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A Dirty Dozen with STEP “SATYRA” TRANOVICH from ELECTROMANCY – April 2021

| 13 April 2021 | Reply


According to the bands bio: “I’m a disabled musician building a robot metal band to keep playing music. DIY robot instruments, broken manikin band mates. Experimental black metal. \m/” We get Step to discuss new music, influences, and 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?

Electromancy just released the cover of Darkthrone’s “Transilvanian Hunger” as a single, soon to be released as part of an EP with an original track of ours. As far as hidden  nuggets for the diehard fans, I released an album cover just for this track that is a spoof of the original. A lot of people will see it and pass it by quickly as just a random high contrast black-and-white black metal cover, but does he know the original will see that this cover is a spoof! Note the lightbulb instead of a candelabra, a cheeky nod to the high technology aspect of Electromancy and it’s robots.

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

Honestly, for a long time, I just thought I didn’t like music. And then I heard Metal for the first time and realized, oh I actually love music, I just don’t like any of the music I had heard before!

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

Moritz Simon Geist was a huge inspiration not necessarily for my musical taste before my musical creation process. He is an incredible Robot musician who does electronica music. But when I saw his work I realized how despite our big differences in musical taste I really wanted to incorporate Robotics and entirely acoustic sounds to create my music.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

SO many! I would count my biggest musical influences as Portal (especially their live shows!) and Liturgy on the metal side, and Dan Deacon on the compositional side. Other big notable musical influences are Enslaved on the metal atmosphere, and Duobetic Humunkulus on the more experimental metal side.

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

I’d love to collaborate with The Body. The way they are really exploring some crevices in the extreme music world, I really respect anything quite in a great while with what I am doing.

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?

I would describe my music as primarily black metal with some influences of death metal and a fair bit of experimentalism. It’s fairly chaotic, extremely raw sounding with all of the sound being entirely acoustic (so not digital or computer generated), yet with some inhumane mechanically precise moments from the robots. Someone wants describe the music as post-black metal and I don’t think that’s unfair. A different person once compared us to Blut Aus Nord, and to that I disagree; the industrial elements of Blut Aus Nord and the robotic elements of Electromancy may both be based in “technology” broadly, but I feel like both our process and our end results are quite different from each other.

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?

Would you believe it, I have to do all the work around here! These manikins are so lazy, and the robots have no initiative; no one will do anything without me having to kick things off!

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

Many many years ago I got to meet Devin Townsend after a show in Philadelphia. This was before smart phones and I didn’t have a camera on me and didn’t didn’t know what to do or say to capture the moment. So I told Devin that I wanted to picture with him but I didn’t have a camera, so would you still pose for a photo with me? He said yeah and threw his arm around me and we both looked off in the distance and smiled. The stranger in front of us looked over and jumped out of the way thinking there was a photographer behind and they were blocking the image. Devin sad “click” and I thanked him for the photograph!

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?

I’m very lucky I don’t have to think about this speculatively. When I’m not making music I actually make sex toys! It’s an extraordinarily fun thing to get to do.

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?

I don’t think there’s one question particular I’m tired of answering. Some interviewers just know how to dig into the good questions, while others you wonder if they ever even listened to your music or if they are just hitting you with the same questions they ask everyone to get a steady stream of new posts. Answering all the questions from the latter group can get pretty tiring pretty quickly.

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?

When I made the printed circuit boards for my Robots I put seven pointed stars everywhere because the upside down seven pointed star is a symbol of mine and my art and my band. However I had an upside down image of how I was going to mount to the electronics onto the guitar, and so now all of the stars are facing right side up instead of upside down! It’s a minor event, but if I could go back in time I would totally tell past me to flip those stars around!

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?

I would go to the recording session of The Way of All Flesh by Gojira. Something about that particular album is magic to me. When it came out it hit me just the right place at just the right time and I’d love to see if there’s any of that magic I could soak in!

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?

People. People people people people in the flesh. I love people, lots of people, and all of this digital stuff doesn’t do shit for me. I miss my friends!




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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