Aesthetic Perfection - an interview
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Tonight we’re at The Tunnels in Bristol, it’s a chilly November evening and I am here along with
Luise my girlfriend to ask Daniel Graves about his new album, “All Beauty Destroyed”, his first UK
headlining tour and what really frightens him....
O: So Daniel good to see you again, how are you?
D: Pretty good, a little tired but I am in high spirits.
O: How is the tour going so far?
D: Yeah, fairly well so far, we’re 3 gigs in, so far so good, it’s just keeps getting better!
O: You’ve supported Combichrist here in the past and now this is your first headlining tour, how
does it compare to being a supporting band?
D: This is our first headlining tour that we’ve ever done here in Europe or the UK. Earlier this year
we did our first headlining tour with Faderhead in the US, it was a great experience so now we really
want to bring that over here. Across the pound and give you guys our show and let you see what we
are made of!
O: Excellent! could you give me 3 words that will describe this album please.
D: All Beauty Destroyed!
O: Haha, well you can’t put it better then that can you. Musically and vocally this album has
adapted and changed slightly, you use a lot of clean vocals against some very catchy beats. With
this being quite a diverse album from the last album was the end result something you wanted to
push through or was it a natural progression?
D: I think this was something I always wanted to achieve with Aesthetic Perfection, a lot of people
have made the comment that it’s a fusion of Aesthetic Perfection and Necessary Response and yeah
that is totally true. But from the very beginning I always wanted to make an album that was very
dynamic in terms of highs and lows, you know, vulnerable and soft to aggressive and just in your
face! And that’s just what I wanted and even when I did the first Aesthetic Perfection album, “Close
to Human”, there were a lot of Necessary Response songs on that. The label was like no there are
two sounds here and they don’t work together you have to split it into two projects and so I was
always a little bit bitter about that. So in retrospect it makes a little bit of sense because I can see
those songs not necessarily fitting on an album together but it motivated me to really develop a
sound that was going to be one constant piece art what was extremely dynamic and varied. I feel
like I did my best with this one.
out” in the respect that this album doesn’t sound like your previous work. How do you handle that
kind of reaction?
D: I kinda revel in it I guess? I mean it’s totally obserred that someone wants to say that I’ve sold out
I mean come on if I was selling out I wouldn’t be making this kind of music at all. I’m making this kind
of music coz I love it! I go in a direction that I am artistically motivated to and that seems to be the
exact opposite of selling out because it may be someone’s perception of what pop music is that’s
kind of up to them. It wasn’t my intent to make a pop record I just wanted to make our record.
L: What was the inspiration behind the “Inhuman” video?
D: The “Inhuman” Video was actually me relegating control for like the first time ever! I usually
have my hands tightly wrapped around every single thing that I do and Out of Line, our label here in
Europe, suggested a director who I quite liked but they suggested I opened up and allowed them to
bring some ideas to the table. So I thought Okay and I didn’t think of anything on my own and then
they came to me with a couple of different concepts and I picked the one I felt would really fit with
the album. Of course I couldn’t fully let go I had to make some changes but I think that the video
really expresses the duality that I wanted to get across with this song.
I think Golo and his team in Berlin did a fabulous job, learning how to play well with others.
L: What song are you most proud of on all beauty destroyed?
D: I would say I’m most proud of the title track, mainly because it such a departure from anything
I’ve ever really done before and it’s a waltz and so completely different from anything I’ve done
before. It was really a challenge to write that, it took a while but I am very, very proud of it and so
again, learning how to play with others. I let people come in and reinterpret the song, I mean I wrote
it and then sent it away to Lauren who is in Panzer AG and is a phenomenal pianist. When she came
back with it a first it wasn’t exactly like how I envisioned it but I had to let go and I am proud of all
those things that surround it.
O: Was becoming a musician something you always wanted to do or was there other career
options for you?
D: Yeah I think so when I was probably 9 or 10 and just turning on MTV and seeing that world I was
just totally drawn into it and it was exciting because the house I grew up in was really religious and
you weren’t allowed to watch MTV. So I would secretly watch it when no one was around and watch
it for as long as I could and if I heard anyone coming I’d switch it off or turn it to the Disney channel
or something like that.
There was this danger that was involved that I was always drawn to but then as I got older I got told
oh you have to get a real job, you can’t be and artist and so if I listen to that too much I was well on
the way to becoming a Certified Public Accountant and after few years of that I felt like I was going
to die, so I dropped out of school and focused entirely on music and so 8-9years later here I am!
O: In a previous video interview you are quoted to say that “The Shining” is your favourite horror
movie, now I watched this as you prompted me to finally see it all the way through. As I was doing
so I massive spider crawled passed me and caused a huge amount of unrest! So could you tell me;
are you afraid of anything?
D: I actually hate spiders, I’m not necessarily going to scream but inspects to tend to bring a few
swear words out of me but one thing that I am really afraid of is heights and deep water. So I feel
like I’m a land animal and I don’t belong in the water and I don’t belong in the air.
O: You must be pretty brave coming all the way over here to tour then.
D: I really did pick the wrong profession (Laughs) but you know you shouldn’t be controlled by the
things that you’re afraid they are just going to do it anyway. I could spend my whole life living in my
house to afraid to go out but then what kind of a life would that be? I’d rather die doing something I
O: When we last spoke you hinted about creating some more remixes (50 cent was one of them)
and you have recently remixed “Sharp as Stars” by your supporting artists Surgyn, is there
anything else coming your way?
D: I’ve been so pre-occupied getting ready for the tour and the album, I do have a couple of remixes
that I’ve been doing, nothing in the pop realm, still dying to do “Dirt off Your Shoulder” by Jay Z, you
know once I get a little bit more down time you’ll see me churning out more remixes.
D: It felt really wired actually; it was just one of those really random situations, where somebody
with the ability to hook you up with that was like “hey want to do it”? So I said “okay, sure”. It’s
something that just a lot of fun for fans and people who are into the game; funnily enough people
have suggested I’ve sold out with that. But it was not lucrative whatsoever, it was something fun and
we thought we’d put it out and get the fans to have some industrial/ebm music in their rock band.
O: You’re down on the bill for the Gothic Cruse next year will there be any likelihood of your taking
part in any of the European festivals in 2012?
D: The rumour has it, yes we will but the ink isn’t dry on anything yet. I can’t say for sure but we’re
really hoping for a couple of them and you can definitely expect us to do another European tour in
O: So to conclude with you riding the crest of ALB what’s next for Aesthetic Perfection?
D: We’re working on a new American tour for spring, we’re trying really hard to get back to
Australia, I keep kicking my manager in the ass trying to get us to Japan. The scene there is like
practically non-existent but I don’t care. I’ll go play on a street corner, I’ll go sing karaoke I don’t give
a shit, I just want to go there! So there are tours to plan and keeping busy.
O: Any final thoughts?
D: Just super excited to be here and I hope we’ll do our best tonight.
And their best they certainly did, with a faulty fuse laying waste to Daniels microphone and other
equipment, getting heard was impossible for the first half hour or so, a re-start and the same song
twice but we weren’t going anywhere, the band performed a storming set of old and new, catchy,
entertaining, fun and aggressive these boys delivered on so many levels and all I can say is roll on
“All Beauty Destroyed” is out now on Out of Line records in Europe
For more information go to:
www.aesthetic-perfection.net/ www.facebook.com/asetheticperfection .