Equitant interview July 2009
(E.I.) Thanks Equitant that you have found time to give answers to these questions. For the first question will be - do you know the Netherlands?
(E) Of course I know the Netherlands; I have been there many times! Rotterdam, Hilversum, Amsterdam, all over. Though it has been over 10 years since I have been there, my time there was unforgettable. Great country and great people!
(E.I.) Greetings Equitant could you please shortly introduce our readers your music project Equitant?
(E) Greetings Ruud. Equitant was born as a solo project in 1993. I released a few demos and appeared on a few compilations in the years of 1993-95. From 1996-1999 nothing much was done with the project. My main focus and priority was a band I was in called “ABSU”. This was a “metal” band playing music know as Speed/Black Metal. Making albums and touring keep me busy with this band. I also had (and still have) a 2nd project band aside from “ABSU” called “Equimanthorn”. This was dark ambient improvised electronic music.
It was not until 1999 that I started making new music with Equitant, and a new form of electronic music with Equitant (that being “techno”). In 2002 I also left the band I was in for 11 years “ABSU”, to concentrate on Equitant full time. My sound as Equitant has evolved much since then (1999), Today I am more on the side of electro/EBM and dark techno.
In the early 2000’s I released several demos with this new style I was doing. It was all very German influenced techno/electro. The demos “Design”, “ North Of Munich”, “Zurich” and “Kompressor” were released from 2001-2003. It was not until 2005/06 that I released my first 2 full-length albums on Tarot Productions, “Zeit” and “Konstruckteur”. These 2 albums were a blend of electro and techno, and once again heavily influenced by German techno, old and new. I was listening to “Kraftwerk” and that was about it. Very retro and analog, a dark Kraftwerk you could say.
In 2007 I released “Re-Konstrucktion” on my label Black Montanas. This was a collection of artists remixing my songs from “Zeit” and “Konstruckteur”…Leggo, Lethargy, Raul Parra, Ruben Montesco, Dr.Siak etc…Soon after this I did the fallow up EP to “Konstruckteur” called “Hauptstadt” (A 3 song EP of raw and experimental electro).
2008 saw several releases again: “Elemente Remixes”, “Technik” (yet another experimental electro album in the style of “Dopplereffekt”), and “Remix Technik”.
All released on my label Black Montanas.
At the end of 2008 my style and sound shifted again. I was going for more of an aggressive EBM/techno sound. The result was my “Mekaink” EP that took almost a year and a half to write, due to writers block and a transition to a new city. Shortly after that I released “Mekanik Remix” in early 2009...This included remixes by the EBM artist ELITE! from Germany.
My latest effort is entitled “Dynamism”, its pretty much where “Mekanik” left off, the same style, and just as heavy and aggressive. This release also included remixes by ELITE! once again.
In between all of these releases, from 2003 to 2009 I have also been remixing tracks for many artists, almost too many to name. Some are: Red Industrie, Nad Mika, Kaball, Reizstrom, Millimetric, Miss Duckin’, Sindrome, Other Aspect, Elite!, Jonathann Cast, Kitsch, Nadia Sohaei, Scorpio, Nexus 6, Plastic Machine, Lethargy, Maxx Klaxon etc..
(E.I.) Please fill also a biographical resume about how, when and where Equitant was founded in…more background information?
(E) Equitant was formed around the same time I was doing another project band called “Equimanthorn”. This was very dark ritual style synth music, and very experimental. I wanted to do something on my own with no other members, something that was just a synthesizer and myself. So I set out to write and record a few demos…it was nothing like my music today. It was more or less synth music in the style of Tangerine Dream or Mort Garson, a dark Tangerine Dream with some vocal narrations over the sounds. It was all very “movie sound track” oriented.
In 1996 I discovered artists like Die Form, Laibach, Kraftwerk and Sven Vath. I was much more attracted to this style, electronic music with beats, rather than music with “just synthesizers”. It opened a whole new world to me…as the years have passed I have discovered more artists, old and new that I like. Artists like D.A.F., Fad Gadget, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Depeche Mode. And newer music like: David Carretta, The Hacker, Terrence Fixmer, Millimetric, Dopplereffekt, Gesaffelstein, Adriano Canzian, Fixmer and Mccarthy.
(E.I.) How did you start to make music and what is music for you?
(E) I started making music in 1988/89 with friends I went to school with. Back then I was playing "Metal". I grew up listening to "Punk Rock", and then later moved on to "Metal" in the middle 80's. Listening to bands like Slayer, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Kreator...the extreme underground metal bands.
Music for me is life...a release, a satisfaction, an escape, an endless outlet for creativity and art.
(E.I.) What and who are some of your influences in music?
(E) In the electronic genre it would be Kraftwerk, Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode...I prefer the older works of all 3 of these...they each had more appeal then they were starting out, that’s when they were at their best.
(E.I.) What are your top ten favorite EBM / Industrial Club Songs of all time?
(E) Ohhh that is a tough one...I don’t know if you can categorize some of these at EBM or "Industrial", and I don’t know if they are "club hits” really. Some of these are current and some old.
David Carretta - Kill Your Radio
Fad Gadget - Coitus Interruptus
Miss Kittin & The Hacker - Frank Sinatra
Nitzer Ebb- Let Your Body Learn
Millimetric - Will Ever Fall Here Again
Berlin – Metro
Linda Lamb – Hot Room
Sven Vath – Pathfinder
Dopplereffekt – Satellites
DAF – Verscwende Deine Junged
(E.I.) Tell one secret about Equitant that you have never told to anyone?
(E) I keep my secrets to myself!
(E.I.) So tell me a bit more about yourself, such as musical?
(E) (refer to top questions)
(E.I) By the way do you like my questions? Tell me what you think about it!
(E) Sure! very good questions.
(E.I.) You know there are lots of fans of ebm-industrial in the Netherlands and we have organized a contest. And we have received hundreds of questions from your fans and if it is possible you will choose the most interesting one for you.
(E) It’s ok; I will answer all of them for you.
(E.I.) What is the main idea, the message you want to leave to people who listens to you? What is your motto?
(E) Dark Analog Electronique.
(E.I.) I know the first question is always boring but could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the stuff that you do?
(E) Equitant – laborer of kold machines.
(E.I.) What’s the name of your band? What’s the origin of that name? Have you changed the band’s name before?
(E) “Equitant”…the name was first used in my previous projects “Equimanthorn” and “Absu”. “Equitant” definition - Straddling or overlapping, as leaves whose bases overlap the leaves above or within them. [Latin equitāns, equitant-, present participle of equitāre, to ride horseback, from eques, equit-, horseman, from equus, horse; see ekwo- in Indo-European roots.]
(E.I.) When you start to record a new album, is all the writing done or does it continue in the studio?
(E) I started my latest release “Dynamism” in January 2009 and just released it in July 09. Though it was only a 5 song EP, my writing process is very slow at times. The creative thoughts and patterns do not come as fast as I would like them to. Then sometimes they flow very quickly. It can be all very up and down.
As for the writing process: I write as I record, nothing is pre written. I will record several tracks or parts for songs, then see what sounds best with the song. Most of the time I only keep what I like, and the rest are deleted.
(E.I.) Where did the concept come from? And what’s planned now that your album is finished? Or anything else you're working on? Tell us a few words about the concept of this Equitant.
(E) The concept for “Dynamism” is an ever-changing activity or process. Various theories or philosophical systems that explain the universe in terms of force or energy.
A process or mechanism responsible for the development or motion of a system. Continuous change, activity, or progress; vigor. "Dynamism" fuses a kold mix of electronic body musik and dark techno.
My plan now is just promoting the release and debuting the new tracks in my live set.
Right now I have been working on a few new remixes for Red Industrie (feat Yasmin Gate), Nad Mika (Germany) and Kaball (Belarus). I am also producing a song for Yasmin Gate’s (Ex-Dirty Princess) debut album. The track is called “You Know What I Want”. In the future I am also planning a project/collaboration with Equitant and Elite! (no title for the project yet) Be on the look out for all of this!
(E.I.) When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
(E) Equitant was formed in 1993…I am the only member of the project.
(E.I.) So tell me about the digital label Black Montanas?
(E) Black Montanas is a digital net label providing worldwide digital distribution and representation for independent artists of an Electro, Techno, EBM and Experimental variety. Artists include: EQUITANT, STARCHASER NETWORK, ZHARK, MILLIMETRIC, ILLUMINE CONCRETE, KABALL, RED INDUSTRIE, FANCYMAN, CROSSOVER, SCORPIO, FUTURE, DR. SIAK, UNIFLUX, NÖVÖ, FRANCK KARTELL, KATELECTRO, OTHER-ASPECT, THE BREAKWATERS, JAUZAS THE SHINING, MARCO ASOLEDA & DREY, MISS DUCKIN', CUTE HEELS, NEXUS 6, ELECTROBERLIN, GALAXIAN, THE PULSE PROJECTS, JONATHANN CAST, CROTAPHYTUS, RAW MECHANICS, DR. LOVELOCK, HADAMARD, MOONDISCO, DARANK, WAVE TANK, TRIFID NEBULA, ELITE!, ELDAR, KORPORATION, MYSTERIUM, VALERIO ORLANDINI, SVART1, X-IN and TESLA MONOPHONIC.
Needless to say, we have a very large range of artists covering all forms of electronic music. What ever you like, we have it!
You can find all of our releases on most major download sites like: Junodownload, Itunes, Rhapsody, Emusic, Amazon.com mp3 and Napster (distributed by The Reliquary). Or you can purchase music directly from us at the Black Montanas mp3 shop or visit http://www.blackmontanas.com
We also license a few of our releases through the Colombia digital label “Black Leather Records” (distributed by Junodownload).
(E.I.) Are you a member of any music organizations?
(E) No, none at this time.
(E.I.) How is the current promotional tour going for supporting this album?
(E) I have not done any promotional tour for the latest release "Dynamism". And I don’t plan on it unless I have offers to play live. I do play here in my city once or twice a month...that is about it though.
(E.I.) What do you think of a modern music and about gothic scene?
(E) I listen to very few new artists, but some would be: David Carretta, Terrence Fixmer, Millimetric, Gesaffelstein, Adriano Canzian, Fixmer and Mccarthy. And anything on the “Space Factory” label I love!
I am not part of a "gothic" scene. Gothic to me is stuff like "Bauhaus". Good band, but I am not part of this genre.
(E.I.) Our usual question - what is gothic for you?
(E) Bauhaus, Siouxie & the Banshees and Sisters of Mercy, the Post-Punk bands of the 80s. Again, good bands, but I have nothing to do with this style or scene.
(E.I.) What was your best live experience so far?
(E) Bogotá, Colombia in November 2008. It was the biggest and most successful show I have played yet. The Colombian scene is very strong, with a large amount of people dedicated to the underground, and all forms of electronic music. Colombia is not what most people think it is (that being dangerous) it’s a great country and very beautiful.
(E.I.) Please list the name, age, school, and respective instrument of each band member.
(E) Equitant: 38 years old, synths, vox, drum machines and fx.
(E.I.) What are your views on the current state of this electro scene in San Antonio | Dallas, Texas in terms of creativity and audiences? And the scene in other countries?
(E) Well, the scene here is the USA is ok I guess. The major cities are good like New York, Chicago, Miami, L.A.…the states are so spread out; it’s not like Europe where you can take a quick flight and be in a city fast. I don’t think this form of music is as popular as it is in Europe here. Europe is just better; it always has been for many forms of music. The artists are better and the people are very attracted to electronic music.. Even in South America, its just bigger than here.
The scene here in Texas is rather small. Our events here in San Antonio would be about 150 to 200 people a night. That is good for this city though..I think it’s better than the other major Texas cities like Dallas, Austin and Houston.
(E.I.) You have very nice album..and many many more. Tell me about lyrical compositions what you can tell about the done work? How does your music creation process work? How do you create a song?
(E) My lyrics deal with futuristic abstract themes mainly. My music creation process begins with drums most of the time. I will write a pattern I like, and then add a bass or synth line to it. Record it, and then see what sounds best with the arrangement. It’s all a very slow layering process that takes time and patience. After I have the basic arrangement I will add sounds or fx, and vocals if the song calls for them.
(E.I.) What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
(E) “EBM/Techno/Electro”. Its all a combination of all 3 I guess…major influences would be Kraftwerk!
(E.I.) What do you do to chill out?
(E) Go to the river; take a drive in the mountains, TV, movies, read and sleep.
(E.I.) What is your favorite music? And what is your favorite band?
(E) Electronic music would be “Kraftwerk”, Metal music would be “Bathory”. Rock would be “The Beatles” or “King Crimson”.
(E.I.) Out of all of your albums, or your up coming album, which album would you say is your favorite album? Why?
(E) My latest release “Dynamism” would be my favorite. Why? Maybe because it’s new, fresh and my current music.
(E.I.) So what are their main influences as a band at the moment?
(E) 1980’s electronic music.
(E.I.) What is currently inspiring your material as an artist? Tell me all about the dark scene of San Antonio | Dallas, Texas Verenigde Staten ?
(E) Just to create and be satisfied with my work. That’s what is inspiring to me.
Like I said, the scene here is good, small but good…many people come out to support Equitant and the other Djs I play with.
(E.I.) Do you think that people from the music press didn't expect you to grow up musically?
(E) Most people know me from the "metal" music press. So, I think they didn’t expect me to change total direction in music style, and do a drastic switch to electronic music only. I have changed genres, so growth in another style can only happen naturally, with time.
(E.I.) What is the key to making music for Equitant? And what inspires you to keep growing as a musician?
(E) An endless drive that I have had since I first stated making music…the desire to create and explore sounds.
(E.I.) How do you see the future of download / copyright in area of industrial music? What are the best ways to develop it in your mind?
(E) In these times you cant escape the digital mp3 world. It’s become a very big thing all over the globe. Artists have no control of the free download sites or blogs offering free downloads. It’s too vast to monitor or police this. Sales of mp3s are a good thing I think, it’s a fast way to distribute music all over. But, there is nothing like vinyl or CD, you just can’t beat that.
(E.I.) If there was one thing you want people to know about your band what would that be?
(E) That is for the listener to find for himself or herself.
(E.I.) What do you do in your spare time?
(E) Spend time with my wife and yell at my Dog (hah, no, she is a good Dog, most of the time). Other spare time would be nothing but label work, designs, html and promotion…its never-ending job.
(E.I.) What do you think of its intermingling with the electro, darkwave and EBM scenes? While electro is your main musical pallet, what other music do you listen to?
(E) I like all forms of music, if the artist is doing it right, then it can be good to combine many styles. Sometimes this is not the case though.
I listen to all kinds of music, Metal, Punk, Classical, Electronic, Rock, Progressive/Art Rock..and yes, even some Country music. If I like something I like it, I don’t stay with one genre.
(E.I.) How long have you been in the music industry and how has it changed over time? Now I have to ask, what’s the inspiration for the Equitant story?
(E) I have been in the music industry for almost 20 years now. It has changed with the birth of the Internet. It is much more easy to promote your band these days with things like myspace or facebook. It’s far easier than the old days of doing “real” mail, and waiting weeks to get a response from overseas. And of course these days you have many more musicians than years in the past. It’s a flood of music…
(E.I.) Please let us know about your upcoming plans, some new releases you like to confirm here.
(E) Black Montanas has 2 new releases on the label right now: Red Industrie – Electro Body (feat Yasmin Gate on vocals) and Equitant – Dynamism (feat remixes by Elite!) You can preview these 2 new releases at the Black Montanas myspace or blackmontanas.com!
Upcoming plans? New releases on my label, playing live and more remix work!
(E.I.) It has been a pleasure to interview you on your musical activity, well, any last words to your ebm-industrial fans?
(E) Thank you very much for your support Ruud! I hope to make it back to The Netherlands one day soon! Maybe even to play…greetings!
(E.I.) And what is next on the San Antonio | Dallas, Texas Verenigde Staten agenda?
(E) More events/shows planned for next month…
(E.I.) Thanks for your time! Great work on the albums and good luck with everything. Any closing remarks you'd like to say to the ebm-industrial.nl?
(E) Thanks for the interview! Visit us online at: