Batavia is a Jacksonville, Florida-based gothic/industrial band comprised of husband and wife duo Terri and Ed Cripps. Having put out several EPs last year, they have now released a remix album, Batavia And Their Friends. It features such artists as Grendel, Mach Fox, Spankthenun, Syinx and Beta Virus re-working Batavia’s music. The following is an email interview with the duo.
Could you discuss how Batavia and Their Friends came together? Was the idea to collect remixes/reinterpretations previously done, or did you seek out people to do them specifically for the album? (or was it a combination?)
Ed: We had planned to do a remix album pretty early on. I love remixes, and the art of remixing, especially as a means to present the source material from different perspectives. There’s also a freedom that comes with the remix format. When we write an album, there’s a really distinct aesthetic that we’ll try to achieve as a bigger presentation. Remixes are more on a per-song basis, so you have room to explore.
The artist selection was a mix. Certain artists we really wanted to work with, we went out on a limb and contacted directly. The Tigersquawk fam stepped up and really put in some great work.
Did you have any specific goals in putting it together, perhaps in terms of track selection and sequencing?
Terri: We had multiple approaches and layouts we tried. The diversity in style gave us a lot of room to play around with the dynamics. We ended up positioning songs so the energy of album moved with consistency.
Did any particular remixers take the music into directions you really didn’t expect?
Terri: Spankthenun for sure. The original is a noise-rock cacophony. Eric turned it into a filthy, thumping beast. It feels like a living organism. Syrinx came to us about doing one, and it was one of the last remixes to come in. He made that track so huge, and so fun. The guy is a force of nature.
Ed: Grendel. We talked about what potential the song had and what direction would be the most impactful. We were blown away by how he built this inspired, thoughtful, and stylistically different representation than not only the source material, but what Grendel is primarily known for. JD is a really insightful musician and all-around good dude.
Psyence Fiction went out on a limb and wanted to do a dark ambient take on one of our songs, and I really respected the choice to do that. Psy has some real bangers in his catalogue, but he went for something that worked well for that track and as a piece for the album as a whole.
The album cover is interesting – what inspired it?
Terri: These private press children’s albums from the 1960s and 70s. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker being the biggest ‘influence’ .
Ed: We deal with some dark subject matter, but we’re goofy as all hell, and it’s just fun to use ourselves as the butt of a joke.
What were your musical backgrounds before working together as Batavia?
Ed: I did mostly soundtrack work for game mods. I was in some punk and industrial bands back in Massachusetts way back when. I spent a good majority of my 20s working on different artistic ventures, but music has always had a tremendous pull for me.
Terri: I played keyboards for Sensuous Enemy back when I lived in Madison WI. Before that, I spent most of my childhood playing piano and singing.
You’d put out several EPs last year. Are you planning on doing a regular full-length album in the future, or do you feel that the format is less relevant now?
Ed: We are! We’re pretty well entrenched in our first LP. The scope and scale wouldn’t work as an EP. A lot of the material is longer and needs to have room to breathe for the subject matter. The album is going to be released as a limited run physical copy with an accompanying graphic novel.
Terri: The EP format is more relevant for most music consumers, myself included, but it depends on what scope the artwork demands. We’re making something that will have instances where you can listen to piecemeal and it will be enjoyable, but is being made with the bigger picture in mind.
Your Graveyard EP (as well as this album) includes a cover of “All She Wants Is” – what made you pick that particular Duran Duran song?
Terri: I always thought that it should have been a goth club hit. That was actually the first song we recorded and didn’t stop after that.
Are either of you currently involved in any other musical projects?
Ed: It’s usually a string of one off collabs and we usually always have a remix or two on the burners. Once this album is completed, there are a litany of artists we would love to work with.
What’s in the future for Batavia?
Ed: Hopefully we can hit the live circuit once it’s safe to do so. We’ve only been a musical entity for a year, and we have enough ideas for a decade’s worth of projects. Videography and expanding our capabilities in that area. Writing and recording new material, and finding interesting ways to present it.
Purchase Batavia music at : https://batavia.bandcamp.com/.