England's Void Construct are Scott Walker and Vicky Halliday. Formed in early 1999 after Walker bought some music software for his PC, his hobby quickly grew into something larger after positive feedback from local DJs who played some of his early material. A year of recording and gigging followed and the band signed to Cryonica in November 2000 and their debut album Estramay Aleph was released in April 2001. With their second album, Sensory Division, having just been released, Rob Dyer caught up with Walker to find out more…
What is the main motivating factor behind Void Construct?
I wanted to write something that I would listen to. I had been a fan of Industrial music for some years and Vicky and I have varying musical tastes from classical through to trance, so it's important to me that I incorporate these into our music. I aim to keep a feeling of diversity behind the Void Construct sound.
How did the first album, Estramay Aleph, come together?
Estramay Aleph took about 18 months to write altogether. It was a long process for a debut album. This album has a much rawer edge than Sensory Division because it was how I was feeling at the time. As it was my first album I was learning as I was writing which is why Sensory Division is far more complex.
The range of your stylistic influences was apparent on Estramay Aleph - from industrial to trance. Was this diversity something you were keen to reflect in the Void Construct sound?
I think our diversity is one of our strong points. I'd like to think we can attract fans from the EBM and Harsh Industrial scenes. I've even had compliments from fans of Hard House who like our approach to music writing. I do like the overall sound to be diverse but I didn't go out of my way to produce a specific sound, it all depends on the mood I'm in at the time of writing and what documentaries I've just seen!
The new album, Sensory Division, sees a noticeable step up in terms of song writing. How pleased with it are you in comparison to Estramay Aleph?
I feel that Sensory Division is a perfect follow on from Estramay Aleph. It shows how my song writing and influences have grown and this reflects in the tracks. Sensory Division is certainly more polished than the debut album and the third album should be a further improvement. This album has received more coverage and promotion than Estramay Aleph and the general feedback from the public has been positive, which is always great to hear.
This time the influences are blended more effortlessly and the result is more distinctive. Was this "blending" of musical influences something you worked hard on or did it come naturally?
Although I am influenced by certain artists and films, the amount that transfers into the songwriting process is mostly coincidental. I take my influences from television documentaries, films and recent news events and I expect this will have come across in Sensory Division.
Which tracks are you particularly fond of on Sensory Division and why?
I am happiest with the overall sound of Carcinogen. It builds into a crescendo and I'm pleased with the way the sounds have blended on this particular track. I am also extremely proud of Pure Vision; this was written with Vicky's Granddad in mind. He was a huge influence on both of us and I know he'd be pleased with his song.
Are lyrics important to you or is music the main thing?
Each track varies. In some cases I will have written the lyrics before a tune has come to mind and other times the music will form itself and the lyrics follow on. I spend probably an equal amount of time on each area so it is difficult to rate the importance. Obviously I focus a lot of my attention on creating music, which is why there are instrumental tracks on each album. I like to think of myself as a musician first and foremost and the lyrics are incidental.
Live, Void Construct is a two piece - you on vocals and Vicky Halliday on Live Programming. Presenting this style of music live is always a challenge for projects that are essentially one-man operations. Is this something that bothers you?
Many Industrial acts focus around the front man; Haujobb, Suicide Commando and In Strict Confidence among others. This formula seems to work for this type of music. The fan is aware of who is writing and the musicians behind the front man/woman are there to further enhance the live experience. I would hate to have to stand on stage on my own!
How has being signed to Cryonica (for both albums) helped you reach a wider audience?
Vicky has been working hard to establish contacts in Europe and the US and Cryonica have assisted in this. It's important, especially for a UK act, to sign to a label that can give you the maximum exposure in both America and Europe. Cryonica have experience of running a label and as a band so they know the pitfalls and the correct routes to take, which has been a great help to us.
It is notoriously difficult to make any money in the underground electronic music scene. What are your aims with Void Construct?
I want to keep enjoying myself with VC for as long as possible. If we can gather new fans along the way then that's a bonus but ultimately I still write music that I'd want to listen to. It 's extremely hard, especially if you're a UK act, to make money in this scene as it's such a niche market but luckily neither Vicky or myself rely on music as our main source of income!!
This interview first appeared in Kaleidoscope Magazine - http://www.kaleidoscopemusic.org.uk
Void Construct on dsoaudio:
Music Reviews - Void Construct
Gig Reviews - Void Construct
Official Void Construct website (used to be): http://www.voidconstruct.com