CD Times interviews Terminal Outputs....
Terminal Outputs are, in these troubled times, something of a novelty and that's a shame, because they play good, intelligent music that defies description. Have a look at the review for their album, Die, and then check out their website here for ordering information if you feel able to take it. But be warned, this is not for everyone and a good many people will just shake their heads and dismiss it as noise, but that would be a big mistake.
Music is, primarily, about the communication of emotion through sound. When it loses sight of this, you get dull, vapid music and, whatever you make of Terminal Outputs they most certainly aren't vapid or dull. Most bands, of course, communicate emotion through a pre-defined system of rules but there are times when this simply isn't expressive enough to create pure moods of fear, uneasiness and humour. All of these emotions are evoked by Terminal Outputs and if you are into experimental music then you are urged, nay, demanded to check them out.
You can order stuff from their website here, and their album DIE is reviewed here.
Terminal Outputs are
OLIVER HILL - Guitar and Vocals
JAMES EDMONDS - Bass and Drums
DALLAS KRUSZELNICKI - Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Drums, Samples
STUART AVIS - Guitar and Bass
You've been together for a year, how did you meet?
Oli I met Dallas Kruszelnicki while Dj-ing at a pub in Brighton three days after he moved to the town. He asked me to put on Brother James, an old Sonic Youth song and I asked him immediately to form a band. We connected immediately within days we were jamming at my fellow university student James Edmonds house with ramshackle equipment Stuart Avis a long time neighbor of mine soon joined in intermittently at first
James Oli asked me to Jam with him and Dallas and Stu who I hadn’t met until they came to produce loud sounds in my room. Noise is good replacement for Smalltalk
Have you been in bands before?
Oli Dallas has been in many before both mainstream and otherwise
James works mainly on his own often collaborating with friends
I had worked mainly on my own before the band making sonic reactions mainly to my paintings
since the band started I have had the chance to work with many like minded people. Projects are in progress.
Stuart Yeah, there's been a few, the usual things with school friends dating back to around 1986, some Indie stuff with others and all kinds of weird and wonderful things that seemed to last about a month each if we were lucky.
Dallas I have been in many in North America. First band for Oli and James. Stu has had other bands as well.
James I have an occasional meet up with my primary band ‘Oil Rig Catering’.
What’s the deal with The Rain Indicators and Payola Disco (Side Projects)? How do they differ from Terminal Outputs?
James Beats me.
Oli Rain indicators is my solo record leisure and tourism is
James’ solo work and Stuart Avis records cheesy synth pop with Payola dico
Stuart Payola Disco is something I've been doing for awhile. Its completely electronic using nothing but synths and VSTi's with female lead vocals and very different to Terminal Outputs. Essentially it's an outlet for me to indulge in my 70's and early 80's synth obsession mixing pop and some darker elements. I've also remixed some of Oli's ''Rain Indicators'' tracks under the name ''The Nothing'' chopping up sections of the songs and adding a number of things including a time-stretched baby!
There's obviously been a lot of thought put into the song titles on Die, and they seem to mean something quite specific. Would you care to elaborate on where they come from, or what they mean? Or is it something for the listener to decide?
Oli Some of the song titles like My Dear Margaret Over At The Officers' And Sgts' Mess We Planted The Flowers are from found texts this one was typed on the back of an old photo James picked up at a junk shop others are descriptive of the sounds others just depict the mood of the piece
Dallas Most are from personal reflections of the moods created by the pieces of noise we created. Others are ingredients from our favourite cakes.
James Of course like everything, it’s down to the interpreter. For me titles are meaningless, but of course there is meaning when you think of them. They are fun.
There's a very organic feel to the songs. When listening to Die for the first time, it's as though that's the first time that particular song is being played and it's only afterwards that certain rhythms and feelings come through and it demands a second listen. How deliberate is this and is it difficult to capture on record and live?
Oli With many of those tracks it was indeed the first time they had been played we rely very much on the situation and the way we are feeling during the jam. We may enter the dialogue with some recollection of how we played a movement before -certain riffs tempo or lyrics maybe- but it will always reach different physical and mental highs. We have all experienced intense emotional situations recently, and these manifest themselves in our music. Things came to a particular climax during a private jam on Wednesday tension between myself and another member of the group resulted in some of our equipment being trashed, something I usually deplore. And our current feelings were projected as almost complete white noise. This shows the importance of us recording everything we do, we have so much stuff that we’d like to put out there
Stuart In some cases on the album that is the first time those songs were played. We improvise about 99% of the time. Due to the way we work, recording parts separately isn't really an option so everything on ''Die'' was recorded as live in one take. Tracks like ''Raising Agent'' and ''Like Ships'' were recorded using PZM's to capture the sound of everything going on in the room rather than the individual instruments, which should hopefully be close to the sound you'd hear if you were standing in there with us. ''Stung'' and ''Mortuary'' were recorded at a live venue using the PA to try and bring across the sound of our shows. It can be quite difficult to capture what we do as much of our music is very much in the moment but I think on ''Die'' we've managed to represent a good balance of what we do when we jam and what we do when we play out.
Dallas True music from Terminal Outputs is created from emotions that are expressed within that moment. Sounds like bullshit, but it’s something that we all believe in whole-heartedly. Real communication happens between the artists in the group within a live recording. All of our recordings are done live, either in the studio or from soundboard recordings at shows. This is as deliberate as can be. It isn’t difficult to reproduce the moods of the “songs” but it’s imposible to reproduce the same piece more than once.
James We have never set out to make a record. Every recording is a paradox. The event of human musical interaction (thru improv) is beautiful and fragile and is gone as soon as its over. I think listening back to a recording is rewarding but not the art form itself. At the moment we need to bridge the gap between what amazing power we play with in those smelly rented practice rooms and what comes through at those terribly inhuman gigs.
Whose idea was the cover for Die?
Oli Dallas and i met photographer Ian Hughes at his exhibition at the Brighton artists gallery. The image immediately grabbed us it was kind of shocking and amusing
Which reflects the more tertiary aspects of one or two of our "songs"
Dallas Oli and me met a photographer named Ian Hughes at the Brighton Artist Gallery who displayed this particular photo in his show and we were taken by it to the point of laughing so hard we almost wet our pants. I immediately said we wanted to use it for our album cover.
James Oli and Dallas. I like it.
Your live show is quite demanding for the audience, how have you been received?
Oli We set out expecting, almost tempting the kind of hatred displayed at industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle’s shows but so far shows have only brought us more shows with bands that we respect and love. Also it has given us the chance to meet like minded people. I personally have made some of my closest friends through working in this band
Stuart The response has been incredibly good, even at shows where everything seems to go wrong which, somehow seems to add to it all! A lot of people seem to love what we do and others are left a bit confused by it all. One of the highlights from our last show was playing ''Dear Margaret'', people weren't sure whether we'd fucked up or if it actually was a song! I quite liked that.
DallasWell we have been prepared to be assaulted physically, but have never had to actually receive any beatings ….. yet
James I never really know but things like this virtual feedback is quite rewarding, when you know some people share interest. At worst of times you can see a room full of passive no hope listeners wondering what went wrong!
Has there been any record company interest?
We haven’t sent any cds off to record companies yet we very much enjoy the DIY nature of our outputs although we would like wide distribution we don’t want to enter any situation that might corrupt the essence of the bands existence. The ideal for me would be to release and distribute our own records but we cannot afford to go the route of discord records and other independent labels
Dallas We have no interest in record companies. I would rather produce all of our own product to distribute internationally. As a matter of fact, my brother is the North American distributor of our album and merchandise from Alberta Canada. Although I really respect what is coming out on LOAD records right now.
James Nope. Business as usual.
How would you persuade someone to come and see you?
Oli We prefer to ambush other peoples’ audiences but I think people who enjoy what we do will find us out by word of mouth.
The banner Total feedback drone fucks will be on the flyer for our next show but I think there is something running deeper than that in our music.
Dallas Look at me I touch your face
Look at me I touch your breast, And I persuade you.
James "Do you like noise? No? Well, never mind.”
CD Times would like to extend it's thanks for the time and effort the band have extended in answering these questions.
(Photo by Andy Sturmey)