Hello Tom! Thanks for joining us on Brutal Resonance! Let's start off with a question I love asking first. What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Tom: Hello BR. Thanks for having me. A difficult question for starters, but I think I would go for these. Joy Division with “Still” (1981), as a representative for a chaotic and gloomy youth. Anne Clark with “Joined up writing” (1984), as a representative for a chaotic and gloomy youth. The Cure with “Disintegration” (1989), as a representative for a chaotic and gloomy youth, and my first great love.
When did you first start playing music? What made you get into EBM, electro, and industrial?
Tom: I filled my entire life with music, since a was a few years old. I remember being a very young boy playing old records from my parents on a huge ancient record player, records like from Demis Roussos, who was very popular in the old ages apparently. When I was a rooky teenager I discovered bands like Front 242, A Split Second, The Neon Judgement, Nitzer Ebb, etc., and fell totally in love with this genre, and subgenres, for their pumping basslines, their modern electronics, fresh ideas, the energy in the songs.
Where does the name Reality's Despair stem from? What does the name mean to you?
Tom: Reality's Despair is a reference to the desperation in everyone's life, the falling and getting up, the reaching to the unattainable, pursuing the dream that always will stay just a dream, the pain and loss we meet in our lives, the little to no impact we have on existence.
You released the EP "Invasion" in 1999 and your full-length album "They Come In Peace" in 2000. After that Reality's Despair went on hiatus. What happened that made Reality's Despair disappear?
Tom: Pretty much was still analog in that time, I remember that only my DAW was housed in a PC. On a certain day I was working on a new song, when my brand new PC broke and seemed unrepairable, when I didn't have the funds to replace the machine. This lead to loss of motivation, frustration, and when some real life issues followed soon after, I decided to put the project on hold for a while. That while turned into years. To this day I regret that decision. I always wonder where I would be now, music-wise, if I didn't gave up and kept going.
Your next release was "Societal Collapse" in 2018. What made you bring back Reality's Despair? What motivated you?
Tom: Well, I always stayed in love with the scene and kept listening to our beloved genres. One night I was watching some music videos on YouTube when I stumbled on this great song by Droid Sector Decay, called 'Exorcism Rites'. In some way this was my trigger to dive back in the music studio. I researched new analog equipment but became very amazed with the progression music software and PC technology (multicores) had made since 2000, so pretty soon I started noodling around again with a new keyboard and some new fancy software, which resulted in “ Societal Collapse” in 2018.
In comparison to the sound you made between 1999 and 2000, how has Reality's Despair matured?
Tom: In the old days I relied on a Roland synth, sampler, drum computer, a voice effects processor and a quite basic mixer, all in the analog domain, and I just had little to no “know how” about mixing and mastering. Nowadays I produce 100% in the box on a very powerful PC, and a youthful enthusiasm made room for a more organized and skillful creativity. With every new song I try to keep evolving in my skills, and am still attending a mixing and mastering course for a few months now, to uncover every little secret and “know how” in present music production.
Your latest album "Perfidious Depopulation" is out on Insane Records. Tell me a little bit about the title of the album. What does it mean to you?
Tom: Humanity on this planet is controlled by a small faction of very wealthy and obsessed people, who advocate a reduction in human population, just to stay in control of things, and to keep possession of earth's declining resources. All our wars, religion conflicts, the so called human induced global warming, terrible diseases like covid-19 and even their advertised coming “great reset”, are a sign we live on a prison planet controlled by that elite. We do as they please, there's free will to just a certain point. As long as they are in control, we as a human species can not evolve or transcend to a higher level very much needed to claim our place and responsibilities in space and time, in the universal society of species.
You've been on a roll with albums recently. Along with 2018's "Societal Collapse", you released "Human Transitions" in 2019 and "Melancholic Disposition" in 2020. How does "Perfidious Depopulation" differ from those albums?
Tom: Firstly, on the new album I tried to improve the “analog feel” of the sound of Reality's Despair, there's nothing more kinky than a fat and analog sounding synth bass, or is there? Secondly, lyrics wise these song lean more to present day problems and dangers facing humanity, than previous releases.
Out of all the songs on the album, which one is your favorite and why?
Tom: Definitely 'Our Future is Cold'! Not only for the composition and cool baseline. It's also a warning about the coming and circular reoccurring macronova, that will bring havoc on our earth and will probably lead us to a new temporary ice age. You see, our sun is the most influential and determining factor of earth's climate, not humanity.
And what else do you have in store for 2021? Do you have any other singles, remixes, EPs, or the like in the works? Any live shows lined up?
Tom: Well, I already am working on some new songs and ideas, with the intention of releasing a new album in the beginning of 2022. Furthermore I'm going to finish my mixing and mastering course after the summer. There are no plans regarding live shows. I would like to keep this a studio only project for now.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time. Feel free to use the space below to mention anything I may have missed!
Tom: I would like to thank the people behind Insane Records, for believing in, and supporting this project, and also my loyal fans that have been gathering since 2018. Without them there wouldn't be any motivation to keep going on. Thank you.
This interview was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
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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