Updated: Apr 13, 2019
Jason Pearson AKA Dr. Magic joins us to speak about the new album due out in June 2019. I was privileged enough to see you play Resistanz 2016 as well as a show at the UK home of all things industrial music ‘Elektrowerkz’ Slimelight shortly after.
Has the band been active in the last two years, and now you’re back where can we expect the direction of this new album to take us, what kind or ride should we expect?
A. Two years, jeez, has it been that long? Yeah, I’ve been gigging and doing a lot of stuff. I’ve been incredibly busy. I’ve written two Kara and The Wolves EPs with the second one to be released soon. I’ve finished this current album and I’m also nearly finished the follow-up album too, currently named ‘Machine Ready’. For some reason I can’t stop writing music. I just need to have more self-discipline and get out there and gig more, but now the new album is finished I hope to give people one hell of a ride…
This new album is probably the finest music I’ve written and mashes up all my favourite influences, from hardcore punk, tribal metal and those banging nights in sweaty dance clubs. I guess I wanted it to feel like a discovered flip book survivors in the future would find, capturing all the things we used to do… before the apocalypse happened, before we fell.
Q. Listening to this album, I feel it would be a great soundtrack to a Mad Max universe film set in Britain, a lot of the riffs remind me of the Doof Warrior in Fury road.
The Mad Max universe is an ever growing influence in the industrial music world that we have all come to love. Would you say this was an inspiration for the album, and what is your take on the post apocalyptic undertones that flow so well from songs you’ve made for it?
A. Hah, that’s a brilliant compliment, thank you. I feel very much like Doof. Sometimes I’m surprised at the pics I see of myself at gigs. I look like a LARP Mad Max super-villain. But I’m one of the good guys, honest!
Mad Max has a special place in my heart, since watching Mad Max 2 when I was about 13 years old in Zimbabwe. Growing up there was bleak; Lowest life expectancy on the planet, everyone prematurely aged, ruined and abandoned cars, and buildings everywhere, and a sense of society slowly rotting, political debate replaced by mobs with machetes. It was surreal.
I guess in the West, we can safely fetishise collapse like this as something cool, but for many its not. The Lords Resistance Army in Uganda was very post-modern and looked ‘cool’ but it was terrifying. Even ISIS made their own Mad Max style gun trucks and improved weapons that would be straight out of a film. Its frightening as hell.
I guess the biggest apocalyptic influence on me is an article called ‘The Coming Anarchy’ by respected journalist Robert Kaplan and published in 1994. He had traveled to many places in Sub Sahara Africa, Turkey and the Middle East. He utterly nailed the predictions for the collapse of many nations such as in Syria, Libya etc. He warns that all this chaos would spread.
In the West, we can just see the first stages of our own collapse as we trust politicians less and less and are keener to rely on rumour and manufactured loathing of others. Our society is incredibly fractured and becoming split into emotive tribal factions, far more willing to cause violence to others for the sake of our own side. That’s how it always starts. In that regard, my Mad Max influence is more of a warning of the future to come unless we fight for a better world. I guess I’m saying that although the cars and clothing etc in Mad Max are super cool, I’m deadly serious in my message.
I’ve noticed your album ‘Start a war’ is not on Spotify, can we expect streaming releases such as Spotify when the album arrives in June?
A. Ah, cheers for noticing. Its proper nice to know its missed.
I took all my stuff offline as I asked for a Consent Order to be agreed with the former label, whereby I retain copyright of all my back catalogue. Its such a relief to be able to do that. I was also looking for the right digital distributor and was in two minds about signing with a new label or not. I ended up not approaching anyone and decided to self-release as I can outspend any smaller label, hire my own PR guys, fund my own merch, music videos etc so whats the point of letting anyone else have a final say In my music unless they can bring something unique to the table that I cant provide myself.
All my music will be back online again soon, ready for the release of the current album as I found a good digital distributor run by A.I. programming. Now there is nothing more cyberpunk than that!
Thank you for you time Dr. Magic. Elektro Vox looks forward to a more in depth interview in future for the official release.
First impressions: This album feels full of meaning from the second it starts to the moment it fades out. In the world of industrial music it is always a pleasure when bands experiment or accidentally set their own niche sub genre.
There are countless variations to our world of music and this is what I can only describe as Neo Speed Punk Industrial, do with that what you will; yet this album incorporates many style and its hard to pin down specifically which only adds to the richness and satisfaction I have found in listening to it.
There is the constant feeling of rage against the system that is destroying our world. An outcry of anger at the politicians and greedy 1% snuffing the world in to extinction, it is albums like this that spread the necessary anarchistic outcry for change. Many of the tracks put me somewhere between the punk aggression era of the ‘Sex Pistols’ and the Drum and Bass illegal raves of the 90’s, and early 2000’s. Yet with the modern sounds of heavy metal bass and industrial synths thrown in to the entire album, it could not only be the backing track to a new Mad Max universe film as I have mentioned in the interview, but it could also be an ideal backing to a cyberpunk future based film where collapse was always inevitable. I even get a slight hint of that crazy Japanese band ‘Guitar Wolf’ coming through. All I can say is, this isn’t the future, this album is a call to wake up NOW, we already live in the Neo dark ages...
1. Being Human An almost emotionless female synthetic voice narrates ironically on what it is to be human over a steady beat, building up the tension and expectation. The voice telling us that
"To be alive is to feel loss, that our own apocalypse is what defines us." It sets the album up for the dissociation between humans who suffer and the uncaring machine of the world that does not, and nor does it care. Such is the world of cyberpunk. You are stepping in to an album of Orwellian nature, or are you? This is going to be a very powerful track to warm the audience up before the Doctor rips them a new one.
2. Walk amongst rebels
Drum and bass in the style of ‘The Prodigy’ comes at you for the title track of the album. It feels like a remix of the generation we have experience this past thirty or so years and it sounds brilliant. This is a deep bass acid trip with the riffs to back it up.
“We are fallen angels who walk amongst rebels.”
3. Hate is a goldmine If the political nature inherent in this album was not already apparent, it is now. With powerful lyrics playing on the UK parliament such as.. “The lies to the left, the lies to the right.” ..A wonderful hint towards the house voting on the ayes to the left and the noes to the right possibly? This being followed by the chorus which is going to be a great sing along piece live.. "We will not quit, when the world turns to shit!" This is a pulse pounding track to get you moving and worth spilling your drink over.
4. Unrepentant anger It is in this track that the Doof Warrior first came to mind. The guitar, although not powerful throughout the entire song, makes a huge impact that comes in to focus occasionally for even better effect. It’s hard, it’s fast, it’s dirty, it’s industrial and it’s one to lose your mind to as it fades out to contrasting Victorian fanfare music.
5. Angel 41
In a change from the rest of the album we find the perfect midway rest. It’s a beautifully melodic track with vocals that underlie a deep sense of emotion for the story it is trying to put across. It makes a lot of use of the more synthetic sound of industrial music and it does it well, putting you in a peaceful mindset.
It’s a great piece to reflect on not only the album so far, but what might be going on in your own world at the time. This once again feels like the mixing of genres and experimentation that add to the cyberpunk feel. Even if the rest of the album isn’t for some, this track will probably be loved by most, if not all electro-heads.
6. Fight for the future Electronic synths throw down in the mosh pit with punk in this aggression filled piece and if Dr. Magic doesn’t get a mosh pit going to this track then I will be surprised! “I don’t want to, but I’m gonna, fighting for our future!” sums up the attitude of the entire world right now. We never wanted to