Noisepunk is associated with certain places far more than others…while Japan, the UK and Sweden are well known for their contribution to the filthy tapestry of distortion which makes up the raw noise punk tradition, do you find inspiration or influence in any punk from your home country?
THERE’S NEVER BEEN A REAL “WAVE” OF NOISE PUNK IN IRELAND, BUT THERE’S DEFINITELY BEEN PLENTY OF RAW, D-BEAT, ANARCHO AND CRUST PUNK BANDS DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS, LIKE CRUDE AND SNYDE, BLEEDING RECTUM, TOXIC WASTE, ETC. HAVING ALL BEEN AROUND THIS SCENE, WHICH IS RELATIVELY ISOLATED, IN A SMALL COUNTRY ON THE PERIPHERY OF EUROPE, WE’VE OBVIOUSLY TAKEN INFLUENCES FROM IRISH BANDS AS WELL AS THE MORE CLASSIC NOISE PUNK BANDS FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.
Why do you think certain countries more than others develop a penchant for a particular sound or approach? In your opinion, is this simply based on the influence of some key movers & shakers? Is it mainly because of environmental factors? Is it a mix of these, or something else entirely?
USUALLY A FEW GREAT BANDS LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE POPULARITY OF A STYLE, WHO I SUPPOSE ARE THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS, BUT THEN IT’S THE ENVIRONMENT THAT DICTATES WHETHER OR NOT THAT STYLE TAKES OFF, SO TO SPEAK. SO IT’S A MIX.
“Noise not music” is a cool slogan and has a nice “anti” buzz to it, but how often are noise punk bands truly “noise not music”? In terms of sonic ferocity, Discharge for example have the songs and anger, but compared to the noise punk bands of the past 20+ years since them, their sound is positively tame. Have you heard anything billed as noise punk that goes so far into noise territory that you it’s difficult to consider it punk music anymore?
IN SOME WAYS THERES ALMOST A TEMPLATE OF WHAT A NOISE PUNK BAND SHOULD SOUND LIKE, BUT SOME BANDS ARE REALLY PUSHING BOUNDARIES, DELVING DEEPER INTO MORE EXPERIMENTAL TERRITORY, BANDS LIKE WARNING//WARNING AND OCCULT BLOOD. THEN THERE’S OLDER JAPANESE BANDS LIKE GESS, Z AND GUDON. AS FOR DISCHARGE, YOU COULD NEVER CALL THEM TAME. THEY CREATED THEIR ATMOSPHERE IRRESPECTIVE OF OUTSIDE INFLUENCES AND JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT AS DISTORTED AS SOME CURRENT BANDS DOESN’T MAKE THEM ANY LESS ABRASIVE.
You’ve all played in a number of bands, many of them with the same members as Contort. What keeps you interested? Is there anything new, or is something aside from the “new” that this provides you with?
DAMO AND AL ARE ALCOHOLICS, WHILE ED AND ERIC SIMPLY HAVE A DEEP NEED TO BELONG. THE DAYS ROLL INTO EACH OTHER AND IT JUST KEEPS HAPPENING.
Lyrically and thematically, aspects that were once quite shocking and alarming are now quite tame. Violent and oppressive imagery is now part & parcel of a certain genre, being a recognized signifier to say “this is a raw punk record, this is a goregrind record, this is a SxE HC record”. Are there any contemporary bands within punk who rupture this in an interesting way?
ONE BAND WE RECENTLY PLAYED WITH, CRAZY SPIRIT FROM THE STATES, HAVE ARTWORK THAT IS PRETTY ATYPICAL FOR A NOISE PUNK BAND. SCREEN PRINTED COVERS AND A TOTALLY ORIGINAL WILD STYLE. THEY ALSO DESTROYED.
What were the bands (who may now be split up) that first got you interested in this subgenre? Until Atrocious Madness came around I don’t recall much attention being paid to Confuse et al. Was it a record or a live show that made you aware of how much you like this sound?
RECORDS, DEFINITELY. BANDS LIKE CFDL, DISCLOSE, CONFUSE, GISM, DISORDER, CHAOS UK, CHAOTIC DISCHORD AND RUDIMENTARY PENI.
You seem to put a lot of thought and effort into every aspect of the band from the format you release on to the artwork and production of the recording. (Ironically the “man on the street” would probably imagine the opposite if they encountered one of your records!!) What is it that attracts you to a format like cassette or vinyl in this day and age?
WE HAVE DEFINITELY MADE A DELIBERATE EFFORT TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH THE ARTWORK AND IMAGERY IN CONTORT. THE MAN ON THE STREET, SEEING THREE DISTORTED PRIEST’S HEADS ON A YELLOW TAPE WOULD PROBABLY THINK IT WAS PRETTY FUCKING AWFUL. AND THAT’S WHAT WE WANT.
What would your dream be for the future of Contort? What would you like to leave behind when you reach the end of your lifespan?
WE’D DEFINITELY LIKE TO TOUR SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE EUROPE, AND WE’RE EXCITED TO FINALLY RELEASE SOMETHING ON VINYL, THE SPLIT 12” WITH WARNING//WARNING. WHEN WE EVENTUALLY PASS INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD, WE’LL LEAVE FOUR BEAUTIFUL CORPSES, TOGETHER IN ONE COFFIN, AS EVIDENCE OF OUR MATERIAL EXISTENCE.
(the split with W/W is now not happening. We still have plans to release the songs recorded on a different format)
If you looked at the history of rock’n’roll, what bands have been most important for the development of “noise punk” as it stands today?
I THINK ITS HARD TO SAY BECAUSE ITS SUCH A CHAOTIC/FREE STYLE OF (ANTI-MUSIC) BUT I GUESS SOME BANDS THAT DEFINITELY SHAPED WHAT WE HAVE TO DAY, ALTHOUGH MANY OF THEM ARE NOT NOISE BANDS, WOULD BE HAWKWIND, LSD, GISM, CONFUSE, IKKA SHINJYUU GAI/SWANKYS, DISORDER, WRETCHED, SO WHAT, KYOJINBYO, DISCHARGE.
Next week. Halloween night. benefit for our mates who got attacked and robbed with hammers and guns in their own house. Up the fuckn punx. watch each others backs.
Thursday with the Fagz!
Thanx so much to everyone in Scotland who helped us out, put on our gigs had us stay, and made us food. We had a fuckn deadly time and miss you fuckers already!
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