10-06-2024 Music 77

404 Error - Scene Killers

404 Error - Scene Killers

From Newcastle, UK, Scene Killers is the debut album from darkwave / synth outfit 404 Error, combining minimal synth, alt electro, darkwave and synthpop influences. A semi-anonymous project, 404 Error is the work of a musician going by the name of 36663. The new AI-generated video for debut single ‘ETHAL’ premiered on Side-Line on Wednesday (5 June 2024): described by 36663 as “A love song for the modern era”, about someone falling in love with an AI Chatbot, before implanting the personality into a sex robot.

Speaking about the broader themes explored with the Scene Killers album, 36663 points to the example of the album track ‘Nostalgia’:

“There’s a computer game, ‘We Happy Few’, and one of the loading screens has a prompt: “To Remember the Past Is Not to Remember How Things Were”, and that is a big part of the whole game. Often, when people talk about the history of Gothic or alternative scenes, some are very regional. That might have been true for their area, but not true for others. And some of it is also a kinda rose-tinted view. Many people who will tell things ‘as they were’, weren't actually there. Some of that is what the whole idea of what Scene Killers was about.”

Expanding on other themes underpinning the album, 36663 continues:

“There’s a lot of posts doing the rounds at the minute, telling people to buy advance tickets for gigs or risk them being cancelled. And I know the importance of advance tickets, but most shows selling poorly in advance is because the level of interest was overestimated. Especially in the current cost of living crisis. And a lot of this plays into those who cry “Support your scene!”, or whatever, and sometimes accuse people of killing the scene if they’re not going to go to every ‘scene’ gig, or if a DJ doesn’t just play a narrow remit of music. Some of this is policing how others spend their money or have fun (‘ACAB includes the Fun Police’), and some of it projects the blame onto the customer. And that sucks. It’s not their fault that there isn’t a lot of interest in the band/event/show; especially if it is uninteresting, or underpromoted (‘(It’s Not Your Fault) Our Band is Shit’). When some shows are cancelled on poor sales, especially if a controversial band, some bleat about ‘Cancel Culture’. Mind, some of the bands who complain about being cancelled seem to be doing better than those who don’t.”

“A common trap that some promoters fall into is asking people what bands they want to see. What then happens is one band or another will get all of their fans to vote in the poll or comment on the post which creates a false level of interest in the act (‘Vote for Us’). I totally get someone who likes a band suggesting they play a festival or show, but if they’re two continents away and not going to attend anyway, then it’s fruitless. The whole Alt-Fest model was based on “what people want to see”, and look how that ended up. The whole “Killing the Scene” trope has been happening for decades, and the scene is still here. Despite all the odds, ‘dark alternative’ remains a popular subculture. And one we love. Scene Killers is ultimately about a scene that won’t die.”

Scene Killers by 404 Error is out now from Bandcamp, Spotify, and all major digital music platforms.

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