Wednesday, May 7, 2014
EQUITANT: LIVE RETROSPEKT - Interview with Equitant // Cultural Sono Magazine (Colombia)
Equitant - Interview March 2014 - By Juan David Quintero
Ray Heflin, known as Equitant, is a producer, remixer, DJ and Live Act Performer born in Dallas and owner of the record label Black Montanas. Equitant has worked with artists like: Jonathann Cast, Millimetric, Yasmin Gate, People Theatre, Adriano Canzian, Carretta & Workerpoor, Al Ferox, Alexander Robotnick & Strange Connection...among others. In this interview he talks about his experience, history and expectations of his visit to Colombia and its presentations in Bogotá and Medellin.
You don't exactly expect hard techno-EBM coming from Texas (USA), and yet Equitant is a project that has actually been active since the early 1990’s. Equitant stands for high-tech & modern techno-EBM, and can be defined as an offspring between bands like Nitzer Ebb & DAF at one side, and a darkened Giorgio Moroder at the other. You hear some of the hardest beats in old-school EBM, with a touch of old-school techno, and a great deal of hard energy stemming from 1980's electronic music. The mix of both styles is simply irresistible and injects a refreshing boost to the traditional electronic music of today.
01 Who is Equitant?
The name Equitant came from a project I was in called "Equimanthorn" in 1992 up until 2011. We conjured various sounds similar to movie soundtracks, dark & ambient soundscapes set to improvised vocals and drums. The name followed me into another band I was in from 1991-2002 called ABSU. This was Blackened Speed Metal at its finest. Once I started doing electronic music on my own in 1993 I continued to go under the name Equitant. It was well established, so there was no need to change my name to anything new or different.
02 which is your music genre?
Elektronische Musik! My music is a cold mix of Techno, EBM, Dark Disco & Electro.
03 which was your musical training?
No "real" training ever really. I taught myself to play guitar in 1987, then Bass Guitar in 1988. I was constantly going back and forth on each instrument in ABSU over the years. I started to play around with synthesizers in 1992 or so. I never learned to read music. It was done all "by ear" you could say. Both of my grandmothers were the musical ones in my family. I think I got it from both of them…learning things just by ear and not reading music.
04 How many years have you been playing music?
From 1987-2014...many years now! My mother bought me my first guitar in 1987. It was just a cheap little thing. But, it made me focus on music and get better until I got proper instruments a few years later. So, I can thank her for it!
05 What bands or musicians have been important in your live?
As far as electronic music: (old) Liabach, (old) Die Form, DAF, Nitzer Ebb, (old) Front 242, Kraftwerk & David Carretta.
06 How did you begin in music?
I started Equitant as an ambient dark electronic music project in 1993 with some Boss Pedals, a cheap Casio Synthesizer and a friend’s drum machine. The music was influenced by dark movie soundtracks, and Tangerine Dream. It was not until 2000 that I started making techno/dance influenced music. I was listening to Kraftwerk and German techno...anything from the 1980’s as well. My sound shifted in 2007 to more of an EBM/Dark/Techno you could say. But I enjoy many styles of electronic music, from Horror Disco, to Electro, to New Wave to old school Techno.
07 Which music genres have you experience or play?
Over the many years it could be: Speed Metal, Thrash, Death Metal, Black Metal, Ambient Synth, Electro, Techno, EBM & Dark Disco. And yes, in that very order too!
08 Why your music is so dark?
I’ve always been attracted to darker music from the first time I heard old Bathory, Celtic Frost and Slayer. Those bands opened the gates to my darkness in music. I guess it still sticks with me in the electronic music I am doing today.
09 Where have you been playing your music?
I have only played in Texas and Colombia. Some offers to play in Mexico and England too. Hopefully some shows in Europe will happen soon as well…
10 What people can expect from your show?
You can expect aggression, power & pure energy.
11 What do you like about Colombia? Why?
I have been all over Europe and North America… Colombia is very different to me. It has own feel and own culture. Very similar to Spain or Italy I can say. Colombia has great food, nice people and a REALLY great electronic music scene. I have always been welcomed by Colombia people with open arms…What more could you ask for?
12 What do you want to say to the people who are reading this interview?
Endless thanks for supporting Equitant Colombia!! Thank you very much for the interview!!
Source: Cultural Sono Magazine (in spanish)