Jan 2014 03

Having toured with Dope Stars Inc. and BILE, The Rabid Whole is ready to take its infectious brand of electro/rock to the next level.
 
The Rabid Whole

 

An InterView with Andreas Weiss, Chalsey Noelle, & Oscar Anesetti of The Rabid Whole

By Grant V. Ziegler (GVZ)

After a successful tour with the Italian cyberpunk group Dope Stars Inc., Canadian electro/rock group The Rabid Whole recently journeyed the United States on the second leg of the Built to Fuck, Born to Kill tour with sleazy industrial masterminds BILE.
From the band’s last appearance on May 1 in Dallas, Texas to the most recent appearance on December 1 at the Church, The Rabid Whole seemed a bit more grounded as the act’s confidence and maturity had grown greatly in just a few months. With a stellar set list in place and a new audiences to impress, The Rabid Whole showed a primarily BILE friendly Dallas crowd what it had to offer and the band didn’t disappoint.
Before taking the stage, vocalist/songwriter Andreas Weiss, keyboardist/vocalist Chalsey Noelle, and bassist Oscar Anesetti spoke to ReGen’s Grant V. Ziegler about life on the road with BILE, how to survive being an up-and-coming act, burning down churches, and the zombie apocalypse.

 

You’ve described The Rabid Whole as a rock band and not an industrial band. So, how do you all fit in with BILE on this tour?

Weiss: Those guys have been pretty cool. It’s been awesome. This is our second leg out with them. How do we fit in? While we are a rock band, we still for whatever reason – whether it is our electronics or our looks – seem to appeal to the same type of crowd. It is high energy and on the darker side because we’re definitely not happy music. It’s been well received.

What are you doing to fill in for your guitarist George Radatu as he recovers from a leg infection?

Weiss: Oh, you know your shit. (Laughs) It’s crazy actually. There’s a band called Art Versus Industry out of Austin, Texas. They’re really good friends of ours and their guitarist Matt Gruber is filling in. About three days before the tour started, George comes up to me and lifts up his pant leg and his leg is all swollen and fucked up. He’s like, ‘Man, I need to go to the hospital right now. Please take me.’ He’s had this infection before. It went away before the Dope Stars Inc. tour earlier this year. It had him bedridden for almost a month though. So anyway, he didn’t know if he could do this tour and he was saying, ‘What the fuck are we going to do?’ We couldn’t drop out of the tour because we have so much riding on this. So the first person who comes to mind is Matt from AVI who is living in New Jersey, which happens to be on the way to our first show. So I’m like, ‘Hey man, what are you doing for the next three weeks? We have a situation. Would you be willing to pick up the guitar and come along?’ The next day I got a message saying he’d do it. We did all these Skype video lessons learning guitar lines so he could pick up the songs quickly. We had thought about not having a guitarist and doing backing tracks, but we decided that we had to have a guitarist. He’s been doing really well; he knows how to rock it.

Is there a general theme or message in The Rabid Whole’s lyrics or is it just more what comes up?

Weiss: Each album has had its own theme; not something I thought of before I was doing it though. When you look at it in retrospect, it’s like, yeah, that’s what I was going through at that time or that’s what it’s about. It’s basically a collection of what was going on in my life the couple years leading up to the album. It’s always like that. It’s just whatever’s going on. No specific message; it just deals with a lot of personal changes in life and the type of voyage one goes through while you’re experiencing these changes. There’s doubt, anger, and a whole array of emotions you go through while you’re going through and accepting changes. That’s basically what Refuge is about.

So, there is no specific goal or meaning that you strive for going into writing a record?

Weiss: No, nothing like that. No burning down churches or something. (Laughs) That theme was taken; it’s been done before.

What does inspire your writing the most? Is there a particular something that makes you pick up the pen and write?

Weiss: Unfortunately, it tends to be the negative side of the emotional spectrum. I don’t tend to write when I’m super happy. We write about things that piss you off, things that make you sad or upset. When you’re going through crazy shit, that’s where it comes from. The toughest part is to have the discipline to catch yourself in that moment and say, ‘Now is the time to write,’ while you’re going through all that shit and you’re angry; to actually force yourself to sit down and write while pissed off.

What are you taking away from your experiences with BILE? How are the experiences different from those you had touring with Dope Stars Inc?

Anesetti: For me personally, it’s a whole new experience – getting to know people, teamwork skills, and leadership skills. You know, working together and happy times and not happy times.

Weiss: We do take away a lot. Those guys are veterans and have been doing it a while. They teach us a lot.

Anesetti: BILE teaches us about mistakes they’ve made so we don’t have to make them.

Noelle: It’s cool to see how they work and what they do and the knowledge they have. It’s good to just sit back and watch them and learn that way. Hopefully, we can use that and by the time we’ve been around as long as they have, we’ll be at least at the same level.

Weiss: They’re pretty patient and easy going. We’re not there yet.

Noelle: RH Bear is like a wise man. He watches us and tells us things about ourselves we don’t even realize about ourselves.

Weiss: He uses his wisdom on us.

What do you think the greatest difference between your two albums is as you continue to evolve as a band? How will what you have learned thus far take you in a new direction for your next album?

Weiss: The first album, Autraumaton was my first attempt at having own band, my own thing, writing my own songs. I think that album came from a darker place than the next one did. It’s a little noisier, maybe grittier, and a little angrier than the second. It was edgier and the production wasn’t as good, but I liked what I was doing at the time.
It’s never planned how I want it to sound like. At first, it’s like fiddling around with the equipment, writing, and then it ends up being what it is. Refuge ended up sounding a little more accessible. It leans more toward the mainstream than the one before. We definitely grew our audience with that one. The stuff we’ve been working on lately is so fresh for me right now that I don’t know what to say about it. It might be piss some people off or they might hate it; we’ll see.

Anesetti: I love it personally. (Laughs)

Weiss: I like it personally, but what the audience will think about it is kind of up in the air.

Noelle: That’s what every band goes through – not knowing how the audience and fans will feel about the next album.

Weiss: It’s hard for us to say. We’re too in the bubble to judge it. I’m excited for it. I like the tracks, but we’ll see.

So, what do you think is lacking from modern music that The Rabid Whole can bring back or to it in the first place?

Weiss: A lot of music doesn’t have heart or emotion behind it. It feels like things are one-dimensional. There’s really nothing to it and what you see is what you get. You can’t look too much further into it. When I’m singing songs, I feel it, we all feel it. We bring raw emotion and depth to the music. When you hear it, you know there’s something more and deeper to it.

Hence, the band name?

Weiss: Exactly.

Can you talk about your style a little bit? You have a recognizable look. Nowadays, you can see anyone and not recognize the person from a band because he or she is just in a Slayer shirt and shorts.

Weiss: (Laughs) You have a good point and that’s something I wanted to say. My favorite bands you could recognize, you knew who they were right away. I like the idea of being recognizable. I want people to see a picture and say, ‘That’s The Rabid Whole.’ I want people to identify and not sit there and wonder. It’s always better to be recognized than not, unless you burned a bunch of churches down.

Noelle: What is this theme about? (Laughs)

Is it because you’re in Texas and there are a lot of churches?

Weiss: Something like that. (Laughs)

As a young band that’s still up-and-coming, what are some of the greatest things you’ve endured and are trying to overcome or have overcome? What are some of things that taught you what it is to be in a band?

Noelle: This list can go on and on. Hustle your product.

Weiss: Equipment – use the most generic shit possible, stuff that can be easily replaced or repaired. Use the least amount of parts possible. Keep setup simple. Test everything. Have a look. Have energy onstage. How to polish the set? The things you do or don’t want on tour.

Anesetti: Eliminate all unknowns.

Weiss: Say hi to everybody. So many people show up to the venue with a sense of entitlement and act like people should know who they are and people should come up to them and fucking praise them and buy their shit. Sometimes, they just sit there, don’t say anything to anyone, and nobody buys anything. Not for the sole reason of selling things, but we like to meet everybody that comes to the shows. We make an insane amount of friends. We met the Art Versus Industry guys because they came to a show of ours in 2012. We talked to them and found out we had a bunch of mutual friends. It’s crazy on these tours. You meet people.
In the end you learn to roll with the punches and handle any situation and come up with quick solutions for random problems.

Do you have any preshow rituals?

Anesetti: Nope. It’s just always, ‘Let’s go.’

Noelle: Nope. Andreas like to have whiskey.

Weiss: Yeah, I always have a couple shots of whiskey. That reminds me I need to get on that.

Anesetti: Sometimes I stare in the mirror, take three deep breaths, and say, ‘Showtime!’ (Does jazz hands)

Do you say ‘Showtime’ in the mirror three times like Candyman, but instead of Candyman, Elton John shows up?

Anesetti: No, unfortunately. (Laughs) Sometimes, we all get together and huddle up for warmth.

Like penguins?

Anesetti: Yea, ‘Quack quack quack’ like the Mighty Ducks.

We were trying to leave all hockey references out of this so there wouldn’t be any Canadian stereotypes in the InterView. But apparently you’re going to bring it up. Should we talk about the Grey Cup too?

Noelle: Yes!

If the Rabid Whole and BILE were stuck in a van together during the zombie apocalypse, what would you all talk about as it all went down and who is the last one to die?

Noelle: Well, we’d talk about what we always talk about, which I’m sure will be something about sex. This will make me feel uncomfortable as always.

Weiss: Oscar and our drummer Matt O’Rourke will talk about what’s ‘sick.’

Noelle: Oscar and Matt are the equivalent of two high school girls because they say the words ‘fucking sick’ as often as two teenage girls say the word ‘like.’ The last part of the question… I don’t know. I just know I’d die first.

Weiss: Bear would die last.

Noelle: Yes, Bear, because of his wisdom.

Bear seems like someone who would sacrifice himself for the greater good.

Noelle: No, everyone loves him so much they wouldn’t let him sacrifice himself. He is a survivor.

Any final words you all have?

Weiss: Get ready for new music in 2014 and more tours!

 

The Rabid Whole Website http://www.therabidwhole.com
The Rabid Whole MySpace http://myspace.com/therabidwhole
The Rabid Whole Facebook https://www.facebook.com/therabidwhole
The Rabid Whole Twitter http://www.twitter.com/trwmusic

 

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