Chain D.L.K.: First of all, please introduce yourself and tell us about your previous musical experiences… How was Cruise [Ctrl] born?
John – We met in a band called The Dawn Visitors. We observed that we had very similar taste (and not only in the music area) and a common vision of “how to do music”. When the T.D.V. story ended, it was obvious for us to start something new.
Gore – The story really began when I bought an old analog synthesiser for 20 Euros in an open market… We recorded hours and hours of noise and we immediately knew what we had to do with it.
John – I programmed some drum patterns and the first songs were rapidly done… but never published, of course… After that, we’ve had an opportunity to perform with artists we appreciate… and we chose a name.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you decide to stick to the “all tracks at 120bpm, all tracks linked, only analog sounds and textures, no melodies, no singers, no faces, no explanations, no rules” formula?
John – Step by step… 120bpm speed, for example, was chosen after we recorded hours and hours of noise with this old keyboard… at the same speed! We prefered to keep this as constraint for following record sessions.
Gore – We’ve also chosen to publish an album with 9 tracks… The first album had 10 tracks and that is too much… Nine is better.
John – Undoubtedly!
Chain D.L.K.: Do you still follow that rule?
Gore – Until now, yes. However, for the third album, we have chosen to keep the nine tracks separated because we want to change a bit the perspective…
John – Tracks are more independent and we have to find coherence elsewhere.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever felt any restrictions following these rules?
John – No, at the contrary. Actually, those rules are useful to us. They force us to be creative… but they give us guidelines. If the range of sounds and effects is limited and if all tracks are exactly at the same speed, you have to invest your creativity in the moods and in the atmospheres you want to create…
Gore – …but it’s more comfortable than being totally open to any and all possibilities. With Cruise [ctrl] we have our marks.
Chain D.L.K.: “How’s Annie” is your second album and it has been released by Divine Comedy Records. Did you have something you wanted to achieve with that one?
John – We wanted to confirm to ourselves that “I heard it!” was not a kind of “one shot”, that we could do it twice. “I head it!” was nearly sold out after only six month and received very good reviews… Of course, the collaboration with Jean-Luc Demeyer played a role in the success of “I head it!”, but “How’s Annie?” is taking the same way.
Gore – We also wanted to expand the perspectives opened in “I heard it!” while also opening new perspectives that would be expanded upon in our third album, etc.
Chain D.L.K.: Often your track titles sound futuristic or ironic (see “There is a Hole in my Donut” or “Ugly Expresso in Hollywood”) and they hardly give the idea of the obsessive atmosphere of your music. How’s that?
Gore –Through the titles, we are searching coherence between the form and the substance… but we also avoid to be too explicit. It creates a kind of gap… a breach for listener’s imagination.
John – All the titles then have an obvious explanation: ours. But at the same time, they have no definitive meaning because anyone is able to give it their own. Our aim is to suggest. That’s why we do not explain titles… That would makes no sense.
Chain D.L.K.: As I wrote in my review, your music needs that you keep everything under control because of the amount of noise you deal with. How do you do that? And are there cases when you aren’t successful at that?
Gore – Yes there are… a lot! And if it doesn’t work rapidly, we never insist. It must be evident or we erase everything…
John – That means actually that we do not control everything. We just try to deal with the accidents we provoke and to make the most out of random effects and uncontrollable devices. Moreover, if you allow me, you’re wrong when you suggest that there is a huge amount of noise. The fact is the noises are complex. We are more attentive to their recording than to the possibilities of modifying the sound afterwards in our computers. And yes, the takes are sometimes quite long and hard to sort out…
Gore – Each song is actually built by only one or two noise tracks and one or two rhythm tracks. Rarely more…
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever performed live? If yes, can you tell us how what your set sounds and looks like?
John – Yes we did. We really appreciate this… and the feedback of the public is good… The sets are more accessible and more direct in comparison to the albums. Gore’s friend creates nice abstract videos that allow us to play in the dark. If we have no video projections, we play in complete darkness or with only red lights… I’ll give you some pictures of a recent performance to go with this interview…
Gore – However, we don’t do a lot of concerts because our music cannot be clearly identified by concert organizers. Not EBM enough, not Industrial enough, not techno enough…
John – Moreover, yes, concerts are good opportunity to spread our music, to sell CDs and to receive a direct feedback from the public… but it’s not the most important thing to me. I largely prefer the intimacy of our studio.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s next for Cruise [Ctrl]?
John – A lot of things: an exclusive track for a U.S. compilation, a remix compilation of our second album (featuring artists from the French and Belgian electronic scene and published by MEKA Productions), new episodes of the Two.Lone.Snowmen.Sessions (drone-atmospheric tunes we record as nearly one single take or in collaboration, soon available on our website www.cruisectrl.be) and, of course, the completion of our third album, which we hope to release in 2011.
Gore – We are also supervising the US reprint of “How’s Annie?”. That will be published by Signifier Records in the early 2011.
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