Cooling the Reactor
CoC chats with Heavy Water Factory
by: Adrian Bromley
Detroit three-piece Heavy Water Factory have always aimed at creating hypnotic power-driven electronic music with a bite and a definite roar that would set them apart from the rest, allowing metal and noise tidbits to be dispersed within the loops and beats of the techno-driven music. On their second record, _Author of Pain_ (Energy Records), the band aimed to find a unique style or feel to their music. They may have found it as their sophomore release, a follow-up to 1996's indie release _Fluid and Meat_, truly surpasses what the band had done first time out. Singer/keyboardist/programmer Jesse McLear (HWF is rounded out by other keyboardist William West and guitarist Scott Hixson) talks to Chronicles of Chaos about the music and momentum generated by Heavy Water Factory.

CoC: What interests you about the kind of music that you play?

Jesse McLear: I grew up listening to bands like The Cure, Joy Division, and The Smiths, and a lot of these bands used keyboards. I liked that quality about those bands. That interested me. And then I started getting into the industrial around 1989 and it was so different from anything that I had heard before and I wanted to get into that. I fell in love with bands like Nitzer Ebb, Ministry, and Skinny Puppy.

CoC: Do you still play close attention to the new industrial or electronic music nowadays?

JM: I am finding myself less and less listening to or paying attention to those kinds of music right now. I just want to stay focused on what I am doing and not be influenced in anyway by other bands.

CoC: Where do you want Heavy Water Factory to go as a band? How important is success for you?

JM: I don't know about that. I am not expecting to be rich or do this for years to come. I do it right now because I like to write music. I feel like there is a certain level I am gonna reach and feel like I made it, but I don't know what that level is. I don't know what I am reaching for. I don't know if it is a dollar amount or being famous. I think it is more of a personal accomplishment for myself. Making music and being happy doing it. I really care about what I do and I want this to be a personal thing for me. I'm trying to be myself with every song I write. I try to make each song better than the last one I wrote.

CoC: The record sounds very focused and clear. How are you in the studio when working on material?

JM: I work very hard in the studio trying to create the music that I hear in my head. I try to bring my ideas to life. I am determined to get it as accurate to what I want but that always doesn't happen.

CoC: How did you hook up with Energy Records?

JM: We heard good things about them from some of our friends who are DJs, always talking about how Energy really cares about their bands and stuff. We sent them a press kit and they really dug our material. We met up with them and felt a good vibe so we hooked up with them.

CoC: How would you describe the new record to someone?

JM: I'd probably tell them that the record is full of a lot of variety of song styles and moods. Usually there is something on the record, it could be one track, that people usually come away liking on this record. I like the fact that someone could get excited about something on this record, to be excited and be moved by a piece of music that I created.

(article submitted 13/5/1997)

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