Burst Method interviews Psyche Corporation at Anime USA 2013! Read more from the interview below!
You can also view photos from her concert via this link:
Interviewer: Melissa Castor
Videography and Photography: David Weaver
Q: Thank you for sitting down for this interview with Burst Method. Can you please introduce yourself and position in the band?
A: Sure! I’m Psyche Chimère, and I do the singing and production and composition for Psyche Corporation, a dystopian fairytale steampunk band from the future.
Q: What is the back story of your band and what inspired you to pursue it?
A: Psyche Corp. is named after a dream manufacture corporation from the distant future, where neural implants allow people to connect to the internet with their minds and download dreams. Psyche Corp. the band is a PR initiative sent back in time to start subliminal marketing early. You can never be too early with subliminal marketing.
Q: If you could download dreams, what kind of dreams would you download and why?
A: I would download a lot of wish fulfillment dreams, like the kind where narwhal butterflies show up with big foofy wedding dresses for you and you get to dip half the dress in a vat of pink liquid latex and eat the other half.
Q: What made you want to become a musician?
A: I really like to sing, I really like to write bizarre stories, and I like to sing about bizarre stories I write. Also, I am being paid in future stock in our dream manufacture company, and this internship in the ancient 21st century is going to have future employers banging down the door for my unique skill set. I’m also thinking this could lead to a sweet archaeology dissertation.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from when song writing?
A: It tends to be random events like being stuck in a crowded elevator while someone was saying “This building is insane” and me thinking “What if the building were insane?”. Another time I had some lyrics stuck in my head and searched Google and Napster (back when Napster was big) for the song, only to find out it does not exist, so I wrote it from “memory”, and it is called Morpheus, on my first album, which is only available by mail-order.
Q: What do you consider to be one of your biggest musical accomplishments?
A: I really enjoyed putting together the miniseries of songs with codes embedded in them, for my newest album, Crypts & Codes, available on iTunes, AmazonMP3, and CDBaby. This miniseries is a trilogy: Whirring World (which contains a secret message in Morse Code, as well as the Fibonacci sequence), Jewels (which contains 2-of-5 interleaved bar code translated into tones in the bridge, and the bar code itself codes for a courtesan’s phone number that codes for another secret message), and Pound of Flesh (which has the DNA of the poliovirus translated into percussion, running through the song, while the protagonist sings about being stricken with the disease).
Q: Your music has been described as fitting into many different genres, but in your own words, what would you describe it as?
A: My music, from a sound perspective, is best described as alternative world music. The world music aspect is because I use a variety of instrumentation, not all Western, and enjoy creating “symphonic folk” music. The alternative refers to the use of synths and dark electro industrial instrumentation. The alternative world part of the alternative world music is self-explanatory.
Q: How would you say your music has evolved since you first began started playing together?
A:My music, notably in the first album, began as very minimalist piano loops with no percussion, and I would develop complex lyrics and melodies to sing over the loops. This was because I didn’t know how to make more complex backing tracks many years ago. Now I incorporate a lot more dynamic rhythm and complex instrumentation.
Q: Not many musicians do covers of poems. What made you want to cover Edgar Allen Poe’s Annabel Lee? Are you a fan of the poet or does the poem hold a special meaning for you?
A: I am a fan of the poet! And a high school friend and I used to sing that poem together all the time.
Q: What artist or author would you say has had the greatest influence on your band and why?
A: Within Temptation influenced my singing/vocal melody thinking, and MSI and Kidneythieves influenced my rhythm and percussion. I know, my music doesn’t sound like any of them. But you asked!
Q: What would you say is your favorite song to perform and why?
A: Wonderland! This is something people can relate to a lot because Wonderland and Oz are both well-known worlds/fandoms. Also at the show I did before AnimeUSA, at Burning Man, some people got up during the chorus and enacted an epic battle between Wonderland and Oz, which made me happy. That’s only happened a few times in the history of me performing that song.
Q: You recently did a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” – do you like doing covers songs? Why did you want to do a cover of this specific song? Do see yourself doing another cover song in the future?
A: I only started doing covers in 2011, and almost all of them for very different reasons. The first one was Still Alive, by Portal, for a friend who loves Portal. Then, at some point, HBO approached Psyche Corp. to consider us for an event they were doing for Game of Thrones. Ultimately, the gig ended up going to Madonna’s violinist, but for a while we were in the running, and we put together a cover for Rains of Castamere for the event. We uploaded it and it got a ton of views and comments and someone commented that my singing was really impressive in some parts of the song, but just okay in others. I was thinking about how not conducive the song is to flashy singing, and I got to wondering if I could sing in the pop style, so I did the Gaga cover to test that out of curiosity, and not because I’m in any way planning to pursue that style.
I also did a cover of a song by a band I’m friends with, Ego Likeness, because I like that song a lot and because I wanted to test out some instrumentation ideas and it’s quicker to test things out on a song that already has a template. I ended up incorporating some of the ideas that worked well into my original song, Lady Perilous, which will be on the 5th album. I think I will do more covers in the future, but probably stick to genres similar to mine.
Q: What hopes do you have for the future of Psyche Corporation? Where do you see Psyche Corporation headed in the future?
A: I’d like to have Psyche Corp. perform in more states of the U.S. that I’ve never been to, and perform more internationally (we’ve performed in Canada a couple times, but I’d like to see some expansion to South America and the other continents). This is what I’m hoping for in the future of Psyche Corp.
Q: Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
A: I am also searching for the narwhal, just like you. We will find it together and dance the polka someday, on the gingersnap rooftops of Chile, or the bouncy air castles of Jupiter. Don’t lose hope, and don’t stop looking for secret messages scrawled in lipstick on supermarket floors.