Hi Lexy, thanx for doing this interview with us. Howare you doing?
Lexy Dance:Hi! Everything is cool!Currently, we have released a single «Cyber Girl". This is a teaser of ourupcoming album. We have played some great concerts in Moscow, St. Petersburg,Ekaterinburg, Izhevsk. Now we are intensively working on our second full lengthalbum.
You are the male singer of the band Xe-None, can yougive a brief introduction to the band?
Lexy Dance:Sure, no problem!
EvilAnn– female vocal. She’s with us since the very beginning. When we started lookingfor band members, EvilAnn was already the only and unquestionable candidate fora female singer.
Newman- synths and samples. He’s responsible for the most part of our songwriting.The experience he gained over years together with good gear help him to realizehis musical ideas better and better.
Fucker– guitar, is with us since 2006. He’s a very calm and quiet person in life. Butwhen we start recording in a studio, he becomes a very hairsplitting person.Moreover, he makes me happy with his almost sequencer-like precision when he’splaying live.
Push– drums, is with us since 2008. He’s really a crazy person. His favoritehobbies are playing drums and extreme biking. Last year he managed to break hisright leg when biking and now has a steel thing inside. Since that time I tryto prevent all his attempts to ride a bike again. Not so long ago he became anendorser of Peace drums and Masterwork cymbals.
And me - Lexy Dance – the frontman andmanager, as well as the admin of the official site and MySpace. I’m alsoresponsible for recording, mixing and mastering our tracks. Our debut album “Dance Metal [Rave]olution” wasreleased on my own label.
You started the band in 2004, did you had a clear viewin mind of what you wanted Xe-None to sound like or did the music take shapeover the years?
Lexy Dance:Oh! This is a very interesting question. At thebeginning of our career, we thought that we should sound like Cradle Of Filthsuddenly decided to play songs in 2 Unlimited-like style. This idea was fullyrealized on our second EP "Blood Rave". But only AC / DC and Motorhead can to stop there canafford, and so we continued our experiments on mixing various musical styles indifferent proportions. This is why our debut full-length «Dance Metal [Rave]olution» sounded more eclectic. Now, when we are in the process of working onour second album, I can clearly say that we do not stand still. Our sound isbecoming more powerful and monolithic.
Newman: We'restill racking our brains wondering "How the hell should we sound?". Itis where getting feedback from the fans is very important for us, but they alsohave quite diverse opinions. I personally think that our style should have been,so to say, crystallized by itself. But at the same time, I'm constantly lookingfor new tunes, sounds and music solutions, doing remixes for us and for other bands.
In 2008 you added extra members to the band, why didyou do this, were they the missing link? What is their role in the band?
Lexy Dance:Well, this information is not entirely accurate. Sure- 2008 was a year of the difficult changes in the line-up. In 2008, our drummer,Watson, decided that he "had enough", so he was replaced by a newdrummer - Push. Likewise, at the end of 2008 our bassist Andrew_Rex decided to devotemore time to his family and career. This time we did not search for areplacement. The thing is that we live in a small town and to find a reallygood bass player is a really big problem. Therefore, we have entrusted our bassparts to the sequencer AKAI MPC1000.
You call your music dance-metal, how did you come upwith that term, metalheads are not known for being passionate dancers?
Lexy Dance:Haha! Yeah, you’re right. Indeed, for manypeople a metalhead is a person who’s mainly banging his head at concerts, notdancing. But I think it's a personal thing how one chooses to move to themusic. At our concerts we see dancing people in the crowd and those slamminghard. Sometimes we even witness wild stage-diving like at the shows of New Yorkhardcore bands! Our task is to send impulse of absolutely pure energy to theaudience. And if this energy is returned to us, that means we do everything theright way! There is nothing worse than a stale crowd that is simply standing.We do our best, so that everyone on our show can get a charge of new pureenergy!
Newman: Ithink that the good old headbanging needs some modernization. When I go toconcerts, I prefer not only to bang my head, but also to make different bodymovements, such as moving around the club, jumping and enjoying what is goingon!
What bands did have an impact on you, what areinfluences?
Lexy Dance:I think that it’s obvious for many of our fans thatone the main sources of inspiration for us was The Kovenant . Many people havetold us that we are just their imitators, or even clones. Perhaps in some waythese people are right, but I think that over time we expanded many of theirideas and have done many things they never did.
The Kovenant is a great group, no doubts. Animatronic andSETI have already become the classics of the genre and I am personally verydisappointed that Lex Icon returned to the image of Nagash.
I can also mention Fear Factory, which just blew my mindwith their album «Demanufacture». And, of course, such titans of the dancescene as Scooter and 2 Unlimited. These groups influenced a lot on thedevelopment of our own style!
Newman: Myteachers include Depeche Mode, Samael, and some Russian dance groups such asHi-Fi, Ruki Vverkh and Gosti iz Budushego. Also I like Ferry Corsten and ArminVan Buuren.
Who are the listeners for Xe-None, you might be tooelectronic for metalheads and too metal for cyberpeople?
Lexy Dance:I think that our audience - it's just people whoare open to everything new, those, who that do not have any barriers andstereotypes in their heads. These are people who come to concerts in order toto get some vivacity and good mood. And they can be metal, and Cyber or fans ofalternative music. We appeal to all. Regardlessof their musical religion. Ha-ha.
Newman: Different peoplecome to our concerts. Therefore it’s difficult fo us to determine what kind ofpeople costitute our audience. Most likely, once we become a mainstream bandlike Rammstein, for example J
You already released several albums, all available fordownload on your myspaceprofile, how would you describe the progress thatXe-None made over the years?
Lexy Dance:I think that over time our music is becoming more balanced and well thought . We deliberately operate with diverse styles, trying todo more experiments with sounds and arrangements. We are constantly working to improve oursound and, as the feedback from listeners shows, there’s some real progress. I'm sure that we are not gonna stop there.
Why put all the ep’s and the album online as a freedownload?
Lexy Dance:Because today the Internet is the easiest way to bring your music to thelistener. The Matrix has us already. Millions of people are connected to it.Millions of people are searching for new music online. We don’t have a biglabel backing us, we do not have their PR machine working for us. Therefore,for us Internet is the window into the world of music.
Is it hard to find a balance between the electroniccomponent of your music and the metal component, how do you manage to find theright balance?
Lexy Dance:Sure, it is quite difficult. While working onour records, we do a lot of arguing and experimenting so that they sound quitedanceable, but at the same time not far detached our METAL-roots. After themini-album "Dance Inferno Resurrection" in 2009, many people said that wewere too kitsch. Now, a year later, we agree with them to a certainextent. But then it was a deliberate step - torelease just a dance mini-album. But on the second full-length, we decided tomake a strong emphasis on the metal-component of our music. And now, when listeningto our rough mixes everyday, I come to the conclusion that it’s gonna be ourmost balanced release.
Newman: Asfor me, I think we have not yet found our balance, but we will find it in thefuture for sure. Also, I assume that those of our songs that we have alreadyrecorded and released, will be the starting point for new experimenters fromthe genres fusing metal and electronics.
In 2008 you released your full length album “DanceMetal [Rave]olution? How did the recordings of thatalbum go, was it a hard process?
Lexy Dance:It was quite a hard process. In our town,unfortunately, we don’t have good studios, so we had to do everythingourselves. And since we did not have enough experience, it took usa long time.Several times we had to rewrite the finished material and therefore a lot oftime was spent practically in vaun. Nevertheless, it is in the process of recordingDMR that we realized what we want to sound like and how we can achieve thedesired result. Many of our listeners and critics in the press pointed out thatthe sound of the album was not up to the international standards. So we want tosay "thank you" to all who accepted us as such and supported us as weare! Thank you, guys!
How were the comments on that album, did it bring youwhat you expected it to bring?
Lexy Dance:The greatest achievement of this album was thatit became "Album of the Year" on the portal IndustrializedMetal.com.Besides, our trip to Holland for the festival of Aaltrock 2009, which confirmedthat we are doing really eclectic music appealing to fans outside Russia. InRussia, the album was well received both by the audience and the media. Ofcourse, there was also some critics. But we arevery positive about any critics. It helps us to avoid doing thosemistakes that we made on our debut fulllength.
After that you released an ep with covers from the mid‘90’s called Dance InfernoResurrection, why do an ep filled with covers?
Lexy Dance:This EP is our tribute to the era when dancemusic was sincere and really danceable. Maybe it was a bit naive and somewhat raw,but it was a real dance music that had emotions, feelings and great vitality.In contrast to the modern pop music, most of which is just a nice-sounding crap.We grew with this dance music, it was played on discos at our school. Sonowonder these old dance bands influenced our musical world. Therefore, once we just picked out 6 tracks, which weconsider the most famous from the Eurodance music era - and simply recordedthem!
Newman: The 90s were wonderful.It was the time with its heroes, with its cultural heritage. And it means a lotto us. We really wanted to show everyone just how we love those 90s.
How did you decide which songs to use, the 90’sarchive of music is so big?
Lexy Dance:Actually, the choicewas quite simple. We still have parties like "The golden 90s" in ourtown. So we visited them, listened, danced, and then chose the most powerfultracks for our cover EP! So simple!
You just released a new ep called Cybergirl, is it ateaser for the forthcoming album?
Lexy Dance:Yes, it is a teaser of our upcoming album. To be more precise, the 2 of 4 songswill be featured on the album – they are Cyber Girl and Summertime. We chosethem because were alredy done by the time of release and we have been repeatedlyplaying them at our concerts.
What can you say about the forthcoming album, how farare you with recordings and what can people expect?
Lexy Dance:Our second album will be more dense in sound and will feature more powerfulmaterial, for sure. Currently, the album is almost entirely done in rough form.So now we have started to work on the details. Frankly, I'm afraid to say aspecific release date of the album, but it is very likely (at least, I hope so)that this will happen in the early autumn.
Newman: The new album willdefinitely be faster.
What do you expect of the album yourself, in terms ofsuccess. Sales, spreading the name of Xe-None?
Lexy Dance:First of all, we just want to release our newtracks and we want people to hear these new tracks, so that we can get feedbackfrom them to know what they think about it. We have already played many of thesongs from the album at our concerts. And I must say that the audience'sreaction has inspired us a lot. So we want torelease this album and after that immediately start working on the next one!
And, of course, it would be great if our new material willexpand our reach and allow us to spend more time touring.
What can people expect when they go to a Xe-None show,how important is the visual aspect for the band?
Lexy Dance:The core thing of our shows is the energy. Theenergy that we share with the audience. Thevisual component for us is very important as well, but at the same time we tryto keep it from dominating the music. More important for us is to conveyour energy and vibration to the public. And Ithink we don’t need wearing any space suits to do so. For us it is moreimportant to have good sound, good light, and all those people who are waitingfor our performance in fron of the stage are important for us as well.
Newman:The main criteria for our show is drive. If there is this feeling of drive – it’s good. No drive – toobad. We do everything to avoid the latter.
What will be next for Xe-None?
Lexy Dance:Then there will be more new music, collaborationwith other musicians, video clips and, of course, concerts. Hopefully, not onlyin Russia but also in Europe, maybe in America. Last year we were in Holland,and I hope that that trip was not our last one. We are optimists and I cansafely say that we have something to offer to our listeners in the future!
Any last words for the readers?
Lexy Dance:Open your mind, lovelife, respect those who are close to you and listen more to good and diverse music!See you at the concerts! Peace!