John Norten, aka Blue Eyed Christ, just dropped his long anticipated (12 years, seriously) A Rush and a Thrill, and it clearly shows that the veteran is bringing all of his experience and expertise to construct a masterpiece of electronic rock. We got the chance to sit down with Norten and meet the man who’s behind the Blue Eyes and where he’s going in the future.
- Your song lyrics definitely lean toward the darker side, what kind of guy is John Norten outside of music? What kinds of hobbies and interests would you like to share?
JDN- Blue Eyed Christ is one side of me. It’s a part of who I am, not the whole. I’m also well known for a comedy podcast I did for over 60 1 hour episodes with talk radio legend Brian Whitman. I was the co host of The Brian Whitman Podcast, which is still out there. As for Hobbies, I collect Vintage Video Game Systems and Games (Atari, Intellivision, Colecovision, Vectrex, etc.)
- If you could randomly flip genres for one collab album, what genre would it be and who would be the collaborator?
I love music and really believe there are only 2 kinds, good and bad. I really enjoyed working with Lady Gaga and bet we could do something amazing. Prince or Duran Duran would be awesome for me to work with on a personal level.
- You have a new video coming out, “Freakshow”, that you started filming on Halloween with a contest for fan submissions. Can you tell us a little about the video and how the fan submissions are playing into that?
We actually filmed over a few days. The first at a big Los Angeles Gothic Club’s Halloween bash a week before Halloween. My video director got kicked out right away. Someone complained he was shooting up girls skirts which I’d like to say was true but wasn’t. Then we got into a fight while discussing the incident down the block. Some drugged out hipster dressed as a Jockey attacked him while were discussing the incident. We also had a great shoot in Hollywood on Halloween. We got everything from Hot School Girls, to Drag Queens, and even managed to get video in the middle of a fight…The Freaks Vs. The Security. We are also intercutting Fan Footage from iPhones and such. The shoots were great and the video is shaping up to be amazing.
- EDM’s exploded in the US in the last few years, where do you see the influence of earlier EBM and Industrial sounds in the current crop of producers?
I know my friend Brian Black is a very successful DJ who has managed to forge the two. Other than being one letter different I don’t see much of a relationship. I will say when I think of EBM I think of Front 242 who I believe invented the phrase and genre, and other European artists. Maybe the major difference is EDM caught on in a mainstream way where the EBM scene has always been pretty underground.
- If you could cherry pick one producer to remix Leaders + Followers, who would it be and why?
That’s a hard one. I’d probably go with someone old school that I’m a fan of like Flood. He’s definitely one of my favorite producers. Maybe David Ogilvie who worked a lot with Skinny Puppy and mixed some mainstream hits…I feel like he and I have a lot in common…working on Industrial and Pop.
- As a producer and mixer, you’ve worked with a broad range of mainstream artists, who’s on YOUR bucket least for future projects?
I don’t’ usually choose my clients, they choose me. I do have a few people I wouldn’t work with again but that’s a short list. To me it’s much more about being on the same page and getting along well with the other creative people I’m working with. Studio days can be very long hours, 12 hours or more, if you’re going to spend that kind of time with people you better get along personally as well as artistically.
- It was a long gap between American Whore and A Rush and a Thrill, should we expect another wait or do you have something in the pipeline for the near future?
No! Definitely not much time at all. My solo album should drop in January and I’m scoring Eric Zimmerman’s independent movie Caller ID which will also have a soundtrack with 11 of my songs and tracks. People often want to know what the difference is between my solo album and BEC. I’ve always had a specific sound and vision for BEC even thought it’s a pretty diverse project. All the songs for my solo album are things I’ve done over the years that don’t really fit into BEC but are really great songs.
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