TERMINATRYX - Cape Town
Sunday, 06 July 2008
TERMINATRYX (pronounced: “terminaytrix”)
Location:Cape Town, South Africa
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What's the origin of the Band’s name?
(TERMINATRYX) Once we started putting some songs together the subject
of a name naturally came up. What we decided from the start was to have
a name which seemed both intriguing, maybe even a bit threatening.
We have an affinity for Sci-Fi and extreme movies and especially the
moods conjured up by them. We combined movie titles like The
Terminator, Tetsuo The Iron Man, The Matrix, the Nexus replicants from
Bladerunner, as well as mythical concepts like the River Styx as well
as the dark sexuality of the dominatrix.
Originally the band name was spelt TERMINATRIX, but by 2004 so many
people used the name, from clubs to Anime movies, so we changed the
spelling, switching the last I to a Y the pronounciation is exactly the
same, and we could nab its .com web URL!
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What genre of music do you consider yours to be?
(TERMINATRYX) Our style is hard to define, but we decided to condense it down to INDUSTRIAL-METAL,
it contains various other elements across the various songs, from
Electronic and Alternative flavours, to Gothic, Darkwave and even Punk
& Hardcore attitudes.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Name and respective instrument of each band member.
>Paul - Guitars, bass, keyboards, drums & programming, backing vocals /
Live: bass & backing vocals
>Sonja - Lead & Backing Vocals
Additional Live members:
>Patrick - Live Guitar
>Ronnie - Live Drums
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) How Long has the Band been together?
(TERMINATRYX) Since 2002 (principle members of Paul & Sonja)
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) How long have you all known each other? How
did you meet?
(TERMINATRYX) We (Paul & Sonja) met at the only Cape Town leg of
Oppi Koppi about 8 years ago. We have known Ronnie independently before
meeting at oppi Koppi, since his days in Grämlich. We met Patrick (also
in Mind Assault and part of Metal 4 Africa) on-line via MySpace,
shortly before we played the 2007 Ramfest.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What inspired you to make music together and deal with each others differences?
(TERMINATRYX) It’s a natural compulsion for me (Paul). I’d been
playing in bands since the late ‘80s (like V.O.D and K.O.B.U.S.
www.VOICEofDESTRUCTION.com). Recording albums and touring from Cape
Town to Johannesburg to Europe is simply something that needs to be
done. Sometimes it is a drag for various reasons, but it is a natural
need, otherwise there will be something missing, a serious gap. We
don’t have too many personal differences, so it runs pretty smoothly.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
(TERMINATRYX) We play very selective annual shows (some years
we only performed live once!) - one of the biggest challenges has been
to get a like-minded live guitarist who gets the music and is fine with
playing occasionally as opposed to every weekend. Getting your music to
a wider audience also proves difficult if it cannot be labeled.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Do you have a Manager or do you just go Big?
(TERMINATRYX) We don’t have a manager - Paul handles all
aspects which would normally be assigned to a manager. We have a legal
representative and someone who handles communication from the band.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Who handles your daily business activities? (Bookings, promotions etc.)
(TERMINATRYX) We handle all of our own affairs
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Signed with Record Company?
(TERMINATRYX) Yes, in 2008
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) (if Yes) with Whom?
(TERMINATRYX) ENT Entertainment (distributed by IRIS)
We are also looking at foreign licensing
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Are you a member of any music organizations?
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) (if Yes) with Whom?
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What can you tell me about your instruments?
(i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever's available?
What made you choose the instruments you have now?
Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?
(TERMINATRYX) Your instrument have to look good, no doubt. Our
equipment is actually quite old-school in nature – this probably also
contributes to the distinctive sound.
When it comes to bass guitars (Paul), I play Hohner basses with the
Steinberger system – they are the basses without a tuning head (looks
like it’s decapitated – you tune them at the back) – they hardly ever
go out of tune! I don’t like big, bulky bass guitars – this one is the
same size as a regular guitar (even smaller) and fits nicely into
overhead luggage compartments in the plane. I have three of these
basses: a 4-string, a fretless and a the 5-string (which used to belong
to No Friends Of Harry).
My guitar is an Epiphone special edition Les Paul shape with a flame
paint job. I got this around 2005 –I’m not exactly a guitarist, but got
it out of necessity because we didn’t have a guitarist to record the
songs, so I had to step up myself. It also looks cool and I bought it
at a very good price.
FX include a range of Boss FX pedals and units.
Our programming method is a secret and we also use a Roland D50 keyboard (which technically belongs to my older brother!).
Sonja uses a Shure microphone for live shows (naturally), and for recording we use a Røde studio mic.
Ronnie uses Mapex drums and Zildjian cymbals while Patrick has several guitars, including an Ibanez and a B.C. Rich Warlock.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) If Any, How Many Albums Have You Recorded?
1:TERMINATRYX (self-titled album)
Studio: Recorded at Flamedrop Productions / Mixed at Sound & Motion
2:First Fix v.3.0 (demo)
Studio: Recorded at Flamedrop Productions
3:First Fix v.2.0 (demo)
Studio: Recorded at Flamedrop Productions
4:First Fix v.1.0 (demo)
Studio: Recorded at Flamedrop Productions
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Did you decide to gig before recording an album?
(TERMINATRYX) It wasn’t so much a decision – it is a natural
part of the package. Playing live helps a lot in shaping your songs,
even if we don’t play live all that frequently. Our first ever live
shows were unintentional as we were asked to open for DIARY OF DREAMS
on their South African tour in 2003. Our kind of music won’t get
regular radio or TV coverage, so playing live also helps in getting
people unaware of you to check it out.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) How did/do you sell your CD’s/Audio Files? Consignment? Live sales? Distributor?
(TERMINATRYX) It is being distributed by IRIS countrywide
(Catalog number CDENT 010) – all music stores should stock it – if they
don’t, simply ask them to order it. It is available at on-line stores
like www.Kalahari.net as well as www.OneWorld.co.za
We will also get CDs to smaller indie stores, and the album will be available at all live shows.
(TERMINATRYX) Once the CD has been out there for a while we will make it available to for download sales.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Have you had any previous print or broadcast media exposure or reviews?
(TERMINATRYX) Yes, various.
On-line magazines & portals like:
www.FireAngelDesign.co.za, www.overtone.co.za, www.Goth.co.za, www.MyNoise.co.za , M-web etc
Radio shows like: Kerrang Radio, RSG, FMR, Tuks FM
Print media like: BPM, Something Wicked Magazine, JIP and Rapport.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) When and Where did you play your first gig?
(TERMINATRYX) We were asked to open for German darkwave band Diary of Dreams for their South African tour dates.
Year: November 2003 in Cape Town and JHB.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) How did you find the experience and how was your response from the crowd?
(TERMINATRYX) The experience is always good in hindsight. There
are too many things to focus on in preparing for the shows and
executing them, so once it’s done you can reflect. We were also unknown
to almost everyone, but the crowd response was good –with our distinct,
hard to classify style though, they are sometimes baffled. It doesn’t
fit a well-defined genre which people can easily fall into – it needs a
bit of analysis if you haven’t heard it before - grasping and
amalgamating the various elements which appeal to individuals – but
that’s what we like about our sound, it’s not overtly heavy, but far
from soft, and also cannot instantaneously be compared to anything
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) How do you rate your live performance ability?
(Come Now be Honest)
(TERMINATRYX) We’d rate our live performance as “engaging”.
There are no fancy displaying of skills, pandering or posturing – in
stead we deliver a focussed, precise replication of the songs as they
were intended. The sound is layered with many facets, and Sonja is
striking with a mezmerizing stage presence. Then we incorporate a
visual element with synced-up video projection running throughout the
entire show (unless venues do not have the facillities)
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Have you done any tours: (National / International) if so where?
We toured SA with DIARY OF DREAMS in 2003 and just did a Gauteng
mini-tour for our album launch in that area (late-May 2008). In 2006 we
also played Berlin at the annual Popkomm music festival.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Who are your major influences?
(TERMINATRYX) It’s hard to pin-point. We have very broad taste
when it comes to listening to music - from Ministry, Slayer, Slipknot
and Rammstein to Prodigy, Radiohead, Mambo Kurt, Tom Waits and John
Zorn – and a whole bunch in between. In addition we find inspiration
from everyday life, movies and artists like H.R. Giger. A mixture of
these experiences, likes and dislikes find its way into our music, but
none will stand out as a blatant “influential island”. In stead you get
a blend of all these into something brand new. When we were mixing the
album Simon Ratcliffe from Sound & Motion Studios asked us to bring
along some albums as references so he can get an idea of what we’re
after – it was impossible! We couldn’t find anything to encapsulte what
our music’s all about, except our music itself!
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What South African Bands have Influenced you?
No S.A. bands had any influence on me (Sonja).
For me (Paul), I would have to concur, except maybe for V.O.D of which I’ve been a part since the late ‘80s.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What International Bands Have Influenced you?
(TERMINATRYX) As mentioned, there are certain parts of some
bands that may have had an effect on the way we approach our music, but
we can’t isolate any specific ones. We can give a list of the stuff we
like to listen
to (see above), but traces of their imprint will not necessarily be evident.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What do you think of the South African Alternative Scene?
(TERMINATRYX) It is a loyal minority, the orphan of the SA
music scene, under-rated and underestimated - it makes SA an
It is often a thoroughfare for young people looking for something
different while they’re searching for their own identity – some move on
to becoming regular Joes or turn into Trance heads, while there are the
core collective who love it to the extent that it becomes a lifestyle
‘till the the day they die - be it Metalheads, Goths, Punk fans or any
other counter-culture movements.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Where have you performed?
Mercury Live (Cape Town)
ROAR (Cape Town)
Labia Theatre (Cape Town)
Hidden Cellar (Stellenbosch)
Back 2 Basix (Johannesburg)
Duncker Club (Berlin)
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What are your favorite and least favorite
venues? Including,Your Favorite Local Home Town Venue to Gig at and
(TERMINATRYX) All of them have their advantages and
disadvantages, sometimes management is a pain, sometimes sound is
inadequate. You try to make the venue work for you as best as you can.
Bands get ripped off daily in SA - the bar makes money, the venue
cashes in and the sound gets paid. The last ones to get financially
rewarded are the bands – it’s exactly the wrong way around.
We have an affinity for The Labia Theatre.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) If the Band could choose to play anywhere what would be your Ultimate Gig?
(TERMINATRYX) The ultimite gig would be anywhere with a good
sound system, an audiance that loves your stuff, and no glitches!!! It
could be in Pofadder or in Paris.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Your favourite Song as a Band to Play? And why?
I, personally (Sonja), like to perform Virus.
Ronnie loves SleepWalkers and Patrick likes to play Tabloid Android.
Paul doesn’t have a favourie song – perhaps The Love Song because it kicks nicely.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Which songs do you perform most frequently?
(TERMINATRYX) Currently, most of the album tracks, except for two instrumentals and We Come In Peace.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Who writes your songs?
(TERMINATRYX) I write the music and lyrics, but Sonja created
Midnight and most of its lyrics. We worked together on the album’s
opening instrumental Venus Rising.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
(TERMINATRYX) It varies – anything form socio-political issues,
free thought and individuality, the media, aliens, consumer society,
counter cultures, man’s relationship with technology, bilological and
computer viral infection, the state of the world as a whole...
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Any message you’re trying to relay via you music?
(TERMINATRYX) It’s not a conscious mission or specific message,
but we try to encourage people to think for themselves and to explore
things they might not have considered due to the conditioning of
humanity - programmed to think in a certain way and not to question. We
want people to question things, even if it seems apparent.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Do you think your song topics will change over time?
(TERMINATRYX) Almost every song is already on a different
topic, so we’re bound to continue exploring that which we find
interesting or worth highlighting - but we are what we are at the core,
which will most probably always remain similiar. Harping on the same
issue seems a bit pointless – if you’ve visited it, move on (unless we
feel very strongly about something which warrants approaching it more
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) How has your music evolved since you first began jamming together?
(TERMINATRYX) It has been a very personal journey for myself
and Sonja. TERMINATRYX is not a collaborative band scenario as such –
We create the songs and the other guys come in to play it live. The
music was created by us at our own pace. While abroad with V.O.D for
our album recoding in the UK and tour of Europe, I bought a bass guitar
with which to give life to song ideas in my head. Being a drummer
originally, I seem to approach thing percussively. From the bass guitar
I gave the guitar a fling and even some keyboards get used when
necessary. The beats and loops are programmed, but live we layer it
with the live drums behind it. TERMINATRYX has given me the opportunity
to create songs in their entirety as autonomous entities, as opposed to
being a part of a whole in a conventional four-piece band.
The extent of “jamming” together takes the shape of us getting together to rehearse for live shows.
Over time Sonja has become more confident in her own abilities.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set playlist?
(TERMINATRYX) We don’t do covers. We have some which we’d like
to take on, but that’s not at the top of the priority list. One in
particular may be done some time soon with Lark’s Inge on guest vocals.
Our live playlist is arranged to spread the diversity of the songs in
order to rise and fall as opposed to slapping all the slow ones or fast
tracks together. The big screen projection also plays a role in that we
do several shows bound to the specific video clips we create for the
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What are your rehearsals generally like?
(TERMINATRYX) We try to do at least one a week, and it is
mostly enjoyable, unless you’re in a lazy mood, but then you simply
have to push through! We have no exciting rituals or debauched sessions
– we try not to waste time and do the job, isolating possible problem
areas. We all know where a problem may lie with our personal
performances, so we each judge ourselves and improve what may be
sticky. It is very laid back in the rehearsal room (which is at
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
(TERMINATRYX) We usually get together around Wednesday between
6-7pm. We can’t afford to be spontaneous with rehearsals – we all have
many other things we’re busy with and Patrick lives in the
Somerset-West area, while the rest of us are in Cape Town.
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) What has been highlights in you Bands History?
(TERMINATRYX) There are several:
Being asked to open for Diary Of Dreams when not many people have heard
of us / Being invited by SAMEX to perform at Popkomm in Berlin /
Releasing an album / Our annual HorrorFest film festivals over
Halloween stands out, because each year we take a classic silent horror
movie and create a new soundtrack for it, then perform it live to the
(UNDERGROUND PRESS) Favorite Kick Ass Quote:
Sonja: “Goodbye and thanks for all the fish” (Douglas Adams – RIP)
Paul: “Opinions are like assholes – everybody has one” (Dirty Harry Callahan)
Ronnie: “It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe” (Muhammad Ali)
Patrick: "You can't go to war sitting on your ass!” (Dimebag Darrell – RIP)
Interview Done By Sandra Simpson