Black Affair, Stephen Mason – Interview

Many moons ago I conducted an email interview with Black Affair frontman Stephen Mason. Formally a member of the now legendary Beta Band and his own solo outing King Biscuit Time, Black Affair resonates as a project distinctly Mason’s, yet a very different beast from his previous musical efforts. Since this interview was conducted, the Black Affair album, “Pleasure Pressure Point,” has been released. However, it is currently only available on import. Here’s hoping that it gets stateside distribution!

Interview Follows

I have really enjoyed the songs you have been putting up on the Black Affair Myspace page (there have been a number of them). Can we expect an album anytime soon?

Yes! the album is done and sounds incredible. Once the business end is fixed i can put it out. Soon i hope.

Do you have any plans to tour the states?

Not right now. need to get the album out. but a club tour over there would be great. any offers?

How did your collaboration with MissOddKidd on the track “Same Same” come about?

she’s a friend. i wanted to do a real playground chant of a track. she was the perfect choice. i have since done alot of production work for her. the first results are on her my space. check the tune called “SPERM DONOR”.

Besides collaborations like “Same Same”, is Black Affair pretty much just you?

Black Affair is just me, though i do have a bass player who helps me out live and i am looking at getting a small live band together.

Black Affair has a much more electro flavor than some of the things you’ve done in the past. To me at least, this makes the music a lot darker (the pictures you have on your Myspace page seem to suggest as much too). Why the shift in the styles?

I have never done the same thing twice. I always want to stretch myself and find out what i am capable of. 90% of the music i have made has been pretty dark. But BLACK AFFAIR is pop. DARK ELECTRO POP. It would have been VERY easy to carry on with KBT (King Biscuit Time) and cash in on past glories. swapping my previous bands audience to KBT, but i’m an artist. not a business man. i will leave such vulgarities to other shameless people.

The Subfuge video is the only Black Affair video to date (please correct me if I am wrong). How did that video come about? On the Youtube post there is an indication that the video had zero budget. Of course, you’ve worked on bigger budget videos. Which do you prefer?

It doesnt really matter what the budget is as long as the idea is good. However there is a direct correlation in my experience! More money, less idea. Most video budgets have come right down these days though, so the art is returning slowly. You still wont see them on MTV though!

Do you find the music business frustrating?

Yes, but for different reasons than before. The industry thought they owned music, but they have found out in the last few years, that they dont. The consumer does, and they dont want to pay for music anymore. And they dont always want physical product either. So the majors are dead, redundant. However they have left a huge money vacuum in the industry for the artists. Until we can work out how we can actually make enough money to live from our music things are pretty difficult for everyone not in a huge band. Once we work out how we can tour with no record company support thing will be alot clearer.

In recent years you’ve been more outspoken about the politics in your music. Can we expect politics to play a role in Black Affair’s music?

only sexual polotiks.

What was the last good book you read or film you saw?

Evil on Trial. a book on the Nuremburg Nazi Trials after the 2nd World War.

What is your favorite piece of music gear (if you have one)?

I dont think i have one. I am very adaptable. what ever is closest to my hand is my favourite! i love working with synths right now. i have never been much of a keyboard man so its a challenge for me. but i love that.

Black Affair seems to have a pretty compelling history (as explained on the Myspace page). Is there anything else we should know about Black Affair or is the history all we get for now?

BLACK AFFAIR needs to make some history before there is any.

If you could work with any music artist who would it be?


Can you leave us with a closing quote?

Such a fine line, beauty and crime. One’s always fading, ones all time.