9ELECTRIC is “BUZZIN” on the music industry site HITS Daily Double!
December 1, 2011
Thunderwood – Vocals
*M. Lopez* – Guitar
CaseyDC – Bass
Micah Electric – Drums/Programming
Los Angeles, CA
By: Shauna O’Donnell
What’s up guys! Thanks for talking with me today.
All: Hi Shauna, how are you?
I’m really good. The band 9Electric formed last year in 2010. How did the band come together? You guys were all in other bands prior to this one.
Thunderwood: Mike and Micah had the same lawyer as I did….Eric German. Our bands had both split up and Eric thought it would be a great match. He called me and said “Hey! These are the guys!” Then an old friend of mine CaseyDC, who I had toured with and had done some music projects with, sent me an email saying he was Craig’s List shopping. He said “These guys said they were working with you. Are they just yapping?” It was like there were no try-outs for the band, everyone just came together and it was really cool.
Ron, you were in Opiate For The Masses correct?
Thunderwood: That’s right!
M. Lopez: Thunderwood had to seek refuge back in Arizona after Opiate for the Masses broke up. Actually when Micah and my band, My Evolution broke up, we took a week to decide whether to start a new band. Mushrooms were involved if you must know. We basically just demoed the shit out of a bunch of songs for one month and took it to Eric German. After he listened to the first song he was like “I’ve got the guy! I just don’t know if he will do it. He is in Arizona, not California. His name is Ron Underwood (now known as Thunderwood) from Opiate For The Masses.” We hit Thunderwood up a couple times because he didn’t respond right away and we just made it happen. Six months later he was back here in California and we were all starting to work together. CaseyDC was already involved, so it was just a really nice, simple, professional situation.
Well the music sounds great, I was listening to it. You guys released your first EP titled Can You Feel This. When did it release?
Micah: We recorded Can You Feel This with producer, Mikey Doling (Snot, Soulfly, Channel Zero) at the end of 2010 and we put it out in April of 2011.
When I first saw that Logan Mader manages you, I guess I just assumed he produced for you as well, but it was actually Mikey Doling who produced the EP.
Thunderwood: The EP, Can You Feel This was produced by Mikey Doling and the songs that have been released online since the EP have been produced by Logan Mader. We have released three songs since the EP that have been produced and/or mixed by Logan, “Hate Me,” “Time Bomb” and our latest song, “Goodbye.”
Yeah I saw that there were seven songs up and I thought the EP only had five.
M. Lopez: It is only five songs. We actually met Logan through Mikey. Logan was working with Mikey’s band, Channel Zero and produced their record. Mikey is such a fucking cool guy. He will play anything he works on for anybody when he’s stoked on it. He will play it for a deaf guy! He played it for Logan who was really stoked and intrigued. The next thing you know we are involved with Logan.
Well you know Logan has extremely good taste. Was Mikey a friend of yours prior to him producing?
CaseyDC: Mikey Doling and M. Lopez, our guitar player, work out at the same gym. They got to know each other and when it was time for us to record, Mikey really wanted to do it and he kept saying “Come on, let me do this. Let’s get in the studio and do it.” We looked at a few other producers and we just felt a good vibe with Mikey Doling. He is a little hard to tie down sometimes because he plays in Channel Zero, so he is in Europe a lot. His band is really big in Europe, but he was here at the right time. Even though he was in Europe, he still helped us out. He utilized his connections and he really helped us get to the next level by putting us through to Logan Mader. Mikey wasn’t really here to do anymore with us, so he got us as far as he could and then he handed us over to the best guy he’s got. It was a great experience.
M. Lopez: Not only is Mikey talented, but he is really persistent and infectious. I was actually outside of the gym talking to Micah about producers and Mikey walks up and says “So what’s going on? When are you guys recording? What are you up to?” I said “We are talking about it right now.” And he points to himself and says “Me, dude me!” Mikey is really cool and he was really into it. We would be fools to not work with someone who is that stoked on us.
Micah: Mikey is a really passionate guy. When he gets behind a project that he really believes in, he pushes it on anybody and everybody that he knows. We saw him do that with other projects in the area and we figured if he really believed in what we were doing and understood what we were doing, that he would do that with us….and he did. As soon as he heard the rough demos that we had, he was extremely excited to work with us. It was something slightly different from what he had been working with and he was really excited at the notion of taking this project to the next level. Once we were done recording the project he was incredibly enthusiastic with getting it heard by a lot of different people that we probably could not reach on our own. That is what we hoped for with him. He will tend to get people to listen to what he is working on because when he believes whole-heartedly in something he will really make sure that the right people hear it.
Not only that, but I bet you learned a lot from him and the experience.
M. Lopez: Yeah, actually one of the best things that he taught was about Eastbound and Down. That is no lie. He was like “Have you guys seen Eastbound and Down?” He had it all saved on Tivo or whatever and we watched it while we were recording.
That’s funny! Is it both a digital and hard copy release?
CaseyDC: At our shows we have a CD that we sell. Other than that, people just stream it over the internet. We are focusing on writing new songs and producing them into 9E masterpieces. We haven’t put a lot of focus on finding distribution deals and putting a CD in every damn store. People are going to get it on the internet anyway.
So you guys are working on a full length album then.
CaseyDC: We are always writing. When it is ready to happen, it will happen.
This music makes you want to get up and dance. Is this music more your style and something you have wanted to do?
Thunderwood: Yeah in all my other projects it was kind of leading towards this type of music and sound. So it was really good timing in my life to be able to meet up with these guys and get this shit done. I am way stoked!
The first release was “Destroy As You Go.” Wayne Static sang guest vocals on the song. How did that come about?
Micah: I became a friend of Wayne Static’s a couple years ago. We got him to work with us in our previous project My Evolution…..he’s a very generous, open kind of guy in that way. He’s really supportive of whatever we’ve been doing. My Evolution even went on tour with him and he has always been supportive of what Mike and I are doing. When this project came around and he heard some of the demos he was completely blown away. We asked him if he wouldn’t mind lending his vocals to a track and we picked that one figuring that he would sound great on it…and he did. Most people who have heard it say “Wow! It sounds like another Static X song.” He had said something like that too. I think we picked the right song for him to sing on. It came out great and he is stoked about it as well.
I love the video for the song “Feel This.” Who came up with the concept and who filmed it?
Micah: I wrote the lyrics and treatment for the song. We all worked together on refining the treatment and it evolved into what we ended up with because of everybody’s input including our director Hristo Shindov. It was really a team effort. The concept for the storyline in the video was taken pretty literally from the lyrics themselves and then we just developed it. We put one piece into place and the next piece set itself into place pretty easily, but differently from the way that the lyrics are put together. It was a natural evolution with all of us chipping in together.
M.Lopez: I want to weigh in on the live aspect of us in the video. We really like the band Prodigy a lot and as we were looking at stuff online to figure out our portion of it in the video we would constantly come back to live Prodigy videos where there was a lot of energy, lights and a lot of things going on. It’s almost like the underground club vibe. Casey lives up on Laurel Canyon and we turned his front room into a club or rave with production magic and massive amounts of lighting. It really gave off the energy we have as a live band. It was inspired by Prodigy and the way they look on stage. They are definitely a big influence on us.
So is that what can fans expect to see at a show? Do you use lasers and a light show?
Thunderwood: The video pretty much looks exactly like our live shows. We actually have a live projection that is in sync with the songs. We also use fog, lasers, strobes and go-go dancers at some shows. We’re definitely inspired by the electronic underground music scene. Not just the sound, but the performance as well.
Who are some of the bands that you think would be a good fit for you to play shows with?
M. Lopez: There are a lot of them. The main wish list would be Pendulum, Prodigy, Rammstein, Combichrist, Manson, Linkin Park and Nine Inch Nails if they ever stop making music scores. Those are like the main ones that I think would make a lot of sense with us. We could be put in a lot of areas and do our thing really well. That’s the most important thing…we’re not trying to lend ourselves to any fad or typical rock genre. We can be thrown onto anything and do our thing really well and make a lot of sense for whatever show is happening.
Did you guys do some shows with Marilyn Manson this past summer?
CaseyDC: No, that was some kind of internet rumor. That never happened and I don’t know where it came from. You know how the internet is.
M. Lopez: What I think happened is we had done an interview and through the channels of those people who put that stuff online, I think they made that up or something. First and foremost, Manson is not even on tour. He is not even on tour until next year to my knowledge, so to say that we are going on tour with him before he even has a tour announced was kind of funny. It’s one of those things like maybe it’s a premonition because I can definitely see that occurring. I can honestly say that 9Electric and Marilyn Manson would be an amazing ticket. Did you find any other interesting rumors about us?
No, but I’m going to go digging now. I see that you have a few dates up, what are the plans for touring in support of the EP and what are some of the shows that you have coming up?
M. Lopez: We are definitely looking to tour in 2012! We are working on a few possibilities and will figure what’s best soon. As far as shows are concerned, we are going to stretch ourselves out within Arizona to Vegas. We will go to San Diego and start to go up north a little bit. We figure if we are out there on the road getting out all over the place then it is really good to take a trip to Arizona. We have a fan base there, Thunderwood is from there and I have some family there. We have some really good friends in Vegas that we are going to start doing shows with in a band called Otherwise. We are getting out there so that we are preparing for the road and not really blowing our wad on “Hey we need to get on a tour by ourselves”, not have any support and play for thirty people. That can become very disheartening. Bands do need to tour. That’s an obvious thing, but you don’t need to do it wrong….you need to do it right. You need to build up what you are doing and not break it down. We have had a really good experience building up in our home town of L.A. We have played five or six shows here, but they have all pretty much been packed, so we are fortunate. Some of us are known already and our crowds have all been really big so far. They are getting bigger and bigger.
I’ve been hearing complaints from bands lately where they say it is getting harder to get people out to shows now. What do you think is the best way to get fans out to a show?
CaseyDC: Well we haven’t really had trouble with that, so we don’t have much of a complaint. If you play good music and people love it then it is going to be fun and there is going to be a good party scene to go along with it.
M. Lopez: Everybody is competitive on the internet these days. There are people who don’t even do music or do anything except show their butt or say weird shit and they are popular. To me the key is, especially in a band, to get people out, you make sure that the first time that they come see you there is an impact made. You weren’t just up there playing for your friends. We put on a show that you don’t normally see at clubs. It takes a lot to do that, but it matters to us because we want you to come and see us. We don’t want to be at 5,000 likes on Facebook and no one comes to see our show. We go the extra 100 miles that we need to go to make sure that you’re blown away, that you come back and that you tell your friends about us! At this point there is no reason for any of us to not be doing this the right way…if that’s the case, we should just become accountants or shitty golf players! You are not coming to see your buddies, you are coming out to hang out at a cool scene.
Micah: I also find that a lot of bands saturate the area that they’re in. They play a couple times a month and I think it’s just often too much. We are trying to do it right and make it so that each show’s a really big event. Not only do we put a lot into the live show, like Mike was just saying, but we do it only once maybe every month and a half or two. In addition to that we make it a real event where we line up a bunch of really good bands on a night and after the show, we have a big after-party in the hills. We are becoming somewhat infamous for our after-parties at this point and that doesn’t suck! The whole night ends up becoming a really killer night!!
You have a show coming up December 5th in L.A. and I’d like to be there to see you guys play.
M. Lopez: Where are you again Shauna? Canada?
M. Lopez: Why did I think you were in Canada?
I’ve never been to Canada, but I’d like to go.
M. Lopez: Why did I think you were from Canada?
I don’t know. Do I have a Canadian accent?
CaseyDC: Shauna, I want to make a specific invitation to you. If you want to go to Canada with me sometime, I think it will be really cool if we dress up like Mounties and I think we should go moose hunting. I think it will be kind of cool if we catch one, we can make moose sandwiches. Are you down?
I’m totally down. Do you think I would make a good mountie?
CaseyDC: I think you would make a very sexy mountie.
M. Lopez: You definitely have to be there…at our show! It is December 5th at The Roxy and it’s a free show! It is actually my birthday, so bring me a gift. HAHA!! We are headlining the show and we have Butcher Babies, We Are the Riot, Otherwise (from Vegas), Phantom Communique and The Glory Stompers on the show! It is going to be the show of the year in my opinion. It has a lot of buzz going already and it’s going to be a long night for everybody. People will be talking about it for a while.
Thunderwood: There will be a huge, free after party at CaseyDC’s like we normally do as well! We are going to step it up a notch there too, so it’s going to be a big night! It will also be the Hollywood debut of our brand new song, “Goodbye.”
CaseyDC: We are going to have a dragon at the party too. You can take pictures with the dragon, but if you get burnt we can’t be responsible for that.
That sounds like a hell of a lot of fun. Alright you guys thank you so much for the interview. Would you like to add or say anything?
M. Lopez: Check us out on the usual outlets….Facebook, our site (www.9electric.com) and come out to a 9E show! Live long and prosper.
Thunderwood: Make sure you eat all your grains.
Micah: Thanks for the interview, Shauna! You and the publications you work with have always been super supportive of us and we really appreciate that!!
CaseyDC: I’m glad you are not in Canada, Shauna.
September 23, 2011
Interview: 9 Electric
Happy motherfucking Friday, readers. In this week’s PUMP Sessions Interview Series, I sat down for an entertaining Q&A with LA industrial rockers, 9Electric. These guys do not fuck around, as you’ll see and hear below. Their video for “Feel This” is out of control and the explosion from their latest single, “Time Bomb” is absolutely bonkers. Get on it, kids. This is the real deal.
Welcome to the PUMP Sessions Interview Series, 9 Electric!
Where are you boys from?
Thunderwood- Phoenix, AZ
M.Lopez- Los Angeles
CaseyDC- New York City
Micah Electric- New York City
In what part of Los Angeles do you live?
We all live in Hollywood.
How did the band form?
CaseyDC: We had some help from super-attorney Eric German, who put Thunderwood in touch with Micah and M.Lopez. CaseyDC knew Thunderwood from some previous touring they had done together.
Were you in any other bands before this one?
*M.Lopez*: Yes, Opiate For The Masses, Dry Kill Logic and My Evolution to name the most notable ones the 4 of us have been in.
Please tell us how you came up with your band name…
*M.Lopez*: We started throwing around some ideas of names and one of the key words that kept sounding cool was, Electric. Especially regarding our sound. At first we were thinking about using Red in front of the Electric but it was already taken. I then proposed that we use the # 9 seeing that it’s my favorite number and 9Electric rolled nicely off the tongue!
You’ve been getting some buzz throughout the industry lately. What has your experience been so far in dealing with record labels, A&Rs, journalists, bloggers, promoters, agents, managers, etc?
Thunderwood: Everyone has been really cool to us. We are very thankful to all the people in the industry who have helped us get so much attention in only a few months of doing shows.
CaseyDC: We were introduced to Logan by Mikey Doling (Snot/Channel Zero), who produced our first demo. Logan is an animal in the studio and in the business world. He has gotten a few other bands signed recently and has a few gold records on his wall. He’s helped us all step our game up and he’s done a lot to put us on the map.
“Feel This” is a very powerful song with an intense storyline and video. What inspired you to write this one and what kind of reactions are you getting from it?
Micah: The chorus was about creating a club vibe from the start….Can you feel this beat, this song, etc. almost from a DJ perspective. As I was deciding where to go with the verse and story, I was inspired by a few key women I’ve known who have led less than ideal lives, made some really bad choices and live in regret daily. Some of the ideas were also based on some some trying times in my own life where getting up in the morning seemed like a chore.
The reaction to the video for ‘Feel This’ has been great! Even when the first reaction is negative (this has happened a few times, with women who’ve been raped or abused) after they watch it a few times and realize it’s not celebrating the violence but rather, exposing it, they feel better about it. There’s also a sense of justice when the guy in the video “gets his.” They def like that!
My personal favorite is “Time Bomb”, which is newest single. How did this song come about?
Thunderwood: I actually started writing that one on my laptop while on a train from San Diego to LA. It’s definitely the first 9E song to be born on a train.
I could go off on how I interpret the lyrics to “Time Bomb,” but I think the readers are more interested in your thoughts. What does the song mean to you?
Thunderwood: I originally just started shouting “I’m like a hydrogen bomb!” in the chorus- it was the first thing to pop in my head after jamming to the rhythm secation. It’s really just a song about taking action and seizing what you’re entitled to. Sometimes you gotta get rid of those in opposition to that.
Most – if not all – bands, acts, and musicians have found their way to Twitter. What do you enjoy most about the interactive capabilities of the site and how do you make the most of your Tweets?
*M.Lopez*: Twitter is cool. It’s just another cool way to stay in touch and let people know quickly what you have going in. Since there is a cap on how many characters you can use it challenges you to be interesting and informative without overdoing it.
Facebook is now offering so many different music apps, it can often be a bit intimidating to choose one player. What are you using to play your music on Facebook and why?
*M.Lopez*: Our FB player is custom made by fbfandamonium.com. The entire page hosting our music, pics etc. is custom made. This enabled us to be unique and set ourselves apart from most other bands and apps out there and allow us to control the look and feel of the content on our own without being limited to only what most apps/templates offer.
Do you follow any music or industry blogs regularly? If yes, which ones?
How do you promote your gigs offline? Old school style…
CaseyDC: We mostly just let our fans know we are playing via our email newsletter and the various social media sites. We also have street-teamers handing out promo materials at shows & events around Hollywood.
What is your favorite method of recording music? What instruments do you play, other than your main one?
Thunderwood: We like to write all our songs in our rehearsal space while recording them in pro-tools at the same time. Then when that demo is done, we take it to a producer (either Mikey Doling or Logan Mader) to do the “big version.”
All the members of the band play 3-4 instruments.
With the decline of recorded music sales, what are some of the ways you have compensated for that missing income stream?
CaseyDC: We get paid pretty good when we play live shows, so we don’t worry too much about the rest.
Here at PUMP Merch, we have seen an explosion of creativity in merchandising, both at live shows and online. What items do you offer your fans and why? And what items would you like to offer, but haven’t been able to?
CaseyDC: We’re pretty focused on just writing songs and shaping our sound right now. We haven’t put any focus on merchandising. We’ll leave that to the guys in KISS for now. We do have a 5 song CD that we sell at our live show.
Who likes to hang out after the show and work the merch table? In my experience, there’s always one person that heads straight over and makes themselves available, then everyone else kind of drifts that way after a couple drinks from the bar.
*M.Lopez*: We have a merch person (usually a female) and Thunderwood usually heads over and hangs with fans & friends. The rest of us end up over there at some point.
Which bands and artists have influenced your music?
Micah: NIN, Zombie, Static-X, Rammstein, The Prodigy, Pendulum, Infected Mushroom.
If you could get a drink with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be, where would it be, and why?
Thunderwood: I would have to say Iggy Pop would be pretty rad to shoot the shit with. I have no idea where it’ll be, but I’m lookin’ forward to it. The dude is just the real deal.
Who have you toured or gigged with recently?
*M.Lopez* We haven’t toured yet but we have dates on the table for late fall. By the time this comes out we’ll have played our 9th and 10th shows! We’re just getting started!
Do you boys have any crazy, hot, fun, and/or embarrassing after party stories?
CaseyDC: Yes, we have huge raging after parties. We’ve had the cops there every time. We get hilarious angry emails from CaseyDC’s neighbor. We’ve posted the angry emails on our Facebook…check em out!
Do you drink on stage? And if yes, what is your preferred beverage?
CaseyDC: Water and vodka!
If you could tour with any current band/act, who would it be?
*M.Lopez*: Prodigy, Pendulum, Rage, A7X, Zombie, Manson, Wayne Static come to mind quickly!
Who produced your record?
Thunderwood: Mr. Mikey Doling produced our 5 song EP.
Which producer(s) do you dream of working with some day?
Micah: The short answer is, anyone that understands our vision and can help us take it to the next level. Right now, Logan is able to do that and it’s been rad working with him. When we signed on to have him manage us, we didn’t really know for sure that we’d vibe in the studio or how well that part would work but it’s been awesome. We’ll see who the future holds for us to work with….I love endless possibilities!!!
If you could record with any band/artist, who would it be?
Micah: Skrillex, Z-Trip, Rob Swire & Pendulum as a whole, Liam Howlett & The Prodigy as a whole come to mind. Again, anyone who gets what we are doing and can take it to the outermost limits…..especially electronically. I can’t wait to hear some killer remixes of 9E songs in a slamming club – ear-bleeding volume & bass-booming thru the subs and see everyone dancing & rockin out to it!!
Where does the band rehearse? And is there a regular schedule? Who is always first to practice, and of course, who is last..?
CaseyDC: We rehearse in the Hollywood area. Micah is usually first. Everyone else takes turns being last.
Desert Island Albums – Top 5. GO!
Thunderwood: AC/DC, Johnny Cash- American Recorings, Refused- The Shape Of Punk To Come, Rammstein- Sehnsucht, Infected Mushroom- Legend Of The Black Shawarma
*M. Lopez*: Beatles White Album, Prodigy – Invaders Must Die, Slipknot, RATM – All of them
Micah: Pendulum – Live At Brixton, The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die, Infected Mushroom – Legend Of The Black Shawarma, Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power, Sarah McClachlan – Mirrorball
Favorite books of all time, Fiction or Non-Fiction…
Thunderwood: Charles Bukowski- Betting On The Muse
Hunter S. Thompson- Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (I have Thompson’s ‘Gonzo’ emblem tattooed on his left forearm, personalized to say ‘Ronzo’ because my first name is Ron).
Any Chuck Palahniuk
Micah: Atlas Shrugged, Anthem, The Patient Who Cured His Therapist, The Giving Tree
Thunderwood: Palahniuk wins again- Fight Club! Any Chris Cunningham music videos. Brothers Quay- Street Of Crocodiles
*M.Lopez*: ALL Quentin Tarrantino’s movies!
What are your favorite foods? And do you have a favorite restaurant?
CaseyDC: Tom’s in North Hollywood
How do you relax and unwind?
Thunderwood: We don’t ever relax. We ROCK 24/7.
When you’re not performing, what is your idea of the rowdy night out on the town?
CaseyDC: The members of 9E have had a history of excessive indulgence, in many vices and many activities. We’re trying to take it down a notch right now because our music comes first. Booze, pussy, drugs, and fast cars all come 2nd now.
What are your favorite fashion labels? And what is preferred stage attire?
Thunderwood: We have a lot of our own hand made stuff from Black Victory, Cody at Forgotten Saints, Anna Morph, and Jünker.
When was your first concert? Who did you see? Where was the show?
*M.Lopez* – my parents took me to see U2 with The Pretenders opening but the first show I went to my own was Lollapalooza when Rage opened up the show!!!
What are your hobbies outside of creating music?
Thunderwood: Film, animation, working out, chasing girls, fast cars, Burning Man, visual arts, dance clubs.
Well, we know what your night job is, so tell us about your day job…
CaseyDC: We don’t have real jobs. Haven’t had jobs in a long time.
Where can you be found hanging out by day? By night? Where are your favorite spots in LA?
*M.Lopez*: When we aren’t working on our band – which isn’t often – we frequent concerts and clubs. We do hang at a few bars but usually only ones that we know the bartender well at. Waiting for drinks, and paying for them, is not awesome.
Any upcoming performances, events, releases, news you’d like to promote here?
Micah: We are playing two shows at the beginning of next month. October 1, we rock The Clubhouse in Tempe, AZ and October 3, we play The Roxy in Hollywood, CA. These shows will mark the first time we play our new song “Time Bomb” live! Don’t miss it people!!
Please let everyone know where they can find your music and stay updated.
You guys fucking ROCK. Thanks so much for sharing a bit with the PUMP Sessions readers. Be well and stay up.
Thank You PUMP Sessions! You guys, and your fans of course, kick ass…thanks for having us!