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29/05/2024 : LIVERNOIS - An Interview With Industrial Band, Livernois

LIVERNOIS

An Interview With Industrial Band, Livernois


29/05/2024, William ZIMMERMAN


Livernois is the harsh electro-industrial band based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Their latest release is the EP :ablation:. We're very grateful for their time in doing this interview.

Hello and thanks for answering the questions of the interview for our blog today. We usually like to start off by asking for a brief background for the readers that might not be familiar with a particular band. Would you kindly do so?

Jaysen: We’re Livernois. An industrial band based in the ninth ward of New Orleans, birthed in Southwest Detroit. We are Jaysen Craves, Velvet Spade, and Scythe.

:ablation: is the latest EP with a curious name and spelling. Could you talk a little bit about that?

Jaysen: Well as it stands, the central theme of the album is closure. Essentially figuring out which emotional baggage is worth carrying with you, and which you should just leave at the door. The term ablation describes a surgical removal of flesh, and ironically enough a removal of ice in some instances, which as a metaphor resonated with me.

You have a couple of tracks on the EP, “Tearcatcher” parts I and II. What’s the theme behind these and why is it in two different parts out of sequence?

Jaysen: If you listen to the sample in the opening of Beyond The Gate, which is track one on the album, it references a flat circle of time. That things will repeat again, and again, and again, forever. So for me, that isn’t actually the “beginning” track. The listener is jumping directly into the middle of a conflict that has been in motion for a long long time. I view Tearcatcher Pt. I as the true opening track, and if a listener were ever inclined to put the album on a loop, they would get the full experience. As for the theme, both songs are about confinement.

Scenario: You are stranded on some island, but you had the capability to put a flash drive with three of your most important songs into a sealed bottle and send it out to the world. These are songs that mean the most to you and best represent your legacy. What are they and why did you choose them?

Jaysen: Heal It Up by Concrete Blonde

Velvet: Something by I Can Never Have bu Nine Inch Nails

Keegan: The Drowning by Christian Death

Are your songs created in pretty much the same way in every case? Do you have to be in particular locations or moods to be inspired?

Jaysen: Most of these songs have been bobbing around in Limbo for longer than I’m proud of. I feel like we write them as a way of compartmentalizing a specific emotion or experience for easier filing purposes later on. I will however say that the first demos of each of these songs were written back on my old block back in Southwest Detroit, before “The Great Renaissance”...or whatever. The landscape both political, social, and literal, had an insurmountable influence on both the lyrical content as well as the textures of the album. I wanted the listener to smell the smoke, taste the chemicals, and feel like at any moment they might get one of their limbs ripped off in the machinery. We’re now based in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, which creatively feels like a reasonable alternative.

Could you give us some insight into your studio, your “tools of the trade” so to speak? How much is hardware/physical instruments and how much is based on softsynths and the like?

Jaysen: We've evolved pretty heavily from where we first started. In the beginning I would create almost exclusively using soft synth and then as we all came together, we began incorporating other elements such as heavily effected guitar filling the role of a synthesizer. We switched over to exclusively analogue in a live scenario. The backbone of our sound has always been the texture and the rhythm which comes mainly from sampling which we do organically working with the sounds that surround us constantly.

It seems fewer and further between are the bands these days that possess the sense of purity held by such bands as SKREW or Ministry – bands that used a lot of analogue equipment. Is this something that Livernois tries to return to? How do you think bands can, given the predominance of software synths?

Jaysen: Yes, we tried to do away with any softsynth aspects, because in a live scenario, it tended to be more of a pain in the ass, and more prone to error. Things can and will go wrong, but its easier to troubleshoot in the moment when your entire livelihood isn’t shackled to a single DAW [Digital Audio Workstation – editor’s note].

Some artists often engage in certain rituals when composing in the certain studio or before performing. Ex: They may like to have certain items around, they may do certain pre-show preparation, they may do things like meditation. Are there any particular rituals you do before writing or performing?

Jaysen: I think for everyone in the band that's kinda just the norm. I don’t know if I would actually notice a change in ritual for a show, or our day to day…. now that you mention it, however, I’m sure I probably will now.

Scythe: I prefer to smoke, but on tour, 2 drinks maximum before the gig. Also, if I have to piss, I wait until after the set. It keeps me attentive.

So, what’s next for Livernois? What do you foresee for the coming months?

Jaysen: Well, we’re hitting the road for a while with a hellacious smorgasbord of different talent, including Sex Blood, Lydia Lunch, Vision Video, Protokol 19, Human Factors Lab, and Pain Generator to name a few. When we settle back in, its back to work on Dark City Fest, which we put on here in New Orleans, which happens the weekend before Halloween. From there it's back to the lab again.

William ZIMMERMAN
29/05/2024


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