Alan Vega Station

Alan Vega Station

For 36 years, Alan Vega has refused to compromise his artistic vision, whether with Martin Rev as original punks Suicide or with his unrelenting solo work. Through his love for rockabilly and frenetic electronic blues, Vega has created an underrated catalogue since the first split of Suicide back in 1980. Station is his first album since 1999’s 2007; the eight-year gap was due to numerous attempts to find a comfortable sound. Such painstaking experimenting resulted in an album that undergoes constant wardrobe changes, to a degree where every song shows a different look. While it no doubt feels disjointed, Vega’s radical noise exhibits suitably match his reputation. This 59-year-old sonic terrorist never gives up searching for extreme music — i.e., hissing jungle or distorted electro — to back his nihilistic prose. Cracked techno helps colour in the grey portrait he paints of an inner-city dystopia on standout piece "Station Station,” where he proclaims, "Now, it has become a crime to dream,” no doubt reflecting on his country’s near-militant state. Station is very much Vega’s post-9/11 reaction, as "Freedom’s Smashed” points out, and even though it may seem a little late for such a thing, no one’s quite heard it the way this radical poet tells it.

You’ve said Station is more truthful than your other records. Why is that?
I guess I’m a different person. I’m getting older and hopefully, wiser, plus I’ve been telling myself, "I want to do this my way all the way.” I paid for it by doing a lot of shows; I made the money to do this record. Maybe that’s why it took five years, I don’t know. This is like a deal between me and myself — this is how I want to do it. And I want to say things the way I say things. I’m pretty happy with it. There has been no outside involvement. Every now and then my wife would say to me, "Can’t you make this a little more commercial?” She kept screaming at me, "Is the album over? Is it over?” but it wasn’t, it kept changing. I couldn’t stop that. The lyric writing came near the end. What I hate most is doing the lyrics.

You’re a pretty outspoken guy. Lyric writing seems like it would come natural to you.
Yeah, you’d think so but it’s funny because when you’re trying to do that with the music, it’s like pitching curveballs at yourself. You suddenly have to change the way you deliver or see the song. (Mute)