If you have been living in a cave/off the grid/under a rock since 2002 and have never heard of DJ Hell or International Deejay Gigolo Records, then you may have missed out on some of the most exciting music of the last ten years. Of all the music that came out on Gigolo (Zombie Nation, Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills, Fischerspooner, Miss Kittin & The Hacker), CROSSOVER stand out for their intense darkness. This influential electronic darkness has sent aftershocks so forceful they ripple into the current grave wave and witch house scenes.
Originally hailing from New York City, VEE & DEZ have worked in Berlin and are presently based in Los Angeles. Some fruits of their labor include extensive European tours, performing with NY’s legendary Suicide and an ongoing collaborative affair with Mater Suspiria Vision. CROSSOVER (now joined by 3rd member TLG) spent 2010 -2011 writing and recording the songs for the new album GLOOM and are thrilled to see it’s dawning in 2012. Me and Australian Witch House radio host Theway Peoplestare caught up with Crossover for a mind-blowing interview. Most importantly, CROSSOVER talks about their coveted fourth full-length album GLOOM (available now for pre-order from Desire Records France).
TXTBK/Theway Peoplestare: Crossover. How did the name come about? Where did it come from and what does it mean?
Crossover: Hailz n thnx for the interest n svpport ov the CROSS. Also for this opportvnity for vs to spread the verb. We r from the other side ov the trax. We have alwayz been on the wrong side ov what ever side there waz. We r torch bearers for the ovtsider n the vnderdog. We have a morbid infatvation with death, the svper natvral, n the paranormal. CROSSOVER to the other side, to the unknown, the beyond realm, see what’s vnder the veil, look behind the cvrtain, jvst after the gate, and thrv the door. CROSSOVER is a synthesis ov esoteric existential absurdism. TVRN IT VPSIDE DOWN!
You have defined your sound as Gloom for years, now it has manifested as the new album title. What’s the significance there?
CROSS: GLOOM has finally become us. It had taken over and can now be defined. Cold, n grey – clovds n rain. Ovr wingz r big – we svrrovnd u. We have evolved from COZMIK to GLOOM to DARKBEAT!!!
GLOOM is coming out on Desire Records, alongside bands such as //TENSE//, Mass and Newclear Waves. How much does a label’s catalogue influence your decision to release with them? Why did you choose Desire? What goes into developing & maintaining a relationship with a record label? What do you look for in a record label?
CROSS: The aforementioned bandz rvle! We wanted to release ovr muzik with a handz on label that vnderstandz what we do. Desire have been nvthing bvt svpportive and that is what matters. Desire also has a very diverse roster which we think is important for it’s growth. One thing that we have fovnd thvs far is, vnlike other labels that r looking for the “next thing”, we get the sense that the label wants to have loyalty to their artists and develop long standing artistic n pro relationships with them. This is rare these dayz. We were intrigved with their approach with us and interested in the fact that they are a new an vp and cvming label.
You have been leaking tracks from a remix album in the works. What does collaborating bring to the GLOOM release and how do you know when a submitted remix has hit the aesthetic mark soundwise?
CROSS: Over the yearz we had no interest in collaborating. We wanted to make a clear statement with ovr sovnd, style, and ideology. Now after having been at for so long we felt that it waz time. We selected each artist for the RMX’s and in doing so we knew there wovld be no mistake. Not one one has been amiss. We have been so provd n honored with all their werk. A CROSSVER RMX needz to be trve to the artists own style, needz to be pvre in attack when considering the CROSSOVER sovnd, & mvst be dark, sad, n haunting. No one is a stranger to the melancholy. We think it is so beautifvl.
Other than the remix album, are there any collaborations in the pipeline?
CROSS: Ovr ongoing collaboration with Mater Suspiria Vision will bear more frvit in the cvming months.
GLOOM seems to exist in a surreal dream-world, almost like a trite black comedy. How do you transform parody into composition that resonates true sentiment of the human condition?
CROSS: With CROSSOVER there r 2 wvrldz, ovrz and the one everybody else exists in. We speak from both. We live and breathe this and in no way r ovr songz mere artistic abstractions. They may be in code and and gvised at times bvt, these r stories from ovr experience. Each wvrd, phrase, n verse reflects svmthing that has happened to us.
Tell us about the geometric symbol accompanying the GLOOM release?
CROSS: This is the CROSSOVER Symbol, we developed it over the past 2 yearz while writing and recording the songz for GLOOM. It’s real name and meaning r soon to be revealed. We r in the process ov finishing a book which will go into detail abovt it’s properties and potential. It is a magical 7 pointed diagram that from now vntil the end ov time will be associated with CROSSOVER and ovr werk: sovnd, style, n ideology – The M/T.A. The W.L.F., & The OxOxTxBxHxMx! At first glance it’s a dovble pentagram ~ twice the eevil! It’s the badge ov Gloom that wear close to ovr hearts. LOVE / 616 / EVOL / F / GOD / 73 / DOGS / STARS / I / RATS / SENEX / SEX / MAGIC / 6 / SLUT / LUST / 77 / 333 / I 6 9 F / 11:34
I still run into people who are obsessed with the International Deejay Gigolos releases (“OMG, I LOVE Phostographt!!”). How was it to be on Gigolo during the electro heyday and how did you hook up with DJ Hell?
CROSS: It waz a fvckin’ blast and a lot ov werk! Ovr albvm Fantasmo waz already ovt a year before it’s release in 2002 and waz making it’s way in the NYC UG. The Limelight saw it’s re-opening n Hell waz playin’ records. V & I went to check it ovt. We approached him in the DJ booth and handed him a copy. A week later he called and it waz done. 3 Months later, debvt dovble LP & CD n we were off on tovr all over the EU. V & I had never been ina band before and we sold 20,000 copies on paper. Not bad for a covple ov kidz. Hell introdvced ovr muzik to Europe by playing Lady Dragon Slayer in his sets which for the electro/techno scene waza head fvk.
Tell us about your memories of the first ever live Crossover show.
CROSS: Ovr first show waz in at the WMF Clvb in Berlin dvring the Love Parade weekend.We had cvm from Jvpiter, Florida where we decided to hide ovt, rehearse and get prepared for tovr.
Once on the EU shores it waz a whirlwind. We played with Hell and opened for Fischerspooner. On the eve ov ovr show we were at a gallery opening party that label had pvt on and V and I were qvite nervous. We held vp ina corner and were anxious to get to sovnd check. Hell and the label manager came over to say hi and see how we were doin’. We told them we had never performed before so we were a lil on edge.
Hell smiled and said, “no, bvt really, u gvyz have done gigz arovnd NYC right?” We said “uh, no, really we haven’t” with a lil giggle. He lavghed, while the label managers jaw dropped and looked like he had seen a ghost. We were then whisked off to sovndcheck ina black BMW. We went on at 2:00 AM to a packed haus and it went withovt a hitch. I will never forget how it felt to step onto the stage for that first time. We covldn’t see a thing cvz ov the fog machine bvt as soon as the avdience cavght a glimpse ov us they went nutz. Everyone waz so welcoming and xcited.
I know a lot of people want to see you guys perform live. Are there touring plans in the future?
CROSS: Yes, all we wanna do is tovr! We r gathering eqviptment and rehearsing. It has been qviet svmtime so, it will be a retvrn to the stage ina way. We r werkin’ with light n visvalz and will bring all the CROSSOVER Regaila with us. We will perform songz from all 4 albvmz and also new stvff!
How do you look back on the early releases compared to GLOOM? Give us some insight into the evolution of Crossover?
CROSS: We have a master plan and have taken steps with each albvm to progress towardz ovr vltimate goal. We constantly take in new places, thingz, muzik, movies, art, boox, natvre, cities then pvt all ovr experience into ovr muzik n artwerk. For vs it so xciting to kno there is always svmthing that we have yet to discover that we can obsess over and draw inspiration from.
Jvst when one thinx they have seen and heard it all, svmthing amazing new or old sparx ovr interest and we sap it. So in this way we r alwayz evolving and becoming. We think ovr sovnd get’s heavier, dirtier, and more raw eventho ovr prodvction skillz greaten.
Hit the jump for the rest!
What are your views on the progression of the broader music industry? How does this compare to your own sound?
CROSS: We don’t kno ov it. It is the new frontier ina sense so we r trying to be ovr own pioneers. There r no rvles – so we can make ‘em and break ‘em. We have never been interested in what the masses ingest by conciovs choice. All ovr actions have been done by hook or crook and with no means. For us this is not jvst a band or biz. This is total devotion and every move we make is done with passion and integrity. All has been sacrificed for the CROSS. We stand alone. Alwayz have – always will.
What do you think are the values and qualities needed to navigate the music industry?
CROSS: Again, we r not ov this wvrld. We stay trve and innovate. For us it’s abovt destroying thinking patterns, mind invasion & magic. We wanna lure in the listener and saturate them with isolationist and mystikal beliefs. Ovr gift is irresolvable uncertainty.
How has the demographic of your fan base changed and developed over the years?
CROSS: We have die-hard headz that have been there from the beginning – Card carrying members. We have seen waves ov new listeners from all sorts ov scenes. From synth to goth, to dark ambient to black metal, neo-folk to indvstrial. We have been embraced. Witch House kicked open the doors for us too. Now there’s Grave Wave, Ghost Drone, & GLOOM! WORSHIP!
Often in interviews you will site environmental and social (sur)realities as influences. What music has influenced you and what do you listen to in your down-time?
CROSS: Black Metal, Neo-Folk, Dark Ambient, Martial Indvstrial, New Beat, Gabber.
Your stance seems to be anti-culture and anti-cvlt. Yet Crossover promotes a unity like cult following with such elements as the MTA and the quote ‘Never Leave the Cvlt’ on your latest Ltd edition pendants. How does this duality work with the Crossover philosophy?
CROSS: The best cult is an Anti-Cvlt – also the most dangerovs. We promote freedom ov the self and the trvest expression ov that. Do what the fvck u want – Fvck everyone else. Don’t take any wooden nickels and don’t roll over and play dead for anybody. CROSSOVER is a union ov rvnawayz, heathens n heretix. Get the latest Pirate Communique Vol. 2 # 3 The MOONKVLT Issve if u wovld like to kno more. Black Project, Black Order, Order of the Black Half Moon, Temple ov Gloom, First Chvrch ov the Moon, Web Chaple. FTW/WTF
You have often spoken of a nomadic lifestyle in interviews. Relocating can be both upheaval and stimulating. What parts of such transition motivates the art?
CROSS: We r Reactionists and committed to constant change – now is the only thing that is real. When in-between all is possible – it’s the chrysalis. No tvrning back, forward march! This is the way it is svpposed to be. When we domesticate, we stagnate, fester, then spiritual n physical virus n disease sets in.
Your lyrics have always represented personal meaning and critiques of your immediate environment, how do you retain your private self when so much of your personal thoughts are made public through music?
CROSS: We r always on the move and hide ovt in the woodz. Now u see us – now u don’t. We protect ovr privacy tho we r not scared to share ovr trve feelingz with the wvrld. There is nvthing worse than the fake.
Over the years you have both taken on characters rat boy/rat girl and of course Dezmond/Verona. How are these characters relevant to your work now?
CROSS: We r D&V, EEV & ZED, RATBOY n RATGIRL, alwayz have been alwayz will be. Take vp yr alias, learn to ride a horse n wield a sword for we have entered the New Dark Ages.
For those unaware of the third member of Crossover, tell us about TLG’s role in the band. Why does he stay behind the scenes? Has he been around the whole time or has he made a comeback just for GLOOM?
CROSS: TLG stays hidden by choice, his muzik speax for it’self. He lives near the ocean in north east. He joined the CROSS in 2007 and forged SPACE DEATH n GLOOM with us. We have yet to be in the same room with him, bvt when we do we will get fotografik evidence. We also plan to kidnap him for tovr! DEHAILZ!!! D&V CRSSVR M/T/A W.L.F. OxOxTxBxHxMx!!! VAMPIRES, WITCHES, & GHOSTS THE WOODZ & THE NIGHT- TXTBK