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(Feb. ´96; with * Anne, ** Heinz-Georg)

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* Why is it just Foetus these days?

F: I got kind of all the variations out of my system and I wanted to finally hold it down. I just got sick of changing the name all the time. I feel like I've done this enough. I still have Stereoid Maximus and I pretty much gave it up on Clint Ruin and Wiseblood. I want to make it more compact, cause I've got so many projects going on, it's getting confusing. I used about a million names. So it's just being Foetus is more confrontational. I am Foetus. Hear me roar!

** Why did you start with the different names?

F: Perversity. Being perverse and creating a mythology. I created press releases and gave a different line up for every band. Each band had a different intention, like Scraping Foetus off the Wheel, You've Got Foetus on Your Breath, with the album titles are very confessional whereyou see Foetus are terrorists. It is more political. Foetus Interruptus was pure hate and Foetus Corruptus and Foetus In Excelsus Corruptus Deluxe I had to be Corruptus cause I was corrupting the purity of just being Foetus. So since I had all the musicians on it I said Foetus Corruptus.

* So would that mean itis not only pissing off the press that are trying to categorize you?

F: It is sort of a Dadaist thing to do. People don't do it. I thought it was an interesting thing to do. Just to go through various mutations. I don't think that anyone has done that.

* I just know the latest album, so I can't compare it to the other stuff. To me, changing names and line ups, is that also like sort of acting out the different personalities musicwise?

F: No, it is more like shedding skins. I am moving forward and leaving the last skin behind.

* As you grow as a person? Foetus

F: Yeah, as I grow as artist. It is not to say that I am not proud of my work, I am, but I am a heavy self-critic. It was a really Dadaist thing to do, I think. Also it is easier this way, cause people don't know whether to go to Y or S in their record collection. You just go to F. You know, with Maximus and Wiseblood there are still stickers on them saying "File under Foetus". So it is just pouring it all together and making it more streamlined.

* More concentrated. Are you mutating in to a foetus?

F: I am Foetus.

* So you are there.

F: I am, it is just all different aspects of my personality. You know, everyone has sad moments, euphoric moments, suicidal moments. It's all different elements of me. Mainly concentrating on the sad and suicidal moments. Hehe.

* I like that idea cause most people they have different aspects of their personality, but they are just not able to give themselves different names or myths or whatever.

F: It is kind of a perversity in my art as well. It is kind of an artistic statement, as well as a statement of intent.

* Why aren't there anymore solo gigs?

F: I did that and I wouldn't go back to doing it again, now that everyone seems to be doing it with Rap, Techno, House bands. To do solo tape shows you are playing over the same track even though it is me playing every instrument. Playing live with a band, there is more room for improvisation, it is a lot more physical. Each time I tour, I've done five tours with a band, I have a different band. I havehad five different bands. There are different people bringing in different elements. Sometimes I have violins, sometimes I don't. And different people play, but I am still the ringmaster, the dictator. I conduct a band kind of like James Brown does so I can extend sections, working on impromptu bits and I can extend bits and then they can come in with little parts. We have done this a few times on this tour, creating new parts on the spot.

** What do you do on stage?

F: I sing. I play the audience. I conduct a band and I conduct the audience.

* What do you mean when you say that your records are your confession booth?

F: It is like a diary. Writing down, what is going on in my life. In a best case scenario, it is supposed to be a catharsis. But sometimes, instead of what I am itemizing, what might be a particular horrible part of my life, instead of making the wound heal, it is picking at the scabs so that it doesn't heal. That makes is particularly difficult to sing it live at times. Like on the last US tour, last summer, I was really depressed and I was often breaking down on stage and I had to run off a few times and I didn't wanna go back on and stuff like that. But I do cry on stage.

** Has this happened on this tour as well?

F: A couple of times I have been crying. It is because what I am talking about comes from a very deep, personal place. I get really emotional then.

* It must be hard to play that every night.

F: Yeah, the US tour is emotionally exhausting. There were a lot of bad things going on in my life and I got really sick for about three months and they couldn't find out what was wrong with me and the finally decided that it was due to stress and anxiety and it was manifested in a physical way. I was coming up with a rash, losing consciousness, breaking out in hot and cold sweat. I was in and out off the emergency room. They put me on IV units and I still got medication for it, you know. They put me on all sorts of medication. I had tests and stuff.

* This brings me to the question whether you still listen to your old records and if you compare them to one another.

F: I haven't listened to my old records for a while. I did listen to them last year cause they got re-issued and I dhadn't had copies of them and I read the lyrics andI think thematically there is a string going through my work and it is developing and I can, cause I am so close to it that I can see what was going on in my mind at the time. I think, even if I find my really early stuff embarrassingly unlistenable, I find if I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have reached the conclusion I have come to now. And I got a lot of experimentation out of my system before I really hit my stride. And I was able to translate what I had in my head haunting me at the time. Since I his that stride, around about 83 with Hole, I finally have gone to the experiments and have reached this conclusion and from roundabout then on I wasn't, or there were no bad influences from anyone. I was influencing myself.

* Yeah, it needs some practice.

F: Yeah, it took a while. I am still experimenting. I am still learning and developing. I see it as like climbing a mountain and there are like hills and valleys, but you have to keep climbing the mountain. There is no point in reaching the top, cause if you reach the top you just fall off the other end. I am always climbing that mountain.

* I think most people do that in their life, or at least they should do that. There's a saying that you never stop to learn and to develop. You'd be dead if you settled down.

F: If I didn't do music, I would be dead within six months. Either I would be or twenty people in McDonald's would be.

Foetus* Oh, I can understand that very well. Ahm, you mentioned techno. What is your opinion on the current techno movement?

F: I like some of it. Like any genre, there is 90% crap, and I think there are some really good artists out there. I like The Prodigy and The Orb, Orbital. Some stuff. I think Tracy Lord's album is great.

* Yeah, but most of the stuff is just like fairground techno.

F: Well, I know a lot of people who do that sort of music. I like some of it. A lot of it is not worth listening to at home; rather at the clubs. Whereas I think that Orbital can pull it off as a listening experience. They also sound great in a club.

* We checked some internet pages and in an interview you mentioned that you want to put out a CD ROM.

F: Yeah. That's gonna have all my artwork, all my lyrics, unreleased videos, unreleased music, unreleased writing, videos of Wiseblood - the two videos I've done - and uptakes. Tons of stuff. I have sat down with a list of things and in fact, Pierre from the Morning Glory Towards the Voyager was approached. So that is a wholesome progress, basically it is a project I am doing with this guy Alex in New York. I am handing the material over to him and he is putting it together. It is a big undertaking and I am also gonna do a little book as well. A cover book. It is going to be called "Foetus of Excellence, Volume 2".

* We were wondering about the CD ROM and it is supposed to have a 10" coming along with it.

F: Ahm, that may or may not happen. There is this other 10" series called "10 by 10" which is gonna be on my label Ectopic Ends which I went to incorporate last year. It's Entopic Ends, Delaware. I don't know why Delaware. I think it is cheaper to register there. And the first release through that is gonna be an album by 101 Cross Stations, a New York band. They are really cool and like the Beatles and ??? meet ??? (mumbles something unintelligible) meets many other things. They have got really good songs. The soundtrack of the Atrocity exhibition with A.G. Ballard who wrote the movie and the book, which is myself and Caspar Brötzmann, Maine, James Brodken, Furnace and FM Einheit. That's half way done and we are releasing the soudntrack through that. And the 10 by 10 series is ten 10" clear vinyl with clear plastic sleeves by New York artists mainly. Ultra Bide, Halcion, Chrome Cranks, maybe Morning Glories, Lisblood??? from the Pain Teens, Elysian Fields, and a couple of others. And the tenth one which is Foetus will only be available in a box set with all the other nine.

* Hahaha.

F: That's a good way of turning people on to it. That's gonna be a heavy perspex. All over the crest with Entopic Ends.

* The weird things was though that if you were toput out the CD ROM with the 10", it would be like Hi-Tech meet vinyl.

F: What I should do is, I should put it out with an 8-track.

* I think that people with a CD ROM player are very unlikely to own a record player. Geo would buy it for the 10", but he doesn't have a CD ROM. So there is a discrepany between the two.

F: That's good. Hi-Tech meets Lo-Tech.

** The first CDs I've ever seen from independent records were yours.

F: I was one of the first rock artists on CD. I was also the first artist to use that packaging double CD thingy that folds up.

** And today there is a problem to get your stuff on vinyl. Is Gash out on vinyl?

F: No, it's not because it's too long for a single album and a bit too short for a double album. But I like to put it out on vinyl, but I still have to get the rights to do it. Then I would release it through Entopic ends and I would put on some extra tracks and do it as a double vinyl.

** I am just a vinyl collector.

* Not me though.

F: I still buy vinyl. But then I still buy 8-tracks. I got a big 8-track collection.

* What's that?

F: They are cartriges like cassettes. It's kind of a dead format now. (describes them & tells what he has in that format)

* It seems like you are doing a lot of stuff, the movie soundtrack, the CD ROM, lots of projects under different names, the book and things plus you are doing engineering jobs as well.

F: Remix stuff, plus I started writing a new Foetus album, which is about two or three songs into it. It is gonna be called Bust which is the perfect follow up to Gash. Gash means a deep wound and is also a derogatory term which means pussy. And Bust means broken, but it also means breasts. So it's the bookend. Pussy and tits. There is another project - I might as well tell you all the other projects - (nice!!) Mesomorph Enduros Vol 2. Mesomorph Enduros Vol 1 is a series which I am doing. Volume 2 is about 85% done and it's got like Halcion, Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, let's see, I don't think Pavement are on cause they keep dicking me around, promising me a track that they are holding up. There is about another 15 US artists and hopefully it will be out this year if we get it finished off in time. Volume 3 is going to be all Japanese artists. And then in the summer we are coming back to Europe to do festivals and then hitting Japan, Australia, Greece, Turkey, Isreal.

* * You can play in Turkey?

F: We got an offer to play there and they contacted the booking agent.

* I think you will have to add another little trailer to the bus with a separate personal emergency unit if you keep up this schedule.

F: So it has turned into a world tour.

* It has been some time since Mesomorph Enduros Vol. 1 has been released.

F: Yeah, well Mesomorph 1 was so good I didn't want to rush Volume 2, but now I have got way too many artists for it and it a matter of shaping it off. Cause now, that I have put down the skeleton of Volume 2, now I could do Volume 3 with all American but, but I have got to save up some artist to release them trough my own label. Cause Mesomorph is an Entopic Ends enterprise, but it is released through Retac (?) and then the other Entopic things, I am going to have a major arm of Entopic and then an independent arm of it and then Entopic project which go through other labels.

* This is getting confusing.

F: Yeah, it is getting confusing. (laughs) I think I am the only one who can undertand it. It seems locigal to me. So there is three arms of that, I mean I have got three fucking bank accounts and I don't what the hell is going on there. I just send all my bills to my accountant and he juggles the money.

* These production jobs, in one of the internet interviews, EMF was mentioned and some other bands that are very widespread musicwise.

F: EMF, Prong, The The, Pantera, Ethel Meatplow, Murder Inc., Fight, The Beyond, Front 242, NIN, Color Marshall, which is dancehall reggea, Curve, The Cult, Cranes, PWEI, I keep forgetting stuff.

* That reminds me of what Steve Albini is doing. He is like producing and engineering from A-Z.

F: I just had so many fucking offers and I put down a lot of big money stuff. I put that sort of on the backburner cause that was eating way to much of my own artistis time. Probably when I go back I am going to do more remixes.

* Is that only remixes?

F: Yeah, each song I do may have like two or three 12" or 7" versions. And some of those bands, like the Chilli Peppers I did two different songs. EMF I did Lies and I Believe. My mix of Lies got to number 23 in the US charts. That was nice. And then I mixed three other songs for the following album, but I don't know if they are going to be on it. I know one of them came out on a 7". For NIN I did several as well.

* Let me get this straight, it is you remixing the stuff.

F: Yeah, the band isn't there.

* Cause Albini works with the bands in the studio.

F: I produced bands, too, but I stopped doing that, cause I had a bad experience. I got stuck in a studio for five weeks with these smelly little brats and I didn't like them as people, so I am giving up on that for a while. Altough I have got a few other little projects productionwise coming up. I am doing, maybe this year, another album wiht Lydia. Hey, there's another project! This is gonna be I am putting together a nine-piece band, mainly jazz orientated and then I am going to score it out in a weird sort of text and conduct the whole thing, so they jam with each other in various combinations to evoke various emotions. And probably we will record that live in a church.

* You are a workoholic.

** I have got a question about the structure of the songs. I think that with Nail, Hole, Saw and Gash and Wiseblood most of the songs have the same structure. It starts slow and then gets faster.

F: Not necessarily. Sometimes they go from fast to slow. No this is not rue. You mean in tempo?

* From calm to chaos.

F: No, not necessarily. I don't have a formula. I mean, I believe in working with dynamics. Ahm, for me that is why I like the feeling that the sound is really intense and big and then when you think it can't get bigger it gets even bigger. I like doing that. It is sort of like 'man, it can't get heavier, it can't be done' and then it is like up againt the wall like the guy in that Maxwell commercial. That's what my music is like in the best case scenario. That's how my music should be enjoyed.


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