everyone but the man himself hears the sounds of Lustmord as
dark atmospheres of impending gloom.
Whatever you discover in the sonic twilight of Heresy, Stalker,
The Monstrous Soul or, now, Metavoid, Brian Williams will be happy
if his soundscapes simply draw you in; they don't necessarily have
to suck out your living essence...
Where does all the "darkness" of
Lustmord come from? Do you consider yourself a tortured soul,
or does it just sound that way in your music?
I personally don’t think of the music as being particularly
dark, though many seem to disagree as I often have to answer
I try and make the Lustmord sound have a real mass and a tangible
presence, which some choose to interpret as dark. It’s
an interesting distinction.
Although there are dark elements interwoven within the whole,
it’s only one of many textures.
People referring to it as dark as such doesn't bother me, but
finding myself being pigeonholed as “dark ambient”
is a real bore, as I hate pigeonholes of any description.
If indeed here be darkness, I can only assume that you’re
looking deep into my soul (insert appropriately demonic laugh
here). assuming that I have one...
I’m known amongst my friends for my humor and wit, so people
who only know me through my music are often caught of guard when
they meet me, as they seem to expect me to be suitably dark and
brooding, when I’m actually quite mischievous and fu (although
of course, terribly deep and meaningful)
Have you come to think of California
as your home? How does all the sun, etc. affect your inner
level of "darkness"?
California is very much my home, and has been for the last
eight yeas. It doesn't matter where I am, the inner me stays
the same, home is wherever I happen to living with Tracey, my
companion of the last eighteen years.
And as for the sun, well, after growing up in the UK, the sun
and 100 degree plus temperatures are a good thing.
I don’t buy into the idea that one’s physical surroundings
directly effects one’s creative output, as for me , it’s
You do know the photo you've sent is
only going to add to that whole "dark" image, right!?
Well, sometimes it's fun to play with it, and I make no apologies
There's more of a "sci-fi" vibe
throughout Metavoid, how would you explain this evolution?
That's your interpretation, not mine, so I don't have an explanation.
I'm just saying it sounds more like
deep space than a deep dungeon; where were you heading with
Metavoid would you say ?
As always, it’s an attempt to crete a sound that quite
literally envelops the listener physically, that take him or
her to a place that only exists within the sound.
In the past you seem to have thought of that place as deep dungeons
and now as deep space, either of which works for me. What is
important is that that place exists for you.
With Metavoid, I wanted to move forward with the Lustmord sound,
rather than recreating past works such as Heresy or Black Stars,
I wanted to create a sound that was new, but which was also unmistakably
Lustmord. It’s for others to decide if I failed or succeeded.
We all know that Heresy, etc. contained
atmospheres recorded in caves, crypts, etc... Any interesting "behind
the scenes" info you can share about Metavoid?
While there are some interesting ideas and techniques in there,and
as always with my work is full of sounds sourced and generated
for their particular conceptual meaning, I find it much more
interesting not to divulge all of the secrets these days. Not
that I’m trying to hide any tools and techniques (on the
contrary, I’m happy to talk about them) but rather that
I like the listener to find their own personal meaning give a
few subtle (and not so subtle) clues here and there, and the
rest is up to you.
How did you get hooked up with Czech
Nextera rereleased Clock DVA’s Buried Dreams album, and
the DVA members are really good friends of mine, so Nextera visited
us a couple of years back when they visited Los Angeles and we
kept in touch.
I was just finishing Metavoid, with only a few days of work left,
and hadn’t approached any labels about it, when I received
a email from them saying that they’d like to release something
of mine and would I have anything available. I thought it would
be interesting to have an album released through different channels,
Eastern Europe in particular, as it offered a chance to try a
different distribution approach, and Nextera are very enthusiastic,
so put them together, and here we are.
Metavoid was a long time coming...
why a such a lengthy span between releases?
Simple enough. While there haven’t been many Lustmord
releasers between that and The Place Where The Black Stars Hang,
I have been very active in music and sound design, but just not
for Lustmord. During that time I worked on something like 30-40
movies, a TV show, a video game, did some remixes, and worked
on developing the Lustmord sound. All these things took time
and all put together make a sizable body of work, much more than
a few albums. What all this did do of course, is distract me
from working on Lustmord, but that was ok, as at least I was
working and indulging myself in sound.
Also, during this period, when I was inspired to work on Lustmord,
I simply didn’t have the time due to these other commitments,
and when I did have the time, I was burned out working on sounds
for movies months on end and the last thing I wanted to do was
work on more, so I’d concentrate on all those other important
little things like catching up with real life and spending time
Since Lustmord has never been an attempt to do something commercial
or even particularly approachable to others, I’ve been
quite happy to indulge myself and do what I want with it as and
when I want to, without the usual pressure of making music for
commercial reasons, which means I work on albums as and when
I feel I have something to say.
What films have you worked on
lately? What films would you have *liked* to worked on, or
done something different with?
I haven’t worked on many films during the last eighteen
months or so, but I did recently do some sound design for an
upcoming Fox war movie which might end up being interesting.
But then, we are talking Hollywood, so don’t hold your
Last year I spent some time composing music for a TV series by
the Blair Witch producers, but it was canceled without even being
shown, such is the crazy and very expensive world of American
As for films I would have liked to have worked on, it’s
difficult to say, as there haven’t really been many interesting
ones during the last few years. The Fight Club I really liked,
and it would have been fun to contribute my patented sounds to
a few of the scenes, but other than that some Japanese animation,
but not much else.
What do you mean when you say "patented"...
No, just a figure of speech, I doubt that’s it’s
possible to patent a sound even if you wanted too. With film
and TV project, they usually ask me when they need something
specific that it seems only I can provide. I’m the person
they call when they want some really weird shit. Hell, I can
Can you give us an example of a favorite
filmsound you've created (perhaps something particularly tricky
or an ingenious problem-solver?)?
Can’t think of anything off hand, it is what it is, I
don’t think any of it is particularly outstanding , although
there is some good work in The Crow and Strange Days, but it’s
supposed to be part of the whole, so if done well, you shouldn't
really notice it as such, but as part of the overall effect.
that the movie may have on you.
While we're talking movies, what upcoming
films are you looking forward to seeing?
There are a few, but not many.
Apocalypse Now Redux, Avalon (live action picture from Ghost
In The Shell director Mamoru Oshi - I’m a fan of his),
the upcoming Pixar titles Monsters Inc. (2001) and Finding
Nemo (2002), David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (though I
hear bad things about it unfortunately). I’m looking
forward to seeing what David Fincher is doing with The Panic
Room and will do with Rendezvous With Rama, and also what Anthony
and Joe Russo are doing with Welcome to Collinwood, a script
I read over a year ago.
In your film/TV work, do you ever get
to brush elbows with "star" types? Do you care one
way or another?
From time to time I come across people that you might classify
as "stars", but I prefer to think of them as people
and judge them by their actions rather than their celebrity.
I don't care if you're the doorman or the head of the corporation,
I treat you the same, which is as an equal.
How much "backlash" do you
get about the Lustmord name (I always thought it meant something
like "death wish" but understand it's closer to "sex
death"...) and album titles like "Heresy"?
Not any on the album titles that I’m aware of, and I
can’t see why I would.
Someone will ask about the name from time to time, but it’s
nothing I feel the need to defend.
Tell us about the life-and-death cycle
of Side Effects.
I took over the label in 1985, and slowly but surely built
up a decent catalog. In the late eighties the label was hit severally
when Rough Trade (the original UK version) went into receivership
and a considerable amount of money from SPK and Laibach sales
was lost as a result. In the early 90’s it was distributed
by World Serpent, and when I moved to the US in 1993, by Soleilmoon.
It was a lot of fun and I’m proud of the catalog. Unfortunetly,
due to a number of factors, mainly to do with changing distribution
channels (fewer independents, more control by majors etc.), more
releases to compete with for store shelf space and radio play,
and the very real effects of things like Napster, sales in the
nineties were nowhere near as much as they used to be, and it
was very obvious that my choice of releases was counter to what
the music buying public seemed to want. It became a lot of work
(and another distraction from Lustmord) for so little return,
and quite simply stopped being fun. And so, in 1998 I simply
gave up, and folded the label.
Why do you think Stalker has withstood
the test of time?
It’s one of the few albums that I’ve worked on that
I still liked after finishing it (not that I’d actually
listen to it, you’re usually tired of it by that stage),
it is remarkably effective, and I suppose that’s because
we had a very good idea of what we wanted to achieve before starting
Obviously you and Robert Rich worked
well together, and Steve Roach and Paul Haslinger both contributed
to Metavoid... Any more collaborations (with anyone?) in the
I:’d like to, as it’s usually rewarding to bounce
ideas backwards and forwards with others, and it’s something
that I particularly enjoy. At the moment the only collaborative
plan is to work on some material with Ryan Moore of Twilight
Circus. I have talked with others about collaborating, but nothing
definite, and I’m always open to offers.
What can you tell us about the upcoming
The soundtrack as is was finished about a year ago, and the
movie (the final version being cut to 20 minutes in length) has
been shown to a select audience here and there. I’m currently
working on an expanded and revised version for an album release.
It’s different to Metavoid, and is closer to the material
on Purifying Fire, and very dense. The album version, which should
be about 45 minutes or so, is half done.
What's Arecibo? What will the next album
Arecibo is a side project of sorts, where I indulge myself
in music that doesn't fit into the Lustmord concept. I’m
half way through the second Arecibo album, which has much more
of a dub influence than other things I’ve done (other than
remixes) but it keeps being put aside while I work on other things.
Interestingly, a few days ago, one of my 9 Gigabyte drives had
a catastrophic failure and it looks like I might have lost a
few months of Arecibo work as well as a big chunk of the Zoetrope
album, so more delays.
Besides the Zoetrope and Arecibo projects,
do you have any distinct recording plans for the future?
I plan a long delayed very minimal Lustmord ambient album to
be called “Dark Matter”, which will only utilize
recordings of deep space and interstellar activity that I’ve
collected over the years. The title refers to the so-called missing
mass of the universe, but I do expect it to please those who
like their ambiance dark.
I have the follow up to Metavoid sketched out in rough form,
but it’ll probably be a year or so before I work on it
in ernest, as I want to try and get other ideas out of the way
There’s also the possibility of working on the music for
a couple of video games, which if they happen, will be quite
Thanks for your input Brian, anything
you'd like to add while you've got the mike?
Only that people shouldn't mistake the difference between the
film work and my own work. The former is a means to an end, and
like many musicians I need a day job to survive, and that’s
all it is.