“All your thoughts have been compromised
Can’t control what’s in my mind
Your sanity no longer whole
I’ve lost my grip, I’ve lost control”
— “Darkness Falls” by Sonik Foundry
For our music this time around, we have EBM/Industrial band Sonik Foundry from Maine. Lead singer Nikademus formed the group in 2008 originally as a solo project, but now works with percussionist Malic Acid. Nik writes all of the music and lyrics, does the arranging and mixing at his own Hitman Studios. More than just drums, Malic Acid brings in the gritty screams and animalistic stage presence. All together Nik describes their sound as “a very unique flavor of industrial, almost aggrotech EBM with a slight rock element; with a melodic and ‘Understandable’ vocal accompanied with gestures and body language ‘kinesics’, that convey and sync with the meaning behind the music.”
The song we have from the band is “Darkness Falls”, which as Nik explained, “is about a close friend that lost it, he let everything go, and lost his mind, and became evil.” The song definitely has the feeling of sanity spinning out of control, and even though there is shouting of lyrics full of emotion, the song is not harsh like some EBM, which gets kudos in my book.
Nik came up with the band’s name while playing with synonyms of “Sound” and “Factory”. He said, “SoundFactory did not sound original, and it was kinda cheezy. I don’t want to be mistaken for that old 80s band C+C Music Factory. pfft. So I created Sonic Foundry. I then learned that a software company used to exist with this name but they were bought out by Sony, so I used a ‘K’ instead of a ‘C’. To this day, I still get flak, but I don’t care, I like the name, and being that I did not know about the software company when I created the name, it was original as far as I was concerned. I did not rip it off the software company as many might think.”
When the band plays live, they get some pretty awesome fans at the shows, and even venue promoters have given them some incredible feedback. “Fans this year seem to react in shock and awe, which is really exciting to us. I’m glad we could make such music and perform in such a way that gets such a wow-like reaction. Fans and promoters keep telling us they never seen such energy, and such a powerful stage presence and coordination. We were like, ‘Really? Wow?’ Every show we did this tour had the fans and promoters in sheer delight. We had to hear the phrases ‘You guys were F@#king Awesome’, and ‘You f@#king Rock!’ a hundred times from the fans and promoters at The Shelter (Das Bunker) Atlanta, ZombiFest in Louisville, KY, The Shrunken Head in Columbus, OH, and The Southern Gothic Festival in NOLA. Two promoters said ‘you need to get known’ and ‘someone has to spread the word about you guys’. One promoter said that we brought tears to another band’s front man’s eyes, which left me kinda speechless. I didn’t think anyone in this scene cried, lol… as my 17 year-old daughter would say… OMG! For the first time, while performing at SOGO, we were cheered on after we finished our set, like a classic riot! They wanted more! So we did an encore! It was 2:30AM!”
“Darkness Falls” is one of the songs on their new album Parish of Redemption. The album and really the direction of their music has been about breaking away from what other groups are doing. Before this album, Nik said, “I was just following suit from the sounds of the industrial scene. And then it hit me… I thought to myself, this scene needs change, everybody is doing the same old ootz, and the scene is dying because of the same old same old music. So I wrote music that was very unusual, but very dancy and very industrial, and after adding guitar and accent drumming, it flowed like wine and spread like soft butter. It was full and juicy, yet harsh and mean, and full of energy! So, I was sure that we would redeem ourselves with this unique creation, and thus far, my predictions were right, and the style I created, paid off! At the moment, my favorite [new song] is ‘Severance Pay’, because it is our opening song. It starts out all calm and usual, and then it blows up like a firecracker and that’s when the shock and awe begins, and doesn’t stop till we stop.”
Nik has been in countless garage bands and numerous side projects all of his life, starting as a DJ in his teens during the 80’s. Of musical influences, he said, “I really don’t have any particular favorite band at this time, and my influences change constantly. I come from a very, very musically diverse lifestyle and have grown through many fads and eras of music styles ranging from metal to punk, to freestyle, to house, to jazz and classical, to EBM, Rap (dirty south and west coast) to R&B to screemo, industrial, aggrotech and goa. Pretty much every genre except country. I just don’t care for county music, which is perhaps the reason why I epically failed at producing a country album for a local country/southern rock band. I grew up in NJ and had many time periods of different ethnic socialization.”
While pondering what the future holds for the band, he said, “Well, we are under a 5-year contract with Nilaihah and have many more albums to produce, so we will be quite busy. I can’t say what the sound will be like but it will always keep true the Sonik Foundry sound, and will prolly get crazier and crazier as we find new ways to blow away the crowd. For me it’s all about the fun, and want to keep it fun, a hobby of sorts, and never work. I’d like to work on some experimental, perhaps some Ambiance and some other hot stuff like dubstep, but dubsteb is so loved and hated at the same time. But you gotta admit, dub is hot and everyone is doing it or thinking of doing it. Our next album is going to be quite interesting I’d say. I’d like to do a few songs that break into some dubstep and Aphex Twin-like sound as an experiment perhaps. Maybe, who knows.”
His advice for new bands really applies to living life and is sound advice for everyone, I think. He said, “Well, first thing is love what you do, never take it to seriously, stop fighting over headlining and get there in the future by your fans and pleasing the promoters rather than fighting with them for the spot. Be true, be honest, be friendly and compassionate, earn your keep, be a team player, carry your own weight, contribute, never act in haste or be compulsive or careless. Think before you ink or speak, help others and be happy. Be modest, don’t get cocky, don’t get full of yourself and think you are the best, there is always someone better then you. Play it smart, and play hard, be yourself… if you are good you will get there and gain fans that like you for you!”
If you would like to catch the band live, they are done touring for the most part, but have a few one-offs here and there. They will be performing with Imperative Reaction, God Module, and System Syn in Philly on October 2nd at the Starlight Ballroom, and one other show at QXT in Newark, NJ possibly soon. Keep an eye on their website at Sonikfoundry.com and their label Nilaihah.com to find out more. You can also grab their music at iTunes, Amazon, Amie Street, FIXT, and the like, plus you can follow them on Facebook, VampireFreaks, and MySpace.