NIN trivia buffs with a careful eye may recognize the names Marcus London, Doug Idleman, and Nigel Wiesehan from the credits on the back of The Fragile. Nigel also shows up in the thanks for Clint Mansell's score for Requiem for a Dream. Hotline reporter WhitechapelMolly decided to do a little background check on these fellows. Marcus, Doug, and Nigel make up the group Dead Hand System, while they're not working at Nothing Studios. The following interview gives us more information on their musical project and the vision these guys have for their music. Hopefully we'll help bring some unfamiliar music a little more into the open here.
Did this influence the naming of the band DeadHandSystem as a mission to evolve music from organic to technological, because to you the machine has a soul?
Our mission is not to change music from organic to technological, but to show that a harmonious balance can exist between the two. Evolution stems from adapting to, and drawing from your environment. Everything has a tone or a rhythm, be it a violin, a chainsaw or your dishwasher. It is up to us to capture the music all around us.
Through this evolution you wish to push boundaries. Which boundaries are you referring to?
Boundaries are defined as limits, confines, a terminus. In our mind, art has no limits, no end. We must realize that music is more than a catchy chorus and a danceable beat. Music is wallowing in radio friendly pop stagnation, and D.H.S. means to bring about a change.
D.H.S.' sound is described as a hybrid of musical styles. Is this both a reflection of DHS' goal and perhaps the influence of individual musical backgrounds each band member has brought into the mix?
Your assumption would be correct. The three members of the band have widely diverse musical backgrounds. Doug is more punk - industrial, yet loves lo-fi; where I come from a pop - classic rock , jazz background, and Marcus is, of course, an old school metal head.
DeadHandSystem is released on its own record label Eosapien to as you've put it "resist the degeneration of music today". Are there any current plans to take on additional bands? EOsapien would offer a haven of freedom to create, but are you looking for anything in particular?
At the moment, EOsapien has its hands full with D.H.S. But, if our plans come to fruition, that will change eventually. As for what we'd be looking for, honest, heartfelt musical experiments. No bullshit.
What is the vision for the next album "Scorched Earth Policy"?
This question will be answered upon the release of the album.
On your website there is an ad for a vocalist. What direction will the music take once you find a vocalist?
That will most likely depend on the vocalist. We are looking for someone who uses their voice as an instrument. Someone who makes those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Upon listening to DeadHandSystem, I have to agree that it's a blend of various musical styles, but which past or present bands have influenced your sound? There is a range from heavy guitar to the ambient. I'm under the impression that there is something for everyone on this album.
D.H.S. is influenced by everything we hear and see. From Pink Floyd to Atari Teenage Riot, Mozart to The Cure, Hendrix to Tool, it's all in there along with a healthy dose of nature and chaos.
Now that we've introduced the readers to D.H.S. could you detail a bit on what you do at Nothing Studios. You are mentioned in the credits for "The Fragile" by Nine Inch Nails and Clint Mansell's film score "Requiem For A Dream".
I am an assistant engineer. Basically I set up drum sets, guitar cabinets, and bass cabinets then mic them up. I also do tech work, meaning that I fix things when they break. Doug also works at the studio doing what I started out doing , a runner. We all have to start at the bottom and work our way up, that's just how this business is.
What is it like working with those artists? Have they helped to influence D.H.S.?
I love working with everybody here. I've learned so much. All of the guys are like my big brothers, especially Charlie, and Leo. They give me pointers about the industry and engineering that help guide me on the path that I'm on. As much as I work with them, I try not to let them influence me, but it's inevitable. Most of the time though, I find that, musically speaking, I would take a right when they would take a left. Meaning that I think differently than they do. I have different influences, different gear, different people that I work with when I work on D.H.S. They influence me, most of all, with life and the business side of things.
Lets get back to the DeadHandSystem website for a moment. Internet users can download and listen to quite a few tracks off the current album. If they like what they hear, how can they get a hold of a copy?
We are very proud of DeadHandSystem.com. Our friend, Brett Calzada, whose main site is 504destruct.com, is the technical mad-man behind the site. Our goal when we were developing the site was to take the minimalist approach. Have as much stuff on there as possible, while talking up very little space. Brett is amazing! He definitely helps us reach the people on the web, but he can also relate to the vision that we have. I think that's why the site looks as good as it does. We wanted to put as much music on there as we could. So "Fuck it", let's put the whole album on the site. Let's just make it accessible to everyone! That's why we're doing this anyway, right? We're not trying to make a shit load of money; we're trying to make people realize that there is REAL music out there!! If someone would really like a hard disc copy of the C.D., they can go to the site, and on the "looking for four" page, they will find a P.O. Box address, if you send a self-addressed stamped-envelope with enough postage to cover the weight of a C.D. and some other random paper items, we'll send you a disc and a little something extra.
The website also has a listing of club dates located in New Orleans. Are there any plans to visit other parts of the country?
Right now we're working on new material, so it might not be soon, but YES! We've been in contact with people to do shows in St. Louis, Mo., Texas, Florida, and Georgia. But that won't start until February or March. We are planning to do at least one show a month here in New Orleans until March when we start playing other places.
The NIN Hotline
like to thank Nigel Wiesehan for speaking to us about D.H.S.
DeadHandSystem Website: http://www.deadhandsystem.com/
To contact DeadHandSystem: EOsapien Inc., P.O. Box 15162, New Orleans, La., 70175
Coordination and reporting by WhitechapelMolly, introduction, layout and design by Leviathant with material provided by deadhandsystem. Do not reprint without permission. Article ©2001 The NIN Hotline.