interviews Archive

SuperCoolNothing, interview (2005)

Posted October 29, 2009 By Chvad SB

Publication: SuperCoolNothing
t.o.t.s. Interview (2005)
by; Mr Drum Machine

[Mr Drum Machine]: This is probably the worst, most cliched question to start an interview with–but I can’t resist: what’s the story behind the name of your band? “Things Outside The Skin” sounds more emo than industrial–nary an umlaut or a “23” to be found.

[Chvad]: The name! It goes back a bit actually. During my first band (Recherche’) the guitarist (Raphael/Mortal Angel from Sealed in Silence) and I were in the process of creating a new project (the now defunct “Blood in Vain”) and “THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN” was one of the ideas I had had. I was looking for a name that used simple words that could project larger concepts, a name that could be flexible enough to keep up with constantly changing ideas and identities and I also wanted it to be a bit creepy without be heavy handed. Despite our (Raphael and I) decision to not use the name then in 1996, I wound up releasing a bunch of ambient recordings under the name in 1997 while retaining the name “Recherche’” for the heavier material. In 1998 I dropped “Recherche’” permanently and put everything into T.O.T.S.

[MrDM]: From the pictures on your website, one could assume that you incorporate a lot of theatrics into your live shows. For someone who hasn’t seen a T.O.T.S. show, can you describe what it’s like?

[Chvad]: I like to think it’s, at the very least, an energetic show. We really give the show 200% every time. Energy wise, whatever we have we try to put on the stage. It’s exciting for me to be on a stage and perform and at the very minimum I’d like the audience to feel the same excitement. As far as staged stuff goes…there’s always something new. None of us like to keep the same shtick for long so we’re always bringing something new to the show. Lighting and video has always been important for me. Unfortunately video has taken a back seat for a few years due to budget constraints but the lighting part of the show has really taken off the past couple of years. For me, these elements are every bit as important as the music. It’s a show. It needs to be a show and fun to hear AND watch. I consider lighting even when we’re recording. I’ll change a song if I think it’ll look better with a particular lighting arrangement. We’re restricted with time and budget a lot but I think what we’re bringing to the stage right now is pretty great. I’m hoping to re-integrate video in 2006/2007 but that all depends on whether or not I can get the means to do it. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Drowning in Odium, interview (2006)

Posted October 29, 2009 By Chvad SB

Publication: Drowning in Odium
t.o.t.s. Interview w/ Drowning in Odium
by; Royce Icon

I got the chance to shoot the shit with Chvad from Things Outside The Skin, and here’s what was said.

Royce Icon: Describe yourself and Things Outside the Skin for those not in the know.

Chvad SB: THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN is a satirical audio and visual creative entity. Sometimes in greater quantities of one than the other. Snooty enough for ya’? It’s really tough for me to quantify it as anything specific and I’m not wanting to come across as pretentious when I say that. A lot of bands will say things like “we’re not industrial, we’re “electro-dark-tech-rock-pop” or “we’re not goth, we’re wacky carbonated bubble snap emo grunge” or whatever. t.o.t.s., probably to our detriment, has no real direction and that’s really my fault. I’m interested in tons of things and like most of us, have a limited amount of time at my disposal for my creative endeavors. My solution was to create a project that could embody all of these creative desires at once. I love visual arts, performance, music, etc etc I love technological and non-technological approaches to things. Most importantly, I love content. Whenever I am approaching a new subject to work on, the tools generally change. The end results are questionable. Some people like it, others don’t. Like anything I guess. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Culture Asylum, interview (1998)

Posted October 29, 2009 By Chvad SB

Publication: Culture Asylum
t.o.t.s. Interview w/Gira777, Culture Asylum (Dec. 1998)

Many bands strive for a creative impact but few reach that point. One band that has is Things Outside The Skin. Their cassette “PIED PIPER” is incredible, especially when you’re a band that can do a remake of a Residents’ song with style. Their version of “Ginger’s Lament” is insane I love it. There are six tracks on Pied Piper they are as follows: “Mettle., mov.III:Truth”, “Ginger’s Lament”, “New Law,” “Acquiesce,” “Atmosphere,” and “Eve of Separation”. They incorporate interesting textures that make you feel that you visually see the chaos within the music. The effects are memorizing. I recommend this for those who are interested in music that will slap you speechless. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Global Nomads, interview (2003)

Posted September 15, 2003 By Chvad SB

Publication: Global Nomads, www.globalnomads.net
Publication Date: 9-15-2003

What is your primary motivation to create music?
To be honest I have no idea. I don’t think I have “motivation” more so than “gut reaction”. If I were sitting about on a secluded area without any knowledge of the things going on in the world about me I doubt I would create anything at all be it music or otherwise. It’s the constant exposure to things that upset me that drives me towards a creative response. Music has a great sense of immediacy and energy that other mediums don’t illicit from me. I still endeavor with other mediums like video but very rarely on their own.. music always seems to play a vital role.

What were your early influences, and what do you listen to today?
DEVO, The Residents, Ministry, Michael Patton and related projects (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk etc etc), Men Without Hats, Consolidated. along with many others. A lot of bands, these and others made me enthusiastic about music and I had always attempted to create music by whatever miserable means I could ever since I was a little kid. I started out with lot of rap type stuff in the beginning as I was listening to a lot of Fat Boys, Run DMC, LL Cool J, 2 Live Crew and Public Enemy. To give credit where credit is due though, it wasn’t until I was DJing at my college radio station that I made a decision to pursue music. When Ministy’s “Jesus Built My Hotrod” single came in the mail one afternoon, there was no looking back.

Is there a fellow musician/musicians you would like to work with? If so, in what capacity?
Mark Mothersbaugh and Michael Patton. I feel dwarfed by their talent. Perhaps if I stood next to them I could steal some of their super powers.

What were you like as a teenager? Did you play any musical instruments?
I wanted to play the drums as a teenager but the option wasn’t really there for me. I occasionally noodled around with tape decks, and old casio keyboards to make a few songs here and there but nothing really serious. I wrote a lot more then as I had fancied the idea of being an author but this gradually evolved into just writing lyrics.

At what point did you realize or were told that you had the talent to be a performer/musician?
I was never told this and I never realized it either. Being a musician/performer was never a conscious decision and to call me a musician is probably a dis-service to the title. It was a means to an end. To what end I have no idea and I have no real reason for doing it. Maybe it’s just a good excuse to scream. A carrier wave for my words. Everytime I try to find an idea or a goal or an opinion I wind up being a total hypocrite about it so now I make no false pretences. I have no clue with what’s going on. Creating music feels like the right thing to do so I do it.

What really gets your blood boiling?
Closed minded people and lemmings. The fact that a puppet like Bush could be in office and be taken seriously. Everything about Bush irritates the fuck out of me. The negligent slaughtering of animals into extinction pisses me off. The decimation of natural habitats makes me ill. The human races “everything belongs to me” attitude fucking sucks. Public school boards are completely fucked. The plastic industries continued and unchecked pollution of our land and bodies is a disaster that will only get worse. Seeing the 100 million SUV’s driving around in overcrowded cities like NYC and Chicago make me sick. Everything makes my blood boil. I have to remove myself from most of civilization on a regular basis to keep my health in check or my brain, heart and veins would surely overload and kill me.

What was the first song you ever wrote? Was it ever recorded?
When I was thirteen I wrote and recorded a rap song about the movie “Evil Dead“. It was called (oddly enough) “Evil Dead”. Creative huh? (Insert sarcasm). I made it on a Casio MT-80 keyboard that set me back $80.00 (hard earned field mowing dollars!) and a cheapo Radio Shack cassette recorder.

When was the first time you performed live? What was it like?
The first time I performed live was with my first band called “Recherché” in 1994. It was at an outdoors festival and we were cut short only 5 or 6 songs into the set and for the most part everything went smoothly. After the show we talked about how “energetic” and “crazy” we were and immediately popped in the video we made of the show. To our horror we practically looked like statues. Our recalled moments of “craziness” were nothing but the smallest movements imaginable. Our nerves had magnified everything into something grand but in the end we sucked and looked boring. If you have the guts to watch yourself suck, video can be a great tool to analyze your performance.

What is the greatest sacrifice you’ve had to make for your music?
Time.

What advise do you have for beginning musicians/artists?
Don’t let anything stop you. You might be a genius or you might be talentless asshole that brings nothing but misery to everyone who hears you whine. But it’s your misery and it’s your genius and anyone that attempts to keep your ideas and mouth shut needs to be told to fuck the hell off. Your friends, your family, the government, whatever… let nothing stand in your way of expression. As each day passes it gets more and more difficult to speak your mind. If people are in fact lemmings then have them follow you rather than the bloated corrupt-government ruling corporations. Be heard.

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