Information Society is back with the original lineup of Paul Robb (synths), Kurt Larson (vocals) and James Cassidy (bass, keyboards). Their upcoming album _Hello World is coming out Summer 2014 on HAKATAK International. The preceding single, "Land of the Blind" is out this week (March 4th).
It takes too long to transcribe all of Paul's answers, so these are just excerpts to get the point across:
I get what you're saying. Keeping in mind that you came at them in the reverse order that they were created in, it might seem stranger to you than it was... A lot of what came out of the recording session of Hack, was our take on what we had been exposed over the last two or three years after we moved from Minneapolis to New York ... In '87, the whole band moved and we were suddenly officially New Yorkers, and I think that stew, and mixture of influences and sounds that we were exposed to in New York was very influential in making that potpourri kind of vibe that Hack has. And in terms of house beats, that we were just responding to what we've been exposed in the clubs.
2. Were you guys all into computers in the 90s?
Yeah, that was the essence of the band... we were always interested in the intersection between technology and humanity and the intersection between one human being and another human being and also the intersection between individual and society as a whole. It's those intermediate gray area that will always be interesting to us. We just happened to be around when the pace of technological evolution really started to speed up in the media and all aspect of life.
We started our life as a band as a media critique band. If you listen to our very earliest stuff, it was all complaining about television, and, you know, news media and things like that. Really what we were getting at was just how society mirrors itself through technology. That through line hasn't changed at all. Obviously when we started getting radio hits, we had to sort of fit ourselves in that template for pop consumption, but, you know, that too was part of the gag.
3. Cristina, one of my writers, wanted to know about the freestyle tour (without Kurt Harland). What was that like? And what was it like to reunite back with Kurt?
It's probably a more accurate to say when there was a time that that none of us were interested in pop music. We all off exploring our own interests and Kurt was doing his computer audio-thing and I was doing my music for TV. And we are still doing those things.
We got together to do a couple of shows in 2005, kind of like New York radio station shows. We hadn't played together in such a long that it was kind of fun. Enough time has elapsed that it didn't seem like 'oh god, we got to play those songs again', it was more like 'that's great, we get play those songs again!!'.
When I finally got around to writing some of the tracks [for the album Synthesizer], Kurt had just had a brand new baby and just gotten in this huge video game project that would over a year to complete. He was like, 'I can't really take the time to do another record right now.' And I said, 'I'm going to do it anyway', and he said 'that was fine, I don't care.' And he did fly in to do a couple of tracks.
We didn't really tour on that record. We played a couple of shows, y'know out of the country in Brazil or Mexico. It wasn't like a tour or anything. It was interesting experience to have the band without Kurt. But soon as he was available again, that it was the obvious choice for Kurt to be the singer again.
4. Why do you think your music translate so well in foreign countries, particularly Brazil and Japan?
Brazil, in particular, is our biggest market. I can't really answer. My stock answer is, 'they have excellent tastes in music'.
5. Tell me about HAKATAK International and also Think Tank.
Think Tank came about as a pseudonym for our band name. Our record label, Tommy Boy, wanted it to be an underground thing leading up to Hack. These tracks are instrumental, so let's just come up with a different name. So we came up with 'Think Tank'...
6. Explain the new single "Land of the Blind" and the b-side "Me And My Rhythm Box", coming out this week on HAKATAK International.
It's not going to sound like "Me And My Rhythm Box", that was just a fun cover we wanted to do in homage to that horrible/awesome movie Liquid Sky. "Land of the Blind" is probably our most traditional-sounding of all the songs in our upcoming record. That's one of the reason why we decided to release it as the first single. It's been a long time since the three of us have worked together to produce music as Information Society.
Information Society Brazil Tour 2014
March 14 - Rio de Janeiro (RJ) - Circo Voador
March 15 - Volta Redonda (RJ) - Clube Nautico
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Archive of this show at archive.org. More information on podomatic.com