Interview with Roberto
Massaglia & David Foreman,
Saturday 5th June 2004
by Gordon Taylor of Infectious Unease Radio
first met Robert and David when I was DJing at the Blue
Velvet Bar in Melbourne Victoria Australia, a place where
all bands and DJs would come and chat, network or just
chill in the relaxed setting. I was taken by their charismatic
personality. I had always enjoyed their music having a
powerful industrial electronic sound, the lyrics covering
many political and social issues. Naturally I interviewed
them live on Infectious Unease Radio. They express an
intelligent energy in their music that is unique. They
are a band who are very much into networking with other
bands and organizations. They work with others to make
a wonderful lasting music subculture for everyone. They
are a band that have toured with many other bands including
international acts such as Sheep On Drugs, Chaos Engine,
and Covenant. They are a hard working band that are very
modest about their achievements and are very charming
to talk to.
Saturday Jun 5, 2004
Roberto Massaglia, David Foreman,
ltd. cd 2k1
Devolution. cd 2k2
Strip Off The Gilt. cd jan2k4
“Invisible Scars”“Fiend Issue 3 CD”
'Elite' [inst. club mix]- septic 2
'Dodlike' [iconoclastic mix]- electrauma 6
'FDlip 'em out'- a.s.i.n.g.e.d
'Bruises' [body ripped]- dissonant structures
BANDS SNAIL MAIL ADDRESS:
INTERVIEWER: GORDON TAYLOR
OF INFECTIOUS UNEASE RADIO
AT WHAT AGE DID YOU BOTH TAKE UP MUSIC, WHAT INSPIRED
YOU TO TAKE UP MUSIC? AND WHAT ARE YOUR BACKGROUNDS AND
HOW DID YOU MEET? AND WHEN DID TANKT FIRST BEGIN?
Foreman: Well for me, I was inspired by the electronic
music coming out of Germany, Belgium and Canada in the
mid to late eighties most of which I discovered through
a brilliant radio show on Melbourne’s 3RRR called
the ‘Flying Fish Show’ which ran from 1987-90
Massaglia: pretty late for me, considering that I never
considered myself a musician, David approached me one
night in a local club after watching me jumping around
like a maniac on a couple of tracks and asked me if I
wanted to be part of a band, naturally I said yes and
what came next is history.
WHAT PREVIOUS BANDS HAVE YOU BEEN
INVOLVED IN? WHAT STYLES OF MUSIC DID YOU PLAY IN THESE
David Foreman: none, I was a virgin before Tankt.
Massaglia: when I was 17 years old I had a short experience
in a band called Hogs formed by with classmates, nobody
could play though and that
INSTRUMENTS AND EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE WHEN PRODUCING AND
PERFORMING YOUR MUSIC?
Foreman: bare knuckles and a screwdriver, I’m still
into hardware, I
haven’t yet been converted to soft synths, although
Roby has just started dabbling in those particular black
HAVE RELEASED SEVERAL ALBUMS. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION
BEHIND THE MUSIC AND LYRICS? HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU
TO PRODUCE, AND WHAT WAS THE CREATIVE PROCESS OF PRODUCTION!
YOU HAVE USED SAMPLE ON SOME OF YOUR COMPERSITIONS WHERE
DO COLLECT YOUR SAMPLES FROM?
Foreman: phew! The first two releases came about rather
really without much of a plan other than to make music,
I suppose our remix of ‘elite’ was the first
conscientious effort at producing a club track, and indeed,
a club track that included some sort of political/social
agenda, as for samples, we don’t really use them
much, a bit of ‘trainspotting’ on the track
‘spiders’ and some ‘Romper Stomper’
and ’Black Adder’ dialogue on ‘Dejava’
just for a laugh, we like being the ugly Melbourne boys!
Massaglia: I think anger, frustration have had quite an
impact on most of our lyrics, that doesn't mean we are
angry people though.
HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN FOR STRIP
OFF THE GILT?
Foreman: On one hand- people have contacted us expressing
their appreciation of certain songs, some people have
‘understood’ our point at combining so many
different styles and elements together, whilst some of
the labels and distributors we’ve exposed it to
have shown an emphatic dislike of it. A certain promotions
company in Europe suggested that we’d have difficulty
getting any club or chart action with the album, which
made us lament the state of being an underground band
and still having to toe the line of chart riggers and
label politics, but a part of the problem in Europe at
the moment is the rather conservative music industry climate-
even amongst independent labels- as a large distributor
called EFA went broke earlier this year leaving much monies
owed to small labels, and under these circumstances not
many new bands can be signed as there is little capital
left to invest, but out of this is some good news for
us… Sydney based national distributor MGM has agreed
to release the CD for us in July/august, and this in turn
will hopefully help interest distributors overseas.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO PRODUCE STRIP off the GILT
Foreman: way too long, 18 months in total, with the last
three months burning me completely out, we gave ourselves
a final deadline and then pushed hard to reach it, by
the time the mastering process was underway I hated the
whole album! It’s very tough trying to fit the huge
amount of hours of writing, recording, mixing and all
the other sundry band related things into a life filled
with fulltime work and relationships, and to keep a balanced
perspective of it all, with each release our expectations
get higher and the perceived work load gets bigger, but
I’m telling you now- the next release will NOT take
DONE ANY REMIXS FOR YOUR MUSIC OR FOR ANY OTHER BANDS?
Foreman: we’ll pretty much only remix for a band
we like, I’ve just finished one for the crystalline
effect, and we’re doing one for cold stream temple
from New Zealand, and I’ll be getting around to
remixing one of resurrection eve’s old chestnuts
soon, we’ve remixed some of our own tracks for live
performance- given that live electronic music can often
be predictable, I think it’s worthwhile producing
interesting new versions for the live shows.
MUSIC HAS BEEN ON A LOT OF COMPILATIONS. WHAT COMPILATIONS
Foreman: check the website… www.tankt.com.au for
the list, there’s about five I think, we are currently
mixing a cover version of a track called ‘Dead Days’
which will go on a tribute CD to the awesome Texan electronic
band Mentallo and the Fixer- the project of Dwayne and
Gary Dassing, we're on the CD attached to the latest fiend
MUSIC HAS MANY STYLES OF SOUND. TO PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT
OF HEARD TANKT HOW WOULD OF YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO
Foreman: Electropunk, maybe, it’s so hard to categorise
really, which is
both strength and a weakness for us.
Massaglia: I think that Laura from Sublevel203.com did
a pretty neat
description of our music without necessarily label it,
so here it is: "The music itself is a bit industrial,
a bit EBM, and good ol' rock-n-roll."
ARE YOU INVOLVED IN ANY SIDE PROJECTS?
Foreman: not right now but never rule it out for either
Massaglia: a project called Zippo strain has taken form,
but my first priority
is with Tankt.
WHEN YOU GET THE TIME WHAT MUSIC DO YOU ALL ENJOY LISTENING
Foreman: these days mostly sleazy dance grooves, I like
Massaglia: I find quite difficult to listen to just one
genre, it's much
easier for me to tell you what's playing in my stereo
right now – an
electronic based Italian project called Nova.
GIGS DID YOU ENJOY THE MOST AND WHAT WAS THE AUDIENCE
Foreman: Hobart in November 2k1 was cool, the crowd really
got into it and we got well looked after, I had a brilliant
weekend exploring Hobart and going for an adventure in
the Huon Pine forest and chasing snow, Sydney in December
2k1 was cool too, my first time in Sydney, and like something
out of a film, I also enjoyed the most recent gig here
in Melbourne [Achtung in march 2k4], I think I’m
now beginning to find my own stage presence, Roby is such
a dynamic and in-your-face performer and I think we really
compliment each other having Mav and mark contribute so
much to our live sound certainly helps as well. We’ve
just come back from another trip to Sydney, where we supported
Covenant, we were very primed for the gig and we pulled
off our best performance to date, also it was great to
play in front of a large appreciative audience, we got
a huge reception, and we thrived on it, Sydney always
provides a surreal experience.
Massaglia: Yeah Sydney rocked, it was good to have some
friends dancing and singing with us on stage.
THERE BEEN ANY GIGS IN, WHICH YOU HAVE NOT SO MUCH ENJOYED?
Foreman: Adelaide October 2k1, by the time we got on it
was just us and the pokies in the room opposite, and the
plastic pot plants, true!
THERE ANYTHING SPECIAL INCORPORATED WITHIN YOUR PERFORMANCES?
Foreman: we try to have an interesting backdrop, banners
projection, and Roby and I try to be as dynamic as possible,
to combine the best elements of punk and electronica in
YOU HAVE A PERFORMANCE WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN
YOU ARE ON THAT STAGE. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU FEEL? WHAT
SORT OF EMOTIONS DO YOU GO THROUGH WHEN THE EYES OF THE
AUDIENCE ARE ON YOU?
Foreman: sometimes I get into ‘the zone’ and
can’t remember the show. I
like to perform sober. I’ll maybe have a beer before
I go on stage to settle some of the nerves, but I love
that feeling of being on the edge, in Sydney I was very
conscious of being aware of my surroundings, and especially
of the audience, and I managed to take a lot in this time
so I was happy.
Roberto Massaglia: If we don't get technical problems,
generally we engage the
audience much more.
BANDS HAVE YOU PERFORM GIGS WITH?
Foreman: Dandelion Wine, Immaculata, diffused Fusion,
Isomer, Resurrection Eve, Sheep On drugs, Chaos Engine,
Angel Theory, The Crystalline Effect, Jekyll Switch, Snog,
The Redresser, Rim 60, Bride Of The Atom, Covenant, Novakill.
WHAT MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU HAD WHEN PLAYING LIVE?
Foreman: Getting laid is always a good one, ;-)
Roberto Massaglia: ditto
YOU HAVE ANY FUNNY OR INTERESTING EXPERIENCES YOU WOULD
LIKE TO TALK ABOUT?
Foreman: plenty, but not many I wish to have known to
a larger audience! Seriously though- although the financial
rewards for being in a band are non-existent, there are
compensations, like the brilliant people you get to meet
along the way, the supportive people out there make the
whole thing worth it…
RECEIVED PRESS, ELECTRONIC PRESS, RADIO AIRPLAY AND DJ
AIRPLAY FROM AROUND THE WORLD. WHAT COUNTRIES, RADIO STATIONS
AND DJ HAVE BEEN POSITIVE ABOUT YOUR WORK?
Massaglia: David. And I of www.elektrauma.de has always
been very supportive, you yourself Gordon www.infectiousunease.com
- likewise… primary, blatant propaganda, so to synthobserver
at www.synthpop.ru, also the guys at Sydney gothic have
been great in talking us up! We notice that ‘elite’
gets on play lists all around the world, and lastly Stéphane
Froidcoeur of Side-Line magazine in Belgium has printed
two excellent full-page interviews
with us… [sorry to anyone I’ve forgotten…]
APART FROM BEING IN TANKT WHAT OTHER CREATIVE THINGS DO
Foreman: nothing- everything beyond Tankt is reactionary
Massaglia: Being a graphic designer and all, I naturally
enjoy designing other people CD covers, apart from that
music is my first concern.
DO YOU THINK OF THE SUBCULTURE IN AUSTRALIA?
Foreman: it’s probably the same as anywhere else
on many levels, there’ll be a small dedicated hardcore
who are music purists through and through, here’ll
be those who are into their clothes, and there’ll
be those into both, Karl from Sydney Gothic mentioned
a rather salient point the other week, that Australian
audiences seem to be more open to different styles than
most overseas audiences, I believe this is true when comparing
the reaction to 'strip off the gilt' by Australian audiences
and Europeans, the Australians are more likely to ‘get
it’, but I’m also sick of the politics and
squabbling in the scene, guys- get over it! Roby and I,
with some other like minded Australian bands, are in the
process of setting up a small collective with the notion
of exchanging support and promotion, ideas, and skills
with each other, to help create a stronger professional
movement for us all, rather than working individually
we hope to combine our strengths and give ourselves a
little more power in what is, unfortunately, an over-saturated
industry, we’re just struggling to survive!
WHICH COUNTRIES DO YOU, RECEIVE THE MOST RESPONSE FROM?
Foreman: it has been from Germany up until now, maybe
more Australians are about to discover us.
Massaglia: let's hope so, I'm quite tired of eating cat
ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
Foreman: I’m going fishing mate…
Massaglia: living in Paris sounds more and more appealing.