Band of the Day: MK Ultra

A nice, gentle act for you on this Sunday, the quietest and most reflective day of the week… Nah, only kidding. Get the noise on with MK Ultra…

Simple things first – where are you from?

I’m from Los Angeles. I moved to London after recording my debut release The Hollywood Holocaust EP and my LP Generation Dead.

How did your band meet?

Since this project started I’ve worked with musicians from all over of the world. For my latest line-up, I recruited some like-minded musicians around London. After making some threats and promising complete psychological torture, they joined the chaos. As a reward, they’ve been guaranteed complete manipulation and abuse.

How long have you been playing as a band?

I’ve had several touring line-ups. Being a “Nine Inch Nails” type project, there is a revolving door of musicians involved. I’m hoping this line-up turns out to be the studio and touring line up, but any solo artist knows that the chances of that happening is unlikely.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

MK Ultra is a project in America run by the CIA. I would encourage people to look up it up. Being a product of that project, I went through it first hand and am completely fucked up as a result. It involves government mind control techniques using drugs and testing/programming to manipulate influential people to become robotic tools, basically.

I went through this shit and have had a “Fuck America” attitude ever since. I will tour the USA – but I would rather starve and die than ever live in America again. Many people consider me “famous”. I’m not sure what the fuck that means. My music career is going well, but this business is very unpredictable. Not to mention that the industry hasn’t kept up with technology at all. Basically, anyone can “be a celebrity” according to YouTube and social media.

Who are your influences?

I have an eclectic taste in music, but I’ve never tried to sound like someone else. I find bands way less interesting now as opposed to the days when Jimmy Ivene ran Interscope. Life is so fucked up, I just walk out the door and my music comes to me. If I didn’t write music I would likely be on death row. Thankfully, I write to get out my frustrations. I murder people in my songs – including myself.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

I think musicians often attempt to imitate their favourite bands too much. For example, there is currently a certain band (who will remain unnamed) – who mimics Mötley Crüe in an cringe-worthy fashion – and I’m not even a Mötley Crüe fan, but listening to this band literally pains me.

I feel like I am trying to push music forward rather than being a copy or be ‘retro’. People will always stick to the innovators. Nothing is more mundane than a copycat band. Yawn.

I’m the first MK Ultra. How successful is yet to be seen – I’m too new to gauge my future prosperity.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Chaos, death, sex, lies and manipulation are big themes because in my eyes, they best describe humanity. I’m not writing songs to reach any particular audience. If they understand my lyrics, I’d consider them very intelligent. If they don’t, that’s cool too. I could give a shit if people choose to remain uneducated and listen to whatever feeds their lost souls.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

I’ve been on many tours and met some people I never expected to. Some experiences made me like these individuals more. Other experienced proved them to be the typical “rock star type”- narcissistic, ungrateful, rapists, junkies, and abusers.  

One good thing about the music industry shrinking is that that type of artist is quickly dying out. If an artist lacks business knowledge they’re fucked.

At my shows you can expect destruction to happen onstage. That’s the way it should be. I put everything into my performances visually, as I realise it’s a show. My perception of entertainment is danger – but the violence is meant to stay on stage.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

At a show in the states while touring I threw a mic stand at some fucker beating up a girl. She really appreciated it.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

I use a Shure microphone. I’m not really a tech person, in fact, those people drive me nuts. My band members are sounding good. That’s all that matters.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

I’ve released a ton of music over the past year and a half, so now it’s about touring. First show in London is June 6th at The Unicorn. Then we are touring with a band called The Healthy Junkies throughout Europe.

What are your plans for 2019?

Touring, fucking my fiancé AlienGirl, eating chicken, and getting the next record ready. I feel like I’m at a peak with songwriting – so things are good.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

I would do a tour with Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie. David’s hologram would open so the show would start with a bang. Holograms are very expensive to program so David would probably only be able to last a couple songs. I would go after the hologram and NIN would close out the show… with a collab encore with David Bowie’s hologram.

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