|Threat Level 5|
When Cop International released the "New Violent Breed" compilation cd in 1999, there was one new unsigned act in particular that created some of the greatest reviews with the harsh Industrial track "Goddess"... That act being the New Jersey based solo project Threat Level 5.
In no time at all, Cop had signed him up and pressed ahead with the release of the debut album "Maschinen", spreading the TL5 sound worldwide. After a few years breathing space, 2003 finally sees TL5 rise again with the release of a remix wars ep "Divided We Fall", a collaboration with label mate Chiasm in which five tracks by each act are respectively remixed by the other. This will now pave the way for that long awaited second album....
Richard Hobbs catches up again with the one and only Louis Diaz. (July 2003)
|1. It seems like forever since the "Maschinen" album, what have you been up to all this time?
Yeah, it's been a few years already, wow.
Well, I think I must have reinvented my music on several occasions, worked on the remix war CD, met a lot of wacko's and I recently chopped off my hair for the first time since Bush 1.
2. You have just released a remix CD with COP label mate Chiasm, how did the idea behind this joint venture start out?
I think it was right after Chiasm's first CD "Disorder" was released. Emileigh and I we're talking about swapping remixes, then I jokingly said a remix CD would be cool.
Well, COP liked the idea and the rest as they say is histoire.
3. Were there any special requests either of you had as to the way they wanted their tracks to sound?
As long as we didn't sample The Dixie Chicks, we had total freedom. I approached the project with the idea of keeping the music danceable; I really think this kinda music lives in the club scene.
4. Emileigh Rohn has added her vocals to your own tracks and given them quite a different angle; since you have not used a female vocal before, do you now feel it is a worthy option to incorporate this more often in your work?
It was an interesting approach. I do have a new somewhat gothy song which will feature female back ups.
Look out Peter Steel, hehe.
5. I think the use of guitar on "The light that burns" might be another difference to the TL5 sound?
Actually I've used guitar before. "Goddess" for instance has a heavy guitar in the background.
I usually have one or two songs with a guitar in the mix, it goes well with my "shredded" vocals so I've heard.
Just don't expect any monster guitar solo's ala Jimmy Page.
6. Where did the lyrical inspiration behind "The System" derive from?
The inspiration came from an old friend that I went to art school with. A few years after we got out of school he lost his job, shaved his head, drank a lot and constantly complained about "the system" and how it screws us all.
I've lost track of Rick but this song is for him wherever he is.
7. I think "Images" seems quite an appropriate song to feature, what with the current goings on in the world at the moment....
I've always been an amateur war historian, but seeing things unfold practically right before your eyes can be quite scary at times. The world has become a dangerous place, but in the end I believe good will triumph over evil.
8. All the Chiasm tracks that you remixed were taken from her "Disorder" album, whereas TL5 offered two new tracks as well as three from "Maschinen"... was this a way of testing the ice before the forthcoming albums release?
Yeah, it is a good way of testing things out, but it turns out Emileigh chose those two songs after I sent her a sample of my current line up.
9. And talking of your forthcoming album "The Threat is Real", I understand it's almost finished, when do you plan for the release date to be and what can we expect to hear from it?
If all goes as planned it should be out in this fall. I'm putting the finishing touches on it as we speak and I will have a sneak peek on MP3.com in a few weeks. Expect some hard and heavy dance tunes.
10. The "Maschinen" album featured the cover version "All Everything",are there more covers lurking away in the TL5 vault?
Ahhhh, you just reminded me, I was going to do a cover of one of the original synth pop songs; "Lawn Chairs". I had it ready to go, but it just keeps getting lost in the shuffle.
Hey, pop quiz - can anyone name the band that recorded this song???
11. I think the last time we spoke; you were trying to assemble a band together for some live shows. Did the chance arise to achieve those shows,if so what's the TL5 live experience actually like?
Well, the members are assembled except for the 6 foot cyber goth female guitar player. Now all I have to do now is get my arse out of the freakin studio, ay!
12. I see you've listed your studio equipment on your website and it's quitean impressive collection. Are you an impulsive gadget buyer?
LOL, I used to be, believe it or not I have streamlined my studio quite a bit in the last few months. Now I'm down to just four kick ass synths with the Novation Super Nova ll kicking most of that ass.
13. Are there any recent/expected TL5 appearances in other magazines or CD samplers?
As soon as I finish things here I will be doing some remixing work for a few bands. Right now the only thing new is a video of "Images" downloadable on sublevel203.com.
14. What benefits has the music business offered you so far?
I'm not living in the south of France yet, boo. But..... getting emails from around the world in support of TL5 is really
cool. Overall it's been fun and I think the best is yet to come.
15. Anything further you would like to add?
Uh oh... Rich, you just gave me an open forum.
Ok hear goes!
Eat more Wheat Germ/Do less drugs! Buy more Industrial CD/Download less!
And last but not least: "Support Vaginal Pride"!!!
I saw a girl in NYC wearing that sticker.
Hey, I'm all for it!!!!