RazorBladeKisses Interview

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RazorBladeKisses has been generating quite a bit of hype recently thanks to their energetic and colorful stage performances. The group’s debut album Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scar has been in the works for quite some time and will finally be released in the near future. To get a better idea about the history of the band, their musical style, and the work that went into their debut I had the chance to ask the members some questions.

When did the band form and how did all of the members originally meet each other?

The band formed in 1999 originally with just Layla and Andi. Two years later Layla’s sister Azadeh moved here from Iran and joined the band. Her and Layla always used to do musical projects together since they were kids so this was an extension of their childhood dream. Numerous line-ups came and went with the bands sound starting off as Neo-Classical Metal, including violins, flutes, etc..

Eventually in 2004 after a gig that fell through, Steve joined as our drummer. Many more line-up changes ensued until in 2007, in response to an internet posting, Jacqui joined as a guitarist with Andi moving over to bass.

I have been hearing a lot about your live shows, particularly some of the visual elements that you use. For our readers who are unfamiliar, can you give us an idea of what to expect for anyone who comes out to see you?

I think our inherent love of Visual Kei music leads us to be rather flamboyant onstage outfit-wise. From gothic lolita to EGA and period clothing, we try to make the effort live, to give the fans something visual to take in that compliments the themes in our music.

I guess it’s like going to Opera or a play. We try to make an impression and give audience something to remember us by. Our main influences are fairytale characters, themes from different periods, childhood nightmares, scary dolls and toys. Things that make you wake up and scream in the night πŸ™‚

Your debut full length Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars comes out later this month. How long have you been working on the album for and who did you record/produce with?

The album has been worked on in many forms for years now, mostly due to delays arising from getting signed and subsequently parting company from our label. The songs themselves were recorded almost 3 years ago now, originally we were going to self-produce, then the label stepped in and they mixed the tracks on the CD, but due to financial constraints couldn’t finish the albums production, so we took the mixes they had created and worked with a local producer to do final mastering on the album.

One side effect of this has been that we have been working on new material throughout that time so are nearly in a position to record a follow-up album already, so there won’t be another 9 year wait for our next CD.

What are some of your musical inspirations and how do you feel that they have influenced your material?

Andi: Most of the things I listen to these days are either J-Rock, Trip-hop or Alternative Rock. Most of the inspirations for the tracks on TTLS are from a mix of Linkin Park, Massive Attack, Portishead, the GazettE, D’espairsRay, Jack Off Jill, Queen Adreena and Switchblade Symphony. It’s that mix of the heavy with the delicate that interests me the most, so tracks like New Nightmare that are out and out rock tracks topped with girly female vocals, down to the fragile trip-hop of No Strings Attached that is ultimately destroyed, but at the same time complimented by the monster guitar that comes in later in the song.

Azadeh: Vocally my main influences are Lisa Gerrard from Dead can Dance and Liv Kristine Espeaes Krull from Theatre of Tragedy.

Layla: Bach and generally Baroque music. Danny Elfman. And I also love Placebo and Muse.

You are putting your debut out independently. Are you looking for a record label right now, and how can US audiences interested in your album be able to find it?

Though we are not actively looking for a label at the moment we wouldn’t rule it out if we got a decent offer. I think the experiences of producing TTLS ourselves have been largely positive and we have far more confidence in releasing future releases independently.

Our album will be available worldwide on iTunes/Amazon MP3/7Digital and a number of other digital channels, with physical copies available online from Amazon (UK), Music Non Stop and direct from ourselves. So there should be plenty of ways for fans to get hold of a copy if they want one.

Are you planning a full UK tour once your album is available, or are you just going to be doing one off shows for right now? Would you like to take your stage performance to other countries and if so do you think this will happen anytime in the near future?

Andi: There are no specific plans for a UK-wide tour, though we are constantly playing across the country anyway, so there is always a chance to catch us live.

Azadeh: Hopefully I would like us all to play in my homeland Persia one day as we have loads of fans there.

As we are also a gaming site, do any of your members play video games? If so, what do they like to play and why?

Andi: Right now I’m about halfway through FFVII: Crisis Core, Silent Hill 2 and F.E.A.R. 2, though my first love is for STGs like R-Type/Ikaruga/Thunderforce. I kinda think that while modern games are certainly far more immersive they often lack the immediate adrenaline rush of older arcade style games.

I’ve also got a little hooked on Aion, after the disappointment of RF Online’s lingering death it’s nice to have something else to waste massive portions of my life playing.

Azadeh: Call me a geek but at least I can pull that off by being cute. I spend most of my free time playing computer games and the games I play range from games like World of Warcraft to mad Japanese games like Cooking Mama and Harvest Moon.

Layla: I do but I used to play it a lot more. I can name a couple of addictions to World of Warcraft and also the original Half-Life. I played it so much at one point that every air vent I saw in real life I felt like I could hack to pieces and climb through.

And, one of our song names Lure of the Temptress is after an old Amiga game. I still love old school games though like Head over Hills on Spectrum, Bomber Man on Atari 2600 and Monkey Island on Amiga. Also I remember playing Commodore 64 tapes on tape player and wanting to sample the sound for music. yes, I’m a geek..with an Mphil in Computer Science what else do you expect πŸ™‚ But I like to add that Andy and Azadeh are much bigger geeks than me. And me and Andy’s son Aryan is beating us all in all things game-related πŸ™‚

If you could take your music and create a movie or video game based off of its style and themes, what would you create?

Andi: Movie. Well it’d have to be some Tim Burton styled film, possibly animated like Nightmare Before Xmas/Corpse Bride/Coraline. Or a zombie film, with Gothic Lolita zombies and stuff. Awesomesauce.

Being a programmer by trade, games are actually something I’ve given a bit of thought to in the past. Obviously American McGee’s Alice is perfect, but that’s been made already, so perhaps some kind of Fatal Frame horror thing would suit. Though I’ve wanted to make a Planet Harriers style game or a stylish point and click like Machinarium, and both would rock in a spooky twisted-innocence style.

Azadeh: Something like Giana sisters but darker and more spooky. It would be a two player game with two sisters lost in a forest trying to work their way out, on the way they have to solve different puzzles and encounter bosses which are based on fairytale villains and the twist at the end would be they have to kill each other to win the game. So could you bring yourself to kill your own sister in order to win? I know what my answer would be πŸ™‚

Layla: Haunted Dollhouse πŸ™‚ or Grimm Brothers fairytale inspired one. So you get to fight a bad-guy in each fairytale in every level. I can’t yet thin of a good ending though! Also one based on Persian Mythology. I guess Kohan The Wrath of Ahriman is the closest one that officially came out few years back. And Prince of Persia of course, But that was more like Prince of Arabia! Love to do an adventure one that’s set in Persepolis. It’d be awesome.

Following the release of Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars, what other plans does the band have in store for the rest of 2009 and the beginning of 2010?

For the most part we’ll be recording our follow-up album and producing a few music videos for the current album.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Andi: “Love has no borders, nationalities, or genders!” Rock’n’Roll !!

Azadeh: My favourite quote of all times: “The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it’s dead for you.” by Oscar Wilde

Jacqui: Party on!

Layla: Can we have a computer game like Gianna Sisters but with me and Azadeh instead as characters, please? Would anyone like to design the characters?

For more information on RazorBladeKisses, visit their website atΒ http://www.razorbladekisses.com/.

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