Your new album 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop' is actually out now, how are you feeling about it?
- "I couldn't be happier with the album and the response thus far has been incredible. I've always tried to surprise people with something different (if only trying to surprise myself) and 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop' has really been getting embraced as something pretty different than other albums out there right now. I've never heard anything else like it, and I don't say that lightly.''


You've coined the genre "jizzcore", what exactly would be the definition of it?
- ''Jizzcore is a joke "genre" I created making fun of artists who feel their massively original music couldn't POSSIBLY be defined by an already existing genre so they have to create a new one, when honestly most artists who do it aren't very original to begin with. It's basically trying to make yourself stand out by not actually showing it. As for a definition? Um, do whatever the hell you want. Yeah, that works.''


The Causticles?
- "The Causticles are myself and Brian from The Gothsicles. It's an idea we've had for years but are finally starting to finish up, as with our respective schedules of music stuff and real life it's been a slow process. Basically it's just big, stupid party music with a few other surprises thrown in. It's been a fucking blast to work on with him, as outside of a few tracks like "Lady Business" I don't necessarily write "funny" songs. The titles can (hopefully) be funny and maybe the concept is but I'm generally not trying to make people actually laugh or anything. The Causticles is the opposite, and we have some great songs going for it and some hysterical lyrics. We'll be doing our first live show opening for Assemblage 23 on November 9th here in Madison, WI (where I live) and it?s going to be ridiculous. www.facebook.com/thecausticles for more info."


You have some shows coming up, one in my neck of the woods by the way! (Wilmington, Delaware at Asylum 13.) What is your favorite song to perform live? And what can one expect from Caustic live?
- "Currently "Bury You Alive" has been the most fun live, if only to have a big crowd of people screaming "fuck you!" at me over and over. Otherwise I really enjoy playing all the tracks for the shows. I try and make a point to pull out tracks I haven't been enjoying too much so I can always be enthusiastic about them. Luckily doing a song like Emmanuel Lewis Handjob never gets old. And what to expect from the show? A big, gorgeous, fun mess o' music and me acting like an idiot. I never know exactly what's going to happen and love that about the shows."


There's a few east coast shows coming up this month, any others in general? Maybe a tour?
[- "Those were actually the last two Caustic shows I have booked for the year. I went on the road with Everything Goes Cold in July and August for a bunch of West Coast dates but only had enough time for a few East Coast dates, but I was excited to get back there. I grew up in New Jersey so was good seeing lots of old friends."


Your attitude towards "the scene" is awesome. I really dig the "stop sampling full metal jacket" tees. What are your thoughts about the
scene in general, and those who take it all too seriously?

- "I think people who give too much of a shit about what "the scene" thinks should start worrying more about why the fuck they care. "The Scene" is a random assortment of weirdos with a few things in common, and while I think it's good to foster a community, I think the goth/industrial/whatever scene as a whole suffers from a massive lack of creative thought these days, whether it be the music or the fashion or the overall attitude. I rarely say anything that a lot of other people aren't thinking, hence why people buy the Stop Sampling Full Metal Jacket shirts in droves, including a lot of the artists who have MADE those songs (Jos from Grendel was one of the first people to buy one, which gives people another reason to love the guy). Seriously, nothing I'm saying or doing is revolutionary? I just have the balls to say or do it in my own way. It's almost sadder that I stand out for things I say or do, because I consider my perspective pretty obvious, but then again I'm stuck in my own head all the time anyway. So maybe it?s not just creative thought we need it's balls. It's people willing to take a real chance, and not another band trying to smash some taboo smashed a decade (or two, or three) ago like having cyber chicks making out in their videos or doing hook suspensions, but some actually original shit, something we haven't seen presented the same way before. There are definitely examples out there, but there should be more. A lot more. Artists (and fans) in our scene take the cheap way out way too fucking often and because of that our music and scene have become stale. I'm just glad there are artists like Necro Facility, Encephalon, Everything Goes Cold, AIMON, and some others that are pushing things in different directions than the same easy crap I've heard a lot of the last few years. Basically it would be nice if our scene would start recognizing what's actually original out there and not all the hack, copy-of-a copy shit, but that's what the mainstream does with top 40 so why should we even try? Oh, that's right, because corporations aren't dictating what we should be listening to."


Your blog on Wordpress is pretty popular, did you ever think it would "explode" like it did on the interwebs in the circles of the scene?
- "Did it explode? I don't know. I guess some people read it, but my general mindset is while I may have X amount of readers, it's a fraction of what major music blogs get. I totally appreciate anyone who reads it though, as I try and be informative and/or at least entertaining, especially when I go off in rants. I'm not one of those people who thinks music is a competition, so if I can help someone get a basic set-up to start making music or offer some tips on getting booked for more shows then that's awesome. From the feedback I've gotten over the years the blogs have helped motivate some people to either start making music or think differently about different aspects of it, and if I inspired that I consider the blogs a complete success."


Speaking of your blog, anything currently stirring in your head that may end up as a post?
- "Right now I'm in the middle of getting a few hundred Kickstarter premiums out the door, so the only blog post I'm thinking about it is "What I learned from raising $15k on Kickstarter and how to avoid those mistakes again". Honestly I'm so burned out from promoting the album, doing shows, and working on Kickstarter pledges I haven't got anything inspired to share. I only write when I get an idea that I think has legs, so hopefully the creative blog juices will start flowing again soon. I view Caustic as a multi-media act: with design/art focused on fan products that aren't just run of the mill band logos, opinionated blogging that speaks the uncensored truth, music that isn't afraid to incorperate humor,etc. It's a package deal! What inspires you to go above and beyond? Because I can? To me there's a synergy in what I do and everything feeds into the same purpose, to create art (or content) that I feel best represents me/Caustic. I have a massive passion for all of the things I do and wish I could do them full time, but the reality is that I'm a guy who has two jobs on top of Caustic and a great "real life" as well, so I try and use the short time I have on this planet to enjoy myself and hopefully make other people's lives a bit better by making them smile or stomp around a bit now and again.I just don't want to waste my life, so I do a lot. It probably won't last forever, but like I said it's farther than I thought I'd get so why stop now? I've also tried to really stress how stupid it is to be afraid to tell the truth (or at least MY truth) or be what and who you want to be. Like I said there's a distinct sameness to our scene (and always has been, to an extent), but I try and just do what I do and inspire other people to do the same with their music. I take it as a point of pride that there isn't anyone else out there like me, and maybe that's because nobody WANTS to be like me (which I understand, as I rarely do as well), but also because I'm confident enough to know what and who I am as an artist. I'm also incredibly passionate about it and hope it shows, as this shit's just FUN to me, on every level, and the more people that jump on the Caustic train the better. I try and make the enthusiasm as infectious as possible, and so far it's worked out pretty damn well."


What is your favorite song or remix of your work? Why?
"That's a tough one, as this is my 6th full-length album in 7 years. I've also probably had more than a hundred remixes of my stuff as well. Maybe I'll be a little more general: My favorite songs of mine are ones that I didn't realize I could write, or better yet songs I haven't heard in this genre before. And a lot of my favorite remixes are the ones that totally deconstruct my tracks and take it in a direction I never would have expected. That's why I generally ask specific artists to do my stuff I want to hear their interpretation."


What programs and/or instruments do you use to make the Caustic sound come to life?
- "I've used FLStudio since day one, with a huge amount of VSTs and plug-ins. I use an old version of Soundforge to record and edit my vocals and a Korg Nanokey and Nanokontrol for my midi controllers. My whole DAW/studio set-up probably cost me well under $500, but I've spent a decent chunk of change on softsynths like Massive and Vanguard over the years. I keep it simple primarily because I'm broke, and more because you don't need to spend $10,000 to make good music if you're passionate about it and know what you want."


What artists / producers inspire Caustic?
- "For the new album I was inspired by a ton of artists, but some specifically that helped push me to create were Fucked Up with their concept album David Comes To Life, Die Warzau's Engine, Nine Inch Nails' Downward Spiral, and Tool's Aenima. Basically big albums with a lot of variation that took a ton of chances. I wanted to scare myself as much as I could with this album, doing things I was nervous wouldn't work to see if I could pull them off, and luckily I think I did for the most part. It's not perfect, but nothing is, especially Caustic. And that's how I like it."


Outside of music production, what are your interests?
- "I'm a huge comedy fan, which shouldn't surprise anyone who is familiar with me. Honestly if I had the time and energy I'd be focusing on trying to be a stand-up comedian, as it's something I've never explored as much as I wanted to and a lot of my heroes are more from that world than music. I started doing improve comedy again after a 5 year hiatus and that's been great, but mostly I just like relaxing when I have a free second, going to movies and hanging out with my wife and just enjoying my life as best I can."


What is your favorite festival, event, venue and/or party to perform at? Why?
- "I always have a great time in the UK as the people going to the festivals and shows I've played at have been incredibly kind and welcoming to Caustic. It's a huge trip getting in front of several hundred people across an ocean and having them sing along with you and know my music. That's fucking insane to me and blows my mind anytime I think about it. I also love playing there because it's great just being in such a different place. My wife and I love the UK and have often talked about moving there if we ever got the chance, so visiting and being treated so well by the crowds there just feels great."


Last but not least, is there anything you would like to add? Or mention? Anything you'd like to say to your fans reading this?
- "Just to please check out the new album, and thanks to all the people who have been kind enough to tell their friends. Word of mouth is everything to artists like me, and I never want people to think for a second that I don't appreciate the living hell out of it.Thanks."
Caustic interview
October 27, 2012
Brutal Resonance

Caustic

Oct 2012
Your new album 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop' is actually out now, how are you feeling about it?
- "I couldn't be happier with the album and the response thus far has been incredible. I've always tried to surprise people with something different (if only trying to surprise myself) and 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop' has really been getting embraced as something pretty different than other albums out there right now. I've never heard anything else like it, and I don't say that lightly.''


You've coined the genre "jizzcore", what exactly would be the definition of it?
- ''Jizzcore is a joke "genre" I created making fun of artists who feel their massively original music couldn't POSSIBLY be defined by an already existing genre so they have to create a new one, when honestly most artists who do it aren't very original to begin with. It's basically trying to make yourself stand out by not actually showing it. As for a definition? Um, do whatever the hell you want. Yeah, that works.''


The Causticles?
- "The Causticles are myself and Brian from The Gothsicles. It's an idea we've had for years but are finally starting to finish up, as with our respective schedules of music stuff and real life it's been a slow process. Basically it's just big, stupid party music with a few other surprises thrown in. It's been a fucking blast to work on with him, as outside of a few tracks like "Lady Business" I don't necessarily write "funny" songs. The titles can (hopefully) be funny and maybe the concept is but I'm generally not trying to make people actually laugh or anything. The Causticles is the opposite, and we have some great songs going for it and some hysterical lyrics. We'll be doing our first live show opening for Assemblage 23 on November 9th here in Madison, WI (where I live) and it?s going to be ridiculous. www.facebook.com/thecausticles for more info."


You have some shows coming up, one in my neck of the woods by the way! (Wilmington, Delaware at Asylum 13.) What is your favorite song to perform live? And what can one expect from Caustic live?
- "Currently "Bury You Alive" has been the most fun live, if only to have a big crowd of people screaming "fuck you!" at me over and over. Otherwise I really enjoy playing all the tracks for the shows. I try and make a point to pull out tracks I haven't been enjoying too much so I can always be enthusiastic about them. Luckily doing a song like Emmanuel Lewis Handjob never gets old. And what to expect from the show? A big, gorgeous, fun mess o' music and me acting like an idiot. I never know exactly what's going to happen and love that about the shows."


There's a few east coast shows coming up this month, any others in general? Maybe a tour?
[- "Those were actually the last two Caustic shows I have booked for the year. I went on the road with Everything Goes Cold in July and August for a bunch of West Coast dates but only had enough time for a few East Coast dates, but I was excited to get back there. I grew up in New Jersey so was good seeing lots of old friends."


Your attitude towards "the scene" is awesome. I really dig the "stop sampling full metal jacket" tees. What are your thoughts about the
scene in general, and those who take it all too seriously?

- "I think people who give too much of a shit about what "the scene" thinks should start worrying more about why the fuck they care. "The Scene" is a random assortment of weirdos with a few things in common, and while I think it's good to foster a community, I think the goth/industrial/whatever scene as a whole suffers from a massive lack of creative thought these days, whether it be the music or the fashion or the overall attitude. I rarely say anything that a lot of other people aren't thinking, hence why people buy the Stop Sampling Full Metal Jacket shirts in droves, including a lot of the artists who have MADE those songs (Jos from Grendel was one of the first people to buy one, which gives people another reason to love the guy). Seriously, nothing I'm saying or doing is revolutionary? I just have the balls to say or do it in my own way. It's almost sadder that I stand out for things I say or do, because I consider my perspective pretty obvious, but then again I'm stuck in my own head all the time anyway. So maybe it?s not just creative thought we need it's balls. It's people willing to take a real chance, and not another band trying to smash some taboo smashed a decade (or two, or three) ago like having cyber chicks making out in their videos or doing hook suspensions, but some actually original shit, something we haven't seen presented the same way before. There are definitely examples out there, but there should be more. A lot more. Artists (and fans) in our scene take the cheap way out way too fucking often and because of that our music and scene have become stale. I'm just glad there are artists like Necro Facility, Encephalon, Everything Goes Cold, AIMON, and some others that are pushing things in different directions than the same easy crap I've heard a lot of the last few years. Basically it would be nice if our scene would start recognizing what's actually original out there and not all the hack, copy-of-a copy shit, but that's what the mainstream does with top 40 so why should we even try? Oh, that's right, because corporations aren't dictating what we should be listening to."


Your blog on Wordpress is pretty popular, did you ever think it would "explode" like it did on the interwebs in the circles of the scene?
- "Did it explode? I don't know. I guess some people read it, but my general mindset is while I may have X amount of readers, it's a fraction of what major music blogs get. I totally appreciate anyone who reads it though, as I try and be informative and/or at least entertaining, especially when I go off in rants. I'm not one of those people who thinks music is a competition, so if I can help someone get a basic set-up to start making music or offer some tips on getting booked for more shows then that's awesome. From the feedback I've gotten over the years the blogs have helped motivate some people to either start making music or think differently about different aspects of it, and if I inspired that I consider the blogs a complete success."


Speaking of your blog, anything currently stirring in your head that may end up as a post?
- "Right now I'm in the middle of getting a few hundred Kickstarter premiums out the door, so the only blog post I'm thinking about it is "What I learned from raising $15k on Kickstarter and how to avoid those mistakes again". Honestly I'm so burned out from promoting the album, doing shows, and working on Kickstarter pledges I haven't got anything inspired to share. I only write when I get an idea that I think has legs, so hopefully the creative blog juices will start flowing again soon. I view Caustic as a multi-media act: with design/art focused on fan products that aren't just run of the mill band logos, opinionated blogging that speaks the uncensored truth, music that isn't afraid to incorperate humor,etc. It's a package deal! What inspires you to go above and beyond? Because I can? To me there's a synergy in what I do and everything feeds into the same purpose, to create art (or content) that I feel best represents me/Caustic. I have a massive passion for all of the things I do and wish I could do them full time, but the reality is that I'm a guy who has two jobs on top of Caustic and a great "real life" as well, so I try and use the short time I have on this planet to enjoy myself and hopefully make other people's lives a bit better by making them smile or stomp around a bit now and again.I just don't want to waste my life, so I do a lot. It probably won't last forever, but like I said it's farther than I thought I'd get so why stop now? I've also tried to really stress how stupid it is to be afraid to tell the truth (or at least MY truth) or be what and who you want to be. Like I said there's a distinct sameness to our scene (and always has been, to an extent), but I try and just do what I do and inspire other people to do the same with their music. I take it as a point of pride that there isn't anyone else out there like me, and maybe that's because nobody WANTS to be like me (which I understand, as I rarely do as well), but also because I'm confident enough to know what and who I am as an artist. I'm also incredibly passionate about it and hope it shows, as this shit's just FUN to me, on every level, and the more people that jump on the Caustic train the better. I try and make the enthusiasm as infectious as possible, and so far it's worked out pretty damn well."


What is your favorite song or remix of your work? Why?
"That's a tough one, as this is my 6th full-length album in 7 years. I've also probably had more than a hundred remixes of my stuff as well. Maybe I'll be a little more general: My favorite songs of mine are ones that I didn't realize I could write, or better yet songs I haven't heard in this genre before. And a lot of my favorite remixes are the ones that totally deconstruct my tracks and take it in a direction I never would have expected. That's why I generally ask specific artists to do my stuff I want to hear their interpretation."


What programs and/or instruments do you use to make the Caustic sound come to life?
- "I've used FLStudio since day one, with a huge amount of VSTs and plug-ins. I use an old version of Soundforge to record and edit my vocals and a Korg Nanokey and Nanokontrol for my midi controllers. My whole DAW/studio set-up probably cost me well under $500, but I've spent a decent chunk of change on softsynths like Massive and Vanguard over the years. I keep it simple primarily because I'm broke, and more because you don't need to spend $10,000 to make good music if you're passionate about it and know what you want."


What artists / producers inspire Caustic?
- "For the new album I was inspired by a ton of artists, but some specifically that helped push me to create were Fucked Up with their concept album David Comes To Life, Die Warzau's Engine, Nine Inch Nails' Downward Spiral, and Tool's Aenima. Basically big albums with a lot of variation that took a ton of chances. I wanted to scare myself as much as I could with this album, doing things I was nervous wouldn't work to see if I could pull them off, and luckily I think I did for the most part. It's not perfect, but nothing is, especially Caustic. And that's how I like it."


Outside of music production, what are your interests?
- "I'm a huge comedy fan, which shouldn't surprise anyone who is familiar with me. Honestly if I had the time and energy I'd be focusing on trying to be a stand-up comedian, as it's something I've never explored as much as I wanted to and a lot of my heroes are more from that world than music. I started doing improve comedy again after a 5 year hiatus and that's been great, but mostly I just like relaxing when I have a free second, going to movies and hanging out with my wife and just enjoying my life as best I can."


What is your favorite festival, event, venue and/or party to perform at? Why?
- "I always have a great time in the UK as the people going to the festivals and shows I've played at have been incredibly kind and welcoming to Caustic. It's a huge trip getting in front of several hundred people across an ocean and having them sing along with you and know my music. That's fucking insane to me and blows my mind anytime I think about it. I also love playing there because it's great just being in such a different place. My wife and I love the UK and have often talked about moving there if we ever got the chance, so visiting and being treated so well by the crowds there just feels great."


Last but not least, is there anything you would like to add? Or mention? Anything you'd like to say to your fans reading this?
- "Just to please check out the new album, and thanks to all the people who have been kind enough to tell their friends. Word of mouth is everything to artists like me, and I never want people to think for a second that I don't appreciate the living hell out of it.Thanks."
Oct 27 2012

Raye Albater

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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