Back for the 2nd year this 2016 twisted without reason, spirals, loops, and melty brain benders… glorious sounds and dark moods, “take a sound that is wrong and bend it to make it worse” … Last year Species was a buzzed to host an atmospheric and thought provoking live performance from BENDING WRONGS who who took us on a sonic journey that left us confused, bewildered, and bent. We are delighted once more to witness an experimental ambient experience that is so wrong and sounds so right!
BENDING WRONGS live at Species 2015
An Interview with Bending Wrongs
- Tell us a little about yourself as a musical artist living in Belfast:
I don’t really feel part of a scene up in Belfast, I never really have. I have an expansive taste in music and I don’t really fit into any specific genre. So in order to get a gig in Belfast I would have to maybe change things a bit, and fit into more of a mainstream genre; which I obviously don’t want to do. I am just happy working in my music room and making tunes. I will only play gigs that interest me and more importantly, I am invited to.
- You have a unique and intriguing alias ‘Bending Wrongs’ is there a story behind the name?
When I was in college me and my mate “bibs” did a lot of experimental music and sound design. At the time, Christopher Morris from Brasseye had a show called “My wrongs”. I guess that name just stood out. I looked at our music and thought “these are our wrongs, and I’m bending them ha-ha. So I guess if you take a music note or a sound wave or whatever and bend it to make it sound worse, that’s what we were trying to achieve then. I guess I just kept the name cos it stuck.
- How long have you been making music? how did you get into it? and what drives you to do it?
I got my first guitar when I was 12 when I was a kid I was obsessed with my dads records and guitarists. I loved punk, rock, metal, you name it. I was in punk bands called “Punkshard” and “Smut” and another funk group called “The Furious hands of Michael Douglas”. I always struggled with nerves so never liked playing in front of people. When I left my music course in university I didn’t do any music for about 6 years. I jammed away on my guitar but seriously had just given up. My Girlfriend Nicole heard me playing the guitar one night when I was drunk and started to persuade me to get back in to music. I went out and got a new guitar and equipment and I love working in my wee studio I’ve built. I guess music drives me to do it. It’s like when I am sitting in my house I either flick on the laptop or lift a guitar. I can’t be assed with Eastenders
- As an electronic musician, do you find the equipment you use liberating or does it create limitations to your expression?
Good question. I find my lack of brains limit my expression, only joking. Realistically though being an electronic musician is kind of difficult. I can’t afford all the fancy analogue gear and I don’t have a clue how to use decks. But I make do with the equipment I use. In saying that I recently started using Ableton and I must say, my music has came on leaps and bounds. I used it for my set at Species along with my Roland TB3 bass synthesizer. ACID. I am like a kid in a toy shop with Ableton though because there is so much cool stuff for manipulating sounds. It’s really easy to use and means I can get an idea down quickly.
- Have you worked collaboratively before? And if so do you prefer it to working alone?
Yeah I’ve done loads of stuff with Bibs who is a life long pal and music geek like me. I’ve worked with people throughout college and uni. I am always willing to listen to an idea or help someone out. I am also always looking for ways to improve.
- If you could bring other elements to your music through collaboration, what would these be?
I have been making ambient tracks recently and would love a female vocalist to add some vocals on some of the songs. I also want to get my guitar out and get playing in a band again at some point. But if my music ever got big I love to write music for a number of people to perform to get a real live feel.
- You music had a Dark ambient and industrial presence. Which artists have been influential to the development of your sound and what aspects of these inspire you most?
Well it really depends what I am listening to that week. When I was prepping for Species I was listening to Splinter by Gary Numan, Syro by Aphex Twin, Clark by Clark which is absolutely awesome. These are pretty dark albums but very melodic. I’m a big fan of melody. I’ve tried to do minimal before but it didn’t work. I grew up listening to punk. I love the Clash, the Stranglers, and Rancid. But I guess I’m in to everything. I love grunge, drum n bass, surf music, trip hop. I must say though, I’m not a fan of Jason Derulo. I hate all that stuff where they talk about jewellery and all.
- We witnessed the use of computer generated backing loops with overlays using sound equipment; tell us a little about the equipment you like to use and how you use it?
I use a template on Ableton live and my APC40 MK2. On the day I was using my TB3 as well which I had pre programmed. After a few technical glitches it all seemed to work pretty well. I usually play with more stuff but I have been trying to limit the amount of stuff I use live cos it leaves more room for error. I sync all my hardware through USB so everything is in the same tempo and controlled with my master controller. I like the idea of building some gear from scratch which is something I am currently looking into.
- Was there a particular thematic part of Gothic & Industrial culture that captured your imagination for the music we heard from you at Species?
No, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was a bit nervous and was worried in case everyone hated it. Luckily for me everyone seemed really cool, laid back and one thing I noticed was everyone was very respectful of the performers and the organisers. I’ve hung about with musician type folk before and it can be a very stuck up brethren. Species wasn’t like that at all and if anything I felt really encourages by the guys I met.
- What preparations did you do on the run up to your performance at Species?
I took a few days off from worked and crammed. I am quite self critical so I wanted my music to sound good and needed time to prep. Nicole was training for the marathon so I got lots of peace and quiet to do my music.
- What is your views Gothic and Industrial culture in Ireland today?
I’m all for it. I don’t see as much of it in Northern Ireland anymore but I know it’s still big down south. I was really impressed with the art and the time that was put into the decorations and the costumes. It is clear that most of these guys are as passionate about their culture as I am about music. I love industrial music and recently I’ve been dabbling with a bit of Goth stuff.
- What parts of Species did you enjoy most?
The whole time! The music was great. I really enjoyed meeting musicians and artists that aren’t pretentious. I love the walls in the great hall. I got a great curry for free which was definitely a highlight. And I loved that there were friendly people just sitting about chatting. It was my type of place. My biggest regret was having to leave early but we had to run in the Belfast Marathon.
- Would you like to be involved musically next year?
Yes, definitely. This year I kept my music pretty quiet but next year I will definitely offer a bit more of a punch now I know what to expect. Oh, that’s if I’m invited back ha-ha.
Bending Wrongs – Hellride 3, Music Video
Below is Bending wrongs latest music video for his closing track at Species 2015 titled ‘HELLRIDE – 3′. The video was created by Award winning travel blogger and creative Ikimasho Japanese for “Let’s go” . Originally from Bangor, Northern Ireland, Ikimasho aka Justin, blogs about the things he is most passionate about including electronic music and all things bizarre he encounters on his travels:
Music Video – Bending Wrongs ‘Hellride 3 © www.ikimasho.net
BENDING WRONGS is on SoundCloud