An interview with GRIDLOCK
by Nicholas Joseph Ferro - Apr.6, 1999

Gridlock is the duo of Mike Wells and Cadoo (who provides all of the intense vocals for the group) in their "industrial" incarnation. While this term is useful in describing who may like their releases, it is neither a very good description nor very specific to their sound in particular. A write up on Yahoo! describes their sound as "harsh, filmic electro insdustrial that recalls a cross between Skinny Puppy and stark cinema". This does not still ring as true with the shift in sound presented in their new album "Further", which moves into a noisier electro realm. As for some of their other incarnations, here is the info straight from the source:

"Gravel Mantra is actually no more. Mike and I have used a lot of GM material for Gridlock so there was no use in taking it any further."

"About Dryft...I will be sending out DJ promo dub-plates in May of the 'Avatar' single and I hope to have the album finished by late summer. The working title is 'Cell'."

The road has been a twisting one for the group, from the surprising availability of their strong demos to the loss of an original member and the signing of a record contract. Recently I was lucky enough to speak to the pair about the state of their music at this point in their careers.


What was different about recording Further as opposed to The Synthetic Form?

Mike:  The whole approach was very different.  With "The Synthetic Form", we were very focused on song structure, whereas on "Further" we tried not to analyze the "does it sound right" so much and "where should this song go", etc.  Just letting the songs go where they wanted to. And who knows how we'll do the next one, we like to keep changing the way we do things.

How do you go about writing a song?

Cadoo:  We really don't have any set way of writing songs. We might start with a sythline or a drum beat that we've come up with and build the track from there. The one thing that is always the same about our songwriting is the vocals are last.

Why are there fewer sutures between songs? Do you think that the songs still flow together?

Mike:  The idea is to use the "in betweens" as vehicles to keep the flow going, when they're needed.  For "Further", while putting it together we found that the songs flowed together quite well without the need for so many of them. As for flow, yeah I really like how this one came together.  I think the flow is much more dynamic through the tracks whereas the flow of the last one was more linear.

What is your favorite track on the new album? Why?

Cadoo: I would have to say "Scrape". Why... I like the crazyness of it... o yeah and the hardstep ending

Mike:  If I have to boil it down to one track it'd probably be "Cramp".  It was one of the first ones completed for this release and helped to set the tone and direction for me.

What does the title mean to you?

Cadoo: "Further" I guess in a way is sort of a concept title. We wanted the title of the disk to represent the music as much as possible. I think in the fact that we tried to interject different techniques and musical styles to take the album "further" away from your normal electro-industrial album.

Mike:  The next logical step.

How does the cover art relate to the album?

Cadoo: We didn't want the album artwork to be genre specific. I don't know if we succeded but i think it goes with the album rather well.

Why did you go through so many different ideas before settling on this one?

Cadoo: The first design was a dingy green and red textural thing. But it looked to... "Ambient" i guess...The wave forms that are on the front were inside at that point. We did a little hocus pocus and walla! the cover was done. Strange how things work sometimes ...

What is the meaning of the near palindromic "egeszseges"?

Mike:  Well, we were at the O'Farrell theatre one night after rehearsal to wind-down, have some drinks, get a know, a standard Wed. night... and the word just came to mind while enjoying the entertainment.

Is there any relation between the track "under" and the side project?

Cadoo: I think it's just a taste. Under is not that subdued though....

Mike:  Totally.  We have just started to scratch the surface with that approach, 'twill be fun!

Who is/are KSP? How did you get involved with them and what do you think of the remix?

Mike:  I actually met the guys in KSP at the O'Farrell, but they go to the Crazy Horse now, since the O'Farrell is getting a bit "sketchy"...but yeah, about the remix, we share the same outlook about some things, so I thought it would be good to get their take on it. I like the remix because it's all over the place.

Will you be touring for the new album? If so, when and where?

Mike:  Currently, we have no touring plans after our "Further" release shows on the West Coast, but after that we'll see what comes up.  We'll keep our eyes open for a good opportunity.  We want our shows to be as live as possible for an electronic act.  Watching two guys doing basically kareoke to their CD just doesn't do it for me.

What is the status of your side projects?

Cadoo:  Paste will have a track on the forth coming Exoskeleton II comp. We are, as we speak, trying to save a damaged master for our Under recordings and the "Avatar" single from Dryft will be available in June on Pylon Recordings.

Why are your projects on different labels?

Cadoo:  Paste is lableless and Under and Dryft will be on our Pylon imprint.

How is your relationship with Pendragon currently?

Mike:  I couldn't be happier, a great label with great people, it's great.

Cadoo:  Great!!! They understand us and we understand them. Pendragon lets us go where we want to go musicaly. You can't ask for anything more.

What are your plans regarding future releases, side projects, and merchandise?

Cadoo:  After our record release party on the 10th I will be taking a couple weeks off to mix and master the Dryft single. Then I'll catch up with Mike and start on the next Gridlock disk.

Mike:  Yeah, after the show I'll put the Igloo back together, and get busy with some new material, always the funnest part.

Now that Off Beat is no more, how is your European distribution handled?

Mike:  Distribution over there is in the works, we're basically in the same boat as a lot of other bands.

What are your influences, and who do you listen to now?

Cadoo:  My influences???? Yikes.....ummm...Autechre...Fields of the Nephilim...My Bloody Valentine...Seefeel... I'm currently listening to: Dom & Roland, The Architect, Scorn, Squarepusher and Imminent Starvation.

Mike:  The things that influence me now are people's approach, what types of sounds, how they create, song structure or lack of it, that kind of thing. There's no one-type of style that bubbles to the surface.  As for listening, yikes a lot of mix cd's these days.  I love the new Sash+John Digweed disk, and I got a Speed Garage comp recently too that's great, Mark Farina...oh yeah, and Imminent Starvation's cool too.

Has music become a full time job or do you still have day jobs?

Cadoo: Day Jobs... Definitely day jobs :^)

Mike:  Yep, and I'm late for work... 8^)


Interview with Gridlock was conducted via email
by Nicholas Joseph Ferro, April 6, 1999

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