1. Introduce us to your project!
Strange Circuits is an Industrial Electronic act from Chicago originally. The first band released on Wax Trax Records. The band is now a solo act comprised of its founder Rodney Bakerr. The act tries to push the boundaries of electro/industrial as much as possible.
2. How did you start out?
We started out as a trio playing punk and New Wave bars in Chicago. Then we got a break with Wax Trax Records releasing the record “Industrial Living” which later became a collector’s item. Many consider it the first Industrial record release.
3. Describe your project’s sound.
Strange Circuits’ current sound is a mixture of analogue and digital sounds mixed with Vocals and Spoken word. This creates a unique sound all on its own. The sound is like a familiar stranger. You think you know it, but you don’t. This creates a situation where you are drawn in to hear more.
4. What influences your craft?
What influences Strange Circuits are various movements in Art History as well as Electronic music pioneers. I’m also a Fine Artist with my artworks in the permanent collections of several Fine Art Museums like the Art Institute of Chicago SAIC and the Smart Museum of the University of Chicago. I consider myself a Renaissance man in that I work in more than one Art form Music and Fine Art.
5. What makes your project different? Why should people listen to you?
Strange Circuits is a Solo performance of a combination of Music and Theatrical techniques, a mixture of Man vs. Machine is also an important element in the mix of a Strange Circuits performance. It’s Full and Minimal at the same time because I only use one Groove Box Drum machine that has its own constraints and benefits on the sound and performance.
6. When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I would say “The Opposition”. It’s an Avant-Garde track with a mixture of Art and Contemporary spoken word poetry in a Retro-Futuristic Urban and Dystopian setting. The Track comes together nicely in a fresh way and points the way for a new direction for Industrial / Electronic Music. I take creative risks with my music. I like to be known as original.
7. What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
I could say Art and Life can be a Struggle, but for this article, I’ll say getting the right exposure, which is why I’m on my second tour of the UK. I found that the UK audiences are somewhat different than the audience’s in the US. Sometimes a change of location can open up a new window of opportunity. It’s difficult to deal with any form of rejection for any artist. So, I believe that success has to be viewed on a personal level. The most important thing is to master your craft.
8. What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
It’s difficult to say. I’m lucky to have the freedom to be able to create music and art everyday but to have my music exposed and appreciated by people around the world has been a wonderful experience in itself. And has helped me to grow and expand in my career. All victories are important – the small and the large. What’s important is that you learn from your failures and your successes. The combination of both failure and success make you a complete artist.
9. How bright is the future of your project – what are the plans?
Well, I believe that it’s very bright and there is plenty of room for growth and change. Travel to the UK has opened my eyes to many new opportunities such as the current film documentary about Strange Circuits that we are working on at the moment. It’s coming around nicely, and it’s completely filmed in the UK. I want to leave a document of this adventure so that fellow Artists and Musicians can learn and grow from my experiences.
10. When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as an Artist and an Innovator. An artist who lived and worked in a creative world and brought some form of Beauty and Curiosity into the lives of people.