Chiildren – Interview
ChiildrenInterview by Phlis
Hailing from Los Angeles in the USA Chris Zeischegg and Chad Fjerstad are Chiildren. They have a fresh sound and are aiming to set the world on fire with their new methodology on what metal should be. Wicked Spins Radio got chance to catch up with Chris and Chad.
WSR – Thank you so much for giving Wicked Spins Radio this interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourselves?
Chris: We’re a Los Angeles-based duo that fuses various electronic and extreme metal genres.
WSR – What were your initial ideas for the video to Apocalypse Prologue?
Chris: “Apocalypse Prologue” was intended as a prequel to a larger music video. It would be for one of our newer, unreleased songs. However, the concept requires more resources than we have at the moment. So it may or may not come to fruition. We thought it best to release “Apocalypse Prologue” as a stand-alone piece, so that it might draw attention to the release of The Other People (extended) EP.
WSR – So how do you propose to keep yourselves but also your fans interested in Chiildren?
Chris: There seems to be a great lag between our creation of material and its distribution. The first five songs off The Other People EP were written and recorded over a year ago. I can’t say exactly why it’s taken so long to release. But during the downtime, we’ve written new material and given precedence to the visual side of the band. I think because our videos are produced in a very DIY fashion, and don’t rely on anyone else’s schedule or process.
Many of the concepts in the videos – particularly in “Apocalypse Prologue” – post-date our released music. The Other People EP was primarily about sex and death. Some of the newer material is ideological. I don’t know if the audience will like this. Aside from the references in “Apocalypse Prologue,” I don’t know that anyone outside the band has been made aware of it.
Chad: Change, as with anything. I don’t think our next batch of material will sound anything like the first. This project has been an experiment from the start and will likely remain so until its demise.
WSR – You engage modern and traditional aspects of religious beliefs within the music of Chiildren, why did you decide to do this?
Chris: Again, this is not obvious in our released music – except maybe in the song, “My Gods,” which is like an agnostic prayer. But extreme music subgenres, like black metal, have a very confrontational history with religion (i.e. church burnings, etc…). Many people find themselves associated with a subculture (be it extreme music or not) because of an innate dissatisfaction with the hegemony. Mainstream religion is often a part of that culture we find problematic and wish to make ourselves distinct from.
However, major world religions, such as Christianity and Islam, have already been fiercely and adequately critiqued. When we look to our peers, we don’t find these religious movements to hold as much influence.
New Age spirituality and a sort of neo-occultism seem to be very “in vogue.” This is often for aesthetic reasons. We – as members of Chiildren – sometimes incorporate occult symbolism into our art and fashion. It is interesting to use imagery that speaks to an “unknown” or “ancient knowledge.” The appeal is similar to that of certain horror films.
But New Age spirituality, and even neo-Satanism (which is popular in certain “metal” circles), seems just as problematic as mainstream religion when taken seriously. To view one’s self as a god, to manifest power and wealth, and so on; these are commonly circulated and incredibly narcissistic ideas. They align themselves with the destructive forces of capitalism, which have proved devastating in recent years. Yet, these ideologies manage to claim a balance and connection with the earth, or its natural forces. Like most cultural movements based on spirituality, they are inherently hypocritical.
There may be no churches to burn in this instance. But we can engage our art in the common form of critique.
WSR – With the modern advent of technology on some aspects of religion have become unimportant to society as a whole, what are your feelings on this?
Chad: Religion is a dying system anyhow. Technology is only helping to kill it off faster. The new generations will not have the patience for most religious practices. It will become a much more sacred thing that functions quietly in a cult-like manner. The population of people who continue to practice it will become very slim. I have never been a religious person so I don’t have any attachment to it, but this is my prediction.
WSR – Do you feel technology is becoming its own religion in a way down to the way we treat it?
Chris: Perhaps. But the human-technology interface is something I’m very interested in engaging to its fullest potential. Our “stay human” slogan from “Apocalypse Prologue” doesn’t have much to do with technology, although I can see how it could be interpreted that way. I mostly meant this as a call for empathy and the consideration of collective extinction as a unifying force.
Chad: Kind of a frightening thought in a lot of ways. If technology goes as far as so many theories claim it will, it is kind of undeniable how in a sense it will become our God. I, for one, do not see a reason to push it away or try to fight it, so there is no use in fearing where we are headed. I am perfectly content with the possibility of becoming somewhat of a cyborg before my death. Downloading information and nutrients right into my brain sounds okay to me.
WSR – You draw influence from black metal, what is the direct influence you draw from that genre?
Chris: I enjoy the sound of well-produced black metal. This is just a musical preference. You can hear bits of this scattered throughout our EP.
There is also something appealing about the energy. The darkness. Certain people feed off of different energy. A lot of music in this genre comes from a primal place that most other music cannot adequately deal with. I don’t quite know how to describe this. Although, I’m sure fans of the genre know what I’m talking about.
Chad: A lot of our music comes from pain, and so does most black metal. Black metal encompasses a certain level of extreme that no other music genre really does. But once you get the kick of it, it’s quite soothing. It’s comfort music to me. I’m half Norwegian – it’s in my blood.
WSR – What do you feel sets you clearly apart from all other metal bands out there?
Chris: Personally, I think it is the way we incorporate electronics and the care we put into our video work (both in live projections and music videos/short films).
WSR – The Other People EP was just the first stage of evolution for that EP, can you tell our readers the next stage of evolution for it?
Chris: The Other People EP was originally released as a five song digital download. We worked with Bit Riot Records to re-release it with several remixes and new artwork. I don’t think it will evolve from here. It’s done. Future releases will have new music.
Chad: I have no idea what is around the corner, but one thing is for sure – we will not repeat ourselves.
WSR – The Other People EP is also the evolution point for you as a band too, what direction do you see yourselves going in?
Chris: We almost went on an indefinite hiatus. The release of this EP coincided with the two of us quitting our old jobs. It hasn’t been as devastating as we feared (or I feared). But we’re taking a break from playing shows until the end of the year. Then we have some things lined up. We’ll probably start recording again in early 2014.
Chad: We plan to release a new single early next year. Perhaps a vinyl release. That’s it for now.
WSR – What do you feel is the frail human condition?
Chad: Over population and the massive lack of enlightenment amongst us.
WSR – When you first started Chiildren what were your initial goals, have you achieved these goals or have your goals changed over time?
Chris: We wanted to put out an album, we wanted to make a music video, and we wanted to play a show with Author & Punisher. We’ve accomplished those goals. I think the biggest thing we’d like to do that we really haven’t done yet is tour. There are some logistical things we need to work out for that to happen though.
WSR – With the range of elements in the music of Chiildren you would fit in with many bands from many different genres, if you could tour with anyone then who would you like to tour with?
Chris: Youth Code, Author & Punisher, Godflesh, Pharmakon, and Legend. And Gnaw Their Tongues (if he actually tours).
Chad: I’m on the exact same page as Chris here…. and Phuture Doom… Ministry, KMFDM…
WSR – Why did you decide to veer away from your work in the adult industry to form Chiildren?
Chris: We didn’t veer away from adult work to form Chiildren. Chad and I met through the adult industry and have been working in the industry for most of the band’s history. It’s only recently that we quit performing in porn. Both for separate reasons. Neither of them have to do with Chiildren. You can probably figure it out with some inventive Google searching.
WSR – Was the transition from actor to musician an easy one and how do you feel your experience as actors help you as musicians?
Chris: We both played in metal/hardcore bands growing up. Chad was in a fairly popular metalcore band called Dead to Fall. I think that experience was more helpful than doing porn. Porn just brought us together because neither of us grew up in LA, so we didn’t really know anyone in the local scene. And we’re probably the only people in porn with such similar tastes in metal and electronic music.
Chad: I’ve been playing in bands and touring since I was 15. I will always be a musician, on top of whatever else I am doing. The “acting” experience is completely unrelated.