Thursday, July 29, 2010

It’s a Scumdog Eat Scumdog World: Welcome to Attack of the Mad Axeman’s Wild Kingdom

Donnie: Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?
Frank: Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
Donnie Darko

Like the gigantic grinding pink elephant in the room (who I’m sure will be joining the band next year), you’ve got to ask Attack of the Mad Axeman about the costumes if you get the chance.
Grindcore does so many things well, but the theatric is just not something that’s going to be widely accepted as cannon among your protein and potatoes type of grinder who may use the bug and bird getups as excuse to dismiss one of the best grindcore bands working today as a bunch of furries, a Gwar knockoff, The Locust wannabes or some lame joke band. None of which is true when you’re talking about the German four piece, of course.
But bowing to the inevitable:
"When you are on stage, then it's always a kind of theatre," drummer Helix Pomatia (he’s the snail) said. "You always do a kind of performance and you can do it interesting or boring. As animals we benefit from looking better than humans, of course. And there are so many human bands in comparison to animal bands, so people think that we are very special. (And about Gwar: they are from outer space; that's even more special.) But we would love to see more animals finding the way into the grindcore scene. We may live in the woods but we have something to say. And we want to make a good show, of course. When we earn respect for the grind then maybe humans will eventually take us seriously in general."
"In real life we have to dress like humans. It`s not nice, but unfortunately it's necessary," guitarist Bubo (the owl) said. "We all know that peace and coexistence are the key: but it's really dangerous if you start to trust human beings in general. Always keep your eyes, ears and antennas open!"
What we shouldn’t do, Bubo and Helix said, is confuse the band’s obvious sense of humor and threaticality with them being some sort of throw away parody band. While the humor is pervasive, the band’s topics can be deadly serious when called for.
"In my opinion, there are a lot of bands who are parody, but they don't realize it," Helix said. "Maybe the problem is that most humans are too serious about themselves. Most bands who are lecturing their audience don't have anything new to say. We mostly play in the punk- and hardcore-scene and bands there are always telling the same things: nazis are bad, religion is bad, squatting is cool, eating meat is bad, cops are bad... I totally agree with these things, but why do bands [preach] this to people who already know it and who heard this a hundred times before? In this case I can only cite Homer Simpson: boooring! When we decided to form a grindcore band, we didn't want to reproduce all the cliches that are bound to this kind of music, like evil guys growling about war or splatter-shit. We are animals, we behave like animals and we sing about animals' subjects. Sometimes that's serious, sometimes that's funny – who cares. We like to make jokes about ourselves and also serious subjects can be dealt with humor. I think that a lot of people appreciate it and some say that we destroy grindcore."
However, given their sense of humor, Attack of the Mad Axeman have put some serious thought into tormenting Glen Benton should they ever fulfill the vow made in the song "Squirrel v. Glen Benton" to avenge the poor rodents murdered at the Deicider’s hands.
"Whenever we meet Glen Benton, then he should dress warm," Helix said. "We‘re gonna put him into a church for one week and he will be tortured by religious songs and praying priests for 24 hours a day. After that we're gonna put him into a rocket and shoot him up in the sky, where he will be as near to god as a human being can be physically."
While their sense of humor is well established, what’s definitely not a joke is the band’s approach to songwriting and performing. There’s a damn good reason Scumdogs of the Forest ranked near the top of my 2009 list.
"In general, our style of creating new songs is pretty simple: we meet, mix up different ideas and shape them up with a good measure of straight and to-the-point old school grindcore-brutality," Bubo said. "And we're careful not to reproduce our own style. We want to keep it interesting for ourselves and, of course, for the fans. By the way, we decided to take care of two golden rules of old school grindcore: creating shorter songs (as a true grindcore band you have to have more track-titles than running time on your record) and to start even more songs with a 'four to the floor' snaredrum countdown."
And anyone who gets the chance to see the band live and focuses on the sartory and not the music is missing the point, Bubo said.
"I think we're not that glamorous and theatrical as a band," he said. "First of all, we're doing a good job playing our instruments so we can easily show you where the hammer hangs, musically. So, if you come to see us play you`ll get crashed by the true – non-theatric – grindcore spirit."


Unknown said...

any band with a turtle is ok by me. of course it doesnt hurt that these guys absolutely shred. heres hoping the tour the states some time soon

Wooderson said...

Great interview! Judging by the plushness of those costumes there must be a tidal wave of sweat being unleashed when they change back into their civies. Now that's dedication.

Alex Layzell said...

Nice Interview, love the quote at the beginning from Donnie Darko will have to watch it again, and put attack of the mad axeman on again!

brutalex said...

Slightly off topic, but why haven't you reviewed Cellgraft yet? COME ON, MR. CHILDERS!

Grind it down.

Unknown said...

Because Cellgraft won't send their merchant out! I've contacted them four times since January and nothing in the mail yet. It just sucks how good they are and that they give all their music away on the Internet for free.
But the interview was awesome. I should put down my split 7" and buy the LP.

Andrew Childers said...

cellgraft is on my infamous LIST (200 bands and counting last i checked). it also gets to what shane mentioned, every album i post on i either physically own or i have a band-sanctioned download. i've dl-ed some cellgraft stuff from some of the usual suspects' sites and i enjoy it. i just haven't double checked yet to see if the band is indeed giving away their stuff (if so, i'll post). if not, i need to get a copy for myself. it's just a quirk of mine. i feel uncomfortable dl-ing an album and then trying to review it.

brutalex said...

Don't worry, all the links I posted came directly from the band's own blog:

No more excuses. Just grind.

Also this interview made me finally want to give Attack of the Mad Axeman a shot. I can't hate on snails and squirrels grinding. I just can't.

Andrew Childers said...

cool. like i said, hadn't double checked yet. i got a backlog of stuff to post that's not even funny. guess i'll slot some cellgraft in there too.

Unknown said...

I got my stuff from their blog also. It's gooood. I just wanna fucking buy some merch.

Andrew Childers said...

my unbroken streak of awesome recommendations continues!

PatrickDM said...

I also refused to check them out b/c i thought it was a stupid gimmick. Finally did and of course, well worth it.

DesiccatedVeins said...

Haha, nice to see a piece on them. Such a good band.

Zmaj said...

Attack of the Mad Axeman were supposed to play in this place of ours, over here in Rijeka. It didn't happen 'cause, if I remember correctly, a bandmember being down with quite an ironic animal-related illness. That said, this gig not happening made me well angry. Fucking excellent band.