[MINUS ME] Interview
Written & Produced by Meryl "LJ" DeWitt
Edited by Rachel Rosell
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Meryl "LJ" DeWitt: Please introduce yourselves, include roles in the band, and to keep this part from getting boring, include something random about yourselves.
Damien Addams: Vox, creative direction, writer, and spokesman. I spend my time writing and creating ways to entertain people.
Thulsa Doom: Thulsa Doom and I play the guitar. Spontaneous facts about myself have no value in [MINUS ME].
Corvis: I'm Corvis, I play guitar for [MINUS ME] and I really fucking love making chaos.
H. Manson: Keys/Samples and creative direction. (She's really quiet).
LJ: We're going to cut directly to the elephant in the room... You're a statement band. I love bands that aren't afraid to be as fucking weird and disturbing as possible, but they're hard to find. In your opinion, why are so many bands hesitant to go to the extremes? Why are theatric bands thinning so much in the American scene?
Damien: It's not so much about being extreme but being honest. I feel that it is my job as an entertainer to force the audience to think. We all seem to be sucked into this "fast and now" lifestyle that we need something controversial to pull us out of the stream and let us open our eyes. At our shows we even encourage concert goers to not film or photograph the show but to enjoy it as it happens. A large part of the music industry focuses on the "fast and now" lifestyle and would rather spent time becoming popular than on their real emotions.
Thulsa: I believe there's several reasons on why "statement" bands and theatrical bands aren't big in the scene anymore. Many musicians these days just want money. Some have just run out of ideas. Also, when it comes to a big performance, crowds only pay attention to big names for that kind of stuff because sometimes they're the only ones who can afford it.
Corvis: People care too much. It seems everybody these days are so worried about reputation and social reward, nobody can just stand out and not be scared of what people are thinking about them.
LJ: Do you take any inspiration from foreign bands? Otherwise, where does some of the inspiration for your theatrics come from?
Damien: Most of my inspiration draws from Japanese and European bands, as well as Norwegian blackmetal and American alternative. Bands such as Dir En Grey, X Japan, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Rammstein, Depeche Mode, Placebo, Rob Zombie, Devin Townsend, Marilyn Manson, and Korn. As far as theatrics and performances, it comes from personal experience and inner demons.
Thulsa: The majority of my taste in music is foreign to the USA. I don't draw inspiration from others for my performance though. That comes from my own blood and sweat.
Corvis: My personal theatrics come from my childhood and how I was treated. I take a lot of the negativity that existed and channel it into an art form.
LJ: Musicians have to go to great lengths to spread their music and message. Unfortunately that means ending up in some shady places. Throughout all the places you've played, has there ever been a city or situation where you genuinely felt you'd die?
Damien: Honestly every time we go to NYC or New Jersey. Not trying to stir up unpleasant feelings but I've always had a lot of run-ins with drug dealers in New York, and I've had gear stolen multiple times in New Jersey. Oh, I almost forgot about almost getting shot in Chicago, but the city is pretty cool.
Thulsa: Besides being tracked by a cult once (non-music related), I've never felt that fear in a situation.
LJ: Some of the legends have become known for dramatic moments in their careers (like biting the head off a bat). If you could become known for one extreme act, what would it be?
Damien: I just want to be known for having a great energetic and emotional performance. However, destroying stages and climbing things is very fun and we LOVE our pyro. The only thing I've been known for in the past is being charged with arson after setting a green room on fire. (Charges where dropped).
Thulsa: Defining acts such as those are up to chance. If that were to happen to me, it would be because someone noticed me being myself.
Corvis: An extreme act I would love to be remembered for would probably have to be lighting myself on fire on stage. I've always loved the idea of being a walking torch.
LJ: Good or bad, what's the most bizarre thing that's ever happened at a show?
Damien: Besides the green room incident, we've had a few angry venue owners. While climbing on top of a P.A. system I tripped on the mic cord, bringing the whole thing down on our recent drummer, (he is doing better and his medical bills were covered). Luckily no one else was injured.
Thulsa: First show with a new bassist in a former band. He didn't practice a single second and the whole venue noticed.
LJ: Recently you released a new record. Whether it be from emotional investment, writers block, etc., what was the hardest song to write?
Damien: Well our recent album ( [WITH CRUEL INTENTION] ) is just a revisited version of the (version 2.5) EP, we added 5 new tracks and remastered the original 6. I believe the most difficult track to write was "In The Iron Mask." Complete, full case of writers block. I still hate that fucking song.
LJ: Which song tends to be your favorite to play live? Which are you the most proud of?
Damien: "Anxiety" and "[UN]stable". "Anxiety" has a lot of variety and emotion to it. It reaches deep inside the things I hate about people and myself. "[UN]stable" has always been a really solid live track.
LJ: Is there anything new you have in the works? New shows, songs, merch, etc.?
Damien: New album in the works as well as 2 music videos, and we will soon have our shirts and physical CD copy's available online as well as the B-side cassette box set.
Corvis: We will be working on a new album soon. I'm very excited to start recording.
LJ: Finally, is there any last statements, random facts, or words of wisdom you'd like to leave with your fans?
Damien: Its sad to say but we're going to be taking a short break from tour due to our drummer recovering from his injuries and to really focus on putting out a solid album. I encourage everyone to go out and get what they want out of life and never regret anything.
Thulsa: Seize opportunity. In all walks of life. Not just music.
Corvis: Nobody's opinion matters to you but your own so do whatever you want to.
Using monikers and masks, [MINUS ME] is bringing attention back to the music and performance. With a veil of mystery, they commit to a horrifying and aggressive aesthetic you won't find anywhere else. Recently I had a chat with these anonymous abominations!