Assemblage 23 – “A Storm Is Brewing”

Industrial music CDs on eBay USA | eBay UK | eBay GER

06 Oct, 2004 Share

image
The name Assemblage 23 has, in recent years, become synonymous with and mentioned within the same small prestigious circle of our scene’s modern electro contemporaries. However, Tom Shear, A23’s resident mastermind, has developed a distinguished, melodic, sound-fusion unique amongst his peers. Deftly combining intelligent, substantial lyricism with boot stomping, high BPM club anthems amidst gentle, forlorn balladry, one can argue that with each new release the stakes reach insurmountable heights. ‘Storm’ is a culmination of Tom’s production talent and a testament of his ability to emotionally affect the listener while keeping feet moving on the dancefloor. With a humble first release on the now defunct Gashed! label (Contempt) and signed to Europe’s Accession Records and North America’s Metropolis, the fury of LP’s, extended singles and remix projects keeps Tom in strong demand as producer, remixer and guest vocalist. With notepad out, I grilled Tom with the following tough-as-nails questions… (By Dan Koven)

SL: The new record, “Storm,” follows the similar A23 pattern with a potent mixture of high-energy dance anthems, powerful lyrics and sparse balladry. What differences can fans expect with this record and what comparisons can you personally make with past work, production wise?


A: I feel like I learn more every time I do an album, so it’s always my goal to apply what I’ve learned to sort of refine and improve the sound of A23. With this record, I learned a lot about arrangement and how paying attention to what synth parts you have going on in different frequency ranges can really clean things up and make it possible to pull off more complex arrangements without it sounding like a mess. So this is a much more layered album than anything I’ve done in the past. I think the average track around the “Failure” era had about 20 or so tracks when I recorded it… “Storm” is about twice that.

SL: Why is the last song always the "experimental" one such as “30kft”, “Lullaby” etc.?

A: Figuring out the track order is a bit of a science unto itself. And one that I am not positive I have totally come to grips with yet. There is usually at least one track per album that seems like a natural ‘opener’ to me. Usually something with an intro that sort of eases you into the album versus just starting right away. I save the ‘weird’ track for last mainly because I think it disrupts the flow of an album when bands put something very weird or uncharacteristic right in the middle. It gives me a chance to do something a little different, but if the listener doesn’t care for it, they don’t have to skip it to keep enjoying the record, basically. Ironically, though, the last track has often turned out to be one of the more popular tracks on the past albums, so go figure.

SL: Speaking of 30kft, um, uh, what the hell is that all about? Trying to evoke a mass-suicide?

A: It’s a bit of a tear-jerker, I suppose. Basically it was inspired by a documentary I saw about plane crashes. They were talking about how the advent of cell phone technology had changed the way they were able to piece together why crashes happened because many times, people would try to call their loved ones to say goodbye before the point of impact. As part of this, they played some answering machine messages that people onboard the planes that crashed on 9/11 had left their loved ones and it was one of the most tragic things I had ever heard. It really left an impression on me, and since I fly a lot myself, obviously that’s the kind of thing you’re sort of forced to think about yourself. So the song all came out of that, basically.

(…)

To read the complete interview, be sure to buy Side-Line issue 49!

image Side-Line issue 49 at Side-Line shop
image Assemblage 23 CD's

Content Continues Below

Get your CDs at the following eBay sites:

eBay USA eBay België/Belgique
eBay UK eBay France
eBay DE eBay Nederland
eBay Canada eBay Australia
   

Industrial music CDs on eBay USA | eBay UK | eBay GER

77820 Share

Posted by: ashenol on Oct 24, 04 | 7:43 am

haloed666 - Yeah, but he/she's still an idiot.

Posted by: Side-Line on Oct 22, 04 | 3:49 am

People please... stop this game. We have this comment field for you too discuss not for calling eachother names.

Now sit, shut up, take a beer and shake hands!

Posted by: haloed666 on Oct 22, 04 | 3:44 am

ashenol - don't need to get defensive. Everyone has the right to have an opinion about everything. You can't force someone to like something simply because you think it's good or profound. Having a preference, that does not conform to yours does not make one an idiot. It just makes him/her different than you.

Posted by: ashenol on Oct 22, 04 | 3:34 am

@cevinkey 3- You are an idiot. Shut up. Listen to its depth, and you may alter your thinking. But you're still an idiot.

Posted by: cevinkey 3 on Oct 21, 04 | 9:09 am

i think the point is that storm pretty much just sucks. it was probably the biggest dissappointment to me as an A23 fan. almost as disappointing as their live show...

Posted by: AdolphBuddha on Oct 15, 04 | 9:41 pm

i love what this guy has done so far and i am psyched to recieve the new disc. i'm waiting on the special edition digi-pak edition from Middle Pillar. i embrace an artist in growth and am looking forward to the changes coming....

Posted by: ashenol on Oct 10, 04 | 9:17 am

haloed666: I guess the point I really should have made is that we need to be a more little open minded as fans.

Every time Tool has put out a new album I've heard die-hard fans cussing out the band, saying that they sold out and the like. But after some time passed, those same people went back to praising the band that they had ridiculed, often applauding the same album that weeks before they had attacked.

My point: listen to it again- you just might find you like it.

Posted by: DarkMusicDomain on Oct 08, 04 | 11:20 am

Here's my vote: Another damn fine album from Assemblage 23! Club-worthy or not (is it any less of a good song just because it has a decent pace?), Tom surpasses even Ronan in the expression of thought and feeling through lyrics. C'mon, how many of us have the lush, expansive vocabulary held by Mr. Shear? ... Keep up the good work.

Chris / Dark Music Domain

http://www.DarkMusicDomain.com
http://www.DarkMusicDomain.com/catalog

Posted by: haloed666 on Oct 08, 04 | 4:40 am

ashenol: I repect your opinion, but I think you misunderstood my statement. I am not against bands trying change or evolving. That's why I gave solid examples of bands taking some very big chances (Depeche with songs of faith...., FLA with Mellinium and Civilization and yes, I agree some of his other side projects), and still came out strong. That goes for the other bands that I mentioned, and many more that I can't think of at the moment.

Posted by: ashenol on Oct 07, 04 | 9:42 am

I have been listening to this album solid for three weeks now... It still hasn't gotten old. The depth he (Tom) has added to his music is astounding.
As for you (haloed666)- bands evolve. If a band doesn't evolve, how can they get any better? Up doesn't exist when things are two-dimensional, and it seems that's what you want out of music. Take FLA for example. They have been consistently changing and improving their sound since day one, and that isn't even taking into account their work as Delerium.

Posted by: relic on Oct 06, 04 | 7:59 am

Don't let these opinions change you Tom. It's better to have your music put down for who you are and what you enjoy writing, then to be loved and praised for something you are not....:) Just keep true to your own ways and writing! GREAT JOB with STORM!

Relic...UV

Posted by: cevinkey 3 on Oct 05, 04 | 8:27 am

i agree with haloed666 on the new A23. i couldn't tell when the songs ended or began becasue they're all the same, and all very bland. I also think that Tom Shear and the rest of these bands need to learn is that a song does not have to be 4 to the floor to be danceable. We need more ambititous acts like FLA and Haujobb who are able to evolve their sound with every album. It seems the ebm scene is dying as a result of this monotony...

Posted by: haloed666 on Oct 04, 04 | 11:07 am

I just listened to this album and it's a thumbs down for me, just like the last album (very monotonous/repetitios...and lacks character). The first two albums were amazing, but it's been downhill after those releases. It seems like some bands, like Wumpscut (after Embryodead), Haujobb (after Solutions....), Apoptygma (after welcome to earth), etc. VNV (after Burning Empires)take a nose dive after they produce some of the most awesome work ever heard. I guess not everyone can be Laeather Strip, FLA (with the exception of Flavour....), 242, Recoil, Depeche (pre Ultra stuff), Nitzer Ebb etc. I guess. It seems like all these bands try a little too hard to change (i.e. change for the sake of change). It's like they HAVE to change (Haujobb's 99?) in order to prove something and result is a big fuck up. Yeah yeah, the typical excuse is that "we make music for ourselves and not for the audience" blah blah. Well, my friends, I believe 242, FLA, Nitzer etc. have the same motivation. Take for example, Depeche Mode. They had a major face lift with Songs of faith...., but it was amazing. Same thing with Nitzer Ebb's last album. It wasn't as great as their previous work but still comendable.
Well, just my two cents on the new A23 and some of the other bands who's CDs I'd never buy blindly, since they cannot be trusted anymore.

More headlines

Metroland to launch massive 3CD album: 'Triadic ballet' - pre-orders accepted now

READ MORE | Posted on 02/27/15

Today the band's label Alfa Matrix has announced a massive 3CD album set (no 'normal' edition will be available), titled 'Triadic ballet'. (...)

à;GRUMH... member Phillippe Genion not representative enough for city of Charleroi according to mayor Paul Magnette (PS)

READ MORE | Posted on 02/26/15

(Photo by Giovanni Troilo) Drama in Chareloi, also often called Palermo à la Meuse, where mayor Paul Magnette (PS) is 'shocked' after the World Press Photo Award was awarded to the photo series as made by the Italian photo journalist Giovanni Troilo. (...)

Essence Of Mind launches trailer for upcoming album 'The Break Up!'

READ MORE | Posted on 02/26/15

Norway's finest Essence Of Mind have launched a little teaser for their upcoming album, 'The Break Up!', which will be released on April 10th. (...)

Freakangel hits the road with 'The Ones To Fall Tour - Part 2'

READ MORE | Posted on 02/26/15

Industrial act Freakangel have done quite well recently, not in the most thanks to the very well received album 'The Ones To Fall' which was released in late 2013. (...)

Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble Of Shadows see double vinyl release for 'Like a corpse standing in desperation' album

READ MORE | Posted on 02/25/15

Out by early April is the next step in the completion of the Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble Of Shadows vinyl catalogue with the double vinyl release of the 'Like a corpse standing in desperation' CD. (...)

EBM day today! Everything goes for only 2,42 Euro!

READ MORE | Posted on 02/25/15

Today's date is the 24th of February aka 24/2 (for Europeans that is), in other words, it's EBM-day! Each year this is celebrated by many EBM music fans, and some shops go very far to celebrate this. (...)

More news

Neuroticfish return with new album 'A sign of life' - watch the 'Silence' video now

READ MORE | Posted on 02/23/15

Ministry announces huge final world tour

READ MORE | Posted on 02/20/15

Side-Line Exclusive : Cronos Titan album missing for 17 years, found again and now to be released February 27th

READ MORE | Posted on 02/20/15

Elektron Music Machines launch record label Elektron Grammofon

READ MORE | Posted on 02/20/15

The Neon Judgement call it quits - announce Farewell tour

READ MORE | Posted on 02/20/15

Azar Swan's debut album to be released on vinyl via Toronto's Artoffact Records

READ MORE | Posted on 02/20/15

Qntal to release 'Qntal VII' album with bonus tracks in USA

READ MORE | Posted on 02/18/15

Haxby Swango preps 'Banana Songs' debut EP, offers '5Deep' video

READ MORE | Posted on 02/18/15

a-ha's 'Live in South America' concert video finally to be made available for the first time on DVD

READ MORE | Posted on 02/18/15

John Fryer project Silver Ghost Shimmer launches 'She Keeps Me Hoping' video

READ MORE | Posted on 02/13/15

Steve Strange from Visage fame dies of heart failure

READ MORE | Posted on 02/13/15

Imminent release new Terence Fixmer album 'Depth Charged' - video teaser available now

READ MORE | Posted on 02/13/15

Preemptive Strike 0.1 and Rave The Reqviem join Cynical Existence for 3rd album 'We are the violence'

READ MORE | Posted on 02/12/15

Star Industry announces March release for 5th album 'The Renegade' - available on CD/2CD and as HQ download

READ MORE | Posted on 02/12/15

Spotify cancels launch in Russia due to the poor political and economic climate in the country

READ MORE | Posted on 02/12/15

Metroland back with double download EP 'Zeppelin'

READ MORE | Posted on 02/10/15

Vinyl release for Selofan's 'Tristesse' album

READ MORE | Posted on 02/10/15

Agent Side Grinder's 'Alkimia' album gets the vinyl treatment

READ MORE | Posted on 02/10/15

5 duo-tickets to win for New Wave Club Class-X party in Aarschot (BE) (Saturday March 28th 2015)

READ MORE | Posted on 02/10/15

Bella Lune releases new album as free download, name your price or as digipack

READ MORE | Posted on 02/09/15

Eureka Machines project by Sisters Of Mercy guitarist Chris Catalyst announce 4th album

READ MORE | Posted on 02/09/15

John Fryer launches first video from forthcoming Silver Ghost Shimmer album 'Soft Landing'

READ MORE | Posted on 02/09/15

Side-Line presents 2nd free exclusive download from Sacha Korn: 'Funkenflug' - 100 downloads only!

READ MORE | Posted on 02/07/15

New Beat veteran project Tragic Error launches 'Der Terrorist' under Tragic (T)error flag

READ MORE | Posted on 02/06/15

God's Bow is back with brand new album 'Tranquilizer' - vinyl version available now

READ MORE | Posted on 02/04/15

Dani'el presents new single 'To Dare' incl. remix by Psyche

READ MORE | Posted on 02/04/15

Apoptygma Berzerk's 'Imagine there's no Lennon' gets the 2LP vinyl treatment

READ MORE | Posted on 02/04/15

Avarice In Audio land 'The Cassandra Complex' EP for immediate download

READ MORE | Posted on 02/04/15

Etienne Daho tribute compilation ready for ordering!

READ MORE | Posted on 02/04/15

Camouflage returns with 'Greyscale' in vinyl/CD package - orders accepted now

READ MORE | Posted on 02/04/15
READ MORE

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER

Receive our daily newsupdates in your mailbox :

 

Advertisers

RECOMMENDED MONEY MAKERS

THANKS TO