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'Six form the Hip' Beat2Pulse Interviews Alien Skin

'Six From The Hip' Beat 2 Pulse webzine interviews Alien Skin

by Jackson Presley
- Feb 27th, 2009

After an outstanding review and completely amazing experience listening to his album, George of Alien Skin was kind enough to participate in Our 'Six From The Hip' interview. So, for those who checked out George's music and want to know more about him and Alien Skin, this should please you!

1. B2P: After listening to your album, 'Don't Open Till Doomsday' we get the picture that you are a man capable of deep thoughts and ideas. What inspirations or outlets do you draw from to create your music?

GEORGE: Thank you, Jackson, for your kind assessment. I think most of us are capable of deep thoughts and ideas if we broaden our social, cultural and historical terms of reference; by analysis and questioning, rather than easily submitting to what is packaged as absolutes and presented to us as unchallengeable received wisdom.

In answer to your question, my primary inspiration to create music, frankly, is my love of song writing dating back to adolescence. The allure of expressing emotions by means of music, specifically within concise, disciplined song structures, is what drives me most to create. The electronic approach, which has become my preference since the early 80s, married to what loosely can be described as '‘traditional' writing – done so well by Martin Gore and Depeche Mode - continues to motivate and inspire me.

I describe 'Don't Open Till Doomsday' as 'a kaleidoscope of electronic melancholia'. A number of life experiences that framed my outlook over the past decade are expressed in the flow of songs and sombre mood of the album. I'm more of a melancholic personality than one bubbling with exuberance, so I guess that comes through in the music and has deeply inspired the work.

2. B2P: In the creation of 'Don't Open Till Doomsday', what did you find to be the most challenging task and why?

GEORGE: I have to say that the most challenging component, while working alone and in virtual isolation, is remaining objective about my work. Relying solely on my own musical instincts can be frustrating; the judgements and opinions of one day can turn into their opposites the next… and back again. Slowly, I had to work through the songs and eventually trust that I made the correct decisions about song choices, arrangements, sounds, vocals, production, engineering etc. At the end of the day though I'm satisfied with the overall results and am pleased with the feedback I've received from fans.

3. B2P: Life after 'Doomsday?' Do you have plans for a new album, if so, any thoughts on what we can expect? And when?

GEORGE: 'Don't Open Till Doomsday' is my debut album release as Alien Skin and I'm planning a follow up, hopefully, later in 2009. I'm currently in the process of writing and draft recording new tracks. I don't wish to gravitate too far from DOTD as I still have those song types and moods in my system and I believe I can do a lot more exploring within a similar musical framework and still maintain interest for myself and for the audience.

Further, I haven't established Alien Skin well enough as yet, so I believe it's important for me to consolidate what defines 'that sound'. I would like to think that the people who discovered my music on this debut will still recognise Alien Skin on its follow up. As an anecdote, it was suggested by my label, pre release, that we commission a number of remixers to add alternate versions on a bonus free disc with DOTD, but I rejected this on the premise that it may confuse people as to what the Alien Skin sound is.

4. B2P: I grew up with so much 80's music in my youth. From Men Without Hats to Falco to Thompson Twins. And I find even today I gravitate towards it every so often. I find it amazing that 80's music is the only decade to actually be made into a genre. What are your thoughts on this?

GEORGE: I grew up during an earlier generation so the 80s were more of an ongoing development to me than a starting point. The early part of the decade was the most influential for me as it twisted my musical head away from conventional bands, and music in general, to electronic outfits such as the Human League, Depeche Mode, Cabaret Voltaire etc. For me these were the early 'glory' years and I guess I also go back to explore that exciting part of history every so often as well.

I don't agree that the 80s can be musically reduced to a genre. Like any decade it had great diversity. There are ample examples to be found, even from a cursory look at the output from the era internationally. I think the retrospective marketing and repackaging of the period, such as in fashion, Hollywood movies and commercial radio, has a lot to do with it being considered in such a homogenous manner.

5. B2P: Are you currently, or do you have any plans to perform 'Don't Open Till Doomsday' material live?

GEORGE: I spent quite a number of years, up to 2005, touring with Real Life (Send Me an Angel), playing the US, Europe and at home in Australia but at present I don't have any specific plans with regards to live performance of DOTD. Financial hurdles are always the most insurmountable, especially considering that most interest in Alien Skin comes from the northern hemisphere, far, far from home. It would require substantial audience demand to contemplate it. But of course I'd love to.

6. B2P: I'd like to thank you very much for participating in our 'Six From The Hip' segment George. Do you have any final words for the fans?

GEORGE: Firstly, I'd like to thank you Mr Jackson Presley - what a fine name - for being so attentive to detail in listening to and then reviewing 'Don't Open Till Doomsday'.

For all the fans who have supported Alien Skin by buying the album and returning such positive feedback, I am hoping that my future and past work will continue to resonate with you. Your support in virally spreading the word about Alien Skin online, through social networks, blogs etc. would be gratefully appreciated and I am always open to communication via my websites. Thank you!

B2P: I'd like to thank George (Alien Skin) once again for participating in this interview. For all you Alien Skin fans, I hope this interview has gotten you one step closer to the musician that has brought us the wonderful treat 'Don't Open Till Doomsday'. And if you still haven't checked out Alien Skin and their debut release 'Don’t Open Till Doomsday' do yourself a favor and head over to www.alienskinmusic.com and take a listen. Your ears will thank you!

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