Alien Creation interview by Tzina Dovve… Alien Creation… A new act on the UK dark/goth scene… Chris Clark, veteran drummer of ‘The Nosferatu’ talks about his creation, new e.p. and goth days in London… We are not alone… By Tzina Dovve…
Tzina: Having been on the goth/dark/alternative scene in London for many years playing drums for bands such as Kama Sutra, Nosferatu, Pollypikpocketz and most recently the re-visited The Nosferatu by former band members to reclaim the name how did Alien Creation come about?
Chris: Ha Ha! Many years! I spent many years in what I call the wilderness basically playing at being a parent and a grown-up (meaning similar to but not the same as!).
Alien Creation was just the name I gave my own stuff. It came about when someone on a building site I was working on said I looked like an “Alien”. Strange because I certainly did not look particularly weird simply having a bleach blonde skinhead. To the incredibly unimaginative and normal this was considered freaky!
Whilst not being in an active band, I spent all my spare time and money building my own studio and familiarising myself with every music program and plug-in I could get my hands on having been amongst the first generation of electronic drummers I was determined to keep my hand in.
When I treated myself to an expensive flagship electronic drum kit as a divorce present to myself, I spent time watching YouTube videos of guys demonstrating that kit and found myself thinking I can do that. I set a tripod up and videoed rough demonstrations of what the gizmo was capable of and posted them on Facebook. It was purely a hobby on the side from the band I was gigging with but once I had half a dozen or so people starting to say “ you should take this out live” and once one mutated into a full blown song “We Are The Weirdos” I was being offered gigs armed with folders and folders of music. Some just ideas and some completely finished I had then to start thinking about finding musicians to work with. Time to get out there!
Tzina: Who are the members of Alien Creation and what is the story behind the band’s name? Is there a symbolic meaning to this title?
Chris: At the moment, Alien Creation is me with help on guitar from Paul (ripz) Tilson Brown and bass guitar from Steve Perry. Up until now, the line-up has been fluid because of people’s commitments elsewhere. I hope I have got that settled now.
If there is any symbolic meaning to the name, it would simply be that I have always felt like an alien, an outcast, I never really fit in and feel like somewhere I lost my tribe. So, my work is Alien Creation!
Tzina: How is an Alien Creation song brought to life? Where do you derive your inspiration from in writing music and what are your main musical influences? Have the bands you have played with influenced you in any way?
Chris: The stuff can come together from simply spending a couple of hours tinkering and triggering stuff on the drums or discovering some awesome samples or loops to build scenes with. It could simply be finding some patch on a soft synth that just seems to come to life. Usually the lyrics come later.
From Adam and the original Ants to Bauhaus and just about anything that fuses the use of electronics and live musicians in some sort of dark way. Ultravox with John Foxx, Numan, Japan, Pete Murphy. And most recently IAMX. The list could go on.
As far as the bands I have played with are concerned I find it hard to take seriously anyone that takes themselves too seriously. Unfortunately, the Goth world is full of those. I suppose they all have some influence in some bizarre way lol. I’ve lost friends and I’ve lost lovers but I still have my soul. And sense of humour.
Tzina: As I understand you just made your debut release ‘ Unique Lab Accidents ‘ E.P. early this month on Cd Baby and Bandcamp. How does it feel to be a part of the digital music world…so far? What do you wish to achieve with ‘ Unique Lab Accidents? What is this six track e.p. all about?
Chris: I finished “Unique Lab Accidents “over a year ago and as a lot of old farts do I had this idea that I would not get involved in the whole streaming and downloading thing. Simply selling my product to real people at gigs from the merch table. But with a year or more devoting a lot of time to other projects taken into consideration and of course this is 2020, that is a bloody silly idea. Its time to join the marvellous world of the digital age.
I don’t really like the idea of explaining songs. To me the naffest thing a band or solo artist can do in the live environment is use the five words “This is a song about”. If music is an art form, then surely the beauty is in the eyes and ears of the beholder and they should be allowd to interpret the music as they feel. There is a high chance that people may think its about something way cooler than I had in mind when I wrote it.
Having said that, in this interview environment I suppose its ok to say most of that piece of work is about feeling alienated and standing your ground, fighting mental illness coupled with the countless weirdness’s that arise from a planet devoted to social media.
Tzina: Are there any plans for any other upcoming releases in the near future? Are you working on any new material at the moment?
Chris: Yep! Now the digital floodgates are open there’ll be no stopping me. The album” You’ve Been Probed “is finished and ready for release shortly and work on the next album is already underway.
Tzina: Alien Creation also released a video during lockdown under the title of ‘ Super Villain ‘. How did this idea come about and what feedback has this video received on social media so far?
Chris: Since this assault on the paradise we all took for granted has taken hold, meaning being able to have something as simple as a social life has had the arse kicked out of it, it seemed the only thing to do was try to fight back against the stampede of arsholes in their back gardens, balconies or living rooms twanging away on an acoustic guitar that quite frankly they probably should be hit over the head with.
Super Villain came about when someone rather drunk said I looked like a super villain when out in Camden one night. It amused me and stuck in my mind, so it was put together shortly after. I contacted the guys and asked them if they were up for sending stem tracks over with a short bit of video. They did and the result was met with quite a bit of praise when I splattered it all over social media which was especially rewarding being as lockdown was having an adverse effect on all of us and it was fun to do.
Tzina: Will ‘ Super Villain ‘ see the light of day on a future release by Alien Creation?
Chris: Yes. Various remixes are already in progress.
Tzina: Alien Creation is a relatively new act but you do have a few gigs under your belt around the UK. A very uncertain time for musicians and when they will actually be performing again but do you have any plans for upcoming shows in the near future?
Chris: Gigs……….hmmm…….Getting gigs was never that much of a problem. Getting personnel that were available was more of a problem. Now of course people are available and of course there’s nothing out there. I mean nothing worth getting excited about. I don’t mean to sound like an arsehole but I just don’t see the point in booking a gig if it’s not gonna be a real gig. The idea of playing to a less than half full place with people social distancing on waitress served tables just don’t seem much like a gig to me. Having said that if the situation changes, we are bang up for it!
Tzina: How much do you think this pandemic will have an effect on the music and arts industry when this madness is finally over?
Chris: As time goes on, we’ll see more and more casualties to an industry that’s already under great strain. Who knows maybe when the floodgates open there’ll be such a surge it’ll be like nothing ever happened. But that’s wishful thinking.
Tzina: Being a goth veteran how much do you believe the dark/underground scene in London has changed over the years? Do you think it is much different from the rest of the world?
Chris: Fuck yeah! The scene has shrunk and fused with a wider shall we say dark scene. You’ll see goths at a goth event and then see them dressed up like metallers for a rock night and then the same people dressed like kinky pervs at a fetish night. It’s all one huge web of darkness.
Regards to the rest of the world, the British and especially Londoners are pompous twats aren’t we! The problem is that so many fantastic bands and solo artists ‘come out of these tiny islands that the British just don’t accept any bands that “sound like” or are a complete carbon copy of previously successful bands.
The rest of the world seems to be much more tolerant of bands that sound like The Sisters of Mercy for instance. But here that stuff does not impress Londoners at all as they are always looking for the next thing.
Tzina: Quite a number of dark/ goth bands have emerged on the scene over the last few years from all over the globe. Do you believe there is some sort of goth revival happening worldwide at the moment? Do you follow the scene? Any particular bands you admire?
Chris: Hmm…. The revival thing may be just that old goth bands are now out of contract and therefore can record together again. Or more likely that they are divorced and so have decided to put the band back together in order to try and get some! Or it could simply be that their kids have grown up and they fancy a second bite of the cake before it’s all over and life’s highlight is going to the garden centre.
It would be great to see something happen that wasn’t set rigid to a formula. In my opinion that was what killed it off in the first place. Siouxsie, Bauhaus, Sex Gang, Killing Joke, The Cult and The Cure all had sounds of their own. It was only when everyone felt they had to have a Doctor Avalanche drum machine and wear a cowboy hat and high plains drifter coat that the world turned to the Americans and Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson ran off with the proceeds.
Having said that there is one thing I personally have noticed and that is “Goth” does not seem to be a dirty word anymore. It wasn’t so long ago that it was quite literally the kiss of death to any conversation if you were to say you was or had been in a goth band to the average man on the street. There also seems to be a lot more baby bats around sucking their cheeks in to look cool and clearly well pissed off that they missed the 80’s and want to make the whole world suffer for it. Great that they came late to the party, all are welcome. Not so great that they bring a shitty attitude though! Goth actually seems to carry some cool again now but let’s face it who gives a shit what the mainstream thinks. That’s why we are aliens, alienated and disassociative. This is our tribe and we will endure and survive.
As for new bands.. Then Comes Silence, Sonsombre, Raven Said, Black Angel, Kentucky Vampires, She Past away are all playing on my Bluetooth earphones at work so someone is keeping up the good work!
Tzina: Anything else you would like to share with Alien Creation fans? What can they expect from you in the near future?
Chris: No, I’ve shared way too much already, and the rest is a secret! We are not alone!!!!!