There are some serious developments in the camp at Die Scum Inc. A new label signing with rising label Filtersweep Collective, a hot new website, a new additional member, work on a number of studio productions, and the live shows.
I had a chat to T.Roy, about all the latest gossip from the team at DSI.
Troy, you hail from Calgary , Alberta in Canada. I’ve been told it’s got a small-town heart with big-city diversions, and of course this famous Stampede. What are your thoughts of the city, and how do the locals react to your unique style of synthwave/darkwave/electronica?
I’ve lived in Calgary most of my life, so I’ve grown some deep roots here. Warts and all, it’s home. As for the local scene, our focus to date hasn’t been gigging, so except for one show this year locals haven’t gotten much exposure to us, but we’ve got some things cooking for 2018 that will change that.
You’ve now signed to a label, why did you decide to go with Filtersweep Collective.
Before we were offered a spot on the label, I’d had some chats with JJ about music, and it was clear that he’s someone who’s wildly passionate about the scene and building a community. That attitude really resonated with me because it’s something that I also try to work towards in a lot of aspects of my life. Bringing passionate people always spurs growth.
Your last 2 releases, firstly My Fist is Fight, and then The Epoch Code, are referred to as “Notion Picture Soundtracks” What does this mean?
It’s a fun little play on words. Die Scum Inc. draws heavily from VHS era movies and soundtrack work from the likes of Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, Goblin, and Paul Hertzog. Every record is our own spin on a genre of films we love and regularly obsess over, and a way of telling a story through music to a film that only exists in our minds. We intentionally only hint to those stories, so listeners can build a personal connection to the albums that are uniquely their own. Also, prose isn’t my strong suit.
You seem to be a man with many projects on all the time. How do you juggle all of this, and a family, and work?
I’m fortunate to work a very compressed work week. I only spend half my life in the office which allows me to be a part time stay at home Dad, work on a couple musical projects, and have some side gigs on top of that. Being a bit of a workaholic doesn’t hurt either.
So tell me about your influences, and what lies ahead in your future production work.
Artists that personally inspires me? Bands like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Skinny Puppy, and New Order. Also, composers such as Akira Yamaoka, Vangelis, and Carpenter.
As for what’s next? I think that Die Scum Inc. was me taking the long way home. I grew up on a steady diet of industrial, new wave, synthpop, and EBM. But, always ended up playing in punk bands. After the horror punk band, I fronted for nearly 10 years decided to call it a day, I took the plunge finally trying my hand at producing, alongside my constant musical partner in crime, Rory. Now we’re growing the family again, with a dedicated guitar player, adding another layer to our sound, and live show.
In short? 2018 is going to be a neat year.
And a brief rundown of your studio? Hardware or “in-the-box”
I don’t think brief is possible, but I’ll try (I’ve got a crippling addiction to instruments). Almost everything aside from arrangement and mastering happens out of the box (I do sneak Tal-U-No in here and there), and there’s a chance that by the time people see this, I’ll have stumbled on another old piece of gear locally that I’ve managed to cram into my studio space.
I track everything in Ableton Live and control the show with an APC40 mk2, I hate using a mouse when I’m writing. Synth wise, my two constant fixtures are the Roland System-1 and SH-201. The newly acquired Korg DW-6000 is fast becoming a show stealer, while the Micro Korg and Korg MS-2000 are excellent in any situation. The Roland Boutique JX-03 and JP-08 are tiny boxes capable of big sounds and, on some upcoming stuff, the latest member of the collection, a Yamaha TX81Z will be churning out some FM synth magic. I could seriously write about gear all day…
What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
Why, fruits are just the part of a plant that hold the seeds, of course. (Editor’s note: a fruit is something you can eat with icecream).
Anything you’d like to add, or any shout outs?
I’m constantly floored by the support we’ve gotten for this project. I never thought when we started this, a little over two years ago that people would dig our crazy little bleep bloops. Big shout outs to everyone who’s taken the time to pick up one of our albums (you’re helping feed the synthesizer addiction). Tons of love to the synth fam, you know who you are! We’re also forever indebted to Ambor and Chris at Dickens in Calgary who keep kicking our asses to do neater, bigger things. And, of course James at Echosynthetic, and Watermelon Banzai (and his many monikers).
All of Die Scum Inc. back catalogue can be found at their Bandcamp, through Filtersweep Collective. And stay tuned for an appearance on Filtersweep Collective’s Christmas compilation, out on Christmas Eve and more new releases in the new year. A reminder to any producers that want to submit for the compilation, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.