interview by Damage
The Australian cyberpunk riot squad is back with a new GORY epic, KRANKHAUS. Slick, slamming and genuinely powerful, we call this the best material we've seen this year.
THE DOSE: There is awesome improvement in your overall production quality since we last talked. KRANKHAUS, your debut LP is out at triple-six - the sound is overwhelmingly fat and dense, powerful and driving - so tell me, what changed in you and your studio since Nurse Grenade?
ZOOG: The really big changes have been internal rather than hardware changes. We decided we wanted to make an impact with the CD and make it something memorable.
DESTROYX: Since this is our first pressed CD we wanted to make the most of it. We spent a few days with each track on Nurse Grenade, this time we spent weeks on each of the tracks from Krankhaus. We have really angsted over the instrumentation, sound design and lyrics.
ZOOG: Technologically, most of it was done using our big modular synthesizer. Synths, guitars and voices were pulverised using it.
THE DOSE: What's the concept behind Krankhaus, how does it reflect on your lives right now and what message does it punch in the listener's face?
ZOOG: Krankhaus is about taking vanity and entertainment to a terrifying extreme. It explores the beautifully grotesque limits of human nature. It is definitely a comment about excessive consumption in society, not only materialistically, but emotionally.
DESTROYX: It's about corporate and personal cannibalism and the sick fantasies of success and happiness that modern life propounds.
THE DOSE: Okay, tell me three motivating things you couldn't have done the album without!
DESTROYX: The first thing would probably be the difficult context of our lives at the moment. It's been a very tough period for us and the people we know, as we've gone through relationship breakdowns, deaths of friends and fans, court cases and our own personal hells. However, without the support of our friends and fans, we couldn't have done it, as they helped, encouraged and inspired us to make it through.
ZOOG: The second motivating factor would definitely be the stagnant nature of the alternative music scene right now. This album is one big FUCK YOU to every bland, mediocre, wannabe music critic who has given us extremely negative and scathing feedback (of which there have been many).
DESTROYX: We wanted to create something that would push boundaries musically and visually, as a reaction to the status quo in music nowadays. We received so much negativity in relation to our EP, that it became a motivating factor to keep trying, experimenting and creating.
ZOOG: The visual concept of Krankhaus was a huge motivation for us, as we felt so strongly about the ideas behind the imagery that we were inspired to bring them to a wider audience. We spent months working on the production of the story behind it, and instigating our vision. We wanted the visuals to complement the music conceptually and although the came at a high financial and personal cost, we felt that it was definitely worth it.
THE DOSE: There's an odd-one out on the LP - "Flesh stitched onto a frame" that pretty much sounds like a small soundtrack to a Tibetan monastery peek-in. What's the story behind it?
ZOOG: It's actually a small instrumental grab from a track on the album called Scars and Stripes. It's a small interlude that breaks up the intensity of the first couple of tracks.
DESTROYX: It's a cool little opportunity to hear some small musical detail that would otherwise get lost in the intense layering of the other tracks. The instrument used is actually a beaten up acoustic guitar that was found in a back alley. The string's sound is resonated though a large metal bowl filled with water – this gave it a very polished and crisp sound.
THE DOSE: You had remarkable visuals for the Nurse Grenade era and with Krankhaus you've taken this a few steps higher. What's the story behind all the blood and the medical nightmare?
DESTROYX: We wanted to create a timeless world inspired by a concept where people had the ultimate power to pleasure themselves - unrestricted by morals or law. We then took this idea to the extreme with the images, asking the question -if we could do anything for our personal gratification, what horrors of human nature would be revealed?