An Interview with Kristy from The Azoic

Kristy, who is the vocalist, lyricist, keys and programming for The Azoic, answered a few questions for Kilted Farmer Koncerts about The Azoic, The Azoic’s first ever Minneapolis show on August 31 with Combichrist, Niliahah Records, the Kickstarter experience, the “darkwave” scene and more.

A big thank you to Kristy for taking the time to do this interview. We are very much looking forward to the show on August 31 and we hope to see everyone there!

The Azoic band photo

Photo courtesy of The Azoic

The Azoic was formed in February of 1996 in Columbus, Ohio. The band released their first album, “The Divine Suffering” in October of that year. They now have 7 full length albums, 4 EPs and several tours under their belts. Most recently, the band released an EP for the song “Corruption” in early 2013. They’ve had tracks featured in Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 on Xbox and have released singles that climbed to the top 5 on the DAC (Deutsche Alternative Charts) and DUC (Dutch Alternative Charts).

Kristy founded Nilaihah Records in 1999, releasing The Azoic’s second full length album, “Where Broken Angels Lie”, that year. Since then, Nilaihah has grown to a roster of over 30 artists in the Electronic Dance, Industrial, EBM, Synth-Pop, Darkwave, Trip Hop, and Electronica genres. Kristy also owns The Shrunken Head, a bar, restaurant and music venue in Columbus.

Kilted Farmer Koncerts:

The show at Ground Zero on August 31 with Combichrist marks your very first show in Minneapolis. What are you looking forward to most about the trip up here?

Kristy:

It also marks all our first time to Minneapolis (except one live member), so we are quite excited to see the city too!  And, since Kilted Farmer has kindly asked The Azoic several times over the years, it’s beyond time and we are very grateful to be coming to perform.  We just hope the fans are as excited as we are.  🙂

KFK:

You’ve added a cellist to your live lineup. What prompted this addition?

Kristy:

I believe in fate and circumstances.  We may try to plan things, but life typically takes over.   I love strings in songs and it’s always been a dream to play with a cellist.  We lucked out.  I was at a random show that my friend dragged me too and I heard this band play, but didn’t really hear anything but the cellist.  I approached him after the show and asked if he’d be willing to perform one show with us at a big local festival and (as they say) the rest is history!  He’s extremely talented and definitely adds a new dimension to the tracks.

KFK:

Combichrist’s first remix ever was for The Azoic’s “Conflict”. How did that collaboration come about?


Kristy:

I knew the Icon of Coil guys and emailed Andy about an Azoic remix for our ‘Conflict’ EP.  He emailed back and said he could do one, but he was living in Germany (at the time) and Seb [Sebastian R. Komor] and Christian [Lund] were still in Norway, so logistically it wouldn’t work.  He wasn’t sure what project of his the remix would be under and he finally decided upon his newly formed ‘Combichrist’ project the day before I had to send it to the pressing plant.  I still remember him sending the remix and apologizing for only being able to fit the spoken word parts of the original song and not all the vocals.  After I heard it, I didn’t care, as it was awesome and actually became a big hit in the industrial scene.

KFK:

Last year, you successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign to fund the “Corruption” music video and EP. What was that experience like for you and would you do it again?

Kristy:

That was a strange situation.  We wanted to do the music video and had a videographer confirmed in March of 2012.  I sent several emails asking when shooting would begin only to hear delays.  I then received an email in July stating that his company wasn’t able due to other commercial accounts that paid more.  You can imagine I was frustrated, as the space we wanted to film in and had confirmed was on a college campus – so renting it was all based around the summer break.  Luckily, we found an amazing videographer team out of Cleveland called Rewind Media and an extremely talented lighting designer (who had worked for Oprah as the assistant lighting designer for 7 seasons) within a few weeks in July.  It eventually all came together, but we needed all the info on the video shoot before we could even start the Kickstarter campaign.  Therefore, instead of a typical 30-day Kickstarter campaign, we had a 10-day campaign!  Amazingly, we managed to raise just over $3,800 in that short period of time.  We were incredible grateful and all that money went to towards the “Corruption” video.  It was well worth it and we were very pleased with the results.  In fact, our goal is to “shoot” for a another video if time allows…  🙂


KFK:

Running a record label and being in a band, you must have a broad view of the dark electronic music genres. What is your opinion of the state of these genres? What’s exciting to you right now? What’s not?

Kristy:

I like all styles of electronic music, especially when it evokes emotion from within. There’s always something exciting about any state of the dark electro genres – whether it’s hearing their influences from other bands or even listening to a new interpretation. I hope this doesn’t come off wrong, but I’m not sure there’s anything mind blowing that’s happening in dark electro right now. However, with that, musical styles evolve and change, like anything. Soon there will be something that will help revive the state of “the scene” and I’m definitely looking forward to that.

And, as for genres, part of me misses when there were just 2 broad genres of Gothic and Industrial. Darkwave soon came along and then the genres seemed to explode into so many sub genres, it can be hard to keep up. I completely understand the need to describe an unfamiliar band or sound, and as a label, can appreciate that.

KFK:

How has Nilaihah evolved since it’s inception back in 1998? How have you been able to continue expanding the business during years of such rapid change in the music industry and with technology?

Kristy:

It has been an interesting evolution since then.  Especially over the last 4-5 years, things have changed drastically.  It can be hard to keep up, especially since Nilaihah Records is only a part-time job outside of everything else I do.  So, for me, expanding isn’t necessarily due to the industry, but is more with what time I even have available.  It’s why Nilaihah Records has never really grown leaps and bounds, like a full time label would/should.  I think technology has definitely made certain things easier, but it’s also made certain things much harder.  I don’t resent change though, as it keeps us learning and growing, so I just try to adapt as best I can within the allowable time I have.

KFK:

2013 has been a busy year for Niliahah Records. What are some highlights?

Kristy:

I think every release is exciting, but we’ve mixed it up a bit and held some remix contests and added some digital singles and EP’s to the actual pressed physical CD’s. And, of course getting back into booking shows is always fun, as you get to engage more with your fans.  It’s a lot of work, but rewarding in the end.

[KFK: Check out Nilaihah’s latest releases at nilaihah.com. In particular, the new Interface single “It Begins Today” is definitely worth checking out if you like your music on the synthpoppy side.]

KFK:

Imagine that your 18 year old self is starting a band today, in 2013. What advice would current you give 18 year old you?

Kristy:

Since things are so different now then they were when I was 18, I’d explain that on-line marketing and having a strong internet presence is crucial.  Getting your name/sound out there, branding your band and having a cohesive, recognizable sound is also extremely important.  And, don’t forget videos!  Music videos and engaging with your fan videos.  But, even with all the on-line opportunities, getting in front of people, including for live shows, is still critical as well.  Never discount personally engaging with people, especially fans or potential fans.  It’s a labor of love and will take an incredible amount of time, so only the dedicated and passionate will persevere.

KFK:

Name a live show you’ve seen that was particularly awesome. Who/when was it and what made the show so amazing for you?

Kristy:

I’ve seen so many amazing shows and in so many different genres, especially over the last 4 years since we’ve owned/run a bar/music venue.  I’ve also come to appreciate different styles and types of performances.  For me, the best shows are those where the bands are passionate and get lost in their music on stage.  They don’t need a fancy set-up if they are really dedicated to the performance and entertaining the fans.  I think I’ve learned a lot from just watching so many bands (from small to large productions) and feel that it has even made The Azoic stronger as a result.

KFK:

What’s your favorite way to discover new music?

Kristy:

I don’t have one dedicated source.  I love iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, seeing live bands at our venue, hearing recommendations from friends and even just listening to demos that Nilaihah Records receives.  I even love listening to CD’s on my stereo and cranking it up!

KFK:

Thanks again to Kristy for doing this interview. Be sure to catch The Azoic live on August 31 at Ground Zero. And if you’re located outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, head over to The Azoic’s Facebook page for more tour info. Additional links and contact info are available at www.theazoic.com.

2 thoughts on “An Interview with Kristy from The Azoic

  1. Reblogged this on Aztalanturf's Ramblings and commented:
    Here’s an interview I did for Kilted Farmer Koncerts with Kristy from The Azoic. The Azoic are playing their first ever Minneapolis show on August 31 supporting Combichrist at Ground Zero. Early show!

  2. Pingback: The Azoic - Blog » Blog Archive » The Azoic is heading on tour!!!!

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