SF: You describe Emaciator's early intentions as "anonymity and early industrial / power electronics", as opposed to present intentions of "progression; evolution; hybrids; drone / meditation, etc..." What has influenced you into thinking differently about your art in this time of transition?
JB: After a while I realized it was dumb, immature, and regressive for me to be playing any sort of variation on the dead horse of 'power electronics.' I wanted to do something with lasting depth, while also suggesting progress; it just began to happen naturally.
About four years ago you released a cassette on Josh Rose's rundownsun label and you've also collaborated with Sam Mckinlay in the supergroup Black Air. How were these Vancouver connections spawned and how boundless is your relationship with the city?
Unfortunately I haven't had any contact with Sam or Josh for a while now; they're both good guys, though, and Sam is one of few people left incorporating great ideas into 'the harsh noise object.' I think I met both of them through the usual channels of mutual appreciation, trading, etc. I've been to Vancouver a few times and have always had a good experience within the city. I definitely need to go back sometime.
You've performed live extensively through the east and west coasts of the US. What has been your experience with the live setting? Any interesting stories while on tour?
I go back and forth with this -- sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't; there are a lot of factors that vary from one show to another. It took me a long time to embrace the uncertainty and accept the fact that the live set is never perfect. However, I will always be most comfortable in the studio.
As for tour stories: getting verbally berated as 'performance art' in front of a crowd in Minneapolis just for doing something that someone else didn't agree with is the experience that best stands out. Too bad I didn't get to join the fight that erupted.
Of the growing number of Emaciator satellite projects, your collaboration with Shannon Kennedy is no doubt perennial. What has made Pedestrian Deposit a lasting musical force?
Stubbornness, possibly. I don't think I can accurately answer this question. With that said, though, P.D. is the only project I'm interested in doing at this point; both of us are very interested in combining hybrids from several genres of music that influence us. I view my other projects as examinations into specific interests; very streamlined, more temporary for one reason or another.
Almost all of your releases, including those you release on your own label, are cassettes. What draws you to the analog format? Do you feel as though tapes make as much of a lasting impact as other formats?
When I started, it was a matter of financial convenience to do tapes. I also wanted to push the format into uncharted territory distribution-wise, but that was unsuccessful. Now, it is obsession -- I probably listen to cassettes more often than any other format, and have for years.
I certainly hope that tapes have some sort of a lasting impact, as they do for me. But some people cannot be changed. It frustrates me when more traditionally-minded people view tape releases as 'temporary.' CD-r's strike me as temporary, and downloads even more so. This is part of my goal with Monorail, to change this mindset -- and I will continue to strive for it.