Hello, Wojciech Król ! Are you tired? I know that you are currently busy with writing a new material, and you also have few side projects of yours, which verge more on house music style. Tell me, is creating so many different kinds of music projects, difficult?
- Hey, not really. I think the style of CLICKS isn’t really that far from controlled collapse, the big difference is that it’s more club friendly / party orientated. It’s straight dance music but with a harsh note to it. I want it to be the “harsh-electro-pop” music. I’m (un)fortunately not having any deadlines etc. which means that I can make music pretty much whenever I want, which is good but then You sometimes lack the motivation to do anything, so it might take quite some time.
You wanted to be musician from the early ages, or did this simply stroked you all of the sudden? Also, what instruments do you know to play and how good do you play them?
- My older brother was making music way before me. I thought onetime that why not try myself and it started there. I basically have no music background besides self-exploring. I can’t really say that I can play good on anything really. All my music is programmed, so I don’t really need that to make music. But I CAN play all the melodies I make.
Ok, tell me now everything there is to be known about the Controlled Collapse: the main influences and inspiration, the reason for you to create Controlled Collapse as a project, the emotions and ideas behind it, the iconography, how did you get into music making, and so on and on…
- Controlled Collapse was formed in 2003 after about 2 years of having fun with simple programs. The milestone for creating Controlled Collapse was Suicide Commando album Axis of Evil, which I really loved. It was (in my opinion) his best album. I really wanted to have the exact sound he had on that album so I started experimenting with some synths. I never really got there, but I made some stuff that I enjoyed myself. (the first demo – d3m0). Then came the Hocico / VNV Nation fascination and Humanization demo was born.
- The name injection came into my mind after I wrote the song “inject”. I really liked the verse “inject life, into your brain, to make your world dynamic” which was pretty much how I felt at that time about my surrounding environment. I thought that this song is the most representative, and decided to name the album injection.
Who is Controlled Collapse live? I know that “TomTylor” is, and Milena also. Tell me more about the band members, and why each of them joined the live rotation…
- We’re 4 people on stage now. It’s Milena, who’s also my fiancé, she’s playing on keyboards, mainly strings / pads parts. Funny thing is that she has more music education then I do… Second person is TomTylor who is my good friend from Kraków who’s also doing music in his spare time (http://www.myspace.com/thelastslave). He’s also playing keys. Mainly melodies and some fx Third person live is my brother a.k.a. Hemicrania who joined us to play live guitars. Last person onstage is me. I’m the one responsible for vocals, jumping and running around and making a complete idiot of myself.
I’ve said quite a few times that one of your prime influences are VNV Nation and Hocico. But I suppose you also like other groups as well, so please – tell us a little bit about the other groups you like as well, some new bands and albums you enjoyed recently…
- Yes. In the early stages the main influences were VNV Nation and Hocico as I really liked those bands then. I think You can actually hear those influences on Humanization demo, which had this rough, harsh sound but with some melody structures to it. Later on I started enjoying bands like Suicide Commando, :wumpscut: or Velvet Acid Christ which I think were main influences on the Injection album. At this moment I’m still into VAC… even more then before I think. I’m lately buying a lot of oldschool CD’s like old Covenant singles or Skinny Puppy vinyls. I guess one can say that I’m trying to catch up with everything. I’m definitely NOT into the trance orientated harsh-electro music which was very popular not so long ago…
Controlled Collapse has been featured few times on some compilations. Which would you point out as yours favorite one?
- I can’t say I have a favorite one. All of them were really good. The most memorable one for me I think is the deCODEr v2 released by Infacted in 2004. That was the very first “hello world” for controlled collapse. It was really amazing to hear that track being played at summer darkness in 2004 (or 2005 can’t remember) in the main hall and people dancing to it. Really amazing.
Tell me, what’s like the scene there in Poland? And what are your general thoughts on differences between West European, East European, American and Canadian scene? It seems that we at East Europe (Laibach, for instance), have distinctive scene, because we talk about certain subjects with that ironic East European flow, which, it seems to me, no one else has. Do you think that East European scene is pretty different from the other scenes in the world?
- Hmm… I don’t know really. I guess you might be right, there is something distinctive in eastern European sound, but I can’t really say what it is. It could be either sound or feel of the music, could be the topics of the songs. I don’t know. The scene itself is different in every country I visited / played so far. People in Poland are different to audience in England or Holland. I bet German crowd is also distinct as much as Russian. I think it’s just the mentality of people who live in those countries not really just a matter of “scene”.
You almost came on the Combichrist single record, but you, unfortunately, lost by due Amduscia remix. Tell me, have you been disappointed by the choice? Also, in what kind of relationship are you with Andy?
- I was definitely surprised because all the info about the upcoming single said that controlled collapse among others is included as the remixer. But I guess the decision was not to include it. Was pissed at first but then thought about it a bit and decided not to care about it anymore. Andy later told me that he’d be using some of the remix for the track on the album itself… and to my surprise he did. We’ve met a couple of times during the last couple of years (mainly during his concerts / festivals). Been exchanging e-mails from time to time. Friends I guess it’s a good word.
Which are your favorite remixes that you have done so far?
- I think it’s the Remix I did with guest vocals of Darrin Huss (Psyche) for a Polish electro-darkwave band God’s Bow. The remix is about 6 minutes long as far as I remember and it’s really moody and nice. Darrin’s contribution made it even better. Another remix I like is the one for another polish band called Deathcamp Project.
How would you explain to someone who only heard debut album from Noise Terror Production, the difference in sound of Controlled Collapse now, and back in 2005., during the demo era?
- Controlled Collapse is now less harsh I think. It’s more melody based, production based type of music. The first songs were really over-distorted and angry. This is slowly going away.
How much your production skills have evolved since your beginnings? What musical equipment have you changed during the years?
- A lot. I have more and more hardware now which I learn to use almost everyday. I know more technical stuff then I used to. I’m actually building myself a small studio for my own purposes so that all the stuff I make sounds even better.
- I started making music using just Propellerheads Reason. Now it’s Cubase 4, Korg Legacy Collection, Korg Radias, Roland SH-201 and Waldorf Micro-Q. I’m thinking on investing into Moog Little Phatty and Waldorf Blofeld now. Don’t have the money yet thou.
How much live events have you done recently, and what is yours dearest? You also performed on stage together with Combichrist, and you also will perform in less than a month again with Combichrist, giving Polish audience the one and only chance to hear live the new material…
- I haven’t played much as Controlled Collapse lately I have to say. I have been playing a lot of gigs as CLICKS tho. Mostly small clubs gigs but hey… You have to start somewhere. I don’t really have a dearest gig. All gigs were good and a lot of fun.
- The show with Combichrist this month is the first (and most likely the only one in coming months) opportunity to hear new material. We’re going to play 2 or 3 new songs. Hopefully people will like them.
Also, how much is important for you to play live? It seems that you are pretty rare live on stage these days, especially because the “Controlled Collapse with Combichrist” is the only Controlled Collapse event this year…
- I really like playing live. Especially when people who are watching us interact with us somehow. It always makes me happy seeing people dance and have fun to music I have to offer. I would love to play live more, but it’s a very complicated thing to do especially when live crew is 4 people now.
What would you like to say to anyone who wants to make this kind of music, and he lives ine the Eastern Europe. Which are the festivals in Eastern Europe that you think are important to play on, while producing and existing in this scene?
- It doesn’t matter where you are from. If you want to make music just do it. And if you want to be more known you have to play everywhere. That’s the way of letting people know that you exist.
You have been signed to Dependent sublabel, Noise Terror Production. What’s like to be on the “label” runned by the Johan Van Roy himself? And how did you “fell” into Dependent net at all? Have you ever meet Johan, or exchanged any mail with him?
- I met Johan in 2004 but I’ve been e-mailing him back and forth before that. He really liked my demo and decided to release my stuff after he made the deal with Dependent Records.
What can we expect from new album and new material?
- Since this year is actually a 5 year anniversary for Controlled Collapse I think you should expect a nice surprise gift from me. I have a couple of things in mind for that.
- Besides that the new album will be more diverse then the first one. It will definitely sound better. Like I said before, less distorted vocals, more interesting sounds. I’m also thinking about couple of guests.
Who made mastering and final mix of your debut album? The label?
- The final mix was made by me in my home studio. Mastering was done by Krischan Wesenberg (of Rotersand).
Your attitude towards piracy?
- It’s there! Can’t really do anything about it. I’m making music for fun not for money. Of course it’s nice to get some money for what you do but c’mon, whoever starts to make industrial / electro music for money, either don’t know what internet is, or has a lot of money himself to throw away on music making.
Thank you on this interview!
CONTROLLED COLLAPSE website
Interview made with Wojciech Król in June 2008. by David Kirinic Rodic for Elektronski Zvuk.
2008. Elektronski Zvuk