Old School Music

dealing with punk rock, speed/thrash and other music styles of the 80ies and beyond, a webpage connected to Red, Black & Green

Thursday, July 06, 2017

MATRIARCH Interview for Argyope (2017)

Un des groupes interviewés dans ARGYOPE #10 voudrait voir son interview en ligne en plus du papier, alors voici....reproduction partielle n'est-ce pas...Si vous me dites que vous avez déjà entendu parler de ce groupe, chapeau! Cinq musiciennes, Ara Lopez (guitares, chant), Michelle Baez (claviers), Isabel Conde (basse, chant), Vanessa Urrutia (guitares, chant) et Shamara Irizarry (batterie, chant) se réunissent en 2002 pour fonder BLACK APPLES. Elles sortent la démo éponyme (donc "Black Apples") en 2003, après quoi Michelle Baez et Ara Lopez tireront leurs révérences. Entre temps le groupe s'est rebaptisé MATRIARCH. Il faudra attendre 4 ans pour l'enregistrement et la sortie d'un premier album, autoproduit s'il vous plaît, "Revered Unto Ages", sachant que matriarch a composé des titres comme "Sinful Decadence" en 2004 ou "Profanity" en 2005. Malheureusement le groupe splitte peu après, Matriarch effectuera un dernier concert en 2008 pour la release party. A noter que le morceau "The Damsel Of Death" figure sur la compilation de 2015 "The Distorted Island: Heavy Metal Music and Community in Puerto Rico" qui accompagne le documentaire du même nom. Why and how did you pick "Black Apples" as a name for the band? Is it related to "Snow White" fairy tale, when the evil Queen brings poisoned apples to the heroin? Shamara – I honestly don’t remember how I came up with this name. I came up with it years ago and use it as a nickname in message boards and forums. Then when I started the band we decided to use it temporarily since we didn’t have a name yet. It has nothing to do with the Snow White fairy tale. Which are the band's influences? I suppose Cradle Of Filth, Theatre Of Tragedy (with Liv Kristin), My Dying Bride are some of them, especially with female voice? Isa and Shamara - For musical influences we have to mention Hypocrisy, Darkthrone, Bolt Thrower , Death , My dying bride, Kampfar, Finntroll, Amon Amarth, Kreator, Old Dimmu Borgir, Borknagar. For female voices and band’s with vocalists that inspired us definitely Therion, The Sins of thy Beloved, Tristania, Sinister, Morbid Angel, Opera IX and Cadaveria. Who is in charge of Matriarch artwork and logo? Isa and Shamara - For the logo we had some friends that gave us ideas as well as myself (Isa). We liked one particular logo a friend made for us and we decided to work with that one then that logo was changed a little bit and that’s how the current logo ended. The artwork for the shirts, demo and album cover we all came with the ideas as a group and different people worked on the art. I (Isa) made the drawing for the demo. A girl in Spain made the album cover she did an amazing job and totally describes the concept of the band. So Matriarch released their first album "Revered unto the Ages", independently in 2007, then why did you split the same year? Isa and Shamara - Releasing the album was a good experience after all the hard work we put into it. We were having some differences as a trio during the recording and we were going in a different direction musically. We tried to stick together because we loved the band and playing shows but unfortunately it did not work out. "The Damsel of Death" talks about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, what do Matriarch's lyrics usually deal with? Shamara and Isa - Interesting question. Our Lyrics are all over the place. For example, “Profanity” talks about a man planning to have its way with a woman. There are others like “Sinful Decadence” that talks about the fight between good and evil and some are about women in power.

Friday, July 31, 2015

New stories

yes I went to the Vital Remains/ Dehuman/ Aäzylium show in Paris it goes like this... Vital Remains live you can also listen to what happened to Hellfest, especially VENOM great gig, here Venom live part 1 and here Venom live part 2....Enjoy!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Still alive

Yes, a new ARGYOPE issue was released a month ago, the fourth one, and I prepare the fifth with Taiwanese death metal act MAGGOT COLONY . If you're a fan of SIGH you can check this LJDH radio show...Right, read you next time!!!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Un peu d'actualité....

Et oui nous sommes en 2015 maintenant, des choses se passent et ce n'est pas trop réactualisé, cette page, alors à venir, de la Oi indonésienne, des actualités norvégiennes de 1977 et bien d'autres goodies nouvelles têtes de ligne ( interview de Teddie Dahlin qui publie " A Vicious Love Story: Remembering the Real Sid") You met Sid Vicious when Sex Pistols were touring Scandinavia in 1977. What was happening in Norway back then? Especially about music, were there interesting and/or important local or national rock acts ( which would support the Pistols on tour or not)? Norway was an artic outpost musically back then in 1977. The promoter was the first person to get a big name band to play in other cities in Norway apart from Oslo. I wasn’t interested in punk. Quite the opposite – I loathed it. I didn’t think they were musically up to speed and I didn’t like the fact that they disrespected the Queen. They symbolized everything I didn’t like about the UK; the spitting and the swearing and total lack of resept for anything. The Sex Pistols were heavily into ABBA at the time. I’m not kidding. They had ABBA Greatest Hits and would play the cassette over and over and could sing all the lyrics. Sid, Casino Steel (The Boys) and Lemmy (Motorhead) had been to an ABBA concert together in London that March. I can’t remember the name of the band that was warm up. We arrived at the venue just as they left the stage. The promoter took us out to dinner and we were late (as usual) Was there a Norwegian punk scene or proto punk scene in 1977? I’m sure there was, but it wasn’t really my kind of thing. I liked ABBA and Diana Ross and Brian Ferry. Which impact did this Sex Pistols tour have in Norway? The tour was sold out. The Trondheim student union venue was packed. Over a thousand people came to see them. They went into what I came to call ‘Pistols mode’ around the fans. They would become obnoxious and crude. As soon as we got rid of the fans, they were just themselves again. I got to know them quite well and they were really nice people. Strangely they just included me in the group and we got on well (except one time when John got really pissed off at me and I thought he was going to hit me). (interview de No Man's Land) Could you tell us about the songs "Taken Away" and "Pride Of Our City"? How did you write them? What do they deal with, what are the lyrics related to? “Taken Away”, I wrote the lyrics and then we did the music together. Telling about my/our experience, it’s about hard times in our daily life, a place where you work doesn’t give you more in life, but you can’t do anything. You’ve been working hard but salary you take is not enough compared to what you need or in other words the money you got from your work for a month is slowly [being] taken away in a short time. “Pride Of The City”, it’s about our feeling or anyone who have got the same feeling. You feel pride forh your city where you belong, a place where you were born. So much love and memories you had in your city, but you have a life in another city, in other words you got no job in the city (your city pride), so that pushes you to move in another city to get a job. You’re proud of your city, but you have nothing, you got no job, you got no money and you got no life. You have it all in another city, so which city should you be proud of? What do you talk about in general, in your songs? We talk about local issues and international issues, local issues we shared our experiences about real life and things among us and we have never gone too far, something we’ve never done. And [about] international issues we fight against racism. Voilà voilà....

Monday, May 12, 2014

I am black as darkness....

Yes a sample of one of my favourite songs by Mystifier, "Beelzebubth"...here's a radio show devoted to the band as they played in Paris May 2nd, 2014, with MANZER and LUTECE Old School Brazilian Black Metal...enjoy!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

If you like "I Wanna Be Your Dog"....or have "No Fun", this is for you!

Série d'émissions sur les Stooges et Iggy Pop, avec des reprises, de la biographie, du bégaiement, du non professionnalisme radiophonique, du maggotisme, quoi! Enjoy and feel alright!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chalk Circle part 3

I'm grateful my parents didn't push me to play keyboards, since that was the other acceptable instrument for girls to play in the '70s besides acoustic guitar. But on the other hand, I love piano and have always regretted that I never learned how to play it properly. At some point my parents bought a piano and I taught myself how to play some notes and chords, but I couldn't figure out how to coordinate the lelt and right hand very easily. Same with drumming. I sort of picked it up on my own, but have difficulty coordinating my hands and legs. I can play bass pretty well since it's so similar to guitar. As for publishing fanzines, that's a long story, almost as long as my story about playing guitar! But I'll keep it short and simply say that I've always loved writing, I started reading music magazines in elementary school, and I felt inspired to start a fanzine after reading zines like Sniffin' Glue and Slash. My first zine was If This Goes On, with Colin Sears. Then I started Interrobang?! in 1989 and only release issues when I feel really inspired (which means very infrequently). The last issue was a book titled "Interrobang?! Anthology on Music and Family" and it had writings and interviews on that theme. I interviewed Ian MacKaye and also my mother. Cynthia Connolly (with whom I co-authored Banned in DC) also interviewed her mother. Some of the other people I included were Kevin Mattson (who was in the early DC punk band Hate From Ignorance), Jean Smith (from Mecca Normal), and Alan Licht. The writings include creative non-fiction and poetry. As I like the song, could you tell me what "Scrambled" deals with? How was the song conceived ( music, and lyrics)? And what does "Easy Escape" talk about? "Scrambled" was initially a song written by Mary titled "Manic Depression". I added some lyrics to it and we changed the title to "Scrambled" to evoke a scrambled brain more so than emotional fluctuations. The song deals with the dynamics of a relationship where one person's sense of self and moods are dictated by the other person, and how that has a confusing effect on the mind. Mary wrote "Easy Escapes" and it's about finding your own answers to difficult situations, in life and in love. There are a lot of things we experience that sometimes leave us with more questions than answers. Things aren't often easy to figure out. "No one has the easy answer, but is there an answer?" Plans for the future.... Chalk Circle decided not to do any reunion shows, for a variety of reasons. The Chalk Circle retrospective release, which was a split with Post Present Medium and Mississippi Records, came out in early 2011, so I put Coterie Exchange on hold while finishing that up. I compiled all the audio and designed a color booklet that had liner notes by Don Fleming (he's been in a lot of great bands, including the Velvet Monkeys, Half Japanese, Gumball, and To Live and Shave in L.A. and is also a great producer). Don and I worked on a song together last year and that may come out sometime. I also recorded with Julia Holter. I've been working on new Coterie Exchange material for a while and hope to release something in the near future, but I'm not sure what form I want it to take yet.

Chalk Circle part 2

On continue, pour ceux qui n'ont pas le #9 de TRZ... Did Chalk Circle only play in Washington DC, or you toured or performed elsewhere? We only played in D.C. Most of us were under 21 and couldn't play in bars. D.C. was unusual because kids worked it out with the local clubs so that they could enter as long as they agreed not to drink alcohol. It was very difficult for U.S. bands to tour back then. The whole network that we think of now that grew out of punk was still in its infancy when Chalk Circle started. It was hard for U.S. bands to tour because most didn't have managers or much record label tour support. I'll never forget hearing stories from the Teen Idles about their experiences playing in California in 1980, after taking a Greyhound bus out there, and thinking wow they're like Wild West pioneers! It was a huge deal when the NY and California bands started touring regularly, because they showed it could be done. Some of my favorite DC shows by NY and LA bands from that time period were ones with the Stimulators, Bush Tetras, Black Flag, Minutemen, and Flipper. How and why did you decide to be a musician (and also fanzine editor)? Why did you choose the guitar and not bass, drums, or keyboards? I've always loved the sound of the electric guitar. It was never a conscious decision like, "Oh, I'm going to be a musician!" In fact, I've always shied away from being a professional musician, even though I come from a musical family and started playing guitar when I was 10. It was more a situation where I simply loved music so much and my parents encouraged that passion because they both loved music too. They were folkies and raised me to appreciate people like Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan. I can't remember whether I chose guitar or whether they chose it for me. My mother told me that I loved listening to my grandfather play the ukulele and harmonica. He kept the ukulele at our house and she said I started strumming it when I was around 2 years old. She said I called it my "tootar" because I thought it was a guitar. How in the world I even knew what a guitar was at that young of an age, I'll never know! Maybe my parents taught me what a guitar was when I was 2, which is entirely possible because my father taught me to listen to Dylan lyrics when I was 6. I must have been a precocious nightmare! Anyway I gravitated to the guitar. After my grandfather died when I was 5, my parents bought me rock records. I think they did it to console me or to keep me company. I fell in love with the Beatles, especially George Harrison's guitar playing. But my parents wanted me to be a folk singer/songwriter, so they wanted me to play acoustic guitar. They started me out with a classical guitar that had nylon strings in 5th grade, even though they didn't expect me to play classical style guitar. I think maybe it was cheaper than a steel string guitar. Or maybe it was the only 3/4-size guitar they could find, because I remember they had to get me a small guitar since I was so tiny. I had some music lessons for a few months and started picking things up by ear by listening to my records. I had bought the Beatles "Abbey Road" and listened to it non-stop. I ended up performing for the entire 5th grade. I did some Beatles songs I'd figured out myself along with help from my guitar teacher and some Beatles and Joni Mitchell songs my teacher taught me. I didn't want to be a guitarist like Joni Mitchell, though, but it made my parents happy. I quit the music lessons and taught myself to play chords using Mel Bay guitar books (I don't know if they have something similar in Europe, but they're the standard instructional books for beginners) and also Beatles songbooks. When I was 13 I finally got an electric guitar and amplifier, and right around the same time my mother took me to see a concert with George Harrison. After that I started writing songs with lyrics. The lyrics were really bad and I couldn't play lead guitar very well, so I decided to focus on being a rhythm guitarist. I asked my parents if I could have private electric guitar lessons and luckily they said yes. I learned how to play barre chords using all sorts of cool rhythms and learned the art of the riff from endless jams of "Smoke on the Water", "Brown Sugar", and "Sunshine of Your Love". My guitar teacher thought I should learn finger picking since that was his specialty, even though I told him I had no intention of playing that style of guitar. I wish I hadn't been such a brat because now I would love to be able to do finger picking. I remember the patterns were really intricate and tricky but fun. It's just that I didn't want to be stereotyped as a folk guitarist. So I quickly forgot most of the things he taught me. Chalk Circle was my first band, and I definitely did not feel like a real musician even after playing electric guitar for 6 years beforehand. There's only so much you can learn playing by yourself in your bedroom! The sad thing I realize now is that I had an amplifier all those years and couldn't even make good use of it. I couldn't get a band together until Chalk Circle, because none of the guys in my school wanted to play with a girl guitarist. And I didn't know any girls who played bass or drums. But punk made it possible for girls to play instruments even if they couldn't play well. Anne didn't know how to play drums when we first started playing music together. She loved the spirit of punk and decided to learn.

Chalk Circle interview part 1

C'était fin 2011...interview de Sharon Cheslow What were the influences of the band when Chalk Circle started playing? How and why did you move towards post punk/new wave kind of sound? We were all huge music fans and loved a lot of different bands and types of music. So our influences were pretty eclectic. Tamera and I both worked at record stores, so we got to hear so many great records before the band started in 1981. There were some tastes we had in common from the 1970s, such as the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Roxy Music, the Runaways, Patti Smith, the Clash. As for local D.C. area bands around 1979-81, we loved our friends' bands because there was a tight-knit community. We liked the Slickee Boys, Bad Brains, Teen Idles, Red C, Minor Threat, Tiny Desk Unit, Velvet Monkeys, Egoslavia, Half Japanese, and Trouble Funk. There were so many great local bands, but those were the ones most of us loved best. We all liked pretty much the same punk bands as our friends (bands like the Buzzcocks, Damned, Avengers, and Germs were huge influences on people in D.C.), and we also liked a lot of late '70s post-punk and no wave that some of our friends hated. But I think what made us sound so different from our friends' bands is that Chalk Circle was a mix of our pre-punk tastes from the '60s and '70s. The Slickee Boys had more obvious garage rock influences, the Bad Brains had more obvious jazz and reggae influences, and the Teen Idles and Minor Threat had a lot of heavy metal influences, whereas Chalk Circle had more obvious glam rock, funk, and psychedelic influences. Mary, Jan (our 1st bassist), and I all really liked early Pink Floyd & Syd Barrett. Anne and I liked early Led Zeppelin, Sweet, and New York Dolls. Anne and Tamera (our 2nd bassist) liked Iggy Pop. I liked the Stooges. Tamera was influenced by Parliament-Funkadelic and Sly Stone. She and I liked delta blues guitarists (Tamera was originally a guitarist before she picked up the bass to join Chalk Circle). Mary and Tamera liked Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I liked the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. Chris (the bassist who replaced Tamera) didn't talk about her influences prior to Chalk Circle, so I'm not sure what she listened to. Mary turned me on to Fairport Convention and I remember I liked them but not enough to buy any of their records. A few years ago I got "Liege and Lief" and now I listen to it frequently. I can see how Mary was influenced. Our sound evolved because we were really inspired by all the late '70s/early '80s bands we heard, either on record or live. Tamera worked at the 9:30 Club and got to see tons of bands, and the rest of us went to shows as much as we could. Many of the bands we listened to were experimental and veered from the original fast, loud, basic song format of punk or hardcore, but were still raw. I was also listening to stuff like John Cage, John Coltrane, Throbbing Gristle, and Yoko Ono. You wouldn't really guess it from listening to Chalk Circle, though. But maybe it comes through a little. I don't think we were skilled enough as musicians to be able to sound like we wanted. It took us about a year to feel confident enough to try different things. At the time I wouldn't have considered us "new wave" because I thought that term was only used for bands that had a more slick sound, which we never had. But later on I realized it also included weird bands that were too pop sounding to be called punk or post-punk. We all loved pop music! Could Chalk Circle have been featured on the famous Dischord compilation "Flex Your Head" (as bands like Red C who didn't exactly play the same kind of music as Minor Threat or State Of Alert were there)? Sure, we could have, but we weren't asked! We had been together for almost a year by the time it came out, we were friends with most of the bands, and we'd already done some home recordings in the basement where we rehearsed. Our first Inner Ear recordings were in Feb. 1982 and we could have recorded earlier if we had been included. Partly we weren't asked because there was a gap between when Jan left the band and Tamera joined, and so we only had played one show in 1981. According to you why so few women involved in punk and hardcore acts, and then so few 100% female HxC or punk acts, in the beginning of the 80ies, in Washington DC and also the whole hardcore scene? Because when you watch pictures, you see men and women in the audience, not a 100% male attendance... Yes, you can see that the audience is not 100% male. There were lots of females involved in punk in the beginning. In fact, punk would not and could not have happened had it not been for all the girls and women who helped shape the style and sound. The problem is that up until recently either there was not as much documentation of the bands with females, or the documentation focused more on the men. As for hardcore, that style of music was very aggressive and it turned a lot of girls and women off because there was a very real threat of getting seriously hurt. Nonetheless, there were hardcore bands with females and they didn't get as much recognition as their male peers. The key is to keep recognizing what really happened. It's getting better now because of labels releasing old recordings or things like YouTube. There's incredible footage out there of all these bands with females that's never been seen by a large public before, which is great. Could you explain to the readers what Coterie Exchange is? I think I should give a little background first. After Chalk Circle disbanded in 1983, up until 1998, I was in several other bands, including Bloody Mannequin Orchestra, aka BMO (with Colin Sears and Roger Marbury who went on to Dag Nasty), Suture (with Kathleen Hanna, who was in Bikini Kill at that time, and Dug Birdzell from Beefeater), Red Eye (with Tim Green from Nation of Ulysses), and the Electrolettes (with Julianna Bright who went on to the Quails). I had played guitar in Chalk Circle and sang on some of the songs, and then when I joined BMO we all switched around on instruments and experimented a lot. I mostly played guitar but also played bass, drums, and casio, and I helped with some of the pre-recorded tapes we used to have in our live shows. So I took those experiences with me. I played both guitar and bass in Suture and Red Eye, and played guitar and electronics in the Electrolettes, I did some singing in Suture and was the main singer for Red Eye and the Electrolettes. While I was in the Electrolettes, I started creating sound collages. In the late '90s I decided I wanted to focus on doing solo music/art projects and on collaborating with various musicians and artists for group events, with varying instrumentation. Coterie Exchange was the name I came up with for all the different lineups of the collaborations. I had been thinking of creating something more conceptual than I'd done previously, building on what I'd started with the Electrolettes. So Coterie Exchange was conceived to allow for the exchange of ideas among the different participants. It was sort of like a revolving collective, although I was always the facilitator. I had been listening to lots of noise and free improvisation and sound art and wanted to incorporate some of those elements into a band format, while retaining some elements of song structure. Coterie Exchange has included everything from music performances that are very much like a normal band to experimental music composition with text scores (such as the "Sonic Triptych" series of sound performances/installations) to sound/video collages. I've released some of the audio and video on my own label Decomposition and also on compilations by other labels (two of the videos are on Kill Rock Stars). The presentation and instrumentation always has depended on the people with whom I collaborated. Some of the Coterie Exchange projects have included people in bands who brought with them their approaches to playing music, such as members from Deerhoof, Flying Luttenbachers, KIT, Yellow Swans, Fat Worm of Error, Charalimbides, Magik Markers, and Silver Daggers. But throughout all of the collaborations, I've always stuck to playing guitar and/or electronics, and sometimes I've sung. Some of the themes or images I've explored within Coterie Exchange have included subject/object relationships, communication, dreams, home, household appliances and tools, duct tape, the body, rooms, and the sky.