Thursday, August 16, 2007
The Polynucleotide Plasma Press Communicator: an Interview with Rubber (() Cement Pt. II
Continued from Part One of our interview.
You mentioned previously that for Rubber (() Cement,"practicing became non-existent by 1997." If this is the case, how do you prepare for a show?
There is no way to prepare for a show soundwise except try to repair any broken equipment. Things were different way back in the 90s.
Is there a site-specific ritual you perform before a show?
It's really important that the dream Nasa-D team shows up to the show. That can be rough because most of the calendars are on the back of receipts or written on dollar bills. Half the work crew have cardboard computers with no glass interface, it's rough, but somehow through the phone system we get to the gig, mostly. The day of the show somebody is there to help out. Most of the time. The last show in Belgium we had some major help from a local sound effects guy Loachfillet who had to wear a medic uniform to do most of the soldering before the show. He held wires together for the wires that weren't soldered by hand.
Do you pre-select equipment that might be of use, and test these combinations before a show?
It would probably be better for everyone (including the patient audience) if things were checked before a show. That only happens when we get a show in southern California where theres a 'focus' time before the doors open. Often traveling with a soldering gun and wires we get by...barely.
Are your performances based mostly on intuitive improvisation, and the assortment of gear you've brought to a show to use as you please, or are they composed (at least in part)?
We try to get the gear we think that works to the show, if it does, then things work out ok. Again sometimes beer can make a mess of things, confusion, unplugging something and forgetting about it. Eventually, with enough warrants, some of that may change.
Can you explain the connection between Rubber (() Cement's visual appearance and its sonic aesthetic?
There's a lot of suspension of belief for this band. We don't have the money to go all out rocket fuel blast off goof boots. Some of that will end up on the next dvd. We don't have the engineering talent that making a fully fledged battle euglena or multi story hydra weapon on a coral slut petri-beach possible.
What were some of your earliest influences, musical or otherwise?
Detroit, broken tailpipes being dragged for miles, later drive shafts. Every monster Japanese mutation movie ever made.
Several of your releases are hand-packaged, tucked inside the pages of comic-books (ex: Issues of DC Comics' “Green Arrow” and Marvel's “The Silver Surfer”) and magazines. What connection does the comic book share with Rubber (() Cement?
When Rubber (() Cement started we cleaned out the Comix and Cosmos dumpster, most of it went to Lincaster Distribution which was going to be a big family of Nasa-D, The Hogwinds Publishing, and Paychee Paychic the owner. The internet came along with goggle search engines and blew most of that empire away. Most of the comic books are still with Paychee who is still talking about a Whitehouse Western and P16.D4 Time Manglers of Münster. We work for him on the west coast once in a while collecting debts from his consignments and he sends us the dreck of his collection. Most of that cache is from our find at Comix and Cosmos. Interesting isnt it?
We are starting our own possible publishing empire with a local Amphibious Gestures and working on a few titles. The comic "Popewaffen Fovea" is about the flying nun's father who was a praying mantis battleplane built by the Russian Orthodose Church through the 40's. Most of it is high powered lamps on hidden nazi camps for bombing strategies of the Ulan Ude motorized livestock.
"ZARATHRUSA: The Nietzsche Superman" - a philosopher to truth n' valor, and willforces type that passes judgement on those who have reached the end of their lives via the deed they have done. When anyone is complacent, not in command, or relaxed, phhhhhhhhzt they die in his court of one. Has skewed laser eye burning rays that encode on the flat surface of cdrs. Orders people to find "Ten truths today!" constantly. When Zarathrusta takes his shirt off though it reveals the bad tattoos he got in college: a black line half finished Def Lepard "Pieromaniac" (sp) lp cover and a lobster tipping a baseball cap, so dumb.
"The Inhuman League" is a group of new wave unsigned musicians in a plastic tube or bubble somewhere in Appalachia. They have most of the problems we do within the Nasa-D community of not having cell phones, and inter community pettiness.
Medulla- Long strands of pink brain tissue crawl all over themselves out of holes in the top of her head in an attempt to "grasp" situations. Her wig comes off very easily, but is velcro'd to the back of her high collar. The leader of the band. Writes all the songs, solves contracts by 'new braille'.
Cloth Bolt- Using shaved sheep he is able to knock holes in the ground by pounding it with his wool reactive voice. Inspired KLISS to get together, but dismisses their music as 'not enough synthesizers' in sine wave hand language. He is tone deaf.
Tritones- 3 armed lizard with human hair that plays large ice and lightning coated oscillators which falls off (its just paper and rubber cement). Most of his body is scaled, and cracks jokes about his perfect pitch and playing scales (his own body).
Rockjaw- spandex wearing dog. Wears possibly the lamest new wave wig in history. Has an affiliation with rocks or rock lps. Not sure. Rockjaw may not even know what the hell is going on. Just a big, badly dressed dog who nods and wags. Crab feet with big ponderous paws add to the problem.
Crystal Meth- Uses the power of draino, nasal spray, mirror men, and chalk to create crappy Wasp synthesizer-window cleaners. She has some problems with everyones inability to escape from the tube or bubble they live in. "Why should we just get information from old cassettes and your Numan lp? Shysters!"
Karnako Taibo- Juggler who can find radio waves doing 'the robot'. Useless.
Other titles not drawn are "Window Mach and Ram Page", "Satellite Salmon", "Houston, We Have Piss Off", "Casa-D Zoom!", The Anatomy Kriller", "Caped Piranha of the Dimension Toccato Nova", "Asstrough Damnation aka Road Rites on Radium Road", "The Myron Kross", "Flourine Beasts of Nitroberg", "Deuce Max in Paneled Flourine Snow City" and "Static Star Saddles from Entropy Omega Gamma-That Spiral."
Why do you release Rubber 0 Cement material packaged in home-made paper cases, or stuffed inside comic books and magazines? Is this purely a matter of budget, or do other concerns of yours affect this choice (ex: aesthetic design, possible influence of Caroliner, or an interest in creative recycling)?
Budget, and they sure get the buyer back to a time when everything is possible, or it looks that way...You read a comic or a magazine in another language and Bam! you're really onto something beyond your brain capabilities. If you're 6 years old maybe, you might, ya know...but....not only can you get this great cd, you can get on the bus with it and read some superstuff. We dont need the extra plastic in there for the jewelcase cover. Unnecessary!!
You performed as part of the first No Fun Fest in 2004. What are your thoughts on the No-Fun Fest today? How does this festival compare with other noise & experimental festivals you’ve been a part of?
We've seen a lot of professional fests around the world with sound, no music involved. The U.S. has a lot of catching up to do with diverting the 7 trillion military budget into the noise (or brutalsfx) community like they do over in the old world or Asia with their experiments in strange sound endeavors. They get the best places with massive amounts of food, professional sound systems etc...but everyone smokes, so it blows dog cookies. You turn out your first pubic hair and boom!!, you have to start smoking overseas.
No Fun might be the best thing that has happened in the U.S. since the two day Firewalk and Decapitation Ceremony Festival (2 days) put on by Rabid God Innoculator in '95 where Violent Onsen Geisha played, Merzbow, Smegma, Rubber (() Cement played a second show ever, Deerhoof was half of Fat Worm of Error lending some very messed up moments maybe a song in there (a cut can be heard on The Clit Stop compilation), Sun City Girls played branches, styrofoam and an African banjo, Daniel Menche, Small Cruel Party, and Climax Golden Twins were among the huge roster. No Fun beats this by an extra day with more food, and endless top name acts mixed in with a few losers who should be replaced with the Metal Machine Music (possibility offered) and B. Parmegiani (or another bigwig from before '85). To top it all off, all in all it is pretty professional. The work of one guy who is really good with his interactions with The Incredible Hulk whom he has communication with via digital mediums. One should have respect for that. I wish it wasn't clear out in the middle of zipville though. That's the worst part. A perfect location would be in the middle of the country with some great electric solar shuttle service, say in Springfield Missouri. Most of our big suggestions get slammed mercilessly, maybe for the better. No Fun is very successful.....thus.
I agree . Despite the occasional questionable line-up choice, Carlos Giffoni seems to be genuinely interested in putting on a noise music festival that surveys as much of the scene as possible, including everyone from yourself to Merzbow to Gastric Female Reflex. I mean, he got the Incapacitants to play this year, which speaks volumes about the level of professionalism at work there. I gotta say though, I was disappointed that even a small portion of your set didn't make it to the dvd, I wasn't at the festival (I was in the arctic, again), but I can imagine that yours was one of the more lively performances.
A dismember from an audience member almost happened. One guy pulled his hand out of the way as the javelin bass slammed into the stage. He had two seconds to react. Feeling only a hunger for more 'finger danger' our new cadet buddy followed us to a few other shows on the east coast recording each episode. It was very memorable as the sound system was beyond anything we'd ever dealt with in Brooklyn, a place notorious for 'ok' sound systems. The reason Rubber (() Cement is not on the dvd is simple. If you associate the live show amongst some top name acts (who made it on the disc) our negative weight would compromise the integrity of a top selling acts on there. Our dvd has sold under 10 so far, we hope to hit 20 by xmas. It would also be shitty to be on the same disc as 'Sweet Ride' which was the most painful thing we've ever had to sit through at an experimental show. The No Fun dvd sold because Rubber ()) Cement is not on it. We will probably be on the dvd 2023 after we are signed to some profile mp4 label one would imagine.
Agreed, Kim Gordon & her Smelly Shit was undoubtedly the lousiest performance on that two-disc set. Speaking of live sets, are you planning to tour anytime soon?
We leave for Portland on Wednesday for a mini tour with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. They have been described as "slowly you sink, your lungs filling with mud." This might be better than the gunpowder 'whack-a-mole' game only we had the will to play.
Sweet! Blue Sabbath & Black Cheer are some great sludge noise. Smooth Assailing has a review of their most recent album on WhatWeDoIsSecret. We’ll have to follow up on the details of that tour in the third part of this interview. In the meantime...What are your thoughts are on the current state of noise, and how the genre has grown and mutated since you first became involved in it?
Less guitars and more computers. More people are connecting & communicating faster without the tape culture bogging things down with the postal system reaping most of the profits on that reel to reel blip in the last 30 years. People are trying to bring it back (perfectly valid on key levels, the sounds on them and if crappy you may record over them) for the purpose of nostalgia (probably), and "not to be buried in cdrs" If you have been doing this cassette culture for over 18 years, the cdr is much more democratically invigorating. You can make them at a fast speed without losing quality. High speed tape duplication loses all the high end and is basic hard boiled poodoo. The advantage of a cassette is still unknown other than they make great master copies for your projects. Ouchmyeyeball.com is doing research on this, and telling us what’s up. Confusion mostly.
People often pump up failing egos or wacky ideas by announcing they are starting a 'cd label'. Locking themselves into this blast off position puts one in league with other cdr moguls and then they might have a back stock of a dozen leftovers a few years later.
Over the past few years, it seems (to me at least) that noise has been getting increasingly more attention from mainstream & ‘indie’ media cannibals than ever before. The amount of commercial and critical success achieved by noise acts such as Wolf Eyes, Lightning Bolt, Hair Police, Yellow Swans, Prurient, among others, and the amount of mainstream press attention being paid to events such as Carlos Giffoni's No-Fun Fest have been steadily growing. What do you think of the prospect of noise becoming, or being appropriated, diluted, dulled, and gentrified by the major-label music industry?
Touring with one of those acts (Wolf Eyes) we would have to mention the lousy southern shows that only a handful of really appreciative people showed up at. Some of the world is ready for something horrible wonderful, and other parts of the world are not. Hunting Lodge, SPK, Esplendor Geometrico and Tonelu Sulliel started out as anti-image, vote death types who were concerned with blasting a newish trail on Musique Concret and Experimental sounds. Several years went by with sales not going to the heights they wished and eventually turned themselves in to baby food for people who spend a lot of time with their hair. Nothing came of it except embarrassment. Generally no one under 30 knows all these old acts and the high arc dive into stupid... or much experimental music, for that matter, unless they have been head boggling themselves for a while. The mistakes of the past will certainly happen with the baby hair food, but some of the more destructive ear canal spike worms will get a metal audience.
Norwegian Black Metal took off after some arguments over t-shirts. How hard is that? Controversy. Is there anyone dumb enough to become the poster child cutie pants of Oslo jail time like Burzum? Nobody wants to take that first babystep with a t-shirt argument and famesuck. Most are into flamewars and eating unhealthy.
To conclude Part Two of our interview, can you gaze into your crystal ball (or the Cimevox 30084 if you’d prefer) and tell me: what is the Future of Noise and the Brutal Sound Fx community?
Admiration from a few people. More pancakes. More associations with sound and visuals that will put 2 and 2 together for sound acceptance. People watch a movie and hear some sounds thinking "yes that scissor in the forehead scene would be followed with slowed molten volcanic barf sounds". There will be more fungus and tank tread shows where the noise playing the instruments will hold absolute terror over the audience if a forward leaning gesture would happen from their position on 'stage'. Steam powered metal creatures push bubble girders into each other while genetic pond scum fry excess limbs around the hot iron rivets. A RNA twisted butyl world emerges.
A giant squid reveals brain abilities somewhere in the Pacific and brings a new form of experimental sound presentation that no one has thought of. Nobody seems to know how to book shows for squids, so we wait.
The Brutal Sound Effects Film has a plot that centers around a few immobile gas mask wasp children who live in a pressure chamber. Magnetic Medusae Tape Head Matrons working for the kids try to interest various locals into starting new alpha wave patterns in the kid brains with innovative sounds. Each local sound tech that shows up creates a different catastrophy/result on an epic scale. It's a big mess by the end of the movie with echo static ghosts eating brick mortar, electrified bug legs warping and drilling holes in and out of the earth, most optic nerves in the northern hemisphere is replaced with sensitive rat tails, and much more. With all luck this will create a need for the zero population growth challenge, somehow, when you watch it.
End of Part Two.
To be continued...