Reverse Records UK / August 2014
Interview with – Gordon Lazarus (United Front/W.A.R.Unit)
Gordon Lazarus (Past : Aaron Myrick, Dwayne Roberts)
Death Industrial/Harsh Electronics/Dark Ambient/Experimental Hip Hop
Film Scoring/Media Audio Services created under W.A.R.Unit
Under U-731 :
U-731 + Camisole – Split digital download release 2013
United Front :
Mannheim – Digital Download e.p 2013
By All Means… – Debut Full Length CD – Black Plagve Records 2014
RRUK: Let’s start with your band name, what made you choose it for this project?
United Front: Originally I started creating music under U-731 towards the end of 2005 while working under the now defunct Defiler umbrella as a personal project though I had very little if any intentions of doing much of anything with it. However after losing all interest in Defiler and much of the what I was recording at the time my focus and motivations shifted greatly and grew along with various concepts and personal aspiration’s, eventually making it an importance with taking the project from a box full of cd-r’s I kept stashed away in my closet to creating and offering a sincere look within the current state of violence we are living in today.U-731 itself failed to bare much of a connection with the direction of the material I begin creating and with the short lived addition of two other members I found it more of a necessity to separate ourselves from any one specific idea of what it is United Front was and what it may eventually evolve into, finding it a must to ditch the connection to the historical Japanese Death camp and continue forward as an actual unit.
RRUK: How would you describe your sound and working process?
United Front: United Front’s sound carries various influences ranging from early Industrial, Power Electronics, and Hardcore/Oi punk to various underground styles of Hip Hop making each release differ and become that much more challenging in respects to the recording process, and what the outside listener may experience as a result. As a whole the entire process is incredibly difficult and takes a great deal of time to complete. Since I sold my pc I use mainly an old Sony TC-377 for laying down the ground work for material before bouncing sounds onto hard disk where they are later rendered onto cd-rs and dumped into a software based sequencer for further layering and track formation. This process though tedious gives material a lo-fi almost untouched sound, something I have always admired about early Power Electronics I believe still carries a great deal of relevance when dealing with any kind of analog recording…
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?
United Front: The equipment I own varies based on output and affordability however my work space consists mostly of old second hand gear I have collected over time along with some newer pieces I feel may add to what I am trying to accomplish sound wise within both of my projects. In actuality I don’t have much aside from the following I tend to use on a regular basis :
KORG Monotron Delay
Realistic DX-200 5 Band Communications Receiver
Ampex 910 (Reel to Reel recorder)
Sony TC-377 (Reel to Reel recorder)
Line 6 POD HD Pro X Rackmount Guitar Multi-Effects Processor
Pro Tools studio
RRUK: Who or what influences you and your sound?
United Front: In terms of music Genocide Organ, Survival Unit, Streicher, Con-Dom, old Skinny Puppy, Psyche, Clock DVA, Public Enemy, and Gang Starr have remained some of if not the most influential pieces within the project especially W.A.R.Unit regarding approach but I try and separate these elements away from the more crucial development of either United Front or W/U, both taking a great deal of inspiration from personal experiences, political slavery, cultural collapse, sub-urban violence, etc…
RRUK: With regards to electronic/experimental artists, which band did you discover first? How did you come across them?
United Front: Not long after graduating high school is when I first heard any sort of experimental music thanks to a few close friends introducing me to music from such artists as SPK, Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle, Crash Worship, and Psyche. Not long after hearing ‘Bites’ (SP) I started collecting as much Industrial as possible and eventually stumbled across projects as The Grey Wolves, Genocide Organ, Club Moral, SPK, and Whitehouse, though Skinny Puppy was the spark that lit further curiosity into seeking out more extreme forms of Industrial music.
RRUK: A lot of “noise” artists tend to release 30+ albums per year. What are your thoughts regarding this rushed approach?
United Front: I am sure some people will hate me for saying this but I think with so much music flooding an already over saturated noise scene an artist who’s dumping tons of albums into a full pot is doing nothing more than making it difficult for artists who are releasing good quality music to be heard. For instance if you look at any one on line distro, you will notice projects who are releasing top notch material are focused not on quantity but quality whereas the average ‘noise dude’ only cares about making a name for themselves by working with everyone they can in as short of time as possible rather than focusing on making actual heart felt releases. For the most part however I don’t go out of my way to keep up with who’s doing what, I rather spend time working on music with a natural yet timely approach without burning myself or others out with my project/projects, people eventually grow tired of people who do too much all at once I’m sure.
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?
United Front: Ha, well I have a major vinyl fetish; same can be said with cassettes though Cd’s are much more conventional and cheaper to produce in comparison. When it comes to releases I am investing in or what format a label may choose to release my work under I am not bias.. Most formats serve their purpose, whether it be cassettes or vinyl for audiophiles or simple cd-r and digital downloads for people as myself who don’t care how our work is being released as long as it’s out their regardless of format and I can focus on whatever else it is I may have lined up at the time..
RRUK: What is your opinion in particular of Power Electronics, Noise, and Japanoise, looking at their main artists like Merzbow, Masonna?
United Front: I have never cared enough about Japanese noise to give much of an opinion, though I do admire artists who are doing and bringing something different to the table, S.T.A.B Electronics being a personal favorite currently within the P.E genre.. Keith’s work has always contained some of the most authentic concepts and sounds I have heard put to tape, there are others doing equally amazing things but I don’t think noise and Power Electronics should be slotted under the same banner, noise is just a bit to constricted and indirect whereas Power Electronics has no limits regarding subject to overall output.
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” ?
United Front: Living in America I fear there is a lot more going on behind the curtain then we as a dismissive culture would be so eager to except. For instance we jump in fear at the thought of a person walking into a school harming children but yet we are the same culture who allows these situations to happen with over exposing details of such crimes at the media’ disposal. Now think about the violence in other countries such as Russia to the beheadings of Iran who both experience brutality on a daily basis why we choose to sit comfortably on our couches watching the idiot box eating junk food caring only on the mellow drama we have somehow excepted as normal when there is far more going around us. Serial killers have never been an interest, you can only read so many books and see so many documentaries before realizing the men and women committing these crimes should have never been imprisoned more so hospitalized and possibly treated for some deep psychological trauma experienced at some point in their lives. Whatever the case may be I think the whole true crime thing has ran its course; people have much more to focus on then a handful of victims when there are millions being targeted as we speak…
RRUK: If you could perform live anywhere in the world… where would it be?
United Front: Pretty much anywhere in the middle east where war is a promenade commodity to society when based on standing up for what they believe in, weather viewed as right or wrong they are fighting a fight we as non-Muslims will never understand nor will we have the strength to win, as a society who fights for their beliefs have nothing to lose or fear..
RRUK: With regards to other sound projects, is there any country in particular that inspire you more than others?
United Front: Answered in the previous question.
RRUK: Do you listen to different types of music? A secret Elvis collection, perhaps?!
United Front: I actually do enjoy Elvis and I tend to listen to country and old 80’s music a lot more these days than anything else. Hank III, The Reverend Horton Heat, Phil Collins, Crass, TSOL, and Garcia have been stuck in my cd player for months now..
RRUK: What first, chicken or the egg?
United Front: [chuckles] Well, I have thought about fuckin’ some chickens before. If you want to have a good time and you need some pussy, you can cut that chicken’s head off, stick your dick in that ass of that chicken, and that damn chicken’ll go crazy on your ass and go “Caaaaah!”.
RRUK: “Are you accusing me of fucking a chicken, mother fucker?!”. Anything else you would like to add here?
United Front:Never give up, never give in……
RRUK: Well Said. Cheers for that, Gordon. Fight the power…