Interview from Audiodrome:

This is your first Italian interview. Please introduce you project to our readers.

I began F/I/T/H early in 2004 after touring with some friends bands in Japan earlier that winter. Watching and sometimes joining in on their performances was inspiration to work on my own project when I returned home. I didn’t really have a particular sound I was looking to create. It was all about the act of creating itself, pure catharsis, a full spectrum of emotion and subject matter explored through sound.

Previously you have played some shows with Slogun. "Slogun" is also a famous track by SPK. What do you think of the work of Graeme Revelle? Does it represent an influence for you? How do you start listening to industrial music?

SPK, as well as many other early industrial bands such as Throbbing
Gristle, Nocturnal Emissions, NON, etc., were definitely inspirational in the formation of F/I/T/H. I was first exposed to industrial music through a couple different routes. At the time I was listening to lots of new wave/synth music. Marc Almond of Soft Cell had contributed to Psychic TV and Coil recordings and through the exposure to those bands I discovered many more as the industrial scene was rather small and somewhat incestuous/inter-connected at the time. I was also listening to lots of punk and was intrigued by the more cacophonous tracks on Crass’ albums as well as their tape cut-ups. I became interested in other projects members of Crass were involved which led to finding Steve Ignorant’s work with Current 93.

On Funprox we read that Meditate/Mutilate being released by Eibon Records can be seen as a form of acknowledgment for Fire in the. What do you think of the artwork and mastering done for this cd by the label?

I think being approached by any label for a release is a form of
recognition. F/I/T/H now has releases on eleven labels with a few more forthcoming. Mauro (Eibon) had been aware of F/I/T/H from early through various demos I’d sent him so he’s had a chance to hear the sound progress. I was quite pleased when Mauro approached me for a release as all of the releases on Eibon are of a very high calibre. “Meditate/Mutilate” is one of my favorite and most diverse recordings and Mauro’s mastering was perfect. I usually do all the artwork for my releases so I was a little apprehensive about letting someone else design the packaging but I feel Mauro captured the essence of the recording perfectly with his artwork for this release.

Many journalists comment on your eclectic talent: you can be silent and noisy; you can meditate, but also mutilate. Is this a conscious decision (in order to avoid the often accusations of monotony your musical genre) or is simply just how you are?

I don’t think the creative process of any artistic endeavour I’m working on ever involves fully “conscious” decisions. Often what happens is what happens. Sometimes I feel as if I have very little control over what is being created and I am there only to capture the sounds. Very rarely do I ever begin a project with a pre-conceived notion of what the end result should be. Recordings are usually composed of material culled from various sessions which end up working together to form a completed track. My interests are wide and varied, swaying from one extreme to another so the
creative process is also affected by these varying interests. F/I/T/H was never given a set of boundaries that would confine the sound to any particular genre which gives me the freedom to explore various sonic territories. Both Sky Burial (my drone/ambient/minimalist industrial project) and Irukandji (harsh noise) have slightly more rigid confines yet also continue to morph and diversify in sound.

In relation to the previous question: From the Warp Records to the chill out, from Kraftwerk to Ant Zen: As a listener, are you interested in various kinds of music electronic?

I do listen to various forms of electronic music. Tangerine Dream’s
recordings from 1970-1976 are some of my favorite electronic music and are a big influence on Sky Burial. I’m a big fan of Peter Namlook’s Fax label which released quite a few good analogue ambient cds in the 90s. As mentioned before, I grew up listening to (and still do) a lot of new wave, synth pop and 80s electronic music like Soft Cell, early Human league, D.A.F., Fad Gadget, Coil, etc.

What you can tell to us of your collaboration with Nick Blinko? You are an electronic musician, but we can say that you are punk in ethics?

The work with Nick Blinko came about through a connection with the gallery that represents him. I own a number of Nick’s original drawings and he has created an original piece of art for F/I/T/H to be used for a the cover of a forthcoming release. I had always been a Rudimentary Peni fan and contacted Nick through the gallery to see if he would be interested in contributing vocals for a track. I gave loose guidelines regarding the subject matter and left the lyrical content up to him. I think his vocals lend themselves perfectly to the dark ambience of that track. Punk had a strong influence on my youth and the formation of my social and political views. Punk is mainly what I listen to so that ethos has definitely impacted F/I/T/H in use of vocals and subject matter and especially live.

Like Nick Blinko, you are also a visual artist. Please say a few words
about your paintings and the relation between sound and image.

In its final state the artwork is really the antithesis of F/I/T/H
although my state of mind during the creative process of both is quite similar. The paintings are minimal in composition relying on color and texture to express depth and are often representative of a horizon. They are very serene and have often been referred to as “zen-like” which is probably an influence spending time in Asia has had on my visual art. My Sky Burial recordings could be considered the aural equivalent to these paintings. Sound has always has a synaesthetic effect for me. Sounds and music create mental imagery. To be able to experience sound in this way is much more intense than being physically presented with a visual to accompany particular sounds/songs. It’s similar to reading a book and creating the imagery in your mind then seeing a film based on that book
and having it spoil your vision. Sound is in the ear of the beholder.

"I went out to the hazel wood
Because a fire was in my head... "
Yeats and Michael Page...

“Fire In The Head” is derived from the first line of “The Song of
Wandering Aengus” by W.B. Yeats, a rather dream-like/shamanic/hallucinatory poem. For me the “fire in the head” is
the impetus behind actions which occur without conscious intent, a
perpetual flame which drives the need to both create and destroy. It is the fire which the fuels humanity’s dual nature, a vicious circle where absolute silence is a deafening cacophony.

Tell us the meaning the word catharsis has for you, especially in relation with your music and the creation of your music.

For me the meaning of catharsis is quite literally the traditional
definition: purification, purging or cleansing. The purging is usually of
whatever “demons” happen to be haunting me at that particular time
(apocalyptic nightmares from being raised in a near cult-like religion,
the absurd state of world social/religious/political affairs, a general
loathing of society and humankind, hallucinations, obsession, etc.). The process of creating is the intended result. It is therapy and is far more important to me than a completed track or release. The time spent creating be it sound or visual art, puts my mind in a state of equilibrium which is otherwise difficult to achieve. An unquiet mind needs to be occupied, to focus on something so that it slows down, not unlike meditating. Through the process of composing, writing lyrics and recording vocals one can temporarily purge what is internally unwanted. This is why F/I/T/H’s subject matter is often of a more personal nature.

Please you describe to us to your live performances and the difficulties in capturing the attention of the audience when you’re not in a rock band.

F/I/T/H live differs quite a bit from what is done on cd. The live
performance is, again, total catharsis. It is an opportunity to add a
physical aspect to the “purging”. Sometimes I become so separated from myself during a set that I can’t remember anything that happened during the performance when it is over. Whereas in the studio F/I/T/H is only me, live it is a collaborative effort. I do not try to recreate actual tracks live but sound manipulation from F/I/T/H source material is done by another member so that I can focus on vocals and interact with the audience. A band’s interaction with the crowd was always one of my favorite things about punk and hardcore shows and I try to bring that same feeling to my own performances.