in terms of creativity and audiences? And the scene in other countries?

Graham: The scene in Cambridge is quite small, it's more of a goth scene that plays the occasional new Industrial track. We're not particularly part of that scene.
Christian: Locally I can't think of any Industrial bands other than ourselves, the Cambridge music scene is geared more towards Indie guitar bands so we're a bit of an anomaly doing what we do here. A few years ago we used to promote Industrial/Alternative band nights in Cambridge but you'd rarely see anybody from the local the scene turn up to support it. The most supportive of those nights was, surprisingly, the local heavy metal scene who enjoyed the aggressive music, even if most of it was electronic. I keep meaning to re-start promoting here but it eats into a lot of your limited free time and that, for us, can better be used writing music.

Christian: On the surface, the current scene in the UK suggests that it's now all about monotone basslines and glow sticks, but beneath that there are plenty of bands refusing to conform to this and are knocking out interesting, aggressive, music. I was hugely pleased to see the band Concrete Lung doing well because it proves that there are plenty of people in the UK who still want heavy, aggressive, Industrial music.

Graham: I can't really comment fairly on the scene in other countries because I've not gigged the band abroad for 17 years! We're friends with a number of foreign bands and the picture we get is mixed, some are finding life to be difficult and others are doing very well for themselves.

Since the music industry is more open now to purely electronic music has this made things easier for you?

Graham: No, not really, the UK is very much into catagorising all forms of music and if you don't fit neatly into an existing catagory then you're going to struggle. To make matters worse labels, promotors and people generally are completely turned off the minute they see you're an Industrial band.

Christian: What adds to the frustration is that you can go into pretty much any UK Techno club and hear music that's, effectively, EBM and the people there are absolutely loving it. Sure, you might think "leave them to it, this is 'our' scene.", but lets be honest here, this scene isn't growing, I'd love to know just how many people under the age of 35 listen to this music. If we can subvert some of the kids from these Techno clubs and get them to broaden their musical horizons and into Industrial then surely that's good for the survival of this scene, we'd hate to see this scene die.

Do you see the Internet as a benefit for bands like K-Nitrate? Does the growing possibility of someone downloading your material, rather than buying it, worry you?

Christian: Piracy doesn't worry me, it irritates me because it forces us to compromise on how we do things as a band. Whilst money isn't the driving force behind the band it's very naive to think that we don't need money to help to cover the many costs a band incurs. Every single sale is hugely important to both us and our label. Good sales ensure that we can continue to release and promote the music. We're lucky that we have a hardcore fanbase who continue to support the band; these fans continue to invest in us so that we can continue to entertain them the fans and this is very healthy relationship to have.

Graham: If people really want to help promote K-Nitrate band then they should encourage their friends to check the album out (there are a number of places online to hear the entire album for free), get their local club DJ to give plays tracks from the album, talk to their local promotor about getting us to play gigs and so on. In other words do something positive for the band, speaking from experience, the pirating of our music does nothing but work against both us and our label.

What are your top ten favorite genre Club Songs of all time?

DAF - Der Mussolini
Nitzer Ebb - Murderous
Front 242 - Special Forces
Front Line Assembly - Bodycount
Skinny Puppy - Assimilate
Die Krupps - Germaniac
ClockDVA - The Hacker
Meat Beat Manifesto - Psyche Out
Sheep On Drugs - Motorbike
Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey

What band or bands would you like to tour with and why?

Christian: It goes without saying that we'd love to tour with the scene greats, bands like DAF, Die Krupps, Front 242, FLA, Nitzer Ebb and so on. We've got a lot of respect for those bands and they've all influenced us musically on many levels.

Graham: Ignoring the bands Christian has just mentioned, we always like to play with bands that we feel we've got something in common with either musically or attitude wise. I guess currently we're talking about bands like Empirion, Modulate, UCNX and Void Kampf. we really like what they're doing. I think touring with Void Kampf would involve drinking a lot of quality Belgian beer and we'd definitely be up for that!

What about all the big festivals? Summer Darkness in the netherlands? Mera Luna in Germany Familientreffen in Germany and Wave Gothic Treffen in Germany and many more?

Graham: We'd love to play at those big festivals, but I don't think we're on a lot of organisers radar. In the past we found that becausewe're based in the UK promotors either think we'd charge a fortune to play abroad or wouldn't be interested in travelling, which really isn't the case. Playing the festivals you mention would be a great experience, we'd love to be a part of that.

What's the band's favorite song to play live?

Graham: That's actually quite difficult to answer because we've always played completely new sets each time we're promoting a new release. The "Voltage" live set is the first live set that covers both old and new material but for me it's got to be "Supremacy".

Christian: Currently we've only rehersed the new set but I will say that the live version of "Automatik Killer" is just brutal and really enjoyable to play.

If there was one thing you want people to know about your band what would that be?

Graham: We're not a "preset" band, we do our own thing.

Please let us know about your upcoming plans, some new releases you like to confirm here

Graham: I've been busy mixing the next K-Nitrate release, called "Stark Punkt".

Christian: I've been working on our side project Audiowar. I've literally just finished an Audiowar remix of a track from UCNX's forthcoming album "Generation Damaged", they may not be EBM but their new album is definitely one to watch out for if you like your electronic music heavy and aggressive.

Where would you like to see K-Nitrate three years from now?

Graham: I'd like to think that we're still releasing new material, we're still pushing ourselves as musicians, and that we're playing gigs outside of the UK.

Any final thoughts for our readers and your ebm-industrial fans?Many thanks for your time and answers, and we wish you success in the future

Graham: Thank you Ruud for interviewing us and for you for taking the time to read our answers.

Graham: There's still a lot of life left in EBM, be it traditional or progressive, as well as Industrial generally. Keep supporting the bands, keep supporting the labels, and they'll be able to continue releasing new albums and play their music live.

Christian: Finally, to those who've supported us over the years we salute you and to the new fans welcome aboard!