Tuesday, July 19, 2011
by Evan South
1.) Nick, starting out on a serious note... What's in the water in
Canada?!?! Your country has spawned not just quality artists but some
of the biggest names and innovators in electro/industrial such as
Skinny Puppy, FLA, Numb, and of course the greatest of them all...
What's going on up there, and how do you feel about Fractured being
mentioned alongside some of those legends?
Hah, that's the first time I've heard Fractured and Bryan Adams
mentioned in the same sentence. It's pretty awesome to come up in that
list as well as be compared to these bands. I can respect any musician
who does what they want and has their own sound, which all of the
above have managed to accomplish. On the flip side I just write what
comes out and really don't pay attention to what's going on in the
scene around me.
2.) Reflecting back on Contami-Nation after all this time, what are
your thoughts on it? Have you ever considered re-working/re-releasing
any of your older tracks?
When we play live I sometimes bust out a few tracks from
Contami-Nation that I've reworked and juiced up a bit to have better
production. I really doubt that I'd ever go back to work on those
songs again as they're almost 10 years old now but it's pretty awesome
to see how much things have changed since then. I think Fractured has
always maintained a certain cadence and feel to the music that has not
really changed too much, but we've just got a little better at song
writing and production. It's pretty cool to look back at 3 albums
worth of music. I think it was good for what it was, but I'm glad
things have evolved.
3.) It was a good 5-6 years between Only Human Remains and Beneath
The Ashes. What was going on in this time and how did that large gap
play into the development of Beneath The Ashes?
I think my problem is that I'm so all over the map when it comes to
writing music that unless I completely focus on writing a specific
style song to song the styles change drastically. I have to basically
tell myself that I'm going to work on a 'Fractured' album with certain
constraints ( as hard as that might be to believe ). I worked on a lot
of different things over the years and got into recording a bigger
variety of sounds which I think really helped in producing BTA. During
that time I lived with Matt from Encephalon and we wrote a bunch of
tracks together one of which made it onto the album ( Anesthetic ).
That song was probably written 2-3 years ago at least now. A big
problem at the time was that we didn't have a label and were not
really interested in pursuing a deal with anyone else. It was much
easier this time releasing the album than OHR, as I felt a lot more
experienced in the process. I was able to sit in with the mastering
engineer and really spend time to bring the concept I had in my head
out with the artwork and the music.
4.) Only Human Remains was very well received and critically acclaimed.
Did this create any pressure for you in creating Beneath The Ashes?
I think it really made me want to top the success of it, but looking
back 'success' can mean a lot of things.. I think what I wanted was to
create something I was proud to release that contained elements of
things I considered to be the best of the styles of music I listened
to. It was actually a combination of things that led to us deciding to
write another Fractured album, the fact that Dependent was opening up
again, Encephalon were working on their album and DYM was also busy at
5.) While Fractured is for the most part a solo project, you've had a
revolving door of collaborators. How has this factored into the
development of Fractured over time?
While I've worked with quite a few musicians in Fractured the music
writing has 90% always been something I personally take control over.
I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to mixing and what sounds
to choose and eq'ing but once in a while I find someone I trust to
take the reins of a certain aspect, this time around it was awesome to
have Arc helping out on keys as well as co-writer for lyrics on the
album. Chances are if there is another Fractured album you'll see his
name on it again.
6.) You've done a lot of remix work for projects such as Wumpscut,
Regenerator, Solitary Experiments, etc. Do you like to do remixes as
a challenge, or maybe to keep your skills sharp? What do you think
you bring to the table as a remixer?
I used to really enjoy doing remixes. Lately I totally hate it haha. I
always used remixes as a way to experiment and try new ideas
production-wise. The problem I think is that I spend so much time on a
track these days as where I used to write a song in a weekend I'm
finding myself working on songs for 2-3 months refining everything and
tweaking everything until I think it's perfect. This is really hard to
do when a remixer asks you for something and it's usually got a 2 week
deadline and I have so many other things to work on with my day job I
would just rather work on my own stuff. I do still do remixes every
once in a while but I really have to be digging the vocals and general
flow of the song. If I'm going to spend 2-3 months on a remix it's got
to have had the same love recording the original. There are too many
bands who remix 500 songs and get 500 remixes of themselves done that
have no unique sound to begin with, what's the point?
7.) As a companion to the release of Beneath The Ashes you are still
generously giving away 5 free MP3's of tracks you consider B-sides.
Why weren't these tracks ever "completed" or why did you think they were
not good enough to maybe release as an EP or at a later date?
There are still so many more tracks buried away in the Fractured
vaults that will probably never see the light of day or get a release
so I don't mind giving away a few b-sides to promote the album. I hate
releasing old tracks and would much rather release something new so
the idea of selling something I don't consider my best is basically
out of the question.
8.) Your heavy metal side project Shallow Seasons has been floating
around for some time. Do you see yourself expanding this project, or
do you like to keep it as a guilty pleasure while you concentrate on
Fractured? On the same note, how has each project influenced the
other, as I've heard electronics in Shallow Seasons and heavy guitar
I plan to write some more Shallow Seasons over the next year or two, I
most likely will not try to release it as a 'real' album but just give
it away online as an EP or something. Every once in a while I get this
itch to write a metal track so I can get it out of my system and work
on other things.. The problem lately is that there are so many
different choices of musical styles I want to work on that I need to
keep myself a little more centered and focused and hopefully get the
inspiration for another Fractured album and not wait another 5 years
9.) How has Fractured developed as a live project? Did you intially
think you would be able to translate Fractured from a studio project to
the live stage?
I come from a punk / metal background so performing was always part of
it. The first Fractured show I played I believe was in 2003 with
another now defunct Toronto band 're_agent'. It was pretty bad but
things have always been changing up for us live. Right now we're
working on finding a drummer again and usually have Arc on synths,
myself playing guitar and singing and sometimes Matt from Encephalon
on keys. It's always a blast to play your tunes on a huge system
really loud for a bunch of your friends, we hope to play some more
shows in the future but at the moment aren't actively looking for
10.) What's next for you? More Fractured, Shallow Seasons, remix
work, etc.? I know you also have been planning to extensively tour
North America later this year?
We'd love to tour but it seems the logistics of getting out to do it
aren't as good as we hoped. We'll hopefully just start work on another
Fractured album and see where the wind takes us! Probably the best
place to keep an eye on us is Facebook, I'm always posting remixes and
things I'm working on at the time Shallow Seasons included.. These
days my regular job has been getting really busy so I work on things
when I have the time and inspiration, but there is always something on
11.) Final thoughts/comments?
Thanks very much for your support and the interview, thanks to all the
readers for making it all the way to the end! we're very proud of the
new album Beneath The Ashes and if you feel like helping us out you
can order a t-shirt from our website (www.faithisfractured.com) or
grab our CD's off iTunes, or order a physical copy from Dependent in
Europe or Metropolis Records in the USA. As another one of our
Canadian artists Neil Young says, "Keep on rockin' in the free world!"