FacialMess interview

Originally published in ‘zine issue #22, 1999

R. Mason submitted the following interview with Kenny Sanderson of the English noise band FacialMess.

D.U.: So when did FacialMess begin?

Kenny: I began to record noise during 1995. I was working under the name of Metodorinus. Nothing too serious. I released a couple of tapes at that time, but only about 10 of each tape. The stuff was pretty basic static noise. I was kind of influenced by people like Sonic Disorder and Extreme Hair Stench. The next year I bought myself a 4-track and some more equipment and became much more serious about my recordings. I changed my project’s name and started sending out a lot of tapes, but it wasn’t really until last year that I started being offered a lot of releases.

How did you come to move to Japan?

I am from England. I moved to Japan in 1995, around the same time I started making noise recordings. I moved here as I had a Japanese girlfriend who I had met in London. We were both students, and when I finished university, I figured that I would like to spend some time over here, so I looked into teaching English over here. Not such a bad job, really, and the money is okay.

How did you enjoy it?

I really enjoy living over here. There are the obvious musical advantages, but more than that I have a really good time here. It’s a fun place.

What are some of the differences between Japan and your homeland that you’ve observed?

It’s a question which is often asked, and I always find it very difficult to compare England and Japan, especially now I have lived here for three years. When I had been here for a couple of months, I was able to answer that question very well. I had all these little observations about Japanese people and stuff which was different to England, but since then I have seen and met so many exceptions to my initial observations that I now find it pretty futile and impossible to make sweeping statements about both Japan and England, except that it’s a lot easier to get drugs in England than it is over here, and the food over here is a lot better.

What has been the most difficult adjustments you’ve had to make living there?

It was obviously the language. I’m still pretty bad. I really should be so much better after three years, but I am a lazy fuck.

What kind of films and literature are you interested in?

I went through my serial killer phase when I was around 16. I used to read all the true crime shit. Nowadays, I will read almost anything if someone recommends me it.

Any favorites you could recommend?

The best books I have read recently are The Football Factory, can’t remember the author,* High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, and Among the Thugs by Bill Buford, which is a really awesome nonfiction book about English football hooliganism, something of a fascination for me. Movies, again I’m kind of easy, but films I really like include Repo Man, Trainspotting, Sid & Nancy, Naked, When We Were Kings. Yeah, any of those I could watch countless times.

What inspires your material?

I don’t really have any concept in mind when I record stuff, except to try and make each recording progressively harsher. The song titles which I use are just about stuff that is going on in my life at the time of recording the song, usually quotes people say around me which stick in my head, nothing directly to do with noise.

Does any non-music or sound media influence your noise making?

Like I said before, nothing directly influences my noise, but I did say that if England had won the World Cup, I would have done a three-C90 set to celebrate. Unfortunately, that will have to wait another four years. Fucking Argentinians.

Describe to me a typical FacialMess show.

I haven’t done so many FacialMess shows, so there isn’t really a typical show, but as the majority of my recordings are done live, live I sound pretty much the same, unless I am too pissed to see what the fuck I’m doing. Most of my live action gets done with the other band I play in called Nikudorei, who are kind of like a mangled version of old Anal Cunt, Hijokaidan, and Seven Minutes of Nausea. We play almost every month.

What kind of reaction does a Japanese crowd tend to offer?

Audience reaction is pretty good. Audience participation is always encouraged in Nikudorei shows.

What materials and equipment do you tend to use when recording FacialMess material?

I use samplers, a theremin, contact mics, all put through various effectors and then mixed through an eight-channel mixing board and recorded by an analog 4-track. I also have used various metals, guitars, radio, tapes, accordion, bass, drum machine, and kids’ toys in previous recordings. I will use anything, as long as I like the sound and can process it effectively.

I have to ask: where did the name come from?

It actually comes from a Carcass lyric of their first album. I kind of liked it at the time and stuck with it. I was going to change it as I thought it sounded kind of crap, but a few people told me to keep it, so I did. Best names in noise are Killer Bug, Not Breathing, Incapacitants, Stimbox, Crank Sturgeon, and I also really like the name Third Organ.

Thank you. Any parting comments?

Yeah, thanks for the interview. Check out my web page at http://noiseweb.com/facialmess. Look out for a few FacialMess U.S. shows, and I would like to apologize to anybody who is still waiting for a tape, CD, or 12” I promised them. You will get your stuff. It’s just that I am so lazy, and it takes me ages to get ‘round to everything. ■

*It’s John King


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