Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Label Interview: Diazepam

[ PURESTENCH : What does Noise, Industrial Ambient, etc. mean to you? How long have you been interested in these types of sounds and what drew you to them? ]

In mid ‘90s ( when I was 16/17 years old) I was into metal, mostly black/doom/death stuff. I was into tape trading, and received some CMI stuff that really hit me. I started to investigate further in that direction and discovered bands like DIJ, Non, Coil, C93 etc.. Then I read an Atrax Morgue interview in an art mag, wrote him few lines, he sent me his catalogue and a whole world appeared. It was in 1998. This kind of “music” meant a lot to me in a time I was searching for more radical sounds and content, and Industrial had both. It has everything I was, and still am, fascinated with. 

[ PURESTENCH : When did you decide you wanted to start a Noise label? Diazepam is fairly new, with the releases starting just last year (2011). Was there a moment when you decided you wanted to create something or have you been making material all along but never released it? ]

I made the first attempts in industrial/noise back in 2001/2002. It was very poor stuff  and nothing was ever released. Diazepam should have been the name of that project. At that time I was also involved in the hardcore punk scene and spent in it most of the time. Couple of years later I started Ur with 2 friends, and that became my first important industrial project.  We are still active, but slowed down a bit for various reasons, so I decided to start my own project Shiver in 2010, followed shortly after by Deprivation and Wailing of the Winds.
I have started a label with the intent  to promote my own music. I got in contact with interesting people/projects, so I decided to release their stuff as well.

[ PURESTENCH : What are some of the main aspirations and goals for the label? Where do you seen Diazepam in, let's say, 2 years? ]

I keep a “low-profile”. To release my own stuff is the main goal of the label: not just the “commercial” side, but to record music, think about a nice looking layout, try different kinds of paper to print artworks,  try different styles of packaging…It is all part of the “artistic” process and I really like that. If in the meantime I’ll get in touch with other interesting people/projects, as happened before, I’ll be happy to release their stuff. I don’t think the situation will be different in 2 years, but, who knows…

[ PURESTENCH : Diazepam, for those who do not know, is the chemical name of Valium which can be a fairly fun, recreational benzo (downer) akin to Xanax. Why did you decide on this name? ]

I named my first project Diazepam back in 2001 when I was using it, as you said, as recreational. Used it when recording stuff. Later I used it for more conventional reasons, due to some sleep disorder. Somehow I felt “close” to that name so I decided to use it again for my label. Now I try to stay away from it. Label activities are more entertaining during sleepless nights.

[ PURESTENCH : If I am not mistaken you have at least 1 project of your own on the label, Shiver. How would you explain Shiver to an outsider? Do you have any other personal projects on the label? ]

Shiver was my first serious solo project, created to perform what I like/feel the most: dark, oppressive music that can go from violent bursts to hypnotic  soundscapes.

Other projects are:
 Deprivation, born from my passion for the old school Italian industrial scene : M.B., Mauthausen Orchestra, Laxative Souls, Atrax Morgue, N., Murder Corporation…
Wailing of the Winds: acoustic, ritualistic music
Recently I teamed up with a friend in Fungi from Yuggoth, doing some sort of  psychedelic noise.

[ PURESTENCH : You have released Shiver material on labels outside of your own, such as Datahex Records. How was the experience as opposed to putting your own stuff out? ]

I released Shiver material on 3 different labels and everything was great: the guys from Prairie Fire did a great job with the cover /layout and I’m very grateful to them. Shiver was a new project and they took the risk to release something from a band that nobody knew. Tony from Datahex was very helpful to spread my first tape on the web, and his project A Night to Dismember is brilliant. Andy is a long time friend of mine in the industrial scene, and I really admire his project Regosphere : sharing a tape with him on his label was a pleasure.

There is also a “ghost” release (that anyway ended in the net release on Datahex) : a 3” cd-r on Pigdurt Productions that I have never seen. The guy from the label has disappeared because of some personal problems, people say. If someone have a copy to sell, please get in touch.

[ PURESTENCH : When listening to other artists material that you are considering for release what are some of the things you look for? How important is the content? Is there any content that is too "taboo", any subject matter you just won't release? ]

I like to release someone else’s music when it is something that I’d like to have recorded myself, or if it is something that I’d listen to repeatedly. It must moves something “inside”. Content is also important, of course. When music, artwork and content complete and reflect themselves and create a whole artistic object, that is perfect. 
Industrial and  taboo are two words that don’t match, in my opinion.

[ PURESTENCH : What is your favorite format for releasing material or does it not matter much? Unlike a lot of the labels I have interviewed you have released tapes as well as CDr's. Was this your choice or did the artist insist? ]

I like tapes a lot, both for the sound and the object itself. I like 3” cds as well, somehow they are similar to tapes if you use those mini dvd cases. I suggested it for the Autocancrena release and he agreed. For the upcoming A Night to Dismember it was him instead to insist on the cd-r format. Basically, I prefer tapes but I’m open to all artist request: the main goal is that both of us will be happy with the final result.

[ PURESTENCH : Who are some of your biggest influences? Not just musically, but within both your personal and musical/artistic life? ]

Biggest influences are those bands I discovered first and blew me away: TG, Spk, Mauthausen Orchestra, Current 93… They were a “shock” for me both musically and visually. They gave me “hints” to investigate in many directions: movies/documentaries, books, visual artists (paintings, photography…). I don’t consider them just musical influences. 

[ PURESTENCH : If you could hang out with 3 people, any 3, whether they are dead or alive, who would they be and why? ]

My girlfriend and my 2 cats because they are the best company I had in years.
[ PURESTENCH : What does the near future hold in store for those of us paying attention to the label? ]

I should release, sooner or later, some stuff from Uncodified , オキシコドン (Oxycodone) and Hheva. I’d like to release also something from Compounded because they are a great underrated act. Plus something from my projects, of course.

[ PURESTENCH : Thank you for taking the time out to do this interview. Anything else you would like to say... ]

Thank you very much for the interview. Cheers

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