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Author Topic: Mark Groves interview from Special Interest 2  (Read 1350 times)
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slagfrenzy tapes
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« on: January 07, 2020, 09:50:03 AM »

Hi, could I request both the Mark Groves & Haare interviews from Special Interests 2?
Mark Groves has been involved in a lot of work from Melbourne, would like link a bit more of it up in my head.
Just if you can..
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 09:45:20 AM by FreakAnimalFinland » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 09:44:35 AM »

M A R K    G RO V E S

by: Andrew McIntosh

You came originally from South Australia and started in sound with the grindcore scene. Where you involved in any bands at this time? What was your first introduction to Noise?

-The first couple of bands I was involved with in Adelaide in the mid 90s were rather slavishly inspired by US Powerviolence (Infest, Drop Dead etc.) and sludge (Eyehategod, Christbait etc.) as well as the usual punk/hardcore and metal suspects; not grindcore specifically, though it did figure in the mix. Around the time of my involvement in these groups I was in regular contact with a local guy named Greg Wood, who ran a predominantly punk/hardcore distro called Spiral Objective. In amongst the hardcore I was buying from him was material like the Gerogerigegege ‘Yellow Trash Bazooka’ 7”, the Hanatarash ‘Total Retardation’ 7”, early Man Is The Bastard/Bastard Noise, and the Pestilence 7” Box Set - which in addition to the likes of Rupture, Masskontroll, Deformed Conscience and Resist also contained my first exposure to Bizarre Uproar. Around that time a local store in Adelaide stocked the noise releases Relapse was doing as well; Masonna’s Inner Mind Mystique and Merzbow’s Pulse Demon were really key for me, as I guess they were for a lot of people initially exposed to the real deal in the mid nineties. My interest in this area was a knock-on from ordering Boredoms related material from Japan Overseas as a teenager; I loved Eye’s vocal contributions to the Naked City album Torture Garden (I was a massive
Earache head as a kid) and pursued the group from there. Interest in delving further was also sparked by a Melbourne- based zine I picked up at Spiral Objective called The Moderate, which contained a review of the 1997 What Is Music? Festival featuring Solmania and Masonna. It looked pretty wild in comparison to the increasingly uptight and uninspiring hardcore shows I was attending in Adelaide around then.

After coming to Melbourne how did you assimilate into the local scene? Were there people here already you knew? What was your first project here?

-The friends I moved to Melbourne with in 1999 were very involved in music and had a really broad palette of interests, but their own creative focus was more on certain post-punk inspired sounds at that time, and I didn’t have any direct involvement in what they doing. More central for me was the Melbourne based store / label / distro Synaesthesia - prior to moving I had been in contact with Mark Harwood of Synaesthesia through the mail, and after my arrival his store became an important source for exploration - I was exposed to all kinds of fucked sound through it. Initial projects in Melbourne were very low key; Paul of Blood and George W Bush were ‘band’ projects utilising my background in hardcore punk, while The Bad Man was a plunderphonic/sample based duo with Marcus Cook. All of these groups toured interstate within Australia around this time, and there are a couple of George W Bush 7” releases floating about still.

How did Absoluten Caulfeutrail come about? Please explain the origins of the name and it’s significance to the project. How many albums have been released (cassette, cd, etc)? What’s been the reaction/reception to them so far? What sort of themes/ideas are featured in your releases?

-The Absoluten Calfeutrail project is focused principally on the suggestion of isolated settings, associated trepidation and disquieting states produced by festering anxieties. It also provides me with an opportunity to pursue pure electronics, inspiration drawn from noise culture and more personal compositional approaches away from the confines of a band. The initial drive for this undertaking was drawn in 2005 from the stimulation provided by Moebius’ (Jean Giraud) 1977 graphic work of the same name, but has since evolved to draw in inspiration from a range of personal fixations. Releases associated with Absoluten Calfeutrail include Total Scum Materials (CDR), Ice (C20), the Blarke Bayer collaboration Conflict Resolution Seminar (CDR) and Braybrook (C20) on Sabbatical (a label I operate with two others), Dehydrated and Dumped (C10) on Smell the Stench, a collaborative piece with Chrysalis as a part of his Complicit cassette on Cipher Productions, and a split cassette release with defunct Melbourne based power electronics duo Y35.3 on Idget Child. It has taken a while for the project to achieve a clear direction for me; for a number of years it existed as a catch all for anything I generated by myself (and was I think bogged down in recognisable harsh noise, industrial and power electronics genre moves), but in recent times I think some clarity has emerged. The recently released Braybrook cassette is a good indication of the character I wish work within this project to possess from this point.
In regard to the subject matter or ideas explored with each Absoluten Calfeutrail release, there is a range of material I have drawn upon - and due to the fact that the project existed as a catch-all for some time, there is little thematic or compositional consistency. Early material such as Total Scum Materials and Dehydrated and Dumped was concerned primarily with anxiety and rage; tirades against those I felt had taken advantage of me. At this point I see this approach as a dead end, and I have largely abandoned it. Although I often seek out music or art drawing from anger as I identify with the feelings expressed, as a creative gesture of my own it is increasingly worthless. There is no catharsis in impotently screaming the things that should have been asserted in the presence of those actually concerned. The Ice cassette had a pretty straightforward conceptual base, revolving around an appropriation of the imagery and language of government initiatives concerned with the methamphetamine epidemic in Australia, within the frame of my own questionable ambivalence. It has a resultant nasty, mocking tone that I enjoy in darker moments. Conflict Resolution Seminar I see as a work of black humour. I utilised text obtained from a professional development workshop I attended in part dealing with conflict resolution in the workplace. Deployed in the context of aggressive improvised compositions, I found they took on an altogether more sinister temperament.
The recent Braybrook cassette is largely a kind of meditation on various thoughts surrounding the Melbourne suburb the release is titled after, and its surrounding area. I have worked in Braybrook for around seven years now, and the area has a very interesting character, very unlike the Eastern suburbs in which I found myself employed initially. It is a region of Melbourne that is stigmatised for a range of reasons, and this is another reason I was drawn to it. The industrial roots of Braybrook and Sunshine were the subject of a book my wife’s father passed on to me, and this provided a much deeper understanding of the development of the western suburbs - the Sunshine of this book is markedly different to the multicultural bedroom community of today (which nevertheless bears the marks of an industrial past). In a sense I sought to express the character of this region across the expanse of its existence, and the stigma the region bears with its associated negative energy. It is also worth noting that I made a conscious decision not to use my voice for this work, to draw focus towards the generation of evocative sound rather than explicit narrative.

Current equipment you work with?

--All of the equipment I employ currently is garden variety analogue effects, contact mics, sheet metal, voice and synthesizer. In regards to recording, I use an analogue 4 track recorder in conjunction with a digital 8 track (usually dumping recordings from the analogue unit into the digital one), though a number of works have been recorded in professional studio environments. Conflict Resolution Seminar for example was recorded in a local analogue 16 track studio.

Please explain your involvement with Whitehorse, True Radical Miracle and Collapsed Toilet Vietnam. Why do CTV have those fucking ugly yellow t-shirts? What was the local reaction? How do you find touring compared to playing locally? How do you compare grindcore to Noise?

-Whitehorse is a project I became involved with around 2004, contributing analogue electronics. The group has gone through a number of lineup changes over the years (with myself and vocalist Pete Hyde as constants), and has been on hiatus for a couple of years now. It was most active around around 2005-2006, when we toured the US and Japan and released material on Conspiracy and 20 Buck Spin. There is an interstate tour with Japanese group Birushanah booked for early 2010 though, so it appears that it is about to lurch into life again with a new lineup. I am the vocalist for True Radical Miracle, which is a strange entity that seems to sit most comfortably in the region of older Australian groups like Feedtime and Venom P Stinger; but this isn’t the whole story, as the group’s character is informed by all manner of things. There are a number of True Radical Miracle CD releases in circulation on Australian based labels Missing Link, Sweatlung and Eerie Stratum - but these days the group only gets together sporadically for shows. Collapsed Toilet Vietnam is a band I started with three other Whitehorse members while that group was on hiatus. Collapsed Toilet Vietnam could be described as noisecore, but there are other elements at work as well - there is just as much Flipper and Butthole Surfers in there as Sore Throat and Anal Cunt I think. We just played a show here which ended in the destruction of parts of the bands instrumentation, so it is basically drawing to a close as an active unit now. The band’s shirts are ugly, i agree - and this is totally in keeping with the supremely ugly sound. I guess all of these groups have some local following, and have been able to tour interstate regularly - overseas is another matter though, as only
Whitehorse has made it out of Australia, either on tour or with releases on overseas labels. In regard to touring, I enjoy doing it whenever I can in between the demands of full time work in secondary education.
When and why did Sabbatical begin? Please explain the development of the label and the regular series of gigs. You have both “Scum Nights” and “Evenings Of Excellence”, how do you differentiate? What are the things you enjoy about both? Is it a pain in the arse to both organise and play at the same gig? What have been your favourite gigs?
-Sabbatical is a label I share with two friends Marcus Cook and Leith Thomas. It started primarily as a way to document elements of local activity we felt were largely buried - even for locals. Currently we release editions of 200 professionally duplicated CDRs, with a few cassette releases from time to time as well. This is a sustainable approach for us at present, though we are not adverse to the idea of compact disc or vinyl releases down the track. We also have an associated monthly night at a bar in North Fitzroy, through which we are able to book lineups we find interesting. We’ve started calling all of these monthly nights ‘Evenings of Excellence’ - just a title we found funny, nothing more. I’ve largely been responsible for booking the occasional Scum Nights - it’s an opportunity for me to draw focus towards the darker, more violent end of our interests in sound. This has lead to some great bills that have featured power electronics artists, gore-grind bands, harsh noise heads, improvised industrial clatter, thrash fanatics and noisecore goons. As for favourite shows, there have been a number. Most recently we did a show for Lucas Abela (Justice Yeldham) as a part of touring in support of the Rice Corpse album in which he was joined by drums/junk abuser Sean Baxter and composer/pianist Paul Grabowsky - an apparently incongruous grouping, but it was an awesome set. I was also really proud of the two shows we did for Chrysalis in February 2009, one of which occurred on a 46 degree (114 degrees Fahrenheit) day in a great gallery space in East Brunswick. Bushfires raged around the state on that day resulting in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. 173 people died as a result of the fires and 414 were injured. That date has since been referred to as Black Saturday. The show we had was attended by a small group of dehydrated fanatics, and it was fucking intense. Organising shows is a total hassle (as I am sure anyone who has tried it can attest), but it has also been genuinely rewarding at times. We’ve had to deal with aborted shows due to PA damage, and occasional confrontations with venue management following some antagonistic performances we have hosted - but we have also facilitated some truly energising shows that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I just kind of fell into it as a means of getting shows for my projects, and now it seems I’m stuck in a never ending cycle.

There are a number of Sabbatical label releases I am particularly satisfied with.
Revontulet by Juarez possesses a potent, shadowy mood - it draws from an extraordinary range of terrain from electroacoustic composition through torch singing, power electronics and swamp blues. While living in Melbourne Jess Pinney was a welcome presence as a live performer; her shows were uniquely sinister in tone.
Moonee Ponds by Bone Sheriff is another release I’m really proud of a brutal electroacoustic / drone work utilising interesting instrumentation such as contrabass, mandolin, melodica, cymbals, Turkish wok, floor tom, keytar, lap steel and so on with a fucking eerie outcome. I also like the fact it was recorded early morning under the influence of Coopers Sparkling Ale mixed with Stones Green Ginger Wine the drink of choice for Adelaide’s pissed youth.
 Naked on the Vague are probably the most well known group we have released material by Sad Sun is probably the most industrial derived production in their discography, with machine rhythms anchoring many of these pieces. It’s a really fucking dour, creepy trip

How do you see the Noise/exp. scene here in Melbourne. Who are your favourite artists? What are the pros and cons of the local scene? Do you think there will be an expansion of more harsher and harder forms of Noise locally or do you think there’s enough? How do you see your own projects in relation to this?

-There are some very interesting pockets of activity in Melbourne, but to be honest the best sets I have seen during 2009 were from interstate acts: Neckhold (from Brisbane), Chrysalis (from Hobart), Bad Tables (from Sydney) and Grimm Tongue (from Lismore/Sydney). In Melbourne I’ve seen great sets recently from Galactagogue, Marco Fusinato (especially in his duo with Anthony Pateras called Poletopra), Ebola Disco, Straightjacket Nation, Lloyd Honeybrook & Robbie Avenaim, Pissbolt, James Rushford & Joe Talia, Automating, Rod Cooper & Sean Baxter, JK Fuller, Kristian Roberts, Matthew Brown, Wasted Truth and a bunch of others. I’m also a big fan of Nekrasov, though this is purely a studio based project at this point. We have been friends for many years, and he is a truly valued friend. I think there is a really great, and quite unique culture here in Melbourne for fucked out sound. I’m regularly exposed to shows that involve exploratory / experimental practice, artists drawing on industrial culture, violent metal action, depraved noisecore, electronics, whatever. Ultimately I don’t have any particular preference for harsh or hard sound, but sometimes it seems that even having an appreciation for it in Melbourne sets you apart from the trad-rock addicted morass that is this cities’ accepted central cultural
artery. Despite the fact we live in a city that named a fucking laneway after AC/DC, there are buried veins of real interest to be found all over the place.

The future?....

-I’m currently playing out with a new duo called Dead Boomers; Leith Thomas and I wanted to establish a project that completely avoided the song structures and rhythmic base of our previous bands, while still retaining an aggressive, violent quality and a live physical force. We’ve toured this project up the east coast of Australia recently, and we are heading to Tasmania for shows early in 2010. Following that I have the aforementioned Whitehorse tour, and there are releases in the works from Absoluten Calfeutrail, Dead Boomers, Whitehorse and Collapsed Toilet Vietnam. Sabbatical is hosting one show for the resuscitated What Is Music? Festival in December, and we also hope to square away a couple more releases on the label before too long.

E-mail: fanimal +a+ cfprod,com
MAGAZINE: http://www.special-interests.net
LABEL / DISTRIBUTION: FREAK ANIMAL http://www.nhfastore.net
slagfrenzy tapes
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 10:56:55 PM »

Cheers, both interviews rich in details, plenty new names to chase down, good interviewers as well

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