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Project 86

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As it comes to hard music there's a cool band on the roster of BEC Recordings called Project 86 that you should check out. They released a sophomore hardcore/rapcore debut-CD in 1998 and recently they brought out Drawing Black Lines. This CD will definitely attract the attention of hard music fans worldwide. And there's more, Project 86 has now a license deal with major label Atlantic Records! So, time to get to know this Orange County four-piece.

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Interview with: Andrew Schwab (vocals)

Date: February 2nd 2000

Where: This is an E-mail interview. Date refers to date first mail-answer

Other Bandmembers: Steven (bass), Randy (guitars) & Alex (drums)

Band's Geographical Home: California, USA

Discography: Drawing Black Lines (2000), Self-titled (1998)

Available Through: Project 86 & Tooth & Nail Mail-Order

Official Website: Project 86

Interview By: mpo

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You're about to release the new album Drawing Black Lines through BEC
Recordings. Listening to your first album I was inclined to think that the band was into rapcore. However, listening to the new album I hear way
more than that. What do you think of the new one?

We would definitely not consider ourselves a "rapcore" band, and I think
that fact is very evident in the new release.  If anything, we are post-hardcore meets metal meets spoken word meets emo.  Our influences range from Refused to Quicksand to Sepultura to Björk to Abhinanda to Weezer.  We
are seeking to be a very diverse band that emphasizes emotion, power, and
depth.  Their are multiple layers and textures that come out on the new
album with the diversity in the vocals.  Our songwriting has progressed down
multiple different paths. We believe this album is very unique and capable of being listened to over and over again, only to find something new and different each time you listen.

I agree that Drawing Black Lines has all kinds of influences and I think there are some poppy elements in it. Still you can hear hiphop stuff incorporated in the way you vocalize. Is that a style of music that you're into?

I grew up listening to a huge amount of hip-hop, but in recent years I think the whole hip-hop culture has degraded.  I only listen to a few hip-hop artists now, primarily all New York artists.  I rarely even listen to these, though. Hip-hop is probably the genre of music that I listen to the least.

The debut was produced by Bryan Carlstrom who worked with bands like Biohazard and Alice In Chains too. The new one is a GGGarth production
and he also has a fine record in music business. If you compare those two
producers, in what ways do their approaches differ and how was that of
influence to the albums?

Bryan was more of an engineer.  His strength was getting good sounds and
helping us produce a good album sonically.  GGGarth focused on the sonic
elements as well as style, tempo, and song structures.  GGGarth was primarily focused on getting inside our brains and helping us pull out everything from inside of us and getting it onto tape.  This is one of the factors that help make DBL a stronger effort.

One of the guys you worked with is Foo. He is a programmer who some might know of his work with Marilyn Manson. How did he get involved?

We expressed interest in adding some subtle sampling on the record, and
GGGarth had worked with him before, so it was natural that we would use him.


You've just returned from a short tour with Stavesacre. I guess you already introduced some songs from Drawing Black Lines. How did the people respond to those new ones?

Very well.  Of course, anytime you introduce a song that the audience is not
familiar with you get some weird looks and less crowd response. But I think
the overall response was positive.

What's interesting about the visuality of Project 86 is that you use all kinds of Eastern elements like the dragon and the Chinese signs. Besides that there is some Japanese spoken word on the new album. Do you use Eastern stuff just for fun or do any of you have a special relationship with Asian countries?

We use those elements because they emphasize depth and mystery, which is
something that gives the music extra texture and insight.  It seems to be
taking on a life of its own as our "style" so to speak.

There are some lyrics that I hope you can tell more about. There's a funny title which runs like A Toast To My Former Self. It sounds a bit ironical. What is it about?

I guess the visual you get is a dinner party or something where someone gives a toast for a person there.  The title is sarcastic, meaning, "I am so disgusted by you that I am saying goodbye, and here is your good-bye toast."   It's a letter written to myself as if to say I am through with my old nature.

Explain that! What do you mean with your old nature?

The old nature as it is being corrupted by its sinful desires.

So, you mean what the Bible describes as the old nature versus the new life in Christ. To be more personally, what makes you feel that you're through with your old nature? What have you experienced and what has helped you to make your mind up?

I know the truth and I am reminded every time I sin that God has a better way for me.   The song is not necessarily about anything specific, but rather a general knowledge of sin.  I don't if you want me to list my individual sins for this interview, but that probably would not be appropriate.  It is best summed up in that my past consisted of living the typical partying, self-condemning, live-for-the-now lifestyle.   Now I fight every day to live for faith. The consequences of sin and the reality of following Christ are what have helped me make my mind up.

Another title that attracted my attention is Once Upon A Killing. It sounds like there's a story behind it as it runs like a fairytale. Can you tell me more about that lyric?

The name of that song has actually been changed to Me Against Me.  It's
about the cycle of trust we go through as people when we are constantly
reminded that many of the choices we make are suicidal when you get to the
heart of the matter.  Our hearts are not to be trusted.

Many will say that you have to follow your heart to make the right decisions. What would you like to say to them?

The human heart is very difficult to understand and even more difficult to trust.   The fact is, my heart usually leads me down the wrong path.  "...let every man be a liar."

If you have the choice between all the bands in the world, with what band would you like to tour to promote the new album?

Quicksand!

And what would be the ultimate show you can imagine if you could choose any place, any public, any support-act, any time?

Handsome, Sick of it All, Refused, and The Crucified at the Palladium in
Hollywood (with Project 86 opening).

The Crucified is a bit difficult perhaps but why do want Project 86 to open the concert instead of headlining?

Because I wouldn't want to miss any of those other bands for the world. Plus, I feel it wouldn't be right to headline over bands that have influenced you.  It's a respect thing.


Since Project 86 started you must have been interviewed at least a dozen times, perhaps even a hundred times. What is the question you've always hoped people would ask you but never did?

Andrew, what would you be doing if you weren't doing this? Answer: probably running for U.S. senate or hosting my own radio talk show.

Do want to choose that because you like to talk about certain issues? Social issues perhaps?

Actually, no!  I just like to hold the power because I am a control freak.

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