Thursday, 29 December 2016

INSPIRATION

Electronic rocker and record producer Klayton on how he got to where he is now. 

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

CARRIE FISHER ( 1956 - 2016 )

Out of all the stars we expected to dodge the '2016' bullet, we thought it would be Carrie. Even after she was taken ill on Christmas Eve, we thought she would emerge, days, maybe weeks later, in 2017, feistiness intact, middle finger raised, thus signalling the end in the appalling run of celebrity fatalities that marked this particular twelve months.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. As 2016 taught us over and over again, life does not follow the narrative you want.

There are charming clips of the original Star Wars cast surfacing all the time on the internet. We'll add to this as we go along, but in the meantime, let's start with this one:





Very funny impromptu 2005 interview with Carrie, by British comedian Justin Lee Collins.


Monday, 19 December 2016

BRAND NEW! BLADE RUNNER 2049 TEASER TRAILER!

REWINDING A CYBERPUNK CLASSIC: RICHARD STANLEY'S 'HARDWARE' ( 1990 )

There's a shot in the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer that is very reminiscent of a similar shot in the 1990 movie HARDWARE, so we thought we'd include some clips as a little side-bar to the aforementioned, heavily-anticipated Harrison Ford sequel.


Above: HARDWARE poster art



For a short while at the beginning of the 90's, director Richard Stanley was the up-and-coming indie auteur to watch. Coming from a background of music videos and documentaries, Stanley was able to bring a widescreen vision to HARDWARE, a small-scale, low-budget sci-fi flick, that references both Terminator and Evil Dead. The film was a success and garnered a cult following, and was followed up by the equally good Dust Devil, a slow-burning horror film shot on location in Namibia ( Stanley was born in South Africa, and so has an affinity for the African continent ). However, subsequent career missteps meant that he has maintained a relatively low profile compared to the indie kids who came after him ( notably Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez ), and so he failed to capitalise on the huge mainstream appetite for original indie film-making that came to define 90s cult cinema.

Hardware was unavailable on DVD until 2009, when it was released as a special edition.

MINI DOCUMENTARY



FAN CUT OF PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED'S 'THE ORDER OF DEATH'
( FROM THE SOUNDTRACK ):


Sunday, 18 December 2016

MAY THE FORGE BE WITH YOU: HOW TO PRODUCE INDUSTRIAL METAL, BY KLAYTON

Production maestro Klayton ( aka Scandroid, & Celldweller ), talks us through how he went back to the 90s for his industrial outfit CIRCLE OF DUST's 2016 resurrection.


And here is the result...


Album review soon!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

MONA LISA OVERHAUL - NEW EDITIONS OF THE CYBERPUNK CLASSICS

William Gibson's groundbreaking early novels finally get a UK make-over.

Book cover art by Daniel Brown / Design by Sinem Erkas


Here at Future-Rocker's headquarters we have long bemoaned the appalling state of many sci-fi book covers. Luckily, some progressive-minded art directors realise that a strong font or an enigmatic cover can provoke the imagination, rather than give the viewer everything on a plate.

Daniel Brown's cover art perfectly captures the feel of 'The Sprawl' ( the vast megacity of Gibson's novels ), yet also reminds us that there are places on earth right now that already look like this.

Sci-fi fans are a conservative lot, so it's always been a risky business not having some lovingly-airbrushed interplanetary vista or 'cool'-looking reject from an 80s rock video adorning the cover. Sadly, the 80s rock analogy held sway over Gibson's oeuvre here in the UK for what seemed like decades.

We haven't read the novels since the old days, but were discussing round the office if it's worth digging the classics out to see if they hold up. The new editions give us a reason not to have to crawl around in our dusty old vaults looking for them. We can just order these brand-new editions from Amazon and enjoy the Inception-like cover vibe and collectability, thus saving ourselves the hassle. With the first of them, Neuromancer, being released this December, it's just in time for Christmas. Hell, we'll even pay extra for a drone to fly it down the chimney.


Neuromancer was published in mass market paperback 8th December 2016, Burning Chrome, Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive will be published in mass market paperback, 9th February 2017.





//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

THE FUTURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE...

Hey, don't get us wrong, we actually love these classic 80s covers...





It's the goddawful 90s Gibsons we have a problem with...ugh!



PENGUIN GALAXY EDITIONS: COVER DESIGNS BY ALEX TROCHUT

One of the most notable releases of 2016 was this collection of beautiful hardback volumes from the sci-fi and fantasy pantheon, including Dune, Neuromancer and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The covers are unified by a series of inventive font designs by acclaimed illustrator and typographer Alex Trochut.

Covers, left to right:
The Left Hand Of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin; Dune - Frank Herbert;
2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke; Neuromancer - William Gibson;
Stranger In A Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein; The Once And Future King - T.H. White.


You can purchase these books individually for £15.69 ( UK ) or $21.50 ( US ). If you want the spectacular box set, don't buy from Amazon UK, get it at the considerably cheaper price of $158.78 on AMAZON.COM.

FOR MORE SCI-FI BOOK DESIGNS, KEEP SCROLLING

CIRCLE OF DUST, RECOMMISSIONED

Hugely prolific Detroit-based electronic musician Klayton ( also known as Celldweller ) has released a new video for his resurrected 90s industrial project CIRCLE OF DUST.

CoD was originally put on ice due to complicated legal disputes with a former label, in response to which, Klayton went on to form CELLDWELLER and grow his thriving label FIXTMUSIC to produce and market his own music ( as well as that of other acts such as Blue Stahli, The Qemists and The Algorithm ).

Recalling surrealist pioneer Louis Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou, and Shinya Tsukamoto's horrifying 90s cyberpunk body-horror movie TETSUO, the video perfectly captures the aesthetics of 90s industrial music, as performed by bands like Die Krupps, KMFDM, and Schnitt Acht.


Circle of Dust has remastered and re-released it's entire back catalogue, culminating in a brand-new 2016 album, Machines of Our Disgrace. This track is taken from that album.* 



*There will be a comprehensive overview of FIXT's recent output on this blog soon.




BILLY IDOL: SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM ( 1993 )

TOTALLY RECALLING BILLY IDOL'S CYBERPUNK-INSPIRED VIDEO


One of the many 80's rock careers put on hold by Grunge, Billy Idol's entry into the brave new 90s didn't exactly pan out as planned, despite attempting to look futuristic, edgy and confrontational. However, looking back, this is a great slice of retro-MTV...from a time when MTV still played music. 

With the then-recent LA riots still in mind, at the beginning of the 90s people clearly expected William Gibson's dystopian cyberpunk novels such as Neuromancer and Count Zero to become reality. Luckily, that didn't happen...for at least fifteen years. 

Enjoy this visual mashup of Hellraiser III, the original Total Recall, and of course, Shinya Tsukamoto's cult hit, Tetsuo The Iron Man ( which you can see more of by scrolling down ).





Compare and contrast...


'KINDRED' SPIRITS: MORE COLLECTABLE SCI-FI

In the past we've loved the wacky pixel-heavy covers that adorned Philip K Dick's catalogue during the nineties, under the US imprint Vintage Books.

However, we have to admire the recent very cool, and understated, PKD covers on the Mariner Books editions, also in the US ( a nice change to see his initials boldly taking up the space on the cover: 'PKD' is how fans refer to him ).






CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE GREAT SCI-FI ART: SANDA ZAHIROVICH'S BRILLIANT 'GOLLANCZ SPACE OPERA' COVERS, AS FEATURED ON MONOBLOG.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

'SHOUT' : SCANDROID'S TEARS FOR FEARS COVER

The album arrived at our HQ this week ( review coming soon ), and brilliantly captures that 80s Sci-Fi vibe, and then some.

Monday, 28 November 2016

NEW BURIAL TRACK!




And if you missed the stunning RIVAL DEALER video from 2014, click here.


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A SET-LIST OF 'SUBSTANCE'

Photo: Peter Hook / Twitter



A few minutes ago Peter Hook Tweeted a photo of the set-list from last night's gig ( at The Orange Peel, Asheville, North Carolina ).

'Substance' is the title of both NEW ORDER and JOY DIVISION's landmark compilation albums, ( released August 1987 and July 1988 respectively ), and so the above list is inevitably a mouth-watering prospect for fans of both bands.

Here at Future-Rocker, we love how Hooky has become a confident and commanding frontman and lead singer, and we definitely appreciate the rocking live versions of his bands' classic songs.

Below: Peter Hook & The Light live in Mexico City, September 2013

Monday, 14 November 2016

BRAND-NEW 'GHOST IN THE SHELL' CLIP : 'SHELLING SEQUENCE'!


Clip soundtrack composer: Kenji Kawai

ASH THORP TEASES LOST BOY PROJECT!

''...an ambitious sci-fi concept heavily influenced by the American action classics and Japanese samurai films''

A perennial favourite of FUTURE-ROCKER, movie design guru Ash Thorp teases us with a Twitter countdown to a full-length clip of his long-time pet project LOST BOY. With help from regular collaborator Anthony Scott Burns ( who is also synthwave maestro PILOTPRIEST ), the team will unveil the full 'concept clip' twenty-four hours from now.


SCANDROID TEASES FORTHCOMING TEARS FOR FEARS COVER!

A hit on the global electronic charts within days of its release, SCANDROID's debut album proves there is an insatiable demand for eighties-influenced music. A thrilling blend of rock and new wave, the sound of multi-instrumentalist Klayton's current project perfectly captures the need for a cyberpunk soundtrack in these increasingly dystopian times.

We at Future-Rocker are confidently predicting that SCANDROID could be even bigger than his main band, the highly acclaimed CELLDWELLER.

Here's a teaser clip of the new promo, a cover of Tears For Fears 1985 hit, 'Shout'. The full video will be released next week.



CLINT MANSELL TO SCORE GHOST IN THE SHELL SOUNDTRACK!



Above: POP WILL EAT ITSELF classic THERE IS NO LOVE BETWEEN US, from 1988.

Clint Mansell, former band leader of West Midlands UK 80s alt-rockers POP WILL EAT ITSELF, is scoring the new Scarlett Johansson sci-fi action vehicle GHOST IN THE SHELL, according to director Rupert Sanders ( Snow White and the Huntsman ).

Mansell is already established in niche movie-making by being Darron Aronofsky's go-to guy, having notched up REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, THE FOUNTAIN, THE WRESTLER and BLACK SWAN for the celebrated art-house director.

Mansell's former band ( also known as PWEI ) were notable for their amalgam of cut-and-paste sample-heavy dance rock, that acknowledged an eclectic range of influences from Run DMC, to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, also ushering-in early-90s Crusty and mid-90s Industrial music. They are arguably a heavy influence on post-millennial bands such as PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING.

Though having scored a couple of big studio movies in the past ( the entirely forgettable SAHARA and DOOM ), GHOST IN THE SHELL will be the first Mansell-scored movie where his pedigree will mesh superbly with the subject matter, in what is hoped to be a huge blockbuster movie.


Below: Mansell's LUX AETERNA from Requiem for a Dream ( 2000 ).




1ST FULL TRAILER: 2017's GHOST IN THE SHELL!



With Marvel Studios' hugely successful DOCTOR STRANGE comic adaptation now in the rear-view mirror, it feels like there's some room for Paramount to unveil the trailer for their highly-anticipated GHOST IN THE SHELL live-action movie.

Starring Scarlett Johansson, plus Juliette Binoche and Takeshi Kitano, GHOST IN THE SHELL already has a built-in cult following from the acclaimed manga comics and numerous animated movies. Indeed, it is hoped to be a huge break-out movie, following as it does, in the wake of two notable Johansson indie sci-fi films ( LUCY, and UNDER THE SKIN ) plus her ongoing and very popular appearances as Black Widow in MARVEL'S AVENGERS franchise juggernaut.

That it is the first major comic-book movie in the current era that is not from either Marvel or DC, can only heighten the anticipation, while at the same time capitalising on the seemingly-endless contemporary demand for adapted comic properties.


Ghost In The Shell opens on March 31st, 2017.


TRAILER


Sunday, 13 November 2016

FALL / WINTER 2016!

Hang in there folks, we will be back!


'FUTURE-ROCKER GAL' by Axel Ki, June 2016 remix

Thursday, 20 October 2016

NEW SCANDROID ALBUM IMMINENT!

The greatest 80s Synth-Rock band that never existed is about to release its debut album!

One of the many brainchildren of production mastermind Klayton ( who is also Circle of Dust, Argyle Park and of course, the legendary Celldweller ), Scandroid are the spiritual gene-splice of New Romantic pop stars Duran Duran and William Gibson's Neuromancer.

The album features 15 tracks of ridiculously catchy cyber-rock, ideal for those late nights when you've got Near Dark, Bladerunner or Akira on subtitles and you want a more rockin' soundtrack to go with the visuals.




''The debut, self-titled Scandroid album features 15 tracks, ranging from the driving instrumental energy of "Destination Unknown," to melodic vocal tracks like "Awakening With You," "Aphelion," and "Neo-Tokyo," rounded out with the cinematic epics "2517" & "Singularity." As a child of the 80's, Klayton has also included a cover of the classic Tears For Fears song "Shout," that he has been patiently waiting to cover since he first heard the song on U.S. radio in 1985. The digital album concludes with a bonus remix from synthwave artist Waveshaper. The 72 minute album depicts themes of a cyberpunk future where humans and sentient robots struggle to find a connection in their dystopian world.''

The album is out on November 11th, with an early-bird release the day before, via the label website ( see below ).

'THE ULTIMATE IN RETRO-TECH'

Yes, for Eighties completists, you can also experience the album via the extremely convenient cassette format!



This and many other collectables are available at FIXTSTORE.



PRETTY HATE MACHINE: 25 TODAY!

NINE INCH NAILS classic debut album was released on this day, 25 years ago. 



At the time something of an indie sleeper hit, composer / musician Trent Reznor's album grew in momentum over a period of months and years, eventually achieving Gold status ( 500,000 copies in the US ) in 1992.
By that time, it's aggression, angst and introversion was perfectly synched with the grunge wave that took over 90's rock culture, simultaneously making industrial music palatable to the mainstream, with acts following in NIN's wake such as Stabbing Westward, Filter and Orgy.

Pretty Hate Machine was certified Triple Platinum in the US ( 3,000,000 copies sold ) in 2003. 

After being out of print for several years due to legal wrangles with original label TVT, Pretty Hate Machine was re-released in remastered form in 2010.



SEE ALSO:



NIN PHM 2010:





Thursday, 15 September 2016

LATE SUMMER TUNES

While we chase up interviews and compile the next edition, check out these great vids and tunes that we've been listening to lately.













Monday, 25 April 2016

DEADPOOL'S TIM MILLER DIRECTS THE DC UNIVERSE!

Relax, these amazing short clips ( see below ) were made several years ago by Blur Studios for DC/Warners, but have now recently become part of cinematic history because they put Tim Miller in the director's chair for this year's Deadpool movie. 

Below: The Flash, by Blur Studios. Dir: Tim Miller



Executives working with X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn had seen these clips, and wisely decided Miller should direct his own movie. Having no track record with mega-budget films, he was handed the Deadpool gig by Fox because of the film's smaller budget, and therefore scaled-down expectations. 

Deadpool was cinematic lightning-in-a-bottle: With loyal fan support, a sustained and rather genius marketing campaign, plus a sympathetic release date ( there had been no superhero movies for six months prior to its opening ), it was in the right place at the right time. Add to that, the surge of goodwill towards actor Ryan Reynolds' efforts in getting his pet project made, and it was almost inevitable that Deadpool went on the become a mega-hit, and the biggest-grossing X-Men related movie to date.

So let's kick back and enjoy these clips...and ponder how the DC Cinematic Universe will shape up. Particularly notable is Wonder Woman ( in the first clip ). We are effectively given a tantalising glimpse of what her own movie may look like, now that the dust has settled on her electrifying debut in the recent Zack Snyder-directed Batman vs Superman.

Enjoy!


Below: DC Universe Online, 2011







Below: Arkham Origins, 2013



Monday, 11 April 2016

'VICTORIA' MOVIE - THE OPENING SCENE, Directed by Sebastian Schipper



A festival favourite over the last few months, the film is notorious for its central conceit: It's a heist thriller filmed in only one take. That's right, a two-hour-plus film, with no edits.

Surprisingly, it lost out on a Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination due to the large amount of English dialogue, which seems somewhat ridiculous, not to mention unfair. If the director, writers, cast and crew are German ( with the exception of lead actress, Spain's Laia Costa )...then it's a German film, surely? Enjoy this very atmospheric opening sequence. 

WARNING: Contains strong strobe lighting.

Friday, 1 April 2016

FANTASTIC PROOF-OF-CONCEPT CLIP: 'RISE'



From up-and-coming film-maker David Karlak, and currently under development at Warners, this fantastic clip looks like a superb addition to the hot trend for 'sentient machine' movies that we flagged up last year with Ex_Machina, Chappie and Automata. Science Fiction always has a knack of cleverly assimilating contemporary fears and paranoias into the realm of fantastic fables...is there something in the air, we wonder? Clip features Star Trek's Anton Yelchin, and Man in the High Castle's Rufus Sewell.

Can't wait to see the full movie! 


Thursday, 10 March 2016

'POINTERS': CRUSHING NEW EDM / METALCORE TRACK FROM THE ALGORITHM!


Want that floppy disk? Get it here.


'UNCANNY VALLEY': 3DAR's GLITCHING SCI-FI SHORT!

3DAR, a company with offices in the US, Argentina and Brazil, have released this spectacular VR sci-fi clip. Check it out!


WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: FEDERICO HELLER
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: GERMAN HELLER & BRANDON MASEDA
ANIMATION DIRECTOR: FERNANDO MALDONADO
VFX PRODUCTION DESIGNER: JORGE TERESO
LEAD VFX ARTIST: FEDERICO CARLINI
LEAD 3D ARTIST: MARCO LOCOCO
VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR: FEDERICO HELLER
DIGITAL ART DIRECTOR: PABLO OLIVERA
CGFX TD: ALAN RINALDI
PRODUCER: FEDERICO HELLER
VFX PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: MARIA JOSE TABARES
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: NAZARENO ALBA / CELESTE LOIS
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: NICOLAS TROVATO / FERNANDO LORENZALE
ART DIRECTOR: LOLA SOSA
ORIGINAL SCORE : CYRILLE MARCHESSEAU
MUSIC MIX: RODOLPHE GERVAIS
AUDIO POST BY IMPOSSIBLE ACOUSTIC: BRENDAN J. HOGAN & JAMIE HUNSDALE

Thursday, 11 February 2016

OK GO: UPSIDE DOWN AND INSIDE OUT



Check out this beautiful video, filmed entirely in free-fall using no green screen or digital effects.

Directors: Damian Kulash & Trish Sie


'HIGH RISE': NEW MOVIE, STARRING TOM HIDDLESTON

Based on JG Ballard's 1975 novel, and flying the flag for the polarising 'brutalist' architecture of post-war UK, this great-looking clip and poster campaign ( courtesy of Empire Design ), make director Ben Wheatley's film a refreshing alternative to the forthcoming flood of US fantasy blockbusters in 2016.







All art: Empire Design

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

COKE'S 'HULK vs. ANT-MAN' AD

After Fox's DEADPOOL ( released Wednesday in the UK and Friday in the US ), there are SIX more major comic-book adaptations to come this year. This brilliant advert, featuring two long-time Marvel stalwarts, is surely the precursor of what will be a tsunami of brand promotions and tie-ins, all off the back of what is now a hotly contested and multi-billion dollar industry.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

'THE VCR SAVED BLADERUNNER' - DESIGN LEGEND SYD MEAD INTERVIEWED!


Clip courtesy of Collider Videos

BLAST FROM THE PAST: 'GIRL & ROBOT' BY ALEXI K ( 2006 )

We thought the colour scheme of this analog-to-digital sketch ( done in 2006 ) would go quite nicely with the current 'UltraViolet' edition of this blog...

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR THE 2016 ELECTRONIC ROCK SPECIAL EDITION!


Sunday, 31 January 2016

BRAND-NEW FIXT SIGNING: THE ALGORITHM

Anything new on FIXT is a big deal, and this French signing ( formed in 2009 by programmer and composer Rémi Gallego, with drummer Mike Malyan added in 2011 ), is no exception. 
A mixture of Mathcore, Melodic Metal, and Prog Rock, The Algorithm's complicated soundscapes are perfectly encapsulated by their band logo: An unreadable piss-take of a 'Black Metal' insignia guaranteed to generate interest from the modern metal hardcore...as well as great t-shirt sales!




Wednesday, 27 January 2016

2016 ELECTRONIC ROCK SPECIAL: SYBREED, ZARDONIC, BLUE STAHLI, CELLDWELLER, JUNKIE XL!!

The following edition contains fantastic new interviews with Thomas from SYBREED, giving us the low-down on the demise of that band and the formation of his new one, OBSYDIANS, PLUS we have more ZARDONIC, ( tour interview and album review ), AND comprehensive reviews of the new FIXT releases by BLUE STAHLI & CELLDWELLER, plus a BRAND-NEW JUNKIE XL DEADPOOL MOVIE TRACK!




FUTURE-ROCKER IS THE HOME OF FUTURE DESIGN, ART, MOVIES, AND ELECTRONIC ROCK.


Tuesday, 26 January 2016

NEWS! : DEADPOOL SOUNDTRACK...SPOT THE ( highly apt ) 'BEAT IT' SAMPLE!




The ever-dependable Milan Records* are releasing the Deadpool digital soundtrack on the same day that the film is released ( February 12th ), with the physical version arriving on March 4th. Junkie XL ( who also did Mad Max: Fury Road ) will be scoring the movie. As with other recent films, you can use the tracklist to attempt to figure out the film's plot in advance of its release. Although we here at Future Rocker HQ, are slightly puzzled as to how the story goes from 'A Face I Would Sit On' straight to Wham's schmaltzy 80s disco classic 'Careless Whisper', at the movie's finale..!

1. Angel of the Morning – Juice Newton
2. Maximum Effort
3. Small Disruption
4. Shoop – Salt-N-Pepa
5. Twelve Bullets
6. Man In A Red Suit
7. Liam Neeson Nightmares
8. Calendar Girl – Neil Sedaka
9. The Punch Bowl
10. Back To Life
11. Every Time I See Her
12. Deadpool Rap – Teamheadkick
13. Easy Angel
14. Scrap Yard
15. This Place Looks Sanitary
16. Watership Down
17. X Gon’ Give It To Ya - DMX
18. Going Commando
19. Let’s Try To Kill Each Other
20. Stupider When You Say It
21. Four Or Five Moments
22. A Face I Would Sit On
23. Careless Whisper – WHAM!

Below: Yes, this poster is real! Another classic from the exceptional DEADPOOL marketing campaign.


*Future Rocker has very happy college memories of the fantastic HARDWARE soundtrack, featuring Pil, Ministry and Pavarotti.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

CLASSIC TRACK: SYBREED'S 'EGO BYPASS GENERATOR', FROM THE ALBUM 'ANTARES'





CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL
ELECTRONIC ROCK SPECIAL!

OBSYDIANS IS THE NEW SYBREED: INTERVIEW WITH THOMAS 'DROP' BETRISEY

''I think 'Antares' is my fave too. I want to go more that way for OBSYDIANS.''


A rather nice but somewhat bittersweet aspect to the internet culture, is that you can unwittingly become a fan of a band years after they've stopped operating. So, while there are undoubtedly people out there still writing fan letters to Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison, you also get people like us at Future-Rocker getting massively into bands only to find, after a few Googles, that they no longer exist.

So it is with the monumental SYBREED. Formed in Switzerland in 2003 by guitarist and producer Thomas 'Drop' Betrisey, they were a virtuoso industrial metal band whose sound encapsulated tight-as-a-gnat's-arse metalcore riffage and the best use of a melodic/harsh vocal style since Ihsahn of Black Metal legends Emperor ( whom the singer Benjamin sometimes resembled vocally ).

Sybreed's four albums each built upon and refined their big, layered sound, but for us at Future-Rocker, it is the glorious 'Antares' ( the second album ) that is a true rock classic. Crushing industrial grooves, and screamed vocals contrasted with soaring, stadium-shagging choruses, cloaked in an otherworldly cosmic atmosphere, it is a truly uplifting sonic experience.



 We discovered 'Antares' thanks to French metal singer Rachel Aspe's heroic cover version of the album's opening track, 'Emma-O', on France Has Got Talent. We ask Thomas what it was like to see Sybreed gather a new following after the band sadly imploded.

FUTURE-ROCKER: First of all, we have to ask – what did you think of Rachel Aspe’s performance on France Has Got Talent?

I think it was pretty cool to see this on local television. I know a lot of people have been impressed by her performance. Also it's great to hear Sybreed's music on prime-time TV, and that would have never happened without this kind of performance. I would have liked it more if she were singing the chorus with clean vocals, but it was about a woman with a male voice so it would have been less impressive for a certain type of person.

Did you know that she was going to be doing it?

Yes. She wrote me a few months before, to ask if I could provide an instrumental version of Emma-0. I had to reopen the old Antares sessions and make a really quick mix before sending it over, but I think that was worth the time. And also I'm happy for her, I think this has contributed to her being hired by the French band ETHS.

How do you feel about it getting your music so much attention, given that Sybreed is no longer functioning?

It's always great to have your music broadcasted and liked by people, even after the band's death ... Anyway, I would prefer having less attention, and Sybreed still on air, but life's what it is, the balance between good and bad needs to be in the middle. Really great things happened since the split, things that would have not been the same with Sybreed alive.

Sybreed were a fantastic band, whose stature has probably grown since you split.

Thanks!

For those that don’t know, why did you split up?

The singer Benjamin decided to quit the band right before a huge European tour with Soilwork. He had some personal problems, and he had no other choice. I decided to not continue the band without him. I think the singer is more than 50% of the bands identity. I prefer to start something new, it's called Obsydians, it will be Sybreed-like music, with other singers.

Explain how you started out. How did you get to be both a great musician as well as producer?

My father is a musician, so I was kinda born with a guitar in my hands. I remember he has a Casio guitar that was making helicopter noises, a good thing to make your little boy start playing guitar, haha! I started writing songs at ten years old, recording with a tape machine he also bought for me. So I assume if people like my music, they have to thank him first.
I started my first band, Rain, in 1997, releasing a demo, three albums and two EP's until 2003. During these years the line up evolved, becoming Sybreed's line up. We decided to change name in 2004 and recorded our first album 'Slave Design', then 'Antares', 'The Pulse of Awakening', and finally, 'God is an Automaton' in 2012.
Besides that, I started producing bands since 2003, the first studio was called The Drone Studio, in my room. It all started when Rain's producer had to find a better job and he told me to finish the last EP on my own. And since 2011, I have Downtone Studio with two friends, a much bigger one this time. I'm really busy on it.

What’s the music scene like in Switzerland? - Along with Samael, Apollyon Sun ( Tom Gabriel's first band after Celtic Frost broke up ), and Young Gods, it’s seems that industrial rock and metal is quite prominent there.

I'm not really aware of the scene in Switzerland but I know we have a lot of great bands. Samael was my favorite band when I was a teenager, they changed a lot my way of making music, they were the major influence of my first band Rain.
I record a lot of bands in my studio Downtone Studio in Geneva, some good industrial metal from Switzerland, bands like Clawerfield and Nakaruga, that all the Sybreed fans will like for sure, check them out.
Also, my friends Promethee from Geneva are becoming big right now, I'm happy 'cause they really deserve it!

Are you also a permanent member of Samael, or was filling in on bass just a temporary thing?

Yes, I'm a permanent member now, I exchanged my guitar with a bass and let's go. I'm really happy about it, as I told you it was my favorite band some years ago, so it's like a child's dream coming true.

Below: Thomas ( left ) with SAMAEL.



 What are your influences?

I'm influenced by music, all kinds of music, from metal to electronic, I also really like rock music. I prefer melodic things. When I go on tour or on holiday, the traditional music of the country I'm in can provide some ideas too. I like to jam, but usually I have a melody or a riff in my mind before starting to record it. Everything needs to be done really quickly, without thinking a lot. I like honest things, the ideas of the moment. All Sybreed songs were composed really fast. Sometimes I don't even remember the song the day after, and that's good because I can be the external ear myself, haha!

Without wanting to limit what you do by labelling it...how do you describe your music?

Metal with electronics, cinematic influences and athletic riffs - ( producer ) Rhys Fulber found this last description, I think it's funny and true at the same time. I like a lot of layers, the music needs to be as wide as possible.

Give us your Top 5 list of classic albums, any genres.

This is not easy to chose, so I will write the first 5 that comes into my head, but you have to know there are around 100 more to add to that list :

* Samael "Passage"
* Depeche Mode "Songs of Faith and Devotion"
* The Smashing Pumpkins "Machina - The Machines of God"
* In Flames "Whoracle" or "The Jester Race" (impossible to chose here)
* Katatonia "The Great Cold Distance"

What are you listening to at the moment?

At this precise moment I'm under a palm tree in Mexico, listening to Soilwork's "The Ride Majestic" which is one of their best records to date, I really like it.
Ghost's "Meliora". For now it's my album of the year, so great, but a bit short. I love this band since the first album.
The new Soulsavers album ( Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode's side project ). I like the German electro producer Paul Kalkbrenner, he just released his new album "7" and I really like the vibe.
Leprous "The Congregation" what a great surprise, finally something fresh in metal.
Otherwise I like almost everything Ulver does, also the British band White Lies and also Foals, they both have they own style and it's hard to beat their melodies. And the list goes on and on.

What famous artists would you like to produce, and why?

Sevendust! I really liked their albums "Animosity" and "Seasons", and I think it went down since then, the albums need a wider sound and better arrangements!
Depeche Mode, that would be THE dream, and then I will be allowed to die in peace hahaha.

By the way, we're reviewing the Celldweller 'End of an Empire' box-set in this issue. We notice that you've done some great Celldweller remixes in the past. Have you actually met Klayton, or was it all done over the internet?


Thanks !! Actually I never met him, I never even got in touch with him at all, hahaha. The remix kits were downloadable on his website. I know, I just exploded some of the magic, but that's what it is!

( Just thinking out loud, how great would it be to hear a Drop-produced Samael album, or maybe even a remix album...that would be too good to be true! ).
Finally, bringing us fully up-to-date, we heard that your new band, OBSYDIANS, is apparently going to release an album soon. True?

Mmm, I would have loved to say yes, but we only have a few riffs, and my schedule of the past two years has been really tight, and we didn't have the time to write properly. But I'm planning to start it before the end of the 2015. Anyway, don't expect anything before fall of 2016.

Below: An early selfie of OBSYDIANS ( l-r Thomas, Ales & Kevin ).



When the band debuts, what can the fans expect from your new music?

Sybreed! And the concept is to have different singers on all the songs, a really diverse album, with a lot of different influences. I already have some ideas written down in my phone, so now we just need to start writing songs for the singers we'd like to be on board.

Your second album 'Antares' was / is an all-time classic.

Thanks a bunch, man. I think 'Antares' is my fave too. I want to go more on that way for Obsydians.

Are you on a label yet?

No label for now. And I think we'll start releasing songs on BandCamp, then we'll see.

Any tours lined up?

Nothing for now, Samael's schedule is really busy too, and I don't want it to collide, 'cause I know Obsydians will have to cancel shows. And with a different singer in each song, that would be hard to tour. But we want to make some shows for sure, so this will happen before the world ends - I need to be quick, I think!
Also, I forgot to mention that Ales and Kevin from Sybreed, respectively bassist and drummer are permanent members of Obsydians. So when I say Sybreed as the key-word, I know I'm right.

Your next live appearance with Samael will be on the '70,000 Tons of Metal' tour in a couple of weeks. Sounds like a great excuse for a paid holiday, with a who's-who of mostly European metal. Your thoughts?

I'm looking forward to it! I know some people that already did this experience, as a band or as a fan, both sides told me it's something extraordinary. Samael already did the trip a few years ago. So yeah, I'm really excited about it. Metalheads in Jamaica, what an interesting concept!

Fantastic, thanks for bringing us up-to-date, Thomas!

Thanks to you!!

/////////////////////////////////////////////////

CLICK HERE IF YOU HAVEN'T YET HEARD OUR CLASSIC SYBREED TRACK 'EGO BYPASS GENERATOR'