The following interview appeared in the Summer 1993 edition of Grim Humor (Volume 11 NO.3) 

"The Con Demek Tune is a dense, noisy, provocative collage-respectful, intricate industrial music that is rarely heard anymore. Their ensemble utilizes guitars, violin, tapes and cybersonics (?). Highlights include extensive guitar manipulation and voices appropriated from radio and/or television..." (review of the split 7" track on Erl, by Ron Rice, H23 mag. #3, 1992)
The following interview was conducted with Damian Catera, via a couple of air mail letters, at the start of this year. Apparently his/Condemeks first interview, the majority of the answers were written in a bathroom stall at Damians work whilst hiding from the supervisor. If youve been suitably intrigued by their Oven Contribution to this editions split 7, or Ron Rices quoted comments above, read on...
What initially motivated Con Demek to exist? And, indeed, has this motivation changed since forming?
It's difficult to pinpoint one fundamental motivation for forming Con Demek; I think it was a combination of things, though. Namely, an interest in the critical valuation of belief systems combined with a penchant for music and sound construction. At the time of Demek's formation (back in early , 86), I was in college studying political science. During this period I had done d series of writings that I loosely grouped under the title 'Discorging Elements', which was released in May, '87. I think the motivation has definitely changed as I've gotten older. In the beginning, I had a sincere yet naive belief in the power of music as a tool for social change. I don't really see it that way any more. Music is just one commodity amongst many, whose influences are not definite. Generally, once a critical message becomes part of a marketable commodity it negates its initial power. As I've grown older, l've grown more cynical about any possibilities of positive social change, though I still see a necessity for ways of thinking beyond rigidly systemised thought processes, and I think humanity is on a collision course with self destruction- so, If there has been any motivational change for me, and I think there has, then it's changed from primarily political to primarily aesthetic and self indulgent.

Were you involved with music, in any way, prior to Con Demek?
I've been involved with music, in one way or another, for nearly my entire life. My infatuation with electronic processes goes back to my early teenage years, when a friend and myself would go down to this underground tunnel with a portable tape recorder and throw stuff around, scream and generally raise hell. Then we would take these recordings home and combine them with guitar noises and other things. We had no idea what we were doing and it would be years before I saw this as a viable mode of expression. Between that point and the foundation of Con Demek I played in a teenage cover band and also actually performed as a folk musician for a while.

Have you performed live? How, if so, does your approach to this compare to your recorded work?
Con Demek has performed live on several occasions but it's only been during the last three years that we have developed what we consider to be a quality live presentation. Demek performances are now multimedia presentations that combine video with live and pre -recorded sounds. People generally seem to enjoy the intensity of our shows but we see ourselves primarily as a studio orientated project. If we do two shows a year, that' s a lot. Performing involves lot of work. We, therefore, prefer to channel our energy into recording and creating video works. Our music definitely sounds better recorded than live.

Can you outline your releases, be sides the 'Dogmama' album and split single with Joe Colon, for me? These are the only two items that I'm aware of...!
'Dogmama' was our second full length release. Our first full length release was the previously noted 'Discorging Elements which was self published back in 87. Most recently we appeared on the RRR 100th release compilation 7" and a cassette compilation put out by Reign of toads magazine.

How well received have your records been, either in the states or worldwide?
The response to our releases has been fundamentally positive. We've always received generally favourable reviews and positive letters from all over the world. Considering the nature of our material, I've always found this somewhat surprising. The only bad press we ever received was from local music critics.

How much is spent on recording? Furthermore, is all of the material primarily improvised in the studio or fully prepared/rehearsed beforehand?
I could easily take the entire interview to answer this question but I'll try to be as concise as possible ... Con Demek does not really have one singular creative paradigm but I can think of a few general methods by which we go about creating. Generally, we don't work the way that most musical projects do. herefore, we don't rehearse pieces before recording. Usually, we assemble pieces gradually over a period of time, during the recording process. Usually, I'll come up with a rhythmic idea or sound construction and use that as the basic framework for a piece. Then I'll record my contribution and give copies to Jay and Steve without any specific instructions for what they are to contribute. They then interpret the existing material for themselves and make their contributions. In this light, the pieces can be seen as interactive processes that are somewhat alentoric in nature. This is the way we create the majority of the time. Very few decisions are made in advice. Some times, Jay and I will get together and jam, like normal musicians, and come up with ideas that way. Nobody in Con Demek as a rigidly defined task, so everyone is welcome to contribute in whatever way they are able. Steve handles the majority of the visual output. He is an avid desktop video freak who can do almost anything visually with a computer. We all contribute to the video material as well, though. Generally, we don't stick to the rule that the video has to be narrative for the audio. Often, our videos are just another layer of concepts that are not subservient to the music.

How often do you actually get together as Con Demek? Are there any other music related projects that you're involved with?
Jay, Steve and myself have known each other for several years. We have a relationship that transcends any of our collaborative, creative ventures. Therefore, I'd say we set together more often as Jay, Steve and Damian than as Con Demek. We rarely record as a unit. The only time we get together as a band' is to rehearse for our sporadic performances. I'm the only one, at this time, who has any musical ventures outside of Con Demek. Recently, I've been involved with a group called Community Service Project, which is a rock, noise/improvisational unit. The drummer in C.S.P. is a friend of mine, Mike Lopez, who is in a band called 5-Chin-400, who recently had a 7" released on Erl. They are a great band that I think will someday become a formidable presence in the independent scene.

What do you all do outside the band?
Steve works as a computer programmer for a book publisher. Jay is currently studying philosophy on a graduate level fellowship. I've worked for the past seven years as a janitor in a state bureaucracy. Recently, I've developed a disdain for cleaning toilets and am working on going back to school to possibly study electronic music and video. We're all united in our hatred for work and a shared lack of career aspirations.

Has being based in New York helped or hindered Con Demek's progress, do you think?
People that live outside the U.S. tend to believe that New York consists solely of New York City. The fact is, we live in Troy (and Albany) which is 150 miles North of N.Y C. We often go down to N.Y C. for shows, but it's a really expensive place to live. One beneficial thing about living upstate is that it's relatively cheap. This, in turn, has enabled us to build up our home audio and video studios. So, I'd have to say that living upstate has definitely aided our progress greatly.

What do you hope to reflect in Con Demek?
A willingness to exist free from dogmas and orthodoxy of all varieties, and to laugh at life's violent contradictions and absurdities.

And, what do you hope the listener will get from Con Demek?
The listener/viewer is free to get whatever they want out of Con Demek. We' re not on a mission to manipulate peoples' minds. We just want to fuck with them a little bit.

OK, let' s go for something more inane now ... What's the musical climate like where you are, in general?
The area that we live in (generally known as the 'Capital District') has historically had a pretty reactionary musical climate. The majority of the bands fall into two general groups: those who are way behind the times and those that are total slaves to trends. The area seems to be going through its 'grunge' thing now, whilst five years ago it was the R.E.M. thing. Most musicians and journalists in our area have always hated the kind of music we create. There is, however, a small minority of bands that seek to do unique things, which is good. One positive development is the increasing enthusiasm for offbeat music. It seems that the younger listeners are more open-minded and want to be challenged (Wish I could say the same for those over here Ed.)- Five years ago, this just wasn't the case. The bottom line for Con Demek is that we'll continue to create, regardless of the cultural climate in our locality. The music scene has never been an important motivational factor for us.

Finally, lets have a rundown of your plans, forthcoming releases and suchlike, please...
Right now we're finishing a full length video which we hope to release sometime later this year. We're supposed to have a track on a compilation CD on Isomorphic Records, from California. Beyond that, we're still looking for a label to handle our third full length release.

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