An interview with AXIS – Industrial Electronic Rock Band – Part 2 -

An interview with AXIS – Industrial Electronic Rock Band – Part 2

by on May.08, 2011, under MUSIC, UPDATES

MARCH 24, 2011

TO READ PART 1 of this interview CLICK HERE

This interview was recorded March the 24th of 2011 at the Cherry Street Coffee House in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Axis Industrial Electronic Rock Band

CLICK HERE to hear the AUDIO MP3 INTERVIEW with AXIS – industrial electronic rock band from Oklahoma

I’m Brian Copeland – lead singer of the progressive industrial group Euphonic Dissonance. I’m conducting this interview with Axis to expose people to other great industrial/electronic bands from our home state of Oklahoma.

Axis has shared the stage with some of the most influential bands in the industrial and electronic genres. These include Slick Idiot, Mankind Is Obsolete, Lords Of Acid and My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult. Filled with meaningful melodies and emotional depths, Steven Blackwell’s programming, producing and studio sound experience along with Vixx’s resonating vocals combine to create their unique sound.

I’m having coffee with the members of Axis in a back room of a very busy and – needless to say – noisy coffee house. Let’s meet the members of this mind warping electronic rock band – Steven and Vixx.

Brian:  You recently opened for the Belgian industrial techno band Lords of Acid at their show in Tulsa. What was it like opening for such a well know and influential band?

Steven:  It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. Still kind of taking it in. It was our biggest crowd in Tulsa easily and definitely the most responsive too. Aside for opening for some really great bands last night and getting to meet some really good – really talented and influential musicians – our live side of it was amazing. We had a great time. I am still recovering actually.

Vixx: Yeah, that was the best show we have ever had. We had so much fun. We had really great crowd response. We sold the most merchandise we’ve ever sold. We actually ran out of stuff which we never thought would happen in Tulsa because there was actually a lot of new people. It wasn’t just our friends that we usually always see out. Actual new people got to hear us for the first time and really liked us and actually wanted to support us whereas our friends they support us in spirit but they don’t feel like they need to buy anything because they know us.

Steven: That and I have a bad habit of giving things away.

Vixx: Yeah.

Steven: Going back to that question about industrial being dead – after seeing the crowd and everything last night that’s my inspiration on saying no I don’t think industrials dead.

Brian: I tend to agree. But there’s a second part to this question which is – do you think the experience will open to doors for Axis? You’ve kind of answered that. Obviously a good crowd came to your show. People saw you that had never seen you before. Where do you go with that?

Steven: To be honest with you I really didn’t think it was going to do a whole lot for us. I was kind of skeptical. I was really happy to be on the bill but we’ve been on bills before but it was great. We had great crowd response – we had a good time but it never really went beyond one good night – one good show. Um, last night however – the Lords of Acid show we seemed to get a really good crowd response – we sold a lot more merch than any of the other show. We got a lot more exposure and the bands Angelspit, Lords of Acid, Chant, Radical G – all those guys gave us nothing but praise after the fact and had mentioned the possibility of putting us on their label. So we’re still kind of waiting to hear back on that and see how that goes but it definitely opened some doors.

Vixx: As far as where to go from last night – not too sure. I mean I asked a lot of people for their facebook information but Tulsa has been such a fickle market for us and trying to get repeat fans has not been easy. I think we have one or two actual fans that will come to most of our shows but as far as getting a good group of people to come to all of our shows has not happened and we’re kind of at a loss for how to make that happen.

Brian: When it comes to live performance what musical artists influence you the most? And strictly just live performance in this scenario.

Steven: Oh man. I don’t know if there is any  one particular. I was really inspired by – some of the first shows I went to were some of the big names in industrial in the 90’s. They were easily the best shows that I’ve ever seen. Bands like Gravity Kills, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Ministry – all these guys put on great show and I would be flattered if anyone ever said you guys put on a show to that caliber. So I’d have to say that just seeing those shows is what inspired me, It wasn’t anyone in particular.

Vixx: I just kind of recently got into industrial over the past five years. Before that I was into metal and I went to a lot of metal shows pretty early on so for me kind of some of my influences were Motograter who did some awesome stuff with saws and Slipknot who were just banging on everything. You kind of get a little bit of that with our live performance now. I play on a big oil barrel. I do percussion on that and then I also have a angle grinder that I shoot sparks off of.

Steven: We’re working on interpreting some more strange percussion and the use of more power tools. Things that shoot sparks – things that make noise – I love all these things. I think they make for a good show.

rock electronic band axis

Brian: What can we expect to see at a live gig? I think you just covered that but give us some more.

Steven: We try to keep it as energetic as possible. It kind of depends on what show. We’re pretty versatile in that like I said earlier the E.P. is very gritty – it’s very energetic and electronic and then the album is much more well electronic rock oriented. So the live shows at any given time depending on who we’re playing with or where we’re playing – we can play songs from either genre or mix it up. We usually try to keep it pretty energetic – sometimes emotional. Like I said, we like to bring crazy stuff up on stage and see what can we do with it.

Vixx: Almost any given point during a song one of us will be on vocals. I bounce back between percussion, keyboard and vocals. Steven’s on guitar and we’re just kind of all over the place bouncing around. I’m playing on different things. We’re just rocking out and having a good time.

Steven: I’m always looking for some way to create some new piece of equipment to bring on stage.

Brian: And next question is my favorite – what’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you at a live performance?

Steven: (asks Vixx) What’s yours?

Vixx: Hm. I know what yours is.

Steven: What’s mine?

Vixx: Whenever Trent broke the angle grinder blade. The one where the dude broke his jaw in the mosh pit.

Steven: Oh yeah, I think it might have all happened at one show. It was a just simultaneous. It was all complete havoc. *Steven laughs* It was when we were down to a three of four piece from the five piece and my vocalist at the time broke out the angle grinder on a barrel and it was really kind of spontaneous. And I just like ripped off my shirt – ran over and grabbed the barrel in front of him and he pushed down on the angle grinder too hard and busted the blade. So it shot chunks into my stomach and shot other chunks into the audience members and simultaneously or sometime into the set ….

Brian: You shrapneled your audience?

Steven: Yes, we shrap-metaled the audience. And at some point during the same song some kid got his jaw broken in the mosh pit. As soon as the song was over there was just a group of people standing off in the back of the audience recovering. That was pretty crazy.

Brian: (to Vixx) Can you top that?

Vixx: No, I can’t really top that but probably the craziest thing was last night. I had gotten this cat suit it was spandex like or blend. I really couldn’t find anything good to wear and I figured it would be a good time to wear that. I’d been wearing it around the house because it like feety pajames an it’s comfortable. So we knew that it was a little bit see through but only just a little bit. Then I got and stage and with the stage lights it was completely see through. So, I’m still kind of embarrassed about that one.

Steven: Well, the audience loved it.

Brian: Yeah, I’m sure the audience had a much greater appreciation of that than you did.

*everyone laughs*

axis against a wall electronic rock band

Brian: Trent Reznor said in a 1992 Spin magazine interview that  people in Tulsa, Oklahoma are weirder than people in New York or L. A. because there is nothing to do and when they rebel they go all out. How have you been received in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, you kind of covered that earlier. It doesn’t sound like very well.

Steven: Well it depends because the show that I just mentioned with the shrap metal – the broken jaw and all that was in Enid, Oklahoma. Enid, Oklahoma – they invite us back all the time despite this stuff. They love it. They absolutely eat it up. When the shrap metal went into the audience and everybody got kind of cut up and everybody was just like “yeah!” and they rocked out for the rest of the set. Those guys love it out there and I mean this in the best possible sense – a little weirder. They do go all out whereas Tulsa to me is not the city that used to be when it comes to the underground. Tulsa used to have a lot more underground feel. A much more underground, artsy, artistic scene and the kids used to dress up a lot more and come out to shows a lot more.

Vixx: I think everyone went a little all out a one  too many times  and nobody goes out anymore.

Steven: Yeah, you don’t really see it much anymore. If you go to the smaller towns that is still true – like Enid.

Vixx: Stillwaters pretty good. Lawton.

Steven: Little towns where there really isn’t anything to do. We go out and play those shows. Those show are often the most fun because they really will go all out.

Brian: What sort of fan base does Axis attract?

Steven: That’s hard to say. We’ve had  a pretty eclectic group of people through the years. It’s one reason I don’t like to stick to saying we’re an industrial band because I really like having a broad audience. That’s one thing that I’ve always appreciated having – people that are into completely other styles of music coming up and saying that they really like our stuff. That’s incredibly flattering to me.

Brian: Other than where’s the best place to find you on the web?

Steve: You can find us on facebook as Axis Satellite. We’re also on ReverbNation under Axis Satellite. Just to clarify – the reason we use Satellite at the end was partially promotion for our upcoming album which was titled 23 Degrees and we were trying to keep with this theme. Like the earth’s axis is on a tilt of 23 degrees. Essential the website or anything online are kind of a satellite from what we’re actually doing. I just felt like that needed justification because everyone that  finds us thinks we’re Axis Satellite.

Vixx: And the main reason is also Facebook was the big push on that because you can’t have a band name. It has to be a first and last name. Well, we still want people to find us as a band so we added Satellite as our last name.

Steve: So you can find us on Facebook and ReverbNation.

Brian: Excellent. Well that’s all the questions. I want to thank you for doing the interview here at the wonderful Cherry Street Coffee House in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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