“Ultimately it comes down to strong ideas.” No truer words have been spoken about electronic music in recent history and these come from the ever so talented Black Asteroid. With a career that counts many accomplishments, including formerly engineering for Prince, Black Asteroid is a techno force to be reckoned with. He has recently released the fantastic Metal EP via Electric Deluxe, and the year twenty fourteen shall see the release of his debut album. It is very exciting times in the creative universe of Black Asteroid and we had the luxurious opportunity to gain some insight on his philosophy, direction, and creative inspirations. Feel free to press play on his latest EP as you read the interview. I assure you, they pair quite nicely together.
HOW IS THE TRAJECTORY OF BLACK ASTEROID LOOKING IN 2014 THUS FAR?
2014 will see the release of of my debut album as well as several EPS and remixes. It also looks like the busiest year for touring thus far.
WHAT IS YOUR STANCE ON THE STATE OF TECHNO TODAY?
I think right now is a very exciting time for techno. It’s evolving again. I love the industrial influence in techno in particular.
HOW HAS THE RECEPTION BEEN THUS FAR TO YOUR METAL EP?
It is probably my most experimental release, and somehow it’s looking likely to be my most successful.
I NOTICED ON YOUR TWITTER, YOU HAD A TEASER FOR A VIDEO RELATED TO THE LATEST EP. DO YOU HAVE AN ACCOMPANYING MUSIC VIDEO WE SHOULD BE EXCITED FOR?
Traditionally I produce a video for each single, so it’s likely something will come out for Metal also. We’re also working on some stop-motion videos to present the 12” package which is printed in metallic inks and varnishes.
LET ME APOLOGIZE FIRST FOR CLEARLY STALKING YOU ON TWITTER, BUT YOU MENTIONED ON THERE THAT THE HARDWARE DEBATE IS BUNK, AS YOU ARE MAKING BETTER MUSIC WITH COMPUTERS THAN ANALOG SYNTHS. CAN YOU GIVE A BIT MORE INSIGHT ON THIS NOTABLE REVELATION?
It seems everyone is freaking out about laptops versus hardware. I use everything, they are just tools. Ultimately it comes down to strong ideas. I started producing with walls of analog synths and drum machines which gave me a lot of insight and experience into the process of making sounds and sequences. But I must admit most of my music is being made now with 2 computers and a microphone. When I need a specific sound which I cannot design inside the computer, I will pull out some analog stuff.
WOULD YOU SAY HEAVY METAL TECHNO DESCRIBES YOUR SOUND COMPLETELY? OR IS IT JUST CURRENTLY WHAT YOU ARE WORKING WITH ARTISTICALLY TO DESCRIBE YOUR MOST RECENT MUSIC?
I would say it describes the Metal EP, but not my sound in general. I generally use guitar pedals in all my tracks, but not as prominently. I love distortion and the frequencies created when you destroy something. I’m careful though not to over do it, I like to maintain some kind of balance. I’ve also been development more lush and atmospheric sounds to counterbalance the noise on my recent productions.
YOUR MUSIC HAS SUCH POWER TO IT, AND BY POWER, I MEAN THERE IS THIS FEROCITY, RAW STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE, AND IT ALL TRANSLATES TO AMAZING TECHNO! WHERE DOES THAT POWER COME FROM EXACTLY?
When all my friends in high school were listening to Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, I was listening to Nine Inch Nails and Meat Beat Manifesto. I’ve always been drawn to electronic music which has the energy of rock and roll and metal. I get bored quickly with dance music. There is nothing worse than hearing the same loop for 12 hours.
WHO HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR INSPIRATIONS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU COME TO BE THE BLACK ASTEROID THAT YOU ARE TODAY?
Bauhaus, NIN, Ministry, Meat Beat Manifesto, Nitzer Ebb, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Beethoven, Depeche Mode and the art of 4AD, Mute, Warp and Factory Records. I’m equally inspired by music and art and fashion.
DO YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE A PHILOSOPHY THAT GUIDES YOU WHEN YOU MAKE MUSIC? OR DO YOU JUST MAKE MUSIC FOR THE LOVIE OF IT AND AS IT COMES TO YOU?
I’m a minimalist in the studio. I am always muting stuff, trying to get the most out of the fewest amount of sounds. All my singles thus far could have been recorded on an 8-track. I work in a traditional song arrangement as opposed to loops. So every song has a chorus and verse, and middle-8, etc.
DO YOU PREFER A LIVE SET OR A DJ SET? OR DO YOU LOVE EACH IN THEIR OWN RIGHT?
I think performing an explosive 1 hour live show is the best way for me to communicate my music. I try to do both, because I love DJing equally, and playing extended sets and trying out new sounds and textures that might not work in the live show.
BEYOND THE MOVEMENT FESTIVAL, WHAT TOURING PLANS DO YOU HAVE IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I just confirmed 10 Days Off in Belgium, Nature One in Germany and Amsterdam Dance Event. Otherwise, I am in Europe about 2 weekends every month, and now doing lots more in the US which is exciting.
SO I READ SOMEWHERE THAT YOU HAVE AN ALBUM COMING OUT IN 2014, CAN YOU GIVE US AN IDEA ON WHEN AND WHAT TO EXPECT?
Yes, I just released my 4th original EP (Metal), so now my focus is on the album. I have collaborated with Chris Liebing on many tracks, and the band Cold Cave are doing some vocals. The fashion designer Rick Owens is contributing to the packaging also. It’s a record which will sound good in a club or a home stereo.
WHAT ALBUMS HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO LATELY?
The first 3 Jesus and Mary Chain albums, Perc - The Power and The Glory, LFO - Frequencies, Cold Cave, Autechre - Amber.
ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT COLLABORATIONS IN THE WORKS? OR ARE YOU A BLACK ASTEROID FLYING SOLO THROUGH THE UNIVERSE FOR THE TIME BEING?
Yeah my album will feature some collaborations (Chris Liebing, Cold Cave, Rick Owens, etc). I’m also working on an EP with Dave Clarke, I have a remix for the Bloody Beetroots coming out in May.
FINALLY, TOUGH QUESTION, WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE FAVORITE CITIES TO PLAY IN THE WORLD?