Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Interview: Matt Gifford (ENCEPHALON)

   Straight from Ottawa, Canada, this wonderful band called Encephalon will bring you some great auditory experience with dynamic vocals and club-friendly beats. In collaboration with Artoffact Records, playdeadnation brough vocalist Matt Gifford over for a chat!

pdn: Greetings! First of all, I would like to ask you, how did you get the idea for this name?
Matt: Heya! Thanks for taking the time to talk – In the Sci/fi RPG (and anime) Xenosaga the “Encephalon” is an incredibly detailed virtual world similar to The Matrix  where people can enter and experience an entirely different dimension.   In medical science “Encephalon” is the technical term, for brain.  Both meanings apply to our music because we strive for intelligence in song writing and to have a sound that is otherworldly. 

pdn: How did you guys meet and started making music together? Was it difficult to get signed?
Matt: Sam and I have known each other since grade 2 and have been messing about with synths, drum machines, and guitar pedals and stuff for almost as long – Alis joined up a few years ago, after she continuously impressed me with her artistic abilities and musical talents.  Sam and I always had a lot of bands but never took anything too seriously due to the fact we were raised in such an isolated part of an already isolated country (Northern Ontario, Canada) and had no hopes or expectations…  Eventually we moved to a bigger city (Ottawa) where there was actually an industrial/goth scene for once and that’s when I started realizing that the music we had been making for years but not playing for anyone was actually on par with (or better than) most of the industrial bands who were touring around at the time.  Getting signed would have come quicker if I knew more about marketing myself – I always had sort of a punk rock attitude where I thought social media and all that comes with it makes everyone sound like a sell-out-poser-attention whore and that it should all be about the music.  I mean, it still should be about the music but if you don’t get in people faces then some other more obnoxious band will just steal your spotlight.

pdn: If you could pick anyone, what artist(s) would you like to share the stage with?
Matt: Hmmmm I want to say Faith No More, The Cure, or Skinny Puppy but then I think it would be so humbling I would shrivel up into a raisin. 

pdn: Who are some people, bands that have influenced your music and motivated you in your path?
Matt: Well the 3 bands I mentioned above obviously.  One of my greatest influences to both my musical tastes and fashion choices is my cousin Christian McFadden whose band Vegasphere was quite popular in Toronto in the 1990s.  They were a glammy/industrial/rock band with excellent vocals and song-writing.  Their first cd was one of my first industrial albums and it still holds a place in my heart with NIN, Ministry, and FLA.  Knowing that it was made by someone in my family always made me want to learn how to do the same thing. 

pdn: How would you describe your sound in a few of your own words?
Matt: Depends if im feeling specific or not: Industrial, EBM, and Synthpop are all ok for broad simplified terms.  Or Post-Industrial-Electro-Alternative-Futurepop works too.

pdn: When will we be able to hear the next material?
Matt: We will release some remixes and one off tracks on compilations this year while we write our follow up.  Possibly even an EP later in the year.  I definetly plan to have the next album done for 2013.

pdn: What are Encephalon's plans for the upcoming year, and even further if such? Regarding tours and such.
Matt: We are currently planning a spring tour of Canada with some other cool Canadian bands but nothing is confirmed yet.  We also just got word of a potential opening slot for a fall USA tour with a really awesome European band who has been a huge influence to us, but I don’t want to jinx it so Im not saying who!

pdn: Thank you for your time! Anything you would like to add for your fans, any final words?
Matt: Thanks for taking the time to read all this!  Stay tuned for more at or like us on the facebook! 

*Purchase The Transhuman Condition here:

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