GATER: "Devil's Work!"

Interview by Erkki Rautio / pHinnWeb

17 December 2002 -- Gater (US) is Brian Suarez from New York City. He has released his debut EP, Taboo, for Dekathlon Records of Zombie Nation. The title song -- with sexy, husky vocals from Chesty Morgenstein -- is a little gem, though one would be mistaken it's all about some sort of sleazy group sex activities taking place in suburbia on a Saturday night when everyone else is busy clubbing: in reality it's about an innocuous board game session with friends... oops. pHinnWeb shared some words with Gater about music, board games, cooking, reading and, ahem, electroclash.

Gater's Club Telex Noise Ensemble remix also appears 2003 on pHinnMilk's CTNERMX compilation.

- So what's now happening in the life of Gater, any news?

I'm working on a bunch of new tracks and trying out new things with vocals, instruments and musicians). 'Taboo' is on a few new compilations: Low Spirit Recordings' Electric Kingdom, Ministry of Sound's Electroclash, and Nova Recordings' Nova Tunes.

- How did you start to make music?

Well, I've owned Casio keyboards since I was very young. Then, maybe two or three years ago, I started writing songs. I had nothing to record on, so I would play two synthesizers and my friend would do vocals, and we would record onto my answering machine. It worked great!

- It says on your press release that you studied to be a priest, but eventually your musical style, influenced by "house, electro, freestyle and pornographic movies", took over... Devil's work, or what actually happened there?

Devil's work!

- Eh, porno?

Gotta love the porn -- and the soundtracks!

- What kind of equipment you create your music with?

I have a synth, keyboards, vocal processors, 12-channel mixer and a bunch of software. I like Reason as far as software.

- Are there any role models or influential artists for you?

That's really tough. I'm influenced by everyone and everything around me.

- And any current acts which would particularly impress you, or feel are on the same wavelength with you?

I don't really know how to answer that, but I just saw the Sneaker Pimps play, and they were great. The show was very inspiring.

- How did you get a recording deal with Zombie Nation's Dekathlon label, and how has it been working for them?

I put some tracks together and sent them to Zombie. He happened to be coming over to the US, so we got to meet and talk. I really enjoy his music and we both enjoy coffee and cigarettes, so it's was a match destined to happen. Dekathlon is a really great label, they treat me good -- I work with them, not for them, ya know? The releases all rock, too.

- Tell something about your EP Taboo and Chesty Morgenstein who sings on it. Actually the track is about an old board game, though one would think of something else...

When I wrote 'Taboo', I was trying to come up with a song about something I love and that would also be fun to talk about. I love the game Taboo, I have Taboo parties whenever I can. Chesty is a big Taboo fan; we've been playing together for quite a few years now. Chesty was perfect for the vocals. Her love of bluegrass, country, folk and rock'n'roll is heard in her voice and that's so sexy. I knew she was perfect to do vocals for me, she can make anything sound dirty!

- What about your live performances, and any interesting anecdotes about them? What have been the best and worst places to play, for example?

My live shows are very fun, I'm always changing the show. Chesty does vocals along with another Gater friend 'Her'. 'Her' sings on a bunch of newer tracks and she's been performing with me since the first show. We all do vocals, I play synth and there's a bunch of rad synchronized dancing going on. The worst sound problems I've had were at this club 'Luxx'; I've yet to play there and not have sound trouble. The best sounding show was at this bar, 'The Cock'. I spent about three hours getting it right, though.

- Your chart of favourite records for the moment/all-time?

Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out
Sneaker Pimps - Splinter
The Carpenters - We've Only Just Begun
Front 242 - Headhunter
Depeche Mode - New Life
TKA - Tears May Fall
Silicon Teens - Music For Parties
the Julie Ruin album
anything by The Pixies
Africanism - Ebony

- Your take on the current "electroclash" hype and how the trendy mags etc. seemed to have taken on electro recently; a good or a bad thing eventually? Do you relate to all that NYC scene that's been PR'd to death lately?

I can't badmouth the trend or the hype because it's gotten me some press, so that part is good. I don't think that I am completely electroclash -- I mean if the trend didn't exist, I would still have a record: you would just have to find it listed under techno or house or something. As far as the scene in NYC, I'm part of a great scene. We haven't titled it yet, but we do glamourous things such as read and cook. We're not getting much press though, so that's a bummer.

- Your own future plans now?

More music and more coffee.

- Your favourite question they never ask in interviews?

Maybe something about guilty pleasures -- like what do you listen to when you're alone, or what artist do you love, but won't admit?

Copyright © (for the text) pHinnWeb 2002.

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