This San Francisco Electro group has been making waves in the local club circuit for the past few years. With a tasteful line up of a female lead vocalist, a Laptop with Akai controller and Moog synth wizard as well as an occasional drummer, they are a refreshing sound we need to see more of. Dark Beauty had them perform at the Magazine’s very first Halloween party which to our delight they won our hearts and ears…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were each of you born?
Austin Fraser was born in Pasadena, Lisa Greyson in San Francisco and Joe Gray in Louisiana.
How did you know you would become musicians?
Each of us independently played in bands throughout high school and onwards. We all met in our college years, became great friends and found out we all shared the same love for underground club sounds. The next logical step was for us to start writing songs and form a band.
How would you describe your music?
We think of it as futuristic synthpop. We strive for a sound that’s dark and sexy that makes people want to dance. We have always been influenced by underground house, techno, and the subculture surrounding them.
What is the meaning behind your group’s name?
The name conveys experiencing life as a constant dream state, the illusory nature of everyday reality, blurred lines between dreams, reality, memory and digital consciousness.
So far what has been one of your best live show experiences and why?
We just performed with an amazing circus troupe called Circus Et Cetera at their event “Night of Nights” in Fresno. We got to perform on-stage with fire dancers, fire breathers, contortionists, voguer’s with dancers performing all around us so that was definitely unforgettable. The Dark Beauty Halloween party was amazing as well! Great vibe in the room and we got to meet so many cool, talented people.
Thank you for playing our very first Dark Beauty Halloween Party October 12th 2013! Did you enjoy yourselves?
Absolutely! We Can’t wait for the next one. We were blown away by the quality and wild originality of all the costumes, models and design. We definitely had a blast on the dance floor for all the DJ sets.
I enjoyed sound checking you and being your sound man for the night. I like your live setup, can you let our readers know exactly what you use live:
The electronic side of the show is run through Ableton Live on my laptop. I (Austin) do a DJ-style performance on the Akai APC 40 controller, mixing and applying effects on the fly. The most fun aspect for me, though, is tweaking parameters on my new synth, the Moog Sub Phatty, which provides the synth bassline for most of our songs. It’s got a sound that is thick and rude enough to make your teeth rattle, it’s amazing. Joe gets a feed of that signal in his monitor and beats the hell out of a vintage reissue Ludwig drum kit, keeping perfect time with the electronic beats. Lisa ties it all together with her ethereal vocals.
Are there any NEW artists that has caught your attention?
We can’t get enough of the new Maya Jane Coles album, the debut mixtape from Kelela entitled Cut 4 Me, and the short-lived but incredible local project Black Jeans. We are happy to hear he’s going to keep making music under a different name.
There is a dark quality to your sound which we like, what are some topics your lyrics are about?
Some big themes for us include: occult rituals, embracing fear and the unknown, Stockholm syndrome, psychological inferiority, seeking a transcendent psychological state, broken relationships, unconventional interpersonal dynamics and seeking radical personal independence.
What venue in San Francisco would you love to play and why?
We would live to play live at Monarch! That Void sound system is incredible and they always get great bookings. We’d love to DJ a late-night slot at The Endup as well. Kind of a bucket list item for us.
My personal favorite is your song and video “2501”, directed by Sean Gillane. Was this a difficult video to make?
It was absolutely an enormous undertaking involving huge investments of hard work and time but we were in very capable hands working with Sean! He did an incredible job conceptualizing, directing, shooting, editing and creating effects for the whole project. We’re so happy with the product he came up with. Sovantha Bun, the makeup artist and hairstylist, also did an amazing job helping the two twin characters of the video look as stunning as they do. We had a great crew of friends helping us out on the shoot as well, so we had a great time while making it.
What’s next for Pixel Memory?
Our next EP and Remixes, which will feature a darker, tighter, rawer and more focused sound that we can’t wait to share with the world. We’re filling up our calendar with exciting shows and getting into some awesome remixes as well. We recently performed live at the retro synth event ‘Turbo Drive’ at The DNA Lounge which was great.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Dark Beauty is to explore and embrace the dark and unknown parts of the subconscious mind. Finding beauty in unexpected and strange places.