ERIC BLACKWOOD & ANTHONY J. FOTI ..... (Blackwood & Foti, Closenuf, Edison's Children)
REV. DR. BILL GRAM ..... (Killing For Christ)
PHIL JONES ..... (Phil Jones Band)
THEO CEDAR JONES ..... (Swaybone)
SCOTT KELLY ..... (Neurosis)
SETH MAJKA Interview 1
SETH MAJKA Interview 2
UNCLE BOB NYC ..... (3tles)

J.D. BRADSHAW ..... (Debbie Caldwell Band)
PAUL CROOK ..... (Anthrax, Meat Loaf, Sebastian Bach)
NICK DOUKAS ..... (Full Circle, Half Angel, student of John Petrucci & Al Pitrelli)
DAX PAGE ..... (Kirra)
MARTY PARIS ..... (Paris Keeling, Permanent Reverse, Barbarian Way)
RUINED MACHINES & MICHAL BRODKA ..... (Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 1
RUINED MACHINES (aka KENYON IV) ..... (World Of Rock Records, Celestial Bodies: A 12 Month Galactic Collaboration) Interview 2
CHRIS SANDERS ..... (Knight Fury, Lizzy Borden, Nadir D'Priest, Ratt)
TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY & DAMOND JINIYA ..... (Rebel Pride Band, Under The Gun Project)
"METAL" DAN SORBER ..... (Thy Kingdom Done, Ferox Canorus)
ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 1
ERIC STROTHERS & ZACH LORTON ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2
CHRIS MICHAEL TAYLOR ..... (Carmine & Vinny Appice's Drum Wars, Sunset Strip, Hair Nation)

A.L.X. ..... (Love Crushed Velvet)
GRAHAM BONNET ..... (Rainbow, Alcatrazz)
JOE DENIZON ..... (Stratospheerius, Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp, Sweet Plantain)
DORO ..... (Warlock)
TOMMY FARESE ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Kings Of Christmas, A Place Called Rage)
ANTHONY J. FOTI & ERIC BLACKWOOD ..... (Blackwood & Foti, Closenuf, Edison's Children)
ANGIE GOODNIGHT ..... (Fill The Void)
CORNELIUS GOODWIN ..... (12/24 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Band)
DAMOND JINIYA & TOM SPITTLE & TROY MONTGOMERY ..... (Savatage, Retribution, Under The Gun Project)
STEFAN KLEIN ..... (Dethcentrik, Dod Beverte, f.k.k.d.) Interview 1
STEFAN KLEIN ..... (Dethcentrik, Dod Beverte, f.k.k.d.) Interview 2
GUY LEMONNIER ..... (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Kings Of Christmas, Wizards Of Winter)
ZACH LORTON & ERIC STROTHERS ..... (Enjoy Church's Tribute To Trans-Siberian Orchestra) Interview 2
PARK SIPES ..... (Sunset Strip, Barbarian Way, Tune In To Mind Radio Kelly Keeling Tribute album)
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 1
ZAK STEVENS ..... (Savatage, Circle II Circle) Interview 2

SCOTT KELLY ..... (Wizards Of Winter)
ERIK NORLANDER ..... (Asia Featuring John Payne, Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane)
MICHAEL T. ROSS ..... (Lita Ford, Missing Persons, Raiding The Rock Vault Las Vegas Revue)

DAVE CRIGGER ..... (Foghat, World XXI, Michael Fath)
CHRIS NUNES ..... (Ornament Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Band)
JOHN WETTON ..... (Asia, King Crimson, Roxy Music)

RAFA MARTINEZ ..... (Black Cobra)


RODNEY MILES & ALISON TAYLOR ..... (365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes Book)
SEVEN (aka ALAN SCOTT PLOTKIN) ..... (Exile In Rosedale author, Public Enemy, Busta Rhymes)
ALISON TAYLOR & RODNEY MILES ..... (365 Surprising & Inspirational Rock Star Quotes Book)

MATT CHABE ..... (Bangtown Timebomb, Chapter Two Marketing)
JAMES MOORE ..... (Independent Music Promotion, Your Band Is A Virus Book)

MIKE "THE BIG CHEESE" CATRICOLA ..... (Heavy Metal Mayhem Podcast, Stillborn)

January 2, 2018

"I Wanted To Keep Breaking The Rules" An Interview With STEFAN KLEIN of DETHCENTRIK (Interview 2 of 2)

Nov 2017 (e-mail)

Stefan Klein of Colorado is the leader of the avant-garde industrial group Dethcentrik, has a solo career under the name Dod Beverte, is a member of f.k.k.d. & runs Dod Incarnate Records that releases both his & others music. Terrorizer mag described Dethcentrik's music as "black horrormetal" not long after their formation in 2009. A decade later hindsight shows this to be a poor label that only scratches the surface. Stefan has made a conscious effort to prove his critics wrong by actively expanding his musical palette. Today, his musical outpourings are far from metal or black as he fuses the atmosphere of Pink Floyd with the experimentation of Throbbing Gristle with the anger of Nine Inch Nails. His forthcoming April 2018 release, Polarination, is a haunting instrumental album with more in common with Pink Floyd's abstract soundscapes than anything one might know Dethcentrik for.

My relationship with Stefan began in 2012 when I came across the Dethcentrik albums & I was both impressed & fascinated by the amount of negativity to music. A friendship would develop after I reviewed one of his albums, leading me to remix some of his music & making new music with him in a joint release as Dethcentrik & Blank Faced Prophet, while also being an ear as he developed other stuff. I can vouch for encouraging him to change a drum track on Polarination. Of all the musicians I've known Stefan has probably progressed musically more than anyone else & its been a pleasure & a learning experience. I have a new appreciation of Nine Inch Nails because of our talks. In April 2012 I did a telephone interview with him that was broadcast on my Roman Midnight Music podcast & is transcribed on this blog. At that time we discussed some of the negative response to his music, including the false claims of Satanism. If anti-Trump lyrics are considered Satanist than surprise on us that he's actually a Satanist after all, along with a good chunk of the country ... & we're surprisingly wrong in thinking those claims & others like them are actually just a gut response to hearing lots of distortion & screamed lyrics & not exploring anything further. I like to tell the story that when I went to edit the recording to play on my show I discovered 12 minutes missing of the hour talk. Technical glitches do happen, but the irony was that the missing part was almost entirely focused on discussing Satanism in music! Maybe there is things going on after all! Considering how different his new album sounds to his past work, that just might be the case. Enough time had passed that it seemed time to talk with Stefan again about his new musical directions.

* * * *

AJ: Over the past decade your music has morphed along different experimental-industrial-metal avenues to a point where the simple mesmerizing lines of your latest release are barely recognizable as being from the same creator of the ultra distorted cacophony of DETHCENTRIK. What have been the influences that you feel have directly impacted your growth as a composer over the last few years & influenced this stylistic development?

STEFAN: I think I’ve learned to appreciate my own compositions more & began relying less of effects to make my sound. I’ve been more patient with my art & myself & have found the confidence to address criticisms of my work. I think the biggest influences recently have been NINE INCH NAILS, MINISTRY, PINK FLOYD, VOICES OF DESTRUCTION & a lot of soundtrack composers like Clint Mansell, Hans Zimmer & the like.

AJ: Along the same lines, what musicians or music styles are the biggest influences on your music in general?

STEFAN: I’d say I’m most influenced by rock, metal included,, industrial music & classical. Anything I like tends to rub off on me.

AJ: You’ve had the opportunity to connect with some musicians on the bigger stage, I believe members of industrial groups SKINNY PUPPY & NINE INCH NAILS have come into your circle & heard your music? Can you tell me more about who & what of those encounters?

STEFAN: I have run-ins with people in the scene from time to time. The most bizarre incident may be when a Trump supporter friend of mine kept arguing with Tom Shear of Seattle industrial outing ASSEMBLAGE 23 on my Facebook. I’ve actually asked a few of my connections to listen to my music & critique it. One person who took to time to listen was Nivek Ogre, a founding member of SKINNY PUPPY, & he was actually able to tell I had only taken & used one sample for "The Big Clang". I’m assuming Chris Vrenna is the NINE INCH NAILS member you’d be referring to. He was also in MARILYN MANSON. He actually did a remix of "If Only", which I had produced as DETHCENTRIK. It’s on the bonus track edition of Electronic Saviors Volume 3: Remission.

AJ: In the beginning there was a lot of animosity against you, being called Satanic &the worst music of the year, often without any cause other than your music was heavily distorted & seemingly angry. This is something we spoke extensively about in our 2012 interview. What’s the state of response to your music today? Are there still the haters?

STEFAN: There are still a lot of haters. They just don’t bother me as much.

AJ: Working with others has also helped temper that mood against you, I'm sure.

STEFAN: Working with other artists gets you constructive criticism. People may tell you they don’t like something, but they can also tell you why. As an artist that helps you grow.

AJ: I believe you’ve also had some trouble with distribution in the past?

STEFAN: I’ve been known to be a bit provocative with album art & lyrical content. Album covers I design have been banned numerous times. The most recent controversy is that Amazon wouldn’t give away Red, White, & F*ck You!. The reason they gave me was the distortion, but I know they’ve sold much noisier music of mine.

AJ: Your music has also appeared on some compilations. Can you tell me about these & how did you find yourself included? I mean, here’s a guy once pushed away for Satanism, which actually didn't exist in your music, & now is on compilations.

STEFAN: I won’t tell anyone there’s a straightforward way to get on a compilation. There have been some we’ve been rejected from during auditions, that is you essentially send a demo & they give a yes or a no, & others that have been as simple as sending an email. I think reaching out more, in general, tends to land you in more places & I think that’s partly why we’ve gotten beyond the barrier typically associated with black metal: Satanism & loud music. I think becoming more musically open-minded got me a little more accepted.

AJ: What is the biggest hurdle you’ve found when reaching out to people with your music? Is it distribution or is it getting listeners in general, as most musicians face, or is it breaking down stereotypes about what your music is/isn’t?

STEFAN: I think finding the right crowd has been a hurdle. We don’t conform enough to any given genre to really be able to know our niche or what is our scene. So, I think we have had to break stereotypes first, then find our listeners, whereas a lot of artists who just copy a generic formula tend to have media outlets specifically for reaching the people who like their genre.

AJ: How do you define the style of your music?

STEFAN: It’s still hard to define. I guess if I had to label it I would call it industrial music, simply because that’s such a broad umbrella term.

AJ: You also have your own label that has expanded beyond just your own music. Who are the musicians you work with?

STEFAN: Most recently it’s been EXHALED LIFE, a black metal project from Texas, & DISTURBING TAXIDERMY. Romero from DISTURBING TAXIDERMY & I often frequent the same club here in town. Our first collaboration was through Vivi Vex’s project THE RUST PUNK TRIBE. Vivi was having artists produce stems for the project & would mix them together. We then collaborated on "I Don’t Want To Live This Li(f)e" & Romero joined DETHCENTRIK.

AJ: Part of the changes that I know have effected your music is that you’ve had your stuff remixed by others & you’ve done collaborative work with others, such as this work with Romeo or what you & did as DETHCENTRIK & BLANK FACED PROPHET. When we did an interview years ago I asked what it was like hear these tracks sent back to you & the response was surprise. But, now years later, how has this work had an impact on your own creations?

STEFAN: That’s actually quite an interesting question. I do think I can safely say that the remixes certainly helped me realize how much more possibility there was for DETHCENTRIK. Being able to hear different mixes of one track allows you the hear improvements made the original that perhaps you’d like to apply to future tracks.

AJ: Long overdue question I've wanted: how do you make your music? I always have envisioned you recording some sound effect, like thunder, & running it through some mixing program & then having someone plug a guitar or drum over it. Or, taking a guitar line & looping it around to a distorting level. What do you actually play? Is there others involved? How do you make your sounds?

STEFAN: It depends on the song really, & the approach has certainly changed. I used to write lyrics & the music was honestly somewhat of an afterthought. Now, what I typically do is improvise a riff, practice it a few times, record it, repeat until my guitars are completed, then mess around with effects & pitches, etc. Then, program drums & keyboards, manipulate, then finally add samples. Obviously, I didn’t sample Donald Trump or the Charlottesville protests, but objects I can sample I do, like banging things together, machines, etc. I often feel my brain is on a different wavelength for composing than it is for writing, hence why I tend to predominantly either make very noisy music with lyrics or instrumental music. On Polarination it’s just the samples I collected & me. Romero & I have gone out & recorded samples for our collaborative work before. It’s quite fun!

AJ: Going back too what you just said about lyrics. Your music has included its share of shouted undiscernible lyrics, but the current work is more instrumental. You have albums that have lyrics & others that use lyrics as more background sounds & others that are more instrumental. What’s your view on lyrics in your music in general?

STEFAN: I do think lyricism is its own art form, it’s not music alone, but it is an art form. There’s nothing wrong with combining the 2, however I personally think that my soul certainly pours more through sound than words. There’s nothing wrong with lyrics, but I feel they actually serve a separate purpose than music. Whether I write lyrics or not really comes down to the message I want to send.

AJ: What is that message? What are you trying to do with your music? Or, where are you trying to take it?

STEFAN: It tends to go with however I’m feeling. My emotions drive me to make music I tend to feel an urge or a craving to make it. I can’t predict exactly how it will evolve over time, but I’d like to think it’s maturing with me, that as I improve myself it too will improve.

AJ: All this talk leads to the new album, which we've been touching on lightly, can you tell a little bit about this new effort? Its so very different than past music you’ve created that there’s obviously some vision behind it.

STEFAN: I think that the upcoming DETHCENTRIK album has been influencing my next solo album, & I’m actually hoping to apply some elements from this album on that DETHCENTRIK album. I’ve decided to take more time & be more proper from a musicology perspective. I wanted to keep breaking the rules, while also demonstrating maturity, discipline & a knowledge of music theory while still being unconventional in many ways. I wanted more familiarity at the music’s core rather than vague influences from other genres. This began as composing dark ambient. One of the tracks on this album, "Holding Onto The Pieces", was originally composed for soundtrack use. This album essentially grew as a soundtrack of the modern political climate. It’s kind of slowly taken the place of working class American atmospherically as that has taken on a new atmosphere of its own.

AJ: Tell me about the composing behind this new album.

STEFAN: My primary focus became instrumentals & atmosphere on this album, while before the themes were the most important thing, as I mentioned earlier. I let my subconscious drive me more here & have certainly put more focus into the individuals pieces, rather than rushing the pieces into the whole. I’m staying more in line with consistent time signatures & more conventional instrumentation & having the noise simply add more atmosphere over dominating the instrumentation.

AJ: I believe you also have a new name you are making music under, in addition to DETHCENTRIK & your solo work as Dod Beverte?

STEFAN: f.kk.d was the most recent new band I was in. I’m not sure what’s happening long run with that project, but I have also been collaborating with other industrial & electronic artists. Jeremiah & Romero are new to DETHCENTRIK & collaborating with them I think has helped me grow personally as an artist. Polarination is just me with the samples, guitar, drum machine & MIDI controller, but I have had many recent collaborations that have improved my musicianship, production skills, & given me a new perspective & influence on my own style.

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