How would you describe Baxter Stockman and your style/genre to people unfamiliar with it? Are there some bands you could be compared with?
Max > Very loud, mean and perverse rock music. What bands we could be compared with would be the listeners job to figure. I suggest people to listen to our records or better yet come and see us live.
What are the things that make you stand out from the grey mass, or in other words, why should I listen to your music?
Max > "Grey mass" consists of artists and bands making standard, safe, uninspired, trite, superficial music. In order to stand out, one must strive to be none of these.
How did you come to pick this name for your band from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Does it represent something in your music or lyrics?
Max > The name was Visa's idea, who is a great TMNT fan, like all of us. To me it's a representation of the generation we belong to and maybe through that it reflects to our music.
Speaking of which, what are your lyrics about? Do you have an ideology behind your expression?
Max > I don't have much of an idea what the lyrics are about. I'm not always sure if our lyricist has either? In our music, lyrics come second, delivery first.
How did the band come together, and has there been any lineup-changes? How was this style of music chosen?
Max > Visa had an idea of an aggressive "alternative metal" group he'd like to form. He asked me to join, since we have a long history of playing in different kinda projects and we've always clicked WELL. We knew Markus from the same circle of friends. He impressed us highly playing with his then band. We three met on 6.12.2006 and Baxter Stockman was formed. Obviously, we turned into quite different sounding group than was expected. No line-up changes, that would probably lead to another band and BS split.
Have you thought about adding an another guitarist to your band? Why/why not?
Max > Most often second guitarist in a band does nothing but HARM. Fucks up the dynamics and blurs the sound, when it's supposed to widen or strengthen it. Of course it's possible to do it well, but i see that happening rarely. We don't completely rule out adding additional instruments / musicians to some of our endeavours in the future, but at the time we don't see any reason to.
Do you have a one main composer or -lyricist? How do you usually compose new songs?
Max > Markus writes lyrics if he feels like it. Him or visa bring an idea to our practice and then we fuck with it for a while. Usually nothing comes out of it and frustrated we spend countless hours / weeks / months on shit that never turns into a song. Until we're most satisfied with the song, we won't let it loose. A finished song is always a group effort.
Your music is very twisted and dark. What are you trying to achieve music-wise? Somehow I think that you're not aiming for the hit charts.
Max > We want to make rock music the way we would like it to be made. We ARE aiming for the hit charts. but for that to happen, somebody has to bend over - us or the charts. Won't be us.
What are you aiming for as a band, do you have any certain goals you struggle to achieve? Have your possible goals changed through your existance?
Max > There's a lot of goals. But basically, we want to make music our way. To be able to record and perform.
Do you see yourselves as an underground/indie-band, or do you see your band as a part of any scene at all?
Max > Underground as in very few people know about us? As in very few people come to our shows? As in we sell about three records a month? YES i do see us underground when it comes to that. Indie band - god no. I don't think of us as a part of any scene, except maybe that of young-bands-active-in-finnish-rock-scene, which doesn't have much to do with music style.
What kind of a live experience is Baxter Stockman?
Max > Again, this would be something to ask from an audience member. Live we try to play very tightly knit packages of well thought out violent bursts.
Is your emphasis more on making releases or performing on stage? What is the function of your releases, are they just for promoting your gigs?
Max > I wouldn't talk about an "emphasis" here. Naturally there's more live shows than there's studio sessions, so gigs take much more time. But both of these aspects are very important to us. Live we have a chance to explore our songs, try different things with them. Playing to an appreciating audience makes all the work feel worthwhile. Studio work is about drawing a detailed picture of what we think BS is at that moment. As we have two professional sound engineers in the band, we spend a lot of time and thought on how we would like to sound on record, so it goes way beyond songs into sound aesthetics. As for records promoting gigs, it's quite the opposite, since we sell 80% of our records at shows.
You've released two EP:s this far. How do you think they turned out, is there maybe something you'd want to change in them?
Max > I'm happy with both. There's ALWAYS something one would do differently now, but fuck it. A creative mind should set it's sights to the future, rather than weep / jerk off over the past.
I've understood that you're currently recording material for your future release. Would you mind telling us something about it, for example is it an EP, will it still be the same kind of music as on your previous release, possible release date, something?
Max > We're FAR from recording at this point. We're writing songs, and we're SLOW, so don't hold your breath just yet. I will not reveal our plans in detail, but it seems very likely that a full length 12" LP will come out within next few years... It's dificult to say about the music, since there's so little material yet.
What are your plans for the future?
Max > Work on new material and do some select shows. Puntala rock 24.7, s-osis turku 7.8, lepakkomies 11.9.
It's time for the regular ones. What is your opinion on people downloading releases for free? Are you maybe quilty of this?
Max > I have benefitted very much from illegal downloading when i was younger. Listening to stuff from NAPSTER etc. made it easy to find new music to obsess over. I've always spent as much money on records as possible, so downloading has only saved me from buying mediocre crap, not stopped from supporting music that deserves support. Haven't bothered with downloads in a long time, though.
When BS played a russian minitour in march this year, we had people at shows SINGING along to our songs. We're talking about songs from an ep that maybe 70 copies were made of. If it wasn't for free downloading, none of the people there would have known our music, except for some myspace tracks maybe. I don't think we're losing huge sums of money because somebody chooses to download our record instead of buy it.
BUT i do think it's dubious that a fan does not want to pay for a record of an artist they appreciate, IF they have the possiblity (in terms of money and availability of record). When you put money on a record by a small independent business like RABBIT ILSN, BEMBÍLE CASETTES, SIDEFFECT RECORDS, SHIT SUCK TAPES, VERDURA, FREAK ANIMAL, FILTH AND VIOLENCE, IF SOCIETY etc. you can be sure it all goes to further producing of cultural history as in important new music. I couldn't give a fuck less about emi, warner, sony bmg etc. losing a dollar because of a download.
What kind of a place our earth is in your eyes? How do you think it will be like 20 years from now?
Max > I have a hard time understanding what's going on.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Max > To have ALF reruns back on tv.
What are you reminded when you hear these words: music, human, god?
Max > Cliche.
Is there something you'd like to add, or advertise?
Max > Yes. Go to sideffectrecords.net and buy as many records as possible. Then suck my dick.
Thanks for your time. So long, and remember your meds.
Max > Thanks. Take care!