Artist Profile: DISTRUSTER-Depraved Works and Interview by Mark Jenkins. FFO: Ministry, Skinny Puppy, NIN, Marilyn Manson, sacrifices and everything else we need.

Artist Profile:  DISTRUSTER-Depraved Works and Interview by Mark Jenkins. FFO: Ministry, Skinny Puppy, NIN, Marilyn Manson, sacrifices and everything else we need. 

Ok the internet is a pretty average place to find artists of depth and for quality collabs, but my own band came across this depraved genius known as Distruster from San Francisco and so many facets of this act appeal to me; the grim, macabre entertainment, the film like approach to atmospheric story and mood and the sheer damn catchiness of the tunes. The core of it(which is certainly flushed out in this stunning interview below)is crushing hard industrial electro/techno that has an outstanding punk edge, endless brilliant samples and it floors you. Do you need to pay attention to this artist, YOU ABSOLUTELY FUCKING DO.

Selected Works:

World War Zero (2022) is the staggering deviant debut album that is covered in grime, and blood but definitely drips in outstanding quality. This is a modern take on classic Industrial and is also punk/metal; but the key symptom is pulsating, pummelling and unrelenting audio brilliance. I hate cheesy techno and generic ebm, and personally, I loved underground acid techno, punk rave culture and equally the grim beats found in seedy gothic clubs back in the day. This is utter sonic warfare, and the sample placement plus fucked up vocals is as much Berlinesque as DIY rave under a warehouse or in a forest run by crusty techno warriors. This debut is a flawless masterpiece, the ten tracks slot precisely next to each track and it has the vibe of a ghastly snuff film combined with the energy of a ten-year-old smoking crack cocaine. It was extremely hard to pick my favourite tracks here, as the album is a vigorous volume to be soaked up as a whole, rather than individual parts. But at a push, I loved the old-school gothic vibe of Below & Beyond, you'll need a shower after that track, and its hard-edged beats are slow but so acidic. Cyanosis is equally as fucked up, that opening sample is stellar and it erupts in a true electropunk sound clash like a death metal band having a head-on crash with early Ministry.illumiNation666 stunningly plods along in a gorgeously dour format, making you quickly picture yourself in a house of horrors whilst hearing voices-psychotically splendid. Petrified Slow is an all-out grainy attack on the senses, it's a mayhemic dancefloor banger and one of the highlights. Both Mary Bell(Child From Hell) and HelterSkelterCult are top-class intermission art pieces that are short, but intense, brooding and foreboding as hell. They are a stunning lead-in to the monstrously epic focus of the album(and an essential video to watch also)the breathtaking Grave Locator. I love how it's a super modern take on the best bits of both Skinny Puppy and Front 242 and other gems. The beat programming is smashing, intelligent and genre perfect in every track, but wow this track simply possesses you, enchanting, catchy and anthemic. What a track!. The conclusion for the release is magnificent as well, too much longer form tracks that remind me of the Australian Industrial/ DBeat/Synth/Goth attack de force Schkeuditzer Kreuz, that dark tone and dreary dancey groove, but far from depressing, these too tracks are uplifting and warped. Distrust( False His'Story"Remix) is a tale of two tempos and is as expected psychotic as hell. Fantasy Or Suicide is another huge track off this release, this has more noise/effects and all kinds of weird stuff going on and the elongated outro I adored(you must listen to the very, very end, please. There is a hardcore extreme music fan at the wheels of Industrial techno-wizardry, fuck me what a release and the artist is an absolute genius. It is epic, a true audio journey and so essential. If this is the debut, expect a long career of this degenerate grandeur.

ϟATANIC ϟYNCHRONICITY Ep/Single (2023)-Wow this is wild as, definitely way different to the debut album, but solidifies how skilled the project is. This has way more pumped, vibrant production and by using drum and bass and breakcore as a foundation; the caverns of hard electronic are here to take your soul. Distruster can easily go in so many directions, and those possibilities are neverending. I do believe in this artist, appealing to many extreme music fans and everything is done with such perfection. Chaotic and focused work here, and the remix on this single is even more tangential. Distruster is an artist whose every track needs your ears and time.

Distruster Interview:

Q: What inspires you, what made you form this band/project, and what other bands were you in?

What inspires us is other bands or artists that we enjoy, and the way we interpret the world around us. I formed this project to contribute to my favourite kind of music (industrial) - and to leave my mark on it. I’ve been in a few other bands before, but currently, I’m a participating member of the projects EÄRTHDÖGS and SLEƎP CHAMBER.

Q: How would you say things have changed musically and socially over the last few years?

Musically, things are always in a constant state of flux. It’s hard to keep up. Having said that, I also don’t try very hard to stay "in the know"; I’m more so concerned with my own music and output. Socially, things have gone off the deep end, so I try to stay away from that topic.

Q: How would you describe the music community/scene in your part of the world today?

I’m a hermit and don’t go out much - so I really couldn't say!

Q: What venues seem to fit your type/form of music?

Anyone that’ll have us! I’d love to do a show in a graveyard, but from what I hear, it's highly illegal.

Q: What is the message of your songs?

There's a lot of messages in the songs, both hidden and obvious - overt and covert.

We try to tread the line between getting the point across and beating you over the head with it.

Q: Do you seem to be getting more extreme or tangential with your musical tastes as you age?

I wouldn't say so. I'm still into almost everything that I was into as a child.

But the search for good, yet-unheard music always continues.

Q: Musically what are some of your early influences, what are you listening to these days?

For this project, we have a few specific main inspirations. The more obvious ones for us would be SKINNY PUPPY, GGFH, and honestly, SLEƎP CHAMBER's vast back catalogue, long before I ever joined the group.

I love tons of stuff, but specific to this, sonically or in terms of mentality; I find myself taking inspirational cues from projects like DEATH IN JUNE, MARILYN MANSON, THE ELECTRIC HELLFIRE CLUB, OZZY of course...

THROBBING GRISTLE, MILES DAVIS, THREE 6 MAFIA and DJ PAUL for sure. I'm a big fan of CHARLES MANSON's music so that always makes it in the mix in one way or another.

Beyond that, maybe some DEATH GRIPS here and there, and THE BEATLES as well. Just to name a few.

Q: What’s your opinion on making videos, art as in album inserts, etc. i.e., making art Vs simply providing just a product, how do art and music intersect for you? I mean I believe you unlike 90% of artists get this aesthetic, so well, not sure of your professional roles etc, but Distruster certainly has robust graphic imagery, are you a visual artist, or a fan of related styles?

To me, anything is optional. The videos are optional, and in a sense, so is album artwork, and a concept for the layout could also be non-existent or super minimal; but all of that stuff adds to the world-building of the musical expression. The "total package", so to speak.

Visuals and sound go hand-in-hand, and to answer your other question, I would say that, yes, I personally am a fan of more incendiary, and what some may call offensive styles of art. Since I was a little kid, I was always intrigued by magazines like Playboy and Hustler, or even someone like Richard Kern. The ultimate goal is to leave a lasting impression on people.

Q: What is the band/project's sound, and/or description, walk us through all your releases, what’s the main difference between your first and more current releases?

I would call the sound “sample industrial” or “dark techno”... But to normies, I usually just describe it as “Halloween dance music”. In the beginning, we started off with just a few multi-song singles, definitely in the vein of mid-period SKINNY PUPPY, and very early MINISTRY. To me, at the time, that equalled drum machines, dark multimedia samples, sparse synthesizers and goblin vocals. Some people really dug it, so it seemed to be the right time to start working on a full-length album. That album became our debut, “WORLD WAR ZERO” which is out now on cassette through the excellent PHAGE TAPES.
On that note, I've got to send a shout-out to the label-head SAM STOXEN, for believing in our music enough to put his name behind it, and to ELDEN M of CARBON 14 & ALLEGORY CHAPEL, LTD for putting us on SAM's radar. On that album, we felt a need to expand the sound from the single to include hints from all the previously mentioned projects that got us into this sound in the first place. "Honoring our Forefathers" in a way. To me, it's a sort of love letter to the genre, and being able to mix a ton of elements that we haven't quite heard before. Beyond that, our newest single "ϟATANIC ϟYNCHRONICITY" was a bit of a departure, and didn’t quite fit into our next full-length album, so we figured we’d put it out as a stand-alone single. It’s definitely more influenced by hard techno, Breakcore styles, but still with that industrial edge. We got with Miami Bass legend DEBONAIRE (who's worked with other heavy hitters in that scene like DYNAMIX II and MAGGOTRON) and came out with a totally insane remix for the B-Side. That's on all streaming platforms for now, but we're going to try and release it on wax in the future.

Q: Are you doing any gigs/tours?

We are currently rehearsing for live shows and are planning some currently. We hope to do some touring beyond that of course.

Q: What was the last album you bought?

The last physical album I bought for myself would’ve been a vinyl copy of Too $hort’s “Born to Mack” LP. In terms of contemporary music, the most recent thing I actually spent money on would have been that last full-length LP from the band STRUGGLING HARSH IMMORTALS (SHI) from Japan. They're great, shouts out to them as well.

Q: What is most important to your creativity? What are the biggest challenges?

Creativity comes naturally to both of us, and always has, so to me the most important thing would just be to honour what we're good at and make something cool. Simple. On the flip side, one challenge that I can think of is maybe doing the vocals takes a little longer than anything else. On top of all the beats and mixing, we then of course have to sit down and write the vocal parts. The tough thing sometimes is that there are endless concepts we want to speak on - endless words.... but to commit them forever, and know that they're exactly what you want to say, and how you want to say it, gives one pause, for sure. Then, to dial in the effects, of course, takes a certain amount of time for each individual song, and have it sound good - have it sound legit - have it sound actually dark like industrial should… that takes time and effort. But it always pays off.

Q: What does your band/project band name mean to you?

To me, it’s pretty obvious. Be careful who you trust - if the wrong people are let in, they can ruin everything.

Q: DIY or a major label? How much does success mean to you? How do you define this?

Both have upsides and downsides. Major labels are good for getting your name out there, but for that kind of treatment from them, you usually have to fit their mould already, in more ways than just making good music. In terms of DIY, you can pretty much do whatever you want, whenever you want. I suppose that’s a trade-off. And success is whatever you define it as. It's different for everyone. You can have beautiful women shaking their asses to your music, and it could be making tons of money for you, both of those are cool, sure - but as long as we stay just making these songs, that’s really all I need.

Q: What role do the dark arts and depravity/erotic art play in this band?

It’s an aesthetic choice. It's what we want to see as a band - but also there’s a lot of power in that imagery, too. It’s both feeling and thought-provoking. It can enhance the music or even tie it all together with the lyrical themes for example, if you choose to do so. It can really wind people up too... The world is pretty depraved; to me, it’s healthy to either point and laugh or just try to think about things on a deeper level.

Q: Why did you pick dark industrial/electro as your chosen musical genre?

Well, I’d say it appeals to us so strongly that we felt the need to make it ourselves.

Q: How did you build your following/fans, in a short time you seem to have gained an almost cult-like appreciation of your wares?

Hard to say. People dig the music, we just want to keep finding more of them. Self-promotion isn't always the easiest or most obvious thing in the world, but regardless, we are always trying new ways to get into people’s ears - like doing this interview; Thanks!

Q: What is your view of a worthwhile life performance, what are the successful components?

Well, it has to be loud. Really loud. It has to be original. You have to look good on stage and sound good too of course. We have been planning a lot of crazy shit for our sets.

Q: What is at the guts of your first release? A message? Vibe? Or something else…

I would again say pure celebration and appreciation for the style, and the bands who influenced us to do what we do. Paying tribute and homage, and also keeping that pure Electro-Industrial spirit alive!

Q: Who are your role models or guideposts for this impressive style of music/lyrics, etc.?

There are too many to name. I’ve always particularly admired AXL ROSE, MADONNA, BOYD RICE and people like that. Big personalities. People who have their own individual character, and bring it consistently whenever they’re on the mic.

Q: What is the band's creative process?

The songs have always come out very naturally; the beats first then the words. Rarely do we ever beat our heads against the wall about anything in this band. It's great.

Q: What fosters creativity, and what hinders it?

I would say it’s as simple as one’s own life force and level of energy. You have to have the drive and the will to contribute.

Q: What has being an artist taught you?

That if I cared about anything else in my life the way I do music, then I’d probably have a successful career in a totally different field. haha…

Q: What’s up next for the band?

We have a killer two-song single coming out soon; 2 videos, one for each of those songs. After that, we’re going to focus on wrapping up the 2nd full-length album, which right now is a little more than halfway done. Of course, we will be playing live shows a little sooner than that.

Q: Any final messages, or witty stories for your fans?

Just a big THANK YOU to everybody who’s put their dollars down and bought anything with the name DISTRUSTER on it in the last two years. You guys have really kept me going in a major way. Other than that I would say be ready for more Killer, fucked-up music - and we hope to see you at some of our live shows if we make it to your neck of the woods. You won’t regret showing up, we can promise you that. And thanks again for the interview, cheers!

Thanks and much love to the mighty DISTRUSTER.