In a recent interview that Zach of the Spectres did with RØSENKØPF, the dark NYC trio named a diverse array of influences that included Skinny Puppy, Aphex Twin, and the Birthday Party. This makes sense, when one listens to the new 6-song, self-titled LP on Wierd Records, the home of modern coldwave-infuenced acts like Led er Est, Xeno and Oaklander, and Martial Canterel. Unlike those labelmates, RØSENKØPF have a grittier and more psychedelic approach that incorporates some aspects of deathrock (and even black metal) into what is an overall experimental industrial-sounding whole. It’s hard to believe San Francisco’s Chrome have not been brought up as an aural point of reference when describing RØSENKØPF; Chrome’s weird mix of postpunk, psychedelic rock, and dark, industrial atmospherics is a good analogue to the strange, black vortex of noise that RØSENKØPF creates.
17 minutes of pure inspiration is what you will see when you watch this video. V. Vale, the founder of Search & Destroy magazine from San Francisco, speaks about how punk rock was a cultural revolution. Honestly, there is nothing that he says in this video that I disagree with, mainly because of the honest place he is coming from. I remember Search & Destroy magazine as a youngster – I actually thought of it as a cooler version of Slash. Listening to V. Vale break it down about how he started this magazine gives me so much energy to do what we do. This radical piece of alternative print history was created way before the internet. This is why I feel that it is very important for the younger generation to hear what V. Vale ia saying, because his point of view comes from a pure punk rock foundation. The look of this magazine was way before its time and to this day it can’t be duplicated. For those that were living in San Francisco during this time, this video is a blast from the past, and for others it offers a life lesson. CVLT Nation salutes V.Vale and Search & Destroy magazine for creating real art for us all to read! Peep this killer video after the jump.
It’s hard to believe that Los Angeles, California’s Fangs on Fur have existed almost 6 years to the day, having formed in 2006. The band plays an aggressive, old school type of deathrock with female vocals, recalling early California deathrock groups like Red Scare, the Superheroines, and punk bands like Action Pact or Rubella Ballet. They just released a new, 2-song 7″ called “Artifice Shank” and are gearing up for a Texas mini-tour in late Summer. Fangs on Fur’s Texas dates will culminate with them headlining the SAN LA MUERTE SOUTH TEXAS GOTH FEST in San Antonio on September 1 (which I will be DJing with others, it’s worth mentioning!).
I originally conducted this interview with them for No Doves Fly Here while they were recording their new single. Fangs on Fur’s self-titled debut LP is available here; they have a Myspace page here and a Facebook page here. San la Muerte tickets are available here.
The interview and more info on their Texas dates are after the jump!
First there was the d-beat crust of Born Dead Icons, whose 2003 Ruins LP is some sort of d-beat/crust masterpiece. Then came the “post-d-beat” punk rock of The Complications, a band on Feral Ward that I interviewed for CVLT Nation, here.
Now, from ex-Born Dead Icons and Complications members, comes the deathrock of Dekoder, a goth-punk band that has reclaimed deathrock’s punk roots, and which is making some of the best new deathrock on the planet. Here, at CVLT Nation, is a new interview with Dekoder.
Let it be known that deathrock is officially reclaiming its punk origins. And it couldn’t sound better. Fuck yes!
Arctic Flowers’ Reveries LP (Inimical Records) was easily one of the finest punk records of 2011. With a new EP, “Procession,” coming up in advance of an East Coast tour in August, things are going good for Arctic Flowers. The Portland quartet play a type of gothy peace punk that, unlike some bands in this genre, is not afraid to go at faster tempos. “Our sound is a mix of punk, deathrock, post punk, and goth,” guitarist Stan Wright explains. “Aggressive but at times danceable and melodic.” Arctic Flowers’ powerful combination of these elements makes them one of the most exciting bands around today.
Interviewed below are vocalist Alex, guitarist Stan, and bassist Lee.
Note: This interview originally appeared at the No Doves Fly Here website.
New PDX band Dead Cult have never used the word “deathrock” to describe their sound, preferring instead the term “anarcho darkwave.” Reminiscent at times of Hysteria, Rubella Ballet, or maybe even Skeletal Family, the music — whatever label you choose to apply to it — is exceptionally good, especially for a band this young. Guitar-driven postpunk rock from the dark side.
It’s hard to believe that Dead Cult has existed for just over half a year. When listening to their tracks, many of which are available freely on Youtube, and some of which are below, I was surprised to find out how young the band were. The musicianship, confidence in the vocals, etc., is far beyond the band’s years. Dead Cult have a Facebook page here; most pictures below are from that.
by Oliver Sheppard
Blue Cross began as a side-poject of Ottawa, Ontario’s Germ Attak. While Germ Attak played loud, brash, hard-drinking punk rock and roll, Blue Cross employ a darker approach: Their sound is pure, modern goth-punk. The dark and echoey female vocals lend the songs on their 2011 Mass Hysteria LP to inevitable comparisons with early Siouxsie and the Banshees and Xmal Deutschland, two obvious sonic points of reference. The influence of old LA deathrock like Voodoo Church, or deathrock-tinged California punk like Red Scare, is also there. Perhaps owing to Blue Cross’s pedigree in DIY punk, the songs retain an overall powerful punch missing from postpunk bands that are often all too happy to forget about the punk roots of their sound. Even a track like “End up Alone,” which employs Bauhaus-style atmospherics, remains an invigorating stomper of a song.
The eight tracks on Mass Hysteria careen between mournful, Superheroines-style deathrock (“Bring Out Your Dead”), to Wire-like noisy experimental rock (“Calling Combatants”), to tribal drumming-backed positive punk rockers, as in the “Mass Hysteria” title track. As with most new punk bands exploring this eerie, retro-deathrock territory, there is the undeniable — but welcome — influence of anarcho bands like Lost Cherrees and Rubella Ballet in the mix. The production and songwriting on Mass Hysteria is top-notch, however. The tracks do not blur together into one indistinguishable, goopy gothic lump. Every song feels like its own, self-contained musical journey. Mass Hysteria is one of the key LPs of punk’s new deathrock fascination, and it stands out head-and-shoulder above the pack. (If you want a quick-and-dirty guide to this “new deathrock,” see my “Deathrock 2012″ mixtape here on CVLT Nation, which features 27 tracks of new gothic punk music made from 2008 to the present.)
The S-Haters were a British dark punk band that existed from about 1976 until 1985. They played — well in advance of the trend — a type of gothy punk rock that would later be called, by others, “deathrock,” “gothic punk,” or just “goth.” In many ways the band has never gotten their due.
The original lineup featured Nick Blinko of anarcho-deathrock band Rudimentary Peni, and in fact the S-Haters started out on Outer Himmalayan Records, the label owned by Rudimentary Peni. Despite releasing four EPs, 1 LP, and having appearances on various goth-punk compilations, the S-Haters are still strangely unknown. In fact, while Ian Glasper’s excellent and very recommended The Day the Country Died included interviews with some anarcho-affiliated deathrock bands like Part 1, the S-Haters, who were also affiliated with the anarcho-punk scene, were not featured in that book — despite their having played the Crass-affiliated Autonomy Centre and actually having a much lengthier discography than many bands in The Day the Country Died.
So here is an in-depth interview with S-Haters’ singer, Kieron O’Neill, and guitarist Kevin O’Brien, at long last.
S-Haters singer Kieron O’Neill was interviewed by Oliver in June, 2012. The interview with guitarist Kevin O’Brien was done in 2006 for the now defunct Cultpunk website.
(Note: This interview first appeared at the No Doves Fly Here site a few months ago.)
The Bay Area’s Alaric have received positive attention on CVLT Nation before; their recent split with Atriarch, reviewed here, was amazing. Members have played in such great bands as Noothgrush, Dead and Gone, and Cross Stitched Eyes. Alaric themselves, however, have a darker, more postpunk approach to music that takes as many sonic cues from bands like Part 1, Killing Joke, or Amebix as it does from any previous projects members have been involved with. The band have been playing a lot of shows with deathrock bands like Fangs on Fur and Altar de Fey. Alaric’s music is a melancholy, downtempo, introspective form of hardened postpunk that marks a new and distinct turn from the sound of members’ bands in the past. They’ve been one of my favorite current projects and I can’t wait to see where they will go next in their sonic evolution.
This is an interview with Shane, Alaric’s singer, and Rick, the bassist. Thanks to Jason Willer, drummer of Alaric and also singer of Cross Stitched Eyes, for help with this interview.
Perhaps to this day very few Killing Joke listeners have understood the definitive instruction hidden within an album of overall conceptual destruction.
Killing Joke’s MMXII (“2012″) LP came out a couple of months ago, featuring the band’s original late 1970s lineup. As one might expect, it was a fiery and apocalyptic mix of their singular metal-punk hybrid, with strong darkwave and postpunk overtones. The LP will surely be, in retrospect, one of 2012′s best. And Killing Joke still remain a singular animal in the world of music, somehow straddling many genres yet belonging to none of them.
Countless are the number of bands, from crust bands like Amebix, to metal bands like Metallica, to industrial bands like Godflesh, to postpunk bands like 1919, that have cited the Joke as a seminal influence. Their influence even threads through the current black metal and crust scenes; Das Oath and Behemoth have both covered the band. That Killing Joke, who originally toured with Joy Division (and even featured Joy Division/New Order bassist Peter Hook in a brief lineup) is still going, with the original members no less, is nothing short of incredible. They have explored many styles throughout their varied catalog, covering punk, goth, metal, crust, and industrial — and everything in between.
This is a salute to Killing Joke’s 33+ year legacy, which is still going strong. They have concerts coming up in the Fall with The Cult and Mission UK. Here’s a trip through Killing Joke’s catalog, highlighting the high points in their career.