Interview with Gary Dassing

Your new album Love Is The Law is in final stages of production. What can you tell about this new album? The title and the song Love Is The Law has some positive statement isn't it?
- Dont be fooled by the title of the album, as far as the music is concerned, it isn't Algorythum revisited or for other matters any other Mentallo release although everyone agrees that its heavy/beat oriented ebm - some have said it is very reminiscent of no rest or Rev23 - but yet to me it is different. This album is very electronic, very rigid, very sequenced like the old stuff. The title is in reference of something positive.

Your last album Algorythum was not tipical Mentallo & The Fixer electro sound. Why was that?
- I just wanted to try something new, working with sequencers isn't really a challenge for me anymore. If I wouldn't have relied on the computer for the last 17 years i might actually know how to play a couple ofinstruments. I wanted it to have a live feel. True there are sequencers being used but not much. A great deal of the analog synths were laid down live. I incorporated a live drummer & percussion of various types, live guitar (electric & acoustic) as well as bass guitar. I wanted to work with other people, approach music in a different way to where i wasn't relying on a computer to spit my thoughts back out. I also had a couple of guest vocalists aswell.

Did you work together with your brother Dwayne again on the new material for Love Is The Law?
- No Dwayne did not compose any of the new material for LOVE Is The Law although he is doing all the digital editing (slice & dice mayhem) & mastering for the release, he even thinks it sounds like early Mentallo.

The new album will be released next year in March or April. Why must we wait so long for this release to be out? It is finished isn't it?
- We are taking our time with the editing manipulation, Dwayne just doesn't like to rush things when it comes to anyones music. Which im fine with because I know he will do a damm good job on it. That is one thing about Dwayne, he is very meticulous i do not have the patience for that.

I have heard, but also your fans that this new album is the last Mentallo album ever. Why is that and tell me moreif possible, about it.
- Well I personally think Mentallo has run it's course. I'm not the angst ridden person i once use to be. When i was suffering, my music had this element of intensity that was honest and i think people heard it, they knew i wasn't pulling the wool over their eyes. I was being upfront with them. I'm getting older, im settling down & I've found the medium for being content.

You new project is in beginning stages. It has no name yet, but tell me more about it. Style, music, is it going to be electro or not, and this kind of things?
- Well who actually knows what it will end up like. Everything i do always has that element of Mentallo there, so to say that it wont sound like Mentallo would be complete rubbish, but it will be along the lines of my instrumental material, like trax such as RADIANT/PERISH IN PERIL/LUMINARIES/BATTERED STATES OF EUPHORIA, less abrasive/more sonic/more melodic. Sure some of it will defionitly be programmed music I'm sure 50 percent of it will be but I still want that human feel & application there, I want to work on vocals types in the like of resonant echo/or Theme from ALGORYTHUM. I've already done my fair share of vocal manipulation & distortion im also going to have a female vocalist for this project, it will also contain a mixture of the dream pop sound...

You said that your new project will be released through yourself (no record labels involved). Will you start your own recordlabel?
- No I won't start my own label, but i will make my material avalible to the general public via mailorder & internet.

Can we expect this new Gary Dassing project sometime in 2000?

- I'm not sure but definitly by 2001.

Can you tell more about the beginning stages of Mentallo & The Fixer back in 80-is beginning of 90-is?
- Well MENTALLO formed after the breakup of Benestrophe. It was my brainchild. Soon after NO Rest I moved in with Dwayne (my brother) asked him to join & that is the history of it...

You and Dwayne had some side projects like Mainesthai. What can you tell about it and is there going to be new Mainesthai material in the future with you, Dwayne and Michael Green?
- No there will be no more new Mainesthai material, although Mike was on most of our tours, even the EUROPEAN one & we even played about 3 Mainesthai songs a night. There will be no more new Mainesthai because my primary focus will be on my new project. Mike & I are still in contact. It's just that he is a writter for several magazines & does a lot of traveling. He never stays in one place.

What about Benestrophe, any news about that?
- There is a possibility for Benestrophe, we stil have songs left over from 88-91 which never got onto Sensory Deprivation or Auric Fires, also Rich Mendez has expressed an interest in recording some new material.

You had a solo project with Ric Laciak called Parking Lot In Drug Form. Few years ago I spoke with Ric and he told me that this was just a fun project. What can you tell about Parking Lot In Drug Form?
- It was nothing more than that, a one time thing, where he was down vacatining at our home & we decided to have some fun over the weekend.

Your first release No Rest For The Wicked was released on Simbiose Records a division of Messerschmitt from Portugal. This was just a small label. Didn't you had some contacts with better labels from Europe or USA? Why Simbiose?

- Well the only american labels at that given time were Wax Trax & Nettwerk & in europe you had ZOTH OMMOG, PLAY IT AGAIN SAM & ANTLER SUBWAY. Actually Simbiose got a hold of me after hearing a demo tape and was interested in putting something out. Being vitually unknown at the time i had no problem with it.

How did you come in contact with Zoth Ommog and Metropolis?

- Well the story on Zoth goes this way. An old friend who was heavily into Zoth material at the time was over, I played him some of the trax I was working on. I asked him, "do you think i have a chance of getting on Zoth?" He said "no". Funny thing was that immeadiatly I sent out a tape to them, 2 weeks latter I was signed to the label. I got in contact with Metro because Zoth had them distributing our material in the states & I wanted to deal with a label first hand here in the United states.

When I first heard Revelations 23 back in 1993. on Zoth Ommog I said WOW this is something fantastic. It is still one of my favorites electro albums of all times. What was the response from the press and fans about Revelations 23?

- This was a breakthrough for Mentallo & The Fixer. I had a feeling it was going to do fairly well, the press in the electro scene at the time ate it up. I remember it recieved album of the month in some prestigous German magazine. Talla called me up from Zoth & was shocked. It got a lot of play from dj's in europe.

After Where Angels Fear To Tread you have changed label from Zoth Ommog to Metropolis / Off Beat. How was your work with Off Beat?
- Metro usually handled all buisness matters with Off Beat. Thorsten was a great promotions for their company and as well as for us when we were over in europe.

Mentallo & The Fixer was on German tour in 1997. How was it?

- The tour went great, I had a good time, the fans & there loyalty was ahead trip. They seemed so dedicated. I will say it way a bit like culture shock for me going to europe. But none the less I had a great time seeing the country side & experiencing a new culture.

Your latest releases are released only in USA on Metropolis. Did you had some response from your European fans about this materials?
- Well I know ALGORYTHUM / Systematik ruin is avalible in europe through OFF BEAT, but i heard through sources that they really didn't do any promotion for it.

What kind of reaction did you get from Metropolis when they heard Mentallo & The Fixer will release only Love Is The Law and that it's over?
- Let's just say it was an amicable one.. there were no hard feelings.

Is there a chance that we hear some new Mentallo & The Fixer material in next 5 years or is this your final decision, no more Mentallo & The Fixer?
- I can never say never, but if there was another release, i would definitly want Dwayne incorporated on it. But I really dont see it happening unless Metro decides to release a Best of........ then we would possibly do a couple of new trax, but im sure they would only do it if the demand was there.

Will the new album be involved in some political themes and recent things in the world because of the names of the songs like: United nations, Murderers among us or Truth be told?
- Actually the theme deals with biblical prophecy....

For the end. Have you some message to your fans?
- Love your enemies.

I wish you all the best in your life and with your work. We will be in touch for future Gary Dassing activities.
- Thank you Danijel

MENTALLO & THE FIXER - Official Website

Interview made in November 1999. by Danijel Levatic for Elektronski Zvuk.

1999. Elektronski Zvuk