Monday 14 July 2014

Interview: Society 1

Rise from the dead...

"People come and people go for many reasons. Music is the main drive and what compels me to continue. Everything effects everything but you can't stop because you're an artist so I don't really think about it."

US industrial rockers Society 1 may best be remembered by UK music fans for their intense performance at 2005's Download Festival, which saw frontman Matt 'The Lord' Zane suspended by four hooks through his shoulders and repeatedly swung over the crowd for the duration of the the band's. Tearing through tracks such as 'Hate', 'It Isn't Me' and 'Nothing' before a transfixed audience.
Nine years later and after a long period in the wilderness, Zane and his revitalised band are setting out to re-establish Society 1's name in the annals of music history.
We caught up with Lord Zane to talk about the new music, returning band members, comics, feuds and suspension.

Intravenous Magazine: Society 1

 You have a new single out, 'It's Yours Now', how has that been received so far and is it fairly indicative of the way Society 1 sounds in 2014?

Lord Zane: People have been really surprised because in a way it's really different for what we are known for. Although if you go back and listen to our last proper release despite being many years ago we were headed in that direction. Most of the feedback has been positive. I think it's a good indication of what we are going for on the new album 'Rise From The Dead'.

IVM: Your last studio album was 'A Journey From Exile' back in 2011, and you've released a few acoustic demos via Soundcloud. How would you say the sound of the band has developed since you were last in the studio?

Lord Zane: A Journey From Exile' was never actually released. Some of those tracks are coming out on the new B-Sides and unreleased album 'A Collection Of Lies' next month. The acoustic demos were put out there to see how people would react. We actually did an acoustic show with all that material. It went well and we plan to record the acoustic EP properly at some point. For me the biggest progression we made is in the vocals. I've always sang here and there but I just sing. No more yelling.

IVM: You have a collection of B-sides / unreleased tracks called 'A Collection Of Lies', due out in August. What led to the decision to release these?

Lord Zane: It's really strong material and kind of interesting how some of it came about. Sin and I actually wrote a lot of those songs together many years ago and I ended up finishing them throughout the years. So it's kind of like a missing Society 1 album. The other material on it is just stuff that was never released or properly released and isn't available anymore. We wanted it to be out there and figured it was a good time before the 'Rise From The Dead' songs started to come out on a more regular basis.

IVM: There is a Society 1 comic called 'No Salvation' by Dominic Valecillo in the works as well. How did this collaboration come about and is this the first of many comics?

Lord Zane: I saw a drawing Dominic did of me that he posted on Facebook and people everywhere were writing asking if it was a comic. People responded very quickly and strongly. I wrote Dominic asking if this was a possibility and when he said he as interested we began with throwing around concepts. It's something I've always wanted to do so I am really excited about it. We are going to put out 5 to 10 shorter comics to begin and see where it goes.

IVM: Over past few years of Society 1's history there have been line-up changes, different record labels, and your own documented injuries related to suspension. How have these affected you as an artist?

Lord Zane: People come and people go for many reasons. Music is the main drive and what compels me to continue. Everything effects everything but you can't stop because you're an artist so I don't really think about it. As far as my injuries I just have to be careful in all areas of life regarding what I do. It's a process to constantly try to heal nagging injuries but the only other choice is to sit and around and not move which isn't going to happen.

IVM: Guitarist Sin Quirin has returned after a long tenure in Ministry. How did this reconciliation come about and what is it like having him back in the fold?

Lord Zane: He is still in Ministry so it's a trip. On one hand he is my friend from all those years ago so it feels very comfortable. On other he is the guitar player in Ministry so I'm a fan. It's a really cool dynamic.

IVM: How do you feel about the band now as a unit going forward?

Lord Zane: It finally feels right after basically a 9 year hiatus. All of us are having a great time and are excited.

IVM: You've directed and edited a music video for the new single. What was the shoot like and did it all go according to plan?

Lord Zane: Nothing went according plan. Everything broke and most of the crew cancelled due to sickness. I'm amazed it was completed. Looking forward to doing another with results closer to my vision.

IVM: You've also directed videos for the likes of Wayne Static, Zak Wylde, Orgy and DMC. Is this an important artistic outlet for you and how would you describe your style?

Lord Zane: I do enjoy it. It's challenging. I don't really know if I have a style. I've done 100 videos and most of them are different. That's part of the challenge.

IVM: Next year marks the 10th anniversary of your infamous 2005 Download performance (I was lucky enough to be in the crowd that day). Will it be marked in any way?

Lord Zane: Right now we are in talks with our agent trying to see if the promoters at Download would be interested in having us do a 10 year anniversary suspension show. Hoping to get an answer in the next month. We would love to do it. I think most people want to see it. It would mean a lot to us.

IVM: And how much of a toll has your suspension taken on your body?

Lord Zane: My problem was all the suspensions I did with pre-existing conditions. That's why I developed so many issues.

IVM: Speaking of suspensions, a few years ago you had a feud with magician Chris Angel after you shattered his record. Is there any bad blood still between you two?

Lord Zane: I'm sure he doesn't care as he bathes in his millions of dollars but there was no admittance on his part ever of losing the record to me. I doubt he'll ever publicly address it.

IVM: You've previously published books including 'Transcendental Satanism', and released a spoken word album. Is there any more writing or poetry possibly on the horizon?

Lord Zane: I have a poem book out called 'Release and Demise'. Really cool stuff in there and most don't know about it. No new books in the works at the moment. Getting Society 1 back on the map has taken all my time.

IVM: What live dates have you got coming up?

Lord Zane: Yes we are touring regionally and you can check those dates on the web site and if that isn't update Facebook is always current.

IVM: Finally, is there a possible return to Europe for Society 1 in the near future?

Lord Zane: Near future no but as I said we are pushing for festival season 2015.

Society 1's latest single 'It's Yours Now' is available to purchase now through iTunes. The album 'A Colelction Of Lies' will be available this August through Slacker Jesus Publishing. For more information on the band, including tour dates, please visit their official website.

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