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PreEmptive Strike 0.1 - Sci-Fi, horror themed dark electro, industrial | Interview

Being an industrial/EBM music lover on a Greek island can feel pretty lonely as most people living there, are complete ignorants of these genres.

However, when the fire of creating music burns within, one can be nothing but unstoppable. This is the case of PreEmptive Strike 0.1. A band that for 21 years has been fighting the status quo,trying to flourish in a soil that lacks the necessary ingredients for its growth. A project that has had some glorious times,but has also been through thin and thick, undergoing significant changes in its consistency,but guess what? It continues to find its way to success,proving that deep love and devotion finally pays off.

2023 finds Preemptive Strike 0.1 making the long-desired and striking restart by returning to their home Label , the German Infarcted Recordings. "Marauders from Earth" was the first single out from their 8th album "Defense Readiness: Condition 1" released on October 27th and the journey back to the top is set off.

Jim the Blaster (Vocals, Lyrics,Drum, Programming, Samples) along with Yannis DSeq (Synth programming,Noises,Drums programming and Production) have put together 11 tracks among which you can find two sensational collaborations with two amazing Greek singers: Kriistal Ann (Paradox Obscur) and Cleopatra Kaido (Meat Injection, Drama Queen) as well as a cover for an epic Manowar track.Back to the pure old dark electro of the 90's and the use of several hardware synths and machines will bring back memories to long time followers or unveil the magic to new fans.

I'm excited to have Jim the Blaster for a chat at ElektroSpank. A brilliant example of reaching dawn after pitch black. (Also special thanks to Kriistal Ann and Cleopatra Kaido for their part in our interview.)

ES: ElektroSpank warmly welcomes Jim the Blaster, vocalist of the band.We're both from the same island and we very well know our favourite music isn't among the top choices if not totally unknown to majority. What kept you going while living in a place that provided no ground for development or even encouragement for your work?

JTB: Greetings to all the Electrospank team and to you Maria. You are absolutely right in what you say, because most of the people on the island don't even know what this music is, most specifically the particular genre we play, Dark electro industrial. At first I got to know this kind of music in 1993 when I was a student in Thessaloniki and when I returned back to Crete I was the one who first brought it to the island in times before the internet, although later others joined the scene. From then on I founded the band in 2002 in Agios Nikolaos but I travelled constantly - something that I continue to do - and so I don't feel that I am isolated in Crete and because of the internet (which has enormous potential) but also because of my physical presence in places where the type of genre we serve has a greater acceptance. And I will complete my answer with something I've said many times: If your soul is dark, it doesn't matter where you live, you will be able to work and write this kind of music anyway. In general, Crete is simply the place where I live and where I have the work from which I make a living, but inside I feel like a Central European (places where the dark electro industrial thrives).

ES: What is it like to experience glorious moments like playing at big festivals abroad next to artists who were your idols and then gradually falling into darkness ?How deeply can this affect an artist's self esteem and what were your coping mechanisms ?

JTB: Yes, I felt this in 2007 when people I had only seen in magazines - when I started listening to this music (don't forget there was no internet then) - shared the same stage with me at W.T.G in Leipzig and DARK CITY in Scotland, we ate
together and talked about many things. Typically I mention Johan van Roy from Suicide Commando, but also members from HOCICO, DIVE, FRONT242, GRENDEL. Beyond that, when 2 people from the "picturesque" Agios Nikolaos of Crete, in just 2- 3 years got to play in front of 1000 people, our merch sold out, and we were in all the print magazines of the scene.I'm not hiding we thought we were going to be rock stars ! Of course, history was written differently, the continuation was not proportional and the landing in reality came; we could never find the reason for it. Then the way to cope was to try to write even better music but also original at the same time so album after album we put new elements in order to attract the interest of the world. There is no other way than to try with all your strength.

ES: Lyrics wise most of your themes over the years are based on sci fi topics. Seems to me like we're dealing with a student boy who's not looking forward to growing up. Could you ,Jim explain the philosophy behind your inspiration?

JTB: First of all, I would like to say that in my personal life I am still stuck at the age of 25 when I graduated from University and I do exactly the same things, refusing to grow and evolve! Well, the lyrics for the band are like that too. PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 and their lyrics are and will be at least 80% based on sci fi themes. I love the pure science fiction works of the 50s and 60s, my lyrics and samples I use, are from them. Of course there are still lyrics that refer to classic works of horror (eg all the previous mcd "THE DREAD FILES" but also in war themes. However, I think that one of the elements that make our band stand out is its inseparable connection with sci fi.

ES: On your new album "Defence Readiness Condition 1 , I've noticed a couple of different tracks as to their content. What are the lyrics mostly about on your 8th full length release?

JTB: First of all, let me tell you that there are actually 2 tracks that have a completely different content in the lyrics, "PAUSE IN CHAOS/STOP THE MADNESS" which talks about some people who fell in love while a war has broken out and also BEYOND REALITY which refers to the inner war of the man himself with himself. However, both were written by girls, the second one entirely by Cleopatra Kaido, in which she also sings, and the first one by some other girl that I would not like to mention. The rest of them: 'THE BASE WAS OVERRUN' and 'STATE OF WAR' are about war and gave the 'War' title to the disc 'DEFENSE READINESS:CONDITION 1'. 'RESSURECTIVE HUNGER' is inspired by the classic horror film THE RESURRECTED of 1992.STELLAR CASTAWAY' is about the loneliness and despair an astronaut feels when his spaceship crashes, with no other survivors, on an unknown desert planet. 'MARAUDERS FROM EARTH' is about a mission from earth that discovers a planet which completely destroys.The ending is 'LUNACY SIMULATO'R which refers to the thoughts of a future astronaut, wired into a simulator that leads him, through the creation of artificial absolute loneliness, to madness and paranoia.

ES: Another big surprise on your current work is the cover for the legendary metal track " Thor the Powerhead" from the epic metal band "Manowar". It's the first time a dark electro industrial band dares anything like that. Weren't you concerned about getting harshly criticized for this endeavour?

JTB: Yes, I think we must be the only dark electro industrial band that has covered MANOWAR. It was a joint decision between me and Yiannis Dseq back in 2015 where it had come out in its original form but was not released. So we remade it into a better version for the new album. Both of us in our teens were fans of this legendary band and the albums they released in the 80s. THOR THE POWERHEAD is perhaps their most characteristic track and has been covered by many bands from the entire spectrum of metal. But it was time to the world also hears it in electronic form and so we brought it to our standards as a pure PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 track.We know that the current metal fans will consider it sacrilege. However, didn't anyone also consider our cover of COAT TO ARMS by SABATON in 2015? If you are open-minded, you will like the cover and we have already received many positive comments. In fact, we have the desire to include it in our future live shows as part of the setlist!

ES: Mentioned again and again that you're back to your home label "Infarcted Recordings". How significant is this to you and how important is the role of a supportive label for the artists?

JTB: But this is the reality. It was the company that discovered us in 2005 and made us known from scratch. We stayed there for 10 years and in 2016 we moved to the Japanese DWA because we wanted to experiment not only with extreme industrial metal but also with other circulation formats such as vinyl. Indeed these happened (and we warmly thank Jamie the owner) but the circle closed. We had to find a company that is in the centre of action as I said before, in central Europe. When we sent the demo with our new material in December 2022, Torben and the German infacted recordings accepted us immediately back! Then he mentioned "PES01 are back to their home label Infacted Recordings"!
For me it was the most important thing that happened to the band last year! We got back into the action of the scene, the djs, the radio and the charts, things we had forgotten what they're like.... Having a company that supports you and promotes is the most important thing, but even more important it is to have the stamp of the company to follow you. And that's because today there is a huge offer of music in our genre (and not only). People should be careful how they spend their time and limited budget. Seeing a band under the Infacted recordings label , they know that what they will hear is valuable because the company has already made a pre-selection of dozens of bands and has already evaluated it positively, otherwise it wouldn't have it on its roster! I act the same as a fan even if the band is not on the roster of specific companies I don't even bother to listen to a song.

ES: Next question goes to the amazing singers , you've had the chance to collaborate with. Kriistal Ann from Paradox Obscur and Cleopatra Kaido former vocalist of Meat Injection. The industrial/ebm music sounds a bit harsh and brutal to my ears. I wonder how easy can it be for a female singer to adjust the natural fragility of her voice with the wildfire of the dark electro.

Kriistal Ann: I think it has less to do with the genre of music than with the structure in which it is set. For a singer, the vibe of the song is the most important thing. Usually the first feeling is able to define if a song is suitable for vocals or not. Music is a combination of science and creativity together. It needs experimentation, questioning and passion to work from the soul. On the album Defense Readiness : Condition 1 the guys have done an amazing job. It is a prime example of what we say, inspiration meets the right receiver. In Beyond Reality (Feat. Cleopatra Kaido) you can't help but be amazed by this combination!

Cleopatra Kaido: Music has no rules. If I like something I hear, I can make it my own. Depending on how I feel at that moment when I hear a melody, I will give the appropriate interpretation. I find myself taking on roles and adapting my voice to the style of the music. It is an expression of thoughts, and sometimes fragility can be combined with ferocity. Moreover, this combination is also connected to real life, through experiences not only of mine but also of other people like me.

ES: Throughout the not so productive years,I wonder if quitting the band was an option crossing your mind?

JTB: Many times I have been disappointed especially for our discretid, from the domestic scene, but also the declining course of the band, especially the "black" years 2012-2018, which also coincided with the worst years of my personal life.. Maybe I felt disappointed by the lack of concerts, and maybe we didn't get what we deserved, and many times I didn't want to write new music because I thought it was futile. There were times when I didn't have anything else to say to the public and our fans. The same thing happens in 2020 and 2021 with the corona virus. Yes, we took a break, but I never thought of disbanding the band, especially from 2019 and after I found Yiannis Dseq as a permanent partner and friend at the same time. I think that Jim the Blaster and PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 is a bond that should not be broken because if one part ceases to exist, the other will also cease to exist.....If it is absolutely necessary to make another break it will happen, I will only come back if I have something new to say.

ES: Many people seem to be stuck in the music of the past. Also,many artists seem to be trying to revive it. Is it just a trait of older ages or was there something really special about the sounds created years ago?

JTB: I will talk to you more as a fan. I myself am stuck with the past. I didn't live the 80s in industrial /dark/ EBM/electronic music and in recent years I have started to collect the releases of that time on vinyl. Yes, they were unique and their sounds were special. For each sound you had to buy a separate synthesizer but also for the drums and sampling separate machines as well. Because the capabilities of machines were limited, you had to figure out ways to get the most out of each one and so each musician used his maximum ingenuity to make it happen. For each production you had to pay thousands of dollars and only the serious bands released good music. In addition to having talent and being authentic, you had to want it too much and invest fortunes on the purchase of machines/equipment.. Releases in the 80s by bands like SKINNY PUPPY, FRONT242, LAIBACH, MINISTRY, DEPECHE MODE, ROBOTIKO REJEKTO are blockbusters and if you listen carefully to each one they will still enchant you and 33-40 years from now you will hear and discover new things! Then entering the 00s and especially from the middle and on computers entered our lives and everyone had free access to software synths and every teenager/sub-teen made a band and that's how we all ended up sounding the same....Many big bands did the same with soft synths and they also fell into the trap of repetition and boredom. At some point, some people said enough is enough, and they started using hardware synths again and trying to bring back the sound of the 80s but also the 90s. And the world appreciates that. Those who do it are also the ones who will survive. I want to hope that the PREEMPTIVE STRIKE 0.1 using hardware machines especially on our last disc and with clear references to the 90s is among them. Now as a fan with a musical ear I refuse to listen, how much more likely to buy works from bands in the style of "aggrotech" and false evil industrial which is based more on the image than on the music that is composed/produced all from a pc/laptop..

ES: You have a chance to address to new and older fans, how would you introduce yourselves to the first ones and how would you greet the latter?

JTB: To the old fans ,we would say that we are still active and powerful after 21 years as you've known us sonically and lyrically! And we thank you for your support all these years! To the younger ones , either because of age or because they deal with other branches of dark music, to give us a chance and listen to our new record because we are the new authentic ones. Finally, to both of the above categories, let's say that we hope to see them at our future lives for the promotion of READINESS:CONDITION 1!











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About ElektroSpank - FMA - Online Music Magazine

ElektroSpank FMA is an online music magazine about the darkest side of our lives.

We write about Gothic, industrial, dark wave and all of their sub genres. ElektroSpank FMA is not only about music, but for the dark, Gothic lifestyle as well. We try to support the music and scenes we love. For those who have never heard about ElektroSpank before please visit our about page for more info and history.

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