About Interface
Visions of Modern Life
Jon Billian
Interface Interviews

GC: What is the name of your band and who are the current members?

Interface is Eric Eldredge, Evan Eldredge, and Jonny Retro.

GC: How did you become connected to make music?

Interface: I had an interest in music, especially electronic, as long as I can remember. My first piece of music I owned was "Cars" by Gary Numan on 7 inch when I was 4. Evan and I worked together all our lives in garage bands and such. After my stint in Valve between 94 to 97 and having recorded a few demos under the Interface name, I made it my full time band. Jonny came along in summer of '99. I had met him and got him some auditions with a few bands I knew, and when none of them panned out, he ended up gravitating to Interface.

GC:What are your musical influences?

I: Mostly the early to mid 80's bands. Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Human League. Then a lot of seminal EBM bands as well. 242, Nitzer Ebb, Mig-29, etc. We also like a lot of trance, techno, some rock and alternative too.

GC: What is your live show like?

I: We're pretty straightforward. I do mostly lead vocals, Evan plays guitar and keyboards, and Jon plays keyboards.

GC: Tell us about your own unique style of music?

I: I think what makes us unique is that we try to involve elements of so many different styles under one roof, so to speak. And to do it all with a strong sense of songwriting and style.

GC: What separates your band from all the other bands out there?

I: I think that it's because we try to do what we do, and not try to follow any trends. Any similarities to other bands we might have are never intentional. I would be writing what I am writing no matter who else is out there.

GC: How do you go about writing songs?

I: I've never written two songs the same way. Or maybe I have and just haven't really paid attention. I think the only constant is that the music almost always comes first. Then after a certain amount of time the lyrics will just hit me.

GC: Pick one of your latest song and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?

I: Hmm. That would be "Doubts and Fears". I had wanted to do something a little different this time out, so I wrote a more new-wave influenced track. I had been listening to a lot of 80's synth pop before it, and ended up with that flavor going on. My only regret is that we might have rushed it a little bit as we tried to submit it to the upcoming Niahliah records compilation.

GC: What is your latest news with the band?

I: We're recording our third album now. We had played with a few titles so far but any one we're thought of has been taken. We're also opening for Stromkern on August 21st in NYC and showing off some of the new songs.

GC: Where do you hope to be in 5 year with your band?

I: Hopefully a lot richer than we are now. (laughs)

GC: How are people currently reacting to your music?

I: We're pretty fortunate that a lot of our listeners are pretty honest with us. So far we're gotten excellent reviews for our previous albums, and the few insiders who have heard the new songs have given us solid encouragement.

GC: What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to you music?

I: Well, I can really think of maybe one or two. First, that you will have happen what music was made to do for thousands of years, to stir your emotions in various ways. And maybe second, perhaps, is if it's a fast song, get up and dance!!

GC: What is your best experience as a band?

I: Probably our opening slot for the Human League last summer. We got up on stage expecting a scattered crowd and there had to be over 300 people crammed into this little tiny space pressed up against the stage! It was great feeding off that many people's energy onstage. And it was even more fun afterward in the dressing room chatting with Philip Oakey about soft Synths.

GC: What is your worst experience as a band?

Our label got into a lengthy dispute with its pressing plant, thereby holding up our "Wasted Time" singe indefinitely.

GC: What is most important to you in your band?

Our sense of originality. Our desire to make the music for ourselves first. To constantly give our listeners a good product.

GC: Do you have a personal favorite song?

It'd be hard to say for me, as I wrote them all! J If I did have to choose one, maybe "The Softest Blade", from the first album. It's such a confessional, intimate song, and it still moves me to this day when we perform it.

GC: What was the hardest song to write and why?

I: Sometimes I get an idea for a song in my head, and it kind of just sits there, getting stuck. "Writer's block" if you will. Either that or the song is in my head and the recording process is what hurts as I can't figure out how to get the whole thing right. I think "Clear Night" from the last album was tough. I wrote the whole first part pretty quickly, but getting it to evolve into what was on the record took a long time to do.

GC: What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/ synthpop etc scene today?

I: What I like about it is the ever-changing music, the evolving aesthetics, the willingness to accept other styles of music. However, that's only being done among the music makers. I find that even now, people in this scene still tend to be a little slow to accept change to a lot of things. And I'm starting to think that the bigger artists are starting to find a formula and sticking with it. Something we try hard not to do ourselves. We know that because we don't fit into any one of the above "genres" 100 percent, that we aren't necessarily going to sell as many CD's as if we did, unless hopefully fans of all of them can find a little something for themselves in each record.

GC: What music do you current listen to?

I: Lately, I have been going back to some "roots". I dusted off some 80's new wave albums. Human League's Dare, Ministry's Twelve Inch Singles, a few Kraftwerk albums. I also really got into that last Imperative Reaction album as well.

How do you keep changing your music from album to album or plan to change it?

I: Well, each album I write has a certain atmosphere to it. I don't even really know how that comes about; I just kind of do it. This new, untitled album we're making now is a lot more focused and aggressive than the last one.

GC: What kind of recording environment do you have?

I: My studio is my bedroom. My bedroom is my studio. I also have dumped off a lot of the hardware I had acquired before Angels in Disguise and have moved towards a more computer-based setup. Soon I think I will have nothing left but the computer. It just gives us such a trimmed-down, no nonsense approach to writing and recording that we didn't have before.

GC: How long did you spend on your latest effort?

I: Well, we're at this moment in the middle of it. We hope for early fall as a completion point. We're also keeping in mind that this also depends on the label/pressing plant dispute.

GC: What is the hardest thing about being in a band for this genre?

I: Without a doubt, sustaining a decent living off of this music. Of all the bands I know, especially the ones who are based in the States, few have been able to earn enough money from their efforts to live very well without the need for constant touring, taking on countless remixes, etc. It's a product of our environment. We are in an underground style of music. Our listeners don't always have a lot of money, so expecting to see a lot of our stuff being sent back and forth over Soul Seek is just part of life. File sharing is going to be hard to contain no matter what the RIAA thinks it can do, and sadly, Industrial/EBM and its offshoots are one of the biggest victims of it. It won't hurt a band like Nickelback; they're making millions off of their work. Nor is it going to hurt someone who's just starting out, because he/she can get a demo out in ways never before possible. I even have to attribute some of our own popularity to file sharing, even if it is potentially our undoing.

GC: Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of you band, now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band, ideas, or life in the band.

I: Interface just passed its 10th anniversary. That's a long time! I took a lot of time to reflect where the band has progressed over that time, the personnel changes, the musical growth, etc. I now want to concentrate more on where it is going to go in the future, what might happen next. I definitely want to thank everyone for their support over the years, and hope they can appreciate the reward they'll get with the new album.



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