HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM - INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL CARDOSO  - 6-5-06 
 

Rebel Extravaganza: Take me back to 2003. You'd gotten the brainchild for this band project, called SinDRomE. You'd evoked all these horrifying mental images with your music, found Andre (Vasconcelos), and released an EP.

Daniel Cardoso: Something along those lines, yes. Although I should point out that not only did I find Andre -- who was writing lyrics at the time -- but also Tobel, who was the singer on that EP. He is one of Portugal's  finest. 

RX: Soon, you found yourself looking for a vocalist. Which came first? Trickster G.'s involvement, or the deal with The End? Had you already composed the music when G. entered the picture? 

DC: When Tobel moved to London -- for self-realization and whatnot -- I was a bit pissed and immediately started looking for another singer. Not only did I want someone who had a great voice. I wanted the voice to come with brains as well. Can you think of anyone more suited than Mr. Rygg? I fired off a few mails and some music etc. Luckily, Kris liked me. Pretty soon the two of us started developing some ideas, and not so long after that came The End. 

RX: There seems to be a current of twisted passion running through the music as well as the lyrics. Murder Nature is one of the few albums of the year thus far where the music is as well-suited to the lyrics. Did you come together to record, or was everything done via computer? 

DC:  For the most part, we were relying on the wonders of internet communication. Me and Kris would talk via Skype  or MSN, both our studios are full of geeky internet software, so we did the preliminary recordings like this. Some times Kris could call me from the studio to show me some ideas, real-time, you know. He would also send me some fucked-up lyrics by email. After the basics were down, Kris joined me in Portugal in order to bond as well as tie together the loose ends, small details etc. in the production. Most of the final vocals were recorded in Portugal. 

RX: It almost seems like the musical loops in some of the songs return in others, but are changed, almost metamorphosed into something different. If you're really listening, it's there. 

DC: I'm glad you noticed. Not everyone does. There are no loops that transfer into different tracks, but the loops may sound, or feel, familiar cause that's how a loop sometimes affects the brain. There's a continuum. I'm interested in the cyclical stuff. I dig the fact that "Baby Blue" has a two-note loop that never stops -- from beginning to end -- retaining the same rhythm and notes, while the song's structure and melodies revolve around it. "It Hurts" also contains a cool loop that fits both different song signatures going on. I mean, I had a lot fun with it. 

RX: How much discussion did you have with Trickster G regarding the lyrical content, and he with the musical? Or was it simply a case of two musicians who respected each other's work enough to leave each other alone with their creativity? 

DC: We didn't really step that much on each other's ground. We both know our place.  

RX: You're currently also working in some capacity on at least four other projects (W.A.K.O., Reset, Del, and Velcro). What separates one from the other, and with all these projects upcoming, plus working as a producer for hire, what gave you the need for Head Control System? 

DC:  Only Del and Velcro involve my writing capabilities. Del is my solo project where I sing and play all the instruments. Velcro is a Portuguese band I have with Tobel, who I mentioned before, on vocals. Reset hired me as session drummer and producer, while W.A.K.O. hired me solely as engineer/producer. Head Control System is my fucked-up band with fucked-up G. Del is my most private musical output, and I plan to play live with it one day, unlike Head Control System. Apart from that, I'm about to open my new studio, Ultrasound, in which I'll try to get by as a producer. 

RX: You have previously described Head Control System as "...music for girls that boys will listen to in the closet.". Care to explain? 

DC: We are for the lovers, not the haters. We kinda foresaw some of the lip we'd be getting from the toughest boys in the class. But come on, everybody knows that the more black leather and macho shit you put on, the more suppressed homosexuality you've got inside. So it was our way of giving a little lip back. It's no big deal. 

RX: The artwork varies between the erotic, the disturbing, and the disturbingly erotic. I would think that pretty much sums up the whole of the album's tone as well. Did you scour the internet for random photos?  

DC: Most of the photos were taken by our designer Pedro Daniel. As for the girls, they took their photos themselves.  Hopefully dreaming we were there, to command them. 

RX: Head Control System had a functional website nearly before it had a record deal. How important do you see the internet as a promotional tool, especially sites like purevolume and MySpace? 

DC: It no doubt helped us spread the word. And I'm sure it has had an impact on sales. MySpace is probably the best promotional resource right now. Besides, this band was kinda born through the internet, so it makes sense that we keep a close, almost intimate, relation with it. 

RX: Wouldn't you almost say, though, that having good recording software easily at your disposal, and the methods to distribute your music so widely via the internet almost cheapen the beauty of the recorded work? I mean to say, would you rather have five great bands or five thousand good bands available to you for listening? 

DC: Personally, I'd go with five great bands. But what can you do? The downside with all this new technology is that  quality control is impossible. It allows piss-poor musicians to present themselves and what they are [in]capable of. There's just too much music floating around in cyberspace, and it makes it a lot harder to find the gems. It's a real pitfall. We recently posted a little note about that on our MySpace page. I usually discover new music via my friends telling me "Hey Daniel, check this out, it's great.", you know. After all, they already know what I like. 

RX: What's next for yourself and for Head Control System

DC: More music for both of us. Separately and together.

www.headcontrolsystem.com


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