| Band: Snog|
Interviewer: Matthew Johnson
Snog is the most famous industrial band to come out of Australia, but that’s stating the obvious. Industrial is a bit of a misnomer, anyway; yes, band founder David Thrussell uses lots of programmed drum patterns and samples, but he also uses unexpected instruments like acoustic guitars, and Snog’s work ranges from frenetic electro tracks to moody country ballads, all held together by a gravelly baritone and caustic political lyrics. Thrussell also has several side projects, including the noise-influenced Black Lung and the more ambient Soma, and has composed several film scores. Grave Concerns spoke with him about the latest Snog release, a collection of greatest hits entitled Sixteen Easy Tunes For The End Times.
Tell us about the latest Snog album. What made you decide to put out a greatest hits collection?
It was the Russians’ idea. The Russian label Solnze Records wanted to do the next record and a tour, and I told them they would have to wait until May 2006 for the new album, so they opted for a "best of" for the time being. I'm told Russia is awash with Snog bootlegs, and although this is our first official release we are already quite popular there. It's a happy meeting for us, because I'm a big, big fan of the music already on the Russian label: Messer Chups, Oleg Kostrow, etc. No doubt touring will be an adventure… When it was all in place it came across as a very nice package, so it seemed a shame not to do it everywhere else. I do see it as a bit of a warm-up for the new album.
How did you select what tracks to put on it?
It wasn't easy to compile, actually. At first I compiled a reasonably esoteric track list, but cooler heads prevailed on me to include a few tracks I'd pretty much forgotten.
Songs like “Justified Homicide” and “Land of the Bland” utilize humor while still expressing what seems to be a very sincere state of frustration with the world today. Do you think of yourself primarily as an angry person or a funny person?
What do I see myself as? A pretty simple guy, really. Yes, a lot of anger, it's true, but also a lot of laughs at the grand stupidity of myself and the rest of humanity. I take a certain perverse joy at seeing us doing the same dumb crap over and over again, and a certain sense of peace with the knowledge that sooner or later all of us and all of this will be dust. If I didn't know that, I doubt I could go on.
The “Eye Propaganda” section of your website is full of interesting reading material. What have you been reading lately? Do you have any new book recommendations?
Reading a great book is a rare kind of joy. Right now I'm reading The Day of St. Anthony’s Fire; it's about a small French town, which because of flour contamination in 1951 suffered from severe ergot poisoning; the effects are like a massively bad LSD trip. The whole town at once. True story and quite fascinating. I also recommend:
Turn Off Your Mind - Gary Lachman
The Long Emergency - James Howard Kunstler
The Hidden History of the Human Race - Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson
Crossing the Rubicon - Michael Ruppert
The Men Who Stare at Goats - Jon Ronson
$19.99 - Frederic Beigbeder
Island - Aldous Huxley
Power Down - Richard Heinberg
Homage to Catalonia - George Orwell
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
1984 - George Orwell
An Adult Evening Spent with Shel Silverstein - Shel Silverstein
9/11: Synthetic Terror - Webster Griffin Tarpley (the chapter about state-sponsored terrorism is fascinating.)
At your 2003 performance in Los Angeles, the girls in the front row were swooning like you were the Beatles. I’d never seen that at an industrial show before. When you started Snog, did you have any idea you’d become such a sex symbol?
Err...no. In fact, I'm not convinced that that is really the case. I remember the show you're talking about; I was going through a particularly nasty relationship breakup, and at the time I just wanted to jump under a bus. Life is indeed strange, isn't it?
What’s going on with your side projects? You’ve recently been performing as Black Lung again and put out a new album on Ant-Zen. Will you be bringing Soma back as well?
It's all Snog right now, but we almost did some Soma shows in Australia recently. But time was against us. We'll get it together one day. The new spoken word children’s album almost finished; it's a doozy! Couple of odd things swimming around, like my vegan/cannibal rom/com, etc.
What can you tell us about the International Mind Control Corporation? How does one get involved, and what benefits does membership provide?
Membership is primarily a state of mind. If you can see beyond the clouds of sulphuric bullshit, you are already with us. One of the benefits is an underground cache of organic mangoes that have been hidden just behind your house: just to the left, and then a little over there, then…
What else can you tell us about your upcoming plans? Anything exciting we should know about?
Yes, you really should know about my new label for releasing "psychedelic country" and other forms of aural lobe enlargement, the Omni Recording Corporation (www.worldwentdown.com/omni). You have never heard anything like it.
Do you have any final words of wisdom or warning you’d like to share with our readers?
LOOK OUT FOR THE GUY JUST BEHIND YOU WITH THE BIG *&$%%#!!%^*&)**))*)*^#^<>?
Visit David Thrussell and the International Mind Control Corporation at www.worldwentdown.com/imcc/.
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