MxCx Interview#20 "Monster X"

Monster X

Radio / tv sound designer by day, electro-breakcore mentalist by night, this smiling misfit come from a background in thrash metal and industrial music, with his previous 12-piece metal band gigs involved fake-blood-splattering theatrics and on-stage riots, he later went the solo electronic route as it was more efficient at causing mayhem.

Intrigued by his way of adeptly and confidently switching from solid, body-rocking electro grooves to abstract, mentalist breakcore, feisty hyper-processed dancefloor electronics, labels like Bedroom Research ,Peace Off, and Tigerbeat6 have been quick to release his militant, lunatic sound. He's also one of the member of Fausten , a collaborative project with Stormfield , the Combat Recording label Boss . An Album of Fausten was release in 2013 on the label Ad Noiseam .

Where are you from? Now you live in UK, right? Why did you move to UK? How is life in UK?

I was born in St Martin d'Heres in France near Grenoble . My mother is French and my father was Syrian .
I grew up in St Georges de Commiers a little village near Grenoble then later on , a bit after the first war in Irak we moved closer to Grenoble in the suburbs of Eybens and Echirolles . Grenoble is a nice town with mountains all around it but in the town itself it sucks a bit , it's full of hippies playing bongos in the parks and little hoodies who from time to time start a little fight with the hippies , I was a metal kid anyway so I wasn't involved much with all that crap !

I stopped school at 15 years old , started working in any random shit jobs while i was all ready making music and then one day I was able to quit my job ( in a dialisys center near the morgue ) when I started to make the same amount of money just making music !

That's when I moved to the UK as the music scene there was a bit more vibrant than in France at the time , been here for a while now , it's a weird country , they don't know nothing about food , they got an unelected prime minister and a queen ! But I met a lot of good people here , most them aren't British but some of them are .

When did you start making music? Did you make electronic music from the beginning?

I started to learn how to play the bass guitar at the age of 11. At the beginning I was playing in Grindcore / Brutal death metal band called Ceremonia , we where like 14 years old or something like that , it was crap but we loved it , we even played one gig in Dijon with Dark Age another local death metal band at the time . Then I started a metal / industrial band called Schnartz , we played only locally tho but once we played in a rave and all the ravers got shit scared while others started a moshpit , that was a good memory !

After I stopped playing with other humans as they always had an excuse to not play music like " my girlfriend is a maniac " or " I'm too weak " or " you take too much drugs " then I started to use only computers and samplers , my first set up was an atari with cubase and 3 Akai S950 ( I still got 2 of them ) , then got a shitty PC with Cool Edit and later on started to use Generator and Reaktor , that's around that same time that I made the first Monster X tracks , all inside Reaktor with a home made sequencer and some fx .

Please tell me the author/creator who influenced you.

it's hard to choose only one , it goes from Michael Jackson , Prince , to Cannibal Corpse , Slayer , Deicide to Aphex twin , Autechre and John Williams, John Carpenter , Howard Phillips Lovecraft , David Lynch and the list goes on .

You like Death Metal and Grindcoe. Does such music affect Monster X's IDM / Breakcore? Although Band and electronic music are totally different things,Do you have something in common among you? Do you want to do Band activities?

I like the brutal aspect of those 2 styles , Breakcore can be as brutal as Death metal and those styles mix well together . I used to play with bands but not anymore , who knows I might do it again in the future depending if I can find the good people to work with .

Monster X is recognized as "Breakcore" artist.Do you think yourself as "Breakcore" artist?

mmm , not sure about that , people need to put a name to everything , these days Breakcore is an amen loop with some stutter fx , acid sounds and out of tune melodies , it used to be more varied than that . Also the word " artist " pisses me off when you see what people are calling art in 2017 , modern art is closer to someone farting on a blank page or having a giant butt plug in the middle of Paris and calling it art . I make music and I don't want to stay in only one style , people are free to call it whatever they want .

The music of Monster X is charming with a very complicated beat and heavy/deep sound. How is this complex beat made? Please tell me the process of making song.

I use Ableton as my main DAW , with Reaktor , Cool Edit pro 2 , the GRM tools , Melodyne , Izotope RX , Max for Live and an army of plugins . I got Dynaudio BM6a Mk2 with a Subpac . For controllers I use an old Ipad ( first generation ) with Touch OSC , Konkreet Performer and Lemur apps and an Ableton Push 1 . I also really like the Elektron machines , I got a Machinedrum SPS-1UW+mk2 , a Monomachine SFX60+mk2 and an Analog four .

The process can be different everytime , it can start from a a single sound , a drum beat or anything that gets me inspired , I also sample a lot of old scifi movie soundtrack and then process them in reaktor , usually I do the sound design first and then when I got like a sample bank I start building a structure and resample every track for more processing .

I think your music is very visual.Various images float with sound. What image do you put in your music?

I like to think about it as a dream or a nightmare where different things happens , something challenging for the mind and the body . I watch a lot of horror / scifi movies so I guess you can feel it in my music , also there is sometime a more political message in my music like in my recent EP " Democracy " on Abstrakt Reflections , there is a track called " Prince of Captagon " about this Saudi prince who's got arrested while smuggling a lot of Captagon , the drug used by the Jihadists on the battlefield , all these people should be lined up and executed but UK , US and France are their allies , while they pretend to defend " human's rights " across the globe , that's one message you can find in my music but there might be some hidden messages , try to play some tracks in reverse ...

About Fausten. Since when did the unit start? What is Fausten's music concept? How is music production done?

We started Fausten a few years ago with Derek ( Stormfield ) , we knew each other since when I moved in the UK , one night we were jamming while watching some horror movies and then Fausten happened . We usually work on different parts at home and then meet up and mix everything together , the more recent track we did on the Combat Riot Compilation was done differently , Derek started something then he sent it to me and I finished it , I think we will work more like for future Fausten tracks . The concept if there is one , is slow heavy beats with growling bass sounds and very dark sound design , something to listen to if you get trapped in a basement for many years . 

I heard that you are working on a radio progrum, What are you doing?

I make music beds and sound fx for radio imaging companies , music beds are 30 sec to 60 sec long pieces of music and sound fx are from 6 sec to 10 sec long , for the beds it can be a wide range of different styles from Country music to Dubstep or epic movie trailer type drones depending on what the client wants . The Fx sounds can be interface sounds , mangled ring tones , cash register destroyed through FFT plugins , once I used a horse sound for a country sample pack , that was fun !

What is the difference between music scene in France and UK?

I don't think there is a difference anymore these days , there is a lot of good stuff coming out from both countries so I guess the only difference now is the language and the food !

A lot of electronic musicians have been using modular synthesizers for several years. Are you also interested in modularism?

Yeah everyone got his modular now , I don't , maybe I'll get into that when I live in a bigger flat , but I don't feel a rush to spend all my cash on this , you can do so much all ready with software and I've got my Elektron machines so going modular isn't a priority for me .

What is your hobby? Does it affect music production?

I love cooking meat , playing video games , I recently got a VR headset and I really like it , drinking a lot ( if that can be considered as a hobby ) . Maybe the video games affect my music , specially the war ones , it also stops me from make music sometimes ...

Who is your recent favorite artists?

Recently not so sure , I tend to listen old stuff most of the time , but I can do some name dropping for my friends Subjex , Qebrus , Hypercube , Scald , Emoresh , la Peste , Electric kettle , Stazma etc

Please tell me your future plans and goals.

Moving out of UK , making more music , playing more gigs , I'd like to travel more , maybe having a dog one day and go to the shooting range ! As they say in that Slayer song " more of everything " !!!

Finally, please tell me the origin of the name "Monster X"

I took the name Monster X from the old japanese movie Gamera Vs Monster X ( 1970 ) , I've always loved monsters as a kid and I think it suits well with my music , there is also a hardcore band called Monster X but well there is also other people called Julien , it's just a name in the end .