Interview: Chris R.

Someone once told me that they’d seen Drunk in Hell perform an immaculate cover set of The Hives (dressed up in all the gear). They went into great detail describing how the singer Bishop was note for note perfect as Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist and how they’d never seen anything that accurate (in their words – ‘honestly, you’ve never seen anything like it, he was spookily good’). I asked Bishop about it and he said “Nope……didn’t happen”.

After hearing the new Material Loss EP, I decided it was time I asked the man behind the noise AKA Chris R, some questions.

(((o))): You’re most well-known for your noise output be it noise-rock with Cattle or harsh-noise with Soft Issues, was the minimalism of Material Loss a conscious effort or something more organic?

Chris: I listen to a lot of minimal and ambient techno, like Pan Sonic and Pole and wanted to do something similar and as stripped back as possible. It’s a lot less abrasive than other things I’ve been involved with and fancied a change.

(((o))): How does your gear vary from project-to-project, would you be able to give us a rough rig rundown for your preferred set-up for each?

Chris: Cattle (RIP) was just a vocal pedal by the end. Soft Issues changes as we move along (right now I’m using an SP404) and Material Loss is various drum machines and a Korg Minilogue.

(((o))): Your music lends itself well to collaboration, if you could pick any underground artists to work with who’d it be?

Chris: Many to pick from, but I’ll say Stephen Bishop (from Drunk in Hell / Opal Tapes) for the purposes of working in this story.

Someone once told me that they’d seen Drunk in Hell perform an immaculate cover set of The Hives (dressed up in all the gear). They went into great detail describing how the singer Bishop was note for note perfect as Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist and how they’d never seen anything that accurate (in their words – ‘honestly, you’ve never seen anything like it, he was spookily good’). I asked Bishop about it and he said “Nope……didn’t happen”.

(((o))): Who are some of your key influences or favourite bands/musicians?

Chris: Neil Young. William Basinski. Stick Men with Rayguns.

(((o))): What are you mostly listening to lately? Do you know any obscure stuff that you could recommend?

Chris: I’ve been listening to a lot of comedy albums – Todd Barry, Mitch Hedberg, Sean Patton, Patton Oswalt.

Musically speaking this is well worth a listen – https://suctionexcavators.bandcamp.com/album/fuckingham-chalice

(((o))): Really fucking cool track that… What have you got planned next?

Chris: Soft Issues is playing a livestreamed show from Wharf Chambers (Leeds) Saturday 27th March and working on a new EP.

Material Loss is putting out an EP on 26th March on the label Outsider Art (in a batch with – Volunteer Coroner, Fleshlicker, Axebreaker).

My band Bronzed (dance noise outfit) are working on some new stuff and hopefully playing more shows post pandemic – https://bronzed.bandcamp.com/releases


Thanks to Chris R for agreeing to answer some questions, lots of cool new music to check out here and for those of you mourning Cattle, there’s a whole host of related projects to delve into!

Photo Credit: Chad Mark Murray.

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