Some people love them, some people hate them, but what cannot necessarily be argued is that they are great at making music. Both Marco Visconti and Marko Resurreccion have been side-by-side since 2001, forging music under the name of XP8. However, thirteen years later, they are deciding to disband the outfit and move on. In what some say is a controversial move, and has upset some, I got talking with both of these gentlemen to set it straight as to why they are leaving behind their project for good.

So, you guys are calling it quits after what I would consider a very successful run. There are a lot of different reasons behind this, which we will discuss, but if there was any one thing that really put it into your mind that the time to shut down XP8 now, what was it?

Marco Visconti - "I always find it both fascinating and depressing at the same time when I hear that someone considers XP8's run successful - possibly due to the fact that I always set the bar very high for myself, and I definitely feel like I did not reach the goals I wanted, but also because I had to accept the fact that no matter how little we achieved in the past 10 or so years with the band, it is still way lot more than most have done or will ever do. Still, it isn't nearly enough: I remember joking with Kolja Trelle of Soman years ago, during a tour we played together (it was 2007 if I remember correctly: I was in Grendel at the time, he was the supporting act) and saying that both of us playing keyboards on tour for VNV Nation so early in our careers spoiled it all, because we both got to see how things worked at the highest level possible, and ever since it was an uphill struggle to get there. But I digress?

I think the one reason why both me and Marko agreed to call it a day is that we realized that the time for the music we produce is simply over. This even before all the obvious reasons tied to the complete collapse of music sales and the touring scene. Quite simply, I feel that this genre had its time and our crowd nowadays want to hear something different: it's not the first not the last time that we'll see the rise and fall of a music trend. But quite honestly I don't see the point of keep investing so much time, money and effort into something that will vastly go unnoticed, and so it's time to move on and invest the same energy into something else."

I follow a lot of your posts on Facebook, quite frankly because a lot of things you say are very, very blunt and to the point. Such as how no one shares new releases anymore from bands, and how they'd rather share their stuff from the past. Do you think this has anything to do with social media making it harder for bands to get their music advertised? Or do you just blame a lazy community who fears change?

Marco Visconti - "I think we have been facing a constant revolution in how media are broadcasted since the dawn of the 'society 2.0' heralded by the mass diffusion of the social networks. Quite simply, to promote yourself through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the rest is simply impossible today: the noise-to-signal ratio grew to unacceptable levels, and while it took them more time than I thought it would, in the end all the old 'powers to be' regained full control of the ways information is shared - the gatekeepers are back in their place: if once you needed to pay lots of money to get a showcase on this or that high profile magazines (and that's still the case for the various Orkus, Zillo and Sonic Seducer, always been), now you have to pay lots of money to Facebook to have your post shown to the people who liked your page.

That said, I definitely believe that the community became lazier. We are all so accustomed already to never ever checking anything else but our Facebook or Twitter feed that very few ever go look for news and stories that aren't delivered directly to their virtual doorsteps. And we failed to realize our role in becoming points of transmission ourselves: hence why very few, again, even consider using the 'share' or 'retweet' button. I can't tell with absolute certainty if this is true only to the goth/industrial scene but honestly it feels so."

Marko Resurreccion - "I would argue that the larger community has always feared change, so nothing new there; what we are seeing now I believe is due to the fact that, maybe counter-intuitively, it is now much more complicated to find new stuff to like because virtual showcases like iTunes or Spotify and the likes do not cater for what I'd recognize as an 'alternative' audience. You get stuff there, but you really have to dig deep and know what you're looking for; hence, most people end up relying on the tried and tested."

And, speaking of that change, XP8 has had a very visceral career. Lately, has there been any complaints regarding the Alchemy Series from fans, critics, or just anyone in general that really set you off?

Marko Resurreccion - "I don't know what you mean exactly with 'visceral career' - that we'd always pretty much done what the hell we wanted and somehow got away with it? Whatever the case, the Alchemy series has not (yet?) spawned any major attack; as with everything we've done before, we've got praise and criticism, but I've got to say that since X-A Decade Of Decadence we've been on a pretty good streak with on-line critics."

Another thing that I noticed is that a lot of the times, the things you share that don't pertain to your music (any funny articles you come across, science shit) get more attention than your actual posts regarding your newest EP. What are your thoughts on that? Do you ever get pissed at your fanbase for paying more attention to those other articles rather than your actual music?

Marko Resurreccion - "I've come to terms a long time ago with the fact that of all the people that follow us on FB or elsewhere, only a small portion is what I can define a supporter of the band. There is a huge difference between a FB following and a fanbase. People can click 'like' on a band page for whatever reasons and that's fine by me. When we share non-music related posts we might do that to keep the page alive, to pick up the interest of 'dormant listeners', or to share stuff that we're interested in and we genuinely think deserve to be shared. We have more listeners than fans, and that's cool. Nothing to get too pissy about."

Another thing that really struck out to me was the E-mail you received from your promotion agency. The one that said that since you're retiring, no one's going to want to promote you. Do you think that statement held true? Have magazines been ignoring your requests?

Now, another thing that has really bugged you, and that you've been fairly vocal about, is live performances. Could you compare the scene, from your point of view, from ten years ago to today, and what was so different and bright about it?


Marko Resurreccion - "In the gig world I have seen a sort of Catch-22 syndrome developing: as the scene contracted everywhere (and let's NOT go into the why's and how's now), most promoters started relying more and more on household names, those few bands that can assure a decent turnout. That's totally normal, I mean, at the end of the day promoters are there to make a profit not to carry a flag, but the result of that is that a lot of punters are now getting tired of seeing the same bands over and over, going out less and contracting the scene even more. What's the result of this? Poor bio-diversity. Homogenization. The live scene feels less exciting.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like 10 years ago we were in Heaven and now we're in Hell, but the current climate is definitely more stifled."

It seems relatively hard to get gigs going, to get something moving in the underground to fill a showroom for a one night performance. Is this a reason as to why XP8 doesn't really play live very often?

Marko Resurreccion - "Well, we don't play much live because we both have to have fulltime jobs and that means we can't commit to tours, and there's only a limited number of weekend one-off you can do. And yeah, of course, had the underground been more florid there would have been more XP8 around, but ours is not exactly a go-to name for promoters, you know?"

Marco Visconti - "After the release of 'X' and 'Burning Down', we did quite a run of weekend shows in 2012 and 2013; so not a real tour, for the reasons Marko already outlined, but we would be out every weekend for two months, then take a month break, and then again, both in Europe and North America. But come 2013, that came to a grinding halt - again for the reasons we already discussed: the alternative and industrial dance scene just died down. I remember trying to book some new shows in the Spring of 2013, with both Surgyn and The .invalid supporting (both two very promising up and coming acts), but the same promoters who booked us a year before just couldn't justify the risk anymore, telling us very honestly that apart from the tried and tested festivals, their weekly or monthly nights just had not enough crowd anymore. So that's when I realized things were over."

And, live performances is something that you really enjoyed; it's something that made you want to stay in the business. Do you think that your live performances have been less enthusiastic compared to earlier years because of the lack of support from fans and music lovers?

Marko Resurreccion - "Absolutely not. Whenever we've been on stage we've never been shown lack of support or enthusiasm. From that point of view we've always been very lucky; I don't recall a single gig since 'The Art Of Revenge' days when I'd come off stage thinking we didn't own the stage or failed to entertain. If anything gigs had become more fun and exciting for me as their numbers started dwindling."

Marco Visconti - "I can only echo Marko's feelings here. Which makes the whole quitting even harder to swallow."

And, it's definitely visible that most fans are more willing to go off to festivals rather than going to one night gigs to support acts. Would you say that this is because of, again, laziness, or just disinterest within the scene anymore?

Marco Visconti - "I think we already answered to this question; it's a combination of both. And let's be clear, when I say people are over with this scene, I only mean the 'alternative, industrial DANCE' scene. Oontzdustrial, if you will."

Despite all this, you are still releasing the Alchemy Series as your final score. From what I've seen, this as well as other magazines have been giving the EPs great reception. Have any words from these reviews made you double think your choice of shutting down XP8?

Marko Resurreccion - "No. As we said countless times before, we're not stopping because we don't enjoy making music anymore or because we think we are 'misunderstood' or whatever. And naturally we are trying to leave on a high note, we want to be able to look back at our body of work and say that we've produced the best stuff we're capable of. I guess that people reviewing the material must have noticed it, but that doesn't change what needs to happen."

And, since this project is shut down, do you have any intentions of starting up another project? Or do you feel the need to get away from this for quite some time before even thinking about coming back to it?

Marko Resurreccion - "Personally I will not stop making music. I find it one of the most enjoyable things in my life and I need to time off it; if anything I'd love to have more! That said, once I'll be out of the XP8 umbrella I am not sure of what my tunes will sound like, of what scene I will want to share them with, whether I will be willing to publish them or not. It's all a great unknown."

Marco Visconti - "I've been playing my guitars more in the past 3 months than in the past 10 years, so I guess I too will never be too far from music. But I definitely don't have any interest in sharing it with the rest of world anymore; to me, putting your music out carelessly on Soundcloud or YouTube only serves to make the owners of those companies richer, and I think we have enough 1%er out there already."

And, will you still support other acts that you've been involved with for quite some time? Such as Faderhead? Or will you be taking a break from that, as well?

Marco Visconti - "Faderhead too is taking some time off the project to work on other things, so 2015 will be relatively quiet on FH's front as well. After all, with more than a release per year since 2008 and countless tours, we both deserved some rest! This doesn't mean FH is over as well, as I've seen posted by some clowns online. But at the moment I'm unsure if I'll be back on stage with Sami whenever the new shows will be booked; at the heart of it all, I honestly think I outgrown the goth scene completely, I simply don't feel at home there anymore. Somehow, I completely understand now all the claims made by Andrew Eldritch over the years, who said that the Sisters Of Mercy were never a goth band..."

And, that's all for now. I do wish you luck in whatever you decide to do, but I leave the space open below for you to leave any final remarks.

Marco Visconti - "This is the part when I can finally reveal all the gossips I know about all the movers and shakers of this scene...Nah...Better not. I'll save it for a book, to be written sooner or later."
XP8 interview
December 2, 2014
Brutal Resonance

XP8

Dec 2014
Some people love them, some people hate them, but what cannot necessarily be argued is that they are great at making music. Both Marco Visconti and Marko Resurreccion have been side-by-side since 2001, forging music under the name of XP8. However, thirteen years later, they are deciding to disband the outfit and move on. In what some say is a controversial move, and has upset some, I got talking with both of these gentlemen to set it straight as to why they are leaving behind their project for good.

So, you guys are calling it quits after what I would consider a very successful run. There are a lot of different reasons behind this, which we will discuss, but if there was any one thing that really put it into your mind that the time to shut down XP8 now, what was it?

Marco Visconti - "I always find it both fascinating and depressing at the same time when I hear that someone considers XP8's run successful - possibly due to the fact that I always set the bar very high for myself, and I definitely feel like I did not reach the goals I wanted, but also because I had to accept the fact that no matter how little we achieved in the past 10 or so years with the band, it is still way lot more than most have done or will ever do. Still, it isn't nearly enough: I remember joking with Kolja Trelle of Soman years ago, during a tour we played together (it was 2007 if I remember correctly: I was in Grendel at the time, he was the supporting act) and saying that both of us playing keyboards on tour for VNV Nation so early in our careers spoiled it all, because we both got to see how things worked at the highest level possible, and ever since it was an uphill struggle to get there. But I digress?

I think the one reason why both me and Marko agreed to call it a day is that we realized that the time for the music we produce is simply over. This even before all the obvious reasons tied to the complete collapse of music sales and the touring scene. Quite simply, I feel that this genre had its time and our crowd nowadays want to hear something different: it's not the first not the last time that we'll see the rise and fall of a music trend. But quite honestly I don't see the point of keep investing so much time, money and effort into something that will vastly go unnoticed, and so it's time to move on and invest the same energy into something else."

I follow a lot of your posts on Facebook, quite frankly because a lot of things you say are very, very blunt and to the point. Such as how no one shares new releases anymore from bands, and how they'd rather share their stuff from the past. Do you think this has anything to do with social media making it harder for bands to get their music advertised? Or do you just blame a lazy community who fears change?

Marco Visconti - "I think we have been facing a constant revolution in how media are broadcasted since the dawn of the 'society 2.0' heralded by the mass diffusion of the social networks. Quite simply, to promote yourself through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the rest is simply impossible today: the noise-to-signal ratio grew to unacceptable levels, and while it took them more time than I thought it would, in the end all the old 'powers to be' regained full control of the ways information is shared - the gatekeepers are back in their place: if once you needed to pay lots of money to get a showcase on this or that high profile magazines (and that's still the case for the various Orkus, Zillo and Sonic Seducer, always been), now you have to pay lots of money to Facebook to have your post shown to the people who liked your page.

That said, I definitely believe that the community became lazier. We are all so accustomed already to never ever checking anything else but our Facebook or Twitter feed that very few ever go look for news and stories that aren't delivered directly to their virtual doorsteps. And we failed to realize our role in becoming points of transmission ourselves: hence why very few, again, even consider using the 'share' or 'retweet' button. I can't tell with absolute certainty if this is true only to the goth/industrial scene but honestly it feels so."

Marko Resurreccion - "I would argue that the larger community has always feared change, so nothing new there; what we are seeing now I believe is due to the fact that, maybe counter-intuitively, it is now much more complicated to find new stuff to like because virtual showcases like iTunes or Spotify and the likes do not cater for what I'd recognize as an 'alternative' audience. You get stuff there, but you really have to dig deep and know what you're looking for; hence, most people end up relying on the tried and tested."

And, speaking of that change, XP8 has had a very visceral career. Lately, has there been any complaints regarding the Alchemy Series from fans, critics, or just anyone in general that really set you off?

Marko Resurreccion - "I don't know what you mean exactly with 'visceral career' - that we'd always pretty much done what the hell we wanted and somehow got away with it? Whatever the case, the Alchemy series has not (yet?) spawned any major attack; as with everything we've done before, we've got praise and criticism, but I've got to say that since X-A Decade Of Decadence we've been on a pretty good streak with on-line critics."

Another thing that I noticed is that a lot of the times, the things you share that don't pertain to your music (any funny articles you come across, science shit) get more attention than your actual posts regarding your newest EP. What are your thoughts on that? Do you ever get pissed at your fanbase for paying more attention to those other articles rather than your actual music?

Marko Resurreccion - "I've come to terms a long time ago with the fact that of all the people that follow us on FB or elsewhere, only a small portion is what I can define a supporter of the band. There is a huge difference between a FB following and a fanbase. People can click 'like' on a band page for whatever reasons and that's fine by me. When we share non-music related posts we might do that to keep the page alive, to pick up the interest of 'dormant listeners', or to share stuff that we're interested in and we genuinely think deserve to be shared. We have more listeners than fans, and that's cool. Nothing to get too pissy about."

Another thing that really struck out to me was the E-mail you received from your promotion agency. The one that said that since you're retiring, no one's going to want to promote you. Do you think that statement held true? Have magazines been ignoring your requests?

Now, another thing that has really bugged you, and that you've been fairly vocal about, is live performances. Could you compare the scene, from your point of view, from ten years ago to today, and what was so different and bright about it?


Marko Resurreccion - "In the gig world I have seen a sort of Catch-22 syndrome developing: as the scene contracted everywhere (and let's NOT go into the why's and how's now), most promoters started relying more and more on household names, those few bands that can assure a decent turnout. That's totally normal, I mean, at the end of the day promoters are there to make a profit not to carry a flag, but the result of that is that a lot of punters are now getting tired of seeing the same bands over and over, going out less and contracting the scene even more. What's the result of this? Poor bio-diversity. Homogenization. The live scene feels less exciting.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like 10 years ago we were in Heaven and now we're in Hell, but the current climate is definitely more stifled."

It seems relatively hard to get gigs going, to get something moving in the underground to fill a showroom for a one night performance. Is this a reason as to why XP8 doesn't really play live very often?

Marko Resurreccion - "Well, we don't play much live because we both have to have fulltime jobs and that means we can't commit to tours, and there's only a limited number of weekend one-off you can do. And yeah, of course, had the underground been more florid there would have been more XP8 around, but ours is not exactly a go-to name for promoters, you know?"

Marco Visconti - "After the release of 'X' and 'Burning Down', we did quite a run of weekend shows in 2012 and 2013; so not a real tour, for the reasons Marko already outlined, but we would be out every weekend for two months, then take a month break, and then again, both in Europe and North America. But come 2013, that came to a grinding halt - again for the reasons we already discussed: the alternative and industrial dance scene just died down. I remember trying to book some new shows in the Spring of 2013, with both Surgyn and The .invalid supporting (both two very promising up and coming acts), but the same promoters who booked us a year before just couldn't justify the risk anymore, telling us very honestly that apart from the tried and tested festivals, their weekly or monthly nights just had not enough crowd anymore. So that's when I realized things were over."

And, live performances is something that you really enjoyed; it's something that made you want to stay in the business. Do you think that your live performances have been less enthusiastic compared to earlier years because of the lack of support from fans and music lovers?

Marko Resurreccion - "Absolutely not. Whenever we've been on stage we've never been shown lack of support or enthusiasm. From that point of view we've always been very lucky; I don't recall a single gig since 'The Art Of Revenge' days when I'd come off stage thinking we didn't own the stage or failed to entertain. If anything gigs had become more fun and exciting for me as their numbers started dwindling."

Marco Visconti - "I can only echo Marko's feelings here. Which makes the whole quitting even harder to swallow."

And, it's definitely visible that most fans are more willing to go off to festivals rather than going to one night gigs to support acts. Would you say that this is because of, again, laziness, or just disinterest within the scene anymore?

Marco Visconti - "I think we already answered to this question; it's a combination of both. And let's be clear, when I say people are over with this scene, I only mean the 'alternative, industrial DANCE' scene. Oontzdustrial, if you will."

Despite all this, you are still releasing the Alchemy Series as your final score. From what I've seen, this as well as other magazines have been giving the EPs great reception. Have any words from these reviews made you double think your choice of shutting down XP8?

Marko Resurreccion - "No. As we said countless times before, we're not stopping because we don't enjoy making music anymore or because we think we are 'misunderstood' or whatever. And naturally we are trying to leave on a high note, we want to be able to look back at our body of work and say that we've produced the best stuff we're capable of. I guess that people reviewing the material must have noticed it, but that doesn't change what needs to happen."

And, since this project is shut down, do you have any intentions of starting up another project? Or do you feel the need to get away from this for quite some time before even thinking about coming back to it?

Marko Resurreccion - "Personally I will not stop making music. I find it one of the most enjoyable things in my life and I need to time off it; if anything I'd love to have more! That said, once I'll be out of the XP8 umbrella I am not sure of what my tunes will sound like, of what scene I will want to share them with, whether I will be willing to publish them or not. It's all a great unknown."

Marco Visconti - "I've been playing my guitars more in the past 3 months than in the past 10 years, so I guess I too will never be too far from music. But I definitely don't have any interest in sharing it with the rest of world anymore; to me, putting your music out carelessly on Soundcloud or YouTube only serves to make the owners of those companies richer, and I think we have enough 1%er out there already."

And, will you still support other acts that you've been involved with for quite some time? Such as Faderhead? Or will you be taking a break from that, as well?

Marco Visconti - "Faderhead too is taking some time off the project to work on other things, so 2015 will be relatively quiet on FH's front as well. After all, with more than a release per year since 2008 and countless tours, we both deserved some rest! This doesn't mean FH is over as well, as I've seen posted by some clowns online. But at the moment I'm unsure if I'll be back on stage with Sami whenever the new shows will be booked; at the heart of it all, I honestly think I outgrown the goth scene completely, I simply don't feel at home there anymore. Somehow, I completely understand now all the claims made by Andrew Eldritch over the years, who said that the Sisters Of Mercy were never a goth band..."

And, that's all for now. I do wish you luck in whatever you decide to do, but I leave the space open below for you to leave any final remarks.

Marco Visconti - "This is the part when I can finally reveal all the gossips I know about all the movers and shakers of this scene...Nah...Better not. I'll save it for a book, to be written sooner or later."
Dec 02 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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