We're gonna go back in time with this interview, and start from the beginning. Your act began out in '92. However, I read that there were several changes in the name as well as line up changes; what were some of those names you had in mind back then, and why did Inertia stick? Are any members of the original line up still active in Inertia?

Reza - "Yeah, we started in 1992 as BLACK METAL JESUS, then figured the name didn't really fit what we we're doing and changed it about 4 months later to MUTAGENIC. Then a few months later the other two guys who were in the band with me left, so I promptly changed it to INERTIA and it stuck ever since! I am the only original member, but then again it was my band start with as I created it."

And in '95, your debut album was released on Celtic Circle Productions. Was the response from your first ever demo powerful enough to garner a lot of attention? Or was it through the label that you really gained recognition?

Reza - "Yes, through working as BLACK METAL JESUS/MUTAGENIC we?d done quite a bit of gigging and released a few demo tapes and self made cassette releases. So, by the time I did the first INERTIA demo tape, I?d already had plenty of good experience, plus I used a few of the tracks from the earlier releases. It was a really strong demo tape.

Somehow, one of the bands who were signed to Celtic Circle in the UK (Red Sekta) heard the tape and asked me if he could send it to the label boss, as he thought it he would like it. He sent it and they signed me immediately on first listen! It was also the first label I'd approached!"

Your first live show at the Night of Darkness festival only bolstered your appeal to fans. Since then, it seems as if fans can't get enough of you. Are your live shows always successful? Have you ever had a bad moment on stage where the crowd didn't react too positively?

Reza - "I have always taken pride in our live show. It has always been important to me to put on a great show.. Whether we are playing to 20,000 people in a festival or 5 people in an empty club.. The show has to be as good in either scenario. We've never really had any bad moments."

I also know that some of your albums were recorded in various studios. Do you still do that to this day? Produce your albums at home? Or just stick with one studio?

Reza - "For the first couple of albums, we recorded in various studios in London and Germany. But since around 1998, I've always written, produced and recorded our albums in my own studio. I actually even ran my own commercial recording studio for about 15 years in London."

As much of a breakthrough you made in the European market, your US success came after both your mini tour and full blown tour side-by-side with Das Ich in '97. Still, you managed to capture a lot of attention in a mere two years; did you ever find all this overwhelming or stressful?

Reza - "Not really overwhelming but exciting! It was all happening quite quickly and we were just having a great time riding that wave. I think if you are doing something you love, you can only ever walk away happy. The stresses are not really stresses.. you embrace them and get on with it!"

You've released a few remix CDs in your time, such as "Demagnetized/Remagnetized" and "Positive Angel". Do these remix albums help build up your reputation within the scene? Do you do them to see what other artists can do with your work? Or are they just for fun?

Reza - "I do them mainly for fun and also to hear other artist?s interpretations of our songs.. It's really interesting.

We actually released a great remix album 'Interpret' in 2008, as a Japanese only release. It?s a pity that it never got much coverage around the rest of the world, as it had some kick ass remixes including bands like Die Krupps and Youth from Killing Joke."

Now, in the 00's, you mainly released everything via Cryonica Music, aside from "Positive Angel". Did you have a fallout with Celtic Circle, leave on friendly terms? And what made you go with Cryonica as your new home?

Reza - "Celtic Circle folded around 1998 (the owner went to prison!).. So, we released the next couple of albums on the Nightbreed label in the UK. They were mainly a goth label.. but they encouraged us to start our own label dedicated to electronic music and they would help us along the way.. So, we started that in 2000 and stuck with it until our last release in 2012, which was released by Metropolis Records in the USA, which is probably our new home for the foreseeable future!

It was quite a good way of having total control over what you do.. but recently I am happy to let other labels release our material, so I don?t have to do all the record label work and therefore freeing up more of my time concentrating on my music."

Also, in the 00's, you took on a lot of US tours. Does the US hold anything special that other countries don't?

Reza - "Yeah, the US seem to take to us better than most of the other countries we've toured in. Our US fanbase have always stuck by us and been super supportive of our art. I absolutely love touring the US and meeting all the great people along the way. We try to do at least one small tour each year in the States."

You also moved to become the keyboardist for Killing Joke in 2005. At the time, did you ever fear that the move would interfere with Inertia related adventures? And how did you feel to be able to join the act? Did they approach you, or you to them?

Reza - "Well they actually approached me about 10 years before.. Their previous keyboard player Nick Walker, was a friend of mine and kind of signed me up as back up keyboard player in the late 90's in case he couldn't do a show.. But I couldn't really commit properly at the time, as I was concentrating on Inertia. So, when Nick finally left Killing Joke in 2005, they approached me again and I felt that the time was right and became a member, and I've never looked back.

It's not really interfered with Inertia, they seem to work well side by side."

And in 2012, you signed with Metropolis Records. Are they releasing your stuff just in the US, or are they distributing around the world for you?

Reza - "Yes, they release our stuff Worldwide for us. I think we will be with them for a while!"

And, your latest album, "Universal Blood" was also released then. Did your signing with Metropolis push more units to be sold? Or did you see about the same amount of sales as other albums?

Reza - "Yes, units rose a bit.. and introduced us to fans of the Metropolis label, who had not heard of us before.. and some who didn't realize we were still going!"

And now that that's released, are you working on your next album? Or are you just in the stage where you're getting ideas ready?

Reza - "Yes, the new album is well under way. Hoping to complete it by the Summer for a possible Autumn release."

Do you have any idea as to when your next album will be ready? Or do you have a goal set in mind?

Reza - "Aiming to release in the late Summer/Early Autumn."

And, now, onto some darker territory. 2012 was also the year in which Alexys was attacked and brutally beaten. I understand she's been heavily involved in trying to bring the violent offenders to justice. Has there been any light shed upon the situation as of yet?

Reza - "Yes, she really worked hard raising awareness of it and even appeared on several BBC News programmes and This Morning with Phillip Schofield. Unfortunately, the police have still done nothing about it, despite having CCTV footage, witnesses and the names of the attackers. It was very upsetting that police really couldn't be bothered."

I understand that the latest EP had lyrical context changed within the song, "Lies", to reflect both the attack of herself, as well as the murder of Sophie Lancaster. Has Inertia been involved heavily in supporting those who have experienced attacks such as this?

Reza - "Yes, since the attack happened we've tried to be proactive in this field. And working with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Sophie?s mum, Sylvia.. has been good. As they do so much in creating awareness of discrimination of people from alternative subcultures. In fact, Sylvia appeared on 'This Morning' together with Alexys."

And, as well as with that, I know you are going to be making an appearance at Alt-Fest, where the S.O.P.H.I.E. stage will be available. You guys will be present on the Industrial stage; do you have plans on supporting the S.O.P.H.I.E. stage in any way you can?

Reza - "Absolutely, whatever way we can!"

Let's get off such morbid themes. And onto brighter ones. Alt-Fest is looking to be one of the biggest alternative festivals I've ever seen. Would you say this is the biggest festival you've been a part of?

Reza - "One of the biggest for sure, we've done other big festivals around the World with Inertia, but this is the biggest we have done in the UK."

What do you think you can bring to Alt-Fest that other bands won't be able to carry along?

Reza - "Inertia!"

And, lastly, what most excites you about Alt-Fest?

Reza - "Just the great line up of bands and activities will be really exciting. Certainly looking forward to catching a bunch of the bands playing in this scenario.. Gary Numan, Peter Murphy, The Damned, Front 242 are some of the bands I'm looking forward to checking out at Alt-Fest!"

And, here is where we end off. I leave the rest of this space for you to put in a shout out, or just a general message.

Reza - "Thanks for the interview and see you at Alt-Fest!"
Inertia interview
May 24, 2014
Brutal Resonance

Inertia

May 2014
We're gonna go back in time with this interview, and start from the beginning. Your act began out in '92. However, I read that there were several changes in the name as well as line up changes; what were some of those names you had in mind back then, and why did Inertia stick? Are any members of the original line up still active in Inertia?

Reza - "Yeah, we started in 1992 as BLACK METAL JESUS, then figured the name didn't really fit what we we're doing and changed it about 4 months later to MUTAGENIC. Then a few months later the other two guys who were in the band with me left, so I promptly changed it to INERTIA and it stuck ever since! I am the only original member, but then again it was my band start with as I created it."

And in '95, your debut album was released on Celtic Circle Productions. Was the response from your first ever demo powerful enough to garner a lot of attention? Or was it through the label that you really gained recognition?

Reza - "Yes, through working as BLACK METAL JESUS/MUTAGENIC we?d done quite a bit of gigging and released a few demo tapes and self made cassette releases. So, by the time I did the first INERTIA demo tape, I?d already had plenty of good experience, plus I used a few of the tracks from the earlier releases. It was a really strong demo tape.

Somehow, one of the bands who were signed to Celtic Circle in the UK (Red Sekta) heard the tape and asked me if he could send it to the label boss, as he thought it he would like it. He sent it and they signed me immediately on first listen! It was also the first label I'd approached!"

Your first live show at the Night of Darkness festival only bolstered your appeal to fans. Since then, it seems as if fans can't get enough of you. Are your live shows always successful? Have you ever had a bad moment on stage where the crowd didn't react too positively?

Reza - "I have always taken pride in our live show. It has always been important to me to put on a great show.. Whether we are playing to 20,000 people in a festival or 5 people in an empty club.. The show has to be as good in either scenario. We've never really had any bad moments."

I also know that some of your albums were recorded in various studios. Do you still do that to this day? Produce your albums at home? Or just stick with one studio?

Reza - "For the first couple of albums, we recorded in various studios in London and Germany. But since around 1998, I've always written, produced and recorded our albums in my own studio. I actually even ran my own commercial recording studio for about 15 years in London."

As much of a breakthrough you made in the European market, your US success came after both your mini tour and full blown tour side-by-side with Das Ich in '97. Still, you managed to capture a lot of attention in a mere two years; did you ever find all this overwhelming or stressful?

Reza - "Not really overwhelming but exciting! It was all happening quite quickly and we were just having a great time riding that wave. I think if you are doing something you love, you can only ever walk away happy. The stresses are not really stresses.. you embrace them and get on with it!"

You've released a few remix CDs in your time, such as "Demagnetized/Remagnetized" and "Positive Angel". Do these remix albums help build up your reputation within the scene? Do you do them to see what other artists can do with your work? Or are they just for fun?

Reza - "I do them mainly for fun and also to hear other artist?s interpretations of our songs.. It's really interesting.

We actually released a great remix album 'Interpret' in 2008, as a Japanese only release. It?s a pity that it never got much coverage around the rest of the world, as it had some kick ass remixes including bands like Die Krupps and Youth from Killing Joke."

Now, in the 00's, you mainly released everything via Cryonica Music, aside from "Positive Angel". Did you have a fallout with Celtic Circle, leave on friendly terms? And what made you go with Cryonica as your new home?

Reza - "Celtic Circle folded around 1998 (the owner went to prison!).. So, we released the next couple of albums on the Nightbreed label in the UK. They were mainly a goth label.. but they encouraged us to start our own label dedicated to electronic music and they would help us along the way.. So, we started that in 2000 and stuck with it until our last release in 2012, which was released by Metropolis Records in the USA, which is probably our new home for the foreseeable future!

It was quite a good way of having total control over what you do.. but recently I am happy to let other labels release our material, so I don?t have to do all the record label work and therefore freeing up more of my time concentrating on my music."

Also, in the 00's, you took on a lot of US tours. Does the US hold anything special that other countries don't?

Reza - "Yeah, the US seem to take to us better than most of the other countries we've toured in. Our US fanbase have always stuck by us and been super supportive of our art. I absolutely love touring the US and meeting all the great people along the way. We try to do at least one small tour each year in the States."

You also moved to become the keyboardist for Killing Joke in 2005. At the time, did you ever fear that the move would interfere with Inertia related adventures? And how did you feel to be able to join the act? Did they approach you, or you to them?

Reza - "Well they actually approached me about 10 years before.. Their previous keyboard player Nick Walker, was a friend of mine and kind of signed me up as back up keyboard player in the late 90's in case he couldn't do a show.. But I couldn't really commit properly at the time, as I was concentrating on Inertia. So, when Nick finally left Killing Joke in 2005, they approached me again and I felt that the time was right and became a member, and I've never looked back.

It's not really interfered with Inertia, they seem to work well side by side."

And in 2012, you signed with Metropolis Records. Are they releasing your stuff just in the US, or are they distributing around the world for you?

Reza - "Yes, they release our stuff Worldwide for us. I think we will be with them for a while!"

And, your latest album, "Universal Blood" was also released then. Did your signing with Metropolis push more units to be sold? Or did you see about the same amount of sales as other albums?

Reza - "Yes, units rose a bit.. and introduced us to fans of the Metropolis label, who had not heard of us before.. and some who didn't realize we were still going!"

And now that that's released, are you working on your next album? Or are you just in the stage where you're getting ideas ready?

Reza - "Yes, the new album is well under way. Hoping to complete it by the Summer for a possible Autumn release."

Do you have any idea as to when your next album will be ready? Or do you have a goal set in mind?

Reza - "Aiming to release in the late Summer/Early Autumn."

And, now, onto some darker territory. 2012 was also the year in which Alexys was attacked and brutally beaten. I understand she's been heavily involved in trying to bring the violent offenders to justice. Has there been any light shed upon the situation as of yet?

Reza - "Yes, she really worked hard raising awareness of it and even appeared on several BBC News programmes and This Morning with Phillip Schofield. Unfortunately, the police have still done nothing about it, despite having CCTV footage, witnesses and the names of the attackers. It was very upsetting that police really couldn't be bothered."

I understand that the latest EP had lyrical context changed within the song, "Lies", to reflect both the attack of herself, as well as the murder of Sophie Lancaster. Has Inertia been involved heavily in supporting those who have experienced attacks such as this?

Reza - "Yes, since the attack happened we've tried to be proactive in this field. And working with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Sophie?s mum, Sylvia.. has been good. As they do so much in creating awareness of discrimination of people from alternative subcultures. In fact, Sylvia appeared on 'This Morning' together with Alexys."

And, as well as with that, I know you are going to be making an appearance at Alt-Fest, where the S.O.P.H.I.E. stage will be available. You guys will be present on the Industrial stage; do you have plans on supporting the S.O.P.H.I.E. stage in any way you can?

Reza - "Absolutely, whatever way we can!"

Let's get off such morbid themes. And onto brighter ones. Alt-Fest is looking to be one of the biggest alternative festivals I've ever seen. Would you say this is the biggest festival you've been a part of?

Reza - "One of the biggest for sure, we've done other big festivals around the World with Inertia, but this is the biggest we have done in the UK."

What do you think you can bring to Alt-Fest that other bands won't be able to carry along?

Reza - "Inertia!"

And, lastly, what most excites you about Alt-Fest?

Reza - "Just the great line up of bands and activities will be really exciting. Certainly looking forward to catching a bunch of the bands playing in this scenario.. Gary Numan, Peter Murphy, The Damned, Front 242 are some of the bands I'm looking forward to checking out at Alt-Fest!"

And, here is where we end off. I leave the rest of this space for you to put in a shout out, or just a general message.

Reza - "Thanks for the interview and see you at Alt-Fest!"
May 24 2014

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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