Reverse Records UK / April 2014
Interview with SHIFT
BAND NAME: SHIFT
BAND MEMBERS: Our names are not necessary to be known to you.
Unable to Abide the Silence of the World, CD (Unrest Productions)
Sleep Paralysis, tape + CD (Freak Animal)
Creation & Space, LP (At War With False Noise)
Bulk, CD (Silken Tofu/Unrest Productions)
Everything You Are, Will be Destroyed, CD + LP split w/ Sick Seed (Freak Animal)
Full Weight of the Opposition, 10″ collaboration with Hal Hutchinson (Unound Recordings)
Hatet-Misären, 7″ (Filth & Violence/Untergeschoss)
Altamont Rising, CD + LP (Cold Spring/Unrest Productions)
BAND WEBSITE: http://www.unrestproductions.co.uk/shift
OTHER PROJECTS: NONE!
RRUK: Let’s start with your band name, what made you choose it for this project?
SHIFT: I was once an active part of the very ailing EBM/synthpop scene in Sweden for some
time. One disappointment too many and I decided to disassociate myself with it once and for all.
Shift was an obvious choice as a blank canvas for me to fill in over time. Shift is something
that evolves and moves. It can be a necessary and liberating kinetic energy or it can be the
unrelenting shift of time that crushes you. Shift never remains static.
RRUK: How would you describe your sound and working process?
SHIFT: There is a Nordic heaviness to the sound. I may live and work in the UK but my spirit is
Scandinavian with the tendency for melancholy it brings. Svårmodet, tungsinnet och bisterheten!
The process is long, gruelling and boring.
RRUK: About the instruments and technology you use to produce the sound, do you constantly update them, or are old synths and the like still good for your purposes?
SHIFT: I have a fascination with gear and I keep adding weapons to the arsenal but I have very little interest in updating what is already there.
RRUK: Who or what influences you and your sound?
SHIFT: When Shift started it was a private outlet for my own satisfaction. Years prior spent working in a genre which did not have a curiosity for the future but plenty of time and resources for nostalgia made me retreat and rethink for a few years. When Shift became a more serious activity it expressed some deep sorrows on personal matters. As such it perhaps fit less easy within a genre usually associated with sex, perversion, serial killers and such often boring shit. Shift was a brooding and less blatant project with long, slow building and crushing tracks. On the rare occasions I listen back to some of the releases of that period I hear a mournful, heavy hearted, slow moving and brooding sound. That begun to reach its conclusion maybe around 2009. Shift right now is a direct, aggressive and confrontational war unit. Whereas Shift was once a solemn monument to my survival it is now a weapon to strike back with.
An instrument for war. Music is war!
RRUK: With regards to electronic/experimental artists, which band did you discover first? How did you come across them?
SHIFT: Possibly Neubauten at age 12 via the TV but memories are vague. Definitely SPK at the age of 13 via one of the older kids in the village I lived in. It was a fluke. I just happened to be at this guys house and he said “You won’t believe this. Listen!”. It was Auto-Da-Fe. A year later I had saved enough money to buy Leichenschrei on LP. SPK were an absolute revelation.
RRUK: A lot of “noise” artists tend to release 30+ albums per year. What are your thoughts regarding this rushed approach?
SHIFT: I have my approach and it works for me. The over all pace is slow, the creative process is grueling and the output limited. If someone wants to waste their time with a conveyer belt mentality resulting in half baked releases then let them. It’s their problem not mine.
RRUK: Do you have a preferred format for your work, e.g. vinyl, cassette, CD, download. And is there a format for which you would never use?
SHIFT: All have their uses. For actual release I utilize physical formats but as a promo/demo tool, downloads have their place.
RRUK: What is your opinion in particular of Power Electronics, Noise, and Japanoise, looking at their main artists like Merzbow, Masonna?
SHIFT: I don’t suffer from a Japan fetish. I never did. They all seem like fine and respectable artists to me. The kind you’d read about in The Wire. Hence why I don’t care about them. Or do you mean so called pioneers in general? Everyone and everything has its time. Also the pioneers. I think it’s very evident at this point that many of them, as grateful for past services that we should be, have really had their time. I urge newcomers to explore the history but not be bound by it.
RRUK: Are you interested in serial killers? Do you think they are a typical product of 20th century society, and what is your opinion about in particular American “serial killer culture” ?
SHIFT: A typical product of 20th century society? Does it not go without saying that violence and lust are an integral part of us as human beings? Both are deeply connected to our instincts of survival as individuals and as a species. Thereby the combination of the two, albeit not equally defined in everyone, must have been a very real presence throughout our entire existance.
The natural instinct of physical violence is monopolised by the state and any unauthorised individual who acts on such instincts does so with the risk of suffering the consequences. I am more interested in the ideological and psychological violence of the righteous. The intolerant tolerants who wage war on thoughts, ideas and expressions they don’t approve of. I am fascinated by the mechanics behind the demonisation and stigmatisation that legitimises the character and career assassinations necessary to eliminate those who don’t fit in with certain ideals. I am particularly interested in how to invert that process. With that in mind I consider the fetishisation of serial killers and so called obsessions with “naughty sex” laughable. With regards to Shift this as well as the question above is of hardly any interest what so ever.
If you could perform live anywhere in the world where would it be?
SHIFT: I have enjoyed several invites to various interesting places. One place I have long wanted to revisit are some of the former Yugoslavian states. I was there as a teenager the year before it all broke up and have had an urge to go back since. To visit with Shift would be a great experience.
RRUK: With regards to other sound projects, is there any country in particular that inspire you more than others?
SHIFT: German 1990’s!
RRUK: Do you listen to different types of music? A secret Elvis collection, perhaps?!
SHIFT: Of course I listen to different types of music. Show me any person who doesn’t and I’ll show you a person with a serious lack of depth in their creative output.
RRUK: What first, chicken or the egg?
SHIFT: Both exist and both fulfill their function. Who came first doesn’t matter.
RRUK: Anything else you would like to add here?
SHIFT: Anti-fascism is the last refuge of the untalented!
RRUK: Cheers for your time here, and the all best for the United Forces of Industrial event! [Note to readers] If possible, get yourself down to London for a 2 day blow out, as below….
Interview: Keith Mitchell | 2014 | RRUK