Interview with Combichrist


The past two albums from the titular Combichrist changed the formula of industrial by turning violent techno into cyber-metal. Using the same chemical make-up this wasn’t a chance reaction however because the foundations of Combi’s reinvention were cast long before Combichrist’s inception.

“I feel like it’s a complete circle with this album because I came from the punk and hardcore scene, and slowly that’s coming back.” Andy says about the new album This Is Where Death Begins. He continues “People tell you not to forget your roots and my roots are punk and hardcore, and I feel like this album has those elements at its core. It has its roots in everything that I’ve ever done with the experience from the live show and the influences of all the different styles of music I’ve went through, at this point it’s a mix-up of all of that.”

“Why do we have to put any rules or regulations on how to write an album.”

With controversy quite familiar to the Combichrist format some details to the misgivings surrounding the new direction Combichrist has taken gets offered – “People say this is not an industrial album but it’s actually more industrial than the other albums we did. The old albums were more electro,” and in retrospect Andy has been one of the most productive industrial artists of the past fifteen years introducing the world of EBM to Icon of Coil and then later commanding the industrial assault of Panzer AG, but more recently Andy’s talents were applied to the remake of Devil May Cry.

“I’m doing another soundtrack this time for Hellblade(VG.) It’s way more elaborate and interesting than DMC was. This time I’m not doing songs like an album I’m doing a score where everything is organic.  I’m drawing from the Viking Era because this game is set in more Celtic times, I’m singing in Norse on those tracks and it’s taking me back into my own ancestry.”

“I started doing electronic music because I was sick and tired of dealing with band members”

He laughs “I started doing electronic music because I was sick and tired of dealing with band members but it’s hard for me to play an electronica set now because it feels empty without the organic elements on the stage, without the band, without the drum sounds and all the other live components that’s created by people and not by machines.” Continuing boldly “Do I miss it? No. If I missed it I’d be doing it. When I miss it.  I’ll do it again.”

“I will definitely always do electronica in some way or another but if we go back and do what I would consider the industrial sound, or the electro-industrial sound, it will be something completely different to what people say Industrial is. It’s become so generic.  I did those things with Panzer AG, and then we had Scandy where we were doing all the electro stuff, but I’m not doing Panzer anymore, I’m not doing Scandy anymore and I’m not doing Icon of Coil anymore.”

“We’ve been accused of killing the scene”

Carefully he then adds “I love the freedom writing for Combichrist now because I can do whatever I want without feeling that it should of been for one of the other projects. I can go in to the studio and just record without constraints. It’s like if I’m making a pretty heavy metal track and the next song is poppy-electro, why not keep it, why do we have to put any rules or regulations on how to write an album.”

“We’ve been accused of killing the scene but I’m trying to save it from choking on its own boring vomit. It’s the same shit coming out over and over again.” Genre labels can’t contain the vision Andy has in mind as he explains “[Now people] are like ‘we thought you were aggrotech,’ we’re not Aggrotech. Aggrotech was never a genre. I was asked to describe Combichrist around the time of Everybody Hates You and I said that it’s like aggressive techno, Aggrotech, so that then became a term for what we were doing but it was never the genre of music.”

About David Oberlin 346 Articles
David Oberlin is a composer and visual artist who loves noise more than a tidy writing space. You can often find him in your dankest nightmares or on twitter @DieSkaarj while slugging the largest and blackest coffee his [REDACTED] loyalty card can provide.

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