MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
Electroflesh: It came about from a combination of things. My interest in music started from an early age. Growing up in the UK in an immigrant household, there was a real sense of escape to be found in music, particularly if you liked music others didn’t seem to understand or have time for. It became yours. There was a real magic to be derived from what I heard, the records I bought, brought home, discussed with my friends & played to death to the bewilderment of my disapproving parents. It was a voyage of discovery, not just about the music of the day, but what went before too. I suppose the motivation started there. The natural progression from listening & being influenced was to one day record music myself & create worlds for other people to escape to & explore.
I began with writing poetry & stories that eventually evolved into singable lyrics. I picked up a guitar in the late 1980’s & just played along with records, finding a way to express myself.
I formed the short-lived damNoisyasians & after they broke up recorded a debut solo ep Mantra as Electroflesh in 1997.
There was nothing else musically from me until 2009 when I started recording again. My other profession is drama & I concentrated on that in those intervening years (along with being a family man & those responsibilities as well).
The song Bad Actor on the latest album That Compilation ! https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/that-compilation-!/id969132594
lyrically explains the re-emergence of Electroflesh musically in 2009.
I had reached a crossroads in drama & the song was very much a reaction to the frustration every struggling actor battles with. That struggle actually reignited my musical creativity
(bad actor alternative mix with video)
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
Electroflesh: I tuned in with glam rock in the early 70’s, Marc Bolan & T-Rex, David Bowie, Punk Rock, & hit my teens just as the New Romantic scene occurred with John Foxx/ Ultravox & Gary Numan.
I soaked up Goth with Bauhaus & Sisters of Mercy & listened to a lot of different genres. I enjoyed Americana – Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen & mainstream rock, U2 & Simple Minds. I also tracked back, discovering The Doors, Iggy & the Stooges, Hendrix & the Velvet Underground. Rock Music traces back to The Blues & Robert Johnson & beyond. There’s a real history & subconciously I was very studious about it.
I might have been at home as a historian in a museum for the arts during those years. I’m as influenced by film, theatre & television, so it’s all gone some way as a theme to defining the music I’m making. I think I make good use of popular imagery, modern fact & myth in my musical storytelling.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
Electroflesh: I would be lying if I said I didn’t want a hit record, who doesn’t? My ultimate goal would be to write one classic song & album that stands the test of time. It’s a monumental thing to do. It may be beyond me. My songs deal with issues & life difficulty but in a catchy way hopefully. Very few of those types of songs become memorable classics. If people hear my songs & feel positively touched, moved or inspired, then maybe what I am doing is worthwhile.
The song Inspiration on That Compilation ! conveys my everyman message & it’s commercial enough to get radioplay
I can’t see singles like That’s Right ! ever being on a BBC playlist. The indie stations like XFM aren’t playing me, but you never know, these things can change & if I get close to writing anything memorable for fans to enjoy I would be happy with all my efforts so far.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
Electroflesh: Gigging is not something I’ve done very much of. I’ve played solo gigs but the live aspect of music is not something that particularly happened for me. I was never that drawn to it. I’ve been to many gigs I’ve enjoyed over the years, Pete Murphy, Killing Joke, The Doors (with Ian Astbury) Aerosmith, The Killers, Coldplay etc but I’m as much drawn to, & as excited by, the live spectacle of Sport.
A champions league night at Anfield (soccer) LFC vs Chelsea semi-Final 2007 & singing along with the stadium, you’ll never walk alone & that sense of comaradery & togetherness on a do or die European night would be my answer.
I’ve covered The Fields of Anfield Road with my own lyrics, which is on the album That Compilation ! It’s a version that supporters seem to like. I would love it to be played at Anfield Stadium on Match Days.
(Fields of Anfield Road)
MuzicNotez: How come you go by the name Electroflesh? How did you come up with it?
Electroflesh: Spark of Electroflesh… was a line from a song by John Foxx & Ultravox called My Sex. It’s a hypnotic line that stoked my curiosity when I first heard it. To me it means beginnings, creativity, new life, a beautiful union that can be between people… or machines… or even worlds depending upon the extent of your imagination.
MuzicNotez: Your latest release is the single ‘You Kill Me’, what is this song all about in your opinion?
Electroflesh: It’s a love song between people who can never love each other at the same time, which leads to hurt, pain & misunderstanding & ultimately hate. It’s between religions where people do the same, between races, sexes, countries & species.
I’m almost 50 years old & I look at the state of the world & think how did that happen on my watch? I lived through the fall of apartheid, live aid & hope that the world was becoming more caring. Yet today people are killing each other over oil & cartoons, mercilessly slaughtering endangered species, eating pet dogs alive in some countries, bearbaiting, training bulls to charge & disembowel horses. I could go on & on…there’s that much that is sickening out there & also that much that needs to change. As a man there is very little I can personally do to change what is happening, but I’m damned if I don’t try, where I can, to make that change. Hopefully it wakes a few people up to do the same.
(You Kill Me radio edit)
MuzicNotez: You cross a wide array of genres and sounds in your various releases. Such as the acoustic sound of your latest release and ‘Endless Highway’, to the electronic influences in ‘Do androids dream of electric sheep’. What has caused you to cross genres so much, and how do you think that keeps your sound fresh?
Electroflesh: I try to make music that I think I would like to hear. I’m not sure if it sounds fresh, but I would swop that for interesting. Crossing Genres can confuse listeners who are drawn to one type of song but not another, it’s a risk worth taking to keep me interested in what I’m doing & it’s good to keep fans guessing too.
Endless Highway was a slice of Americana, the perspective of the actor out on loan, to quote Jim Morrison. The spirit of James Dean on the road reassuring us travellers that there is nothing really to fear other than ourselves, it all goes on without end… life that is, if not people.
(Endless Highway radio edit)
Do androids is my nod to the Electronic Music of the late 1970’s that really opened my ears, something Jim Morrison predicted would be the future of music way back in 1968. He had remarkable intuition that man. It would be nice to think fans of The Doors might like both of those tracks & the genre crossing.
Commercially, I make no money out of music, I do it at a big loss, so my aim is sincere in trying to reach people & make friends across the globe. Many I will never meet & many I will irritate, but at least they will have heard me. I like to think crossing genres might keep my music interesting when people look back after I stop with Electroflesh. There will definitely be a stop at some point when I’m satisfied I’ve said enough.
Incidentally, there seems to be a US heavy metal band called Electr0flesh, which I have no affiliation with. I’ve never crossed into that genre so I probably won’t need to now.
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
Electroflesh: There will certainly be another album. I’m working towards that & then we will have to see what else develops.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
Electroflesh: I appreciate all the existing support from fans & the ongoing support of my son Gyan & my family. I hope that Electroflesh will grow in interest & relevance to fans globally. I work very hard between the mediums of music & drama. It would be nice to link the two in some way in the future, perhaps through more collaboration with other artists & performers if that’s possible .
The songs so far have included collaborations with percussionists & producers Alex Balsama, Pete Turtle, Brian Bogdanovic, Dan Warren so they all deserve enormous thanks for their contributions.
I collaborated with cartoonist & writer Kevin Turrell last year on the project Silas Daly (a character I played in Kevin’s Harp28 feature film Crooked Features in 2004) he co-wrote the lyrics on the song Shelter featured on That Compilation !
(Silas Daly featuring Electroflesh – Shelter ed)
He deserves a big thank you for having such faith in my work to date. It says a lot about him as a person & friend.
There may be further collaborative projects in the future. That’s all I can say about it for now.
Thanks for taking the time to interview me, & reading it all if you got this far.
Bye for now &…… stay electric!