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With the release of their 8th album ‘Diskonnekt’ the duo of Yone Dudas & Marco Biagiotti prove once again that they are one of those bands who just keep getting better & better with a sound that is richer, deeper & more emotive than ever. We spoke to Yone about the new album & its predecessor ‘Aftermath’, as well as love, life & loss.
Q. Congratulations on ‘Diskonnekt’ which continues the good work of ‘Aftermath’ with a sound that is richer, more emotive & with a greater depth than ever before. Was this something you were aware of wanting to do when you were recording both albums?
Yone:  Thank you very much for your compliments.  We are very proud of both "Aftermath" and "disKonnekt".  Before "Aftermath", we had taken a bit of a break from releasing albums.  Our last album before that was "Combustion", which was released in 2005.  We both had some things we were dealing with in our own personal lives that took much of our time, but we never stopped working on music or doing shows.  That never stops :)  We just made a conscious decision to only release something when we felt it was worth releasing, thus "Aftermath" was born.  We had such a powerful response to "Aftermath" that we were very eager to immediately get back into the studio and use this creative inspiration to work on our next album.  Every song that is on "disKonnekt" was a labour of love.  We love every single track on this album.  When we are in the production process, we don't intentionally try to make our music sound one way or another.  We let the natural creative juices flow and see what comes out.  The richer sounds are definitely created by the analogue gear we have purchased over the recent years.  We have gone back to the roots of electronic sound production.  We use mainly outboard gear, not softsynths.  The sound from analogue gear is much more powerful, deeper and richer.  The whole album is like a soundtrack to our lives and what is going on around us.  That is why it probably sounds more emotive and deeper.  You will notice a lot of texture in the tracks and variation in style.  We don't intentionally follow any style.  We just play what feels natural to us.

Q. Are there any particular ways you feel this latest release progresses from your previous releases & ‘Aftermath’ in particular?

Yone:  I love "Aftermath" and it's difficult to compare the 2, but I feel "disKonnekt" is more mature and elaborate.  I think it tells a deeper story.  "Aftermath" was about our personal struggles over the previous 5 years and how we dealt with them.  "disKonnekt" is about what has happened since then, not only to us, but the world around us.  "disconnect" explores the themes of alienation and existential angst so prevalent in today's society. It delves into the complex relationship between man and machine and considers how virtual environments can disconnect us from the real world.
Q. How did the collaboration with Claus Larsen on ‘Soultaker’ come about?  Was he  an influence on you when you were starting out as DF &, if so, how was it working with such an influential figure?
Yone:  We have always been huge fans of Claus Larsen, in fact, he is the reason we started playing industrial music in the first place.  We first met him in Montreal at the Kinetik 3.0 Festival in May 2010, it was so amazing to finally meet the musician we most admired.  We instantly got along and started hanging out together.  One morning Marco played for Claus the instrumental track "Soultaker" from the digital deluxe version of "Aftermath" & Claus said, "I want to write lyrics and sing on this track."  I couldn't believe it!  What an honour!  We sent him the track and he produced incredible lyrics and vocals for "Soultaker - feat. Claus Larsen".  It was a truly amazing collaboration that I hope we can repeat in the future.  Now that we have formed a real friendship, who knows :) Actually, we want to make the official announcement of  the side project with Claus Larson and Marco Biagiotti called "Sequential Access".  This side project is pure old school EBM in the vein of DAF and Nitzer Ebb.  They have already completed 5 tracks and are hoping to release something later this year.  We will keep you informed :) 
Q. Another stand-out track, for totally different reasons, was ‘Slaughter’ with its samples from Deliverance providing an unusual interpretation of the uncompromising title. What was the thinking behind this track?
Yone:   We both strongly believe in the humane treatment of animals even though we are not vegetarians.  We both consume organic meat and want to know where the animal came from, what kind of life it had while it was alive and what kind of death it had.  It's important as a consumer to know the origin of your food.  We believe in total respect toward animals even though we eat meat.  We believe in the "farm to table" movement where people are fully aware of origin of their food and try to eat locally and organically.  We are totally against the use of animals in experiments.  We are realistic and know that in some cases it is necessary to try some things out of animals before humans, but we think this is over-abused and we have enough research results that it isn't necessary anymore to do so many experiments on animals. 

 

Q. I guess most people would have expected the final track, which was a tribute to ‘Blade Runner’ to revolve around Vangelis’ main theme but instead you chose some of the lesser-known parts of the score. Was the fact that it was something of an unexpected move that prompted you to do it in this way?

Yone:  We chose this part of the score because it was from the opening theme of the movie and and it effectively captured the audience by bringing them into this new strange futuristic world.  This song builds slowly and explodes at the end with that powerful analogue lead synth.  Actually, we made this track just for fun.  Originally we didn't think we would release it, but decided it would be such a shame if we didn't.  The Blade Runner movie is a masterpiece, it's both visually and musically spectacular.  Vangelis really wrote a true sound track that is the sound visualization of what Ridley Scott wanted, the visuals and music went hand in hand.  This is one of the most brilliant movies of all time.

Q. Did you sample the CS80 notes towards the end or did you have access to the real thing?

Yone:  No, we didn't.  We have so many analogue keyboards that I think we used a sound from our Korg Poly 6 if I remember correctly.  We wanted to keep the sound as authentic as possible.

Q. Yone, the album was dedicated to your late father Frank Dudas who passed away a little while ago & was, it seems was not only a talented artist in his chosen field but was also a major influence on your decision to become a musician but what qualities did you feel  he instilled in you that enabled you to follow your muse in the way you have?

Yone:  I grew up in a very artistic home.  My father was a well-known industrial designer and a prodigy violinist, and my mother was a graphic artist.  Most of my ancestors were artists, musicians and actors.  I couldn't help but grow up artistic.  I think I would have really disappointment my parents if I had wanted to be a lawyer ;)  Music played a very important part in my upbringing.  My father insisted that we have a sit-down dinner together every night accompanied by candles and classical music.  I grew up on classical music, early electronic music, rock, punk and new wave.  Music has always been a strong element in my life.  My father was so happy to see that one of us kids actually wanted to pursue music as a career, so my parents sent me for piano lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.  I loved Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi.  My parents don't listen to this genre of music, but totally appreciate it for what it is.  One day my father and I were in a department store and he stopped to listen to the sound of the escalator.  He told me I should sample it and use it in a song.  Now that is true parental support!  I have given a copy of all of our CDs to my parents and they have listened to every single track we have ever released.  They also like to embarrass me by playing it for their friends :)  True proud parents.  Both my parents were fundamental in my decision to follow my passion and I am so grateful for that.  I have had amazing parents.  My mother still carries on encouraging me every step of the way.  Thanks mum :)

Q.  Did this sad event & its aftermath perhaps make for a more personal album than any of your previous works?

Yone:  Yes, it definitely did.  My father passed away on Jan. 7, 2011 & our song "Another Loss" was written only days after my father's passing.  I knew he had to go as he had been very sick for 5 years.  The deterioration of his health and what he had been going through also affected the songs on "Aftermath".  I was lucky though.  I got to spend more time with my father before his passing and come to terms with things.  We mended some old wounds and forgave each other.  It was truly special.  Both my father and I are stubborn and creative, so we clashed sometimes, but he always supported me and my creativity. 

Q. The emotive qualities of your music would suggest that actually writing & producing it is something of a cathartic experience for the pair of you.

Yone:  Exactly.  Writing and producing has always been a cathartic experience for both of us.  Marco went through a very dark period of substance abuse in the years between "Combustion" and "Aftermath".  We didn't know if he would make it through it alive.  He fought his demons and won the battle, yet it will always be an ongoing struggle that he will have to deal with throughout his life.  But, the great news is he is clean and sober, and healthier than ever.

Q. You seem to have found a good home with Dependent, has their support & the stability that having a reliable label been an important factor for you both?

Yone:  Yes, we have definitely found a great home with Dependent.  We are ecstatic!  We have always been on Metropolis Records in the US, but we have bounced around to different labels in Germany throughout the years.  Unfortunately some German labels had financial issues, so they went under.  We left Out of Line on very amicable terms, we just felt we needed a fresh start with a strong and renowned label like Dependent Records.  Stefan Herwig has had a powerful influence on the scene, having had the best bands on his label over years:  Covenant, VNV Nation, Velvet Acid Christ, Suicide Commando, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, etc…  We knew we were in great hands when we signed to Dependent.  Instantly Stefan Herwig took us under his wing and guided us.  We loved having this kind of input from the label owner, it really made a real difference.  Dependent also organized our German tour with Covenant last year so we couldn't be happier with our decision to join Dependent.

Q. Did you mind them labelling you as ‘old-timers’ though? ;)
Yone:  There is a funny story about this.  I didn't get a chance to proof the text in time before they printed it, so when I read it, I realized that the word they were looking for was "veterans" not "old-timers".  It was too late to change it, so they left it.  So, we all got a good laugh out of it :)

Q. It’s been quoted elsewhere that, aside from more obvious worldwide/political concerns, you have cited the tensions that exist between genders as another driving force behind your music. Could you expand on this & perhaps highlight where this has influenced specific tracks?
Yone:  Luckily I find that the tensions between gender in the industrial community is almost non-existent.  There is so much respect for my being a woman and I find that fabulous.  It's very refreshing.  However, in the world around me I see it all the time:  ads aimed at women being the perfect mother and housewife, women getting paid less for doing the same work as men, women objectified in music videos, TV, reality TV and movies, etc…  I could go on and on.  I am not sure if this influence has affected any specific tracks that I can think of.  We make music that is kind of genderless and I guess that's the point.  It doesn't matter which gender you are.  We all go through similar issues.  I hate it when people focus on how "different" men and women are.  I think that's bullshit.  We are the same.  Sometimes I feel people use it as an excuse saying "men do this…women do this…"  This is a cop-out.  Each person is unique and different we don't "all" do things the same way just because of our gender.  I hate stereotyping, I think it's very damaging.  Look at young girls who compare themselves to models and actresses.  It's sad to think their body image gets distorted by this fake interpretation of beauty. 

Q. You’ve cited the Belgian industrial scene from many years ago as a major influence on you both &, of course, you’ve lived in both Europe & North America during the past two decades &, in so doing, would have soaked up the cultures of various countries. Do you feel that this has given your music a more ‘international’ outlook or do the various influences of your homelands still have any importance for you?

Yone:  I think it definitely has influenced our sound living in different cultures.  I remember when we lived in Torino, Italy, the music we listened to was called EBM, but in Toronto, Canada they called it Industrial.  It was confusing how they categorized it, but it was still the same music.  I like to think we have absorbed a little bit of each culture and combined it into a unique approach to industrial.  Of course the Belgium, Danish, English and Swedish bands had a huge influence on us.  How could they not?  We were so lucky to be exposed to groups some Canadians had never even heard of at that time.  But I should mention that Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly have also influenced us a lot, and still do.

Q. Marco has said in the past that music has, to some extent, almost saved his soul in providing a counterpoint to certain dark times of his life, so how do you imagine life without DF?
Yone:  DF is a part of both of us and I don't think it will ever not be.  It is the saviour for both our lives and gives us strength to carry on.  DF has been there to help us both through our darkest times and I am very thankful for that.  When you feel lost, you just start a song and everything seems to fall into place.  Music heals your soul.  We will not confine ourselves to only producing music for DF, but it will always be our home base where we start from.  I look forward to an interesting and active future with DF.  We will never stop and we will always evolve, but still be who we are.