By Richard Perry, Sound On Sound Magazine, UK - July, 2001
Q1. The band has been around since 1993, can you give us a short history as to how you arrived at your present lineup?
Liz: Well, like most things in life, people come and go for various reasons. I started about a year ago to learn about the business and to explore the electronic side of my life. Plus, I like the music and the concept behind it all.
HaeYoung: Actually, I am the new member of ZIA. I heard there were a lot of member changes for different reasons. This ISDC gig was my second gig with ZIA. I met Liz and Elaine from the Music Synthesis labs. Since we were the geeks who were living in the lab all the time, we started to get to know each other. One day, when Elaine asked me to play in ZIA, I had no hesitation to say "Yes" to becoming a ZIA girl.
Elaine: When I founded ZIA, the band had a rotating line-up of people from different Boston bands that were somewhat known. ZIA was sort of an "All-Star" band for a while. I eventually decided to put together a more permanent line-up. Hae Young, Liz and I performed live together once at the Berklee Performance Center, performing Liz's music, and it just seemed natural that we should keep playing together. This is really the best line up ZIA has had. We have a lot of fun together!
Q2. In Europe, 'electronic music' bands tend to be instrumental only, with the vocal bands having died-out in the 1980's... Is this just a US-UK cultural difference, or are you purposefully trying to tell people it's OK to mix hardcore EM with vocals?
Liz: I didn't know there would even be an issue about this...It's pop music that is FUN. It never occurred to me that it wasn't happening anymore. That just goes to show how much of a time warp I live in.
HaeYoung: I know that techno rave type of electronic music is the mainstream now. I think that's the case in the UK and the US as well. But not everybody has to follow the main trend. We are not trying to tell anybody what to listen to. We have a style of music that we pursue.
Elaine: The techno scene had not hit Boston when I started Zia. Electronic Industrial music was extremely popular in Boston at the time, and that is how Zia started out. The industrial music usually had vocals and was in song form. Once the techno/rave scene hit Boston, industrial music really died out and I started writing more pop-oriented songs.
Q3. There's a distinct emphasis on using drumsets in the band- are these just used for drum sounds or do you use them as controllers for other things?
Liz: Drumsets? We don't have one of those. Just Drum Kat pads, which we use for both drum sounds as well as whatever else we decide to program on them.
HaeYoung: As we mentioned before, we don't have either a drum set or a drummer( if you consider our portable CD played as a drum set, then we do). A lot of parts on my Drum Kat are bass lines. I feel like I am a bass player in the band.
Elaine: We play all of the notes and some samples with sticks on Drum Kats and racks of MIDI triggers - all live. Liz also plays a keyboard, which is the first keyboard ever allowed in ZIA because Liz is a virtuoso. For now, the drums are on CD, but we will be adding a drummer again once we move to NYC. Our new drummer is from Love In Reverse, formerly on Reprise Records.
Q4. With such complex song tracks, do you rely on your musicianship (all
members of the band are grads of Berklee College of Music) to work with the sequences, or is there room in the mix for improvisation?
Elaine: To clear things up a bit... we don't use sequences when we perform. Like I said before, we play all the notes live. Musicianship does come in handy here, since the girls have to memorize countless rhythms and patterns and play on the beat. Improvising only happens when we mess up and try to get back on track! Of course, the super funny jokes I tell on stage are usually improvised.
Liz: Well, if the CD skips we know what to do, so that we don't look silly. Generally speaking, though, we keep everything pretty simple and straightforward.
HaeYoung: Yes, definitely. Neither Drum Kat nor circuit board has permanently assigned parts or order. It varies song by song, depending on how we program it. So I have to remember what's where on the instruments in all the different songs. And some rhythms on my part are very complicated. Trust me it wasn't so easy as a new member. I had to bang my head many times. So, I had to notate them in very nerdy ways with my music education.
Q5. You're all off to New York later this year to study Music Technology - er... what do expect them to teach you?!!
Liz: Elaine is the only one continuing her education in September.
HaeYoung: For now, I'm not planning on it. I'm so fed up with school. I spent four years of my life in the synth labs and recording studio.
Elaine: Well, I finished school in '91 and am ready to go back and absorb some more knowledge. I'll be taking electronics and other classes that will help me design more new and exciting MIDI controller instruments for Zia.
Q6. MIDI is notoriously difficult to rely upon at live gigs, what sort of MIDI setup do you use?
Liz: Well, everything goes into a MIDI patchbay. Pretty cool, huh?
HaeYoung: We had problems sometimes, but we find out later that 80% of them were all human errors.
Elaine: We keep it as simple as possible and check everything a million times before we dare to go on stage. It's perfectly reliable as along as we've programmed it correctly. Like Liz said, all of the Drum Kats and synthesizers are connected to a MIDI patchbay where they can communicate to each other. The patch changes are stored in the three Drum Kats. In between songs, Liz steps on a pedal which advances her Drum Kat to the next kit, effectively sending program changes to the other two Kats and to all of the synthesizers. We use good old fashioned technology - an old MX-8 MIDI patchbay - so of course we only have 16 MIDI channels to work with, dividing them up between 4 synths. Eventually we'll use a Studio 5 or something similar, but I really prefer to use slightly older technology for live shows because it's simpler and more robust. It's kind of like using a Saturn V launcher in stead of the space Shuttle. Less lives are at steak.
Q7. How much equipment do you have to transport, and do you rely upon any support team people?
Liz: Seriously, now ( I am NOT being cocky, here). Imagine a Ford-Festiva. It's like "Dr. Who's" Tardis (sp?) Small on the outside, but ever-growing on the inside. We fit 2 module racks, lots of poles, one keyboard, one mixer, 3 Drum Kats, 4 racks of circuit boards, a boom box, many cables, pedals, lights and 2 pairs of drum sticks and three people in this car. We strap the longer poles onto the roof. We can move the stuff all by ourselves, but we seem to get plenty of help wherever we go.
HaeYoung: The painful part is loading out the equipment from Liz and Elaine's apartment. We rehearse at their apartment. They live on the fourth floor of an apartment building. Whenever we have a gig, we have to carry the equipment up and down the stairs. It's not that fun.
Elaine: That pretty much sums it up.
Q8. With your style so clearly embedded in 'space music', what sort of reception do you get to the pro-space songs from audiences?
Liz: We tend to play to a crowd with the age range of 18-40, usually and the audience tends to respond positively. We get some incredibly nice feedback through e-mail, letting us know how cool the pro-space idea is.
HaeYoung: I guess it depends on the audience. If the audience has some knowledge about space, they get excited that the scientific idea is expressed in music. On the other hand, the audiences who are more of a younger generation think it's cool to sing about something other than relationships and politics.
Elaine: Well, the younger crowds generally appreciate the music itself and the live show. I'm not sure how many people actually know what we're singing about, but I always get a positive response when I talk to people about our lyrics and message. We've recently gotten some new fans who are hardcore space fanatics (like yourself?).
Q9. Have you ever done any purely instrumental tracks?
Liz: We usually start off the show with an all instrumental MAX programmed piece, which Elaine wrote years ago. That's it, though. Everything else has vocals.
Elaine: Actually, we're going to have a secret "hidden" instrumental track (oops...I let the cat out of the bag) on the new "Big Bang!" CD. It was written in a 10 note per octave tuning, and was originally used a few years ago in a really low-budget film called "Free Souls."
Q10. The track 'Disolve' on 'SHEM' reminds me of the EM-band 'Devo' from the
1970's- is there an influence here? (Zia sing of dis-evolving, Devo sang about de-evolution...) If not, then are there any names you can name in respect of influences?
Liz: Correction: "Disevolve." I can't answer this one. That is purely an Elaine question.
Elaine: Devo was the last thing on my mind at the time. I was getting heavily into the "cyberpunk" scene (well, there was no scene, but we were trying to start one), and the lyrics are about being in virtual reality...becoming more digital and less human. Becoming transhuman I guess you would say. The influences here were the many internet newsgroups I read at the time on topics such as Extropianism, cryogenics, transhumanism, longevity, etc. You know, the usual future-fetish stuff.
Q11. What kind of music do you really hate :-)
Liz: I would be such a hypocrite if I said I hated a certain kind of music. I can listen to just about anything you place in front of me. I may not listen to it for a long period of time, but I will listen.
HaeYoung: I don't have a particular type of music I hate. However, I hate to see when music does not contain the heart of the artist. Music has to come from the soul, whether it is a love song or space music. Although people are not in favor of a certain kind of music, they like some music if the music appeals to their heart.
Elaine: The demo sequences that come in sequencers to show off the sounds. It's usually fusion-jazz.
Q12. What was it like to play at the International Space Development Conference in Houston, with that kind of situation and audience?
Elaine: You were there. How was it for you? No, seriously, I was in heaven. I was playing my pro-space music to hundreds of pro-space people. It was like preaching to the choir. Yeah!
Liz: It was very exciting and nerve-wracking. We played to about 500 people in suits, who were over 40 yrs. old, sitting down at tables. These were not college kids. They were nuclear engineers, rocket scientists, and astronauts. Very nerve-wracking.
HaeYoung: It was obviously very different than a regular rock and roll gig. We were even worried about my blue wig. We were concerned that it might have offended more conservative audiences.
Q13. What are your plans for the next year or two as regards the band and their music?
Liz: We just need to play out more, release the new album, "Big Bang," and increase our popularity amongst the people.
Elaine: In addition to playing more rock clubs, I would like to start playing more conventions - serious space conventions, science fiction conventions, and Extropian/Transhuman/Futurist conventions. I feel we could really find our "niche" there. I want to make the right connections so that we can be the first band to play in space. Of course, that won't happen in a year or two, but we're focusing on that goal.
Q14. Do you know anything of the European EM scene?
Liz: I just know that there are a lot of bands in Europe that I admire. I don't know anything about the scene, though.
HaeYoung: I personally love Euro techno music. I think a lot of Euro techno music became very popular in the US as well.
Elaine: I have a German friend who plays some really great techno music for me. It's hard to keep tabs on the scene there, so I just rely on my European friends here!
Q15. Would you come over to Europe given the opportunity?
Liz: Probably, but we would need money to get there.
HaeYoung: As Liz mentioned, if we can figure out the financial problem, I would love to go. Playing and working in Europe has been one of my dreams for a long time. I also think that the type of music we do will be more liked in Europe than the US.
Elaine: Where's my ticket? Yes, I'd love to give it a shot over there. Maybe they'd love us.
Q16. How can people obtain your CD's?
Liz: There are a few sites selling our CD's. CD Now, Amazon.com...or you can buy them directly through us.
Elaine: SHEM (1996) and ZIAv1.5 (1994) are also available from www.pulserecords.com or www.cris.com/~dexm/zia.html. We get paid more if you buy them from those two sites. Our newest full-length CD "Big Bang!" will be available through www.gigrecords.com, and also from Amazon, CD Now and every other internet distributor under the sun.
Q17. Tells a little about the PCB drumkit
Liz: What is PCB?
Elaine: I think you're talking about those plastic plumbing pipes that people often make drum triggers out of, and I have used those in the past. The MIDI trigger racks I make now are just old keyboard stands and discarded circuit boards from AT&T. I use silicon to glue Piezo triggers (speaker elements which act as little microphones in this case) from Radio Shack on the backs of each circuit board. There is a cable running from each trigger to the trigger inputs of the Drum Kats. When you hit each circuit board, a little voltage blip runs into the Drum Kat where we've programmed all of the notes, velocities and MIDI channels for each song. So, when you hit the triggers, the Drum Kats get the voltage blip and send out the appropriate MIDI messages to the synthesizers.
Q18. With the drum pads all the same size and arranged like that, isn't it very difficult to remember which pad is mapped to which sound?
Liz: This is just a memorization issue. Memorize what sound goes where, for which song, and go with the flow. Memorize, memorize, and more memorizing.
HaeYoung: You bet! I still have a hard time. I have to make a cheat sheet for the show just in case I get a mind block.
Elaine: Oh, they're exaggerating! It's not that hard. I used to play those circuit boards in my last band, D.D.T. and it was so much fun. I actually kind of miss playing the triggers now that I'm the front person.
Q19. They look like double-sided fiberglass boards, and we're all aware that
over time moisture ingress between the fiberglass layers degrades things like
leakage current budgets and invites increased parasitic capacitance. Does this worry you?
Liz: No. They are just puppets, man...
Elaine: Ha ha. The circuit boards themselves don't do anything except vibrate slightly when we hit them. The vibration is picked up by the Piezo triggers and sent to the Drum Kat like I explained earlier. The circuit boards look really cool when we shine lights through them because they're transparent green fiberglass. And the fact that they're fiberglass is what makes them so great, because they NEVER break. So yeah, they're just for looks! Hae Young's circuit board triggers still have the old components on them, but Liz's circuit boards are totally stripped.
Q20. This 'microtonal' angle to all you music- for the non-musicians, what the hell are '19 and 10 tone tunings'?!
Liz: Scales that use 19 "tones" per octave instead of 12 "tones", etc.
Elaine: Exactly. For instance, a piano uses 12 half steps per octave. This is a somewhat arbitrary tuning, loosely based off of natural harmonics that occur in sound, that was accepted as a standard for clavichords, pianos, etc. It can be compared to the standard of "feet and inches" or "ounces and pounds". Obviously the metric system works just as well, and even better! And in my ears, microtonal scales sound more interesting than the 12 tone "vanilla" tuning that we are all so used to. Perhaps it sounds vanilla because we've heard it all before. Each different microtuning has it's own flavor. 19 notes per octave sounds harsh and tense, 10 notes per octave sounds open and friendly, and my favorite tuning of all time, the "Pierce-Bohlen" scale (it has no octaves - an octave and a fifth is divided equally into 13 tones!) sounds eerie and haunting.
Q21. Does this emphasis on microtones limit what you can do musically, like
locking you into a fixed sound or prevent you doing stuff outside of this realm?
Elaine: Using any one of an infinite number of possible tunings is obviously less limiting that using only 12 notes per octave! It's a little bit challenging writing microtonal pop music, because I literally have to invent my own chords and chord progressions. There are no harmonic rules to follow. People have studied the 12 tone equal temperament for centuries and I've studied it all my life, but I'm basically using my ear when I write microtonal music. Once a lot of microtonal pop music has been written, someone can start to analyze it.
Liz: I think it's more like an expansion chassy, in the fact that it opens up all existing pitch possibilities.
Q22. You are very much a 'Pro-Space' band. Will this always be the case, or will you do songs about other things?
Liz: We already do other types of songs.
HaeYoung: We don't want to limit ourselves to a certain type of music, or to be labeled in a certain way.
Elaine: From the beginning, Zia lyrics have focused on futuristic and sci-fi themes. Our song "Mother" from "ZIAv1.5" ('94) is about a Mother ship which was having atmosphere control problems and everyone was going to "die with her" because she had no escape vehicles. It was also a song about "Mother Earth". It will be a great tragedy if an asteroid hits and causes the atmosphere to become toxic and we have no escape vehicles to take us to other planets. Most of the older ZIA songs have dual meanings like that. I do write the occasional love/relationship song to get the pent-up feelings and angst out of my system like any proper artist should.
Q23. If someone came up and offered you a mega-recording deal, what would you do?
Liz: I'd get a disgustingly reliable lawyer to look over everything and tell me what's between the fine print. I like law, but I really hate getting screwed over.
Elaine: I hate to say it, but I'm f__king scared of large record labels. I know too many friends who have secured major recording deals and then been dropped and pretty much screwed over. But, we have a great lawyer and I'm sure he would steer us in the right direction if we were given the opportunity.
Q24. What about the extreme (but common) case in the UK where they come up to you and say "We like the lead singer, we'll take her, but we don't want the rest of the band. We'll totally change your image and provide you with new songs that will turn you into a megastar.."?
Elaine: I can't imagine why they would want to replace two super gorgeous, intelligent, educated hotties for anyone else! This is the best line-up ZIA has ever had, and I've had many line-ups! I'd like to keep it this way as long as possible, until Liz gets fed up and decides to do her own thing.
HaeYoung: I don't mind getting some mega offer, but I hope such an extreme case wouldn't happen. I think what ZIA makes interesting is the combination of the music and the individuals. One thing I'm worried about is that I want ZIA to remain 'space girls' not 'Spice girls'.
Liz: Well, I don't have to state the obvious reaction, but I do have a main project that I am working on, besides ZIA, so I won't have time to let the dust settle.
Q25. If you had a budget of say $20m, what kind of gig or tour would you like
Liz: I want to play everywhere, with a big multimedia screen show playing behind us. I would like to have custom made outfits and lots of roadies and enough cranberry juice and coffee to sink a battleship. I think a tour van would be nice. (I'm out of breath after that one ^_^)
Elaine: I would want to play on the International Space Station, or in a Space Hotel. We don't take up much room. Heck, we fit all of our equipment and all three of us in my little Ford Festiva! 20 million might not buy us tickets to Mars in the near future, but once there are space hotels in Earth orbit, they will need entertainment.
Q26. Who does your hair and makeup?
Liz: We do that ourselves. The three of us huddle into these tiny club bathrooms and splat makeup gunk, fluorescent paint and sparkles all over ourselves. Then we each take turns in frizzing out each others' hair.
Q27. What is the EM scene like from where you come from?
Liz: Except for the other three Boston bands, pretty non-existent. We end up being placed on a show with hardcore bands, for the most part.
Elaine: The electronic-industrial scene was booming in the late 80's and early 90's. There were several different electronic bands to play with and we had big events at the local clubs. The electro/industrial scene died out when the techno/rave scene emerged. Of course techno is more about DJ's than live bands, which didn't help us out here. Nowadays more and more rock/pop bands are adding electronic sounds to their music, so we can play shows with them without clashing too much.
Q28. How would you attack the problem of trying to get your music heard in
Europe, where for every good EM album, about 189 really horrifically bad ones are released with really good marketing and packaging?
Liz: That's too much to think about right now.
Elaine: I believe we will stand out and get noticed, given the right opportunities. Gig Records is opening an office in England so that certainly won't hurt.
Q29. There's a rumour that you're working on dropping some multimedia video of
your live gigs onto future CD albums. Is this true, and when can we expect it?
Liz: I didn't know that....Maybe that guy, who did that thing, a long time ago will do it????????? (giggle)
Elaine: We probably won't include any multimedia on the "Big Bang!" CD, but we are working on a video for the title track which will be included on a future release, probably a remix album. Our 1996 release "SHEM" includes a multimedia track which I programmed in Director with the help of a couple friends. It outlines the history of American space exploration and is very informative! The intro has a picture of the naked man and woman on the Pioneer space probe plaque. The woman is animated and she's talking in my voice for two minutes about how we should not fear technology, and rather embrace it for the good of humankind.
Q30. How easy is it to get gigs in the US, and what is involved? Do you have a manager who handles that stuff?
Liz: Nope, we do it all ourselves. Nothing is easy, but if we are persistent, enough, eventually someone bites. We book our shows, make many phone calls, do all of the mass e-mails, keep up a database of everyone who likes us or knows us, we collect at the end of the night, keep our own expense reports, etc.
Elaine: It's not hard to book shows as long as you're willing to spend time and money on lots of phone calls. We are currently looking for a booking agent to take over so we can focus more on the music and the show.
Q31. US recording contracts are renowned for being very complex and long, how are Gig treating you?
Liz: The 6 page contract? Gig is a very good company. They are very pleasant people.
Elaine: One of the main goals of Gig Records is to get their bands onto larger record labels and take a small cut, but so far the bands have turned down any such offers because they're too happy with Gig Records! They are very honest and straightforward and give the bands 50 percent of the profit on their sales!
Q32. What is the New Frontier, and why are you so interested in it?
Liz: That's an Elaine question.
Elaine: People have forgotten about new frontiers, haven't they? Humans have been finding and exploring new frontiers since we emerged on this planet. The cities are crowded now and there is nowhere we have not already been before. By definition, new frontiers are unexplored territories where we can live, work and play. Mars is a new frontier which is right next door. It's the next planet over! Mars has every type of metal, chemical and mineral that we would ever need and enough water to live there indefinitely. We could also live on the Moon (with a lot more resourcefulness and supplies) or on space stations that could be parked in legrange points (gravity wells created by the relationship between the Earth, Sun and Moon.)
Q33. Isn't that scene just full of grown-up boys between 30 and 50 with large chips on their shoulder's about some 'lost dream' from the Apollo moon landings?
Elaine: If all they had were chips on their shoulders they wouldn't be involved in grassroots pro-space organizations, lobbying Congress, or going to space conferences! The people I meet in those circles are very optimistic and dynamic people who still have the dream. And we all understand, for the most part, why the Apollo program didn't last. We remember the people involved with nothing but respect and admiration, but we look to the future and focus on programs that WILL last.
Liz: I think everyone has a chip on their shoulders about something, don't you?
Elaine: I have a chip on my shoulder too, but it certainly isn't the Apollo program. That would just give me a huge backache!
Q34. What would you do if you met a real astronaut, say Buzz Aldrin!
Liz: Well, that already happened....
Elaine: When we arrived in Houston at the Radisson hotel for the International Space Development Conference (the fanciest ZIA gig to date), the only people in the lobby were Buzz Aldrin, Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan! By the time we left the conference, they all had ZIA CD's. I hope they've had time to listen. I must say that I was very star struck. I was face to face with Buzz Aldrin molecules!
Q35. Apart from the band getting to play at space conferences, do you actually
think you have any chance of a real say in what happens in space?
Liz: I like music. If it makes an impact on the space program, cool. Hopefully, we can make a positive impact on our generation, because these people are the future astronauts and scientists.
Elaine: Through the band, we hope to reach the younger crowd who would normally not be exposed to these rather futuristic and optimistic ideas. However, getting a real say in space policy will more likely be the result of my involvement in the National Space Society and also networking with people in other space societies and commercial space companies.
Q36. The public is more interested in science fiction and entertainment than real space. Aren't you better off doing songs about SF like Babylon 5 for instance?
Elaine: Well, I must say that since we met Bruce Boxleitner, captain of Babylon 5, we're partial to Babylon 5. But seriously, I write about space exploration because it is my passion. We do have several sci-fi songs which are usually the result of a book I've just read.
Liz: We write Sci-Fi songs. Right now, though, I'm more interested in non-fiction. Sci-Fi is very cool, but the fact is, I am having more fun, researching space, than trying to make up a story about a little alien that ate my homework. Man, that was a dry answer.
Q37. 'Space Music' tends to be thrown into the 'weirdo' pigeon hole of music, do you think you will ever make it into the mainstream?
Elaine: Space MUSIC isn't the only thing that people think is "weird". People think I'm weird just for reading "Space News" at work. They think I'm reading about aliens (and thus sprang forth my song "Space 'Zine"). During this century when people are living and working in space no one with think it's weird anymore.
Liz: I think it will be fine, just as long as the band continues to work hard at building a strong fanbase across the nation and perhaps even abroad.
Q38. What are the practicalities of you coming over to Europe to do some gigs? What would be the minimum incentive?
Liz: It would be cool, but I can't answer that at this time.
Elaine: We would love to come to Europe if someone could cover travel and living expenses for us. Maybe they would love us there.
HaeYoung: In my opinion, People in Europe will be more open to our music than the US. Mainly because the US has a stronger hip pop and rock market than EM and also, people from the US tend to follow the trend more.
Q39. What do you think of the record industry in general in the US. In Europe?
Liz: I don't know anything about the European industry, but the US industry is more about money than art.
Q40. Could you each tell us a little about yourselves...?
Liz: I'm from Detroit. Enough said.
HaeYoung: Well, I'm from Korea, and I've been in the US, since 1992. Although I play drums(Drum Kat and MIDI trigger), I am a classically trained piano player. I'm a happy person most of the time, but I can be pretty dramatic. Because I'm a Cancer!
Elaine: I was born and raised in New Mexico and I'm a Gemini. Watch out boys! I'm nothing but trouble!
Q41. Any juicy stories? Marriages, drug addictions, boyfriends from hell, marital status etc? (Please allow readers to get a pen and paper...)
Liz: Speaking for myself, I am very ordinary and not very scandalous.
Elaine: Well, you'll have to rely on rumors to find out about my love life (or lack of one). Drugs? No...I can't do those. Beer makes me really hyper and happy though. There's an interesting tidbit for you!
Q42. If you wanted to do a professionally financed music video, what would you like to do?
Liz: I would probably want to have my cat and Elaine's cat do a digitally enhanced Kitty Waltz, or something.
Elaine: Liz, that's brilliant! Let's start rehearsing them right away! As far as we three girls go, I think we would all like to wear a zillion different futuristic outfits and have some incredible special effects and dance around in a weird way and make a really fun, sexy video!
Q43. You have a very academic musical background, what is the attitude of your tutors to pop music?
Liz: They range from very positive to very negative about pop music. It just depends on the teacher, I suppose.
HaeYoung: I would like to make music in non traditional ways. There are a lot of computer based applications that we can use to create music. It'll be worth trying.
Elaine: My main professor at Berklee, Dr. Boulanger, likes to focus on algarhythmic composition (mathematical computer composition) and DSP (digital signal processing). He does like ZIA's music for the microtonal aspect.
Q44. The internet is a very big issue in general in society, what are your views on this, on music, on what you are trying to do as a band?
Elaine: The internet, like all emerging technologies, is a normal progression for humankind, and a natural evolution of our communication patterns. It's spontaneous order! That is an Extropian term for a random process that becomes organized by natural human behavior instead of by one leader. It can be very empowering for bands to create their own web sites and sell their music through their sites and other web-based distributors. It can also be overwhelming and frustrating. But, like any new technology, we shall not have fear! We will use it for the right reasons and stay on top of the new trends. Either that or we'll hire someone else to stay on top of it for us!
Liz: I am not well read on this subject. I guess I am just worried about yet another excuse for people to pirate material.
Q45. Which US bands do you most respect?
Liz: I'm speaking for myself, here.(These are in no particular order)
Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Social Distortion, Dead Kennedys, Big D and the Kids Table.
Elaine: Any band that introduces new radical ideas into the mainstream and still entertain! Mankind Liberation Front, Skinny Puppy, Billy Idol (wait, I keep naming people who aren't American!).
Q46 Which European bands (past and current) do you most respect?
Liz: I'm speaking for myself, here. (These are in no particular order) Orbital, Orb, Underworld, Future Sound of London.
HaeYoung: I love music of Portisead, Bjork, and Massive Attack, among other people. I think their music touches human emotions which I think is the most important and basic.
Elaine: Hey, what about Sigue Sigue Sputnik?!
Q47. The European EM scene is renowned for having a very good atmosphere and a great sense of humour (despite the language barriers). what sort of humour do you all like?
Liz: I like just about anything that is off the wall and delightfully loony.
Elaine: I really love that British humor! Bloody brilliant!
Q48. Are we ever going to see Jarre's classic 'Unplugged' album style emulated by Zia in the future?
Liz: It's doubtful. We are having too much fun being plugged in, unless I kick the cord out of the wall by accident.
Elaine: It would sound like a bunch of clicks & taps!
Q49. In terms of the technology of music, do you think we have now reached the limit, or are there things you would like to see developed for live or recording use?
Liz: Limit?????? Every time I turn around, I feel obsolete! Technology changes soooo much and so fast, that it is hard to keep up. I would like software to go down in price, actually.
Elaine: It's not easy keeping up to date on the new music technology. We have to though, in order to continue to write music effortlessly with minimal troubleshooting. I would like to see more interesting MIDI controller instruments for live use, but I will probably just build my own custom instruments.
(Q)50. Thank you very much for talking to me...
Elaine: Um...that's not a question.
Liz: You are very welcome. This has been a total marathon interview.
HaeYoung: I become lethargic if I'm obligated to do something. It took longer than a week for me to answer your questions!