Interview by Brayden Bagnall
Throes is one of a few projects by Brisbane based musician Nick Williams. Delivering disturbing power electronics/death industrial via synth tinged dark ambient, Throes recalls some of the more recent work by IRM and Pharmakon while retaining a sound of its own. I interviewed the man behind the noise to talk more about the project.
FBN: First up, tell us about Throes and yourself. How long has the project been around, how did it come to fruition - all that jazz.
NICK: It came around roughly in 2008. Previously I was playing in a hardcore band that fell apart and I started to loathe what that music was about and wanted to explore new realms so I began to experiment. Originally throes had two members, but Luke left to pursue "vore" (ex-gentlemen) and by the time it hit 2012 I was going through a heavy time so I began to lay down the foundations of what would be now Throes.
FBN: What other projects/bands are you involved or have been involved in the past?
NICK: Kumyunike Ka Ta (Communicator Can), Stresswaves and a few others not worth mentioning.
FBN: What attracted to you to the world of noise and industrial music?
NICK: The feeling of being in control and creating your own world and only doing things for yourself.
FBN: Are there certain artists or bands that have inspired the music and sounds behind Throes?
NICK: Atrax Morgue Anenzephalia Genocide Organ Brighter Death Now Masonna
FBN: What about lyrically? What subjects and themes do Throes explore?
NICK: Mental exhaustion / illness. Sometimes people, its mostly cathartic writings I've stored away from over the years stuff I have seen or envisioned, sometimes dreams.
FBN: What's the writing and composition process like for you? Does improvisation play a role at all?
NICK: I generally get an idea in my head of what I want it to sound like, then I'll go into the studio and record it. It comes out slightly different then expected but I enjoy that process - I try to keep things super minimal.
FBN: Could you describe the noise/experimental 'scene' in Brisbane? And has that scene been supportive of your musical endeavors?
NICK: Its very odd, each group has an inner circle some have been doing noise for almost ten years but now its become more or so an "arts grant project" to sustain their lifestyles which isn't a bad thing - they deserve it. Others are really friendly and build pedals and trade gear, I try to keep out of it...
FBN: Noise, to me at least, is supposed to be a complete rejection of musical norms and the tired stereotypes that seem to plague it - yet there seems to be an over reliance on certain stylistic conventions and a 'style over substance' mentality with many releases in the genre. For example a staple of power electronics has been a fixation on misogyny, fetishes, murder, rape and numerous other taboos. What are your thoughts regarding this?
NICK: I'm not into neither of those things, I found that shock factor worked for throbbing gristle but as for now I find it completely dumb in this day and age and sure there is noise elitists that stay true to noise / industrial scene and have fucked up artworks of rape / fetishes, but I find those people haven’t evolved and are rather primitive / repeating history.
noise to me is a future of endless possibilities not repeating the same thing someone did thirty years ago but its there choice.
FBN: Are there any plans for future releases or live shows for Throes (or any other projects you are involved in)?
NICK: I co-run a record label with some close friends (second empire media) and just finished up an album for Stresswaves its currently in the process of being mastered in the states.
As for Throes, I'm currently working on a soundscape for the next EP but haven’t quite decided what the theme may be but something will come to mind soon.
FBN: Finally, are there thank yous, shout outs or words of wisdom you wish to impart on the readers?
NICK: Live or die but don’t poison everything – Anne Sexton
A big thank you to Nick for doing the interview.