Industrial music has always been a highly niche musical genre. Prior to the days when it was actually referred to as Industrial Music, conceptual artists like Monte Cazazza, Throbbing Gristle, and Cabaret Voltaire inadvertently laid the foundations of the category by creating music with the use of white noise, found / manipulated sounds, electronic loops, and distorted vocals. These elements have always been the bedrock of the movement, which has since splintered off into even further sub categorizations, which have typically been used to denote whether an industrial artist or group’s output shared kinship with heavy metal, electronic dance, or even folk.
While there are quite a few industrial bands currently performing worldwide, most of the industrial music that is heard in the US is in discotheques. That being said, clubs which bump industrial music are not all that common, but those that do are frequently attended by dedicated crowds. One of OC’s industrial dance clubs, The Chamber, will celebrate its 15 year anniversary on Sunday, June 19, and for the occasion, it will feature a live performance by Tactical Sekt.
Almost 15 years old as well, Tactical Sekt was formed in 2002 by Anthony Mather, of Aslan Faction. In 2004, the band’s drummer, Beam, left to pursue other projects and Jay Taylor took over drums. In 2012, Johnny Bonnett took the place of former keyboardist Marco Gruhn. In 2013, TS parted ways with its former record label Noitekk / Black Rain Media Group and founded Burn Process Media, which has taken over the band’s merchandising and media distribution.
In advance of Tactical Sekt’s performance at The Chamber, the Weekly had an opportunity to talk with Sekt’s founder about the band’s history, present, and future.
OC Weekly (Scott Feinblatt): You bounced around a lot as a youth (born in UK, moved to Utah, then to CA).
Anthony Mather: I did live quite the nomadic lifestyle. People often ask if I was a military brat but alas, no. Just restless I suppose.
When you moved to CA, where was it in Cali that you landed?
I spent most of my formative years in Orange County. Laguna Hills to be specific.
In 2013, you parted ways with NoiTekk and BlackRain Media. Were there any complications with the split?
I was with NoiTekk/BlackRain for nearly 16 years. I don’t like to air dirty laundry so I won’t go into specifics but it was a tough divorce that needed to happen. You can only go on so long being trod on.
How has the experience been since you founded Burn Process Media?
Yes it has its advantages, but being without deadlines has been difficult for me. I have found out the hard way that “perfectionist” is synonymous with “procrastinator.” I think perhaps I have let the pursuit of perfection in my music allow me to get off track. That’s a trend I am trying to break.
To what extent are Jay and Johnny involved with running Burn Process Media?
Both are involved regularly in Tactical Sekt but as far as Burn Process Media goes, they don’t really get involved with that. Mainly it’s myself and another related analogue mastering company Sevenhouse Productions run by two of my brothers right here in California. We are trying to bring the beauty of analogue back to electronic music. Many artists and labels are starting to come their way. So far it’s going great.
In the states, it seems that industrial music generally shines the most in dance clubs; whereas in other countries, especially Germany, industrial concerts and festivals are a lot more prominent. Why is that?
Interesting observation and I think you are correct. I think it may have a lot to do with geography. Europe is a lot more compact. So many countries are within a reasonable distance. It’s not impossible to drive from the UK to Germany in a day to attend a festival. Tons of budget Airlines in existence also makes it affordable to fly. Who doesn’t want to hang out with like-minded people? In the US, driving from Coast to Coast is a 4-5 day exercise and getting a plane ticket is very costly. I don’t know but I think with the high costs people just prefer to stay local.
Beyond your upcoming show at The Chamber, what can fans expect from Tactical Sekt in the future?
Definitely getting closer on new material now. I am starting to enjoy making music again. The whole 2013 NoiTekk affair cost a lot of us. More than just financially. But when I get in front of a crowd, I remember why I do this.