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Interview with Daniel Graves of Aesthetic Perfection for the new album 'Into the black'

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Aesthetic Perfection's fifth major album 'Into the black' launched today. Elektro Vox was lucky enough to grab an interview from the legend of industrial himself about the album and the world tour.

Daniel, thank you ever so much for agreeing to speak to our new site. 

You have a wonderful fan base in the U.K full of extraordinary individuals that unite all forms of alternative culture. I’m sure they will be thrilled to read what you have to say.


First of all, I had the pleasure of seeing you play the headline slot of Infest festival in the U.K last year as well as several other shows here in the past. How do you find performing in the U.K, have you had any culture shocks on your visits over here?


I used to get culture shock back in the day, but the more I travel and the more I age, I recognize people are the same pretty much everywhere. Beneath different customs and different foods, we all just want and need the same things. People enjoy music because it transcends any of those cultural barriers and speaks to the core of human experience. Performing for people just makes that all the more apparent, because it's exactly the same no matter where you are.


Even before release 'Into the black' was number1in the German alternative charts. That must be quite a compliment from the ‘homeland’ of industrial music, do you feel as well known in America and other countries as well as you are known in Germany?


I've been touring in Germany ever since 2005, and I continue to be amazed and humbled by their generosity there. As an outsider doing something different, it's quite the compliment to continue to be welcomed back. America is still my biggest market, but America is also a million times larger than Germany, so that's to be expected! 

Q. For the European leg of the tour you are joined by Amelia Arsenic (formerly of Angel Spit) and Priest. What made you chose these great acts to support you?

A. When I choose support bands, I try to think about who's got the most buzz in which market, and how often they play there. I always want to bring something fresh on the road with me. For example, Empathy Test will be our support on the North American tour precisely because they've never toured there before. Obviously, it's also important that the musical and personal vibes match, which they do on all counts here. I'm beyond excited for all our upcoming tours!

(You can read a short Elektro Vox review of Priest’s performance in our E-Tropolis review)


The opening lyrics to the first track ‘Gods & Gold’ are.. “There is a darkness, it breeds just hate and war, our inner conflict, the seeds of vitriol.” This already sounds like a mature and meaningful album. What can you tell us about the concept of this album and the kind of ride it will take us on?

A. I don't like to reveal too much about the specific meaning behind my songs. Of course I have my own thoughts and intentions, but really, what makes art so special is the fact that it's subjective. What my work means to me isn't what it will mean to you, and that's how it should be! What I will say, is that over the last few years I've struggled a lot to come to terms with my own mortality, my strict religious upbringing (which I finally recognize as abuse) and the mistakes of past versions of myself. Music is my way of working through my own issues, it's my hope that it will help others work through their own. 


What inspirations helped you to put this album together and will those inspirations show through in the tour’s stage show?

A. I'm always trying to find a balance between the future and the past. As I get older, it becomes even more difficult to do. As we age, we tend to return to the things that are familiar, the things we already know we like, so you need to actively look for new ideas and sounds to be influenced by. I've always modeled my performances after my heroes... Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury and Marilyn Manson... how much of that gets across to the audience is anyone's guess! 


Is there a particularly meaningful track in this album that is very personal to you?


Every song is very personal, so it's hard to choose just one. But I feel like Supernatural and Mourning Doves perfectly articulated certain demons I've been facing over the years. 


What artist have you found the most enjoyment working with in collaborations, performing alongside, or just hanging out back stage?

A. First and foremost: My band. Elliott and Joe are true musicians, performers and all-around great people. I'm honored to share the stage (and backstage) with them. Jinxx is another person who I clicked instantly with on both a musical and personal level. Krischan Wesenberg as well. For me, it's about putting all the bullshit aside, the ego, the competition, the insecurity, and just enjoying the fact that we're privileged enough to live a life where we spend it making art. You'd be surprised how difficult that is. But I'm very thankful to have those people as friends and collaborators. 

The next two questions are from a huge fan of yours: Krieger.

Q. 1

Your music is always full of atmosphere and presence, as well as having such eloquent yet juxtaposed lyrics to industrial music. How do you manage to keep this unique and incredible balance so consistently through all of you music?  


From the beginning, I promised myself I would always be honest. I said I would always try to remain genuine and passionate. I've done my best not to stray from that philosophy, and I think as time rolls on and I continue to progress as an artist, those values get reinforced. I feel like that's kind of the core of who I am, and it's great to know that people see that. Makes me feel like it's all worthwhile! 

Q. 2

Where do you see industrial pop going, and do you see the industrial pop revolution breaking in to the mainstream in future? 


For me, Industrial Pop is about finding harmony in disharmony. Taking two seemingly incompatible artistic philosophies and melding them into one. I see it as being less about a sound, and more about an intention. I intend to shock you. I intend to create something unexpected. I don't know how long this era will last for Aesthetic Perfection, or whether or not it will be picked up by other artists and taken in its own direction, but I definitely feel like something is brewing. 


Is there anything you would like to say to your fans, and about any plans for Aesthetic Perfections direction in future?


I have some of the most wonderful and dedicated fans any artist could ask for. Let's not forget, that in the grand scheme of things, Aesthetic Perfection is a tiny niche artist in a tiny niche scene. But think about it: These days, music can be had for free. Yet I have a large percentage of my fanbase who are willing to pay for it! I am very aware of this fact, and very grateful for those who make it possible. Big shoutout to my Patreon supporters!



Finally, what is the most important life lesson you have learnt from Aesthetic Perfection, and do you have any advice for future artists?


Life is short. Life is precious. Don't get lost in the details. Enjoy the big picture. Do your best. Know your limits. Drink wine. 

Daniel, thank you ever so much for your time!

I look forward to seeing your show in London on April 14th and hopefully o speaking to you there for the review I will be posting of the show.

'In to the black' Is out now and you can find our album review here

To book tickets for a show / country near you this year, visit the official Aesthetic Perfection website


Limited VIP meet and great tickets are also available separately for many of the tour shows.

Thank you for joining us and remember to like Elektro Vox and Aesthetic Perfection on Instagram and Facebook. 

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