Giving us a cracking good album, Lee Steele speaks to the band, and finds out a little bit more about Bent USA, and why they're not an Industrial outfit. (March 2004)
|1) Please introduce yourselves and tell us how and when ( bent u.s.a) formed.
BENT u.s.a. were formed in 1999 but have been around in various incarnations since the 1990's at the moment the line up is THRUSH on Vox, SINISTA on Guitar, BEND on Bass and GIMP on drums
2) How would you in your own words describe your music?
Electro anarcho punk rock
3) How long did the album take to produce and finish?
The album has been in preproduction for the last two years or so but we have been writing for longer
4) As you like is rich in quality. Are you happy with the finished result?
I am happy with a lot of the production work but it was painstaking and I wanted a big clean polished sound to juxtapose that with the harshness of the loops and lyrical content. I have always been a fan of big production values, especially producers such as Flood and Bob Rock etc. I especially like that kind of sound in a genre like Industrial, which is what we seem to be lumped into at the moment, where in a lot of ways and with a lot of the music I here the production values don't match up to the music. Many times I hear an album of good material but feel let down by a grubby production.
5) Where did the cover artwork come from?
The cover art is by my favourite groundbreaking photographer Leni Riefenstahl, who as the photographer of the 1936 Olympics, did some phenomenal work, the first artist and I stress that term shot underwater etc. I find her photos so moving and full of grace and I just love that cover shot so much. It's gonna look great on the t-shirts too.
6) Do any tracks differ when played live?
Most of the tracks differ when they are played live. We obviously have new guitar parts, and the live bass and drums mix well with the prerecorded loops etc and really bring the songs alive. However I am not really aware of anything on stage am on my own planet or usually atop a set of amps balancing for my life hahaha
7) Do you play any new material live that does not feature on the album?
We have a new track at the moment "Victim" which we have included in the new live set and will be playing at the Metro Club In London on April the 10th, with Needeye, Global Noise Attack and Haloblack the cream of British underground music, hahah we also do a magnificent cover of "Need You Tonight" by INXS We are working on loads of material now, a new album in fact.
8) Have you ever covered another artists work?
AHAH see above, am looking at a couple of others at the moment one by the most famous pedophile in the world, and the other a cover of "Love Hurts" which I have wanted to do for a long time.
9) How did the choice of needle eye come about to remix for you?
I love Needleye and it seemed natural that they should do a BENT usa remix. I think Duncan is one of the finest producers I have evr had the fortune to meet and an outstanding frontman. I can't thank him enough for giving Overman the remix it deserves. It really can march across the world that track pillaging and destroying all in its path. When I heard it it melted my face let's put it that way. We also have Marc Heal from Cubanate remixing a track for us at the moment and as I am a huge fan (think they are one of the best U.K. band in years) I can't wait to hear it.
10) love fades,pain lasts what made you put a dance track at the end of an industrial dominated album?
Well I am sure I am gonna have this debate for years but I don't see BENT U.S.A. as an industrial band we have elements sure but I just want us to make progressive interesting music. My aim at the beginning was to mix dance, techno, Rock, Punk Hip Hop etc all into one huge shit sandwich and then take a bite hahah and I loved working on that Trance track. I think it has the power and atmosphere of the others but retains it's own sense of individuality. We will not be pigeon holed, I listen to all genres from gabba to sinatra from death to easy listening from springsteen to alec empire and i want to take all the elements and use them. And I will haha. You dont ask a chef only to use certain ingredients and I dont think you should ask a musician only to embrace certain musical genres.
11) What is the future for (bent u.s.a ) ?
We have a new album i production at the moment and am looking forward to playing as much as possible on the back of "As You Like". We have also secured an agreement with First Contact the booking agency, who will be able to get us on the festival circuit, but for the next 6 months at least I am concentrating on producing the best new BENT usa material I can.