Originally forming in 1982 within the synthpop and New Wave world, Information Society (a.k.a. “INSOC”) have always been three steps ahead of the musical curve. Among the many instances of the band’s stylistic trailblazing was their 1985 dance smash “Running” which became a Top Ten Billboard dance chart hit. The single helped break open the freestyle dance craze that bubbled up through the underground Latin community. With the new album _hello world, INSOC is once again leading the charge through the musical landscape. A band whose influence stretches decades, Information Society has enjoyed multiple Top 40 hits including their Number One smash “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy)”, “Walking Away”, “Think” and “Peace & Love, Inc.” Their infectious appeal translated the world over with Japan, Spain, Mexico and their native US leading the charge. Brazil, especially, became one of their continued main markets, where they are signed to the major label LAB344.
“This album is both a birth and a rebirth,” explains PAUL ROBB of one of electronic music’s most influential bands INFORMATION SOCIETY about the new album _hello world. “It’s been so long since we’ve made new music together it almost seems like a whole new thing, and yet anybody who has ever listened to one of our records will immediately recognize our style.” Set for release on September 23, 2014 via HAKATAK International/MVD, the album marks the reunion of the original founding members of the band, Robb (synths), Kurt Larson (vocals) and James Cassidy (bass, keyboards), following the release of their single “Land of the Blind” which was released earlier this year. “_hello world is our way of re-introducing ourselves to our old fans, and hopefully making the acquaintance of some new fans.”
Interview by Meikee Magnetic
Where were you each born and where are you located now?
We all grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis called New Brighton. In fact, we all went to high school together. Although we were not really friends at that time, we were the top three most picked-on kids in the school. At the moment I live in Los Angeles, Kurt Larson lives in San Francisco, and James Cassidy lives in Oregon.
Can you remember that early spark that brought you into the music realm, how can you describe that to our readers?
We all came from musical backgrounds… Kurt Larson was a choir and theater nerd, James Cassidy played bass in various metal groups including a Kiss cover band, and I played tenor sax in the school band. In forming the band, we were mostly just looking for a way to play the kind of music we wanted to hear, which wasn’t much in evidence in Minneapolis at that time.
How has your sound enhanced in the studio and live in our world of new music technology?
I’m not sure if technological advances have necessarily changed the sound of our music per se, but they have definitely made touring easier! What used to require a truckload of gear, can now be packed up and put on a plane in 8-10 cases. That has made it possible to continue playing live whenever our schedules allow.
What is your new favorite piece of technology:
Paul Robb? The electric car. I own a Fiat 500e, and I love it!
James Cassidy? The Planet Jr.! It’s the difference between gardening and farming.
Kurt Larson? The Jacquard Loom
How did the idea to release music in Cassette format come about?
I told our manager that I would love to see a cassette release of _Hello World. He knew someone at Storming The Base so when they offered us the opportunity to release _hello world on cassette, we just couldn’t say no!
Synthpop, monster electro bass and beats topped with lush, poppy vocal hooks describes your recent sound. What recent artists in today’s EDM have caught your attention?
At the moment, I’m particularly enjoying the new work from Royksopp. I also love “New Dorp, New York” by SBTRKT.
In the early days what instruments did you use in the studio that gave you your big hits and do you still use them today?
Even though our equipment list has changed almost completely from the old days, we are still attracted the same sounds, so it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.
Your track “Land Of The Blind (Marcos Carnaval and Paulo Jeveaux Club Remix) is definitely a great House mix. What artists would you like to remix you?
I would love to hear something from Will Gregory of Goldfrapp, the Freemasons, or maybe the track guy from Mesh.
Information Society has big fans here at Dark Beauty Magazine! How about an inspirational message to our younger readers:
It is useless to resist us!
Describe some fond memories of your early days:
The early days were fun because we were free to do whatever we wanted. We were fond of “breaking the fourth wall” by entering the stage through the audience, and of handing out candy treats during set breaks… No sure that would be possible now!
We’re happy to see you back, what’s next for Information Society?
We plan on releasing a cover album next year, with songs from a lot of the groups who were particularly influential on us in the early days.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
You don’t have to conform to succeed and to flourish.