FIRST OF ALL CONGRATULATIONS TO YOUR NEW ALBUM .I CONFESS, FIRST TIME HEARING YOUR ALBUM, I`VE BEEN SOME KIND OF SURPRISED. SO WHERE’S THE “OLD” STYLE? Chris: Thank you! I think the old style is there in terms of aesthetics, it’s just that the production and focus are better. I suppose it has less live and minimal moments,too. Ross : If you really listen, the „old style“ is still there but this time around Decree is more of a band effort and the input from both Sean and myself is obviously going to change how the band sounds. It is important to know regarding the line up change that Sean and I were, and are, fans of Decree and Chris‘ work and did not set out to change anything. All we wanted to do concerning Decree was putting out the best album that we can. OBVIOUSLY YOUR ALBUM CONSISTS OF 2 PARTS! A GUITAR ORIENTATED AND AN EXPERIMENTAL PART. IS THERE ANY SPECIAL CONCEPT BEHIND THIS? Chris: The first album was like that too, really, it’s just that you couldn’t identify the guitar parts as clearly before. Ross has a great range of tone and I’ve always seen the guitar as a good cheap source of strange sounds, it just depends on how you play it, and how much I end up twisting it up afterwards, too. There’s no real ‘concept’ behind it as much as an open mindedness towards its use. Ross: Interesting observation, although I think what you may be hearing is the evolution of the band and the songwriting. This album is comprised of songs that we have recorded over a number of years and over that time we have grown as a band and as songwriters. A lot of what you are hearing is us trying to find an identity, getting used to each other and finding a way to write together. THE LINE-UP OF DECREE HAS CHANGED. WHERE DID YOU MET AND DO YOU WORK AT OTHER PROJECTS/ BANDS ACTUALLY? Chris: We met a long time ago through common friends during the days when I was working on Will. We’ve all collaborated in less formal ways before but only got more serious about it after 1997 as far as the new line up goes. Ross: We have known each other as friends for a very long time and that is how we came together as a band. When Decree fell apart after “Wake of Devastation” Chris asked if I would be interested in working on something that could be used for a possible Decree release, as I was fan of Decree I couldn’t say no. It is has worked out really well, we managed to get this record done and not want to kill each other. For me Decree is my main focus, but we all have side projects that we work on and have fun with but Decree is really the most creative project and fufilling thing I have ever done. HOW DID YOU MANAGE PRODUCTION, I MEAN HAS IT BEEN DIFFICULT TO COME TO ONE CONCLUSION WITH THREE DIVERSE ARTISTS? Chris: It was never too difficult because we all had the same goals and were on the same page really. Of course there’s the odd difference of opinion but the worst we ever do is ask each other to be better and that’s a healthy thing if you can keep your ego in check. If someone is a control freak then you have a situation that can get ugly but that isn’t the case with us. Sean and Ross trust me a lot with the mixing and production too, so that helps a lot. Ross: Creating „Moment of Silence“ was not the easiest thing in the world to do and yes there were a few arguments, but we are really good friends and I think to maintain a good level of communication you need to argue a bit. Each of us is pretty opinionated and head strong with our musical tastes and I think this is what makes “Moment of Silence” an incrediblyly strong album. THE „MOMENT OF SILENCE“ COULD BE DESCRIBED AS THE MOMENT AFTER A CATASTROPHE, DO YOU THINK THIS WILL HAPPEN IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND HOW (NATURE OR MANKIND)? Chris: Well, if we don’t get each other the planet will. Eventually there will be just far too many of us on this planet and it won’t be able to sustain us. All species have population control mechanisms but we don’t and nobody is saying “Hey, we can’t keep going down this road with our heads up our asses”. I don’t think we’re meant to live up to our elbows in each others crap and eventually something has to give. A new disease that we can’t cure, global warming/ eco-disasters, any number of things really. I hope not obviously, but it’s not looking good for the next generations of people, and I hope they don’t inherit an overcrowded garbage covered world. I often worry that these are the last of the “good old days”. Ross: All anyone needs to do is to turn on the television or read a paper to see the path that we as humans are taking. We have to face the fact that we are an extremely violent and destructive race and unless we change this we will destroy ourselves. How is it going to happen, who knows? Sean: I can’t say that I have much faith in mankind’s future – all signals seem to be pointing at some kind of bad end – which is part of our own arrogance to assume that we are here forever. DO YOU FOLLOW POLITICAL STUFF? AND WHAT DO THE CANADIANS THINK ABOUT THEIR „BIG“ NEIGHBOUR USA? Sean: I follow politics a fair bit, yet I prefer not to express my views to often – I think it’s difficult to have absolute certainty with politics and current events… the same goes with the U.S. – it’s easy to start picking them apart yet you risk over simplifying a people and culture. Ross: It is pretty hard not to take notice of what is going on with the USA and the rest of the world, but as a Canadian I tend to pay more attention to what is going on in my own country. Chris: I try and avoid getting into politics, but it’s hard to ignore sometimes. I would like to see it be easier for Canadian/ foreign artists to travel and work in the US, because it is an important cultural exchange and I don’t think they should isolate themselves so much. YOUR MUSIC IS VERY DARK AND DOOMSDAY-LIKE. ARE YOU THAT ANGRY IN “REAL” LIFE OR DO YOU LIKE LIVING THE NORMAL WAY? Sean: It may seem a paradox to others but I feel that being happy and enjoying life bears no relation to being pessimistic or misanthropic – and art is the very best outlet for expressing those feelings because you can turn that angst into enjoyment. Ross: I wouldn’t describe us as angry individuals, pretty normal in fact, but I will add that the three of us are not the happiest people. We are most certainly not the positive types that think everything in this world is wonderful and great and with music we are able to express some of these darker types of emotions. For myself if I didn’t have music as an outlet, I would be in a lot of trouble. Chris: For me it’s about balance. Music gives me a place to work out my most negative and self-destructive emotions, but I don’t feel that way all the time. I’m enjoying life as much as possible while working hard as well. REGARDING YOUR ALBUM ARTWORK, I GET THE IMPRESSION THAT ART AND HISTORY ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CREATION! IS THAT RIGHT? IF YES, WHICH KIND OF ART DO YOU PREFER AND IN WHICH TIME DO YOU WOULD LIKE TO LIFE IF YOU COULD CHOOSE? Sean: I can’t say that I would want to live in another time in history – there is too much romance about those kind of notions – unless I could live a life of privilege then it would be fine to live during any great epoch. As to art, I have favourites from all across art history – from Brueghal to Anselm Keifer I’ve always taken a big interest particularly in western art. Ross: If I could choose any period to live in it would be now, everything in this world is changing so drastically. This is truly a very exciting time to be alive. Chris: I agree with Ross, there are so many possibilities in this time frame that it’s a good time to be around. If I had to pick a different era, I would go with maybe the prohibition era in the States. I like how all the illegal bars sprouted up and music was a big part of it, too. It was kind of like the birth of the underground really, and it must have been a fun exciting time despite the problems they were having. As for art, I know what I like, but I’m bad with names and remembering who did what. I go to new artist openings as much as possible to see what’s going on now, rather than the historical stuff. WHAT ARE THE MAIN DRIVING SOURCES BEHIND YOUR MUSIC? Chris: It’s about dealing with things that trouble me in a healthy and constructive way. It’s also a lot of fun so don’t get me wrong, it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s important to me to leave something behind that makes me feel like my life meant something, and that I made some kind of mark on the world. Also, as much as I get out of it, I understand the importance of hearing something that stikes a chord in you and makes you feel glad that you’re not alone in feeling the way you do about things. I like how music brings me closer to the rest of the world. Ross: Hatred and Disgust. With Decree I believe our motivation is to create the music we want to hear. There is so much music out there these days that does nothing for us, a lot of the so called heavy bands to me sound very formulaic and lack any type of emotion, “one trick ponies” in my mind, writing music much in the same way you would follow a color by numbers painting. For myself “Moment of Silence” is the album I have wanted to hear for a very long time. Sean: For me a longtime love of heavy music and literature – I’ve always explored the dark side of art and that’s the kid of thing I want to create. CHRIS, YOU`VE BEEN WORKING WITH BILL LEEB. HAS THERE BEEN ANY INFLUENCES BY THIS CO-OPERATION? SOME SPECIAL “FEELING” THAT REMAINED? Chris: It improved my production skills a great deal. The biggest influence on me during the FLA days was actually Greg Reely. He’s an amazing guy and he pushed me harder than anyone else ever would. I learned a lot from him and I have benefited immensely from his high standards. Bill’s biggest influence on me was more about the discipline of working long hours on a daily basis, making deadlines, and the business side of music, which also helped me a lot. YOU`RE SIGNED TO THE GERMAN RECORD LABEL „MINUSWELT“ LIKE OTHER VERY INTERESTING EBM-BANDS. ANY SPECIAL PROJECTS/ REMIXES PLANNED? I THINK YOU’VE GOT MUCH IN COMMON WITH BANDS LIKE YELWORC. WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO IN STRICT CONFIDENCE/ DENNIS? Chris: No special projects or remixes planned yet, but who knows? Dennis and I became familiar with each other after I did a remix for ISC’s “Herzattacke”. He liked the mix a lot and we stayed in touch. When I sent him some Decree demos, he liked those, too and he had the courage to put out our album. It’s been good working with him and hopefully we’ll meet face to face soon. Ross: Minuswelt were one of the first labels interested in putting this album out. After we had a chance to consider our options Minuswelt made a lot of sense to sign with. From the start they have been very honest and upfront about what they were going to do with this record and have done exactly what they told us. To be honest I am not familiar with the bands in Minuswelts roster or EBM bands in general, most of my influences come from different genres outside of industrial and electronic music. VANCOUVER SEEMS TO BE A GOOD PLACE FOR ELECTRONIC BANDS? WHAT COULD BE A REASON FOR THIS? Ross: Vancouver is not very big city, contrary to popular belief, and generally people listen to rock music, it has always been this way. With Vancouver’s history of successful electronic bands you will find that the people involved came from a very small circle of friends and acquaintances that were tired of hearing the same garbage and wanted an alternative from what was going on. It also helps that you tend to meet alot of interesting freaks in Vancouver. Sean: No, other than the fact that most of the signature bands all know each other – Vancouver sucks for most music really. ARE THERE ANY CONTACTS TO OTHER BANDS OF YOUR HOMETOWN? DO YOU KNOW YOUR COUNTRY MATES DECODED FEEDBACK/ YONE? Chris: There’s a few, but they’re unkown and don’t have any major releases of any kind. One band that does, and I work with from time to time is Unit 187. Very cool guys and a good listen for sure. A lot of the people I know doing music are in the early stages of their development right now, and everyone else tends to leave Vancouver when things start to pick up for them. Ross: There are so many bands in Vancouver and we really only know a few. Chris is usually a lot more social than Sean or myself and probably knows a lot more of the bands around Vancouver and Canada. As for Decoded Feedback I can’t say that I have ever heard of them. WHICH PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE NEAR FUTURE? LIVEPERFORMANCES, MAYBE EVEN IN GERMANY? Ross: We are planning on playing live shows later this year, possibly starting off with some Canadian and US dates in the fall. We really would like to play some shows in Europe, especially some of the festivals, but we will have to work out the details to make that happen. As for the live version of Decree it will be Chris, Sean, Jason Filipchuk and myself, so it will be a stripped down punishing Decree. I know we are really looking forward to playing live and I can gaurantee that we are going to mess you up. ANY FAMOUS LAST WORDS? Chris: Now that Decree is my main focus again, we’ll be putting out another album much sooner than this one took. And of course, I can’t wait to play this stuff live!! THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW AND GOOD LOOK FOR YOUR FURTHER PLANS. Thank you for doing this interview with us. All the best to you!