Humphreys: I can’t really remember a time in my life when I wasn’t singing in choir or playing an instrument. Music has always been a huge part of my life. I started hosting karaoke about 12 years ago, and even though it still makes me nervous to sing in front of people to this day, I wouldn’t be the same without singing. I had always wanted to be in a band, but being shy and having a bit of anxiety had always stopped me from ever trying. I’m so thankful that I have this opportunity to record and really be involved in what happens in the studio. It’s such an overwhelming experience, but in a good way.
Sebasstian: I am just going back to my roots. I mean I wanted to do a more synth driven project for years and after talking to Jenni I thought now was the time. My ideal band has always been Electric Bass, Synths, Drum Machines (with live percussion) and male and female vocals. My bass guitar is a Schecter Hellcat VI (named Jackie-O) which is similar to a Fender Bass VI. It is like an extended range six string guitar. Peter Hook (New Order) and Robert Smith (The Cure) both used Bass VI’s extensively. The Hellcat is a great complimentary instrument to analog synth sounds. Regular tenor guitars compete too much in the same frequency range as most synth playing styles, whereas the Hellcat can play lead lines if you are using synths for the bass, or play the bass lines if you are doing midrange work with the synths. As far as roots go- I bought my first synth in 1983, a Crumar Stratus that was pre-MIDI and gigged extensively in L.A. with the band Freaks Amor and Montage. Later I purchased an Atari 130XE Computer, a Korg DW-8000 Synth and Korg DM-110 and DM-220 Drum Machines in early 1985 and started Aside/Beside a Post-Punk New Wave band. Sci-Fi Republik is going back to these times and styles for me.
Sebasstian: In the first feature film I Wrote and Directed Hot Rod Girls Save The World I had multiple alien characters. I made the alien masks and all the props including a full size space pod that my actor actually climbed into. With Sci-Fi Republik I wanted to do a Retro-Space vibe mixed with Gothic overtones. Like what if this Human-Hybrid race had these darker elements as part of their culture. My previous band Kill Switch…Klick was firmly in the Gothic Industrial genre. I mean our fanbase was the Rivetheads, BDSM Crowd and Goths. Like Gary Numan and David Bowie I want to create an entire world for the songs, almost like writing a screenplay or space opera. The music videos are going to be key to tying this all together. We shoot the first one in Fall 2021 for Our Lips Are Sealed. I own all my own high end camera gear and have shot two feature films so I have an extensive filming/editing background. Jenni and model/actress Bridgette Anderson really helped me fine tune the Human-Hybrid look. We call it Raygun Goth, similar to the Atompunk writing genre but with darker more ominous elements. Black lipstick, space suits, space helmets. I hand made the space helmets and the rayguns in the pictures and videos. I love building props. In the videos Actress Lulu Lorayne, who hosts my TV Show will also make appearances.
Sebasstian: We had actually started the demo sessions by recording a few covers and an older Inner Demons song I wanted to update. The first cover was David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’ which will come out later this year. Then we tried ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’ and Blondie’s ‘One Way Or Another’. We both would just throw song ideas out and see if it worked. Our Lips just came together really quickly. The cool thing was as we were finishing the mixes I had planned on a June 18th release date, then saw the original was released on June 12th 1981, so I just moved the date forward a few days. Our version came out exactly forty years from the original. The very first song we put out as Sci-Fi Republik was ‘Let Each One Stand For Murder’, which was something I had written years ago that just didn’t fit the Kill Switch…Klick sound. It’s an instrumental with voice samples from various films.
Humphreys: I wasn’t exactly sure what we would be working on to put out. But we both have similar tastes in music. It’s a song that I have sung many times while hosting karaoke, and I’m a huge fan of the 80s. So when the idea was thrown out there, I was really excited to see how we could connect through it and make it our own.
Sebasstian: I love our version. I think the spoken word first section really pulls the listener in. That was actually an accident. I asked Jenni to try different styles, singing the song, whispering the song, speaking the song. The spoken tracks totally reminded me of The Normals hit Warm Leatherette, which surprisingly Jenni had never heard before. She totally channeled the slightly bored robotic inflection to the song with minimal coaching. She has a natural ability to hear nuance. The best thing about our version is when Jenni opens up at the end with this big singing voice. The contrast really makes the song. A friend of mine Jennifer Curran also suggested doing a “hush” rhythmic sample in the middle section. I’m still not completely happy with the mix, but if I didn’t set release dates, I’d still be messing with it.
Humphreys: I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we were recording because like D.A. said, we tried a little bit of everything. But I love how our song feels like a darker version with a storytelling element. I got to experiment vocally in ways I never really had before. I’m happy with the way it turned out.
Sebasstian: The next single that will be out in August is ‘Kontaminate Me’, which is more EBM Nitzer Ebb style. I am singing the lead on that one. Right now I am finishing the last verse lyrics and the arrangement. We plan on releasing a full five song EP by the end of the year on cassette and streaming / download platforms. The new imprint I started for this project called Art-I-Phakt is a Cassette / Digital only label inspired by Sacred Tapes in the U.K. I grew up on cassette tapes and the early Kill Switch…Klick albums were self released cassettes. That was before KsK signed to Cleopatra Records. Each Sci-Fi Republik cassette will be limited signed and numbered with special packaging. More like art. This whole aspect excites me and makes the process more personal.
Sebasstian: I’m still doin the TV Show currently editing Season 6 and also working on a documentary about bassists.
Humphreys: Besides hosting karaoke, this is the only music project I am currently working on.
Sebasstian: Thank you for chatting with us.
Humphreys: I’ve really enjoyed this opportunity to talk about our project, thank you!