Editor’s Note: Night Shift contributor aKa_DeLeTe has prepared a special edition post for the Music of Night Shift. He scored an interview with Imperative Reaction, and we are excited to present what we hope is the first of many band converstations below.
Be sure to follow Imperative Reaction on MySpace for the latest updates and releases!
-Night Shift Administrator
I decided to write my next article about the band Imperative Reaction, but instead of just an artist profile, I wanted to try something different. I went to all the websites to try and find a way to contact them, so that I could present this as an interview. I finally found an email address to the IR management team who finally got my questions through to the band. Here is what they said.
1. For those not familiar with IR, what is your name? When and where did IR get its start?
My name is Ted Phelps and in 1996 I started Imperative Reaction with David Andrecht. Das Bunker in Los Angeles helped us get our start by promoting and hosting our first shows.
2. Throughout your musical career, what have been your major musical influences?
When IR got started my playlist sounded like this: Leætherstrip, Skinny Puppy, Mentallo & The Fixer, X Marks The Pedwalk, etc. In recent years,
inspiration has come to me from many genres, both from the mainstream and from the underground. The bands that seem to stay on permanent rotation in my world include Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb and the Cure… you can probably thank those bands for planting the seeds that eventually sprouted out Imperative Reaction.
3. Any of your musical Icons that you have met, or still want to meet?
One of my favorite memories is of the time a friend and I snuck into the VIP Lounge at a Nine Inch Nails show and just that we were supposed to be there.
To our surprise, we met Dave Gahan and Trent Reznor which left us pretty much speechless. That same night we also met Maynard James Keenan and Robin Finck. Strangely, we also had a conversation with Gene Simmons; the entire experience was nothing short of surreal. As an adult, I have been fortunate enough to not only get to know a lot of artists whose work I admire, but I’ve also become friends with many of them. It’s a nice perk of this job.
4. Now, everyone has that one song that just holds that special little place in your heart. What would that song be for you, whether it be one of yours, or another artist?
It amazes me how hearing a song can so quickly evoke a particular feeling or memory. Some of my all-time favorites include Martin Gore’s version of the Joe Crow song “Compulsion”, “The Show Must Go On” by Queen, “Halo” by Depeche Mode, “Youth Choker” by Babyland and “Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead. As far as my own music goes, “Something I Left Behind” and “Only In My Mind” are particularly special because both represent milestones for me as a songwriter.
5. So, there has no been a new album out since Minus All. I hear you are working on a new album right now. What new sounds can we expect from IR this time around?
I am not completely satisfied with how Minus All turned out and, in juxtaposition, I’ve never been as excited as I am now about an album as I am this upcoming IR album. This time around, I have hired Krischan Wesenberg of Rotersand to mix and master the album. Aside from him being one of the best producers I know, this decision has enabled me to write and record the album without being bogged down trying to make mix or production decisions which, inevitably get in the way of my creative process. While I am still the main songwriter, this album will feature contributions from the live band that’s come together over the years. The new album is going to be very different than anything we’ve done before and I think now is the perfect time for that.
6. If I may ask, what is the title of the new album, if you have a title already, and when can we expect for it to be released?
7. Now I’m sure IR is going to go on tour in support of the new album, any chance we can get you to come to South Texas? The people here love your music.
We love playing in Texas… in fact, some of our most memorable shows have been there. We played a show in Corpus Christi in ’04 on the Redemption
Tour. Unfortunately there weren’t a lot of people there but, thanks to the enthusiasm of the promoters and the people who came to see the show, it ended up being a lot of fun. The band has grown a lot since then so I think shows like that would be a little more exciting now. If there is a promoter who wants to have us, and we can work something out, we will be back to South Texas!
8. Many bands now offer some kind of remix contest for fans. With the new album in the works, have you ever thought about doing something like this.
We ran a remix contest when As We Fall was released and it yielded a lot of really cool remixes but nothing that we felt strongly enough about to
release. We are in talks with our management and label about the marketing strategy for the new album so we might just revisit the concept of a remix contest just yet…
9. To show your love for the fans and their dedication, would you maybe consider putting the winning track on the album?
I can’t imagine including remixes on an album; I feel it detracts from the power of the artist work. However, I do feel they have their place on EPs
and singles so if things worked out time-wise, I could see including a fan remix on an official release..
10. Finally, last question. To end this on a lighter note: If you were playing at a club or venue and a fan wanted to buy you a drink, what would that drink be?
Ha! Drinks are too expensive and we usually have plenty of whiskey for the band backstage. If a fan asked to buy me a drink I’d politely decline and
invite them to buy a t-shirt or a CD instead ;).