May 2013 11

Music, art, and fashion all clash in the hellacious world that Angelspit paints, leading the way for a new electro revolution as front man Zoog Von Rock rallies the masses to wake up from the dystopia!

An InterView with Zoog Von Rock of Angelspit

By Rocki Lee (RockiLee)

Standing in a class all its own, the Australian industrial/punk sensation Angelspit has been riding a wave of success that sees no signs of dying down anytime soon. With a visual aesthetic that is as raucous and in-your-face as the band’s music, delivering a one-two punch of powerful beats, scathing electro, and vocals that ride the fine line between melodic singing and aggressive hip-hop, Angelspit remains a singular entity that sounds like no other. Front man Zoog Von Rock, ever utilizing the mayhem of a world gone mad to deliver his message of anti-corporate rebellion, now pushes the Angelspit audio/visual assault into a series of video tutorials – affectionately titled Blipverts – and even a new fashion line, guaranteeing that those standing on the front lines of the new revolution will not only have a great soundtrack to wage the campaign, but will also look damn good in the meantime. Von Rock speaks now about his thoughts on the current state of the world, with special emphasis on the fashion line, humanity’s love affair with its own dystopia, and even lets us know that he can rock as hard in the kitchen as onstage. Thank you, Zoog Von Rock, for spreading the destruction!

 

Angelspit just might have restored all hope for the industrial scene as the act has brought back old-school sampling, electroclash style spoken word lyrics, and total aural chaos. How is it that you maintain to keep making music that simply cannot be compared to any other artist’s?

Von Rock: People get surprised when I tell them what I listen to. I am currently blasting funk, metal, and punk. My neighbors hate me. I often hear music and beats in different genres and get ideas. This leads me to trying something totally different. My interest in DIY electronics also helps me try something different. I am always building machines to destroy sound. I love machines that make music and break music. These machines allow me to get different results – even if it means burning a few diodes and circuits!

The true ‘Cyberpunk Riot Squad,’ Angelspit has resurrected the punk rock attitude and aesthetic while also reviving the industrial music world. How do you keep that balance?

Von Rock: I do not know what ‘punk’ is anymore, let alone ‘cyberpunk.’ I try and do the best I can do with the little I’ve got. Industrial has its roots in punk’s DIY attitude. Don’t make excuses; make good shit with what you got. Make it happen. Make it happen now.

Your lyrics are as rebellious as your sounds! Angelspit has a way with painting a brutal picture of government, sexuality, and humanity, and you’re not afraid to be offensive! Has anyone discouraged you from being so vulgar in when you were new in the scene?

Von Rock: Hell yeah! But they inspire me to push it harder. Good art pushes the boundaries and sometimes that is genuinely shocking. I am always toeing the line with what is shocking and offensive verses what is ‘art,’ and what needs to be said. Vulgarity is boring, pointless, and disrespectful. If you want to offend someone, tell them the cold hard brutal truth. If your art is mediocre, the masses will love it. If it is brilliant, the masses will be offended.

Since the beginning, Angelspit has always put emphasis on style. You’ve rocked (and possibly pioneered) the medical-madness getup as well as cyberpunk and mock-corporate styles. It’s no accident that your visual appeal has an immense impact on your audience. What made you to decide to make your visual art as strong as your audio?

Von Rock: At the core of everything I do is an idea. That idea is realized through music, visuals, video, and fashion. I try and make the core idea as abstract, horrific, beautiful, and relevant as I can. A strong idea yields strong music and visuals. Quality, content, and effort result in awesomeness – every single time.

Speaking of which, why don’t you tell us a little about your new clothing line?

Von Rock: I am working with Carley (Giannattasio) – Angelspit’s merch store manager. Last year, we started overhauling Angelspit T-shirts. We were giving them facelifts in themes specified by fans such as medical, military, bondage, zombie hunter, and psycho killer. We would then ‘destroy’ the T-shirt with an extreme punk rock DIY makeover.
We are now releasing a new line of business shirts, ties, and suit jackets. If you worked for The Department of Youth Corruption and Damnation, this would be the appropriate attire!
We are also rereleasing our classic jewelry line, inspired by Angelspit album art. We are building these using a new unbreakable material. It’s super shiny, super reflective, and so very sexy!
Details can be found on our website at blackpillredpill.com.

Angelspit is one of the few acts whose remix albums compete pretty closely with the originals. How do you do this?

Von Rock: I always give remix artists complete freedom and encourage them to push the boundaries. In this genre, there is a lot of pressure to make music cookie-cutter club friendly. Fuck that! Our genre is grounded in experimentation, riot-girl, punk rock, and fun!!! Sometimes we forget that!

You have made some killer remixes with bands like I:Scintilla and KMFDM. Are you going to keep it coming?

Von Rock: You bet! I am currently working on something pulverizing with Australia’s metal über band Our Last Enemy. I love remixing metal – I get to go fast and hard! I am working on a dark, sleazy hell-pop track with UK band The Heavenly Creatures. I am also working on something brutal with Tokyo’s Baal – those guys are the evil gods of cyberpunk! You can check out Baal’s music at Baaljapan.net. I just completed a remix for Texas industrial drum outfit CHANT. This is possibly my best remix to date. You need to check out CHANT! That band’s website is chantproject.com.

You have been a great support to the industrial scene in that you help smaller/local acts by promoting their songs via social networking. It’s awesome to see that the scene means that much to you. What inspired this?

Von Rock: After years of playing, I have built up a massive list of radio and club DJs from all over the world. I am constantly introducing them to new bands. Increasingly, record labels do a rotten job of sending out promo tracks. Bands have become disconnected from DJs and it’s getting harder for fans to find cool new music. When I find a cool new act, I get their permission to send it to my DJ contacts in the hope of them getting played. I also pimp them on Angelspit’s social media. I do all of this for free, no charge. This scene needs to grow. There is so much amazing new music around. We all need to support it!

When can we expect to hear what you’ve been cooking?

Von Rock: This Fall, Angelspit unleashes DOOM! The concept and direction is under tight wraps, but I will say that it is the most ambitious release to date. I have listened closely to what Angelspit supporters have been saying. The core idea behind this new album has total relevance to all of us.

Here’s something irrelevant and fun – tell us about some unexpected influences, talents, and/or hobbies that you have! Inquiring minds would like to know.

Von Rock: I love designing databases! I have a master database that handles all of Angelspit’s endeavors like planning a tour, planning a photo shoot, you name it! I also make the best curry you have ever tasted. I ROCK with a WOK!

You’ve named your video tutorials Blipverts as a reference to the ’80s television show Max Headroom. How has dystopian fiction like Max Headroom and 1984 and cyberpunk like Philip K. Dick influenced your music and aesthetic (especially your mock-corporate style)?

Von Rock: Big brother is watching us, and we love every moment. We fear government surveillance, yet we gladly stream every private detail of our life publicly. This is the reality of cyberpunk. These writers did not take into account that we might actually love the brave new dystopia, and we have become bored with it – it suits our kind of benign lifestyle perfectly. This is what I comment on in the music and lyrics. We are not suicidal; just bored to death – over entertained, under experienced, and over opinionated.

Cyberpunk and dystopian fiction are at heart a form of social commentary. Do you feel their message is culturally relevant, or simply an artistic outlet and will we see more of it in the future?

Von Rock: Much of the Cyberpunk/dystopian fiction came out of the early ’80s (and earlier). It was inspired by fear of computers, the internet, and fueled by Cold War paranoia. The future they warned about came and went about 20 years ago. We did not care; we just wanted to keep spiraling downward. We are living in a reality that could be called ‘highly stimulated hyper-hell.’ Fiction writers could never dream of this global clusterfuck… and we want more!

What is the social commentary behind your aesthetic?

Von Rock: There is beauty and horror in all things. Just scratch the surface and you will find it. Our world is so warped that the beauty and the grotesque are seamlessly interweaved. The corporate world is exploding with greedy hate-filled zombies. The fashion world eats itself away until it beautifies a skeleton.
Death is the ultimate beauty. Irresponsible waste is a sign of ultimate wealth. This is hell, and we’re all perpetuating it with reality TV and ultra glamour.

In songs like ‘Channel Hell’ and ‘Homo-Machinery’ and the album Hello My Name Is, you highlight the monotony of corporate/suburban life. How does this influence your art and how do you feel you address this in your style?

Von Rock: Corporate slavery is not a slogan; it’s a lifestyle choice. With this lifestyle comes less freedom, less humanity, more choice, more comfort, and more sterility. It is breeding us out of concepts like risk-taking, creative freedom, and freedom of speech… but who wants freedom when you could have $150k per year?
I thought we were on this planet to experience what it is to be human. You get one chance at this life. But so many would rather trade it for something as trivial as a batter method called ‘money.’

 

Photography by Laura Dark, courtesy of LauraDark.net.

1 Comment

  1. mizzcorrie says:

    how fricken awesome.. Go Zoog!!you so do Rock!!

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