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Non-Prog Interviews


Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Klayton of Celldweller from 2004
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 3 at

Your bio states that Celldweller is "A concept born of experiences of personal and cultural bondage". Would you care to elaborate on that?
There is no need to break it down to detailed situations. I firmly believe in preserving the power of interpretation, and I contradict that if I get too specific. I can say as a generalization that conceptually Celldweller is more a reflection of an internal bondage as opposed to a physical, external one.
MSJ: How would you describe your music?
I try not to. Unfortunately human nature doesn't let something be what it is - it must sound, look or feel like something else in order for people to digest it. I just let everybody else decide for me what Celldweller sounds like. I love electronic music. I love technology. I love aggressive guitars and bass. I love live drums. I love lush vocal melodies. I love sensual atmospheres. The list goes on. I suppose Celldweller is some amalgam of all of these and then some.
MSJ: What about the live show? How would you describe it for those of us who have not had the chance to see it?
Again it comes back to the preserving the power of interpretation. I will just say that for me there is nothing entertaining about a typical rock n roll show. Listening to a band stand there and just play back a CD, song for song doesn't do a thing for me. My mind is a complicated mess, so I need more stimuli to keep it from falling asleep. The live show incorporates a live band, video projections, performance art and instruments designed specifically for the show. The 3 of us up front (myself, Kem and Dale) play multiple instruments depending on the requirements of the piece. Mike holds down the drums and electronic percussion. The show is as big as is practical for us to tour at this level. I have many ideas that I don't have room for on the stages we are currently playing, so I'll have to wait to realize them.
MSJ: You are definitely a multi-talented individual. How did you come to play so many different instruments?
I've heard the phrase 'Jack of all trades, master of none."I think it may be more determination than talent. I use any instrument and art form as a means to an end. I never cared about being the best double bass drummer, or the fastest lead guitar player. Couldn't care less, My only desire was to learn different instruments well enough so I could get what I hear in my head onto tape. I never had any formal training with anything I've done. I was just hungry for knowledge and would watch everyone I could, ask as many questions as I could get answers for and hide away to practice and write.
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
Too many to name. My earliest childhood memories are of music my grandfather would play -from disco, classical and choral to Elton john and Styx. (I grew up fascinated by 'Mr Roboto' and didn't discover the vocoder til many years later.) My teen years were filled with testosterone injected metal - Slayer, Testament, Trouble. I grew out of that into new wave and industrial when I grew bored of the guitar, bass drums setup of every band. These days it all about Goa and Psy trance, hard Drum and Bass and Techno. Most of what is being pawned off as music on our radio waves and Music video stations bores the living f**k out of me. Is nu metal dead yet? Thank god.
MSJ: Are there any other artists out there who you would really like to work with as producer, musician, songwriter or vocalist?
Absolutely. It is more about artists I would like to work with than producers. I am fairly focused and opinionated when it comes to my art, so producers aren't something very high on my list of people to work with. The only one I've ever had a desire to work with was Flood. After Depeche Mode's 'Violator' I was sold.
MSJ: What is on the horizon for Celldweller?
Unfortunately for me, lots of touring. I'll be working on new material over the holidays and then back out on the road. There are lot of plans, but how and when they play out is on a conditional basis.
MSJ: The body art on the cover of your CD is it makeup or tattoos?
11 hours of makeup.
MSJ: What artists would you like to tour with?
Technical Itch, Astral Projection, Blue Man Group.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Last CD: DJ Hardware - Let the drums speak. Listening: Frou Frou, Way out West, AK 1200, Technical Itch
MSJ: What was the last concert you saw?
Dieselboy & DJ Rap
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Well Spinal Tap got lost underground in Ohio, but at least they eventually
surfaced and were lucky enough to be in a stadium. Last time we played
Ohio we played a Laundromat.
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