Monday, October 1, 2012

Interview with GPK



Hello! And thank you very much for taking the time for this interview.

-Hello Michelle and greetings everyone.


Firstly, would you please introduce yourselves to our readers?

- This is Gothique Prince Ken also known as GPK. I am an international recording artist and a music producer from Australia. It is indeed a great honor to have this opportunity to talk about my work with you all.

Truly, the pleasure is all ours~ To begin, I’d like to ask how you first became involved in the music scene.

-I began my musical career as a DJ for a local goth/industrial club in Melbourne in early 2000. It was a very vibrant scene and I was an active participant for a long time. It wasn't until years later that I've started experimenting and composing my own songs. I launched a project and uploaded a few instrumental demo on myspace. Shortly after, it gain tremendous amount of attention and I was able to work with musicians around the world.


It must have been a spectacular feeling! Your voice is melodic and soul-stirring - could you tell us what you love most about singing?

-In my opinion, music is indeed the universal language and it transcends all boundaries and it binds us together. I sing because of this very reason, it is the pure expression of life itself.


What are some of the things that influence your music?

-What influenced me the most would be human emotion. I believe great art work requires discipline of such human attribute. The emotion of the artist is being transferred into his or her work which then it evokes the feelings within us all. I enjoy reading books on philosophy because in my opinion they are indeed the manifestation of highly refined and disciplined minds. What inspires me is what's around me. In my previous project I've created a kind of personal mythology which deals with the metamorphosis of my artistic development, I was in a state of vulnerability in the process of becoming. The solo project is without a doubt the result of such evolution.


Speaking of your solo project, can you tell us more about how it got started?

-I've always wished to start a project which explores the raw human emotion and the struggle for survival. I was preoccupied with my previous band and had very little time for side projects. Regrettably, I had to leave Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami happened last year. It wasn't until the end of 2011 I began to release my instrumental demo tracks for my solo project on Facebook.


You are a musician of the Goth/Industrial/EBM genre - what is it that you love about this genre, and how were you introduced to it?

-Goth/Industrial/EBM are genres closely related but different in their own ways. they share the same attitude for the rejection of mainstream culture. Their less polished and experimental nature is immediately recognizable. The atmosphere is almost always leaning towards the harsh, darker side and have associated themselves with the goth subculture over the years.. I've always held fascination in things dark and mysterious. The internet played a very important role for the subsequent discovery of these genres and I was exposed to various genre before I finally became identify and affiliated with Goth/Industrial and EBM scene.


You must have discovered several artists within the genre... who are some of your favorite Industrial musicians/groups?

-Artists such as VNV nation, Covenant and Suicide Commando. These are a few of my favourite bands.


You have a single that you will be releasing soon. Could you tell us something about it?

-I've decided to release the single "Phoenix" due to its popularity and demand. This will be the first official release from my solo project. I'll be producing everything myself and announce the releasing date soon.


Producing everything yourself? That must be a lot of work! What was the biggest inspiration for this upcoming single?

-Recently, I felt the collapse of the authenticity of human experience in this post modern society we're living in. The perception of reality as we know it has being rewritten, reconstructed and recycled for political and commercial purposes. We are digitalized and ultimately transformed into products ourselves. I believe in order to over come such social condition is to imbue ourselves with the sense of individuality instead of being a passive consumer of commercial propaganda. Through knowledge we gain wisdom and power, the Phoenix serves as the symbolism of rebirth, revolution and the eternal cycle of becoming.


Are you planning on releasing a PV to accompany this single?

-I've decided to release PVs along with the upcoming album next year.


I can't wait to hear your album! When can fans look forward to seeing you on tour - are there any performances in the works?

-I will have my European shows followed by the South American tour. I'm currently planning the USA tour and Australian tour the end of this year. Please stay tuned for more news!


In the past you've participated in several live broadcasts on Tainted Reality - What are those experiences like?

-They are very relaxed and I had much fun interacting with fans around the world online.


Over the years, you've done several remixes of various songs. How did you get into remixing?

-I taught myself how to remix when I worked as a DJ years ago and have become familiar with different genre and style.


Impressive! What's your favourite part about it - and what is the process of remixing in comparison to creating an original piece?

-I would say the most enjoyable part would be to reinterpret the song how I see fit. It's a lot easier to remix a song than to start everything from scratch. However, there is always the limitation from the original material.


Many musicians, such as yourself, use Facebook to interact with your fans. What are the benefits of using social media sites to reach your fans?

-The internet has become an integral part of our lives, it can not be denied. Social network sites plays a huge rule in the development for independent artist such as myself. The drastic reduction for the cost of promotion and the efficiency for communication are some of the prominent benefits for using these tools. Further more, it gives me the opportunity to interact with my fans and gain valuable feedback which could be served as references for the creative direction for the project.


With so many advantages, have you encountered many disadvantages as well?

-I don't think there are any disadvantages as of yet.


What is the craziest thing a fan has done to try to grab your attention?

-Fortunately, I have not experienced anything too crazy in regards to such topic. Most of them appeared to be well behaved. However, it was during one of my shows in Sydney if memory serves me correctly, a large group of fans had spotted me as I walked out from the backstage and I was being pushed against the wall by them. (lol!) Similar incident had occurred occasionally and the hiring of personal bodyguard is under consideration.


Oh, I hope you weren’t hurt! A bodyguard might not be a bad idea. Something I've noticed it that you seem very strong and passionate about your beliefs, what exactly is your philosophy on life?

-I wouldn't exactly call them beliefs as the word tends to associate itself with organized religions. (lol!) Perhaps the idea of existentialism is what I most identify myself with. We are ultimately responsible for the determination of our development through the act of will. I do believe instead of being confined and conditioned by the authoritarian ideals, we should educate ourselves with sufficient knowledge and seek the truth as a well informed individual. Further more, I for one would not take things for the face value, as it is very easy for them to package an idea through the use of propagandistic methodologies in the contemporary society, teeming with political and commercial agendas. I am certainly aware of these tactics hence I am very critical of the information I receive from the mainstream media. Of course, I am constantly re-evaluating and re-examining my own experiences and actions to form a cohesive opinion of the world I'm living in. As Socrates would put it "an unexamined life is not worth living".


And what is your philosophy on music - what does music mean to you?

-In my opinion, the painter creates the piece by working on a two dimensional canvas and the sculptor achieves this by shaping and working with the three dimensional object. The musician on the other hand, works with the forth dimensional, the canvas is 'time' itself. perhaps music as I would describe it "poetry without words". It is universal and it could convey the most profound message through the simplest melody.


What do you hope to accomplish with your music - does it contain a message you'd like convey to your listeners?

-I constantly experiment with new ideas and techniques in music because I believe innovation is the key for evolution. I combined baroque style composition with electronic music in my previous project to evoke a kind of elaborate, extravagant manifestation of human emotion. It was somewhat soft and passive in contrast with the stronger and more aggressive direction which I'm heading right now. I see it as the part of an inevitable metamorphosis for my artistic development and I seek to create my work worthy of the authentic expression of what I've experienced through life. Freedom is one of the most reoccurring themes in my works and I will explore such idea more deeply in my solo project.


What can fans expect from you in the future?

-I have much I would like to offer with this project, I'm moving into a whole new world and I am very excited to see what this could become. Please stay tuned for more news and information in regards to releases and live shows in the future.


I'm looking forward to it already! Thank you again for your time and insight. Do you have any closing statements for our readers?
-I would like to thank those of you who supported me all these years and the love you have given. I do understand these exist a great expectation for my work and I shalt work hard and will not disappoint you all. I shalt never going to give you up nor would I ever let you down.(lol) I would also like to thank Michelle of Visual KEIOS for this wonderful opportunity! Thank you very much!

Listen to Pheonix by GPK

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Listen to PonPonPon Remix by GPK

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Find out more about GPK on Facebook and make sure to check out his Soundcloud

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This interview was conducted by Michelle (Tenten)

Edited by Alicia R. Thomas

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