Our very own Nome got to interview High-Functioning Flesh for the NVR MND blog to go with the killer mixtape they made for our NVR M1X series. Check out the interview and mixtape 37 below!
NN: I know Susan was in Branes previous to High-Functioning Flesh. Can you tell us a bit of where you two came from musically?
HFF: The answer to this question is the thesis of our mix. Weirdo punks consistently approaching weirdo punk music from new weirdo punk angles.
N: Since the demo, the release of A Unity of Miseries, A Misery of Unities marked a pivotal point in your already well established but youthful careers as High-Functioning Flesh, not to mention sharpening the many points of your already razor-like minimalist electronics. Do you feel you have the HFF style set in stone or do you see yourselves evolving even further with this wave of electro punk?
HFF: High-Functioning Flesh set out to make the music that we wanted to hear, to be the band that we wanted to see, and to be the band that we wanted to be in. We wanted to make physical music and thus our sound is physical. So no, our style is not set in stone, but our intention to make physical music is.
Also, I would argue that our music isn’t minimalist and is in fact quite the opposite.
NN: Where was A Unity of Miseries, A Misery of Unities recorded and how did that affect the final album versions vs the demos?
HFF: It was recorded in our friend Sean’s apartment. Aside from recording with Protools instead of on a Tascam, the only real difference was that the songs from the demo had time to mature: they were all only about two weeks old when we made the demo.
NN: How much of an effect does being based in LA channel into your music? Is there a scene of acts that influences you there and, if so, where do you see the LA scene going?
HFF: We are totally immersed in place. LA is a texture as palpable as sandpaper or tape hiss.
Pure Ground. DOSES. Blazing Eye. Human Particle. Hive Mind. LFA. Allegory Chapel Ltd. Pod Blotz. Drab Majesty. Youth Code. Behavior. Nasa Space Universe. Zawa. Birthday Girl.
The LA scene is and has been and will be.
NN: Do you feel we are seeing the relaunch of a new dark scene or is it more an extension of DIY punk electronics?
HFF: DIY PUNK ELECTRONICS. CONSTANT REINVENTION AND RE-XAMINATION OF SELF.
NN: HHF has gained so much respect in the scene for carving out its own NU-NICHE, so to speak. Were you expecting your listeners (and the press) to have this sort of reaction? (basically how “psychick” are the both of you?)
HFF: No. We honestly expected only a few friends to like our new band’s demo tape and then to be mostly ignored.
NN: How do you see yourselves compared with contemporary artists like 3TEETH & Youth Code?
HFF: We are all from LA and we all play Industrial music.
NN: How do you balance your influences so well while maintaining forward movement and retro appeal? Is this something you’ve actually thought out or does it just come unconscious and natural?
HFF: This isn’t a conscious effort. Obviously we want to create something genuine which inherently means not ripping something off. But thanks for the compliment; we often worry that we sound too much like our influences.
NN: Self-Management is definitely my favorite track from A Misery Of Unities. Speaking of that song, it’s video counterpart is such a great accomplishment visually. It’s spastic nature is captivating and it suggests that we have never left that classic Wax Trax! / EBM period of time. Can you tell us about the direction in which you were going with the piece?
HFF: We wanted to make a video with what we had to work with which happened to be a video manipulator & a thrift store VHS camera. We also wanted our friend Jamal to make it. We think he did a most excellent job. The video is very physical.
NN: What can we expect from you in the future?
HFF: We are finishing up our LP for Dais records and it should be out in late April.
NN: Thank you so much for making a mixtape for our NVR MND series! Can you tell us about what you’ve selected and why?
HFF: Our mix highlights some of our favorite weirdo punk tracks and further peeks into our musical backgrounds: a basic context.
Scratch Acid – Lay Screaming
Minimal Man – Two Little Skeletons
Pre Fix – Ectomorphine
Palais Schaumburg – Glücklich Wie Nie
B People – Can Can’t
Dicks – Lifetime Problems
X_X – No Nonsense
Witch Trials – Trapped In the Playground
Executive Slacks – I’m Coming
Gods Gift – Discipline
No Trend – Two Seconds ‘til Non-Existence
Flipper – Life is Cheap
Monitor – Beak
Human Hands – I Got Mad
Bobby Soxx – Scavenger of Death
Bay of Pigs – Everything Changes
The Deadbeats – Deadbeats
AKA – God
Nervous Gender – People Like You
Skinny Puppy – K-9
Chrome – Future Ghosts
Tuxedomoon – Holy Wars