Reality’s Despair is a Belgian solo-project, which was set up more than 20 years ago now. The project self-released numerous productions, went through a hiatus of several years and got reactivated again. For the new album “Perfidious Depopulation”, Reality’s Despair got signed to the Russian label Insane Records. The work is characterized by strong retro-elements of EBM and Dark-Electro. I’d a chat with Tom.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Let’s get back to the origins of Reality’s Despair. Who’s hiding behind this project and what did you’ve in mind when setting up the band? What have been your main sources of inspiration?
Tom: Reality’s Despair is a one man’s project, with headquarters just below Antwerp (Belgium), producing music in the genre of EBM and Dark-Electro, with a strong 90’s influence and with heavily processed vocals. The main sources of inspiration I find in the supernatural, the off worldly and the destructive nature of humankind, the misery of being, melancholia etc.
Q: The name of band sounds dark and totally fitting with the reality and the world of today! What did you really try to express and how did you experience the entire pandemic thing thus far? Has it been inspiring for you as musician?
Tom: Reality’s Despair is a reference to the desperation in everyone’s life, the falling and getting up, the reaching for the unattainable, chasing the dream that always will stay just a dream, the pain and loss we meet in our lives, the little to no impact we have on existence…
As for the pandemic, it’s more like a ‘plandemic’ if you ask me. Humanity on this planet is controlled by a small fraction of very wealthy and obsessed people, who advocate a reduction in human population, just to stay in control of things, and to keep possession of earth’s declining resources.
Check the data and think for yourself… sadly some people died, but how deadly is this ‘pandemic’ really? Do we really need those jabs and boosters? Are those so safe? How long will our freedom be limited? Do other opinions regarding this pandemic really need to be censored that hard? Is this proposed great reset really beneficial for us? ‘You will own nothing but you will be happy’?
There are some topics around this issue that I will address further in the coming album, so yes it’s an inspiration I guess 😉
Q: Reality’s Despair is active since the late 90s. You self-released an impressive number of productions while your new album “Perfidious Depopulation” has been signed by Insane Records. How comes it took that long to get a label deal and what does this signing mean to you? What have been your experiences as DIY artist?
Tom: The intent from the start was to completely stay independent with this project, to be able to keep doing my own thing and to evolve on my own pace. Sites like Bandcamp are an ideal place to start for a new DIY band. Bandcamp offers some fine tools to attract a decent fanbase for instance, and offers streaming as well. But after some time DIY artists hit an exposure plateau.
With some releases on the counter, I felt the time was right to scale the project up a little, to gain some more following, attract some more attention in the world of music. So, let’s say it was ‘good timing’ by Insane Records to contract me.
They made it very clear from the first conversation they truly wanted me on board, and offered me the necessary freedom I want and need for this project, so I jumped on board.
This doesn’t mean I will never be DIY again in the future, but for now I’m very happy with the label. The brain behind Insane Records actually is a very nice, respectable and reliable person, so that’s a big surplus and a good base for a stable cooperation.
Q: Let’s talk about “Perfidious Depopulation”. How did the writing and production of the album happened? Did you handle specific criteria and references in the writing/recording/production/mastering process?
Tom: It was entirely written, recorded, mixed and mastered by myself. In the past I mainly used some analog gear, like a Roland synth, sampler and drum computer, but since the restart a few years ago I mainly use the Cubase daw, and some fantastic software instruments and effects. It all happens in the box these days. It’s impressive what current software emulations can do with sound.
As for criteria and references, I just let my emotions flow and try to keep external musical influences out of my head as much as possible. I always say: music is an art, created by your brain and shaped by your heart!
Q: You already evoked your music is featuring elements of EBM and Dark-Electro while there’s a strong and explicit 90s touch running through the work, reminding me artists like Calva Y Nada, DAF, Orange Sector… Do you consider yourself as an ‘old-school’ artist and what’s your perception about ‘contemporary’ Electronics?
Tom: Thank you for the comparison, I totally love the bands you mention. Although I would have liked the name of Cygnosic in that list 🙂 I consider myself an old-school artist for sure.
Nowadays I don’t listen to current Electro often, although there are some great bands around. But I often feel there’s too little emotion put in present day music, not enough drama…
Q: After more than twenty years of involvement, how do you expect the project evolving? Are there specific items you want to improve/change? And what about live shows?
Tom: There are no plans for doing live gigs in the future, cause I don’t like to be placed in the spotlight, but never say never, right?
I always want to keep improving my writing and production skills, and I intent to keep REALITY’S DESPAIR active for some years to come, since I really enjoy the creative process. I am not going to make the mistake of quitting twice!
I feel the best song still needs to be written and there are still many topics Reality’s Despair needs to evoke. There’s still a lot of ‘butt-kicking’ to be done 😉
I am perfectly happy with my small fanbase who support me, who really love the music, and who dig the messages behind the curtains. I don’t feel the need to have thousands of fans. The more fans with certain expectations you got, the less creative freedom you have, you understand? It are the loyal fans who keep this project alive after all.
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