An interview with Johnny Violent
by Scott Hefflon
So I just saw your first ever show as Ultraviolence in the states, here in Boston. What are your tour plans like?
Well, I’m going to go back to New York and look up a close, personal friend of yours. I’m going to find out your home number, and I’m going to fuck your wife. In the ass. She likes it that way. Truthfully, it’s a 16-date tour, and then I go home to Nottingham, in England.
Is that where you learned to ply your trade, fucking people’s wives in the ass?
Oh yes, that’s the socially acceptable thing in Nottingham.
I guess I’ll have to visit.
Make sure to bring your wife.
On this tour, are you going to have any back-up performers?
This is just a way for me to get my music across to people. I like people to hear it. I don’t think it’s much to look at, really. Unlike my wife.
Have you thought about video in the background, maybe films of us fucking your wife?
Video projectors are expensive…
So’s your wife…
…but I’d like to show short films, maybe have a bunch of friends around, half-naked, screaming…
What about movie clips or something?
No, that’s not for me. I’d want to make my own. Original.
I’ve got a burning question: I’ve heard the CD, I’ve seen the live show; what do you actually do on stage?
Not much actually. Press buttons at the right time.
So you wear sunglasses, you dance around like a motherfucker…
…And you press buttons at the right time – that’s your live show?
You should wear bubblewrap, or a clingwrap diaper… You sat in a studio and made all this music; what images did you have when you made it, and how do you want to project them?
I want to get the music across to the people. It’s really fucking loud, and people generally participate in their own ways. They’re enjoying it, they don’t really have to look at me.
You ever thought about doing it naked? I mean, if you’re on stage and your biggest responsibility is pushing buttons at the right time – why not do it naked? It would be a show. Think of it: Strobe light on your dick wagging back and forth, what do you think?
I think it says more about your sexual fantasies than my live performance, actually.
I’m offering up options here. I think… I’m asking about how you get the message across visually.
The visuals to me aren’t that relevant, it’s the music. Loud music.
What about the characters on the album? You have a whole techno opera concept to work with. You don’t want to have people acting as the music’s creating the scenes?
That sort of thing has been done. Both well and poorly. You’re not going to the opera now. On the other hand, a lot of times when you see so many things happening on stage, it’s compensation for the music not being very good. If you tried to bring this across without the right amount of money, it would come off as corny. I’d rather just keep it simple.
So you and machines created the story in the studio, and you and machines tell the story on stage.
Machines can tell the story, but they couldn’t have created it.
Also, newer machines allow you freedom which you didn’t have before. I noticed the vocal tracking, as opposed to short vocal clips.
I think what I was doing a few years ago is roughly the same as what I’m doing now, but much more basic. When I listen to it now, I think it’s very naive and technically incompetent. Maybe I’ll look back at what I’m doing now and think the same thing.
Where do you see it going from here?
I want to take the basic idea of bringing harsh, hard emotion to dance music. I want the emotion to reflect into sound. I like the contrast between the softer melodies and the harsh sounds.