'''Kill Switch...Klick''', also known as KsK and Kill Switch was formed in 1991 by D.A. Sebasstian (born Devin Edward Chastain in February, 1964), a writer, musician and artist who had relocated from San Bernardino, California, to Seattle, Washington late in 1989 where he currently resides.
Previous Projects (1981 - 1991)
Sebasstian had been in numerous bands in San Bernardino]starting in 1981 as bassist and lyricist for the hardcore punk band Xijix. This band played party and small club shows around the area, but broke up one year later when their guitarist joined the Marine Corps. In 1983 Sebasstian joined latin avant-garde band Freaks Amor as trombonist, bassist and keyboard synthesist. Said Sebasstian, That was way before MIDI synths and home computers had been invented or popularized. We literally had to mark each sound setting on the synth with grease pencils, then twist knobs like crazy in-between songs to get the right sounds. Freaks giged regularly in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, playing alongside contemporaries Kommunity FK and the Suburban Lawns Sebasstian left Freaks Amor shortly after their first self titled E.P. was released to join Montage as lyricist and singer. This U-2, The Alarm and Simple Minds influenced band headlined some of the biggest clubs in L.A. at the time, including Gazzarri's, Madam Wongs East and Club Lingerie. In 1984 Montage released a four song vinyl E.P. entitled Celebrate The Misery. Shortly there after Sebasstian left to form his own electronic music project Aside/Beside. This project released several cassette albums but only played one show. Frustrated and strung out from drug and alcohol abuse Sebasstian left San Bernardino and moved to Waldorf, Maryland, Atlanta, Georgia and eventually Seattle. Early in 1991, Sebasstian got sober and began seriously writing music again and contemplating forming a new band.
Sobriety and Inspiration (1991 - 1993)
Sebasstian came up with the band name while working at Microsoft as a landscape grunt. As the story goes, the mower he was using started to sputter and cough- so he thought aloud "Better hit the Kill Switch." Says Sebasstian:
"As I reached down to shut the mower off, it was as if a light went off in my head. I had been looking for a band name for months and nothing seemed to fit the aggressive electronic direction my music was taking. The words "Kill Switch" kept rolling around in my head all afternoon. This was at the same time Jeffrey Dahmer was all over the news for his cannibalistic antics. A random thought of Dahmer with a switch on the side of his head marked "Kill" came to me. I thought what if Dahmer had a Kill Switch that went "Klick" and he instantly changed into the strange creature he eventually became. Klick was an after thought, so I have always written the name with the ellipse. The band name subsequently inspired novelist William Gibson to entitle his first The X-Files episode ''Kill Switch" after a chance meeting with Sebasstian during a book tour. Later when 'William Gibson's episode aired it inspired the naming of the metalcore band Killswitch Engage.
Kill Switch...Klick's sound was very different at that time from a Seattle music scene steeped in the then current Grunge Sound. Sebasstian's main musical influences were from late 1970's and early 1980's bands like Killing Joke, Public Image Ltd., Cabaret Voltaire and SPK. Sebasstian produced a Kill Switch...Klick demo tape recorded solo in his studio apartment on a four track tape deck. The cassette demo received airplay on Seattle's newly reformatted KNDD 107.7 FM. "The End" as KNDD was now called, embraced local artists like college radio stations of the day. The End as well as University Of Washingtons radio station KCMU, would both play key roles in Kill Switch...Klick becoming one of the Northwest's best known electronica acts.
Encouraged by the attention and airplay of the KsK demo recording, Sebasstian began the task of putting together a live band to bring these recordings onto the stages of Seattle. He found drummer Mike Ditmore from an add in The Rocket, a once popular Seattle musicians resource and classified monthly. They were soon joined by Avette Avery on keyboards and backing vocals. Their first show was an art gallery opening at the Art/Not Terminal. As luck would have it, the Seattle Times was at the event doing a feature article on the gallery and thus the bands very first gig garnished them a bit of local publicity. The band decided rather than re-recording their demo they would concentrate on making a music video. Enlisting the help of Ditmore's long time friend, director Sylvia Szabo, KsK made their first music video for the song Follow Me. Shot entirely on locations in Seattle in 16 mm Black & White film, this highly controversial and artistic video made the rounds on the international gothic-industrial club circuits and was even banned for commercial airplay in Canada due to it's "adult graphic content." Soon after the videos release, Avery left the band. The core of Kill Switch...Klick remained Sebasstian and Ditmore for nearly five years after.
The next year Sebasstian got a phone call from Chris Massey and Robert Riscassi of the Seattle grindcore band And Christ Wept. They were looking for other like minded bands to play area shows with. Riscassi mentioned another Seattle band who might be interested in giging called Noise Box. Sebasstian immediately called 'Dre of said band and after a few minutes on the phone they all decided to have a meeting at the Puss Puss Cafe in the Capital Hill area of Seattle. This meeting became the foundation for the N.E.C. or Northwest Elektro-Industrial Coalition Over 30 musicians showed up in 10 different projects. These included Kill Switch...Klick, Noise Box And Christ Wept, SMP, Terminal, The Same, Sex WIth Sarah and many others. The purpose of the N.E.C. and it's monthly meetings was to help promote electronic music in the Northwest by giving similar influenced artists a network of bands to play shows with. This was right in the middle of the Grunge explosion and electronic music was still not very popular in the Seattle area. The N.E.C. was a huge success with national articles written in Keyboard Magazine, IndustrialnatioN and Axcess Magazines as well as regular club showcases of N.E.C. bands at well known clubs like The Weathered Wall and Coulorbox. The N.E.C. also released compilation tapes of its members and put out a monthly newsletter. By sharing mailing lists the N.E.C. bands quickly made a network of area electronic music enthusiasts. Many of the founding bands and artists were later signed to national record deals.
Formation and ''deGenerate'' (1993 - 1998)
KsK originally signed with Urge Ltd in 1993 a label founded by Russell Ziecker (who had just left Vigin Records Publishing Division). This relationship did not produce anything more than demo tapes and a rumored track "Big Dub" in the movie Headless Body Topless Bar. The duo then signed to Cleopatra Records in 1994. The following year the band released the albums "''Beat it to Fit, Paint it to Match''" and "''Oddities & Versions''", and went on their first US tour with bassist Paul Wynia. The tour was entitled "Muzak for the Masses", and also included grindcore artists And Christ Wept. The tour was a success and helped build them a West Coast following. When they returned Sebasstian released his first solo CD on his own Indvsta Mvsic imprint entitled One Minute Endless. It featured more ambient and experimental works not necessarily suited for the Kill Switch...Klick name plate. The title track clocked in at over 20 minutes long!
In 1996 the band began work on it's second music video for the single "Produkt (Mass Market Mix)." They hired director Brent Watanabe to animate and direct this lo-fi animated homage to Consumerist Corporate America. Sebasstian had worked with Watanabe on several short film projects previously as both actor and sound designer. In 1997 Kill Switch...Klick added former Transilvia bassist Jeremy Moss, releasing the highly acclaimed album ''deGenerate'' released on Cleopatra. Said The Stranger- deGenerate is not a great album in a local or industrial sense. Its a great album period!Later that year, and right before their second US tour, Ditmore quit the band to pursue a career with American aviation giant Boeing. KsKs 1997 tour was finically devastating to Sebasstian, when the their tour van blew up just before their very first gig in San Francisco. Determined to finish the tour across the United States, Sebasstian borrowed additional money from Cleopatra Records, with the promise of a quick no recording cost release when the band returned from tour. This album was ''ALT.'' a B-Sides and Alternative versions CD that actually garnished decent reviews and in fact paid back the borrowed tour money to Cleopatra Records.
''Organica'' (1998 - 2001)
In 1998 Sebasstian formed Irregular Records ( later Go-Kustom Rekords ) and in 1999 released Kill Switch...Klick's most controversial album "Organica." This album featured new songs and re-recorded versions of KsK classics using only acoustic sound sources. Said CMJ Magazine]in Issue 67 "D.A. Sebasstian, has taken to using only acoustic instruments, recorded in his studio and sampler- processed appropriately, to write new songs and recreate older KsK material. The convention-busting instrumentation makes Organica a surprisingly flirtatious, personality-driven album. Just listen to "5 Hotwheels In My Box," which rhythmically alters a sample of a child blurting "five" and juxtaposes the soundbite with the bleating of bagpipes. Organica is a testament to the ingenuity of Sebasstian as well as to the viability of acoustic instruments in making great dance records." Organica was later licensed and reissued by Invisible Records.
''Milkin' It For All It's Worth'' (2001 - 2005)
In 2001 Kill Switch...Klick came out with a "Best Of" collection called "Milkin' It For All It's Worth" on Cleopatra Records, which included remixes by Spahn Ranch and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. The next year Invisible Records released Almost Ambient Collection Volume One. Said Keyboard Magazine- "The accent in the title is on "almost." Though much of the music is warm and gauzy, there's generally a beat prowling around. The sound effects, while subdued, are sometimes disturbing- love the squidgy filter stuff. The cluster-chord piano solo in "Feeding the Machine (Day to Day)" is downright rude, and "A/B Continuity (Resurgence)" is a full-on industrial/techno song. For my money, mastermind D.A. Sebasstian finds a good balance between energetic and mellow. Eleven of the tracks are previously unreleased, eight are reissues."
Sebasstian also began releasing and producing music and remixes for other bands, including Drag Strip Riot, The Wages of Sin, Faith & Disease, The Bad Things, Melene Marie Brown, OmBili Troupe, The Flathand 5, Billy Dwayne & The Creepers, Gary Numan, Gene Loves Jezebel, and his own solo project D.A. Sebasstian & The Inner Demons. He also expanded his Go-Kustom Records into the realm of public access television with a weekly Seattle-based show called Go-Kustom TV with Hostess Lindsay Calkins.
In 2003 Sebasstian began filming ''Hot Rod Girls Save the World'', a Black & White B-movie style independent film, which includes original soundtrack music by Kill Switch...Klick, as well as many other Seattle area musicians. Filming was completed in 2006. The film went into post-production that same year, and is set for tentative a 2008 release.
Sebasstian started writing feature articles for the national kustom kulture publications- CK Deluxe and Ol' Skool Rodz Magazine in 2004.
''Mechanoid Collections'' (2005 - Present)
In 2006 Go-Kustom Rekords began reissuing the Kill Switch...Klick back catalog including ALT., deGenerate and Almost Ambient Collection Volume One as well as the edgy collection Mechanoid Collection. Says Sebasstian about Mechanoid Collection, "Most of the disc is older material repackaged yet again- but released more for strategic reasons than anything else. I wanted to get some of my favorite songs on a single collection on my own label and quickly up on iTunes. Mechanoid was the vehicle to do this."
Sebasstian teamed up with You Tube starlet Super Amanda in late 2007 to record "Killing Machine," a song featured prominently in Scene 73 of Hot Rod Girls Save The World. The "Killing Machine" E.P.included five different versions of said song, in styles ranging from straight ahead rock, electro-industrial and acoustic. Sebasstian also published the ''Hot Rod Girls Save The World Screenplay'' available on Amazon with the announced intention of making it into a full blown three part novel series called The Anywhere Trilogy (with ''Hot Rod Girls Save The World'' being Book Number Two). He began writing Part One of the series entitled ''The Legend Of D.B. Petty'' in novel form in 2007. This is a prequel to the "Hot Rod Girls Save The World" story line.
Klick upcoming for future KsK releases.