Hello Jim, thanks for taking your time to answer our humble questions.
-"Thanks to you guys. It's my pleasure."

So first off for people who don't know you please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
- "I was exposed to the industrial scene in 1994 at an impromptu Chemlab/KMFDM show in Pittsburgh. I was hooked. In 1997, I started DJ'ing at Penn State University. College radio was a great chance to get more involved with the music that I love. When I graduated in 1998, I started DJ'ing in clubs and landed a resident spot at Pittsburgh's biggest club night, Ceremony. I also started the project Forced and later called Rein[Forced] in late 2000. At the same time I started Distortion Productions as a way to bring live music to Pittsburgh that I wanted others to see. I just wanted to immerse myself in this style of music. I hungered for knowledge and hunted down any info I could on new bands. Forced and Rein[Forced] landed a deal at DSBP records. I also work as the music buyer at an indie record store called Eide's Entertainment in Pittsburgh. I was diagnosed with stage 2B colorectal cancer on May 1st, 2008 and have been dedicating my life to crushing cancer and educating and informing as many as I can about the importance of health and health care. I currently DJ at a club night of my own called Midian and will be travelling to as many Saviors release parties as I can to spread the word."

As I understand you've been working as a DJ for quite a few years and also as a producer, what got you into industrial music?
- "See above. It was definitely the live aspect of the music that energized me. The passion I have for this music has been greater than anything else in my life until recently. DJ'ing allows me to share the music I love with others. I just want to educate, help and inform people as to what is happening in the world with cancer. I'd love to be a social worker and help young adults who get struck with this disease."

How did you come in contact with Metropolis Records and did they love the idea from the very beginning?
- "I have had a relationship with the wonderful folks at the label for a long time. Ever since the late 90's, actually. I met them through college radio then through Eide's. Though, I never met or talked to Dave Heckman. All the guys over there were really supportive and caring through my whole ordeal. They call me up just to see how I was doing. That was touching. I actually never thought that this comp would land on Metropolis until a couple people convinced me to call up Dave and pitch it to him. I was so nervous. It was in the middle of July when Dave responded to my voicemail that I left him. I was on the way home from work when he called. We had a great conversation about the state of the music industry and the country's healthcare problem. To my amazement, he agreed to release the record and help me realize my dream. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Dave and Metropolis Records and have the utmost respect for all at the label."

The reason behind this compilation is of course to collect money to battle cancer, you have also been battling cancer, can you tell us a bit about it and how you got the idea of making a compilation album?
- "After my diagnosis, I was so confused about what to do next. All I could do to distract from the pain was drown myself in my work, my relationship and my music. I approached Eric from 16 Volt first and he was very enthusiastic about the project. His track, "Things Unkind", brings tears to my eyes. After Eric responded positively, I had about 12 weeks until my surgery. I started contacting everyone I knew and worked with at some point through Distortion Productions. I received an awesome response from the scene and everything snowballed from there."

How did you come in contact with all these bands because there are over 80 tracks on theses CD's, did you get any exclusive tracks that have been previously unreleased?
- "All tracks are exclusive except the Suicide Commando track. The FGFC820 is exclusive to the US as is the Nachtmahr one. I have worked with many of these bands and also some of the labels like COP Int and Nilaihah helped line up some tracks for the compilation."

Is this the first time you've put together something like this and will you do it again maybe for some other kind of horrible disease?
- "This is, indeed, the first time I've done something like this and would like to do more volumes but cancer remains my biggest focus as there are so many different kinds that affect people. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of attacking another disease with industrial music in the future though."

I have to give you kudos for doing this because it's new in this scene and it's for a very good cause and I hope you enjoyed answering the questions, would you like to add something?
- "I appreciate you guys giving me the opportunity to speak freely about this cause. Thank you so much. I have enjoyed myself. In closing, I just want to urge people that if you think something is wrong with your body, do not hesitate to get it checked out. I would be a gonner if I didn't get checked out when I did, but if I would have gone sooner, I might have been able to avoid a lot of pain. Please, love life and enjoy it, because it is short."
Jim Semonik interview
January 26, 2010
Brutal Resonance

Jim Semonik

Jan 2010
Hello Jim, thanks for taking your time to answer our humble questions.
-"Thanks to you guys. It's my pleasure."

So first off for people who don't know you please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
- "I was exposed to the industrial scene in 1994 at an impromptu Chemlab/KMFDM show in Pittsburgh. I was hooked. In 1997, I started DJ'ing at Penn State University. College radio was a great chance to get more involved with the music that I love. When I graduated in 1998, I started DJ'ing in clubs and landed a resident spot at Pittsburgh's biggest club night, Ceremony. I also started the project Forced and later called Rein[Forced] in late 2000. At the same time I started Distortion Productions as a way to bring live music to Pittsburgh that I wanted others to see. I just wanted to immerse myself in this style of music. I hungered for knowledge and hunted down any info I could on new bands. Forced and Rein[Forced] landed a deal at DSBP records. I also work as the music buyer at an indie record store called Eide's Entertainment in Pittsburgh. I was diagnosed with stage 2B colorectal cancer on May 1st, 2008 and have been dedicating my life to crushing cancer and educating and informing as many as I can about the importance of health and health care. I currently DJ at a club night of my own called Midian and will be travelling to as many Saviors release parties as I can to spread the word."

As I understand you've been working as a DJ for quite a few years and also as a producer, what got you into industrial music?
- "See above. It was definitely the live aspect of the music that energized me. The passion I have for this music has been greater than anything else in my life until recently. DJ'ing allows me to share the music I love with others. I just want to educate, help and inform people as to what is happening in the world with cancer. I'd love to be a social worker and help young adults who get struck with this disease."

How did you come in contact with Metropolis Records and did they love the idea from the very beginning?
- "I have had a relationship with the wonderful folks at the label for a long time. Ever since the late 90's, actually. I met them through college radio then through Eide's. Though, I never met or talked to Dave Heckman. All the guys over there were really supportive and caring through my whole ordeal. They call me up just to see how I was doing. That was touching. I actually never thought that this comp would land on Metropolis until a couple people convinced me to call up Dave and pitch it to him. I was so nervous. It was in the middle of July when Dave responded to my voicemail that I left him. I was on the way home from work when he called. We had a great conversation about the state of the music industry and the country's healthcare problem. To my amazement, he agreed to release the record and help me realize my dream. I owe a great deal of gratitude to Dave and Metropolis Records and have the utmost respect for all at the label."

The reason behind this compilation is of course to collect money to battle cancer, you have also been battling cancer, can you tell us a bit about it and how you got the idea of making a compilation album?
- "After my diagnosis, I was so confused about what to do next. All I could do to distract from the pain was drown myself in my work, my relationship and my music. I approached Eric from 16 Volt first and he was very enthusiastic about the project. His track, "Things Unkind", brings tears to my eyes. After Eric responded positively, I had about 12 weeks until my surgery. I started contacting everyone I knew and worked with at some point through Distortion Productions. I received an awesome response from the scene and everything snowballed from there."

How did you come in contact with all these bands because there are over 80 tracks on theses CD's, did you get any exclusive tracks that have been previously unreleased?
- "All tracks are exclusive except the Suicide Commando track. The FGFC820 is exclusive to the US as is the Nachtmahr one. I have worked with many of these bands and also some of the labels like COP Int and Nilaihah helped line up some tracks for the compilation."

Is this the first time you've put together something like this and will you do it again maybe for some other kind of horrible disease?
- "This is, indeed, the first time I've done something like this and would like to do more volumes but cancer remains my biggest focus as there are so many different kinds that affect people. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of attacking another disease with industrial music in the future though."

I have to give you kudos for doing this because it's new in this scene and it's for a very good cause and I hope you enjoyed answering the questions, would you like to add something?
- "I appreciate you guys giving me the opportunity to speak freely about this cause. Thank you so much. I have enjoyed myself. In closing, I just want to urge people that if you think something is wrong with your body, do not hesitate to get it checked out. I would be a gonner if I didn't get checked out when I did, but if I would have gone sooner, I might have been able to avoid a lot of pain. Please, love life and enjoy it, because it is short."
Jan 26 2010

Fredrik Croona

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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