Ten questions with Matt Fanale of Caustic.

1.What was your first synthesizer you ever owned?

When I was a kid we owned a Casio that I played with a lot. I never learned much on it as I just banged away, but I always had fun with it. I think the first and maybe only synth I have currently is an old Casio SK-1, but I’m mostly a software guy anyway. That synth’s fun because it’s got a small sampler and I remember one improvised noise set I did with Endif and CTRLSHFT (which we’ll be releasing soon, I think) I kept sampling the live noise and then playing it with the keyboard.

2.What is your current set up, both in your studio and live?

I’ve always kept things lean, partially because I’m broke and can’t afford a million dollars worth of gear and partially because I think limitations bring more inspiration and allow you to get more creative with what you do have. I make all my music on a PC loaded with FLStudio Producer Edition (I think I’m a few versions behind—probably 8?) and a ton of VSTs/Plug-ins.

In terms of hardware I write out melodies on a Korg Nanokey and use a Triggerfinger for modulations. I also play with my Kaoscillator a bit on some tracks, as well. Basically I keep my studio as compact and basic as possible.

3.What is the next piece of gear you plan to pick up, and why?

Next piece of gear? I’m not sure, actually. I have most of the gear I really want. In terms of VSTs I’ve been wanting to snag Ohmicide and Sylenth but just don’t have the cash yet.

4.What is your favorite synthesizers, soft synth, and hardware synth and why?

As I said I’m a software guy overall. The main softsynths I use are NI Massive, FM7/8, Vanguard (Tom from A23 put out a great bank for it a while ago that I use a lot), and a ton of free synths I got off of kvraudio.com, smartelectronix.com, and other places online that I hear about. I love the TAL stuff and you’ll hear it all over my last 2-3 releases.

5.Make up something that MIDI could stand for.

Macho Infidels Dine Infrequently. Which is true. Hunger is weakness.

6.List all the synths you have ever owned.

Uh, the Casio when I was a kid and the Casio SK-1.

Now I feel lame.

7.What other bands have you been in?

I’ve been a part of The Gothsicles live for quite some time and played as part of Endif for a few years as well. I’ve done one-offs playing with everyone from Cenotype (still one of my favorite shows ever) to Chemlab, but I wouldn’t say I was “in” either of those bands.

I do have several side projects I’m in as well, which include Prude (Jared/Chemlab, Marc/Plastic Heroes, Phil/Infocollapse, Howie Beno/13mg, and a few others), The Causticles (Brian/The Gothsicles and myself), Parasite Twin (my other pal Brian and I), and a few others which haven’t been made public yet for lack of progress.

Oh, and Gothsticulate, which is Brian, me, and Geoff from Modulate. We’re the most popular side project you’ll probably never hear music from.

8.Who is your favorite band to tour with and why?

I’ve only done one official tour and that was with The Gothsicles and Prometheus Burning so by default those are my favorite, but some of my favorite bands/artists to play with are Alter Der Ruine, Everything Goes Cold, Boole, Null Device, W.A.S.T.E., and Tool.

Okay, I’ve never played with Tool, but I’d like to. Their fans would hate me.

9.Where do you see Caustic in 5 years?

Honestly I’m not sure. I “am” Caustic, so it’s not like I need to worry about keeping another contributor or bandmate happy all the time. I just figure I’ll do this as long as its fun and I have the time. It’s been an extremely rewarding project and I’ve taken it much further than I probably have any right to, so for the time being I’m just enjoying it and not worrying too much past finishing what I’m currently working on and playing a few shows. The process has always been more fun than the results (as much as I love those, too), so I’m just digging making songs and hoping they’re embraced by whoever likes this sort of crap.

10.Pick one, and why? A duck dipped in aids, Zombie sharpie marker, Green Yugo with M.C.Hammer In the back seat, or a bowl full of scabs.

I’ll go with Zombie sharpie marker, as I’d like to see a marker try and feed on my brains. Plus, I’m not into AIDS dipping sauce and MC Hammer still owes me money.