Interviewed by LOB, via Email Dec. 1999
JOHN WIESE is a really awsome guy to talk to..He is very
informative and really creative in his methods of promoting himself and
his noise project. He has founded HELICOPTER Records and has since
released works from The HATERS, THURSTON MOORE (of Sonic Youth),
and others. Also last year he became a member of the frequency bending
noise unit called BASTARD NOISE...he has been playing shows with
Bastard Noise and by himself all around Southern California in the
past few months.. Coming from Valencia,CA.. and the crowd at Cal Arts.. i
asked John some simple questions trying to find out.. just a little more
JOHN WIESE HOME PAGE:
LOB: How old are you?
JW: I was born 4/18/77. My first word was Batman.
LOB: When did you start listening/get into harsh electronics?
a. how did you get into it?
b. when/how did you decide you would start making your own?
JW: I made my first noise cassette in 1992 on a friends 4 track while on
brake from recording some songs. At this time I was living in Missouri.
I made a habit of returning to record more and more, then about 1.5-2
years later someone introduced me to some Japanese noise artists -- I
had no idea this sort of thing was going on, much less that there was a
whole scene of it. Since it was pretty much exactly what I was doing
already, it clicked.
LOB: Have you ever released any of these early recordings from 1992 era?
Also you mention that you started making noise as a "brake" from recording
some songs..were these your songs? solo or a band?
JW: At that particular time I was doing some programing on songs that my
friend was recording. The noise stuff was released as low budget
cassette's, probably only 25-50 of each. I was mainly just sharing them
with my friends, not really yet involved with trading with other
like-minds (as I didn't know there were others were doing a similar
thing.) Actually I also recorded some short intense grind stuff (guitar
+ drum machine and my friend singing) which is a pretty good foreshadow
to a band I'm doing now with my friend Cory Ronnau (we did a track on
MoonLanding #1 together) called Sissy Spacek. SS is a current band we're
trying to do, but since he pretty much lives in St. Louis, it's
difficult. It's a similar turbo grind death ray consisting of myself on
bass/drum machine and Cory as singer. We're working on our first record,
hopefully due soon. Anyway, back to 1992, some of these tapes got into
the hands of a guy who was pretty up on the Japanese underground and we
shared tapes of weird stuff. A few years later I began recording with
some St. Louis recluses who did a tape label called Oral Gestation
Artefacts. I did a bit of recording with them and Andy Ortmann
(Panicsville) as Human Shield and they also released a 1992-95
discography tape of my early recordings.
LOB: Who were some of the first Japanese artists that you were turned on to?
Who were/are your favorites?
The first of that scene I got into was stuff like "Cassettetape
Superstar" by UFO or DIE (still a favorite) and like "Spindrift" by
Aube, that sort of stuff. Then I got a RRR catalog, and that was pretty
much it. I just saught out information on any of those bands, junk rock
and noise, etc. I was always into punk and metal/ grind since I was
really small, so this kind of stuff interested me.
LOB: When/where was your first live performance of noise material? What
was the show like? How was in recieved? What were your feelings?
JW: The very first show was opening for the Way Downs and Tit Wrench at Cafe
Mesopotamia in San Diego. At the time I was visiting my friend Tim (who was
playing guitar in Tit Wrench). The show was called "Public Safety Workshop" and pretty much had a safety theme. Posters on the walls, pamphlets, safety
slide show we made inbetween bands, one-piece fluorescent orange jump suits
-- you get the idea. Helmets.
LOB: What was the sounds like? Harsh and chaotic like you do now, or
something else? How was the show received?
JW: At that time I was making harsh stuff as well. It was produced in a
more "live" way, which affected the sound. Mostly harsh guitar noise with
Moog's and electronics -- it was a three-piece like this, so pretty dense.
Received? Like any noise show I guess, the freaks are into it...
LOB: How did you get involved with BASTARD NOISE? and do you
consider yourself a "member" of that ensamble?
JW: I asked Eric (Wood) if he wanted to set up some shows together and he
wanted to start playing together, so it just happen like that. It's been
sort of back and forth -- we started as two separate entities
collaborating, so we would bill it as a slash, and sometimes not really. It
doesn't really matter. I'm bring to BN what I've been doing all along, so
it's not like I am blending in to BN's established sound. So sometimes it's
just Bastard Noise and sometimes it's Bastard Noise/ John Wiese. We've been
working on a bunch of recordings and I think they are all going to come out
billed differently, depending on the way we worked on it. But yes, I'm in
LOB:Are there releases planned from BN with you on them?
JW: Yes, we have a BN/JW/Outermost (from Japan) collaboration 7" that is
finished that Eric is putting out, we just need to make the covers; a 7"
titled "Throne is Melting" that will come out on Helicopter pretty soon; a
full length enhanced CD due in a few months on Bloodlink; a double LP
someday on Recalcitrant Noise on the theme of "Moby Dick"; also a remix
for the Locust double 12"; probably some other stuff... plus I have other
"solo" stuff in the works...
LOB: Why do you make noise? What makes you make noise?
JW: It is a top secret mission.
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