SWEAT ENGINE Unofficial Manual
Things burn...people get burned...sometimes instructions help...
sometimes, years later, the 2-page, 8-pt instructions and post-gig napkin
scribblings just serve to remind us from where the scars, duct tape
residue and stale candy came...and if it's burnt into a CD,
it must have been true at one point...
Things to Avoid
- Obvious sexist slang - "Bitch," "Cunt," etc.
- Covers of other "Industrial" bands ("Burning Inside").
- Covers that sound anything like to original, at all, in any way.
- Controversy for the sake of being controversial.
- Pissing off other bands for the sake of pissing off other bands.
- Nazi innuendoes.
- Free advertising.
- Lending shit.
- Pretending to be gay.
SWEAT ENGINE Concept
Experimental, progressive, Sarcastic, Angry,
"Electro-Industrial" (see the SE definition of "industrial")
Our Definitions (these, of course, change)
Industrial - This could be pages, or volumes, long. Here is our
condensed version. There are three major, real, definitions floating around.
Here they are:
- "Industrial (from the dictionary)" - Of or pertaining to industry. In
other words, the production and distribution of goods. Hence, SE's large line
Hats, lighters, ear-plugs, stickers, oil, encyclopedias, t-shirts, computer
equipment, software, services, shorts, sweaters, snow, candy,...,oh yes and CDROMs
When something is used in industry, it may look or appear "industrial." Oil
barrels, large machines, chunks of metal, factories, things that are found in
factories; these things all look industrial. An object is only industrial
if it relates back to industry.
- "Industrial (with regard to music)" - using sounds or timbres in a
musical context that are not usually used in a musical context. The
cliché example is the car crash which can be traced back to the
"Synthesis" and "Concrète." "Synthesis" was a means of
creating music using sounds (or timbres) which were created from scratch with,
of course, a synthesizer. "Concrète" was a means of creating music using
real sounds (eg: car crashes). Back in the 50s, of course, this was done with
tape - tape-loops, multi-tracking, that sort of thing. "Synthesis" and
"Concrète" are our industrial categories. In other words, a true
industrial musician will create music using "weird" or "unusual" sounds. These
sounds are either synthesized, sampled or a combination of both (ie: sampled
Now, the important industrial note - a sound (or timbre) that
once may have been considered industrial may not remain industrial because of
overuse. The car crash, jet (and R8) samples have been used and overused
in a musical context. Therefore, by the definition of "industrial," they are
not longer industrial sounds. The moral is, "to be an industrial musician, you
must always progress.
Don't sample other people's music or sounds unless you are going to
tweak them beyond recognition. Don't steal beats. Never,
never use internal or stock sounds.
- "Industrial (the social concept)" - Something is "industrial" when it is
a product of the environment. Here is an example: A worker is frustrated and
stressed. The art that the worker creates because of the pressure may be
considered industrial. Of course, most "industrial" art describes the negative
aspects of the environment. For some reason, while happy art may be a product
of a happy environment, it is not usual considered "industrial." Hmm...that's
ok, we don't want to do happy art anyway.
The music style has changed over the past 4 years and, it will,
of course, continue to change.
- "Industrial" - heavy use of creative sounds, pitch-sets and rhythms. This, of
course, means lots of samples. The occasional "noise-collage." Creative vocal
and guitar fx.
- Dance - While there is always someone that can dance to something, we want for
a lot of people to consider the music (or, at least, part of it) danceable.
- Fast - part of being "original" is using less common tempos. Currently, it
seems that 120-130 bpm is the most common range. Learn from PE: "go slow, go to
Goth hell." So, 136-160 bpm seems to be the answer. Any faster is "thrash."
We're not doing thrash, we're doing Electro-industrial.
- Noise - banging on metal shit is cliché industrial. We have to do some
of this because it's fun and people expect it. This does not mean that we
should overdo it and become a generic noise band. What's the point in spending
200 hours producing a song with $25,000 worth of equipment if it sounds like
improvised garbage on equipment which someone paid us to hall away. So, the
current suggestion is to limit the noise to ~1/3 of the performed songs.
- Use of clichés Samples
- Theatrics (gimmicks, props, etc.) - The key here is to be theatrical AND
musical, not one or the other. The props (or gimmicks) should relate directly
to the music. The props should enhance musical and lyrical concepts, not
distract from them. All props should be professional and relevant. SE has spent
over 3.5 years building a reputation for theatrical imagery. Why? First, it's
fun. Second, this is what people want to see. Sure, some people go to see bands
just for the music, but what do they remember? They remember the strange
images. They remember when I vocalist kicks in a monitor. They remember the
"bald, fat vocalist." They remember the light-show and the funky hair do. They
remember the pit. People remember a bouncer grabbing an audience member for
stealing a song list. Sure, "music" is the main reason for the shows. Most of
the work should be put into the music, but people want to see a "show,"
especially "industrial people." Better to be remembered for theatrics than not
remembered at all. SE has a good theatrical image. Let's build on top of
that...to an extreme. Be careful not to get burnt out on theatrics in general
just because it becomes a pain to haul shit around. Let someone else take care
of the theatrics for a while.
Some Themes addressed (not on MI):
- Need Some - Sex & music.
- PMF - General aggressive, fucked up stuff. No message, I guess...
- Technocality - Police brutality
- Until Dawn - Look! Horrible things are happening.
- Waiting to Die - Boring people who do nothing. Get off yur butt.
- It won't happen - Common, yuppie things. Don't be normal. Don't conform. Be industrial.
- Numbing Device - Drugs; No Drugs.
- Destroy4U - People who are bored and have nothing better to do than destroy other people's stuff.
- Shit 4 Brainz - Stupid people.
Performance Technical Info
While it always changes and looks stupid out of context, someone always
needs this on paper. Here's what was at the 11/94 show...
- 16 Channel mixer
- BD TGX480 unidirectional vocal mic
compressed with dbx 166; processed with Yamaha FX500
- AKG C410/B unidirectional Headset mic
processed with Roland Dep-
- Audio Technica ATW 1031 Wireless Headset mic
compressed with dbx 166; processed with Yamaha SPX-90
- Yamaha DTR2 & Sony D-7 DAT
- Ashley FET 2000-M Power amp for mains
- Adcom GFA-555 power amp for monitors
- dbx 1531X EQ for monitors (sometimes)
- S-770 & K2000 synth/sampler for electronic sounds
- Roland D-50 and Casio CZ-101 keyboards for gunkable Midi controllers
- Drum Kat V3.0 drum pad controller - 10 pads + 9 external pad inputs
- 5 Roland PD 20 pads on tripod or rack
- 2 Yamaha S115MT 300W monitors
- SE controllers and devices