The therapy ends and the haunting begins as Ben V. brings ReGen further into the dark and deranged world of Ludovico Technique.
An InterView with Ben V. of Ludovico Technique
By Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
Delving into the darkest recesses of the deranged human mind to create the musical equivalent of psychological horror, Ludovico Technique offers a particularly bleak and atmospheric form of electro/industrial music. With 2012’s Some Things are Beyond Therapy and its corresponding remix album We Came to Wreck Everything a year later, along with several tours alongside the likes of Grendel, Nachtmahr, Imperative Reaction, and Ego Likeness to name but a small few, Ludovico Technique has managed to stand in a class all its own – viciously melodic yet aggressively caustic. Topped off with a singularly chiaroscuro-esque visual theme, presented quite effectively in music videos like “Potential” and the latest “Deeper Into You,” and you have just the smallest sense of what one of the current scene’s most exciting acts has to offer. With a new album in the works, Ben V. speaks with ReGen about the underlying themes of the band’s music – the discrepancies between the perception of normality and what the mind perceives, along with a few hints about the upcoming album, There are No Haunted Places, Only Haunted People.
In one of your past InterViews with ReGen, you’d stated, ‘I don’t want to get political publically.’ Of course, between social media and the great extent to which it seems people involve themselves in what’s going on socially and politically, as well as how they have significance in ‘industrial’ music (a blanket term, but perhaps an applicable one), to what extent you feel art and politics coincide, especially with regards to your music and lyrics?
V.: The motif of Ludovico Technique is one of the human condition, in regards to humanity’s psychological reaction to its surroundings, an eternal expression for the timeless emotions that human beings may suffer. We don’t find it artistically productive to use social media for topics that aren’t related to what we put in our music. If it’s not in your music, then it’s not worth saying – if it was worth saying, it would be in your music.
V.: So far, we’ve touched on a person grasping at the known world with its known rules, coming to terms with the realization that there is a disconnect between one’s mind and what one has learned to be normal. The material we are now writing is much more haunting. We have now started traveling down the path of that disconnected world and left the understanding of what is normal behind.
As stated, it has been very consistent – is it ever a concern of inadvertently falling into repetition (not that repetition in itself is a negative, but I refer to the extent of maintaining the interest of the audience)?
V.: While furthering and expanding our expression, we are accepted by a fan base – people who are outcasts in their own lives. We are outcasts in the so called ‘outcast’ genre. We find strength and a home in the camaraderie built on that understanding with our fans.
V.: Memories are in an emotional haze. I often say that if you listen to my lyrics, you more than likely know more about me than I would share in a conversation.
Having played live on tour and in numerous festivals over the years, with the upcoming Aftermath Festival being a highlight as you join several heavy hitters on the stage, what have you found to be the greatest challenges in taking your sound and visuals to the live environment?
What have you found to be the most rewarding aspects of playing live, both in terms of the presentation of your music and the audiences’ reactions?
V.: We don’t find it challenging because this is what we do. We thrive in that atmosphere. On stage is the only place we feel normal. Everywhere else we feel alien. The reason we feel normal is that we get that opportunity to connect to those who understand us, and exchange those emotions as one.
While your focus has been primarily on Ludovico Technique, Beyond Therapy is still an active label, one which you’ve said is to focus on giving some exposure to lesser known bands. How successful do you feel the imprint’s efforts have been for the artists that you’ve worked with?
What, if any, plans or ambitions with Beyond Therapy do you have that you’d like to see realized?
V.: The artists I’ve worked with who have passion, drive, and desire have been 100% worth it and I would do it everyday of my life. I love seeing artists who take their art seriously succeed, and help them in any way I can. Beyond Therapy Records is the place for underground artists who are not yet established to cut their teeth.
V.: New material will be released in the winter of 2015/16. I’ve always been one for classical elements and they are conducive to the emotions expressed on There are No Haunted Places, Only Haunted People. It is the natural progression, the next chapter of a story unraveling.