A Revival of a cult

Music's history commits certain injustices, that time and fans sooner or later amend... Such it's the case of Psychotica, a North American band that in the 90s paved the way where figures as Marilyn Manson and Orgy walked by.

The band headed by the Androgynous-Christ Pat Briggs, walked through music paths were the industrial, gothic, rock and glam were mixed with total naturalness, giving birth to two marvelous albums officially published, "Psychotica" (1996) and "Espina" (1998) plus a third album that was never realeased and was only accessible throught internet, "Pandemic" (1999), a little piece of jewellery that closed the decade with a powerful sample of martian rock and that could have taken Psychotica towards the "following level", with a proposal nearer to the Bowie the Ziggy Stardust and to Ministry, than to the grunge's explosion of the nineties of Pearl Jam y Soundgarden.

It's been 10 years and Psychotica is back. Pat Briggs, Ena Kostabi and Enrique Tiru Velez have made an intimate and warm return, with very few shows in Spain that have put them in contact with a new audience that was waiting for their resurrection.

Ena Kostabi

In this opportunity, Absenta Musical had the pleasant chance to talk to Paul "Ena" Kostabi, guitar player and founder of the band, who told us about their return to the stage, his analysis on their long absence that has generated a kind of cult, and the future of this inminent band.

Ten years had to elapse before news of Psychotica, what was the reunion with the lights, the stage and the music like, after all this time?

It went really well. It was like we never stopped. Only a few rehearsals into it we realizad this would not be as hard as we thought. Now we are putting together a more elaboarate stage show with hospital beds and Wheel chairs. Sort of creating a horror hospital on stage. The thing is we want to create life instead of promote the end of life.

Pat Briggs What has the reception of the audience been like? Understanding that they are probably Psychotica followers who met you mainly through Internet, when the band no longer existed.

That super information highway that came quickly and now behaves like the "Autobohn". Things happen so quick now. A band can be big in 10 minutes and fade even quicker. We send out an email and now get a response in minutes.

Fan mail no longer exists. We used to get mail with a stamp on it. No more. It's free to send an email for the most part so people just use that mechanism. To interact with people now has become almost painful. Even the cellist wants to play shows using Skype now so he can stay home. We don't blame him for this. With all these blog site like Pitchfork and Stereogum people become followers and forget that they can be leaders. Blog site like Pitchfork ruin chances for bands to grow into something worthwhile because people and fans believe the hype similar to how when Guns and Roses forced Nirvana to be a huge comercial success. Now a blog can Start an end a band in 2 days. But people don't really have anything to hold onto these days so whats the difference? One day people will say "we were big in the blogs from March to April 2010" thats just how it is now. The live show is still something to hold onto because you can't put your arms around a memory. Thats all we have , short fused memories.

We were the first band to have a tour blog sponsored by SPIN Magazine. There were a few others at that time like velvetrope and some compuserve music blogs like posh boy records. It was wierd typing the blog daily as it revealed personal things to the public and people didn't know how to respond. Eventually the band shut me down and took away the computer so I wouldn't write private things about them. Now it's gossip, people want people to know everything about them and why not, whats there to hide really?

Enrique Tiru Velez Looking back at your career and by reviewing the three great albums of the band, why do you think Psychotica had no media coverage which other references such as Marilyn Manson and Orgy had, who obviously owe much to Pat Briggs and his band?

Pat had a Public Relations Firm that did some moves that were not related to music. The music was great and people forgot about it. Hype was important in the 90's so people could get instant gratification by seeing a picture or insinuating a relationship. When Bowie called and wanted 3 copies of the new record. We forgot to send the CDS but told people people that Bowie called. It's the same today. The value was in the connection and not the art. Today music is advertising driven. We all want to sound like music on the Weather Channel. We were making weather channel music 15 years ago. Time for a change in the weather.

For better or for worse, Psychotica holds the title of "cult band", do you feel as one of them? And, what is the meaning that you can give to that description?

Yes funny. Coincidentally I just produced a band called CULTS. Lily Allen is signing them to a deal in England and it all happened in a week. Lets hope it lasts a little longer. They haven't even performed yet. Psychotica was signed by Rick Rubin before we performed as well. Cult bands are cool. Another coincidence we are going out on tour with the Thrill Kill Kult next month. Cults are just about all we have now. With the new digiratti its crucial. the APPLE Mac fans are a cult but the actual Apple people are just marketers, it's the followers that make the cult not the leaders.

I understand that Psythotica participated in early trials of the film "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" directed by John Cameron Mitchell, what could you tell us about that experience?

I heard that too but I don't know anything about it. I think it was hype and wasn't real.

Pat Briggs y Ena Kostabi

Psychotica just released an EP through iTunes, how many songs make up this EP?, Is this new music?

We have 7 songs on it. 4 studio tracks and 3 live in Barcelona. Some of it is brand new. it's our best album so far. this should have been our first record/ep.

In addition to the recently released EP, there is also the preparation of the DVD Live in Barcelona, tell us about the audiovisual record, what will the DVD contain?

This is a concert we did in Barcelona filmed in HD. It's about 1 hour and really shows the raw intimate energy of Psychotica 2010 . I think people will really like it. It will be in stores soon.

Who are far, have had to be content with only a few videos circulating on Internet, but we want to know how is the band?, What is your vision about the present and future of Psychotica?

Psychotica is going on a US tour this summer and world tour later in the year. We are playing festivals in Europe all of august.Most likely we are doing Lollapalooza in Chicago in august then off to Europe. I think live shows and live cds are the future, we now improvose on stage as well so we could attract the JAM band crowd. The only reall art in music now is to improvise everything else is just a derivative art form. How many times can I do the exact same guitar solo anyway.

Ena thank you very much for talking with Absenta Musical Magazine, a big hug.

:: Interview Realized by Absenta Musical.
:: Cover Picture by Rino Barilari. The following photographies, in this order: Ena Kostabi (personal photo album), Pat Briggs (by Dara Blumenhein), Enrique Tiru Velez (personal photo album), Pat y Ena (personal photo album).

If you want to listen to Psychotica music, you can go to the seccion TocaDiscos by clicking here.

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