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A Dirty Dozen with PLANETDAMAGE – November 2020

| 6 November 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Damage is a prominent figure of cyberpunk and industrial subcultures. His work with the community site LD50, his alternative PDF fanzine The Dose or his future research gonzo book Damage Report have introduced industrial music and alternative culture to new crowds locally and internationally. He’s been working as a producer for 5 years, landing 5 EPs and a number of remixes, collaborating with bands like First Aid 4 Souls or Black Nail Cabaret, having been remixed by musicians such as Haujobb, Leaether Strip or Attrition.” We get Plantedamage to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Relapse Protocol, my debut album is practically a mixtape of revamped old tracks and a bunch of new ones – all tweaked to 135BPM and turned into a consistent whole. I come from EBM and industrial, so I wanted my album to be dark and heavy and gritty, but I ended up layering a lot of breakbeats and 303s and pounding stuff in it that overall makes it more technoid and accessible in terms of sound, though in terms of lyrics, I’d say it’s still pretty critical, unsatisfied and angry. I am not really aware of what listener or fans might not grab for the first time, because I spent so much time with this material, it’s hard to distance myself from it. Fans might enjoy the tweaks that I put into the lyrics and the ways I tweaked some older tracks like “The Mark” or “Firewalls.”

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

This will sound generic, but my childhood is rooted in the 80’s, so Jean-Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk, their soundscapes definitely were the ones to grab me. Me wanting to be a musician, that was the demoscene – me finding FastTracker 2, making tracks and getting better at making them and feeling good while learning all the things about making music. Go check out the amazing free documentary the Hungarian documentary team Vakondok made about the demoscene, it will blow your mind.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Oh, there are several “golden albums” that sort of complement each other and I cannot merge them. If I had to pick an album that is driving, dancey, cerebral, powerful, sounding gritty but also uplifting… I’d probably go with Front Line Assembly’s Caustic Grip album. Oldschool-to-middle era FLA is something that stands very close to me. But, you know, I did get a compilation tape in highschool that had a lot of tracks from Zoth Ommog and Third Mind artists and all these bands stuck with me for decades to come and shaped my scope, from Leaether Strip to Mentallo & The Fixer.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Toughest question of’ em all! After some long thinking, I’d say Mentallo & The Fixer, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Clock DVA, Future Sound of London.. and then I’d instantly start missing a few more very amazing artists from this list.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Toshinori Kondo.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Angry future music that you can actually relate to, hahaha. I actually like the thing that a guy told me after a gig, he said my music sounds like something that would blast from the speakers in a club in the Mass Effect universe and this rocks so much. Disagreeing with – sure, but then again arguing about style or taste leads nowhere, really. That being said, I always weep silently when someone makes a fleeting note about how un-unique I sound.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Best part of being a solo project – no acoustic guitar singalongs, hahaha!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Well, I gotta tell you, when Angelspit hits the stage, HELL IS AFRAID. Loving the ‘Spit playing live!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Being able to make music and share it with others. And also, to see yourself progressing and making music that is more and more similar to the ideas or atmospheres in your head. The other dream job would probably be a game developer.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Well, I don’t really get questions about the production side of it all, so those would always be close to my heart and I’d probably love to talk a lot about my time with trackers like FastTracker or Renoise. Tired of answering – well, there are a lot of clichés, to be honest, so probably those.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I tend to avoid thinking about do-overs, there’s a reason why things went a certain way. (Or at least I like to think that.) That being said, I know that stopping making music for a long time was a very bad idea in my life – I had other things to do and those gave me a good skillset to work with in my professional life, but still, dear reader – if you have to choose between stopping making music and continue doing so – don’t you stop!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Oooooh. I’d probably go with Skinny Puppy’s Too Dark Park album. It is so hard not to listen to it in its entirety, it’s so consistent, powerful and gives you something new to find in it, even after all these years. It is cyberpunk incarnate, in the acid rain and all. Extremely powerful. Also, it is a masterclass of arrangement, songwriting and production, all in one.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Meeting friends and going to gigs together. And also our board game sessions, because Cthulhu is not going to unsummon itself!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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