Trip-Hop.net : How / when did you start Addictive TV ?
November 1992, so we're ten years old now. It was just myself and Nick Clarke with an old computer in the converted loft of Nick's old house in Brighton...
We were producing a weird late night TV show called "Night Shift" about things that went on when everyone else was asleep, so found ourselves hanging out with a camera crew in numerous night clubs, strip joints, on the streets with the police, on manoeuvres with the army and in white jumpsuits in nuclear power stations.... and all in the middle of the night !
Trip-Hop.net : Did you come across any difficulties ?
Being philosophical, life is full of difficulties. It'd be very strange if we haven't had difficulties over the years. Producing anything slightly left of the mainstream has it's problems, whether it's music, visuals, films or TV shows. Right now, getting European distribution for audiovisual DVD albums isn't easy - which I find odd, considering Europe's rich music and film culture, where as in the US things were much easier and people were more open to the idea.
Trip-Hop.net : Could you introduce the Addictive TV Team and the role of everyone ?
Graham Daniels - producer, editor and VJ
Nick Clarke - producer, editor, photographer, VJ
Tolly - composer, DJ
Rob Chandler - animator, motion graphics artist
Hithersay - digital artist & VJ
Françoise Lamy - A & R & promotion
More loosely part of the team too is George Millward - composer and DJ
Trip-Hop.net : Please tell us about the work you make and produce ? What comes first, the music or the images, or maybe the 2 together ?
We like to use a lot of real world imagery in our work, we like things that have an organic feel, pure CGI can get a little soul-less if you're not careful. We're shooting material all the time and carry cameras around like a writer does a notebook. We also like to shoot stuff you wouldn't really expect to see, we're into the idea of finding beauty where you'd normally be surprised to find it. We also like to experiment with pushing cameras and
editing software to their limits. You can do a whole lot of in-camera manipulation with modern DV cameras if you know what you're doing and you've got the time to keep trying new techniques - and I don't mean the 'negative invert' or 'night vision' buttons!
On the music side of things, it depends on the project - sometimes we create visuals to the music and other times, yes, we create the two at the same time. With our current project, Tolly composed the piece side by side with me and Rob working on the visuals. This concurrent production of A and V with a lot of collaboration and passing part-finished elements back and forth is one of the ways we prefer to work, simply to get a closer integration of sound and image. In this sense, we see no huge difference between music and visuals - they're just elements that make up an AV mix, and in this audiovisual genre they're both 'composed' in pretty much the same way; by a mixture of trial and error, intuition, experience and sometimes just random madness!
Trip-Hop.net : What equipment do you use ?
Speed Razor, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Cubase, Pinnacle DC2000 and a Matrox Digisuite DTV. For shooting we use PD150 DVcam camera, PD100 DVCam camera, TRV900E MiniDV, Chinon Super8 camera, mixture of lenses; macros, doublers, wides, filters etc... With live VJing, we use an MX50 mixer, Compaq Armada laptop and DVcam decks.
Trip-Hop.net : Which countries are more receptive to what you're doing ?
Well, audiovisual work - like music on it's own - has no language barriers so crosses over internationally really well. Although our DVDs are not yet distributed in France, whenever we do something there we always find the audience really really appreciative. We did a couple of gigs earlier this year in Paris during the Rendez-Vous Electroniques at the Pompidou Centre and The Web Bar, both were really fantastic nights with really great crowds. And our DVDs go down really well in the USA - maybe because they offer such a radical alternative to mainstream US entertainment.
Trip-Hop.net : What kind of reactions or feedback did you get following your screenings and show during the Rendez-Vous Electroniques in Paris last september ?
As I said before, our time in Paris was great, we had plenty of people coming up to us just to say thanks. It was also gratifying to see a lot of other French artists there too - VJs and DJs, it was great to see Professor Oz
again [from Pro-Zak Trax], I really really really like his music. It was also a good opportunity to hook-up again with some of the people we're working with on our current projects, like the French VJs eMovie and the guys from the Musiques Hybrides label. We had a great time - myself, Hithersay, Tolly and George Millward - especially on the Techno Boat journey up the Seine!
Trip-Hop.net : Is your work shown on french Tv and are your DVDs distributed in France ?
No, not yet - but we're open to offers...
Trip-Hop.net : Which artists or bands you'd like to work with ?
We've recently been working with Blue States here in the UK and definitely would like to do more stuff with them, their music is so cinematic and works well with our visuals. Artists we admire that we'd love to do something with would be Laurent Garnier or even, crazy as it may sound, Kraftwerk who really inspired me as a teenager - and they still occasionally gig. And on the visuals side, the promo director Michel Gondry is an inspiration.
Trip-Hop.net : What are your future projects... DVDs, TV, Shows ?
Well, we're currently in the middle of "Mixmasters" - series two for TV over here, which in 2003 will be released as 6 more DVD albums. There's a couple of TV projects we can't really talk about right now, best to check on our website at www.addictive.com where always post news. With live shows, we've got gigs coming up in Brussels, Belfast, Budapest and in January 2003 we're back in Paris again at Le Forum Des Images. Also in the new year we'll be starting our own 'Audiovisual Lounge' nights again, here in London at Below 54 in Shoreditch and we've also been asked about a tour in the States.
Trip-Hop.net : What be your advice to someone who'd like to become a VJ or produce visual mixes ?
First and foremost produce your own material. Stand out from the rest and don't just play old movies and bits of cut-up TV, get creative! Find a good visuals producer to work with is another idea - making good visuals has many similarities with making good music.