DH: As a begin could you please tell me a little bit about you and your artistically
development. How did Attrition start out? Which members are involved in the project?
I started ATTRITION in 1980 as the logical conclusion to my obsession with music...inspired by punk and post punk...i had started a fanzine called alternative sounds in 1979...i was a total non-musician..(i still am!! )... but i knew i needed to do more than write about music....so the time was right...i met Julia Waller at a club here in Coventry in 1979 and we started to make music together in 1980... her brother Ashley joined us on synth a little while later.... this was the original line up that recorded 3 albums up til 1985... since then guest members have come and gone and i steered ATTRITION through many albums...and tours all over the world.... but then last year i met Sin D'rella.... and everything changed again... she is now the other half of ATTRITION... as much as she is the other half of my life....
DH: Your music sounds to me as a combination of electro, minimal and 80`s stuff. Am I right? Why did you decide to make such kind of music?
Well we never set out to make anything other than music that could somehow express how we felt... and over the years we have of course taken on many influences.... if some of them sound like they are 80's then that is purely because that is when we started making that music...an accident of birth!... :) there are many more influences on our music... from dark ambient soundscapes...to neo-classical..to dance music..to post punk rock music... it all depends on our moods....:)
DH: Tell us something about your latest releases. Why did you decide to rerelease "The Hand That Feeds" and "A Tricky Business"?
They are the latest in a line of re-issues i began in 2006 when we started our own label, Two Gods... the first release was a 25 year anniversary BEST OF album..."Tearing arms from Deities"... and that has been followed by remastered versions of everything we have ever released...with extra tracks and enhanced artwork etc.... and i have also rescued some rare tracks to issue as "new" material...it has been a LOT of work.... but it has been worth it.... we are very nearly finished...the last 2 reissues i am working on now... and then we will end withour first DVD...a documentary on ATTRITION...
DH: On both releases there are new bonus tracks which sound very interesting. Tell us something about these tracks. Why didn`t you release them in the past?
Well on the Tricky business album we actually DID release the bonus tracks in the past.... but they were the singles and b-sides from that time... which will never be re-issued... so it seemed a good idea to include them as extra tracks on the album... The hand that feeds...the remix album...is slightly different as i had toyed with including the bonus track ...from experimental artist Flip Shriner...originally but stylistically it didnt seem to fit with the rest of the album... since the albums release in 2000 he had actually reworked that remix...i loved the new version and i decided that this time it belonged on the new edition... :)
DH: Do you think that both CDs "The Hand That Feeds" and "A Tricky Business" are now in their final versions? Are you satisfied with the new versions?
Yes i am.... with all these re-issues i have remastered them myself... the old albums...if mastered at all... were not done to the standard i would expect today.... and as mastering is something i now do myself professionally i really wanted to realise these "final" improved versions... so yes...these are the definitive versions...(although i have heard me say that before!.... :)
DH: I like very much your song "The Second Hand". What is the meaning of this song?
I'm glad you like it....i have always been fond of that one.... it is about MONEY.... and how it can corrupt... and how it is difficult to resist the lure of money.... and what do we do about it?
DH: About what topics do you sing in general and how d o you get an idea for a song? Tell us something about the process writing a song.
I usually start with abstract sounds...ambient ideas...which gradually i work up into rhythmns and melodies...and eventually words.... the pieces of music grow in quite an organic way over some time.... i move from one to another...some are eventually rejected...others combine grow into new pieces.... eventually some of them are born and released into this world.... Most of my songs mix in ideas and thoughts about many things at once.... in often a surreal way.... and sometimes i am not even certain of the real meaning at the time i write them....i have to interpret them... in much the same way we attempt to interpret our dreams...
DH: Very dark futuristic pictures one can see on the cover of the CDs - especially on "The Hand That Feeds". Why did you decide to choose such pictures? Has the content of the pictures something to do with your music?
We have worked with a variety of visual artists over the years... i actually started out myself as an artist...but i prefer to leave it to others to work on the visual side of our releases... for "A tricky business" that collage was made from photos of me and Julia at the time...i just loved it.... on"The hand that feeds" it was a picture already made by US artsist John Santerineross and i felt it conveyed the right idea... the feel of where i was at the time musically and personally...so i had to use it for the album.... and YES....i think the dark surreal cut up collage nature of the images is a reflection of the way we make the music....
DH: There are some very interesting remixes on "The Hand That Feeds". Do you remember when hearing them first? Was this a special feeling for you to hear your own songs changed?
Yes it was really exciting to get so many remixes done at the time... we had about a double albums worth of mixes to choose from...which i thought was a good idea...to cut that down to a single album of essential mixes.... it was really great to hear mixes by people like Chris n Cosey who i had admired for so long :) In much the same way i have enjoyed getting in the cover versions of our songs for the ATTRITION covers album out this autumn.."Wrapped in the guise of my friend..."
DH: How do you get in contact with all the remixers involved in the project?
I just emailed a lot of them...and announced it on our newsletters so had people get in touch thhemselves... it was easy... :)
DH: How important is it for you that a song can be played in a club? Are you making music for the dancefloor?
I dont think it is important at all.... yes sure... commercially it has an outlet if a song can be danced to... but there is so much great music in this world that is never dance music.... some of our music can be danced to...some of it is really to be listened to.... we just make the music we have to... :)
DH: The music of Attrition had and has always a very dark atmosphere! In which environment do you live that this produces such an atmosphere? Is your music a reflection of your life?
Music should ALWAYS be a reflection of life or i don't see any reason it should exist!.... but it is not as if my or our life is shrouded in darkness all the time... far from it... there is a lot of light and laughter.... but we are not afraid to explore the darkness... and i think that is the difference....Speak for yourself...my life is somewhat troubled,,darkness seems to stalk me. I'm comfortable with it tho,it's a place i am more than comfortable in. It reveals a fragile state and also strength where happiness only pretends.
DH: Which further plans do you have with Attrition? Will there be a new album? Will there be a tour or some concerts - may in Germany, too?
There are always so many plans..! i am finishing off the reissue series this year and working on that first DVD release.... i have just finished compiling the COVERS album... after about 4 years work!....with bands such as Murder happens with EN ESCH, Stromkern, Stoa, Machine in the garden, Chiasm, Beati Mortui, Phantom vision etc....that is out in October... then we are planning the new album in the new year.... and we are ALWAYS playing live in the USA and europe...this year we have been playing one off shows and festivals in europe.... including our first ever trip to the Ukraine this september....and plan on returning to Germany very soon... so be sure i will keep you posted on that!...The new album is coming... I am also extremely busy with my own project IMPRINT...I have been touring with Attrition this year in support of my self released album "The Wisdom Out Of The Wound" as well as working with other artists on some very exciting things.I'll also put out a dvd soon hopefully...a year in the life of..to document the first years existance of my little baby :)
DH: Thank you very much for answering our questions. We wish you good luck and many success. Your last words please:
Thank YOU for the questions.... much appreciated.... if anyone wants to learn and hear more of our music do please visit our websites at www.myspace.com/imprintuk www.imprintme.co.uk
www.attrition.co.uk and www.myspace.com/attritionuk
Interview: Andreas Ohle