Dark Night Rises – An Interview with Sulpher, Jayce Lewis, OFFICERS, Je$us Loves Amerika

By on 21 September 2012

By Ian Faith

Never let it be said that we here at Dominion webzine aren’t people that know people. In honour of the forthcoming Sulpher / Jayce Lewis / OFFICERS / Je$us Loves Amerika gig in Camden , we gathered some of each bands more vocal members to gauge their thoughts on life, the universe and why this just mightbe the gig of the year…

Dominion: How did everyone spend their summer?

Rob Holliday (Sulpher): Pretty much the same way I always spend my summers, pounding the festival circuit worldwide as The Prodigy are constantly gigging. Other than that I’ve played a bit of ice hockey, finishing up tracks for the Sulpher record and we’re ready for the Camden extravaganza and really looking forward to laying it down at the Underworld again.


Jayce Lewis:It has been mostly spent behind the computer writing and programming all the tracks for the second album, late nights, early mornings and lots of tea.


Jamie Baker (OFFICERS): It’s been pretty much non-stop in preparation for the next record. We’ve had a few remixes on the go for Linkin Park and the Amazonica and we’ve been really busy trying to get our label in shape for releases by other artists next year.


Patrick Dougan (Je$us Loves Amerika): Recuperating, regrouping and refocusing.


Dominion: Rob, how was it returning Sulpher to the live environment after so long away?

Rob Holliday: We were a little nervous as we hadn’t played together live for a long time. We’d added a new guitarist also, so we wanted to do a few low key, back to basics gigs just to refresh things. Feedback from the fans has been all good and they seem to be enjoying the new material as well as singing along to all the old stuff, so it’s all good in my book.


Dominion: Jayce, 2012 has been a bit of a whirlwind year for you with your debut album gaining some serious momentum, how are things going at the moment?

Jayce Lewis: Yeah, it’s been quite a year. It seems that people here in the UK have had the chance to hear about me and my music, I think the best thing about it is that we have been discovered more from the live shows here, which is how I have always wanted it to be.

Dominion: How did OFFICERS recent tour with Gary Numan go?

Jamie Baker: It was actually really amazing to be part of. We have obviously been influenced by Numan’s sounds and approach and probably through other bands influenced by him, too. We have a lot of respect for the way he has reinvented his music and stayed relevant in his own terms. He is a genuine pioneer who has had an insurmountable influence on music in the UK and America over the 30 years. He’s actually restored a bit of our faith in the industry. We were given a platform to do our thing, because of a genuine love for our music and the art, from another musician rather than for the kudos or the money. In the current industry climate, it takes a lot for people to stick their neck out like that. We’ve also collaborated on a track together, with Gary adding his unmistakeable vocals to our song ‘Petals’ which we gave away as a special 100 copy only package during the tour to raise awareness of the UK Suicide Prevention charity CALM. We’ll be releasing this officially later this year.

Dominion: In an odd twist of fate, each of you are hard at work on your second albums, what can you tell us about them?

Rob Holliday: Are we any closer to release? Yes, we’re edging closer and closer and closer…


Jayce Lewis: Well, its morphed into a few different styles but I think it’s now landed in this new style for me, mixing electronics and Organic sounds has been the fun bit, plus I think there has been a few influential factors lately that have also steered some of subject matter in it. All I can say is that it will be a journey from start to finish.


Jamie Baker: It’s probably about 75% there in songs and concept. We’ll probably add a few more new tunes as we progress although we literally have hard drives full of songs. It’s just making sure we pick the right ones to work on. Once we have the skeleton form there we’ll take it in the studio for live drums and some guitar amping before heading back to the Mosquito Dorm for more sonic madness and processing.


Patrick Dougan: We’ve been hard at work with Phil Barry of Be My Enemy and Cubanate infamy, and the guy is an absolute fucking genius. He’s producing the album and so far it’s sounding immense, real take your breath away stuff. The guy is a genius and a gentleman.

Dominion: It’s a hell of a line-up for this gig, which band are you each most looking forward to seeing?

Rob Holliday: OFFICERS for sure, as I’ve yet to see those guys live. Our bassist Mud (Tim Muddiman) has been saying they’re great so would like to see them if I can.


Jamie Baker: Everyone on the bill has something unique to offer and we’ve not seen any of the bands before so it’s going to be real treat. Tim we know well from the Numan dates but although we know Sulpher’s stuff we’ve never caught them live. We’ve heard great things about Jayce live too and JLA I’m really looking forward to catch. We’ve been attempting to get a remix in the bag for those guys but time has prevented us. We’ll sort that before the years out though.


Jayce Lewis: To be honest I am looking forward to all of them. I agree it’s quite a line up, one that doesn’t happen often, if ever in fact.


Brydon Cheney: OFFICERS.


Patrick Dougan: I love all the bands on the bill. I’d struggle to say which I’ll be looking forward to most.


Dominion: Je$us Loves Amerika are a lot more politically-focussed than the other bands on the bill, is the message more important than the music?

BrydonCheyney: No, though other band members may disagree.


Patrick Dougan: If you think of what we do as art, is the canvas more important than the paint? Are synths more important than drums? We care about our art. With that in mind work is put into both lyrics and music. Equally, it’s a waste to be given a stage and not try and use that as positively as possible. We are not Consolidated however.


Dominion: Describe your live performance in five words for us.

Rob Holliday: Emotion – Energy – Damage – Sweat – Strobes.


Jayce Lewis: Loud – Busy – Bright – Energetic – Loud.


Jamie Baker: An Intense, emotive, understated, sonic assault


Patrick Dougan:Aggression – Art – Chaos – Sequencing – Noise.

Dominion: Have you got anything special lined up for the gig?

Rob Holliday:It’sgonna be FUCK OFF LOUD and strobe light crazy. We want you to vomit.


Patrick Dougan: We’ll have our new EP, ‘Breathe’, available in time for the gig. At least that’s the plan.


Jayce Lewis: I always have something up my sleeve, although I have been in the studio everyday getting this album ready, so it’s been a challenge, though I will be hitting the Whiskeys early!


Jamie Baker: We’ll just be doing our thing. I think the line-up is special enough for anyone going!

Dominion: Finally, what next for each of you guys?

Rob Holliday: Get the new record out and get playing more. We’re hopefully gonna jump on some good support slots and tear it up.


Jayce Lewis:I’m planning a new single release from the new album towards the end of the year, with another tour hopefully, as everything hits. That’s if the world doesn’t end (laughs), That would really ruin my day!


Jamie Baker:We’ve got a free Remix EP that will be available to download soon, and another special track that we’ll be giving away for Halloween. We have just finished the video treatment with Stuart Semple for the track ‘Petals’ which we will be producing and shooting with Gary at the beginning of October, that will probably be out in November and then we’ll be preparing to go out in December with Gary again on his ‘Dead Moon Falling’ tour which we are obviously really excited about. There is obviously the second album. Stuart and ourselves will then be concentrating on getting a few more ideas together for next year, the new label and the concept behind ‘The Manual’,  which is going to be epic. Busy busy!


BrydonCheyney: We’re headlining the Alba Underground festival in Glasgow later in the year as well as working on anew EP before the eventual launch of album number two.


Patrick Dougan:What Brydon meant to say was “World domination, chaos and disorder!”


Sulpher, Jayce Lewis, Officers and Je$us Loves Amerika play Camden Underworld on Friday 28th September.





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