AmbiEntrance: Where does all the "darkness" of Lustmord come from? Do you consider yourself a tortured soul, or does it just sound that way in your music?
Brian: I personally don't think of the music as being particularly dark, though
many seem to disagree as I often have to answer that question.
I try and make the Lustmord sound have a real mass and a tangible
presence, which some choose to interpret as dark. It's an interesting
Although there are dark elements interwoven within the whole, it's only
one of many textures.
People referring to it as dark as such doesn't bother me, but finding
myself being pigeonholed as "dark ambient" is a real bore, as I hate
pigeonholes of any description. If indeed here be darkness, I can only assume that you're looking deep
into my soul (insert appropriately demonic laugh here), assuming that I
I'm known amongst my friends for my humor and wit, so people who only
know me through my music are often caught of guard when they meet me, as
they seem to expect me to be suitably dark and brooding, when I'm
actually quite mischievous and fun (although of course, terribly deep and
AmbiEntrance: Have you come to think of California as your home? How does all the
sun, etc. affect your inner level of "darkness"?
Brian: California is very much my home, and has been for the last eight yeas. It
doesn't matter where I am, the inner me stays the same, home is wherever
I happen to be living with Tracey, my companion of the last eighteen years.
And as for the sun, well, after growing up in the UK, the sun and 100
degree plus temperatures are a good thing.
I don't buy into the idea that one's physical surroundings directly
effects one's creative output, as for me , it's all internal.
AmbiEntrance: You do know the photo you've sent is only going to add to that whole "dark" image, right!?
Brian: Well, sometimes it's fun to play with it, and I make no apologies for
AmbiEntrance: There's more of a "sci-fi" vibe throughout Metavoid, how would you
explain this evolution?
Brian: That's your interpretation, not mine, so I don't have an explanation.
AmbiEntrance: I'm just saying it sounds more like deep space than a deep dungeon;
where were you heading with Metavoid would you say?
Brian: As always, it's an attempt to create a sound that quite literally
envelops the listener physically, that take him or her to a place that
only exists within the sound.
In the past you seem to have thought of that place as deep dungeons and
now as deep space, either of which works for me. What is important is
that that place exists for you.
With Metavoid, I wanted to move forward with the Lustmord sound, rather
than recreating past works such as Heresy or Black Stars, I wanted to
create a sound that was new, but which was also unmistakably Lustmord.
It's for others to decide if I failed or succeeded.
AmbiEntrance: We all know that Heresy, etc. contained atmospheres recorded in caves,
Any interesting "behind the scenes" info you can share about Metavoid?
Brian: While there are some interesting ideas and techniques in there,and as
always with my work is full of sounds sourced and generated for their
particular conceptual meaning, I find it much more interesting not to
divulge all of the secrets these days. Not that I'm trying to hide any
tools and techniques (on the contrary, I'm happy to talk about them) but
rather that I like the listener to find their own personal meaning give a
few subtle (and not so subtle) clues here and there, and the rest is up
AmbiEntrance: How did you get hooked up with Czech label Nextera?
Brian: Nextera rereleased Clock DVA's Buried Dreams album, and the DVA members
are really good friends of mine, so Nextera visited us a couple of years
back when they visited Los Angeles and we kept in touch.
I was just finishing Metavoid, with only a few days of work left, and
hadn't approached any labels about it, when I received a email from them
saying that they'd like to release something of mine and would I have
anything available. I thought it would be interesting to have an album
released through different channels, Eastern Europe in particular, as it
offered a chance to try a different distribution approach, and Nextera
are very enthusiastic, so put them together, and here we are.
AmbiEntrance: Metavoid was a long time coming... why a such a lengthy span between
Brian: Simple enough. While there haven't been many Lustmord releases between
that and The Place Where The Black Stars Hang, I have been very active in
music and sound design, but just not for Lustmord. During that time I
worked on something like 30-40 movies, a TV show, a video game, did some
remixes, and worked on developing the Lustmord sound. All these things
took time and all put together make a sizable body of work, much more
than a few albums. What all this did do of course, is distract me from
working on Lustmord, but that was ok, as at least I was working and
indulging myself in sound.
Also, during this period, when I was inspired to work on Lustmord, I
simply didn't have the time due to these other commitments, and when I
did have the time, I was burned out working on sounds for movies months
on end and the last thing I wanted to do was work on more, so I'd
concentrate on all those other important little things like catching up
with real life and spending time with friends.
Since Lustmord has never been an attempt to do something commercial or
even particularly approachable to others, I've been quite happy to
indulge myself and do what I want with it and when I want to, without
the usual pressure of making music for commercial reasons, which means I
work on albums as and when I feel I have something to say.
AmbiEntrance: What films have you worked on lately? What films would you have
*liked* to worked on, or done something different with?
Brian: I haven't worked on many films during the last eighteen months or so, but
I did recently do some sound design for an upcoming Fox war movie which
might end up being interesting. But then, we are talking Hollywood, so
don't hold your breath.
Last year I spent some time composing music for a TV series by the Blair
Witch producers, but it was canceled without even being shown, such is
the crazy and very expensive world of American TV.
As for films I would have liked to have worked on, it's difficult to say,
as there haven't really been many interesting ones during the last few
years. The Fight Club I really liked, and it would have been fun to contribute
my patented sounds to a few of the scenes, but other than that some
Japanese animation, but not much else.
AmbiEntrance: What do you mean when you say "patented"... really patented?
Brian: No, just a figure of speech, I doubt that's it's possible to patent a
sound even if you wanted to. With film and TV projects, they usually ask
me when they need something specific that it seems only I can provide.
I'm the person they call when they want some really weird shit. Hell, I
can do that.
AmbiEntrance: Can you give us an example of a favorite filmsound you've created
(perhaps something particularly tricky or an ingenious problem-solver?)?
Brian: Can't think of anything off hand, it is what it is, I don't think any of
it is particularly outstanding , although there is some good work in The
Crow and Strange Days, but it's supposed to be part of the whole, so if
done well, you shouldn't really notice it as such, but as part of the
overall effect that the movie may have on you.
AmbiEntrance: While we're talking movies, what upcoming films are you looking
forward to seeing?
Brian: There are a few, but not many.
Apocalypse Now Redux, Avalon (live action picture from Ghost In The Shell
director Mamoru Oshi - I'm a fan of his), the upcoming Pixar titles
Monsters Inc. (2001) and Finding Nemo (2002), David Lynch's Mulholland
Drive (though I hear bad things about it unfortunately).
forward to seeing what David Fincher is doing with The Panic Room and
will do with Rendezvous With Rama, and also what Anthony and Joe Russo
are doing with Welcome to Collinwood, a script I read over a year ago.
AmbiEntrance: In your film/TV work, do you ever get to brush elbows with "star"
types? Do you care one way or another?
Brian: From time to time I come across people that you might classify as
"stars", but I prefer to think of them as people and judge them by their
actions rather than their celebrity. I don't care if you're the doorman
or the head of the corporation, I treat you the same, which is as an
AmbiEntrance: How much "backlash" do you get about the Lustmord name (I always thought it meant something like "death
wish" but understand it's closer to "sex death"...) and album
titles like "Heresey"?
Brian: Not any on the album titles that I'm aware of, and I can't see why I
would. Someone will ask about the name from time to time, but it's nothing I
feel the need to defend.
AmbiEntrance: Tell us about the life-and-death cycle of Side Effects.
Brian: I took over the label in 1985, and slowly but surely built up a decent
catalog. In the late eighties the label was hit severally when Rough
Trade (the original UK version) went into receivership and a considerable
amount of money from SPK and Laibach sales was lost as a result. In the
early 90's it was distributed by World Serpent, and when I moved to the
US in 1993, by Soleilmoon.
It was a lot of fun and I'm proud of the catalog. Unfortunately, due to a
number of factors, mainly to do with changing distribution channels
(fewer independents, more control by majors etc.), more releases to
compete with for store shelf space and radio play, and the very real
effects of things like Napster, sales in the nineties were nowhere near
as much as they used to be, and it was very obvious that my choice of
releases was counter to what the music buying public seemed to want. It
became a lot of work (and another distraction from Lustmord) for so
little return, and quite simply stopped being fun. And so, in 1998 I
simply gave up, and folded the label.
AmbiEntrance: Why do you think Stalker has withstood the test of time?
Brian: It's one of the few albums that I've worked on that I still liked after
finishing it (not that I'd actually listen to it, you're usually tired of
it by that stage), it is remarkably effective, and I suppose that's
because we had a very good idea of what we wanted to achieve before
starting on it.
AmbiEntrance: Obviously you and Robert Rich worked well together, and Steve Roach and
Paul Haslinger both contributed to Metavoid... Any more collaborations
(with anyone?) in the works?
Brian: I'd like to, as it's usually rewarding to bounce ideas backwards and
forwards with others, and it's something that I particularly enjoy. At
the moment the only collaborative plan is to work on some material with
Ryan Moore of Twilight Circus. I have talked with others about
collaborating, but nothing definite, and I'm always open to offers.
AmbiEntrance: What can you tell us about the upcoming Zoetrope soundtrack?
Brian: The soundtrack as is was finished about a year ago, and the movie (the
final version being cut to 20 minutes in length) has been shown to a
select audience here and there. I'm currently working on an expanded and
revised version for an album release. It's different to Metavoid, and is
closer to the material on Purifying Fire, and very dense. The album
version, which should be about 45 minutes or so, is half done.
AmbiEntrance: What's Arecibo? What will the next album be like?
Brian: Arecibo is a side project of sorts, where I indulge myself in music that
doesn't fit into the Lustmord concept. I'm half way through the second
Arecibo album, which has much more of a dub influence than other things
I've done (other than remixes) but it keeps being put aside while I work
on other things.
Interestingly, a few days ago, one of my 9 Gigabyte drives had a
catastrophic failure and it looks like I might have lost a few months of
Arecibo work as well as a big chunk of the Zoetrope album, so more delays.
AmbiEntrance: Besides the Zoetrope and Arecibo projects, do you have any distinct
recording plans for the future?
Brian: I plan a long-delayed very minimal Lustmord ambient album to be called
"Dark Matter", which will only utilize recordings of deep space and
interstellar activity that I've collected over the years. The title
refers to the so-called missing mass of the universe, but I do expect it
to please those who like their ambiance dark.
I have the follow up to Metavoid sketched out in rough form, but it'll
probably be a year or so before I work on it in earnest, as I want to try
and get other ideas out of the way first.
There's also the possibility of working on the music for a couple of
video games, which if they happen, will be quite interesting.
AmbiEntrance: Thanks for your input Brian, anything you'd like to add while you've
got the mike?
Brian: Only that people shouldn't mistake the difference between the film work
and my own work. The former is a means to an end, and like many musicians
I need a day job to survive, and that's all it is.