From my July 26, 2007 review of Rubber (() Cement's "Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover dvd":
For more than a decade, the costumed noise anomaly known as Rubber (() Cement has been the mutant poster child of the San Francisco Bay Area's bizarro music community. In that time, Rubber (() Cement has toured Europe, Japan, and the USA as the Bay Area's freaked-out flagship act, having shared the stage with such acts as: Wolf Eyes, Nautical Almanac, Boredoms, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock, Smegma, Speculum Fight, Comets on Fire, Karla LaVey, and many more. What do I actually know about Rubber (() Cement? Not much. Never having seen a Rubber (() Cement performance, "Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover" is my only window into the crazed sonic terrorism this creature cooks up in a live setting. And just what in tarnation is with that seven-foot tall 'Javelin Bass' he beats, smashes against the ground, swings through the air, and somehow amidst all the commotion, plays? Answers are pending.
Well noise lovers, the answers have arrived! Following my review of the Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, Ratar Toilet Seat Cover dvd, I was contacted by none other than Rubber (() Cement's A-Gene Rackstack, and begin corresponding with him via email. These email exchanges then quickly became the basis for this, The Polynucleotide Plasma-Press Communication: a The Rubber (() Cement Interview in Three Parts!
When did the idea for Rubber (() Cement first come into being?
Rubber (() Cement came out of a few shows: one in L.A. with Speculum Fight, and a Japan tour where there was going to be 10 tape releases coming out over there, all at once, with stacks of comics, action figures, trading cards all from the closing of "Comics and Cosmos" who filled up their sales bins with nickle items. Wanting to redistribute this overseas, there was a roadie job opening for some ingrates in a rock band. Building 2/3rds of the prostheses they used I was given a ticket by an overseas label/promoter who wasn't much up for paying more than tickets regardless of the profits after well paying Japanese clubs cashed out (Rudolph Eb.Er will confirm this with his experiences also from the same promoter). Isolation kept the cassette assemblage intricate until the actual shows there in Osaka and Tokyo. There was enough profit from these meager cassette offerings to apply to an LP release. Hoping to work with different people before the Japan flight base tapes were given out. Making agreements with individuals, there would be an end mix with the "special guest" who got a cassette to add their brand o muck to the mix. Covers were printed up, no one came through with the contributions though before the deadline of the take off date. None. Since then the bowel has kept on a rolling down the technological chromo-hill itno the mercury ocean of endless alumino-butyl face welding. Flakes chipped away to a core of faulty keramik iron consistancy, Rubber (() Cement persists.
How long did it take for this concept to gel and coalesce into Rubber (() Cement as it is today?
By 1997 practicing became redundant, pointless, and unhelpful to the live shows which were hampered by improvised "good sound!! plan change NOW" excitement and beer intake. The original pulverized intracellular chromium compartments via recordings started around 1994 with a live show somewhere in there.
Since it’s earliest beginnings, how many people have been involved with Rubber (() Cement (including set-designers, artists, costume engineers, etc)?
Probably around 10 people. Speculum Fight still shows up to the Solid City State for peppered high carbon sunspot sazzling. We sometimes draft an atom robosled who is usually drifting around the world on a "lead me" diet of cheap fibronitrogen, and expensive biliary sludge which lands him out of cell phone range.
Who is currently involved with the band?
It depends on the show if the Speculum Fight or the Multiplet Atomwell Robosled™ will augment our wreckage. Usually it's just the Cimevox 300084 and the Genetic Racstack. The newer (2000) releases have included guests.
To my ears, early Rubber 0 Cement releases seemed to frequently feature heavily editted cut-ups, loops, and studio manipulation techniques. Osmolytes, and the recent release of the Butyl RNA World, Solid City State, and Ratar Toilet Seat Cover dvd, on the other hand, seem to focus on the unedited, unrestrained antics of A-genetic rackstack. How important is performance to the Rubber (() Cement project, in contrast to the emphasis placed on studio recordings?
Either one should stand on it's fragile neuron thin leg and speak to the world in a code of educational brain-to-kidney graft language. Noticing the live audio from the clubs or the practices (most of Osmolytes is rehearsal) didn't have the amount of substantial interest to hold up for a 60 minute release we made the sounds more of a mix of everything available. Atom splitters to medical bone splitters, Distilled microphones inside colons to heliospheric star burps from wire and battery attached ratar.
The dvd you can see each sound with a movement, It would be wonderful if every release had this capability with holograms popping up over your audio medium player, be it phonograph, cd or cell phone.
I totally agree with you. Rubber (() Cement's music definitely reveals its own myriad bizarre charms in stereo isolation, but watching you thrash about, or the whole Solid City State rumble to life is entirely essential to fully enjoying your band. That being said, can you tell me what instrument(s) and/or gear are used in the spontaneous creation (combustion?) of Rubber 0 Cement's sound?
At a live show we have the Pulse Puzzler®, The Earth Core© Toneton™, The Inner Sunspont Whine-Ohmer™ , Double Ratar® Drives, Spider Hand with Ferro Tack Appendage© , Cimevox 3000,84© , Mass Control Ekranoplanz™, Butyl Y/X Ray Coral Whore Generator®, Nasa-D Javelin Bass®, Hadrons Switch Slab© , and Saudtoothed Linear Collider™. All of these things are pretty nifty and stupor proof.
Has this changed over time?
Older models of our gear has worn out from 1 and a half ton baby feet stomping them. We have honed this finely crafted garbage machine to a great burr of Organic-Keramik dudware.
Is there a difference between the instruments used in the studio and those you employ during live performances?
An actual 1981 computer is used to do most of the editing. Final editing is taken to a more capable person than ourselves (there's a good 50 or so of them around here) who can listen with an undamaged ear and correct horrible editing mistakes.
When did the description "Brutal Sound Effects" first come to surface as it currently applies to much of the music oozing out of the San Francisco Bay Area?
One of the earliest shows was at a place called Klub Kommode probably in 1997, maybe earlier. It's not meant to apply to anything except the mind listening to the sounds though in a different sound cell-file.
While I have no problem with the umbrella description of "noise," many seem to find the term limiting. Personally, I think it's great how simple, open-ended, and all-encompassing that description can be, and I especially love how music that originates from diverse scenes such as Brutal Sound Fx community can fit into "Noise," while co-existing as its own thing. It's when people start attaching things like 'militant' and 'pure' and 'core' at the end of Noise that I start to make a sour face. In conclusion of Part One of our interview: what do you think differentiates Brutal Sound Fx from “noise”, and how is it connected?
Although nobody dislikes the term "noise" that we can think of in this pastel blue deathwag metal mountain scoop we live under, there are still a dozen people that do sound effects for a living that play out. I see them at jazz shows even.
If you lump those engineers with the pedal ogre hybrid to make one single striking memorable mutual souped sound, it will be a brutal sound effect. When people go to these shows they might re-listen to the music as a sound effect rather than a regular noise show. We've tried to give out pamphlets early on with these descriptions to prepare the listener:
Bark-headed tar apes climbing spiked mottled
telephone poles (life size) with 2 fingers,
hand over hand. Grunting pourboire bed coffins
rolling amok. Plasma blood bag legged beings
tugged along in the
cages made up of woven garbage guts. Cinder gobbling
geared fetus turning quark cranks in a
garden of static
charged throat boots.
(there are about 60 other items on this paper)
Continued in Part Two.