One of the leading forces of the Australian Electro/Industrial collective Crash Frequency is the male/female duo Angelspit. They provide us a classical Industrial sound along the lines of KMFDM or More Machine Than Man. They lately could release their second output called “Krankhaus” and could earn some well-received reactions not only for the provided music. The conceptual and photographed artwork about some “clinical experiments” and the real Cyberpunk attitude this band offers caused some applauses. Angelspit is more than only providing guitar-driven Industrial music, it is art and kind. Check out this interview with Karl Learmont aka ZooG for some background info…
Chain D.L.K.: To start this interview I would like to ask for a biographical review and an introduction of Angelspit and its band members…
Angelspit: We met in September 2002. We both had a passion for zones, DIY and photocopiers. I was helping Destroyx with her zine distro. She was into Sonic Youth, Placebo and Smashing Pumpkins. I was into Skinny Puppy, Grumpy Trent and Cobra Killer. We started making zines and art together. Then in 2004 we started making music. We are greatly inspired by each other’s influences. This was mixed with the imagery like J.P. Whitken and Bill Henson.We weren’t interested in making music of X genre…it’s always just been the result of our love of all things brash, loud, dark and intriguing.
Chain D.L.K.: You are also very active members at the Australian Crash Frequency collective. Please tell us a bit more about this community and the idea and manifesto behind it.
Angelspit: Crash Frequency is about bands helping each other. It’s about forming a community of like-minded people with similar aims and a similar audience. It is an example of something that is ‘greater than the sum of its parts’.Australia is a difficult place to get recognition – partly because of the HUGE distance between the major cities (On average, it’s a 10 hour drive between each major city! And once you get there, you’ll be lucky to pull 300 people to your gig) and partly because of the Australian attitude – to put yourself down and cut down anyone who rises above the rest. Because the collective has banded so tightly together – it’s forced many DJs, clubs and punters to take notice of the AMAZING talent that’s here.
Chain D.L.K.: Lets talk a bit on Australia and the scene in Down Under generally. I think currently the recognition and acceptance also thanks to your collective grows. Please give us some insight and hopes for the future.
Angelspit: Crash Frequency is wanting to continue to move forward. We’re wanting to contact more DJs, clubs, magazines and radio programs to promote our bands. No-matter what your taste is, there is a Crash Frequency bands you’ll like – we’ve got Gothic Rock, Gothic Folk, Industrial Rock, EBM, Noise, Cyberpunk, Electro…I’d love to see the concept of Crash Frequency being adopted by other countries. Band collectives are not a new concept – there’s the NEC (Northwest Elektro-Industrial Coalition) in the USA, TiK (Toronto Industrial Kollective) in Canada and many others. Crash Frequency works because we all try to look after ourselves PLUS looking after others. We all contribute to a pool of contacts – then we all get together and send out promo CDs. We’re in Sydney and we push the bands onto Sydney DJs – we know the guys in Melbourne are pushing Crash Frequency bands onto the DJs there. Why promote one band when you can promote 16? There’s so much more clout when we work together. I’ve had quite a few bands in Japan interested in starting a collective – the stuff happening in Japan is AWESOME!
Chain D.L.K.: What “rules” are required to become a member of the collective?
Angelspit: You must be prepared to help others! So many bands are closed about sharing their contacts or sharing advice. You need to be prepared to work at promoting yourself and the collective. Being a really hot band is not enough…there are 1000s of hot bands who are sitting around doing jack while they ‘wait to get discovered’ or they think they can get a manager who will do it all for them. Also, you need to be an Australian/New Zealand band.
Chain D.L.K.: You new CD “Krankhaus” is finally out, and it seems a conceptual release. Would you please explain us your generally dedication to some clinical themes?
Angelspit: The crux of “Krankhaus” is the idea of the “Beautifully Grotesque”. That is, something that is so beautiful that it’s ugly…and something that is so ugly that it’s beautiful. The transformation from one to the other depends on how fucked-up the person is. Take entertainment and vanity and push it to the absolute extreme. It’s a mixture of hyper-capitalism, cannibalism, recreational vivisectionary and drug use, all wrapped together in a secret society for horrifically rich and spoilt children who find torture a pleasurable past-time.
Chain D.L.K.: Is it me or can we say that the vocals of you both are more polished on “Krankhaus” than on your previously released debut “Nurse Grenade”?
Angelspit: We recorded the vocals on Krankhaus after doing an Australian tour – so we were very warmed up, pissed off and ready to ROCK! I’ll admit that we did this in the wrong order…you’re supposed to record and release the album, THEN tour it…but we toured it, then recorded it and released it. This worked in our favor because we got to try the songs our on the audiences – and although they’d never heard the tracks from “Krankhaus”, they liked them more than “Nurse Grenade” (which many of them knew the lyrics better than we did!). Plus we rehearsed the songs with a loud, aggressive, live vocal approach – then we screamed them at audiences, then we recorded them straight after the tour – so there’s more energy on the tracks.
Chain D.L.K.: One reason for the long delay by the release of “Krankhaus” could be found in the monumental and epic photographic artwork. Please give us an insight about all related things to come out with such extreme kind of art.
Angelspit: The photo shoot was done in August 2005. We spent 6 months working on the concept and saving up for the shoot. We set up www.surgeon-x.com to help generate the cash needed. No financial help from ANYONE – we worked like dogs to make it happen. It’s important to realize that the photo shoot happened FIRST, once that was done the music had a clear and focused direction. The photo shoot involved 20 people. We were lucky enough to have the amazing talent of Helen White – one of Australia’s top fashion photographers, plus make up and hair stylists who worked on everything from Vogue mag to special FX make-up in movies. We also had the help of our wonderful friends – we couldn’t have done it without them! We didn’t know how to ask someone as respected as Helen, for help…so we invited she out to coffee and said: “we’re doing this shoot of a diner scene – there will be terrified starving people in the middle of the table in a glass cabinet, whilst around them beautifully dressed and obscenely rich members of a secret society (who are violently intoxicated with holusongenic cocktails) dine on a banquet of black meat – some of which is human flesh”. Helen stared at us for a moment, sipped on her latte and said “hey cool! I’m in!” It was love at fist sight!
Chain D.L.K.: I saw also a website where to buy almost all items shown in the “Krankhaus” art, which seems to run by you, Destroyx. How does it running and how are the reactions and the acceptance on that stuff generally?
Angelspit: One thing I’ve learnt about working with www.surgeon-x.com is that people want an extreme look and extreme music. We’re always trying to make stuff that’s beyond wild – but the wilder we push stuff, the more people want it. We’re applying this to future projects.
Chain D.L.K.: “Krankhaus” and all related efforts musically and graphically are self-funded, which can end into a bankrupt. What efforts are in the pipeline to bring Angelspit better out? Any plans or new deals you can confirm here?
Angelspit: Money comes and goes. Time just goes. We started doing this because we wanted to be remembered – we now do it because we want to, because we MUST do it. No-matter the cost, we have to make a statement.Sometimes I get the feeling that fewer people are willing to take a chance. Let’s look at that statement: “Take a Chance”. “Take” means to forcibly pursue or steal. “Chance” means risk – and risk that you might loose everything.No one will give you an opportunity – you must take it. You must not be passive. Art is not passive.
Chain D.L.K.: Any plans for you to do some live performances in the future? How does a gig of you look alike, for all those who aren’t able to watch your stage actions?
Angelspit: We’re very keen to play as often as we can when we’re in Germany! We designed our live show so we could set up quickly and perform on a small stage in a club – hence it’s just the two of us going insane. We use a Theremin, vocoder and vocal effects unit live. We focus on delivering the aggression in our music as passionately as we can.
Chain D.L.K.: Any plans for a new release to confirm here? What do you expect for the future of your project? Any news in the pipeline of the Crash Frequency collective?
Angelspit: We’ve just been signed to Dancing Ferret Discs in the USA. They are now helping us with getting our CD into Europe and the USA. We’re really excited about this because we cannot focus on making more music and art, instead of promoting. The European/USA release is due for January 2007. There will be a special edition version with remixes from the likes of Combichrist, Tankt, The Crystalline Effect, Angel Theory, The Tenth Stage, The Mercy Cage and The Process Void, ThouShaltNot and Ego Likeness…plus some more tbc.We are starting to do more remixes plus hoping to do an EP of more experimental stuff – more noise orientated. We’ve been having sessions with other members of the collective. We jam on a big analogue modular synth and make MAYHEM! The next album is also in conceptual stages. We were concerned we couldn’t top Krankhaus – but this new idea is beyond nasty…it’s completely devilish!Myha ha ha ha!
Chain D.L.K.: Any final words you would like to fill in here?
Angelspit: We are so excited about moving to Germany! We are looking forward to meeting heaps of people and playing as much as we can!KRANK IT UP!
Chain D.L.K.: Thanks, Karl. See you here, ROCK!
Visit Angelspit on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]