Saturday, March 3, 2012

Interview: Joe Letz (COMBICHRIST)

   This awesome dude is someone who's name won't need much introduction, not anywhere near the industrial scene anyway, in which he's insanely active! Joe Letz, drummer of Combichrist and Emigrate, and his awesome sense of humour are here for a chat with playdeadnation!

pdn: Heya, Joe! And thank you for taking some time for this. Firstly, please tell me, how was the name Combichrist born?
Joe: COMBICHRIST was Andy's conception, he was doing the band for a year or 2 before I teamed up with him on it, so that's really an Andy question. But I've been around him enough to be able to tell you that it was the name of a comic book character that he created. The idea of the character was that he was a "do-gooder" by day, and "evil do'er by night. He'd basically go out each night and get wasted, black-out and rape pillage and plunder. Then wake up the next day, not realizing he'd been the one on the warpath and run around trying to clean up the community and help everyone out. Pretty much a day in the life on the road for us.

pdn: I'm curious, at what age did you initiate your musical path? When did you start playing drums?
Joe: I was around 8 and I found out that if I wanted to learn to play an instrument that I got out of class for a half an hour a week. I was all about it cause my teacher was fat and yelled alot. So I guess I can thank her for being my first inspiration to start focusing my time and energy on music... THANKS MS. BOYLE! You're probably dead now. So, rest in peace Ms. Boyle.

pdn: What are the main things, subjects that inspire the songs and just the whole concept of the band? 
Joe: Well if you pay attention to the lyrics in the songs like "Enjoy the Abuse" and "Shuttup and Swallow", it's pretty obvious that we draw a large inspiration from the christian faith and the history of the women's rights movement. 

pdn: What are some of your musical, as well as personal further aspirations in life?
Joe: I've always just wanted to be able to play music around the world and to live comfortably while doing it. As my career grows older I keep meeting and befriending alot of the people who I grew up idolizing, and some part time collaborations are being born here and there. I really look forward to working a little more full time on some of these projects like EMIGRATE with Richard Kruspe, and nursing them to flourish.

pdn: You've played with numerous bands before Combichrist, like Wednesday 13, Mortiis, Hanzel und Gretyl, etc. What was one positive or negative memorable moment in your vesatile carreer, up to date?
Joe: How about playing at one of the most famous arenas in the whole world, in my hometown of NYC: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN.... but having played most of our set in the dark because the lighting guy that we hired for the event wasn't familiar with our set-up and blew up some of the lights!....that's both positive AND negative HAHA. I still have nightmares about that performance. They've replaced my "standing in front of my whole high school on a stage naked" nightmares.   

pdn: You do DJ-ing between tour; do you have any time left for anything else other than music, have any other main passion or priotity?
Joe: My son and my girlfriend.

pdn: You've shared the stage with many bands, including opened for Rammstein! What other bands would you like to collaborate with someday?
Joe: I wanna be invited on stage with Limp Bizkit to do guest vocals for the break-down in "Break Stuff" and I wanna play drums for New Order on a tour. I might also consider doing a little behind the scenes work for George Michael; perhaps some light wardrobe work, or something having to do with conveniently hanging around men's rooms urinals dressed like a cop.

pdn: What are Combichrist's plans for this year? Tour and new material-wise.
Joe: Andy has been spending like the longest time he's ever spent in one shot recording music for a video game and a new COMBI record. I've heard a bit of it, and it's really intense and could possibly shoot us off in a whole new direction musically. It'll really come down to how he finishes off the other half of the album though. I'm EXTREMELY excited about it.

pdn: Thank you so much! Anything you would like to add for your fans, friends around the world?
Joe: Thank you come again. :-)

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