Once again I had the honor of chatting with Alan Rider. This time we explore the exciting new release by Dance Naked on the mighty Aufnahme + Wiedergabe label known for their amazing roster, packaging and highly collectable releases. Please take a few minutes and dive into wonderful and secret world of Dance Naked's past and present!

Hello Alan! Great to chat with you again. Congratulations on yet another release. How does it feel to know there is a rapidly growing interest in bringing back the days of yesteryear not only in your projects but so many others?

Alan - "Thanks Luke. As I think I said when we spoke previously about the Stress releases, it's good that there is still the interest there in what we were doing back in the mid-80s in the UK and that it still matters to people. I think that it was a very creative time musically and it's great that it has now been recognized as such. I'm not that keen on your phrase 'bringing back the days of yesteryear' though, as that makes it sound like some nostalgia fest! It's not exactly 'Ye Olde Time Music Hall' you know! As I said in the Stress interview we did for Brutal Resonance last year, there is still a relevance today in both the music and lyrics and many acts are now trying to emulate the sound and feeling of the music from that time in their music. The big difference for us is that we don't need to copy anything! Its true, there are a lot of re-issue labels and that could be seen as a bad thing by some, but if it is selective then it makes stuff that previously was rare and hard to track down (such as the original Dance Naked releases) available again in a re-mastered form, and that has to be a good thing. Of course Aufnahme + Wiedergabe are not a reissue label, far from it. They are one of the most innovative labels around in both presentation and in the artists they have on their roster. It's great that they recognised Dance Naked as being an influential band and wanted to release the material on the 'Point of Change' album on A+W for a new audience."

Stress and Dance Naked are very different in musical direction. Tell us a little about your transition from Stress to working with Roger and Kleo and forming Dance Naked.

Alan - "We have been asked about that in other interviews, some even drawing comparisons with the transition from Throbbing Gristle to Psychic TV. I wouldn't go quite that far, but when Stress finished I wanted to do something different and also get it going quickly. Dance Naked formed about a week after Stress split. Kleo and I were already together and the band she managed (Garden of Delights) supported Stress at our farewell gig headlining a festival in London, so when we decided to form Dance Naked it was only natural we ask their singer (Roger) and percussionist (Cary) to join. The immediate difference was that we decided to start out as a live band rather than a studio based act like Stress. That stretched us all musically and meant lots of live rehearsals each week, with all four of us working songs out together in a rehearsal room. That was very different from Stress and I learnt a lot from that process! The subject matter of the songs and the imagery we used was very different too, drawing on the occult. We ran a T-shirt stall in Portobello Lane selling our own designs and got into the London Goth scene at the time (Batcave etc), which was an influence certainly and I think that also played a part. It was a huge change and having other people who contributed knowledge of the occult was a real eye opener for me, which I enthusiastically embraced. It was a lot more fun than Stress in many ways, but it would be wrong to compare the two as both had different strengths and were different musical styles."

So, you are now working with Aufnahme + Wiedergabe out of Berlin. They seem to have a taste for darker side of things with In Death It Ends, The Devil and The Universe, Lebanon Hanover, The Black Egg and recently signed The Harrow from NYC. How did your relationship with A+W come to be?

Alan - "They approached us actually. I got an e-mail from Philippe (who runs A+W) asking whether I had any spare copies of Dance Naked cassettes left for sale. I didn't, but I had been getting loads of requests for them and there seemed to be a real interest in Dance Naked so I mentioned we were looking for a label to re-issue the tracks, plus some unreleased material and he said he ran a label and A+W would love to do it. I didn't really know A+W at the time so he sent through a couple of releases by In Death it Ends, The Devil & The Universe, and Black Egg and I immediately felt that A+W were absolutely the best label to put out Dance Naked material on. Their packaging and quality are really high and stand out from many other labels. They have some really good acts on the label many of which have a strong occult influence, which Dance Naked do too. I hope the relationship will continue into the future for new projects as A+W are a great label to work with."

The forthcoming album will contain selected tracks from the impossible to find demo tapes 'The Hidden God' & 'Colour Dance' released back in 1988. Tell us a little more about the material listeners will hear on the 'Point Of Change' LP/CD. Also, according to your bio, the band seemed hopeful for a vinyl release. How come it took over 25 years to get the vinyl released? Were you close to deal back then?

Alan - "The 'Point of Change' LP will contain all of the tracks from 'The Hidden God', some from 'Colour Dance', plus exclusive and unreleased tracks that appear on the album as demo versions, along with a rare live recording from 1986 of a song that never made it onto tape as a studio version. All have been re-mastered. What comes through strongly on the album is that the lyrics and subject matter are at the heart of the songs. We always put a lot into each song and they are loaded with symbolism. We also tried to match the music with the lyrics in terms of pitch, tempo and key so each track has an individual feel too it. That's really evident on tracks like 'Bronze Contempt', 'New Jerusalem' and 'Jezebel'. I have been told that they don't follow conventional ideas about structure and key either. That sounds very technical but we were not technical players at all, so that came from feeling what worked right and experimenting. That process gave us a distinctive 'Dance Naked' sound, but with each song sounding different. For the Colour Dance recordings, which were all instrumental, we matched the key of each bit of music to the vibration rate of each colour so they complemented each other. We performed that live at a venue in central London in front of a bunch of Colour Therapists. That was certainly an odd experience!

Of course, we were also negotiating with various labels back at the time to get a Dance Naked album out. It seemed far harder back then to get material released than it is now and we had a lot of disappointments and let downs, which meant Dance Naked never actually got the LP release we so desperately wanted. Until now that is! It's certainly taken a while, over 25 years as you say, but the songs have held up well and considering most of them were recorded on a cassette 4 track, they still sound remarkably good after a bit of re-mastering to clean up tape hiss. Just as well I hung onto those master tapes eh?"

Speaking of the re-mastering. You are long time friends with Mr. Attrition, Martin Bowes. He has been busy mastering Dance Naked as well the Greek Italo Disco/synthpop project 23rd Underpass. What led you to him besides the obvious answer - friendship? How did you become friends with Martin?

Alan - "I have known Martin for over 30 years, right from the start really. In fact you could say he was responsible for my getting into all of this. When I first came across his fanzine, Alternative Sounds, in Coventry back in 1979 it inspired me to start my own fanzine, Adventures in Reality. Pretty soon after we became close friends and lived in a shared house in Coventry. I started doing slides and visuals for Attrition and toured round the UK and Europe with them and even guested on bass with them. I also released lots of the early Attrition material on my Adventures in Reality Recordings label (including their first 'vinyl' release, a flexi disc given away with my fanzine). We later relocated to London and ran the Terminal Kaleidoscope mail order record and tape store with the Legendary Pink Dots. I was with Stress at that time too and we played gigs with Attrition and recorded in a studio we shared with the LPDs. By the time I was with Dance Naked Martin had moved back to Coventry (or was it Holland? I can never remember) but I stayed in touch with him so of course I wanted him to master the album. He had done a great job on the previous Stress LP re-issue for Other Voices so it was a no-brainer really. I hope to persuade him to guest on future releases too. I may have to bribe him with plastic toys or gas masks though!"

There seems to be a lot of biblical references in the lyrics and song titles. Tracks like Jezebel, Legion & New Jerusalem come to mind. What were some of the influences that pulled the lyrics one way or another?

Alan - "It depended on who wrote the lyrics. Roger's lyrics often had a strong kabbalistic and biblical influence. He used powerful and emotive imagery to illustrate the hypocrisy of religion, particularly the priesthood and the way they exploited peoples belief to give themselves power. That's what "Legion" is about, the priests from different religions and sects all claiming that their god is the true god and that they are the only ones who can communicate directly with them, setting themselves up as being superior. "Jezebel" is about sex and religion and the misogyny that is part of most religions. Kleo's lyrics are more about the occult, the mysteries, imagery from dreams, ancient religions and paganism. 'Bronze Contempt' is all about finding yourself and facing up to your sub-conscious inhibitions and seeking to overcome them. 'Point of Change' is about self realisation and the dawning of self awareness, personal responsibility and your own power to act, which in itself is synonymous to a rebirth. 'Ieva' has strong Thelemic influences. Generally, much of the imagery comes from dreams, from study of the occult and from ritual and also from drawing parallels between esoteric ideas and biblical stories like those of Cain and Abel ('Mark Upon the Brow'), and betrayal ('Judas'). The ideas behind the songs did drive the mood and feel of the music. Some are quite sombre, others more upbeat. It was definitely a case of everything working together as a whole."

'Point Of Change' has some very interesting artwork. It gives off a flare for the occult. What was the thought process behind the artistic direction? It fits in well with the other artists on the label. Was this intentional?

Alan - "A+W gave us a totally free hand with the sleeve artwork, which was great. A lot of labels wouldn't do that. We had a 12" gatefold LP, with CD attached to work with, which offered a lot of possibilities. We wanted the sleeve to reflect not only what the music was about, but also the beliefs and motivations behind the lyrics. Kleo had a very clear vision for the front cover and the inside front cover. The concept is that the portal in the woodlands is a magical doorway through to a sacred space where an altar is set up. So when you open the cover you find you have walked through the doorway and the altar is depicted within. You have entered into a sacred space in the process and are in front of the altar. The doorway is a gateway to transformation, hence the choice to enter it and to cross its threshold is the 'Point of change' ,illustrating the title of the album itself. The portal is an actual gateway that was made for us (you can't just go out and buy these things!) to use in ritual drama performances, for various occult events. We made a large Dance Naked chaos star to set up behind the altar which we used for the photo sessions for the front sleeve and inner sleeve. This symbolises the wheel of the year, and the eight pagan festivals of the year. The autumn leaves and the green leaves show the principle of the changing seasons and how one leads to the next.

We decided that in order to realise these complex images we needed to work with a professional graphic artist. We opted for a friend of ours, Jack Duckworth from Soft Riot, who is also a really creative professional designer in his day job. It was a real collaboration between Jack and us all the way through. The idea was one of rebirth and seeing through the mundane, ordinary world to find something more magical and powerful inside. That tied in with many of the tracks on the album and has worked really well. We are really pleased with the way it looks."

The music on Point Of Change has elements of 80's goth rock to minimal to darkwave and even a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs". There seems to be a heavy emphasis on the synth use and vocals as opposed to the heavily guitar driven style. The re-mastered versions of "Bronze Contempt" and "Legion" are as infectious in their current form as they are in the original form. How important was it for you and the band to include the demo tracks on the CD?

Alan - "As I said above, the focus on the vocals was deliberate, and the bass and synth basis for the music came largely from my background in Stress. I can't play guitar myself (well, not very well) but we did add some to the studio versions of 'Bronze Contempt' and 'Legion', drafting in a local guitarist as a guest to play on those. That's why we included two original demos of those tracks as bonus tracks on the CD version, so you can hear what the original sounded like. I actually prefer the demo version of 'Legion' myself! Some of the songs on the album are re-mastered 4 track demos with just Roger singing and me playing bass over a basic rhythm. Those tracks were never recorded as full studio versions, though we did perform them live, along with a number of other tracks that didn't ever make it into a studio version. However, the stripped down demo versions on the album work really well because they are so minimal. They are quite a contrast to the other, much fuller tracks on the album, but still sound very much like Dance Naked for all that and feel quite raw and exposed. Recording the cover of "Venus in Furs" was really only because we loved the Velvet Underground and felt a strong similarity to their way of doing things, and also because it was a great track that we wanted to cover in a very different way to the original. Some people hated that version, others loved it. There was a lot of improvisation in that track, with the intro and outro being pretty much made up when we came to record it."

Bands like Clock DVA complemented their live sets with a lot of projection visuals. Dance Naked also worked on creating a "strong and visual live show". Tell us a little about that. Also, were there any artists/bands that influenced Dance Naked's live show?

Alan - "We used some projections (such as at the Colour Dance performance) but we never really got close to what we originally had in mind, due to the limitations of the types of venues we had to play, plus the cost and logistics of setting it all up at the time. Clock DVA were brilliant and a definite influence as were Cabaret Voltaire, Test Department, Psychic TV and SPK- who all had great live shows, but early Human League had to be the biggest single influence visually with their use of slides and films. I had previously toured with a fellow band from Coventry, Attrition, doing an extensive slide and film projection at live shows in the UK and across Europe involving multiple projectors and literally hundreds of hand-made slides and films to complement the music. That was very powerful and along the lines of what we wanted for Dance Naked. Snag was, I couldn't play on stage and operate the visuals at the same time and we just had no one with the right skills to do that for us at the time. It would be far easier now of course as we could just hook up a laptop to a projector and control that all from the stage. We would only need someone off stage to mind the kit. We didn't have any of that though and we were always short of money so we had to limit ourselves unfortunately out of necessity. That's why we really needed a decent label at the time to back us!"

Are there any further plans for Dance Naked? What are Kleo and Roger doing these days?

Alan - "Yes there are! Much of our equipment has been lost over the years but we still have some left and Kleo and I have been acquiring more and building a small studio set up to write new material. We are also working on other, more electronic, projects such as one with Peripheral Minimal Records and hope to be able to continue the relationship with A+W for future releases. It's too early to go into detail on those but we will let you know of course. Kleo also writes and teaches about ancient religions and how to work with the pagan deities. She does regular consultancy work for TV and radio shows. Roger has changed career and trained as a blacksmith. He now makes these amazing iron sculptures in Norfolk and has his own Forge, which makes some fantastic industrial sounds when he is hammering away. Expect some of those noises to make it onto vinyl as part of our new material in future!"

What's next for Alan Rider? Also, I know you are working on a book. Maybe you could tell us a little about that project?

ALAN: Well, aside from the next musical projects we talked about, I have been working on a book on Coventry fanzines from the 1980s. I started out as a fanzine writer back in 1981 (which is fairly well documented in an interview I gave in 2011 to the Zine Weekly website http://www.zineweekly.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/interview-22-part-1.html) as did many others from the area who went on to form bands (Attrition, Napalm Death, etc). There were lots of Coventry fanzines going at the time (over 40 different ones at one point) covering all genres and areas. It was an incredibly creative period in that area and one that that hasn't been well documented, so I thought I had better do that as I have the contacts still and a huge collection of fanzines as source material. It is proving to be far harder and slower a process than music, as it is quite difficult to find the time and getting published is proving difficult as print media is in decline and this is quite a niche project so it?s not that commercial. I am working with a photographer from Coventry who is bidding for arts funding for a show of his photos from the time, so it may well get published as part of that project. Its work in progress, but will definitely happen in some form. The guys who run the UK Subs website (who ran a Coventry fanzine back then too!) suggested I do it as an online resource/archive and offered to put me in touch with people who could help with that, so that's another possibility."

One last question for the collector's out there. With Dance Naked, I think reissuing the tapes is a great thing due to how scarce they are. These days reissue labels are everywhere. From a collector's point of view the reissue seems to violate the sacred nature of owning the original. From a label and band's perspective it gives those less fortunate a chance to buy the music at a reasonable price rather than rely on the pricey secondary market or Youtube and some other digital sources? What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of record and tape collecting?

Alan - "Although I can see your point about it reducing the rarity value of those original releases, re-issues do give you the opportunity to offer the material to a fresh audience, but include new packaging and ideas too. We have certainly gone for that with the 'Point of Change' album by including lots of previously unavailable tracks and completely new artwork just for this release. I don't mind people hankering after the originals, but sometimes they do sell for silly money. A copy of an original Stress cassette went on Ebay recently for over £200! That's just crazy. Although I have no doubt the Dance Naked album will appear on an illegal free download site within a matter of days, having all the extra packaging makes it desirable to get the actual release too, as it offers so much more and is a tangible, collectable thing. A+W releases sell out quickly and are very collectable as they are so well done, so I imagine we may well see them cropping up on the pricey secondary market themselves before too long!"

Coming soon to BR we will have a review for Dance Naked's 'Point Of Change' LP/CD. In the meantime check out the band and order the album dammit!!!
Dance Naked interview
August 22, 2014
Brutal Resonance

Dance Naked

Aug 2014
Once again I had the honor of chatting with Alan Rider. This time we explore the exciting new release by Dance Naked on the mighty Aufnahme + Wiedergabe label known for their amazing roster, packaging and highly collectable releases. Please take a few minutes and dive into wonderful and secret world of Dance Naked's past and present!

Hello Alan! Great to chat with you again. Congratulations on yet another release. How does it feel to know there is a rapidly growing interest in bringing back the days of yesteryear not only in your projects but so many others?

Alan - "Thanks Luke. As I think I said when we spoke previously about the Stress releases, it's good that there is still the interest there in what we were doing back in the mid-80s in the UK and that it still matters to people. I think that it was a very creative time musically and it's great that it has now been recognized as such. I'm not that keen on your phrase 'bringing back the days of yesteryear' though, as that makes it sound like some nostalgia fest! It's not exactly 'Ye Olde Time Music Hall' you know! As I said in the Stress interview we did for Brutal Resonance last year, there is still a relevance today in both the music and lyrics and many acts are now trying to emulate the sound and feeling of the music from that time in their music. The big difference for us is that we don't need to copy anything! Its true, there are a lot of re-issue labels and that could be seen as a bad thing by some, but if it is selective then it makes stuff that previously was rare and hard to track down (such as the original Dance Naked releases) available again in a re-mastered form, and that has to be a good thing. Of course Aufnahme + Wiedergabe are not a reissue label, far from it. They are one of the most innovative labels around in both presentation and in the artists they have on their roster. It's great that they recognised Dance Naked as being an influential band and wanted to release the material on the 'Point of Change' album on A+W for a new audience."

Stress and Dance Naked are very different in musical direction. Tell us a little about your transition from Stress to working with Roger and Kleo and forming Dance Naked.

Alan - "We have been asked about that in other interviews, some even drawing comparisons with the transition from Throbbing Gristle to Psychic TV. I wouldn't go quite that far, but when Stress finished I wanted to do something different and also get it going quickly. Dance Naked formed about a week after Stress split. Kleo and I were already together and the band she managed (Garden of Delights) supported Stress at our farewell gig headlining a festival in London, so when we decided to form Dance Naked it was only natural we ask their singer (Roger) and percussionist (Cary) to join. The immediate difference was that we decided to start out as a live band rather than a studio based act like Stress. That stretched us all musically and meant lots of live rehearsals each week, with all four of us working songs out together in a rehearsal room. That was very different from Stress and I learnt a lot from that process! The subject matter of the songs and the imagery we used was very different too, drawing on the occult. We ran a T-shirt stall in Portobello Lane selling our own designs and got into the London Goth scene at the time (Batcave etc), which was an influence certainly and I think that also played a part. It was a huge change and having other people who contributed knowledge of the occult was a real eye opener for me, which I enthusiastically embraced. It was a lot more fun than Stress in many ways, but it would be wrong to compare the two as both had different strengths and were different musical styles."

So, you are now working with Aufnahme + Wiedergabe out of Berlin. They seem to have a taste for darker side of things with In Death It Ends, The Devil and The Universe, Lebanon Hanover, The Black Egg and recently signed The Harrow from NYC. How did your relationship with A+W come to be?

Alan - "They approached us actually. I got an e-mail from Philippe (who runs A+W) asking whether I had any spare copies of Dance Naked cassettes left for sale. I didn't, but I had been getting loads of requests for them and there seemed to be a real interest in Dance Naked so I mentioned we were looking for a label to re-issue the tracks, plus some unreleased material and he said he ran a label and A+W would love to do it. I didn't really know A+W at the time so he sent through a couple of releases by In Death it Ends, The Devil & The Universe, and Black Egg and I immediately felt that A+W were absolutely the best label to put out Dance Naked material on. Their packaging and quality are really high and stand out from many other labels. They have some really good acts on the label many of which have a strong occult influence, which Dance Naked do too. I hope the relationship will continue into the future for new projects as A+W are a great label to work with."

The forthcoming album will contain selected tracks from the impossible to find demo tapes 'The Hidden God' & 'Colour Dance' released back in 1988. Tell us a little more about the material listeners will hear on the 'Point Of Change' LP/CD. Also, according to your bio, the band seemed hopeful for a vinyl release. How come it took over 25 years to get the vinyl released? Were you close to deal back then?

Alan - "The 'Point of Change' LP will contain all of the tracks from 'The Hidden God', some from 'Colour Dance', plus exclusive and unreleased tracks that appear on the album as demo versions, along with a rare live recording from 1986 of a song that never made it onto tape as a studio version. All have been re-mastered. What comes through strongly on the album is that the lyrics and subject matter are at the heart of the songs. We always put a lot into each song and they are loaded with symbolism. We also tried to match the music with the lyrics in terms of pitch, tempo and key so each track has an individual feel too it. That's really evident on tracks like 'Bronze Contempt', 'New Jerusalem' and 'Jezebel'. I have been told that they don't follow conventional ideas about structure and key either. That sounds very technical but we were not technical players at all, so that came from feeling what worked right and experimenting. That process gave us a distinctive 'Dance Naked' sound, but with each song sounding different. For the Colour Dance recordings, which were all instrumental, we matched the key of each bit of music to the vibration rate of each colour so they complemented each other. We performed that live at a venue in central London in front of a bunch of Colour Therapists. That was certainly an odd experience!

Of course, we were also negotiating with various labels back at the time to get a Dance Naked album out. It seemed far harder back then to get material released than it is now and we had a lot of disappointments and let downs, which meant Dance Naked never actually got the LP release we so desperately wanted. Until now that is! It's certainly taken a while, over 25 years as you say, but the songs have held up well and considering most of them were recorded on a cassette 4 track, they still sound remarkably good after a bit of re-mastering to clean up tape hiss. Just as well I hung onto those master tapes eh?"

Speaking of the re-mastering. You are long time friends with Mr. Attrition, Martin Bowes. He has been busy mastering Dance Naked as well the Greek Italo Disco/synthpop project 23rd Underpass. What led you to him besides the obvious answer - friendship? How did you become friends with Martin?

Alan - "I have known Martin for over 30 years, right from the start really. In fact you could say he was responsible for my getting into all of this. When I first came across his fanzine, Alternative Sounds, in Coventry back in 1979 it inspired me to start my own fanzine, Adventures in Reality. Pretty soon after we became close friends and lived in a shared house in Coventry. I started doing slides and visuals for Attrition and toured round the UK and Europe with them and even guested on bass with them. I also released lots of the early Attrition material on my Adventures in Reality Recordings label (including their first 'vinyl' release, a flexi disc given away with my fanzine). We later relocated to London and ran the Terminal Kaleidoscope mail order record and tape store with the Legendary Pink Dots. I was with Stress at that time too and we played gigs with Attrition and recorded in a studio we shared with the LPDs. By the time I was with Dance Naked Martin had moved back to Coventry (or was it Holland? I can never remember) but I stayed in touch with him so of course I wanted him to master the album. He had done a great job on the previous Stress LP re-issue for Other Voices so it was a no-brainer really. I hope to persuade him to guest on future releases too. I may have to bribe him with plastic toys or gas masks though!"

There seems to be a lot of biblical references in the lyrics and song titles. Tracks like Jezebel, Legion & New Jerusalem come to mind. What were some of the influences that pulled the lyrics one way or another?

Alan - "It depended on who wrote the lyrics. Roger's lyrics often had a strong kabbalistic and biblical influence. He used powerful and emotive imagery to illustrate the hypocrisy of religion, particularly the priesthood and the way they exploited peoples belief to give themselves power. That's what "Legion" is about, the priests from different religions and sects all claiming that their god is the true god and that they are the only ones who can communicate directly with them, setting themselves up as being superior. "Jezebel" is about sex and religion and the misogyny that is part of most religions. Kleo's lyrics are more about the occult, the mysteries, imagery from dreams, ancient religions and paganism. 'Bronze Contempt' is all about finding yourself and facing up to your sub-conscious inhibitions and seeking to overcome them. 'Point of Change' is about self realisation and the dawning of self awareness, personal responsibility and your own power to act, which in itself is synonymous to a rebirth. 'Ieva' has strong Thelemic influences. Generally, much of the imagery comes from dreams, from study of the occult and from ritual and also from drawing parallels between esoteric ideas and biblical stories like those of Cain and Abel ('Mark Upon the Brow'), and betrayal ('Judas'). The ideas behind the songs did drive the mood and feel of the music. Some are quite sombre, others more upbeat. It was definitely a case of everything working together as a whole."

'Point Of Change' has some very interesting artwork. It gives off a flare for the occult. What was the thought process behind the artistic direction? It fits in well with the other artists on the label. Was this intentional?

Alan - "A+W gave us a totally free hand with the sleeve artwork, which was great. A lot of labels wouldn't do that. We had a 12" gatefold LP, with CD attached to work with, which offered a lot of possibilities. We wanted the sleeve to reflect not only what the music was about, but also the beliefs and motivations behind the lyrics. Kleo had a very clear vision for the front cover and the inside front cover. The concept is that the portal in the woodlands is a magical doorway through to a sacred space where an altar is set up. So when you open the cover you find you have walked through the doorway and the altar is depicted within. You have entered into a sacred space in the process and are in front of the altar. The doorway is a gateway to transformation, hence the choice to enter it and to cross its threshold is the 'Point of change' ,illustrating the title of the album itself. The portal is an actual gateway that was made for us (you can't just go out and buy these things!) to use in ritual drama performances, for various occult events. We made a large Dance Naked chaos star to set up behind the altar which we used for the photo sessions for the front sleeve and inner sleeve. This symbolises the wheel of the year, and the eight pagan festivals of the year. The autumn leaves and the green leaves show the principle of the changing seasons and how one leads to the next.

We decided that in order to realise these complex images we needed to work with a professional graphic artist. We opted for a friend of ours, Jack Duckworth from Soft Riot, who is also a really creative professional designer in his day job. It was a real collaboration between Jack and us all the way through. The idea was one of rebirth and seeing through the mundane, ordinary world to find something more magical and powerful inside. That tied in with many of the tracks on the album and has worked really well. We are really pleased with the way it looks."

The music on Point Of Change has elements of 80's goth rock to minimal to darkwave and even a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs". There seems to be a heavy emphasis on the synth use and vocals as opposed to the heavily guitar driven style. The re-mastered versions of "Bronze Contempt" and "Legion" are as infectious in their current form as they are in the original form. How important was it for you and the band to include the demo tracks on the CD?

Alan - "As I said above, the focus on the vocals was deliberate, and the bass and synth basis for the music came largely from my background in Stress. I can't play guitar myself (well, not very well) but we did add some to the studio versions of 'Bronze Contempt' and 'Legion', drafting in a local guitarist as a guest to play on those. That's why we included two original demos of those tracks as bonus tracks on the CD version, so you can hear what the original sounded like. I actually prefer the demo version of 'Legion' myself! Some of the songs on the album are re-mastered 4 track demos with just Roger singing and me playing bass over a basic rhythm. Those tracks were never recorded as full studio versions, though we did perform them live, along with a number of other tracks that didn't ever make it into a studio version. However, the stripped down demo versions on the album work really well because they are so minimal. They are quite a contrast to the other, much fuller tracks on the album, but still sound very much like Dance Naked for all that and feel quite raw and exposed. Recording the cover of "Venus in Furs" was really only because we loved the Velvet Underground and felt a strong similarity to their way of doing things, and also because it was a great track that we wanted to cover in a very different way to the original. Some people hated that version, others loved it. There was a lot of improvisation in that track, with the intro and outro being pretty much made up when we came to record it."

Bands like Clock DVA complemented their live sets with a lot of projection visuals. Dance Naked also worked on creating a "strong and visual live show". Tell us a little about that. Also, were there any artists/bands that influenced Dance Naked's live show?

Alan - "We used some projections (such as at the Colour Dance performance) but we never really got close to what we originally had in mind, due to the limitations of the types of venues we had to play, plus the cost and logistics of setting it all up at the time. Clock DVA were brilliant and a definite influence as were Cabaret Voltaire, Test Department, Psychic TV and SPK- who all had great live shows, but early Human League had to be the biggest single influence visually with their use of slides and films. I had previously toured with a fellow band from Coventry, Attrition, doing an extensive slide and film projection at live shows in the UK and across Europe involving multiple projectors and literally hundreds of hand-made slides and films to complement the music. That was very powerful and along the lines of what we wanted for Dance Naked. Snag was, I couldn't play on stage and operate the visuals at the same time and we just had no one with the right skills to do that for us at the time. It would be far easier now of course as we could just hook up a laptop to a projector and control that all from the stage. We would only need someone off stage to mind the kit. We didn't have any of that though and we were always short of money so we had to limit ourselves unfortunately out of necessity. That's why we really needed a decent label at the time to back us!"

Are there any further plans for Dance Naked? What are Kleo and Roger doing these days?

Alan - "Yes there are! Much of our equipment has been lost over the years but we still have some left and Kleo and I have been acquiring more and building a small studio set up to write new material. We are also working on other, more electronic, projects such as one with Peripheral Minimal Records and hope to be able to continue the relationship with A+W for future releases. It's too early to go into detail on those but we will let you know of course. Kleo also writes and teaches about ancient religions and how to work with the pagan deities. She does regular consultancy work for TV and radio shows. Roger has changed career and trained as a blacksmith. He now makes these amazing iron sculptures in Norfolk and has his own Forge, which makes some fantastic industrial sounds when he is hammering away. Expect some of those noises to make it onto vinyl as part of our new material in future!"

What's next for Alan Rider? Also, I know you are working on a book. Maybe you could tell us a little about that project?

ALAN: Well, aside from the next musical projects we talked about, I have been working on a book on Coventry fanzines from the 1980s. I started out as a fanzine writer back in 1981 (which is fairly well documented in an interview I gave in 2011 to the Zine Weekly website http://www.zineweekly.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/interview-22-part-1.html) as did many others from the area who went on to form bands (Attrition, Napalm Death, etc). There were lots of Coventry fanzines going at the time (over 40 different ones at one point) covering all genres and areas. It was an incredibly creative period in that area and one that that hasn't been well documented, so I thought I had better do that as I have the contacts still and a huge collection of fanzines as source material. It is proving to be far harder and slower a process than music, as it is quite difficult to find the time and getting published is proving difficult as print media is in decline and this is quite a niche project so it?s not that commercial. I am working with a photographer from Coventry who is bidding for arts funding for a show of his photos from the time, so it may well get published as part of that project. Its work in progress, but will definitely happen in some form. The guys who run the UK Subs website (who ran a Coventry fanzine back then too!) suggested I do it as an online resource/archive and offered to put me in touch with people who could help with that, so that's another possibility."

One last question for the collector's out there. With Dance Naked, I think reissuing the tapes is a great thing due to how scarce they are. These days reissue labels are everywhere. From a collector's point of view the reissue seems to violate the sacred nature of owning the original. From a label and band's perspective it gives those less fortunate a chance to buy the music at a reasonable price rather than rely on the pricey secondary market or Youtube and some other digital sources? What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of record and tape collecting?

Alan - "Although I can see your point about it reducing the rarity value of those original releases, re-issues do give you the opportunity to offer the material to a fresh audience, but include new packaging and ideas too. We have certainly gone for that with the 'Point of Change' album by including lots of previously unavailable tracks and completely new artwork just for this release. I don't mind people hankering after the originals, but sometimes they do sell for silly money. A copy of an original Stress cassette went on Ebay recently for over £200! That's just crazy. Although I have no doubt the Dance Naked album will appear on an illegal free download site within a matter of days, having all the extra packaging makes it desirable to get the actual release too, as it offers so much more and is a tangible, collectable thing. A+W releases sell out quickly and are very collectable as they are so well done, so I imagine we may well see them cropping up on the pricey secondary market themselves before too long!"

Coming soon to BR we will have a review for Dance Naked's 'Point Of Change' LP/CD. In the meantime check out the band and order the album dammit!!!
Aug 22 2014

Luke Jacobs

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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