1.To most of us Sektor 304 is a new name tell us a bit about how the project
came to be..
André: It started in July 2007 when me and João decided to do a rehearsal to test equipment and to make some noise. We are both fans of old-school industrial, things like Linija Mass, Neubauten, Esplendor Geometrico, etc but at the time we were a bit bored with our own bands because we didn’t develop that kind of sound.
So, in that afternoon we recorded the rehearsal and it turned out something with some cool ideas, some of them are featured on “Primary Interface” cdr, our first one. Late that night we came up with a name, Sektor 304 and a few weeks later came our first concert in a squat opening for this rock band from Chile ahah.
2. Your sound on " Soul Cleansing" is a mix of Noise, post industrial and Doom metal to my ears how did the sound come to be? Are you fans of Swans or Godflesh I hear these two bands strongly in your sound?
André: yeah, we are. I’m very impressed with that high pressure and tense atmospheres and weight that both those bands have, especially Swans. Godflesh actually impresses me more due to the way the machine-like sounds and programmings are mixed with the human factor. In Sektor 304, the main issue is actually power, tension, and scale. Swans explore that perfectly. It’s like “man vs everything”, very confrontational and as in every confrontation, you have to deal with the environment it causes and the weight of your own actions. It’s a heavy burden to take with you and Swans carry a lot of that feeling to their music.
3. How did you come to work with Malignant Records?
André: It was actually because of Wolfskin. I was doing the artwork for Wolfskin’s “Ajuntar das Sombras” on Malignant and Jason listened to my band by suggestion of J.A.. Apparently he got blown away by it and since we are nice handsome lads, we got to work with Malignant. We are very pleased with Malignant’s work!
4. What is a live show like for Sektor 304?
André: We try to make as intense and “real” as possible. All the percussions are live, we take junk metal, power tools, contact mics, fx pedals and more stuff to the stage. We try to be the most similar to the records possible, trying to show the process behind each track. Of course that there is a lot of room for improvisation, but we try to keep a structure. There is a very physical aspect in our performances.
João: We are just two, so it’s difficult to reproduce live all the stuff that actually goes on the records. For instances I can not play live percussions and bass at the same time... wish I could! But in the the near future our friend Henrique Fernandes a double bass player will do the bass live. So I think the next live shows will be more powerfull, and the songs will sound more close to the original ones. Of course improvisation it’s an important part live and we will keep it that way.
5. How is the musical environment in Portugal your home for the music you create? Is there a strong Avant/ Experimental music scene?
André: There are a lot of interesting projects. When it comes to Industrial music, things tend to go towards the field of harsh electro, “danceable industrial” and stuff like that, but in the experimental scene you can find really cool stuff. In that field, you have people that actually try very hard to experiment new stuff, with lots of mixed influences and usually with quite unique results. But don’t get me wrong: this isn’t paradise. There aren’t many places to play and there aren’t many people involved. Usually, most projects are just made by the same people.
João: Actually in our hometown Porto there’s lots of very good projects, bands in the field of experimental music. I can give you some names, like “Most People Have Been Trained To Be Bored”, “HHY”, “Lost Gorbachevs”, “Stealing Orchestra”, “Wolfskin”, just to name a few.
6. The Artwork for "Soul Cleansing " is very interesting to say the least. Where did it come about and what is the relation to the music and ideals on the CD?
André: The basic idea was to explore the idea of exhaustion, of noise, of ritualistic excess. That why there is so much noise in the artwork. There is also this connection to oldschool industrial and punk/crust by using collage of found photography and traces of paint. It’s a rough imagery assemblage. Then, there is this focus on African faces and war spears. It’s the return to basics, to primary form, a connection to the ritual base of most of the tracks in the record.
Besides… it also works as a nice alternative to the whole “white power iconic fashion” that seems to be attending the industrial scene nowadays.
7. I ask this to most artist do you feel today a myspace page is all thats
needed for musicals to get there promotional needs out to the world?
André: No. Myspace is getting filled with so many bands and no one is listening to you even if you add as friends. That’s the reality. Myspace is a tool but it’s not the only tool. Work hard, make good music, send it to labels, magazines, show it to your friends, print stickers, BE everywhere! etc etc… all those steps are needed.
8. Are you fans of digital release or do you feel a physical release CD, Tape or Vinyl is needed to really get the complete thought out to world?
André: Well, if you asked me this a few years ago, I would say that and mp3 release on the internet is the same thing as doing it on a physical one, but from my experience gained since then I can surely say: it is not.
The physical relation with the format is very important. It’s an object, you have careful with it, you try to keep it safe and it has a value. I mean, there are certain records that I still remember the day when I bought then and listened to them. I don’t recall when I downloaded a specific album. Perhaps it’s a fetishist thing, but hey! it works for me. When you deal with a physical format, you have to engage with it, be part of the process and therefore the content gains more value.
9. How does older material from Sektor 304 Differ from " Soul Cleansing" ?
André: I guess all of our releases are different from each other, even though they can be all defined with the term “industrial”. “Primary Interface” is a lot more noisy and has quite a lo-fi production. It’s a very primal outburst much more into the field of noise and power electronics, but with some junk metal and drum beats in some occasions. I guess we were trying to apply our biggest influences in the equation, so although being a very “industrial” record, it’s actually very diverse from track to track.
“Transmissions” is actually very ambient in a rather psychedelic way. It was an improvised session recorded directly into a mini-disc, but it turned out a very interesting journey. It has a very spatial exploration of sound and effects.
Comparing it with the previous releases, “Soul Cleansing” sounds a lot more structured, with a heavier dose of percussions and bass. Also, the input of João brought some afro-cuban rhythmic influences that give an excellent feeling of primitivism and ritual.
10. What are the current sounds that influence Sektor 304????
André: Lately I’ve been listening to Test Dept. “Beating the Retreat”, SPK “Leichenschrei”, Bodychoke “Cold River Songs”, Khanate “Clean Hands Go Foul”, Automaton “Dub Terror”, King Tubby “Essencial Dubs”, Locrian “Drenched Lands”, Gnaw “This Face”, early Godflesh, Swans “Cop”, P.H.O.B.O.S. “Tectonics”, Process of Guilt “Erosion” and Techno Animal ”Brotherhood of the Bomb”. I’m also listening a lot to Manilla Road and Gates of Slumber but I guess that won’t inspire Sektor a lot…
João: We listen to very different kinds of music. So all that influences come together when we create something new. I think it’s very important to any musician to have an open mind. It helps a lot to find your own identity as a musician.
I’ve been studying African and Afro-Cuban percussion, and I have used that in some of the songs in the last record. This, together with André’s sounds and samples, created a very intense atmosphere in the record, quite different from the other two records. So it’s very important to always look for something new.
11. What inspires Sektor 304 to create their sounds ?
André: to me, it’s mostly a visual inspiration. I see images, sights and situations that interest me and I try to invoke them in my music. Honestly, cinema like Cronenberg, Lynch, Tsukamoto are major influences. Ballard’s always a good thing. Oh, and watching the news ahah reality always provides a good input for the songs.
12. Thanks for the interview any closing thoughts here..
André: buy the cd… buy the cd… yes… buy the cd… I should probably say something like “Armageddon is coming”, right?
João: Thank you!