Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Prude

Prude is every possible contradiction. Influenced by the sounds of breaking machinery as much as by a badly scratched copy of Roxy Music's first album, or "Funhouse" side two, as much by the chaos of the guitar as by the precision of The Computer Age, this paradoxical crucible  has produced something utterly unexpected: Machine Rock 'n Roll - broken robots with pretty faces, draped in pink leather and black feathers making retro-futurist music to riot to.

"the dark age of consent", their first album, is an intoxicating contortion of styles, hungers and disturbed experiences, a smear glitter, diodes and broken glass. recorded and produced between two continents and mastered by the genius of Sean Magee at Abbey Road, it's a glory hole peepshow of artists playing off each other's weaknesses and strengths to build a late night, post-rock, electro - experimental punk record of distorted proportions.

The band glistens with talent from varied genres. It boasts countless albums credited under many guises and its members have spent over twenty years on tour and in the studio.

Oil and makeup mixing in the heathen night, Prude swaggers on swivel - jointed hips through the cynical stream of packaged music "products" feeding the noise of the music industry back into the system to disrupt the status quo.


Self- indulgent, damaged, and covered in a film most would have washed off ages ago, Prude stands defiantly as the heart of unpop culture and raises their burning flag. I had to put on my romper stompers for this interview, and venture into the unknown... but surprisingly, with rosary beads in my back pocket I found myself in awe as I quickly discovered that these dark angels were merely saints of god. Here we managed to catch up with Jared Louche and Howie Beno for this exclusive.

R. Controversy is nothing new for you guys, but something tells me that below the surface you're all mommas boys, am I right?
JL. Sure, if that will help you sleep better at night to believe that weʼre just playing at being the people we seem to be on the outside and have nothing below the surface except more surface then you go on and believe that. Far be it from me to disturb your slumbers.

If what youʼre actually asking is: “considering the intensity of the music, are you guys always like that?” the answer would of course be “no”.The Jared that trashes the stage wearing high heels and a sparkly gold bikini, climbs onto the second-floor balcony with the mic in his mouth and then blithely swan-dives off into space is not the same Jared that takes his amazing son to school in the morning. I used to be that person 25 hours-a-day. We all were, but to navigate a course through life one eventually either makes the decision to take the wheel or drive off the road. Iʼve been off the road, spent most of my adult life there, and that disaster unequivocally still lives in me. Iʼm just more adept at controlling it, being able to use it when I want as opposed to it using me ... all of the time. Thatʼs true for all of us.


Jared Louche

R."the dark age of consent' is the title of your upcoming album. What's different this time around? talk to me about the over-production and arrangements.
HB. Well, this is actually our debut album under this moniker. I feel it's a departure and maturation from the waters where any of us had been swimming before. it's lean and bellicose. the production came about in stages. the germ of the concept as I understand it was formed many years ago in a dank German beer hall in south eastern Bavaria. I was brought in to oversee that the mayhem contained within somehow got sorted out and to add my own Maygar stamp collecting chackra to the tracks that needed sorting and seasoning. we all collaborated on our idea of the arrangements and they kind of grew out of a mutually experienced nocturne of the emission kind.

Howie Beno
R. For the sake of our audience, what are your songs are about? (what specific themes do they cover?)
JL. Songs About Fucking.
HB. Whatever it is, we are against it.


R. You've all descended from different paths... how did you all come together?
JL. Anally.
HB. Prude is masterminded by a vocalist named Jared Louche and guitarist Marc Olivier with Matt Fanale and Phil DiSiena and me. An MIT graduate with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Jared was living a split existence at the time his concept for Prude began to fall together. By day, he was a highly-touted member of the Product Design wing of a major Massachusetts-based corporation, helping to develop all sorts of media machinery that heʼs not supposed to talk about. By night he was a member of any one of a handful of constantly shifting bands on the Industrial club circuit in North America most notably as founder of Chemlab. Considering the day gig, when he bought 12-inch recording equipment and began experimenting with basement tapes, mastering the machinery at his disposal posed no great problem. With these extraordinarily homemade filth tapes, the band was soon better know to sleaze rockers in London and New York than it was to taste-mongers in its own hometown of Willoughby.

R. Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?
JL. We all do, actually. Thatʼs one of the most creatively fascinating and intellectually challenging aspects of this band. We all write the music and we all work on the artwork, so the stream of contribution is constant and enters the arena from all directions. The  bandʼs a hydra-headed affair of distorted proportion, each mouth providing more teeth to chew, each set of leering eyes capable of analyzing and a host of hairy ears incorporating and dissecting. I stitch together a lot of the lyrics, but that process isnʼt engaged in in isolation.


Marc Plastic 
Itʼs informed not only by the music but by the people involved in the process of writing said music. I absorb ideas from our conversations and discussions, sparks germinate and fester until they tumble into the light gasping for air. I snare phrases, lovingly and logophilically mutate them in an attempt to mirror what each of us feels, thinks and absorbs. One of the things that I find so creatively athletic about Prude is that itʼs an open arena for muscular experimentation. Thereʼs no leader, no dictator. Weʼre all the dictator. We approached this band without doctrines or dogmas, everything brought for consideration. Much of it stayed. All of our other bands operate under self-imposed limitations and caveats. Weʼve engineered Prude to be utterly open to any input, allowing for everything to be possible which engendered an atmosphere of almost hedonistic transgression and unadulterated possibility thatʼs both frightening and thrilling.

R. There seems to be a lot of emphasis on draped pink leather and black feathers. WTF is this all about? Aren't the 80s over? Is there a dungeon I need to know about?
JL. Thatʼs a very post-Soviet question that displays a certain revisionist illness, a typically Western running dog bourgeois defamation that would be rooted out if only Comrade Stalin were still alive. There is indeed a dungeon and you DO need to know about it. Well done, you figured out what no one else has managed so far to decode. The dungeonʼs called The Hydrogen Bar and itʼs located on Avenue D just off 3rd street as you head towards the East River. Go to the door and ask for Officer Freud. Tell him I sent you. Heʼll show you a good time. Everyone in there is draped in leather feathers and pink- black and you wonʼt get in there if you arenʼt displaying the right uniform. I guess you didnʼt  know. Itʼs all the rage in NYC, so you better get with it if you want to be the coolest kid in the Central Auditing Commission.


Matt Fanale
R. Is Industrial rock the over-all theme to your sound? Where do you think your largest fan base is located, and why?
HB. don't think, despite the fact that many of us have a mugshot in the industrial world that this record is an industrial one at all. we kind of knew that and embraced it from the start, at the risk of alienating some folk, we fashioned a record made of odd bits of asbestos, fructose, discarded party tassels and leftover bbq corn chicklets. it's a really weird amalgam of each personality infused into a toxic blend that somehow, in the end, seemed to really work well together. Call it the paradoxical primordial spew. i think our largest fan base is located in the same tents in which the barium brothers and pt barium first met. as they say, there is an enema born every minute.


Phil DiSiena 
R. What are your up-to-date performance plans? any tours?
HB. Presently, Jared and Marc, along with the drummer who played on the entire record, christophe deschamps, are doing select appearances as Prude in the UK. There are no US dates as of yet scheduled with the full complement of insanity, but we are cautiously optimistic that there shall be in the near future.

Last but not least...

R. I know you guys are all dark, gritty, and whatnot... but, if you had to think of a slogan that could leave a positive impact for everyone what would your slogan be?
JL.That slogan would be, and is: “Whatever it is, weʼre against it”. Itʼs been our slogan for a long time and is the aegis under which we function.That phrase is actually incredibly positive as long as oneʼs open-minded enough to see it that way, and all of us in the band are and do. Weʼve all been making music far too long not to be able to see the positivity in things around us, to be able to laugh at ourselves and the world. Just because people might not be able to see the radiant positivity of our message, our message of Eternal Peace and Boundless Love, doesnʼt mean that weʼre required to spell it out for everyone. What interests me most about the artists whose work I respect is that they donʼt attempt to explain everything theyʼre doing, they refrain from engaging in some intellectual, explicative framing for the public. To me, that makes the art much less vital, leaving no room for personal interpretation. ʻdark ageʼ required that we explore a lot, that we question intensely. 


That journeyʼs elemental to the very nature of the music. I think it would be a mistake to explain it all to death. Besides, who could possibly believe that itʼs somehow our sociocultural duty to provide a message of positivity to the listeners if thatʼs not already the core modus of the music? Beyond that, how would we decide what such a message sounded like? A message of positivity for someone suffering with profound pharmacological depression might find that sugary sweet “pabulums of positivity” would serve nothing save to aggravate. That same message that the depressed person on the roofʼs edge might find vexing could in turn be the most powerfully uplifting tool for someone else. Nothing serves more perfectly than the truth, and the truth for Prude is ʻdark ageʼ. It wonʼt be everyoneʼs truth, in fact I hope not, but it is ours. 

My main problem with your request is that it erroneously believes that a single statement can be some sort of global panacea. Thatʼs fallacious thinking. As Lincoln, or more likely PT Barnum, said: “you canʼt please all of the people all of the time”. Besides, why should we? Weʼre artists, not therapists. Weʼre making music for us not for the slavish appreciation of the public, and if we have some overarching “duty” it is to cleave as closely as we can to that edict. If the rest of the world likes what weʼre doing, if it resonates for them then they can come along and enjoy it with us. If not, well, thatʼs what the “On/Off” switch was invented for, and here is where I hit the “Off” side of the switch.  

Prude the dark age of consent is out now and available HERE


To hear and learn more about Prude go to:
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facebook.com/prudemusic

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