You know, it was only a little bit ago that I was finally able to get my hands on a physical copy of x.a.o.s.' Psychomachy through the magics of discogs. Wanting to know how the project was doing since, I went onto the site of the solo project to find out there might be an album releasing by the end of the year. With the keyword being might, I dived into an interview with Baph Tripp, leader of this party.

Give us a little introduction to yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

Baph Tripp - "My name is currently Baph Tripp and I make noises, sometimes letting the results leak out into the world under the name X.A.O.S."

X.A.O.S doesn't really seem to be on the map many places. I don't think there's a Facebook page or Twitter page. Aside from a homepage, you're kind of off the map. Is there a reason for this?

Baph Tripp - "To be honest, I generally find interacting with other people, even in virtual space, exhausting. In fact, it's only relatively recently been explained to me that extroverts actually feel energized by human interaction ? I always assumed they were masochists.

I am thinking about putting X.A.O.S in more places online before the release of the new album in order to increase the chances that people who might like it can find it. However, I already have a small trail of discarded social media pages that I've set up in the past only to abandon them because they lost any relevance they might have had or I just couldn't make the time to keep up with them (hello, MySpace). I sort of dread starting all over again."

2001 saw your first release, "musterion". However, as it was said, it was mostly material from a former project 12:20. Tell us what happened with 12:20.

Baph Tripp - "12:20 was a music project of mine in the 90's that was more-or-less based around the idea of sonic experimentation ? songs didn't have to be listenable (and often weren't). There were no mind-blowingly original explorations of sound or anything, it was just me fucking around with things that I wanted to try out for myself.

At one point, 12:20 started playing live shows, mostly organized by my good friend Cryptaesia (no-budget film-maker and playwright extraordinaire, among other things) and for which I was joined onstage by BLZboB (not the guy you will find if you Google the name, but an acquaintance who also does some backup vocals on the X.A.O.S release 'psychomachy'). After a while, old BLZboB wasn't really excited about some of the new 12:20 material (and probably had enough of my shit) so he quit. Shortly after that, I started to feel like there were songs I had that just didn't seem to fit 12:20 for one reason or another, so the whole thing just got scuppered."

Was X.A.O.S a spiritual successor to 12:20? Or was it meant to be a different entity entirely?

Baph Tripp - "One of the main reasons for killing 12:20 and starting X.A.O.S was that I didn't want to ever feel that there would be an idea that I couldn't explore, whereas I felt like 12:20 had certain limits that I was starting to bump up against. Which is weird to say about something that was supposed to be 'experimental', but that was starting to feel like a kind of trap."

And when you formed X.A.O.S, what did you initially want to do with the project itself? And have those goals changed?

Baph Tripp - "Part of why the new project's name was rooted in the original Greek for 'chaos' is because chaos represents, among other things, to me, unlimited possibility. There's nothing I can do that would be outside the context of this project, by definition. Identity is illusion, including band identity. Any given song might have vocals or not, it might have drum tracks or not, it might have instrumentation that's electronic or electric or acoustic or some combination or none of the above... Hell, maybe some day there will be X.A.O.S songs that I personally had nothing to do with, despite the fact that up until now I've been responsible for all it's output.

The thing that kick-started the process of the new bunch of songs that are going to appear on the next release was that I was mindlessly singing to myself one day and after a while I thought, 'that's kind of an all right little ditty coming together there ? too bad it couldn't work for X.A.O.S'.

Then I realized that's why it had to be an X.A.O.S song."

Now, back to musterion. Most of the material was from 12:20, but some came from the new project, X.A.O.S. What bridged the two musical groups together, in your opinion, to be found on the same release?

Baph Tripp - "Well, there was a crapload of stuff I had recorded during the 12:20 years that never got used, but that I thought were actually kind of decent tunes. It helped solidify in my mind that X.A.O.S could be anything ? 'here's a bunch of songs that really don't belong with each other, but now they do, because I fucking say so.'"

From there, it wasn't until six years later that you released "apokalupsis". Why such a long wait for the album? Do you just not rush things? Or do you just take your time making music, making sure it's perfect to you?

Baph Tripp - "I never take anything for granted. For all I know, the last song I came up with could be the last song that I ever come up with. Even if I do make more, that doesn't mean that I'll think anyone else will like it, so I might just keep it to myself. I don't schedule releases to be cranked out on a regular basis like a major-label cash-cow. A bunch of life stuff happened between the two releases as well ? I relocated a few times and what-not.

I do tend to obsess on working over the songs that I do decide to release, making sure that they sound exactly as I want them to ? which is often, in many ways, about filling my personal CD collection with things that aren't already in it. This frequently results in song-writing or production decisions that many would consider 'bad', but which I consider 'a nice change'."

"psychomachy" was the next release that came out, and it was an album that I had the pleasure of reviewing. Would you say that "psychomachy" was the best of your albums thus far?

Baph Tripp - "Well, thanks for saying that it was a pleasure! I don't know what metric to use to decide if it's the 'best' or not. I humbly think it succeeds pretty well in what it wants to do, which is to be a dirty, noisy little discharge of disgust and despair - what I described at the time as the sound of 'an abandoned, automated abbatoir come to life'. I was thinking specifically about industrial music while working on 'psychomachy', and how a lot of what was being called industrial seemed to consist of pseudo-techno songs with distorted vocals overtop. I wanted an industrial album that sounded different than that, so I made it."

You also have an album in the works as of right now, saying that there's a possibility that it might release this year. Do you know an exact release date for it, yet?

Baph Tripp - "No effin' clue, man. I was hoping to have it out before Hallowe'en 2014, but, you know, sometimes it steam engines when it's steam engine time.

I'm trying to complete the first 'official' X.A.O.S video to be ready to coincide with the release, but since I largely don't know what I'm doing and refuse to ask for much in the way of help (a symptom of my possessive control-freak attitude towards my work) it's taking forever. It's possible that it may be out early 2015 instead of late 2014, at this point, but I keep plugging away. I don't want to half-ass anything in an attempt just to have 'something' out there. Why bother?"

And, can we have any details on the new album? What genres it will be touching upon, a title, any songs on it?

Baph Tripp - "At this point, I can tell you that the album's going to have 8 songs on it, and the title will be another word taken from old Greek. I can also tell you that every song on this one started with a vocal melody around which everything else was based, which usually isn't the case. The lyrics tend towards the 'despair' end of the 'disgust and despair' spectrum, whereas on 'psychomachy' it was the other way around, and the music tends to reflect that ? although if you were to pay zero attention to the lyrics I think a few of the songs sound rather joyful, in terms of the instrumentation.

The phrase 'slaughterhouse psalms to suffering' is, I think, a decent description of what's going on. There's a definite expression of depression and a kind of exhausted rage all the way though. I wasn't in my happy place while putting this one together."

And, I know that with psychomachy, you wrapped the CDs in butcher paper and signed them. Are you prepping anything unique for the physical copies of the new album?

Baph Tripp - "Lots of people apparently just don't buy CDs any more, but I like them - I like having a visual and tactile complement to the audio. I have this idea of possibly hand-binding a book of photographs and drawings and stuff that will accompany the CD. But I have to make sure that anything I do in this regard isn't prohibitively expensive and isn't so time-consuming that I can't actually get the damn things out the door. You know, the music's been done for 6 months now but it's like that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of crafting something that I feel I can be content to introduce to the world."

And what lies after this album for X.A.O.S? Will you be working on another album, or just taking a break?

Baph Tripp - "I published my first short story a couple of years ago, and there are a few more stories in my brain that want to get told ? I might try to write some more. Or I might get shot to death. Who knows? Life is a dashing and bold adventure."

And, that's all that I have for now. Feel free to leave any final statements below.

Baph Tripp - "Thanks for the support, to you and everyone else who has stumbled across or sought out X.A.O.S. Y'all ain't seen nothing yet."
x.a.o.s. interview
October 30, 2014
Brutal Resonance

x.a.o.s.

Oct 2014
You know, it was only a little bit ago that I was finally able to get my hands on a physical copy of x.a.o.s.' Psychomachy through the magics of discogs. Wanting to know how the project was doing since, I went onto the site of the solo project to find out there might be an album releasing by the end of the year. With the keyword being might, I dived into an interview with Baph Tripp, leader of this party.

Give us a little introduction to yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

Baph Tripp - "My name is currently Baph Tripp and I make noises, sometimes letting the results leak out into the world under the name X.A.O.S."

X.A.O.S doesn't really seem to be on the map many places. I don't think there's a Facebook page or Twitter page. Aside from a homepage, you're kind of off the map. Is there a reason for this?

Baph Tripp - "To be honest, I generally find interacting with other people, even in virtual space, exhausting. In fact, it's only relatively recently been explained to me that extroverts actually feel energized by human interaction ? I always assumed they were masochists.

I am thinking about putting X.A.O.S in more places online before the release of the new album in order to increase the chances that people who might like it can find it. However, I already have a small trail of discarded social media pages that I've set up in the past only to abandon them because they lost any relevance they might have had or I just couldn't make the time to keep up with them (hello, MySpace). I sort of dread starting all over again."

2001 saw your first release, "musterion". However, as it was said, it was mostly material from a former project 12:20. Tell us what happened with 12:20.

Baph Tripp - "12:20 was a music project of mine in the 90's that was more-or-less based around the idea of sonic experimentation ? songs didn't have to be listenable (and often weren't). There were no mind-blowingly original explorations of sound or anything, it was just me fucking around with things that I wanted to try out for myself.

At one point, 12:20 started playing live shows, mostly organized by my good friend Cryptaesia (no-budget film-maker and playwright extraordinaire, among other things) and for which I was joined onstage by BLZboB (not the guy you will find if you Google the name, but an acquaintance who also does some backup vocals on the X.A.O.S release 'psychomachy'). After a while, old BLZboB wasn't really excited about some of the new 12:20 material (and probably had enough of my shit) so he quit. Shortly after that, I started to feel like there were songs I had that just didn't seem to fit 12:20 for one reason or another, so the whole thing just got scuppered."

Was X.A.O.S a spiritual successor to 12:20? Or was it meant to be a different entity entirely?

Baph Tripp - "One of the main reasons for killing 12:20 and starting X.A.O.S was that I didn't want to ever feel that there would be an idea that I couldn't explore, whereas I felt like 12:20 had certain limits that I was starting to bump up against. Which is weird to say about something that was supposed to be 'experimental', but that was starting to feel like a kind of trap."

And when you formed X.A.O.S, what did you initially want to do with the project itself? And have those goals changed?

Baph Tripp - "Part of why the new project's name was rooted in the original Greek for 'chaos' is because chaos represents, among other things, to me, unlimited possibility. There's nothing I can do that would be outside the context of this project, by definition. Identity is illusion, including band identity. Any given song might have vocals or not, it might have drum tracks or not, it might have instrumentation that's electronic or electric or acoustic or some combination or none of the above... Hell, maybe some day there will be X.A.O.S songs that I personally had nothing to do with, despite the fact that up until now I've been responsible for all it's output.

The thing that kick-started the process of the new bunch of songs that are going to appear on the next release was that I was mindlessly singing to myself one day and after a while I thought, 'that's kind of an all right little ditty coming together there ? too bad it couldn't work for X.A.O.S'.

Then I realized that's why it had to be an X.A.O.S song."

Now, back to musterion. Most of the material was from 12:20, but some came from the new project, X.A.O.S. What bridged the two musical groups together, in your opinion, to be found on the same release?

Baph Tripp - "Well, there was a crapload of stuff I had recorded during the 12:20 years that never got used, but that I thought were actually kind of decent tunes. It helped solidify in my mind that X.A.O.S could be anything ? 'here's a bunch of songs that really don't belong with each other, but now they do, because I fucking say so.'"

From there, it wasn't until six years later that you released "apokalupsis". Why such a long wait for the album? Do you just not rush things? Or do you just take your time making music, making sure it's perfect to you?

Baph Tripp - "I never take anything for granted. For all I know, the last song I came up with could be the last song that I ever come up with. Even if I do make more, that doesn't mean that I'll think anyone else will like it, so I might just keep it to myself. I don't schedule releases to be cranked out on a regular basis like a major-label cash-cow. A bunch of life stuff happened between the two releases as well ? I relocated a few times and what-not.

I do tend to obsess on working over the songs that I do decide to release, making sure that they sound exactly as I want them to ? which is often, in many ways, about filling my personal CD collection with things that aren't already in it. This frequently results in song-writing or production decisions that many would consider 'bad', but which I consider 'a nice change'."

"psychomachy" was the next release that came out, and it was an album that I had the pleasure of reviewing. Would you say that "psychomachy" was the best of your albums thus far?

Baph Tripp - "Well, thanks for saying that it was a pleasure! I don't know what metric to use to decide if it's the 'best' or not. I humbly think it succeeds pretty well in what it wants to do, which is to be a dirty, noisy little discharge of disgust and despair - what I described at the time as the sound of 'an abandoned, automated abbatoir come to life'. I was thinking specifically about industrial music while working on 'psychomachy', and how a lot of what was being called industrial seemed to consist of pseudo-techno songs with distorted vocals overtop. I wanted an industrial album that sounded different than that, so I made it."

You also have an album in the works as of right now, saying that there's a possibility that it might release this year. Do you know an exact release date for it, yet?

Baph Tripp - "No effin' clue, man. I was hoping to have it out before Hallowe'en 2014, but, you know, sometimes it steam engines when it's steam engine time.

I'm trying to complete the first 'official' X.A.O.S video to be ready to coincide with the release, but since I largely don't know what I'm doing and refuse to ask for much in the way of help (a symptom of my possessive control-freak attitude towards my work) it's taking forever. It's possible that it may be out early 2015 instead of late 2014, at this point, but I keep plugging away. I don't want to half-ass anything in an attempt just to have 'something' out there. Why bother?"

And, can we have any details on the new album? What genres it will be touching upon, a title, any songs on it?

Baph Tripp - "At this point, I can tell you that the album's going to have 8 songs on it, and the title will be another word taken from old Greek. I can also tell you that every song on this one started with a vocal melody around which everything else was based, which usually isn't the case. The lyrics tend towards the 'despair' end of the 'disgust and despair' spectrum, whereas on 'psychomachy' it was the other way around, and the music tends to reflect that ? although if you were to pay zero attention to the lyrics I think a few of the songs sound rather joyful, in terms of the instrumentation.

The phrase 'slaughterhouse psalms to suffering' is, I think, a decent description of what's going on. There's a definite expression of depression and a kind of exhausted rage all the way though. I wasn't in my happy place while putting this one together."

And, I know that with psychomachy, you wrapped the CDs in butcher paper and signed them. Are you prepping anything unique for the physical copies of the new album?

Baph Tripp - "Lots of people apparently just don't buy CDs any more, but I like them - I like having a visual and tactile complement to the audio. I have this idea of possibly hand-binding a book of photographs and drawings and stuff that will accompany the CD. But I have to make sure that anything I do in this regard isn't prohibitively expensive and isn't so time-consuming that I can't actually get the damn things out the door. You know, the music's been done for 6 months now but it's like that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of crafting something that I feel I can be content to introduce to the world."

And what lies after this album for X.A.O.S? Will you be working on another album, or just taking a break?

Baph Tripp - "I published my first short story a couple of years ago, and there are a few more stories in my brain that want to get told ? I might try to write some more. Or I might get shot to death. Who knows? Life is a dashing and bold adventure."

And, that's all that I have for now. Feel free to leave any final statements below.

Baph Tripp - "Thanks for the support, to you and everyone else who has stumbled across or sought out X.A.O.S. Y'all ain't seen nothing yet."
Oct 30 2014

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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