Monday, November 28, 2011

Interview: Pete Crane & Lee Bulig (SHIV-R)

   Shiv-R, with their powerful industrial tunes, have made a great impact over the dark music scene worldwide, in a relatively short time. Both members of this great up-and-coming act are here on playdeadnation, for a little fun conversation!

pdn: Greetings! Is there a story behind the band's name or have you come up with it randomly?
Lee Bulig: It was absolutely, completely, definitely random. Hey, you opened the door!!
Pete Crane: Don't let that stop you getting it tattooed on your body though. 

pdn: How can you describe the sounds or Shiv-r in a few really representative words? What about your side project(s)?
Pete Crane: Shiv-r exists to create world-destroying, club-obliterating, girl heart-crushing sex beats. 
Lee Bulig: Shiv-r is actually our side project. Our main project involves a secret volcanic island, cheap soviet-era nuclear warheads, fat cigars, a cat called Mr. Tiddles and some other James Bond-esque things. If it all works according to plan, you will be worshipping golden statues of us and living in a city called Tiddlesberg. For great glory!

pdn: The two of you work together on this project, but isn't that difficult with the distance between Bangkok and London?
Pete Crane: The distance isn't such a hindrance, given that we collaborate online and would probably do so even if we lived in the same city. When we started the project, we both had very clearly defined roles in the project, so like I would do the basslines and Lee would do the melodies, for example. When working on songs online, this made life easier so we didn't get carried away and step on eachother's toes musically. On the new album we actually wrote the title track, This World Erase, in the same room when Lee came to visit me for xmas in 2010. This is why this song sounds so different to anything we have made before. It was a long session where we kept the beat going and jammed on synths, ran synths through other synths and cut up eachother's recordings. We both have very different work methods for how we create our signature sounds, and on this song we totally overlapped them so the resulting music is very unique to the moment. In a way it would be great to do every song like this and always work together, but the result would be very different to what we do now. Honestly, the only limitation or difficulty is that I cannot have a beer with Lee when I want. We can't hit the town together or play LAN games like we used to when we both lived in Sydney. To a large extent, Shiv-r exists so we still have some connection to eachother while we live in separate countries. 
Lee Bulig: Shiv-r would have never come to be without the awesome power of the internet. To share material with each other as we work on songs, files goes through our own servers or sometimes even public file sharing networks. It really isn’t any different from collaborative artists that live in the same city but maintain separate studios. The only difficulty is communication. Being able to listen to a tune in progress in the same room and talking about how it could be changed or developed is something we might be missing. However, have deep and significant artistic conversations are for artsy-idiots, and I’m glad we have developed a masculine silent efficiency for the time being. If we combine studios sometime in the future, I’m sure the results will be quite different to the material we have so far produced.

pdn: What is the main inspiration for the lyrics?
Pete Crane: It's just a stream of consciousness really. Sometimes it makes more sense than others. I don't have that much control of it really. I've never written a set of lyrics about anything in particular in my life, it's all just how I'm feeling at the time or what words are running through my head. Sometimes I'm in a shitty place, like a ghetto-ass London area or a soul-crushing Sydney business district full of suits and it inspires hateful, nihilistic lyrics. Other times it's a more cyber influence, thinking about the effects of transhumanism and corporate control or...giant robots.. 

pdn: What are your other significant hobbies, preoccupations besides making music?
Pete Crane: I have an on-and-off intense escapist mentality. So I go through brief phases where I get really, really into something like a videogame so I can switch off and just shoot pixels for a while. Not like an RPG or some shit...I don't want to be an elf or something. But competitive online first person shooters really do it for me, especially because you can play them for 15 minutes, blow off some steam, and then get back to real life. Essentially everything else I do apart from work is music related. 
Lee Bulig: We do a lot of interviews and I usually try to think of something witty to say when we get questions like this. I am feeling a little witless right now, so I will give an honest answer. After the day job and the music, there isn’t much free time. The little I have is spent playing obscure old computer games and downloading the kind of porn you would be foolish to tell anyone about or acquire without some kind of darknet network. If I have anymore time left after that, I spend it pondering how I got to being close to thirty years old and still spend my free time playing computer games and downloading porn.

pdn: Who are some artists you would love to collaborate with someday?
Pete Crane: I'd like to give Headscan a massive bitchslap for not releasing anything since 2005 when their last album was so phenomenal at the time. I'd like to give Chris Corner a massive bitchslap for making such heart-rendingly beautiful music that can affect me far too much. And I'd like to give Michael Jackson a massive bitchslap for turning from the King of Pop into a pathetic joke before dying. Unfortunately there is no one I'd like to constructively collaborate with at this time. 
Lee Bulig: Definitely Lady Gaga. All I needs is a couch and some old motor oil. Wait, do you mean musically?

pdn: What are Shiv-r's plans for the near future?
Pete Crane: Platinum sales, world domination and 10th level Prestige in Call of Duty. 
Lee Bulig: Ask not for what Shiv-r plans, ask for which Mr. Tiddles plans for Shiv-r to plan.

pdn: Thank you for this conversation! What else would you like to add for your fans?
Pete Crane: Go forth and multiply!
Lee Bulig: Nothing, I hate those vegan hippy liberal fucks. My musical ambition is not to make money, it is to have cool people listen to my music while doing cool things. Like, if Al Pacino had been listening to my music on his iPod while killing all those guys at the end of Scarface, I would die a happy man. Unfortunately, Al doesn’t appear to have ‘liked’ us on Facebook, instead we have a whole heap of vegan hippy liberal fucks, and it eats me up inside. I would even settle for some starstruck misguided slutty young emo chicks, which we also appear to not have.

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