Filed under: Interviews | Tags: christian fundamentalists, communal music appreciation, composing, computer orchestra, d bene tleilax, different scenes, hardcore, indie emo, interviews, LA music, los angeles, machine music, new age party music, orange county, parties, performance, post-raves, potency, rawness, sean carnage, straight up noise, the tleilaxu music machine, video game music
Originally posted on Sean Carnage’s blog July 31st, 2010
D. Bene Tleilax’s The Tleilaxu Music Machine is one of those groups that, man, if it doesn’t make you go nuts and get happy you’ve got a really cold and boring heart. D. Bene’s music is way progressive which is the inspiring part—the man can write symphonies AND techno epics AND remix others’ songs. It’s electronica yeah but really it’s just him. D. Bene’s the music. And when you listen you are the music.
I caught up with D. Bene earlier this week and he laid it all out for me:
How old are you and where do you live?
27 years old, I live in and around L.A….in my car!
How would you describe your music to a stranger?
I have completely different sets of music depending on which scene I am performing in, which is to me an important aspect of what I do. But in general as good a description as any would be taking all the following and pulling 4 or so randomly out of a hat :: experimental electro rave screamo hardcore IDM gothic baroque noise psychedelic grind industrial dubstep cabaret
Describe your music-making role—are you primarily a composer, performer, instrumentalist, or…?
I’m pretty into being a composer, I’m compelled the most by the concept of a distinct created work. I’m secondarily a performer…since I make a lot of electronic music that is often difficult or impossible to really perform live as an instrumentalist, at very least by myself, it’s not that big of a thing. Also that’s not the point of my performances. Performance to me is helping to get people to appreciate the music together as a community. The computer is like my orchestra, I notate everything and it plays the majority of it while I dance, scream, bang on a MIDI controller or push people around.
Where are you originally from? Was music a part of your upbringing?
I grew up in Orange County, home-schooled til 7th grade by fundamentalist christians who were super restrictive about things “of the world”, such as music. I wasn’t even allowed to listen to christian radio! But I had Nintendo when I was a kid and I would make tape recordings of video game music and listen to that all the time…then in high school my parents slowly lessened their grip and I got into hardcore, DIY indie shit, and rave music and started going to tons of shows…and fancy that, here we are!
Who are three music influences that you keep returning to time and again?
I will always be influenced by old school indie emo & hardcore stuff, I love the rawness and potency of that sort of personal expression. Glitchy IDM & technical electronic music has a permanent place in my brain, I love machine music. And finally if I could say LA music in general as an influence, that is something that constantly informs what I do. I’m really into finding out what’s happening in local music communities and using that as an inspiration, since I’m into so much shit it helps give me direction sometimes.
What was the first music you remember spending a lot of time making?
At the very beginning, all my musical endeavors were about making straight up noise as weird as possible specifically for the purpose of taking psychedelics and listening to it. That’s pretty much all I did for a while!
Imagine that you are giving a tour to someone from out of town. Quite magically, everyone you might want to see is playing at your favorite venues here in L.A. What bands/venues or experiences would you take your visitor to?
I’m really weird like this, but honestly I don’t have favorite bands that I go more crazy about than others…there’s a lot of people worth seeing in LA. I’d just take them to whatever cool was going on at the time, and there is almost always something worth going to. Places like Pehrspace and Women are really cool and always have good shit going on in a fun environment, Cozy Castle and McWorld were fun while they lasted, Echo Curio, HM157, also I’d take em to whatever cool underground electronic parties were going on…I call them “post-raves”, they’re often at different random one-off type spots. The CIA in NoHo just to check out the decor, some warehouse art parties.
What’s a song you wish you had written and why?
I’m pretty stoked on the way things happen of their own accord, I love other people’s music because they do it in ways that I never would. Sometimes I wish I had as much skill and vision as other artists to apply to my own creativity, but that’s about as far as that goes.
If you have any projects you want to make folks aware of, please share.
Currently I’m working on a what I hope to be a series of party events which smoothly combines performers from the straight up tronix scene with the more electronically oriented peeps from “band” scenes… a bit of party cross-pollenation. It’s called “New Age Party Music”. That’s kinda my main project besides my ever-present music whatever.