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Stayte - interview (2006)
2006-10-16 | Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz and Brian Backlash | e-mail interview
Brian Backlash: What are some of these 'sexy problems' we keep hearing about?

Clayton: We can't really describe them...you'd have to see/experience/flee from them for yourself...
Josh: Well, I like to expose myself in public, also, we don't wear underpants half the time....free and easy Brian, there is nothing like an unfurnished basement!!

Brian Backlash: Stayte was originally a Canadian band hailing from Vancouver. The band more recently relocated to the Los Angeles area where you've garnered a respectable following. What ultimately lead to the move in your base of perations? Has it been a good choice for the band?

Clayton: Ironically, we've recently relocated back to Vancouver! we originally left Vancouver because the live music scene here is notoriously suffocating for young bands. Also, we had connections in California as one of the other bands on our label at the time was doing well there. It was a great choice for the band and so too was the choice to move back here.
Josh: L.A. is a good town if you are talented....too bad we are not. L.A. Kicked our ass, it was awesome. We will have a documentary coming out soon of all the adventures we had in L.A. .....I almost got shot in the head by the LAPD. IT was a good choice moving there.

Brian Backlash: Vancouver is long renowned for being the home of acts like Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly and Noise Unit. What is it about Vancouver that elicits a more avant garde attitude towards music?

Clayton: The rain! It rains here over 200 days of the year creating a thriving atmosphere for long stretches of cellar-dwelling with synthesizers and samplers.
Josh: Everyone is secretly gay here, but they hide in their music.....many members of all the bands you have listed have asked me for sex.....I said 'maybe'. Also, needle drugs are big here.

NINa: Stayte have a seemingly very busy lineup: Josh has a band called Simple Shelter, Andy plays guitar in his The Narcosis Design and both Josh and Clayton is a member of Revolting Cocks. Doesn't it make any problem speaking about scheduling tours or recording sessions?

Clayton: There's more than that - I operate a recording/mixing/re-mixing company called The Sonic Sietch - http://www.myspace.com/sonicsietch - As well, Josh and
I are in another band called V.H.S. - http://www.myspace.com/veryhighsociety - so yes, it can get problematic sometimes but the core members of STAYTE are Josh and myself. We generally schedule things according to what works best for all of our projects as a whole. In fact, we have a label/production company called EDM - everything Josh and I spearhead, falls under this umbrella... you can check it all out at www.edmpresents.com
Josh: First off, I assume Nina is a girls name so I would like to hit on you for a second...... What are you wearing right now? Sorry, I am high on glue fumes right now....... you are right though, scheduling is always an adventure for us.
[NINa: Oh just a black meshy underwear on, not that much interesting ;)]

NINa: Your band name reminds me of the Russian expression for "Stop where you are!"...where did the name come from?

Clayton: Interesting! I like that meaning but we took the name from a street in our home town - Stayte Road...
Josh: That's bad ass, did you know I am Russian/Polish (half of me at least) The name stayte came from a road we lived on in our home town. I wonder if a Russian guy named it?

NINa: Josh stated that industrial music is dead. As the industrial rock bands' headhunter I can't agree ;) It's not popular, it's kinda elite these days! ;D

Josh: Well, being that I can't remember much of anything these days......including saying that, I think I'll flip flop and agree with you. I just got off tour with the best
industrial band on the planet. I guess I'm just tired of hearing too many copy cat industrial bands. Also, nothing ever really dies, it just changes. Though, my cat died.

Brian Backlash: Industrial music is long known for having rabidly loyal fans, and a distinct style all it's own. Does the categorization of Stayte as an industrial rock group hinder your influence in the music scene as a whole, or does it give you a more firm foundation to stand upon?

Clayton: Good question...I definitely agree that really hard-core industrial fans are not impressed by us. However, I know that it is the same way with the hard-core metal fans, the hard-core goth fans, even the hard-core alternative rock fans. We are a hybrid band that draws from different styles and for the most part, our fan
base reflects that.
Josh: Good question, here is another good question....what are YOU wearing? Industrial was the coolest music on the planet for a long time.....I hope Stayte can help make that true again, though we probably won't........I hope we can make Funk cool again......I'm going to stop doing interviews high, I think.

NINa: Could you name some industrial rock-metal bands which have gained your attention recently?

Clayton: The Narcosis Design ;)
Josh: Damn, another good question, you guys are turning me on for some reason. The most recent cd I bought was Ashley Simpson. I have the worst possible taste in music you could imagine. Though our friends in 'Eyes Of Fire' rock!! Also 'Opiate For The Masses' is cool. (Sorry, had to name drop for friends).

NINa: Four years ago Stayte released a CD called "Abandon in the Amber". You made a few new songs this year - could the new album release happen this year?

Clayton: Yes...it has been ages since a STAYTE album has been released - it would have been completed early this year but we were offered the RevCo gig and I am sure you will agree with us that it was worth it to wait for a few more months. Also, we've got some guest stars on this record as a direct result of the MasterBatour from both Ministry and RevCo...but rest assured the new album is almost complete. It will be a 2007 release.
Josh: Hell yes, the album is being wrapped up tomorrow actually....the cd sounds great, just the vocals are so bad we need to secretly bring in someone else that
sounds like me to retrack....then it will be done. I promise, you will not be let down by the new album.

Brian Backlash: You've been working on your new record, 'Cognitive Dissonance (The Art of Lying To Yourself)' for about a year now. Your previous effort created a groundswell of acclaim and notice - how do you feel the new record will build upon the success of it's predecessor?

Clayton: Actually this album was started over 2 years ago - but with all the other projects going on, it has taken longer to complete. This new album is our best effort thus far - both Josh and I have improved in our respected crafts since the AITA record plus we had the luxury of tracking live drums with a great drummer - Pat Labuda. We have been playing with him since just after the AITA release and his familiarity/comfort with the new material really shows on these tracks.
Josh: Flattery will get you everywhere ; ) This album is going to be so good, it will end world hunger. Also, it's the best album we have ever done so I think things will be picking up as soon as it comes out. Please let me know what you think when you hear it. Also, will you make out with NINa while listening to the album and take pictures and email them to me?

NINa: Of the four demos I had an occaision to listen to, I enjoyed "Love You in Red" the most. It's really industrial rock and kicks ass! Will there be more songs like that one on the forthcoming release?

Clayton: Thank you for the kind words...there will be a couple more songs like that on the album but the majority of the record is more organic. There is an electronic element in every song but we chose to have live drums prevalent on this record as opposed to programmed drums/loops...I think this what you are getting at... but rest assured - we plan on releasing a very electronic remix album shortly after the new album is released.
Josh: Thanks, the new album while be diverse like the last, we get bored easy so we like to mix it up in our song writing. Lyrically, that song is unique, I stopped writing overly personal songs on this album and did more political, social and generally personal songs.....I got tired of hearing myself whine so much.

Brian Backlash: Josh, your vocal work with Stayte exhibits a real distinct style. I dare say it sometimes is like a rock and roll croon. How long have you been singing? Do you practice vocal exercises or use other kinds of tricks to get your voice to sound a certain way?

Josh: I'm probly the worst singer on the planet, if it wasn't for Clayton being so damn talented in the studio......I would be out of work. But you are very kind....now I KNOW you want to make out with me!!!!

NINa: Seems like every band has some musical influences. Is it possible to make music with out influences?

Clayton: For the most part, I doubt it. Influences are like stimuli - you need them to get a bearing on where you are as an artist and to learn about the possibilities of music. It's possible to shed influences - I think all great artists go through this stage at some point in their careers. There are divine geniuses though...
Josh: Well, influences come from every direction starting at conception. I think it is possible to be an artist and not draw influence from other artists......but influence is a natural thing even if it is on a subconscious level....... my biggest influence is the future.

Brian Backlash: What's your favorite approach to creating new music?

Clayton: Isolation to begin with (only espresso and alcohol allowed!) and then constant revision and usually some sort of collaboration until I've got something that I am happy with.
Josh: Locking myself away in a cabin in the woods.

NINa: What's wrong with El Paso? I often hear "It's a weird place" when I talk to someone about Texas...

Clayton: Really? I don't know... El Paso is right on the border with Mexico - so you can literally see the 3rd world poverty but besides that, it didn't strike me as weird - New Mexico is a weird place though...
Josh: 'Hell'-paso is a funny place. It's really not so bad, though it gets hot there. When we stayed with Al for a month, it was nothing but good times... I think it is just far from any other city, so you are stuck there.

NINa: You mentioned in an interview for PunkTV.ca that Al had a very strong vision of what he wanted to achive. What is this vision about?

Clayton: You'd have to ask him...what I meant in that interview is that the way he approaches creating music and performing that music is very focused and suggests that he has a very clear vision.
Josh: 13th planet records could be one of the best independent labels on the planet.

NINa: One of the present (and past) members of Revolting Cocks is Phildo Owen, who runs his own music effort called Snow Black. Did the two of you meet before joining RevCo?

Clayton: No - we met at rehearsals just before tour. Phildo rocks...I am sure he told you some good stories for the Snow Black interview.
Josh: No, I met him in the airport, I had a sign that said 'Desperately seeking phildo'. He tried to touch me in inappropriate places many times. I have a lawsuit pending....... Oh wait, I'm thinking of my family doctor!!!!

Brian Backlash: Stayte has accumulated a lot of trickle down attention as a result of the involvement with Revolting Cocks. Do you plan to continue your association with RevCo, or possibly on future Ministry releases?

Clayton: Of course - we knew that joining RevCo would benefit STAYTE in many ways and it has already. For example, I am in the midst of remixing tracks for the upcoming RevCo remix album...as well, don't be surprised if you hear Josh's vocals all over the next RevCo record.
Josh: Hell yes, my nigger!!!

NINa: RevCo could be compared to Pigface for it's use of a multitude of well known members. Ever consider doing a tour together?

Clayton: Indeed - that would be fun.
Josh: good question, good ahead, ask me what I am wearing right now!!

Brian Backlash: When you listen to new music from other acts, even your old favorites, do you listen with a critical ear or more from the perspective of a music lover?

Clayton: I am pretty critical in my old age...
Josh: Well, I try so hard to stay a music lover, That's why I listen to bad music, so I can be reminded of how good the other stuff is......sometimes I will listen to nothing but classical for a month and then feel refreshed with a new perspective.

NINa: You have Andy Whorehall on guitar in Stayte. He seems to be a red hot one these days... Could we tip his hand a bit watching a picture of him and Paul Barker after The Narcosis Design show at the Roxy? ;)

Clayton: Yeah - we introduced the two of them at a STAYTE show earlier this year. The Narcosis Design is good band and I am glad to see Andy following through with it after all the obstacles he had getting TND to where they are now. He is a very talented person and it was a pleasure to work with him both when I was producing a bunch of The Narcosis Design demos and when he was playing guitar with us. On a side note, Paul is another contributor on the new STAYTE record...
Josh: Sadly. Andy had to stay in LA when we moved back to Canada...though I have seen Andy naked.....I have pictures.....20$ each!!!

Brian Backlash: What do you think makes for good album artwork?

Clayton: depends on the genre of musiClayton: it should either reflect the lyrical content/mood or just be completely absurd or witty...
Josh: Good question, I'm trying to figure out what to do for the new album right now.....I have very few ideas right now.

Brian Backlash: What is Stayte have planned for 2007 and beyond?

Clayton: Lots...a new album, a remix album, and tours, tours, tours....stay tuned!
Josh: Sex with you and NINa...then probly touring, more sex, another album, more touring, That documentary will be released, and hopefully more RevCo stuff.

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