May 2003

VLE means Virtual Listening Experience. The dictionary gives two definitions to 'virtual', and one of them is "made to appear to exist by the use of computer software". How important do you consider this 'made to appear' aspect of VLE? What is it exactly that you want to emphasise with the name of the project?

Actually, the letters VLE are taken from the phrase the eViL onE. Unfortunately, I've come across some frightened people that like to judge me. So, as a sort of sarcastic mocking ritual I began signing my name as ~the eViL onE~. VLE is just a reflection of this misinterpretation... the illusion as seen through eyes of the flesh. So in the end, VLE is a Virtual Listening Experience.

What musical/non-musical influences does VLE have? What are your ties to metal culture and music, for instance?

I am influenced by all kinds of music (Classical, Metal, New Age, Classic Rock, etc), art (Dali), life experience (my hell), authors (Poe, Shakespeare, Richard Bach, Truman Capote, Guy de Maupassant), sunsets, darkness, the ocean, and silence. I have been playing guitar in Metal bands for some years now, so Metal has been a large part of my cultural experience thus far.

VLE plays quite consistently on the atmospheres it is able to convey. How far would you like to go with the atmospheric dimension of VLE's music, with having an effect on people's minds? What atmospheres would you encourage in the listener and what kind of reaction would be the ideal reaction to VLE's music in your eyes?

Well I think the effect on people's minds will go as far as they are willing to allow. As you know, the music was created for my own ears... so, for me it has always been a means of self-expression and therapy. The atmosphere I wanted to create for myself was that of chaos where all sounds are fusing together so that there is not this one feeling or emotion that takes over you. Ideally I would hope that others would find something for themselves within the chaos. I can tell you that when I listen to this music I experience a sort of surrealistic feeling… sounds from all directions cover me… when I try to concentrate on just one sound I am taken into another place where time morphs into melody only to create a new rhythm and then I float...

Could you please explain in short the experimentation and improvisational techniques you use?

The music is created without a set pattern or prior thought of how the outcome of a piece should be. For instance, I sit down before the keyboard and place my hands on the keys and record the sounds as they happen. When I finish recording this initial release, I then add other sounds, phrases, and outside instrumentation to the initial progression until I feel that the piece is finished. This is determined by how I feel when I listen back to all the sounds together. I don't use any programming techniques (i.e. loops) because basically, I don't know how to do it. All the music is created in real-time… even the drum sounds (except in the case of Kano). A piece may start with keyboard/synth, guitar or a simple vocal melody and I don't re-do the tracks, so there is a lot of timing errors and notes that are played incorrectly as well so there is no real technical aspect to it. Some songs were done within a few hours, some a few days or months and in a few cases years. Basically this music was meant for me as a way to release some feelings within myself which were becoming quite stifling. I didn't plan on anyone else hearing the music so I never paid attention to the details of proper recording techniques and such. Hmm, that wasn't too short, aye?

If you had to go for chaos or harmony, which one would you choose?

Chaos, because chaos often times breads creativity while order breeds habit.

One would assume the natural instinct of making music is highly valued by you. Outside of improvisation, what means do you have to cherish this instinct?

Well for me it is the only instinct that drives me forward in this life.

Image-wise, VLE is shrouded in thick secrecy. This is obviously in part to maximise the impact of the music, but are there any other needs that you feed via this lack of non-musical information? Would you consider revealing the most basic facts about VLE at one point or another? Right now would be a good point, ha ha.

From the beginning I chose not to reveal my name or other such personal information because I just want the people to focus on the music. It is not important for me that I see my name in lights. I want people to open their mind, body and soul to the music while formulating their own visualizations. In the meantime, I'll continue to let the music (our universal language) speak.

What were the reasons for Chapter III being separated from the first two parts of the Book of Illusions trilogy? Was it unintentional or was there something else involved? What is this 'book of illusions' about anyhow?

All the music was completed years ago, but on Chapter III I wanted to improve on the sound quality of the mixes(without taking away too much from the overall atmosphere) with some new audio processing software a friend sent to me. So once I felt more motivated and not so lazy, I finished the boring technical work and released Chapter III. Basically, I tried to clear up the excess noise, crackles and pops. Book of Illusions reflects upon the duality of existence, the illusions of the flesh and our natural instinct to dream… more simply put, it's just a glance inside my fucked up world.

Are you content with the way things are for VLE at the moment or would you appreciate (more) support from labels, distributors, magazines, promoters, etc.?

From the beginning I have received a lot of positive feedback from all over the world. Since that time, my only aim has been to spread my music to those who would appreciate it. So, for me there can never be enough support. I hope to gain more exposure by working with labels, distributors, magazine, radio, etc. So, if anyone is interested VLE music, please get in contact: Play it Loud! Hail and Kill!!