(Rules of The Gauntlet: The artist (Like in this case Gothic Electronic Act PHOENIXCODE) is sent a butt ton of questions ranging from standard to stupid from which they must choose at least 12 to answer and return them to us with a minimum of tear stains.)
Tell me about your new album. The writing, vibe, production/producers, etc.
Scorpio: “PHOENIXCODE – I” was written and recorded 100% DIY during the period of July-ish 2015 to March of this year. Leo did all the underlying music, and I did most everything to do with the vocals– lyrics, sound engineering, etc. We had some collaborators come into the process a bit later down the line– i.e. Matthew Dougherty– to help fill in the gaps of our skillsets. We really got a lot of use out of the platform Soundbetter.com which helped us to connect with Matt and our female vocal contributor, Mella.
One of the main themes driving the PHOENIXCODE project is to highlight the ways in which technology, particularly collaborative platforms, are going to change the world for the better. At the end of the day, it’s platforms in the spirit of Soundbetter, Uber, Airbnb, Patreon, etc. that are opening the doors for substantially more freedom of choice. So, it was really awesome to be able to benefit directly, as musicians, from the same kinds of things that we’re promoting on a larger scale.
Tell me why your music rules. Or why it sucks.
Scorpio: It’s weird, man. I feel like we’re breaking new ground with it and doing something profound in a way, but it’s so difficult to get any kind of response. People are so overwhelmed with music that they essentially need someone to smack them in the face and say, “Hey, this shit is good for you!”
However, I can promise to anyone that takes the time to dig into the album with an open mind, you’ll be continuously rewarded with ideas of substance coming from a place of genuineness. Or, if you’re just looking to get a musical experience that’s different from anything else out there, I can promise that, too.
Scorpio: It’s a natural marriage of our shared adoration for hardcore ethos (Dillinger, Converge, Refused, etc.) and the freedom of electronic music.
Scorpio: I think Hodor from Game of Thrones would sum it up best.
Scorpio: Great job, Hodor. That’s how I remember it as well, but I’m curious as to how you remember it, Ragnar Lothbrok?
Ragnar: *stands up abruptly* “Two young warriors from far reaches of the Eastern Wilderness were brought together by the God of The Three Rivers and Old Mountains. In the fire of youth they set sail to the West in a ship built with their bare hands only to be stranded at sea. They floated upon the ocean for many months, catching fish with their bare hands and eventually eating the leather of their clothes. But finally they caught a gust wind which carried them back to Kattegat. Upon their return, they meditated upon their journey, extracting all possible knowledge from it– as intelligent warriors do.” *Ragnar clutches his son tightly* “And then, after foreseeing an even brighter vision of green isles and fair women, the two warriors again began building a ship better fit for the journey. This one would be much smaller than the previous and cut through the ocean like a blade.” *Ragnar snakes his hand through the air* “We will see where their journey takes them. The Seer has foretold either triumph or tragedy awaits.” *Ragnar falls limply onto his throne and smiles deviously*
Scorpio: Believe in your own value and potential (and reciprocally for others), never stop trying to achieve that potential, and follow the spiral up… Listen in to the last track on the album. You’ll get the idea.
Leo: You have to enjoy life for what it’s worth. You have to make the best of every day you have. You also have to believe in yourself. Never settle for anything, you have to keep pushing the rock up the hill.
Do you have names for your instruments? If so what are they?
Scorpio: The first bass I ever gigged with was a $150 “pawn shop special” by the brand “Galveston.” Everyone just called him Galveston, and he lived a pretty hellish life– sweaty gigs, shitty amps, dirty garages, solitary confinement, etc. I smashed him on asphalt at the end of a farewell show several years, and he lived to rumble another day. Ol’ Galveston is retired for now, but he may make an appearance in PHOENIXCODE when the time is right.
Name two people cooler than Evil Knievel. Why?
Leo: John Wayne and Donny Shankle. No explanation needed.
What do you geek out to besides your music? Please geek out on your geekiness.
Leo: Definitely games for me, I’ve always been a huge gamer. Right now I’m pretty big into Wow again after the new expansion. I bounce between Wow, Diablo 3, and Overwatch mostly. One of my all time favorite series though has to be the Mass Effect Trilogy.
If you could ask yourself one question what would it be?
Leo: What the hell is going on?
What was the last song you listened to before this interview?
Leo: “Bad Choices” by Shout Out Out Out
Top five favorite albums?
Solace – Jakob – My personal sanctuary, and the soundtrack to my brain.
Oceanic – ISIS – My other happy place.
No Absolutes in Human Suffering – GAZA – Soundtrack to the world as it could become in the blink of an eye.
An Age Among Them – Rinoa – The antithesis to No Absolutes… Triumph.
Audioslave – Audioslave – Never ceases to remind me why I love music as an end-in-itself.
Ire Works – Dillinger Escape Plan – This album inspired me for years!
2. The Lonesome Crowded West – Modest Mouse – This was the album that truly made me love music.
3. Ghosts I-IV – Nine Inch Nails – This album started my love for electronic music. Seeing what one man can make with just a computer and tools.
4. Team Sleep – Team Sleep – This album is just awesome.
5. Immolate Yourself – Telefon Tel Aviv – This album is like a trip through your dreams on a magic horse named Roger.
Would you accept 1 million dollars now to give up any and all music forever? If not what is your price?
Scorpio: As a creator of music, a million just might be enough to buy me out. Music is just one of the creative endeavors in which I partake and there are a shit ton of artists making incredible music; therefore, I wouldn’t feel bad about taking a million dollars and channeling my energy into other pursuits, i.e. writing, entrepreneurship, directing, etc. I’d imagine this will happen sooner or later anyways… However, there’s NO AMOUNT OF MONEY that would make me give up “any and all music forever.” I can’t even imagine life without it. Like, it’s seriously depressing to imagine that, I’d rather just be deaf altogether.