Velvet Acid Christ were born in the early 90’s, the evolution of Cyber Christ. Blending goth elements with more club oriented electro-industrial sounds. Whilst other figures have played their part throughout the years the key figure throughout has been Bryan Erickson aka Disease Factory aka Hexfix93. Fresh off their first tour in over a decade VAC answered a few questions about touring, fan expectations and other things.
You recently went on tour in the US for the first time in over a decade. How did that go and what made you decide to go on tour after such a long time?
The tour was hit and miss. We did well where the scene was still doing well and had poor turn outs in bad scene towns. Still I loved playing in front of all my fans, even the small crowds. We did not bankrupt any promoters in the process either because I work with them and I never ask for more than can be delivered. I decided to tour because of the pressure from my fans and my record label. Everyone wanted shows. And my old time friend talked me into it. Will I ever tour again? Maybe, but mostly I only want to play in the towns with healthy thriving scenes.
Speaking of touring you’ve spoken of wanting to play in Europe and suggested the idea of crowd funding a European tour, when would this tour be likely to happen and how can fans help make it happen?
I dont like the idea now. I feel like its begging. If I cannot book the shows then I don’t deserve to play, it’s that simple. Europe is hard to book because flights cost
$1500 usd per person. So if I fly 2 people thats $3000 over head + van rental, gas and hotels. Its not realistic for me now as I think my fanbase in Europe has shrunk. At Aggra Hall in WGT we had a huge crowd, but I don’t think that translates into a successful European tour. No promoters in Europe seem to be interested in me right now, well I should say the festivals are not interested in me.
Whilst on the subject of Europe, you’ve mentioned you’re a big fan of Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig where you’ve played recently ,what’s made that stand out for you?
They took me seriously, and paid me well. No one else in Europe has treated us this well so far. I loved the event, I played there before 13 years ago, but never stuck around and watched the other shows. It was amazing. I love that place so much and I cannot wait ’til 2015, I hope to play there again.
As VAC you’ve produced a lot of material over the years, do you have personal favourites from the and on the flipside is there anything that you look back on unfavourably?
It’s so hard to pick favorites. I do like ‘Calling ov the dead’ and ‘Fun with knives’ the most. But love parts of every LP too, and hate parts as well. I’m picky. I feel like ‘Hex Angel’ and ‘The art of breaking apart’ were not finished and needed more work. I feel like ‘Fun with knives’ and ‘Calling ov the dead’ are the most complete and polished. I feel like ‘Maldire’ is amazing for being completely a solo LP with just me.
You’ve previously mentioned that the follow up to your last release ‘Maldire’ titled ‘Mauvais’ is just awaiting vocals, when can fans expect to see that released?
I am working on that now, doing vocals and writting a few new tracks, I hope to have it out this summer or fall.
KMFDM and Wumpscut two artists you admire both have remix albums, is this something you can see VAC putting out perhaps as part of a ‘best of’ package and who would you like to remix your material?
The problem is, all the really good people want money. I never get paid for any of the remixes I do. but everyone else wants money, I cannot pay. I am thinking about a best of Vinyl Record. I might do this really soon.
‘The art of breaking apart’ whilst featuring the synth layers, beats and samples associated with electro-industrial and the VAC ‘sound’ on ‘Caustic disco’ and ‘Killed in space’, also featured ‘Black rainbows’ amongst others which featured a sound more akin to The Cure, with a more stripped down approach and acoustic guitar sounds. This was divisive amongst fans with some regarding it as an impressive addition to your sound and others wanting more club oriented tracks. Did this response effect your approach to ‘Maldire’ the follow up which featured a return to a more ‘traditional’ VAC sound?
H93: Yes, I feel like ‘The art of breaking apart’ needed to be all accoustic, and no synths and it needed to be a side project. I should of never done a VAC LP like that.
Ever since ‘Fun with knives’, it has been the death of the goth side of VAC. I used guitars a lot in very early VAC and kind of ‘The art of breaking apart’ was a throw back to the roots of VAC. But my big fan base grew out of ‘Fun with knives’ and ‘Twisted thought generator’, my synth LPs. So that is what they wanted and felt betrayed by ‘Lust for blood’ and ‘The art of breaking apart’. ‘Maldire’ is not selling well now and I think it is because I let down the hard core fans with 2 goth oriented LPs. If I ever do a goth record again, I will go to project or a goth label and come up with a new band name for it. I will never release guitar music again on Metropolis Records. Its a curse.
You’ve mentioned that you regard your friend Rudy Ratzinger as your idol and his Wumpscut project as one of the best in the electro-industrial genre. How did you first cross paths with the elusive musician infamous for not playing live?
I knew people back in the day and got Rudy’s phone number and I called him and used to chat. Before I was big. right after ‘Bunkergate seven’. He told me once on the phone that ‘Calling ov the dead’ was amazing. I think ‘Embryodead’ and ‘Dried blood of gommorah’ are my favorite industrial LPs of all time even better than Puppy and Ministry in my book.
As well as VAC you’ve also been working on side project Toxic Coma, what’s the difference between the two?
VAC is my serious side about the awful things in life. Toxic Coma is funny drug music. Inside jokes and trying to sound as awful as wel can.LOL