It must be interesting to visualize this kind of music in form of film sequences or maybe as some kind of soundtrack, although every listener has an own kind of "film" in his mind while listening to KHANATE. Have you ever thought about this idea?
Yes. Alan Dubin is a video editor and is currentlly working with a cinematographer on a KHANATE piece. I am unsure of what stage it is in but I believe it is for the track "No Joy" It should prove very interesting and disturbing. The visual / audial axis is one of the cornerstones of any musical experience I believe, whether in or outside of the listener's mind eye.
Are there any chances for a European tour of KHANATE in 2000 (oh, pardon!/ Klaus) or 2001? Have you played gigs in the U.S. this year?
It is impossible for 2000 and 99% impossible for 2001. With the events of the world as they are, as well as the ways KHANATE participators are committed to things in their lives, it's going to make touring difficult, period. However, we have begun performance in NYC during November and also have discussed a European tour together with SUNN O))) and THRONES for sometime in 2002. Nothing is settled however.
You must be a very busy person, Steve. You are playing in two bands, you are responsible for the whole SL-artwork and some other things. Are you doing any kind of regular job, beside all the other things?
Yes, I work on staff at a Manhattan advertising agency as an art director. I am very busy but this is what life is for I suppose ! What else should one do with their energies?
Your passion for extreme music isn't really new for those people, who pursuit and love your work. When did this passion started and what kind of music you're into nowadays?
Art and music are two of the central pillars for as long as I can remember. I'm fortunate and proud to say that these elements are probably some of the most integral parts of who I am. So, in that respect I don't really consider any of these interest "extreme", as they aren't at all to me. I love music and listen to it as often as possible. Some things which have been pleasing recently (this week) are the BORIS / MERZBOW collaboration, old AIN SOPH material, Alan Lamb's amazing recordings of wind harps in Australia, JACK FROST, KHOLD, Galina Ustvolskaya's piano sonates, BOHREN UND DER CLUB OF GORE, Veljo Tormis's "Litany to Thunder".
You have done a lot of cover artworks in the past and present for different labels and bands, where you have developed your own drawing complex. One of the last example is the cover of the new SIGH album. When did you started with your paintings and what kind of technique do you use for your drawings?
Well, first of all, at this time, I am not a painter nor an illustrator. I use a computer for all of my design work and illustration, not my hands (well, directly anyway). Most of my album cover design comes from montages I make from found or stolen art, manipulations of found or supplied art or imagery sourced by some outside art but re/constructed into something more along my own characteristics and taste. The SIGH album used dozens of collages I made from illustrations of Tibetan sculpture and painting. All of the coloring and concept, as well as typography and design were by my own hands, but the actual source images were not. So, I am a visual scavenger / parasite at this time.
I think, that SOUTHERN LORD Records is not only a simple music label for standard Doom. Every band that you've signed is different from each other. Mostly, they have a main musical influence, but each of this groups have created an own characteristic sound. What is important for Greg and you, when you're want to sign a new band for the LORD?
Greg is the one to ask about this. SOUTHERN LORD is his label. I was more active in the beginning but by now my role is solely layout for the album covers. I don't really have much, if anything, to do with signing bands to SOUTHERN LORD. Lately I even passed the advertising and collateral design duties over to a colleague as I don't have interest in this any more. But that said, Greg and I talk about LORD stuff a lot and I think he respects my opinion about bands and such, as I do to him. I'm not crazy about all of the LORD titles but I do really like a lot of them, and I think they are each charismatic in a way that I don't see in many other labels. Without over estimating Greg, I think the most important aspect of his decision to sign a band is that he has to be stoked on the music first and foremost ! I think the label has a great identity and energy to stand beyond any of the bullshit that clogs the fuckimg music scenes.
Ok Steve, thanks a lot for this interview. I hope you will continue with your creative work. At least, maybe anything you like to say?
I think I've said enough for now. Thanks Klaus for the time and space. I sincerely appreciate the support, patience and interest in my work. I will continue as long as I am able. Stay morbid.