With the release of Wardenclyffe approaching it's January release date, I decided to have a Steve-on-Steve chat with the man behind Deadliner, a electronic and industrial project founded by the gentleman Steve Christie. Read on to find more about his influences and choice genres.

Well, first off, I'd like to congratulate you on your most recent signing to Juggernaut Media Group. How did this happen?

Steve - "By chance, really. Up until now, I have pretty much been on my own in regards to releasing and promoting. With this last release, I really wanted to see if I could push myself a bit further and I realized that I needed help to do that. At the same time, I saw a promo post for Nick's label and I pinged him directly. Turns out he had been looking at Deadliner as a possible band to approach. Good timing."

Record label concerns aside, tell us a little about yourself. Personal life, family, all that jazz. I'm sure everyone would like to know more about the man behind the music.

Steve - "I'm over 40, I drink too much coffee and I listen to way too much 80's music. I have a nice family and a decent job. I've lived just outside of Chicago for more than half of my life. I love all sorts of music but there is a core group of bands here in Chicago that I will always treasure. Any release on Cracknation is gold (Acumen Nation, Accucrack, Czar, Iron Lung, etc). Local bands like GoFight!, Cyanotic and many more are helping to keep the electronic scene in Chicago chugging along."

When were you first exposed to industrial music? And what were your first thoughts on it?

Steve - "I was lucky enough to have been introduced to the Wax Trax! scene here in Chicago right around 1987. At that time, there were all these amazing bands coming out of that label and from them I jumped to a number of different artists that I might never have heard through normal channels."

Was there any one band in particular that had a huge influence on you?

Steve - "Ministry's 'Twitch' was a revelation for me. Ministry led me to Front 242 and between those two bands I understood what kind of music I wanted to make. Although both of those bands changed directions radically over the years, I've always understood that the music they were producing during that period was timeless and something I'd look back on a foundation for what I wanted to do with electronic music. I was already up to my neck with Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, Thomas Dolby, Numan and tons of other fantastic electronic music"

And when did you start officially making music? And did you release your first selection of music?

Steve - "I started writing music in high school. I think I was around 16. I probably have close to 100 cassettes of old music and boxes of floppy discs with songs that I wish I could use but I no longer have the hardware in most cases. I released my first song as Deadliner in 1996. Prior to that, it was just me doing what I could. I think I started working with a project name because I needed some kind of validation that this was more than just me noodling around. Plus, Deadliner is the name of a Gary Numan song I love so apologies to Gary for stealing that."

Do you think that you have improved musically over the years you've been active?

Steve - "I'm self taught and I don't read music so it was one of those 'keep doing it so much that you don't suck' scenarios. I learned how to play before the computers took over so I am used to hearing the songs in my head more so than seeing it on a computer screen. Back then, you only had a small two line LCD (if that) to work with and to this day I still miss it because it forced me to think ahead in regards to where a song was going to go. Nowadays, it's so easy to copy/paste together a song."

I noticed a lot of your songs aren't all too lengthy; for example, on your 2009 release, "Kingdom of Cuckoos", most of the tracks on thhere are close to the two minute mark. Why do you take this approach?

Steve - "Boredom. Most of the material on that album was done very quickly and I have a very bad case of ADD. I go off on musical tangents all the time and I wanted to make sure that I got the idea out of my head in it's purest form. As I mentioned earlier, it's super easy nowadays to copy/paste a 2 minute song into a 5 minute song and I don't think the listener really has to be subjected to something for that long to get my point across. If I were writing for the clubs or something like that, I'm not sure it would ever work. I get super bored listening to repetitive dance music that just thumps along. Same goes with mixing a song. Don't mix everything to 11. It's hard on the ear and everything just lumps all together. You want to hear something in the mix? Turn up the volume knob, that's why it's there. Most of the stuff I hear nowadays sounds the same whether it's on 2 or 10. You can't hear every nuance because everything has been pushed for the headphone crowd. It's kinda sad and I'd love to see things turn around to where people want to hear details again. Sorry, went off on a tangent.. See?"

Your songs, for the most part, are instrumental. However, sometimes you bring in musicians such as UCNX (on Wardenclyffe) to contribute vocals. Have you ever considered using your own voice?

Steve - "Deadliner is mostly instrumental because I was trying to get the emotion across with the music first and foremost. I would never know what kind of lyrics to put on top of some of these songs and I'm not really keen on the idea of putting them on there just because people think that is what constitutes a real song. Besides, if I had anything important to say that wasnt musical, I'd just do a spoken word or poetry. Too many bands out there with their lyrics talking about all sorts of 'industrial' topics. It's all been done already and I honestly don't have anything to say out loud that I don't think my music could describe for me. Having said that, I asked Douglas (From UCNX) to help me because with this track it was important to get the anger across and Douglas brought it big time. He also did vocals for another track on the album that I am going to be releasing soon."

And speaking of your upcoming album, Wardenclyffe, focuses on Nikola Tesla and his infamous laboratory. Is Tesla an idol to you?

Steve - "I had read a book on Tesla about 5 years ago and wasn't really focused on it again until I saw 'The Prestige'. I'd read Christopher Priest's book before the movie had come out and it was fascinating to me how the story used elements from history. I wanted to use that history as a way to guide the flow of the album. Electronic music uses electricity so there is that also. Tesla was a genius and deserves a better legacy."

Do any of your other albums pertain to other figures in history or events?

Steve - "I don't start off writing random songs. I usually need some motivation that will give me a place to go musically. Almost all the more recent albums were done this way. UTCOD is all about the JFK assasination. Behavioral Modification is all about MKUltra and mind control. Zito Point is based on a real military base in alaska that was cutoff during the war from any communication. The Color of Darkness is all about the holocaust.. etc.. etc It's another reason I don't like to use lyrics because I honestly don't know how I'd do without coming off like I'm writing a documentary."

I read that Wardenclyffe is supposed to be a sort of story to Tesla's life. Do each of the songs go hand in hand with moments in his life?

Steve - "Yes, I tried to be as linear as I could with the timeline. Most everything was written by asking myself how I would feel had I been in the same situation. But most of it is open to interpretation of course. You hopefully don't have to follow any of the backstory to enjoy parts of the whole. I hope though, that people will listen all the through since those are the kind of albums I enjoyed listening to growing up and I'd love to see more of that nowadays instead of just singles."

Would you say that Wardenclyffe is one of your best pieces? And if not, which would you say is your best?

Steve - "I'm always trying to do better with each release if I can. Sometimes I think I've come away from a project thinking that I'll never listen to it again. UTCOD was definitely one of those times where when I was done, I was done. I didn't even play a track off that for about 8 months afterwards because I was going through some rough personal times during when it was written. I've tried to learn from others and I'm motivated to keep writing because it's something I do for myself and myself only. It's been awesome to know people appreciate what I've been doing but even if I knew tomorrow nobody else would be able to listen I'd still be sitting there making it. Everyone needs their thing."

What are your plans after the release of Wardenclyffe? Do you have another album in the works?

Steve - "I am already 3-4 tracks into the next album. It's called 'Canaries in the Coal Mine' and focuses on Fukushima and some events that have been happening lately in our world. It should be out in March or April."

And, at this time, I'll put an end to the interview. Thank you for your time, and you may now put any final words here.

Steve - "Steven, thanks for allowing me to dump some of this stuff outta my head. Appreciate the good questions.
Deadliner interview
December 11, 2013
Brutal Resonance

Deadliner

Dec 2013
With the release of Wardenclyffe approaching it's January release date, I decided to have a Steve-on-Steve chat with the man behind Deadliner, a electronic and industrial project founded by the gentleman Steve Christie. Read on to find more about his influences and choice genres.

Well, first off, I'd like to congratulate you on your most recent signing to Juggernaut Media Group. How did this happen?

Steve - "By chance, really. Up until now, I have pretty much been on my own in regards to releasing and promoting. With this last release, I really wanted to see if I could push myself a bit further and I realized that I needed help to do that. At the same time, I saw a promo post for Nick's label and I pinged him directly. Turns out he had been looking at Deadliner as a possible band to approach. Good timing."

Record label concerns aside, tell us a little about yourself. Personal life, family, all that jazz. I'm sure everyone would like to know more about the man behind the music.

Steve - "I'm over 40, I drink too much coffee and I listen to way too much 80's music. I have a nice family and a decent job. I've lived just outside of Chicago for more than half of my life. I love all sorts of music but there is a core group of bands here in Chicago that I will always treasure. Any release on Cracknation is gold (Acumen Nation, Accucrack, Czar, Iron Lung, etc). Local bands like GoFight!, Cyanotic and many more are helping to keep the electronic scene in Chicago chugging along."

When were you first exposed to industrial music? And what were your first thoughts on it?

Steve - "I was lucky enough to have been introduced to the Wax Trax! scene here in Chicago right around 1987. At that time, there were all these amazing bands coming out of that label and from them I jumped to a number of different artists that I might never have heard through normal channels."

Was there any one band in particular that had a huge influence on you?

Steve - "Ministry's 'Twitch' was a revelation for me. Ministry led me to Front 242 and between those two bands I understood what kind of music I wanted to make. Although both of those bands changed directions radically over the years, I've always understood that the music they were producing during that period was timeless and something I'd look back on a foundation for what I wanted to do with electronic music. I was already up to my neck with Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, Thomas Dolby, Numan and tons of other fantastic electronic music"

And when did you start officially making music? And did you release your first selection of music?

Steve - "I started writing music in high school. I think I was around 16. I probably have close to 100 cassettes of old music and boxes of floppy discs with songs that I wish I could use but I no longer have the hardware in most cases. I released my first song as Deadliner in 1996. Prior to that, it was just me doing what I could. I think I started working with a project name because I needed some kind of validation that this was more than just me noodling around. Plus, Deadliner is the name of a Gary Numan song I love so apologies to Gary for stealing that."

Do you think that you have improved musically over the years you've been active?

Steve - "I'm self taught and I don't read music so it was one of those 'keep doing it so much that you don't suck' scenarios. I learned how to play before the computers took over so I am used to hearing the songs in my head more so than seeing it on a computer screen. Back then, you only had a small two line LCD (if that) to work with and to this day I still miss it because it forced me to think ahead in regards to where a song was going to go. Nowadays, it's so easy to copy/paste together a song."

I noticed a lot of your songs aren't all too lengthy; for example, on your 2009 release, "Kingdom of Cuckoos", most of the tracks on thhere are close to the two minute mark. Why do you take this approach?

Steve - "Boredom. Most of the material on that album was done very quickly and I have a very bad case of ADD. I go off on musical tangents all the time and I wanted to make sure that I got the idea out of my head in it's purest form. As I mentioned earlier, it's super easy nowadays to copy/paste a 2 minute song into a 5 minute song and I don't think the listener really has to be subjected to something for that long to get my point across. If I were writing for the clubs or something like that, I'm not sure it would ever work. I get super bored listening to repetitive dance music that just thumps along. Same goes with mixing a song. Don't mix everything to 11. It's hard on the ear and everything just lumps all together. You want to hear something in the mix? Turn up the volume knob, that's why it's there. Most of the stuff I hear nowadays sounds the same whether it's on 2 or 10. You can't hear every nuance because everything has been pushed for the headphone crowd. It's kinda sad and I'd love to see things turn around to where people want to hear details again. Sorry, went off on a tangent.. See?"

Your songs, for the most part, are instrumental. However, sometimes you bring in musicians such as UCNX (on Wardenclyffe) to contribute vocals. Have you ever considered using your own voice?

Steve - "Deadliner is mostly instrumental because I was trying to get the emotion across with the music first and foremost. I would never know what kind of lyrics to put on top of some of these songs and I'm not really keen on the idea of putting them on there just because people think that is what constitutes a real song. Besides, if I had anything important to say that wasnt musical, I'd just do a spoken word or poetry. Too many bands out there with their lyrics talking about all sorts of 'industrial' topics. It's all been done already and I honestly don't have anything to say out loud that I don't think my music could describe for me. Having said that, I asked Douglas (From UCNX) to help me because with this track it was important to get the anger across and Douglas brought it big time. He also did vocals for another track on the album that I am going to be releasing soon."

And speaking of your upcoming album, Wardenclyffe, focuses on Nikola Tesla and his infamous laboratory. Is Tesla an idol to you?

Steve - "I had read a book on Tesla about 5 years ago and wasn't really focused on it again until I saw 'The Prestige'. I'd read Christopher Priest's book before the movie had come out and it was fascinating to me how the story used elements from history. I wanted to use that history as a way to guide the flow of the album. Electronic music uses electricity so there is that also. Tesla was a genius and deserves a better legacy."

Do any of your other albums pertain to other figures in history or events?

Steve - "I don't start off writing random songs. I usually need some motivation that will give me a place to go musically. Almost all the more recent albums were done this way. UTCOD is all about the JFK assasination. Behavioral Modification is all about MKUltra and mind control. Zito Point is based on a real military base in alaska that was cutoff during the war from any communication. The Color of Darkness is all about the holocaust.. etc.. etc It's another reason I don't like to use lyrics because I honestly don't know how I'd do without coming off like I'm writing a documentary."

I read that Wardenclyffe is supposed to be a sort of story to Tesla's life. Do each of the songs go hand in hand with moments in his life?

Steve - "Yes, I tried to be as linear as I could with the timeline. Most everything was written by asking myself how I would feel had I been in the same situation. But most of it is open to interpretation of course. You hopefully don't have to follow any of the backstory to enjoy parts of the whole. I hope though, that people will listen all the through since those are the kind of albums I enjoyed listening to growing up and I'd love to see more of that nowadays instead of just singles."

Would you say that Wardenclyffe is one of your best pieces? And if not, which would you say is your best?

Steve - "I'm always trying to do better with each release if I can. Sometimes I think I've come away from a project thinking that I'll never listen to it again. UTCOD was definitely one of those times where when I was done, I was done. I didn't even play a track off that for about 8 months afterwards because I was going through some rough personal times during when it was written. I've tried to learn from others and I'm motivated to keep writing because it's something I do for myself and myself only. It's been awesome to know people appreciate what I've been doing but even if I knew tomorrow nobody else would be able to listen I'd still be sitting there making it. Everyone needs their thing."

What are your plans after the release of Wardenclyffe? Do you have another album in the works?

Steve - "I am already 3-4 tracks into the next album. It's called 'Canaries in the Coal Mine' and focuses on Fukushima and some events that have been happening lately in our world. It should be out in March or April."

And, at this time, I'll put an end to the interview. Thank you for your time, and you may now put any final words here.

Steve - "Steven, thanks for allowing me to dump some of this stuff outta my head. Appreciate the good questions.
Dec 11 2013

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

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