Glitching it up on the campaign to set Wall Street ablaze, Cyanotic join Angelspit and MyParasites on the Wall Street Massacre Tour, 2012.
An InterView with Sean Payne of Cyanotic
By: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
Three heavy hitters of the modern electro/industrial underground have joined forces to wage an all out assault on corporatism and greed – the Wall Street Massacre tour. From the glitch-laden pseudo-hip-hop electro punk of Angelspit to the guttural drum & bass by way of coldwave viciousness of Cyanotic to the pounding melodic darkness and rage of My Parasites, these three bands are sure to unleash a furious fire that rivetheads all across North America can revel in. Full of volume and vigor, ReGen is proud to have had the opportunity to take part in the bloody campaign, continuing with this InterView with the Glitch Lord himself, Cyanotic’s Sean Payne. Watch and listen as Payne reminisces on the progression of his music and the state of industrial rock, paying tribute to the departed Jamie Duffy, and how the Glitch Mode Squad joins in the fight to terrorize Wall Street!
After the release of the much anticipated The Medication Generation, your reputedly vigorous touring schedule seemed to taper off… What was the reason for this, and what prompted you to take on the Wall Street Massacre Tour?
Payne: Well, we had our last tour in June 2011 with Frontline Assembly and Acucrack. Three months after that tour, I got the opportunity to get the studio space and just kind of like launched myself into that, trying to get a platform of people I’m working with and solidifying the team and making sure that we were getting the best gear for in here to record – and then also just taking our time figuring out a lot of new aspects with mixing. You know, that was some of the last stuff we worked on; Jamie Duffy was really starting to learn how to hone, you know, compression and EQ and all that fun stuff that has pretty much taken the better part of a decade, but we’re finally grasping. The Angelspit meet up was we met each other in New York, played there with Dismantled. They were really cool guys, and we didn’t meet Amelia (Arsenic – a.k.a. DestroyX), so it was just really cool guys. I’m sure she’s a really cool girl, but we’re going to meet up officially in a few weeks here. And these guys were really cool, big fans. They knew our tracks, I knew their tracks, and we thought it would just make sense that we put our heads together to make some sort of fiendish, cyberpunk kind of tour, you know, with an anti-corporatism kind of slant to it. And that’s how the Wall Street Massacre Tour became a reality.
Much of your music had dealt with topics of a more personal nature. Addiction, illness, and observations about the scene (as in ‘F@5H10N V1CT1M’) and society while only marginally touching on politics and corporatism. So, now embarking on the Wall Street Massacre Tour, what are your thoughts on the current state of corporatism today?
Payne: Corporatism and the media, they have a dual nature about themselves, a double-edged sword, kind of. Necessary tools, but they’re also extreme evils. With the new album that we’ve been writing, there’s been a lot more of a universal apocalyptic feel to it, post-apocalyptic feel to it, because, you know, we dealt with transhumanism and then drug addiction and then media addiction on the first couple of albums. And then, with Worst Case Scenario, it’s kind of like the all-encompassing product of the overintegration of technology and the overreliance on technology and drugs and media. It has an extreme kind of anti-corporatism angle to it, but not in like a Project Mayhem kind of Fight Club kind of way; just when the world is in ruins, there’s not going to be, you know, mega-corporations with strangleholds. The world is going to be in ruins, and we’re kind of trying to put ourselves in that mindset for finishing up this album, so we’ve been holing up in what we call ‘the bunker’ here, because it’s four rooms at Glitch Mode, but there are no windows. You’re in a big, black spaceship that happens to have strange lighting. It’s been helpful for inspiration – you know, watch The Thing in here, watch John Carpenter’s version of The Thing in here and then try to not write something that feels kind of grim. And that’s pretty much the mindset for Worst Case Scenario.
Touring is often a physically and financially taxing endeavor, and as Cyanotic has done numerous tours, what sorts of personal routines or regiments do you and the band follow when hitting the road to keep you going?
Payne: As we’ve gotten older, partying less, taking more of an adult approach to making sure that this is actually a fine-tuned machine instead of a bunch of rivethead frat kids just getting wasted and roaming the U.S. and Canada. We made a conscious decision just that we have to keep this going because it’s the thing that makes us all hopeful for some part of the year, you know. It’s great to know there’ll be a tour on the horizon if we get a certain amount of songs ready for release. It feels good that we built some sort of momentum in the past decade. I mean, we’ve been around for a decade, but we haven’t officially had anything out except… we’re past nine years for the demo, but no one remembers the first Cyanotic demo; like, only hardcore bastards. We were in our infancy stages for, I’d say, the first seven years of our lifespan. And thanks to all those big influences of ours, all the coldwave, synthcore guys – 16volt, Acumen Nation, especially Chemlab… getting to work with those guys and having them take us under their wing really helped us hone our onstage performance and our ability to cope with all of the intoxicating chemicals that can abound after a show.
You recently performed at the ColdWaves Tribute to Jamie Duffy, who was an integral part of the band’s development – not just as an influence, but also working directly with him on your most recent releases… What would you say are the most important lessons you’ve learned from him – in any capacity: professional, technical, personal, etc.?
Payne: Jamie was always a consummate professional who would never get out of line, would always say, ‘Thank you, ma’am,’ ‘Hello, sir.’ Was always very cordial, was always very kind to people, was always, you know, the guy to give change to the homeless guy that everyone else passed up on the street. I’m serious, too; that’s not me painting Jamie Duffy as Mother Theresa. He was genuinely a dear friend. I was so happy that he became a part of our lives in the last few years. He just had a really good symbiotic understanding of audio and, now that he’s gone, we’re just going to have latency forever, you know. Latency prevails without his protocol. But, beyond that, what he really taught me about production, being a producer, and being a friend was to, first and foremost, remember that you’re a human and you should be humane and don’t talk down to anybody and remember that everybody has conflicts and not to let yourself become a self-obsessed narcissist. Lots of people like to say, ‘What an amazing legacy the man had,’ and they don’t even know half of his discography, but, nonetheless, Jamie Duffy’s understanding of sound and his understanding of human relationships will be greatly missed by all of the people that were close to him over the years. And I know that we’re looking at pictures of Jamie on this wall at Glitch Mode that were hung, you know, a year ago. They weren’t just like, ‘Oh, Jamie’s dead. We’re going to put up some pictures of DJ? Acucrack.’ I’m staring at four pictures of Jamie right now on my wall. Like, he’s never going to be forgotten by us and we’ve got to be able to live on with the spirit and the kind of determination that that guy had. It was very sad. It was a very sad event that had a very positive conclusion because all those bands came together to play all of Jamie’s favorites, and no one even had to say, ‘Hey, are we playing Jamie’s favorites?’ Everybody knew what songs were Jamie’s favorites just from the get go. There was no question that we were going to make a proper memoriam to him and I really felt like that was probably the closest I’ve ever felt to being involved in a hive mind understanding. Everyone was dead set centered on just making it a real monument, a real memoriam to a great guy’s time on this planet that was way too fucking short.
And what’s next for Cyanotic after this tour?
Payne: Well, before the tour, we have a bunch of releases that have been either in the fetal stages or are just now being done that we’re having to wrap up. We haven’t been conscious of the fact that we’ve been withholding all this material, but at the point that it did become obvious to me that we should be releasing a lot of this stuff… at that point, we had stockpiled so much material that it’s feeling nice, for once, to have a steady amount of releases planned, and I don’t have to keep wondering what’s next because we’ve got a lot of projects nearing completion that can then piggyback onto promotion of another release. We have stockpiled such an extremely long list of projects and tracks the past 12 months that we’re setting ourselves up and it feels really good because that can kind of help self-sustain the business and help be a constant source of income while not having to be our only source of income because a lot of the income is coming from engineering. I’ll do a lot of recording and engineering in the studio for local hip-hop or whatever. Now that we’re in the final couple of months of 2012, we’ve got a tour… well, two tours, two U.S. and Canada tour legs happening pretty much back to back; it’s time for an audio visual floodgate to open up. Now that we’re fully in charge of it and think out the PR plans, and we think out the promo strategies and we’re able to completely control the product, we’re able to start exploring some really interesting avenues.
Payne: I’m really looking forward to being able to get back out on the road and this is going to be the most sane that I’ve ever gone out. I feel like I’ve got the most competent live band incarnation, so far – Jordan from Common Man Down on live synths and backing vocals, and Paul Wood from Murder Happens and the WaxTrax! Restrospectacle incarnation of KMFDM, and then of course, you know, Chris (Hryniewiecki) and I have pretty much been the only consistent members live. But for once, after years of a constantly rotating cast of characters, it feels, you know… watch me jinx it. But it feels like we have a pretty solid setup this time and I’m really excited to get back on the road and see all these people that we think about all the time. We’ve got a huge year ahead of us and I really can’t wait until we’re able to have done both of those legs of the tour. We’re finally going some places on the tour where we haven’t been in like five years. Like Atlanta. We always have people harassing us, specifically a couple of good guys, to come play Atlanta. Just today I was like, ‘Hey, guess what. You guys can’t bitch. We’re coming back to Atlanta.’ You know? I mean, being able to do two legs back to back is going to be really exciting and I just can’t wait because this is going to be our first proper co-headlining tour and it’s with a band that I have always liked since the moment I heard them, which was like the same time Transhuman came out. Their first album came out and I was like, ‘Oh, wouldn’t that be cool? We could go on tour with these guys.’ They’re like kind of our equivalent except they have a female vocalist. So, I’m really excited to see how this is all going to play out because I’m seeing a lot of faces and names via the Twitters and Facebooks. I’m seeing a lot of names just kind of popping up, like, ‘Oh, wow, cool. You guys are on tour again. I can’t wait.’ And see you in so and so. It’s going to be really good to get back out on the road and show people what we can do now that we’ve spent the past better half of the decade accruing battle scars.