|HISTORY ARTISTS SUB-LABELS|
DTRASH all started out because we wanted to make electronic music that sounded exciting. A lot of our music is stuff that could never be created twice...that was always important. We were of course influenced heavily by punk, hip-hop, and many different musical styles that lead up to our biggest influences which came from the UK and Germany via labels like Ambush and Digital Hardcore. Even those labels didn't hold our interest for long. Maybe we just had a low attention-span, but there were many more ideas we had to explore and DTRASH became a conduit for the sound we were creating.
As much as you might think from seeing this website or having heard the music I made a couple of years ago in 1999, I'm not that into the whole 'technology thing'. I love the freedom technology provides, but at the same time I think it's extremely important to understand or at least think about the consequences of increasing technological capabilities. The band name Cpuwar began as an anti-technological statement actually. Mike and I were (and still are) concerned with the effects of technology when it comes to control of populations whether it be by governments or corporations. I see the process of industrialization in many ways as a destruction of morals, privacy, individualism etc. It depends upon how you look at things obviously. You could think that life in front of a computer at a desk job 40 hours a week for 50 weeks a year is okay but compared to the quality of life that people had a few hundred years ago, the present reality seems really bleak.
More importantly though, the level of technology we have today provides many new and interesting opportunities. For example, we live longer now than humans, on average, have ever before. My interest lies with art and music though (technologically). When I look at society in general, I would say that 99% of people see technology simply as a means to take the 'burden' out of their everyday lives. It makes sense because technology has always been driven by capitalism and the ever-improvement of machines, computers etc that average people use to improve their lives. For me, this view of technology is a large part of what could be coined the 'dumbing down' of society. People don't ever consider the new creative opportunities that technology provides. When I look at technology, I don't think, "Great, my computer's faster now, I can download way more MP3 files off Napster". I think, "What new creative avenues of expression can be pursued through this technology - What opportunities now exist?" That's what makes me different from all the other kids that turn their computers on and play a dumb computer game or listen to someone else's ripped off MP3 file.
When the first DTRASH music was being made, it was during a time where my friends and I were confused about our future and our social situation. It was a time of change for us, the end of high-school and the beginnings of something new that we didn't yet understand. We were stuck in bad jobs working for basically no money, saving every penny so we could get a higher education but not knowing what that would be. There was a lot of frustration and it translated though our music. I look at it now and realize that making our songs was a cathartic way to deal with our feelings at that time. We were the classic 'misunderstood teenagers,' at least that's how I see Mike and myself in the late 1990s. You can hear that teenage angst in many of the songs we released on DTRASH.
In the label's three-year history, DTRASH has released a lot of angry music. I guess it makes sense when you look at the punk, rap, and digital hardcore we took inspiration from. I don't think that there's any problem with angry music at all in a certain situation. There does become a problem though as soon as that anger is not directed in a way to create a positive change. Usually when someone is shouting and they've become upset it's because they've lost control over their situation or they're not happy with the choices they've made. It's the same with a baby having a tantrum. Everyone gets annoyed at hearing a baby's tantrum and for me, I'm sick and tired of hearing bands that shout, scream and complain. It's too too easy to whine and snivel about problems without making any real effort to do something about it. That's the difference with someone like Schizoid. He's making music that's politically charged, yet he's going out there and doing something to change things. The only friend of mine that frowns at me for eating Kraft Dinner (Phillip-Morris owned) - he really cares about making a change and not just shouting uselessly about things. I've got big respect for DTRASH artists who stick behind their ethics and make efforts towards a positive change.
The message behind DTRASH may not come across the way it was intended and I understand that. The original intentions of myself and Mike were to create exciting music that pushed boundaries and was, in effect, ground-breaking. I'm absolutely sure that we accomplished that goal in 1999, but I'm not sure to what level it was accomplished. The music, lyrics and track titles found throughout the catalog of DTRASH music can often create images of anger or unhappiness depending upon your perspective. I could understand it if someone heard a random song and thought that I was some kind of schizo terrorist, but that's not what was intended at all. Unlike most people making music categorized along with what Mike and I were making in the late 90s, we were simply trying to make challenging, energetic digital music. I don't want to be lumped in with all the digital hacker anarchists kids (I'm not a hacker or an anarchist) and neither does Mike. We just don't fit in with that crowd at all.
As for the band that Mike and I were in, we won't be creating that style of music any longer. Most people that really liked our music have known this since early to mid 2000 when I was basically ordered to remove my multimedia website (www.5761.net) from the internet (server traffic and copyright reasons). I feel that we've matured a lot over the past years since we began making music and we just aren't interested in making music that has angry connotations any longer. I'm personally more interested in exploring a new depth of sound instead of the unfinished, rough and scathing sound we used to produce in our teenage digital punk days.
I felt that it was really important to lay the groundwork outlining where I've been and where I am now with respect to DTRASH and the music that I've made. Hopefully the insight has been beneficial to understanding my intentions over the first 2 years of DTRASH when I really helped get the label going.
I don't think that I'm done with music altogether at all. It's a weird feeling when I get a rush of energy thinking about an idea I want to express in sound, but I still get them. I'm sure that more music will come out one day when I have more time and school is finished (the same for Mike, a great friend and a wicked electronic producer).
I'm also planning to begin doing videos in the Summer 2001. I always look for a challenge and my goal is to keep moving further into multimedia arts. Look out for some videos later in the year once I get new multimedia equipment - I'm hoping to do some music videos for DTRASH. One thing is for certain though, Mike and I have both moved on from Cpuwar and there's cooler and more interesting things to come one day in the future.
After all the talk, there's only one thing for me to say to the world of digital music:
It's time to reinvent myself.