Dec 2020 14

Returning to the darker, harsher sounds of the band’s electro/EBM roots, PreEmptive Strike 0.1 has a new lease on musical life in this special InterView contribution to ReGen Magazine.
 

 

An InterView with Jim “The Blaster” and Yiannis “Dseq” Chatzakis of PreEmptive Strike 0.1

By Dimitrios Mistriotis (DiMist)

With the late September release of The Dread Files, electro/EBM act PreEmptive Strike 0.1 embarked on a new chapter in the band’s development. As the first release since the departure of longtime member George Klontzas, the core duo of Jim “The Blaster” and Yiannis “Dseq” Chatzakis began to forge a new, more aggressively creative path that took the band back to the boot-stomping power of the live arena. The four new tracks on The Dread Files EP allowed the pair to focus on their collective and individual strengths for a more streamlined version of the band’s sound, resulting in what could be PS01’s most accomplished and definitive effort to date, with remixes by fellow dark electro rabble rousers like Implant, Llumen, The Juggernauts, and IC 434 rounding things out. In this special contribution from Dimitrios Mistriotis, ReGen now presents this InterView with “The Blaster” and “Dseq” about PS01’s latest evolution of sound and style, the remixes on the EP, playing live, and adjusting to life amid the COVID-19 quarantine.
This interview can also be found in its original form on the PreEmptive Strike 0.1 Interviews page.

 

Let’s start with the follow ups from the last release, Progeny of the Technovore. How was it received and how do you feel about it looking back? I feel, and please correct me if wrong, that media response was a bit more quiet than usual.

The Blaster: Progeny of the Technovore had some good reviews praising us because we did something different, which combined dark electro/EBM with goa trance. It also got a place in a few charts for some weeks, so I will disagree with your statement. Now, if you want my opinion, I would not do again a release with similar sound as it is not one of my most favorite genres as a fan. I lean towards old-school dark electro, and especially in the last two years more towards retro ‘worshipping’ these as a fan.
Additionally, for three months, we did four live shows to promote it, two of them outside Greece, something which had not happened in the past. I really enjoyed/loved it after a while; listening to some specific songs, these moments come back to my mind, making me feel very nostalgic.

What are your thoughts on the album looking back? For me, I enjoy it a lot, but do not have that many tracks that I could come back to.

The Blaster: In either case, some tracks will become what we call ‘classics’ and will be performed at any of our live performances in the future, such as ‘Constriction Process,’ ‘Xenobiological Exodeity,’ and of course my most loved, ‘Tactical Nuke Incoming.’ I will agree with you, probably you refer to tracks not having memorable refrains, having more ‘abstract’ trance structures, although I am not responsible for this. I have to add that it had an amazing cover and corresponding artwork in general.

 

 

Describe to us your latest release, The Dread Files – music, lyrics, artwork.

The Blaster: Yiannis wrote all the music and I compiled the lyrics. Three out of four tracks are dedicated both from lyrics and corresponding samples to the three major works of Lucio Fulci, which are ‘Wormfaced Cadavers’ for Zombie Flesh Eaters, ‘Doctor Dread’ for House by the Cemetery, and ‘You Will Wake Up in Terror’ for The Beyond. ‘Evolution Retribution’ has a sci-fi theme with samples taken from The Children of the Damned. The artwork again is the work of Vlad McNeally and every quadrant of the cover depicts a corresponding track! I believe it is something that happens for the first time in this scene!

How is it different from the previous one?

The Blaster: 100% different from Progeny of the Technovore! I do not think it has many trance influences as it is more based on old-school dark electro patterns – a back to the roots approach, I would say. Also, lyrically, as I mentioned, before it is very different. As all fans of the band know, PreEmptive Strike 0.1 never releases the same record twice!

Dseq: The main difference with Progeny… in my opinion is that there is more atmosphere in the tracks with the harsh element being less present. The BPMs are lower while aesthetically, it is closer to dark electro more than the trance side of the scene, although I believe there are still elements that refer to the recent PS01 style specially in ‘Evolution/Retribution.’

Where can someone find it?

The Blaster: Either straight from DWA, which released it in limited vinyl and MCD on September 25, 2020, and from everywhere else in Europe from where it is officially released after December 11, 2020.

 

 

How has the composing/recording flow changed? How is it working only with Yiannis?

The Blaster: Not many things changed; simply, we have 100% non-overlapping roles. Yiannis does all the music, synths, and programming, while I do all related to drums, lyrics, vocals, samples without anyone stepping on other’s toes. We discuss a lot about the structure of the tracks, something we did not have before. What has changed a lot is the production and the mastering, which for the first time is done by Yiannis with results making us feel that this is the right choice! About being only the two of us, I will repeat what has already been mentioned in previous interviews or statements, that it is far better to work with someone with whom you are friends and have more or less the same approach versus someone with whom you have to collaborate together without anything in common apart from being in the same band.

Dseq: This time, I had more ‘space’ to express my ideas. I generally like to write music and express myself based on how I feel at the time and what I listen to. Lately, I listen to lots of dark electro and modern techno/EBM. I would not like to repeat myself or do something that would look like a caricature of the established styles or sounds of the genre/scene. I would not even be able to do it.

A few words for each band remixing you, starting with Llumen.

The Blaster: We met all of them personally in Belgium when we played there and purposefully wanted to do this, connect with remixers only from this country!

PS01: Amazing guy – we hang out in Belgium, was our sound engineer. His band, although new, has a special sound.

Continuing with The Juggernauts.

PS01: A rising old-school EBM band from one of the oldest members of the scene who facilitates most of the live shows happening in this place. We did not expect them so easily to accept remixing us because our music differs a lot.

Then Implant.

PS01: There are not enough things to be told about Len Lemeire and this band. A unique, ‘magical’ figure in the genre with his remixes being memorable.

Finally, IC 434.

PS01: Fans of them since late ’90s; a major band, performed with them in Belgium this year. Great person and artist. Nothing else to say!

For the last two years, which are your favorite releases from EBM, industrial, and metal?

The Blaster: Metal releases (although the last two years I listen to less metal), Raubtier – Overlevare, Nachtblut – Vanitas, Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment.
EBM/industrial, Numb – Mortal Geometry, Synapsyche – In Praise of Folly, Hocico – Artificial Extinction, Suicide Commando – Mindstrip Redux, Placebo Effect – Shattered Souls, Atropine – Human Emulsion, Armageddon Dildos – Dystopia, Statiqbloom – Asphyxia, Heimatærde – Eigengrab, Technolorgy – Inevitably Versatile.

How has the whole COVID-19 thing has affected your band and how do you feel these days?

The Blaster: Do not want to say a lot. It is the worst that has ever happened to me because it contradicts with my way of life. I cannot find anything positive in being quarantined; whoever says the contrary is at least lying.

Dseq: Mood influences a lot my music writing. This quarantine isolation has a negative effect on how I feel. Definitely, there was time available to write/create music. As everything in life, this needs to be managed. Where it has definitely impacted the band negatively is the ability to play live.

On ‘Doctor Dread,’ is the base loop based on a classic electronic song? It feels eerily familiar, something like ‘Song For Denise’ from Piano Fantasia.

Dseq: No, it is not based on a particular song. I have listened to lots of ’80s music, so some of this might have an effect on the music I write.

Anything else you want to say to your followers and to people reading this?

The Blaster: Once the torture we live in is over, we will see each other again, either in live shows or events, parties, etc. Then and only then, we will write new material while we have the opportunity to present it live.

 

PreEmptive Strike 0.1
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Digital World Audio
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Photography provided courtesy of PreEmptive Strike 0.1

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