United Front is a pretty abrupt name even for a PE project would you agree? The only thought that came to mind when I first heard of this unit was left wing anti politically involved giving me expectations of your sound long before you sent me samples of your first full length album justly titled ‘By All Means’. Do you consider yourself a left winged anarchist or an anti-culturist? Can in fact United Front fall under the same PE favoring’s as your over sea brethren Survival Unit,Genocide Organ,etc?Do you have any personal connections to these other units?
The whole terrorist mention is something we do not wish to be slotted under being a redundant banner that has nothing to do with our music or motivations, what we are in fact doing is taking basic examples of ‘Societies’ failures and bringing our own depictions and concerns forward, the whole terrorist term/theme is quite appalling as these are such topics that we do relate to but employ only as a basis of understanding and concern rather than using these type of actions as a just cause from these potential groups and organizations. United Front has very little connection if at all to any left or right wing concepts or ideals, we are however against certain things the United States and all countries consider the foundation of society and it’s so called structure of work, sleep, worship, procreate and eventual death ideologies we as a people have become comfortable with excepting as normal, this is something we will not hide from and realize the importance of addressing. Politics through democratic viewpoints or left wing pandering’s changes from person to person so no one group of people can really connect to or agree with these sort of topics making it easy for us to simply ignore, further more disagree with without argument or opinion involved. Regarding your question with mentioning these other units such as SU,GO and TGA,I would hope that our own message can be found in United Front as each of these projects have their own individual reason for doing what they do as we have our own agenda even if most may wish to either ignore or disregard our reasoning’s, it will never change or possibly make very little since to anyone but ourselves. Personally I have very little contact with any of the respected parties addressed minus Trev Ward of The Grey Wolves and though I have spoken to certain members of Genocide Organ via email we are not focused on anything or anyone minus United Front and those in silence who may have some small connection to what we are doing. Like I mentioned the only path we will follow is our own and the only thing that connects us all to one another is found in the way we conduct our activities to common influences, other than that I do not see a connection that needs to be addressed further.
Originally United Front begin as U-731, if I am correct is the new more descriptive United Front is taken from the Chinese derivative under the same name?
We have chosen to use this name as U-731 begin to bare little if any meaning to what I was trying to accomplish in terms of the basics found within the musical medium, as well the project has greatly matured from focusing solei on creating Power Electronics and Death Industrial to bringing other influences into the concepts of our sound, from often shunned upon sound sources within genres such as Hip Hop/Break Beat to the simplistic use of sound design and minimal ritualistic themes within the Dark Ambient genres. As a unit involving primarily two other members, our own personal influences have begun to work their way into the Front making each individual creation carry a standard structure but vary depending on what a certain piece may entail creating a since of balance needed when working with others to reach a common goal. United Front has its own purpose without the need of finding outside resources within the name, again separating ourselves from any conflict or proposed thoughts such as what you mentioned in regards to the use of the name, I could easily explain what’s behind it but what would that accomplish? It wouldn’t be fair for any one of us to create an underlined look at the reason we work under this umbrella as each involved has their own understanding behind it, same should be said for anyone who listens to what we are doing, creating their own interpretations of its meaning without the need or limitations of explanation.
How many members are currently involved in the project? And what roll does each member play?
Currently there are three official members, Aaron Myrick, Dwayne Roberts and myself apart from which there are a great deal of affiliates involved who we consider not only close comrades but members in their own right. Everyone involved brings a bit of themselves and beliefs to the table, whether it be an outlet found in sound design to creating a concept anyone of us can work off of at any given time, we all play an equal roll and nothing would work without one another’s influence and support.
I noticed you have a few free downloads posted up on your Oppressive Resistance Records band camp page with some of the material dating as far back as 2007 yet you are only now releasing a proper full length CD album titled ‘By All Means.. due out before years end. What decisions were made to wait until this year to release a full length album? Who aside from United Front may have been involved in the recording process? And what differences can be found in your current work that differs now then what you are offering as free digital releases?
By All Means is the only album thus far I consider to be somewhat 'official' opposed to the digital downloads which were created as blue prints for establishing a basic foundation regarding our sound that can in fact be carried over with what we are creating currently. To be honest when I first begin considering ending Defiler all together and focus on a new direction under a new project I wanted to be able to release an album that ties the last Defiler album (V.III) to the direction I wanted to take then U-731 into. By All means should tie everything together and can possibly be seen as not only the first release under United Front but maybe the final release from Defiler as the sound tends to hint towards older workings yet the overall focus has greatly shifted from simplicity and explanation to diversity, making this album our most important offering to date. With this album carrying such a personal attachment I wanted to involve a couple close friends who may be able to take a handful of sounds and ideas and add their own input without being given much information aside from maybe lyrics and a canvas to work from, both John Stillings (Steel Hook Prostheses) and Andy Grant (The Vomit Arsonist/Bereft) were the only artists I felt could make this particular release come together as envisioned. Art work also played a huge part as the album visually needed to be as close of a representation of the audio as possible without being over the top or coming off as pretentious, to make this work I contacted a good friend of the Front Maurice De Jong who took a few quite simple ideas and created something I couldn’t be any more happy with.
You are also getting ready to release a couple split’s with Whorid and RU-486 as well as a collab album with Nyodene D.How are those releases coming Along? Any ideas when we can expect those to be released?
The material with Nyodene D was completed back in 2011 early 2012 and should finally see a limited C-20 release through a yet undetermined label or Oppressive Resistance Recordings late spring. Both splits with Whorid and RU-486 are quite close to being completed and are scheduled for release also during the spring months through Annihilvs and Oppressive Resistance.
When it comes to influences in your music who would you say are some of the biggest if any?
Good question, United Front speaking for all of us is greatly influenced by artists such as Skinny Puppy (1984-1992), SPK, Throbbing Gristle, Psyche, Slogun, Genocide Organ, Prurient, In Slaughter Natives, Public Enemy, N.W.A, EPMD, etc.
Other than music what areas of your environment would you say to be influential to the project?
Events occurring today in the media are always used as a prime target for drawing ideas as well as huge conflicts found in histories often unpleasant past. Other more direct elements within the Front are found in daily life with living in a city I have a long standing hatred for and financially for a long time I was un able to gain control over certain situations that left me stuck between trying to find motivations and warranting a rapid departure as soon as possible without harming or leaving myself with nothing left to fall back on. Subject matter as with everything that goes into United Front is important with keeping things as honest as possible regardless of how it may affect others around us including ourselves, whether it be positive or negative we understand and embrace certain views and situations in life most would over look or completely deny are actually happening. Things make that much more since with working with a close knit community of friends who relate to these types of viewpoints and situations easily making the entire process coincide with day to day living and United Front being able to carry its own voice.
United Front/Defiler has done a great deal of tracks with a lot of respected artists but who have you not yet worked with you would like to?
We are always open for collaborations with anyone who is open enough in working with us for the most part, pin pointing just the few who’s names pop up more than often in discussion: Klaus (Genocide Organ), The Grey Wolves, Theologian, Compactor, Sewer Goddess, Brotha Lynch Hung, Ces Cru, Hopsin, Venetian Snares.
Going back to a conversation we had a while back through email over equipment and you being pretty ammonite with mentioning ‘some of the largest sounds created have been accomplished by some of the most simplest means’ I recall you didn’t think you needed to have much to get a point across. Has this remained something still important to you and the members of United Front? Or has this changed since we last spoke and with the addition of both Aaron Myrick and Dwayne Roberts?
Equipment has been gathered over time based on the general output and affordability,a huge reason why Aaron is still using gear he had laying around in storage collecting dust since 1991 and Dwayne hasn’t bought a piece of equipment since 2007.Only recently have I bought a few much needed tools such as a Korg MS2000,an M-Audio Venom keyboard and a few incredibly versatile Korg Monotron delay units. Our methods of recording have also changed, recently I sold my PC and we have begun recording using an old Sony TC-377 making things that much more complicated but much more hands on and controlled then software and editing using digital based effects.
United Front live seems like a huge possibility for the upcoming year. If so what can your audience expect? And will the same aggression found on tape be something you would love to attack in a live setting?
This upcoming summer we plan to host a couple first United Front live shows that will allow for us to bring many of the themes tackled on our recordings to a live setting, we have discussed a few ideas and we believe the more visual and cohesive we do things the less restricted and claustrophobic people will feel when met with a bunch of guys wearing all black in ski masks waving hand held power tools around in people’s faces with a reason and purpose in mind. Aaron and Dwayne have also begin working on some pretty interesting back ground video footage exploring themes of Alien Autopsy’s to using footage taken from the unfortunately underrated film ‘Threads’ itself a huge influence within much of what goes into United Front in and away from the musical medium.
What other areas of creation can we expect from United Front aside from Power Electronics and Death Industrial? Judging by the influences found in the project can you say you have just begun to touch the surface of creativity?
United Front again will not put or place any kind of limitations on our creations, themes, concepts or topics explored. Just recently we have begun working on the ’16 Degrees till Zero’ e.p that will contain large elements of Punk to Hip Hop with involving some incredible Mc’s, producers and Dj’s projecting possibly a deeper connection to the bare undiscussed concepts of United Front further separating what we are doing from others but still having enough range to appeal to anyone looking to understand or question what it is we are trying to emulate and why.
If there is one album you can pick out as being the most influential to United Front what might it be?
Well we all have quite a few albums that have sort of dug its way into the front but there is always that one we tend to fall back on.
Survival Unit – Thought-Trigger-Target
Aaron: – Skinny Puppy – Last Rights
Dwayne: Brotha Lynch Hung – Season Of The Sickness
This interview was originally conducted by third party Colin Moore, who is not associated with The Formless Kingdom. Published with permission from the United Front project.