Heads will roll and money will fly as the Aussie Assault of Angelspit embarks on a new tour to tear corporatism a new one.
An InterView with Zoog Von Rock of Angelspit
By: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
Three heavy hitters of the modern electro/industrial underground have joined forces to wage an all out assault on corporatism and greed – the Wall Street Massacre tour. From the glitch-laden pseudo-hip-hop electro punk of Angelspit to the guttural drum & bass by way of coldwave viciousness of Cyanotic to the pounding melodic darkness and rage of My Parasites, these three bands are sure to unleash a furious fire that rivetheads all across North America can revel in. Full of volume and vigor, ReGen is proud to have had the opportunity to take part in the bloody campaign, beginning with this InterView with Angelspit front man Zoog Von Rock. Watch and listen as Von Rock reveals his plan of attack and offers some words of preparation and wisdom to the next waves of musicians ready to take up arms in audio onslaught!
You’d only just done a tour a few months ago with Blood on the Dance Floor, and then you did a series of DJ gigs with Cynergy 67, now embarking on this tour with Cyanotic and MyParasites. How do you maintain such a rigorous schedule? What sorts of personal routines do you have on tour that keep you going?
Von Rock: Jack Black, the prophet of rock and roll, has a three meat, a five meat diet, where he tries to eat five different forms of meat every day. I don’t. I just try and eat healthy, because when you’re on tour, all you get to eat is fast food. Like, you get really good with Wendy’s, fucking McDonald’s, fucking Taco Bell, and that stuff. So it gets to the point where all you want to eat is steamed broccoli. Try and eat healthy, drink a lot of water, don’t drink alcohol, because it feels good then, but you’re going to wake up tomorrow morning and you’re going to feel like shit. If it’s a day off, get face-fucking drunk; really drunk, but I don’t. I’m usually the guy on tour who’s looking after everyone else when they get drunk. Nurse fucking Zoog, I’m telling you. Yeah, my biggest problem is my head. I’ve got to keep my head healthy, and my head positive, and I do that by meeting people and hanging out with people, because, you know, people are awesome. So, yeah, I just keep talking to people. The real trick with the tour is, when you get off tour, you have to know what you’re doing. So, you’ve got to make a plan to say… when you’re on tour, this is what you’re thinking about… ‘When I get off tour, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to take three days off. I’m going to do jack fucking squat. Then I’m going to jump straight into doing music or merchandising or getting ready for the next tours.’ Like, this stuff here. This is all the crazy Massacre money that we’re doing for the English… these are for the U.S. gigs. These ones here are for the European gigs. So, planning all this stuff, always going… Just treat it like it’s a really fun job where you’re always active.
Angelspit’s earlier releases were self-released and via your own Black Pill Red Pill label, and now you’re on Metropolis. In what ways has this signing been beneficial to the band’s progress.
Von Rock: You’re always got to remember that a record label brings with it wisdom; wisdom and contacts, and obviously, like, an infrastructure that has a lot of money so you can go, ‘Ok, well I want to do this. What do you think about that?’ And they’ll go, ‘Well, blah blah blah tried that before and they failed, so why did they fail?’ You get a lot more structure and support around you because, like, it really hurts to say this, but at the end of the day, it’s a business. And it’s an international business; because you’re trying to get the stuff that you’re doing in your basement or your bedroom to the world and that requires a lot of business prowess. And if you’re not good at business prowess, record labels are. I say to everyone, yeah, I’m all for record labels because, at the end of the day, they’re going to be taking care of selling your stuff and pimping and all that stuff. You focus on what you do best, which is music.
This tour is called the Wall Street Massacre Tour, which has a distinctly anti-corporate vibe, and this has been expressed in your music before. What are your thoughts on the way your message is being received by audiences now versus when you first started?
Von Rock: Wall Street Massacre! This is the theme of our new tour. The really important thing to remember about Angelspit… and we’re going out with Cyanotic and MyParasites. They’re amazing! Scan this! The thing to remember about Angelspit is that we’re not saying that corporations are bad, but they are, kind of. The really important thing to remember is the reality of the situation is we live in a corporate environment. What are you going to do to fix that? What are you going to do that you have this shit office job in a fucking cubicle that you fucking hate? What are you going to do to keep your fucking mind going and your brain active and your heart alive and your creativity alive? That’s what we’re pushing, through everything we do. Get a suit and destroy it. Here, this looks like money. Give it to your friends. Let’s do a tour in which the theme of it is Wall Street Massacre. So we want you to get a business shirt, and we want you to rip it up and cover it in blood and cover it in studs, and we sell merch packs that are full of studs and all these crazy things for like ten bucks. So you can buy one if you want. If you don’t want to buy one, then go onto our website and download for free all the stencils we have. Fuck your shit up and have fun with it. That’s the thing. That’s what we’re pushing, to stay active and alive in this really difficult time of apathy and exhaustion that we’re going through. Wow, that didn’t answer your question, but I’m good at not answering questions.
You’ve played with a variety of bands – what would you say is the single most important thing that you’ve learned from all of them and how have you applied it to your own music and approach to touring?
Von Rock: I have learned two things: One – you can never, ever work hard enough. You can never work hard enough. People who are going to make it in rock and roll, I know it within three minutes of meeting them. I know it within shaking their hand, is that they have an attitude which is work, work, work. There’s a guy who’s in a band called Blownload. His name is Jesus. Jesus has got what it takes because Jesus is a crazy, fun, joking, drinking guy, but when it comes to work he drops everything and he goes straight to it. It doesn’t matter if he’s drinking or on, whatever it is he’s doing, is that whatever’s got to be done gets done right fucking now, and he does it with a smile and a skip in his step and I try to too. And that’s the thing, it’s the work mentality. Like, rock and roll, you need a work mentality that few people have, that you’re doing it because you love it and believe in it. That’s the first thing you need. The second thing is – you are no one. No one cares. Sorry to break it to you. You’re not King Shit with your fucking mohawk and mirrored sunglasses. No one cares who you are. And that kid that you’re treating like shit right now and ignoring, in two years time, could be the most important DJ in that town. They could be putting on gigs in five years and you might be crawling up to them saying, ‘Look, I want to put a show on.’ And they’re going to say, ‘I don’t know because you were a fucking jerk off when I met you.’ That chick you’re picking up and treating like a piece of fodder might be the main administrator to one of the biggest gothic/industrial websites in the world and she hates your guts now because you’re a dickhead. Be polite to every single person because every single person has the possibility of becoming the next whoever, but more importantly, every single person is going to become to who they are. Every single person is becoming who they are and that’s what’s important. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a rock star or anything else. You’re trying to find your way, just like everyone else. Wow, that was really existential. So, yeah, treat everyone with respect. If a kid wants to talk to you about their synth, listen because you probably will learn something. And at worst case scenario, you’re going to learn something about them that you can put into your lyrics. Everybody has something to teach you. That rule, that’s universal.
Angelspit has maintained a steady and prolific level of output, with your latest release being Hello, My Name Is. Talk to us about the band’s evolution since the release of Nurse Grenade, and where you think the next step will take you creatively?
Von Rock: When we started doing Nurse Grenade, the music industry was in a very different place. Piracy, etc., was a threat. Now, it’s the rule. When we started, there was a music industry where labels could give bands advances, and they could fund your tours. They can’t do that anymore. I think what’s really exciting is the further down this path we go, the further I learn that there are no rules. And you’re making all the rules up as you go, and that is so exciting, when you think about it, because hey man, I’m a composer. I compose music. I start off with nothing but a crazy idea and I make it happen. That’s what I do. Graphic designers, painters, illustrators, musicians, artists… we all share this amazing ability that, you know, I have this crazy, wicked fucking idea. It’s a bass line that goes like this. Or it’s a little flemish on a piece of paper and you end up with a song or an amazing image. You’ve got to apply that same idea, that ability to take a little, tiny crazy spark idea, crazy fucking idea that no one else is going to understand, and make it happen. And when you can do that, you’re just tapping into what you already do, and what you already do best. And I think that’s what we do really well. I think outside the box because there is no box. There is no fucking box. The rules that exist today, they’re going to be gone by tomorrow, and the guy laying those rules down today, who gives a shit about him tomorrow? Everyone’s on the same playing field now, and it’s all about guerrilla media and it’s all about coming up with really good ideas and it’s all about, at the end of the day, having a really good song. That some kid in Manhattan, Kansas can go, ‘Fuck yeah! I am going to pursue my crazy dreams of becoming a rock star or a tattoo artist or whatever.’ Because we’re all in this together, and that’s never going to change with Angelspit. We’re just a part of a really fucking big community of crazy fucking artists with crazy fucking dreams. Ain’t going to change. Yo yo yo! Musically, I want to explore something that is beautiful and terrifying. I want to push the boundaries of beauty and terror. I want to write lullabies for the antichrist. That’s what I’m pitching to the rest of the band right now and they’re going, ‘What?’ Beautifully seductive music that is terrifyingly fucked up. I want to go back to Nurse Grenade. It’s funny. I just got myself an Emax II sampler. When I used to write music in the ’90s, that’s how I did it, with a fucking sampler. So I’m going back and rediscovering the mindset. I’m taking it out of digital audio, back into midi, back into we’re generating this right now, back to the minimalism of technology. My favorite album is Front Line Assembly: Tactical Neural Implant was done on an Atari ST1040, I believe, with a whole bunch of samples and a whole bunch of analogs. I want to go back there to find my fire again. And it’s funny, when I go back there, the music I write is so fucking harsh and it’s dark, and it’s thumping, and it’s from fucking hell. And I love it, I really love it. Sometimes I think production and technology gets in the way of a good idea, that the coolest, most amazing, undeniable idea is fuck you. I don’t know where we’re going, but we’re going there with a sledgehammer and a chainsaw. I fear any idea or any idea in our head that will stand in the way because, visually, sonically, we have not even fucking started yet. I am Zoog Von Rock. You are watching ReGen and this is for the Wall Street Massacre Tour. Fucking rock.