Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bang! Bang! Eche! Interview

I talked to James from Bang! Bang! Eche! real quick before they flew to America and Europe to be total rockstars / ambassadors for Christchurch, with the help of .govt money. I'm pretty sure this means they sold out, but whatever. There is a definate 'rape-theme' running through this interview, which probably makes it pretty edgy.

picture shamelessly boosted from somewhere else)

First: You guys have come along way from practicing in a shitty dero house back in '07 - wanna give a brief history of the band up to this point?

OK so first off we were a 6 piece joke band who formed for rockquest out of pure bordem, Members came and members left. Then we wrote some actual songs released an ep. Badda' bing' badda' boom.

How'd this tour come about - self-booked, or some hardout awesome people putting it on for you?

Mainly it was down to me having too much sparetime and wasting it on the interwebs. Added some German booking agents and told them we were coming over(this was 5months ago). We had no plans to come over but we kept in contact and things started to moved forward. Now its actually happening, its' fucking crazy.

Which part of the tour are you looking forward to the most?

New York. Being in Manhattan when the election is on will just be insane.

Given that you haven't even reached the age of consent in the USA yet, how likely do you think it is that you're gonna get stat-raeped by some electro babes?

Highly likely. Were all about the stat rape here at bang bang eche camp.

Are you goin' to miss anything about Christchurch? Are you ever gonna come back?

The botanical gardens and Lyttelton. Two biggest things I'll miss about chch. Of course were gonna come back! Chch is the new Sanfrandisco didn't ya hear?

What's happening with the video you guys filmed?

What one? We got sent a rough edit for one of the ones we did in wellington the other month its looking HAWT. More to come soon though. Will keep you posted.

Care to recommend any cool bands you're listening to at the moment?


"Aint never been cleaner then a post rape shower"

You can download a live-to-radio set recorded in New York City HERE.


I am taking a quick break from a day of intense study to pass comment upon the upcoming US Presidential elections. This is an event which I will not be voting in, and the outcome will likely have a minimal effect upon me. However,following modern western tradition, I feel that what I have read on various blogs run by anti-social basements dwellers qualifies me to have an opinion.

All I can say at this point is that I hope for Barack Obama to win. John McCain will obviously die in office, and then Sarah Palin will be president. I mean sure, she does porno and her presidency would mean the first American retardo-prince, but still. Anything that would make this woman happy should not be allowed to come to fruition:

Seriously, look at her. There is no doubt in my mind that this woman would put on an American flag cape, beat the shit out of you with one hand and order an entire catalogue's worth of Franklin Mint eagle statuettes with the other.

"Politics is the business of keeping the party with the most supporters in badly airbrushed XXL t-shirts out of power" - Aristotle, in the lost 7th Book of Politics.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Of penguins

A while back, someone told me a great story. There was a seven year old boy with Downs Syndrome, who went on a class trip to the Antarctic Centre. This kid, he had a backpack that he would take with him wherever he went, even if he was just walking around his own home. For arguments sake, lets say the bag is red. Anyway, this kid comes home from his school trip to the Antarctic Centre, wearing his bag around the house. He even takes it into the bathroom, where his mum's getting him ready for a bath. She leaves him in there for a few minutes, maybe to get a towel or something. When she comes back, she sees the red bag lying open on the ground, and in the bath is her son, and a blue penguin. Turns out this kid had gone to the Antarctic Centre, and walked out with a penguin in his bag. No one noticed. And why should they? Most people don't take the time to look beyond the everyday – on the surface they see a 'retarded kid' with his favourite bag, on a school field trip. And yet just below the surface, there's a blue penguin with a bathtub future.

The point here is that the every day seems, on the surface, overwhelmingly mundane and similar for everyone. We get up, go to university, learn some things which will apparently benefit us later on in life, get drunk with the same friends as usual, and fall asleep. And yet, how many of us have the metaphorical penguin-in-our-backpack, some hidden layer of complexity to an otherwise mundane life?How many individuals are there doing things and thinking things contrary to what is considered 'normal'? Maybe the next girl that serves you in McDonalds is writing a novel to rival Darger's The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion in length, and maybe the next abandoned house you pass contains a lifetime of memories, left to rot or left to be discovered by someone breaching some imagined barrier. And maybe, the next time you pass that gray wall that's been boring the fuck out of you longer than your memory stretches, you'll return with some ink pens, some good friends and some running shoes.

So basically, if you haven't figured it out by now, what you're reading is someone proselytizing a completely and obviously romanticised notion of life, and how it should be lived. Why? I don't know why. I guess it's a profound boredom with the every-day. Rock and roll, carry me away.

This was meant to be a review of the latest Grails LP. I guess I'll actually review it at some stage, but for now I guess you can accept that it's good, and gets better through headphones at 2am.

Of employment

Applied for a copywriting job with this blog as the only portfolio, and a four page cover letter. Didn't get an interview. Is anyone surprised y/n?

"Well I guess if I don't get this job I'll probably stick to my original career plan of becoming a water-cooler service person. A pipette full of liquid LSD and a building full of suit-and-tie business people will no doubt end up as press releases and company reports that Lewis Carroll himself would describe as "fully buzzy, man". If this fails I guess I'll become a televangelist, spiking the holy water with MDMA daily and claiming the result as religious ecstasy. All I'll have left to turn to for employment is putting various chemicals in water, and this is a dangerous state to leave a man in. Please give me a job"


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall of Efrafa - Interview

This is an interview I did with Fall of Efrafa before their latest album was released. So I guess you could say it's somewhat old...

First things first; give us some info on Fall of Efrafa.

Fall of Efrafa is an epic crust/hardcore/post rock band from Brighton, England. Lyrically and aesthetically we base our band upon the political and mythological undertones in the book “Watership Down“ by Richard Adams. It is a metaphorical tale about a group of refugee rabbits fleeing from a warren destroyed by man. Throughout the book, the rabbits encounter different political institutions. The final of which is “efrafa“ a fascist warren that oppresses its own people, with particular reference to women as second class citizens. When we formed the band, we took this idea and applied it to our own narrative, the “efrafa“ representing the encroachment of man, and “owsla“ representing the natural world.

You are releasing a new LP some time in the very near future, what can we expect?

Elil is the second part of a trilogy of records, compared to our first record we have matured a lot. We’ve taken the crust sound and spent a lot more time pacing the songs, giving them more time to build and create more of an atmosphere. The songs are all around 20 minutes long. We all have varying influences in the band, and we didn’t really want to do anything more than to create a record we would love to listen to, and to be about something we all cared about. “Elil” means “enemy” – in this case we apply this to the evils of organised religion and belief. We want each record to deal with something we all cared about and agree upon within the band. We’re all vegan and atheist, all very angry. I guess a band is a perfect avenue for that anger.

How did Watership Down come to have such a big influence on you as a band / your lyrics?

The book Is an amazing metaphorical journey through various human political situations. Its structured in a way that allows a view of a fantastical – yet visually stimulatingly believable world. It has an earthy resonance that evoked a feeling that we got from a lot of modern crust, secular pagan mythology and imagery. We used this both in the lyrics and the artwork, it was important to create something worthwhile – hence the trilogy of records, it was great to have this finite existence, three records and then split up. I guess that’s the great thing about having such a strong concept. It can sound a bit pretentious but its more to do with the fact that we’re all control freaks and geeks.

Apart from Watership Down, what else inspires you in writing songs?

Politically within the band we’re all very similar, I guess the only big difference is that some of us are very optimistic, where as others are not. I’m a pessimist so my lyrics can come across as a little hopeless. From the point of view of this record a big influence was the work of Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and atheist spokesman. His work has inspired us a great deal to find so much solace in atheism, something I felt alienated me a little through my life. We’ve used a fair few of his quotes on the record, he is a very eloquent man. We also of course applied the narrative from watership down to the last song on this record. Within the book there is a religious theme. The holy trinity is mirrored by three characters “Frith” their god, “El ehrairah” the Christ figure, and “inle” the holy spirit” The last song on this album, and the album artwork itself, attack these repugnant characters, its great to have this unique way of conveying ideas and such.

In 'A Soul to Bare' you talk about the distinction between human and non-human animals, as created by religion. Do you want to say anything more about this?

Homosapiens are a bizarre evolutionary twist. Aware of their own birth but most are too blind to see our own potential. The human race is quickly becoming nothing more than a disease. The song was aimed at those of us who have this superiority complex, to use such feeble ideologies as “the soul” to separate human and non humans animals. All this does is embarrasses us. We shouldn’t apply the term “civilised” to humanity until we have equality within all species. We are tackling every other primitive prejudice apart from speciesism. It even irritates me that many atheist people still see animals as only an avenue for improving the health of humans, butchering innocent lives for our own end. These are the practises of medieval torturers. I think that we need to really reconsider ourselves are “guardians” of this world. It appears we’ve done nothing more than squander it.

What do you think is the future for humanity, continuing in it's current path?

Personally, I don’t see a future for the human race. This is not an opinion shared by the whole band, I know that some of us will feel that there is hope for us in a post oil age, where community living and DIY agriculture will replace our dependency on oil and money. I hope that these routes will be chosen and we will create a more sustainable society. But these are huge steps away from what we are all used to. When we think of food, we think of going to the local supermarket for food, not the vegetable patch. This is so flawed. I think that in the next 20 years the world will go through some horrid upheavals, both politically and physically.

Have you guys played any interesting gigs or been on tour recently?

We toured Europe earlier this year, throughout france, spain and germany. We played with some amazing bands and met a lot of lovely people. From a century old mining town in the French mountains to the infamous Kopi in berlin, it was a great experience. We’ve been really lucky as a band, and got to meet and play with a lot of favourites bands. We have a good punk scene in brighton, UK, a lot of people working hard to create a vibrant scene. Some of us work in a co-operative anarchist centre called the Cowley Club, and this is a great focal point for DIY shows and touring bands. As for tours in the future, we have a mini UK, tour, a show with Envy from japan and hopefully sometime next year an east coast tour of America with the mighty Protestant.

Someone told me that you don't perform live with your cello player?

Our cello player left after the recording of our first record. Live it was a nightmare to get a good sound. He was either to high or too low and we drowned him out. You also need to be able to ear yourself play, and playing squat shows and touring was not going to make a cello easy. I know that other bands have managed to do this, but we felt like we were having to write songs to serve the cello, not the other way round. As a band we’e had to become better musicians to make up for the loss, and we all feel as though it isn’t needed any more.

What about plans after you've finished the 3 planned LP's?

I think we will tour Europe once more and maybe America, but after that we will break up. The last record will be very long and I think it will be time to call it quits. e may form another band after it, maybe not. We’re all involved in other projects, fall of efrafa has always come first. I think we’ll need to spend time apart by then or we’ll kill each other!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Death to false metal, pt 2: Slipknot

I was all ready to throw down a 10,000 word dissertation about how Slipknot are "the most fucken suxest band ever". But then I realised that anything I could ever write is surpassed by: