…An Interview with Khemique
The birth of the Debut…
The day Jason sent the first ten tracks to Johann was the start of a project that took imagination and creativity to a next level. In the space of three months Johann created lyrics for the tracks and started composing a few extra tracks to complete the debut.
Reporter: How did the name Khemique come about?
Johann: We went back and forth with ideas and how they relate to both Jason and my ideas of creativity and our music, until Khemique stuck.
Reporter: Why Khemique? What is the meaning behind the name?
Johann: I like reading up about ancient civilizations and their ways, their religions, their spiritual views, etc. I somehow wanted to tie the modern chemically induced world with something from an ancient culture. The type of culture didn’t really matter. I remember thinking that something between chemical, alchemy, and an ancient culture would be good. I thought about a book I once read, called “Khai of Khem” by Brian Lumley. So I changed the spelling of Chemical, and added a touch of magic/finesse with the “que” postfix, and Voilla! Khemique was born.
Reporter: What inspired you to create the first tracks, and how did you come to send it to Johann?
Jason: I was working on a loop and sample set, when I thought to create full tracks first, after which I would cut them up into loops and samples. When it all was done, I felt that something might actually come of this if I got the right vocalist. I discovered Johann’s MySpace page and posted him a message to see if he was interested. He was, I sent, and Khemique was born.
Reporter: Was it instant chemistry?
Jason: I was pretty busy at the time, so I did not really react on Johann’s first three versions. But at some point he sent Reproscape. The name intrigued me, so I had a listen. I immediately realized that he was onto something, and replied that this was good stuff. I also listened to the other tracks, but it was too early to form a general concept. Within a week, he sent two more; One Reason and Release. By this time I could see a good pattern of musical energy and became enthusiastic. Between Last Kiss, Dreamworld Misery, The Final Hour, and the last three, the potential CD was getting a nicely rounded feeling.
Reporter: Where did you come up with the lyrics?
Johann: I have been writing lyrics and poetry since ’90. Most of these are in five notebooks that I left back in Namibia when I came to the U.S. My mother offered to type and send me the poems and songs as I may need them. The Final Hour (inspired by Marianne Faithfull’s “Times Square”), I wrote in Namibia when I felt inspired to write something in honor of the ancient Scandinavian God, Odhinn. A brief reference pays homage to Marianne Faithfull, and the essence of her song “Times Square”.
Reporter: That’s an interesting insight into The Final Hour. Do you create all your songs in this manner?
Johann: No. I usually write when the inspiration takes me. Sometimes it is a mood that inspires me, and sometimes a real life occasion, and sometimes a song. But I have had such inspirations when listening to The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Metallica, and Manowar, From time to time the lyrics occur as I listen to the music, analyzing and mentally organizing it into verses and choruses.
Reporter: Your debut title, “All In”, how did this come about?
Johann: (Smiling) We were choosing tracks for the CD, re-ordering them back and forth until all the tracks were in sequence. I think it was the heading of one of our emails to each other. All were In and ready for a spin. It worked, and the name stuck.