Monday, January 30, 2006

Agents Of Abhorrence

An interview with Australia's Agents of Abhorrence. This interview is conducted via e-mail. Thanks to Max for answering it. Check out their Myspace page if you haven't checked them out yet. If you are a fan of Discordance Axis and Iron Lung, there is every possibility that you will love them too.

Hello dudes, how are you doing? So how is life treating you down there in Australia?

Life is good at the moment. 2 out of the 3 members of AOA are currently unemployed and are now waiting to get some touring done. Melbourne is a great city to live and play music in. A healthy dose of grindcore and a lack of work is a great way to live.

So what's up with the band? I heard from the Iron Lung
guys that you're going to tour the USA with them this year. True? Are you looking forward for that?

will be a blast! Not only are Iron Lung good friends of ours but they are an amazing band to tour with. They are calm, level headed people and have a punishing live show. Next time I bring them to this side of the world I’m gonna make sure they get to play
SE-Asia. But, yeah… Who knows what to expect from a country like America, where people seem spoilt and out of touch with anything beyond their region. Iron Lung are popular enough to attract crowds and Ben (AOA guitarist) has toured USA extensively with My Disco and enjoyed the experience wholeheartedly.

Oh yea, if you don't mind. How was the tour with Iron
Lung last year? Awesome?

The Australian Iron Lung tour was a success. They played shows all over Australia, made new friends and covered all their cost’s. Like I said above, I really hope they come out again and get to travel over to SE-Asia. Both Jensen and Jon will play anywhere to anyone and they will most likely blow you away.

Are you happy with the Covert Lobotomy 9" that was
released last year? Is there any other plan to release something new this year? A LP maybe?

As a whole AOA is not happy with the way the 9” came out. We pride ourselves on having an abusive and loud sound when we play our live shows. The 9” sound was

way to thin and we felt as though we could have benefited from a harsher/heavier recording. Part of that is our own fault, but we also had trouble inside the recording studio. We learnt our lesson, the next session we recorded (split 6” with Iron Lung – out soon) was much better and more in-sync with our sound (faster and heavier). The 6” is 5 harsh songs recorded when AOA was just Ben and myself. Since then we have added a singer, Grant, who has an amazingly distinct voice and allows Ben and I to strengthen our songs. We will be recording for a full 7” and a split with local Melbourne grindcore outfit, ROSKOPP in February.

By the way, why a 9" and not 7" because I believe the
songs would fit into a 7" format? Something to please the collectors out there?

Missing Link Records was offering local bands with an opportunity to release 9” records on their label. They believed it was a strange format that would benefit bands by having their records stands out in stores. There was meant to be a series of 9” records from local artists (AoA being the first) but now I think they realize it can be a hassle, as it is quite expensive to create. Aesthetically the 9” is aimed at record nerds. We love those little creatures and we aim to appease them at all times (hence the upcoming 6” record). Seriously though, it can be nice to stray away from the typical punk format of a 7” and keeps us on our toes to do something different occasionally. That being said, our next release is a 7” haha!

Since I don't have the actual 9" I am wondering what
are the things you guys sang on the band songs. Are there any specific messages you are trying to convey to the listeners?

Lyrically the 9” songs were short (mono-syllable) lines that dealt with anger and frustration. We had a few songs on the record about being in love and how distinct that feeling is and how it often does unfamiliar things to our heads. Quite habitually I regard the 9” to be a romantic record. No joke! Just because the music we create is cold, doesn’t often mean our lyrics need to be about killing people or something ridiculous and utterly pointless. All them time anyway!
It can be a difficult task writing lyrics for a band such as AOA. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of writing songs of pure hatred, simply because anger is the easiest way to express yourself. This point becomes even more evident when you have a microphone in front of you and you are screaming your ass off! AOA has a number of songs that relate to our personal life, the stupidity of human interaction or even just plain story-telling. It’s also quite hard to describe feelings accurately when the song is under a minute long and has odd time signatures. Also in the past I have written lyrics about skating, graffiti and things that relate to my life. I think being a little brat is very important to my existence, an abhorrent brat!

Whose idea is it to formed AoA? What influence you
guys to get together and terrorize everyone with the unbridled noise? How would you describe the band to someone who has no idea about the music you guys played?

It was Ben’s idea to form a harsh thrash/grind band. I had been playing in various fast styled bands (it’s the music I love) yet wanted a change from that sound. Ben on other hand wanted to steer away from his background and play brutal grind. As usual, I am easily won over if someone wants to thrash with me. If I was explaining AOA to someone whom didn’t relate to punk/HC/metal ect ect at all I would simply tell them it is a faster and harsher version of punk. It’s hard to describe a style not many people know about nor enjoy if they heard it!! As far as our sound goes, our influence was (and still is) bands like Iron Lung, Mass Separation, Nasum, Discordance Axis, SWANS and The Kill. We are fans of anything harsh, fast and innovative. We also add allot of noise and loop work into our sound and sets – this makes things fun and inspires us to find new sounds.

Since both of you are also in other bands, how much
importance is AoA? Do you consider AoA to be your main band or just a mere side project? And what's up with the other bands you are in, anything to share with the readers?

AOA is definitely not a mere side project and every member puts in 100% of themselves into this music. At times our projects become busy which causes AOA to take a breather every now and again. Even when our other bands are busy, AOA still is in our minds and we plan tours, shows, recording and general practice during these periods. At the moment I am not doing as much as I used to, I also play drums in a band called Terror Firma. Terror Firma is a fast hardcore band with allot of melody and cheesy breakdowns. Ben keeps very busy with his other band My Disco, who manage to not only tour allot but produce some of the most inventive music coming out of Australia. My Disco are inspired by strange time signatures which leads them to produce off time, intense sounding songs. They are also very loud! Grant used to be in a local classic HC band called Dying Breed. Dying Breed were fast and heavy sounding HC. He now plays drums in a Hardcore band called Sense of Purpose who have been playing around locally for many years. Unfortunately they are calling it quits next month!

Are you guys a duo because you wanted to be a 2-man
noise terror project from the start or because you can't find a suitable band member who can tolerate the level of insanity that is required for the band?

AOA became a 2 piece strictly because Ben and I feel that the guitar – drums combination is perfect for the sound we are aiming to produce. We don’t need a bass player as Ben runs through a Bass Cab and a Guitar Cab. This way it’s very loud without the muddy sound of a bass and you can hear the guitar tone easily. We added Grant on vocals because we felt that our newer songs were restricting the amount of time I had to
create something potent, both in sound and lyrically. Drumming to the riffs Ben comes up with can be hard enough as it is, let alone screaming at the same time. We believe that the Guitar-Drums combo is essential in creating the music AOA does. Now we have Grant and his voice is just as potent as the other two instruments so we aren’t as half assed about vocals now. Grant has helped AOA move forward!

Imagine a celebrity death match between Discordance
Axis and Anal Cunt, who'd you think will win the match?

Discordance Axis would win. Anyone who can produce music like that is badass.

This is kinda silly, but what is your top 5 album of
2005 and please give a very good justification why those albums are much better than the Rolling Stones album.

I haven’t heard the latest RS album but I hear it’s a real let down. Anyone who couldn’t see that coming needs there head checked. As far as top albums go – it would be a tie between Sage Francis’s “A healthy distrust” or Putresence’s “mangled, hollowed and vomit filled”. Sage Francis is an MC who has an amazing flow with his rhymes. He manages to be witty and clever; two aspects hip-hop needs more of. Putresence’s album floored me with its creative old school goregrind vibe. Brutal production and most importantly their lyrics are not only hilarious but they are smart also. Gore lyrics usually bore the shit out of me.

Australia is not sooo far away from South East Asia, when are guys going to come here and show us some head-busting grindcore Aussie style? Warsore was here a few years ago… and My Disco too but since a lot of pretentious indie kids were all over them the grinders and the punks were scared to check them out…Anyway…

Considering Ben came back raving about My Disco’s tour (and that kids were asking about AOA) the prospect of AOA touring in SE-Asia is very valid. I think it’s a pity that the grinders and punks were closed-minded to My Disco. Especially considering they are DIY in the purest sense of the word and manage to play some loud, in your face music. In the future I’d really love to see some Australians getting behind the SE-Asian scene. Our friends in Pisschrist also went over their last year and I’m sure in the future we will see more bands from these countries getting together. I just hope AOA is around to be apart of that! At the moment I know that My Disco are planning to get back over there, maybe Grant and I can tag along for an AOA tour also?!

Anything else you want to add?

Thanks for the Interview and the interest my friend. Anyone out there who is at all interested putting on shows in SE-Asia for AOA anywhere get in touch. That goes for any SE-Asian thrashers who would like to tour Australia. Let’s set this up properly and hopefully more people will be inspired to stay active and to travel. Grind hard and skate fucking fast!