Interview Conducted by Morticia Batz/Graves and Assitant Writer Hexable
How have you guys been during the pandemic? Have you done anything special during the quarantine? Like picked up something new or old?
Surviving and doing as well as can be expected. Been updating my studio and recording, mixing some things.
On January 12th you guys released the official video for “Lost and Haunted” First of all thank you guys for continually making and creating music. But what was the lyric and songwriting process for this song? Is there a meaning behind the song? Was it brand new written like during the pandemic? Or was it written previously? The song is very emotional and touching. Especially during a time of massive loss.
The instrumental version was written just before the pandemic. Veronica added her vocals and lyrics at the start of 2020. I then continued with the other tracks including two more by her, two by Mari, and all the others you hear. The lyrics have an emotionality, the guitar parts have what I would call spirituality.
On January 20th 2020 Bari Bari was hanging out with old friends on twitch for Jenn Bats birthday party (Release the bats). Dave Bats always has fun stories and we miss hearing them in person; but he made mention of how when he and his band “Element” recorded next to each other and made mention of how only you can make these guitar sounds! Which is very true for us when we think of all the ways you have played your guitar. Can you let us inside your head for a moment and tell us how you feel out your sounds and music writing? Has the process always been the same? Or does it change? Is it different every time?
I don't really think about it much but I do automatically steer away from many bad influences (pop - rock) even as the thought arises (maybe a little before the thought). Sense memory has something to do with it as well. After so many years the hands can write music or embellish it on the fly.
Here is probably a repetitive question you have been asked time and again Bari Bari! But, what was it like working with Rozz Williams before he left Christian Death?
Well the experience with Rozz as singer was great. The audience adored him. I also had to work with Valor and his cult members. Rozz was not around much, Valor always had control of the whole picture. I wasn't told about the Rozz arrangement or other people before, Rick, Constance, Eric. It was hush-hush.
You have played all over the place around the world. Do you have a few favorite places to play? And what have you picked up along the way while traveling that might help other bands? (Like how to pack, travel, keep the chords and instruments safe ect).
Italy was where my first European shows were. So culture shock first of all. If a shop is open on Wednesday at 11 AM does not mean it will be open the next week on that day. Pack your FX and things in sweaters. Travel light if possible.
You re-released some of the Pink Album in 2019 with original recordings from 1986 and made it available on Bandcamp. Are any of the songs from the original pink album bring back some floods of memories for you?
I wrote most of that album before we left for Dusseldorf to meet with Jorg. I sent them to Johan to work on. Yes, memories abound.
What is life like outside of the music for you guys? What is a relaxing day for you like? Where do you find peace when you are not doing anything music-related?
I do not have a peaceful mind. Always restless.
Do any of you like cooking? If so what is a favorite dish you make or would like to make? Most importantly what is the ingredient to staying inspired and cultivating art in your opinion?
If you were to share something special and important to you that you feel would help the vast majority of the world what would it be about? (Social issues, causes, certain diseases, life lessons...ect..)
Just keep trying, never give up. Learn to program - haha.
We wanted to know if you would like to make space here to talk about John. He passed away on my birthday and it was truly heartbreaking. We as a team wanted to send love and light to you Johan Schuman, especially over the pandemic and so recently. We did not want to ask about him. But we do want to give you guys the option to be able to honor his memory here if you would like.
He was a kind soul. I don't know where to start. I do have the Napoli story. We were in Napoli waiting for the show a couple of days later. I told Johan let's go the club a couple of nights before. He said "we don't know where it is", I said it doesn't matter. He said "we don't have any money", I said that it doesn't matter. We walked out of the hotel and proceeded walking down a large street heading away from the bay. A small car came zooming up and hit the brakes with a screetch on the cobble stones. Two guys yelled out "Christian Death!" We said, yeah, do you know where the club is? We hopped in and they zoomed thru the city. Crazy Italian driving at it's best. As we approached the possible venue they did not slow down and we crashed into something, a tree possible. They exploded "we're here" This was the catacomb entrance which also had a club. Proceeding down to the ticket alcove I told them we were playing there in two days - just checking out the venue. We ordered drinks, Johan found something to smoke and we had a great time. At one time the bartender/owner asked "Are you sure you are playing here this Friday" Well, yes we were. So all was good. So good we brought David back the next night for a repeat. Still the question lingered "Are you playing here Friday", Oh I am quite sure. A similar level of intoxication was reached at no expense. Anyway, we did play there on Friday. I just had to remind Johan that it doesn't matter, something will happen if you wish it hard enough.
You mentioned after the release of All These Winding Roads that you might start work on an EP, have you started that process or is it still brewing?
No, other things have become more important. Vinyl release of the back catalog thru Nordung in Italy is in process. The first EP on vinyl coming up after I remaster it.
Bari Bari you make and show a lot of your own guitar pedals, could you give some advice on new DIY guitarists getting started on making their own pedals? What are your favorite pedals to play around with?
There are a number of websites out there to purchase kits and such to make somethings. I have some old pedals that I maintain by buying broken units for parts. Mainly the DOD 565/575. They have a special chip made by Raytheon that it very rare these days. I have already purchased my lifetime supply from various broken pedals.
All These Winding Roads was released in the middle of the pandemic, and I know Dark Vinyl had trouble producing physical copies of it. What was the most challenging part of putting out a record out at this time, and did you have any surprising successes through it?
It was actually good for me doing this during the pandemic. I could focus very intensely on it. The problem were mainly between Germany and the US as not that many planes were flying. Shipping took a long time and even the shipper did not know where it was. I got a lot of good feedback on it and it also helped those that were a part of it.
Many of us have been sort of cleaning out our closets and stumbling on little pieces of our personal history, what is something that you have found recently that is a favorite piece? (If you guys have done some of that cleaning out and reorganizing that is)
I found the 16 track master tape from the first EP in the bottom of a closet. Many old photos/flyers and other memories. Some I posted online, some I give away when an order comes in.
Here some more photos for you all.