Lash Out in Nocturnal Cult Webzine

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                             Interview with Anders of Lash Out by Bradley Smith

 LASH OUT interview

One of the hardest, yet memorable hardcore bands to devastate the underground, Lash Out, came out when the hardcore scene was becoming darker and more metallic. How do you Lash Out´s style and what did you think Lash Out´s place was in the hardcore scene back then? Or do you think Lash Out were more outcasts in the scene?

D O U B L E H U M A N (Anders Wimpelman):

LASH OUT rose out of the few and marginal manifestations of musical subculture on the North West coast of Norway in the early 90s. A catalyst for the short lived attempt at building some kind of alternative ”scene", was the donation of an abandoned house, made by the local head of state cultural affairs to the rather humble bouquet of outcasts  in the small city of Molde: punks, skate kids, vegetarians, weirdos, radicals, junkies, drunks, straight edgers, bullies etc.

Inspired by the Norwegian squatter/punk bastions "Blitz"(Oslo), and "Uffa"(Trondheim), this colorful crowd came together, took the name "Kulturelt Alternativ" ("Cultural Alternative"), and pretty damn soon they had a place to house their umbrella of different "alternative" activities, a clusterfuck of non mainstream underground culture. Thankfully for Lash Out, they also rented out rehearsal space for free for all bands or musicians with some relation to the misfit family. It was a nasty and stinky hellhole of a room, in the cellar of the house, which had a tendency of turning into a goddamn fridge during the Norwegian winter. However, alongside a minimal amount of descent equipment and buckets of enthusiasm, it proved good enough for us to produce some kick ass music, with an appeal that transcended the local point of view, which was sparse and dubious anyway.

Me and Vegard hooked up and befriended during the occasional punk/hardcore show at Kulturelt Alternativ. I think the idea of Lash Out crawled out of a rather intense mail correspondence between me and Vegard when I still lived in Kristiansund. I moved to Molde straight after finishing high school, officially to study political science, though my real motivation undoubtedly was LASH OUT. I had already sensed the potential of the band during my initially trip to Molde to rehearse with them in April 1992. I founded a similar "scene" in my hometown Kristiansund (70 minutes drive from Molde), where LASH OUT did their debut show, supporting Life But How To Live It? in November 1992. I am pretty sure a video of this show is available somewhere.

I guess I had a vague idealistic notion in the beginning, of being in a band belonging to a certain crowd or taking part in any bigger happening, goals to achieve together, others than individual agendas and personal drives. Maybe I had all those divine landmarks of sound and style in history book of Rock N Roll in my mind as I dreamt of a scene that eventually grew a stylistic dimension of its own; Detroit, NY, LA, DC, NY and Boston etc.

However, This Was Molde, Not L.A [1]. When proportions get as small as in the outskirts of a country that counts so few heads to begin with (around 5 million altogether), in addition to the stubborn protectionism of the totalitarian "social democracy”, there is simply no sociocultural soil to plant those seeds of a vital alternative tree, able to grow branches that will stand independently despise belonging to the same organic unit.

Of course you could say that such an environment, not getting the chance to form a musical clique with kindred spirits, can be a pretty tough one, at least in terms of motivation, feedback and support. When it comes to the vitality of the music, however, these semi rural conditions requires such a stylistic independence and individuality that this it is almost bound to be the sound of a strong willed artist, music with a genuine quality to it. The one single band that makes it out of the dim rehearsal spaces that once were inhabited by many dreams and juvenile hope usually tends to mark the spot and stand out from the blueprint. Redefine the blueprint. ‘

We were a hardcore band unable to create a generic and formulaic copy of the US classics, even though we tried hard in the first period. It was impossible for us to fall into a defined template, in music, lyrics, style or personality. As already the cover of The Darkest Hour 12”of 1993 foretells, Lash Out seemed to drift into a similar sphere as Integrity, opting for a darker path of Gnostic mysticism, an ambivalence towards the dualistic take on the world, angels and demons, the biblical battle of good and evil, with a resonance for occultism and horror epics. Applied to a Rimbaudian season in the purgatory of the mind, the ecstasies of metaphorical violence.

What happened that caused Lash Out to break up? It seemed like Lash Out was only (gaining momentum and then disappeared. And what events transpired to cause you to decide to reform? Is Lash Out a full band again or are you only playing live shows?

D O U B L E H U M A N:
For my part of the story, the departure from the band at the end of ´96/beginning of ´97 should be read along the lines of a strictly personal process of change, that reached a point where getting out of the band, as well as the scene, seemed both inevitable and the only reasonable thing to do. Maybe it had, to some extent, something to do with the creative void and  the expressive confusion that haunted the aftermath of  What Absence Yields, but this turn, on my behalf, was indeed both expected and anticipated;. I guess it was the good old coming of age, a boy growing into a man and so on.

I had already formed my first shoe gazer band shortly before joining Lash Out, and was definitely getting more and more into the diversity of the Indie genre and the somewhat softer and more melodic aspects of rock music. Of course I would later become an easy victim for the whole revivalist experiments of the early 90s, first as a dedicated follower of retro Mod fashion, before suddenly realizing that a “Mod(ernist)” in the year of 1995, probably would wear Nike AirMax and listen to Goldie and Autechre. So I jumped on to the next wave of retro culture emerging from  UK, mainly through the music press, Romantic Modernism, which was a revisit back to the flamboyant mannerism of New Romantics, flirting with makeup, half ridiculous haircuts and tight shirts in silk and flashy fabrication.  I bought shitloads of essential early 80s vinyl, discovered some of the most important artist for me to this very day, Japan, Gary Numan/Tubeway Army, John Foxx, Ultravox, The Human League, Talk Talk etc. Romo lasted just as short as Mod, but to me it was nevertheless valuable learning, moving in direction of an outlined and fully developed artistic independence.

I also had a new band at the same time, Swimsuit, which suddenly became a approximately full time commitment, more than enough for me to handle besides my studies, the model career and a lot of partying as well. I never turned back or felt any regret for quitting Lash Out, as I felt the band could not fulfill my needs and vice versa. I never got that long break from hardcore though, picking up a weekly task of deejaying punk/hardcore at this live venue in Oslo late ´96..

No, Lash Out is by no means set for any serious or real comeback. This possibility has not even been discussed, as far as I know. It even took us some time to agree on the Integrity support show, as well as the follow up support for Kvelertak 2 days later. However, we all seemed to agree on the fact that playing together again was a total blast. From the first rusty session in the rehearsal space to the electrified moment of standing on stage together again, lashing out one last time, at 100 percent. I still felt the same burning joy of performance, the release of energy and the rushing sensation of artistic strength, an immense pride of solid work. I was still able to give all of my focus and voice to the moment. Just like back then, I ended up with a sore throat, of course. 

On a similar topic, How has it been playing all these new shows again? Has the band fell right back into the “good old’ days” feeling or has it been a different atmosphere for the members? Which bands have you been most excited to play with and which shows do you think have been the best? I am sure hitting the stage with Integrity must have been intense!

D O U B L E H U M A N:

I guess this question and respective answer will overlap the previous to some extent. These two concerts were, without the slightest thread of doubt in mind, two events I will look back upon on with a big smile on my lips and a feeling of complete satisfaction in my chest. My involvement in Lash Out were of a crucial importance to my life, no less, and I would not been without a single moment of our time together. Like Youth Of Today once phrased it, “A Time We ll Remember”[2].

As we all know a thing or two about, age certainly takes its toll on the bodily constitution. I presume there was an obvious difference in the energy level of the band on stage at 2011 compared to the best shows back then. Man, a typical Lash Out show in the years of 1994-95 was intense out of the ordinary, that s for sure. I remember shows that were so exhausting I had to puke mid ways, though in a much less dramatic and, literally speaking, in your face way than the cartoon Sid Vicious in some Sex Pistols video. I ran into some toilet backstage, threw up and got back while the band was into one of those trademark instrumental parts of  What Absence Yields period of Lash Out. Practically, every member except Vegard (drums) was off ground at least one third of the total performance time, jumping around like maniacs or stage diving while screaming into the microphone or Strifing[3] a pose.

It is safe to say that the 2011 version of Lash Out was a grown up and thus much tamer one, counting number of jumps and energy outbursts during our performance. Personally, I was in super shape for my age to be, though I might have placed too much effort on the looks and not the hardcore show endurance. Both me and Andreas were long haired and definitely more on the metal tag than ever before, me sporting singlet, leather glove with spikes, and the Iron Cross around my neck(both the traditional allusion to Motörhead, but also my personal homage to Darby Crash(RIP) of The Germs). It felt much closer, for me at least, to an essence of what Lash Out was all about, at least in terms of music and lyrics.

I guess these two 2011 shows displayed a new face [4] of the band in appearance and overall impression, for better or worse, depending on the eye and ear of the beholder. Both me and the other guys thought it sounded much better, technically adept, and meaner than before, but one never knows how much the instance of self esteem or maturity effects the actual perception of one’s own music.

We had no plans whatsoever for a Lash Out reunion show prior to the opportunity that seemed all too perfect for us, if we for one times sake should do a reunon show: Supporting a band that for us, right from the start, had a considerable impact on both our stylistic and lyrical approach, as well as the sheer identity of a band that sounded all too metal and sinister for emerging from a scene that was supposed to be more about fast straight forward music and the political consciousness.

Personally, I loved Integrity and the whole Cleveland clique from the very first song I encountered, probably fall 1990, which should be “Live It Down” on their brilliant debut single. Needless to say, we were all completely sold when For Those Who Fear….[5], even doing cover of “Micha” during the entire first European tour of ´94. Watching them on stage during the sound check before our show in Oslo January last year, sporting Darkthrone tees and stuff, just gave me a sense of the perfect closure for Lash Out, like the circle was completed in some way or the other. I am still to this day a passionate supporter of the band, in fact, I ve been listening a lot to their recent split EP with US band Gehenna lately, probably their most solid release for quite some time. I am also quite fond of related acts like Bowel, Ringworm, Confront, Meanstreak etc.

In experience as a whole, I will probably rank the Integrity support show pretty far up on the list, most definitely. Of all the bands we have ever played with, we were fortunate enough to make our live debut supporting the best of them, the Norwegian melodic hardcore band Life but How to Live It? Other great bands we have played together with are Motorpsycho, Down By Law, 108, Refused, Abhinanda, Fireside, Burst etc.

Speaking of the very last show we did, supporting Kvelertak, I would probably say they were one of the tightest and most hard rocking bands I have seen in the context of playing with Lash Out. The ever busy Cred Police might have their points regarding the guys kind of geeky and plastic image, like hipsters picking up on metal and “LA Ink”, but who the fuck cares about image when the music knocks you down, lifts you up and sucks you into a furious and speeding beast of excellent craftsmanship and head banging grooves. Especially their drummer impressed the shit out of me. I m no big fan of the band on record though; guess I am a bit too old and way too much into the purer forms of both metal and hardcore, but these boys deserve a mention anyways, also being nice guys and Lash Out fans.

What was the Norwegian hardcore scene like back in the early to mid 90s? What foundation was there that influenced the members of Lash Out to play hardcore or were you basically building a scene from scratch?

D O U B L E H U M A N:

Imagine the whereabouts of Norway. Prior to oil and weapon industry, you might have had to strive to find any good reason to settle down on this soil on a permanent four season basis. Make no mistake, the nature up here is probably the most beautiful you will ever get exposed to, but the price one must pay in order to live in the midst of it, should not be undermined in terms of a geophysical difficulty. After all, we are a nation situated on the very edge of human existence; the winters are long and cold, summers are equally short and not particularly warm or sunny either. Some of the terrain is challenging to the maximum, practically isolating specific rural parts of the land more or less completely. The less central areas of Norway remains even today a pretty far cry from the cosmopolitan world. 

Among 5 million people raised on dead pan politics, modesty and the most vulgar forms of pop culture, you certainly find a weirdo hardcore geek here and there. However, before The Year Punk broke, with the commercial success of Nirvana in 1991, you simply could not find enough marginal men outside the big cities of Norway to build the hardcore community we had only read about in foreign fanzines.

Back in my hometown by the year of 1990, there were probably fewer than 10 people aware of the fact that “hardcore” could refer to anything else but pornography. For some reason, things were slightly different in Molde. Both being a physical part of the mainland, as well as the host of a yearly Jazz festival, the town had a credible past on the subject of punk, raising bands like Anfall and Bannlyst, both holding eminent positions in the national legacy of the genre. This was the prelude of Kulturelt Alternativ, an institution with roots as long back as 1980, even though this first incarnation also failed to establish any “scene”, regarding music or cultural/political identity.

The tendency seems to prevail: If you are unable to stick to the one and only Main Street of the city of Molde, almost in double meaning, you are prescribed the final solution of getting the hell out. Of course, just like Bannlyst also did years ahead of us, we never hesitated about that decision and relocated to Oslo as soon as we had the chance.

However, when Kult Alt formed in late 1989, the clique were counting maybe a dozen kids who got into punk and hardcore through their involvement with skateboarding. Just like me and a couple of my native Kristiansund friends, they had stumbled over artists such as Circle Jerks and RHCP in the infamous Thrashin motion picture of 1986. Later we got exposed to a large number of commercial skateboard videos, and they all featured soundtracks packed with the likes of Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Adrenalin OD, Misfits, The Accused, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Uniform Choice, Descendents etc.
The whole US second generation straight edge HC trend somehow reached these shores in late ´89, and thanks to the quality of excellent bands like Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Turning Point, Youth Of Today, Instead, No For An Answer, Inside Out, Burn etc, it actually “hit it big”, within the tiny circle of maximum 20 kids altogether. Some bands were formed, among others the infamous Last Straw, with Bjørnar Lash Out on guitar. If you ask me, European hardcore did not get much better in 1990 than the LS demo released late December 1990.

Frank and Vegard also had this band called Invert, playing pretty straight forward and basic Hardcore. I remember they played a cover of Insteds “Good Things” the one time I heard them play. Back in my hometown I formed my first proper hardcore band in 1991, a full on straight edge/vegetarian band called Breakpoint(Back Down). Back Down will reform in near future, to record the 7” that originally was meant to be released on Stormstrike Records.Previously, both me and the rest of the guys had played in different punk bands, like Åndseliten, Sure Oppstøt and Rolf Einars Datatips. The latter can be seen/heard on youtube.

You recently unleashed your Judas Breed upon the world. Why was the album not released when it was originally recorded back in 1998? And how did the 2CD discography release come to exist? What does the CD set feature and was it difficult compiling all those different recordings in one place?

D O U B L E H U M A N:

I am not the right person to provide an answer to this, as I was not involved in the process at any point. Anyway, I am definitely satisfied with the result of it.

Your album is available at all of Norway’s libraries thanks to the Norwegian Arts Council. How did that come about and how does it feel to be recognized as culturally important enough to merit the council ensuring that all of Norway has access to it?

D O U B L E H U M A N:

I am not really familiar with how that came about, though I have a pretty plausible theory: Our generation are slowly sinking into the mould of establishment, even that skinny kid in oversized tee, slam dancing at our concerts and carefully order 1st pressings of every vinyl release we gave out. That kid eventually grew up, took a bachelor in cultural studies, graduated and winded up in some hot shot vacancy at some department. I think it is by all right the band ended up in every library shelf in our home country. Hopefully side by side with some of the finest metal we ve got over here.

Lash Out came across a rock expression that would have impossible to have predict; frankly we did not seem to have any control of the creative direction of the band either, drifting towards a sound that most definitely defied  any rigid descriptions. The Worn Path was in fact a road of pioneers, If I must say it myself.

One thing that I always wondered was when Lash Out was emerging and becoming known, Norwegian black metal was sweeping across Norway and the underground in general. How did this affect Lash Out? Did it make it hard for you guys to get the attention you deserved or did it set you apart from that movement? I remember VERY Distro said that you guys were “doing the 
 Norwegian black metal gods proud.


D O U B L E H U M A N:

I was born in the same year as many of the Norwegian Black Metal pioneers and like them, I sold my soul to rock n roll at an early age. Starting out with KISS, who I totally worshiped for many  years, and then I guess I moved on to Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Quiet Riot, Accept, Scorpions, Krokus, TNT, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, Van Halen , AC/DC, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Blackfoot, Ozzy Osbourne and Mõtely Crue.

I dug metal from day one, though I never grew long hair or dressed in tight black, simply because that was no option in my home, There was no room for the occasional freak out in hair, leather and makeup, which brought me closer to pop music, where my visual identity seemed to be more in place with the parental expectations. Asta Kask once said, the rebellion and true substance of Punk is located within your soul, not in the Mohawk. I comforted myself with that line for years, compensating for the leather jacket with circle As and spiked hair, by going as deep as possible into both the musical realms, lyrics and politics. I reckon I became a more or less total geek, which I guess can explain why I remained more or less untouched by the tender hand of the opposite sex during high school.

My enthusiasm for metal awoke again in the year of 1986; speed metal was on the verge and I guess what intrigued me most about it, were the many similarities with punk, especially the faster stuff I was into at the time, D.O.A, Subhumans, Conflict, Chaos UK, English Dogs, GBH, Discharge, The Exploited, Vice Squad, Partisans etc.  It helped a lot to see all these proto type metal band photos at the back covers of their classic albums, all members with their arms crossed on chest, mean looks at the camera, all sporting black band shirts. I took notice of the tendency to pick a band or artist from the more credible sections of punk and hardcore/cross over segments; Misfits, Black Flag, Minor Threat, D.R.I., Corrosion Of Conformity, Suicidal Tendencies, Agnostic Front, Gang Green and Warzone.

When Thrash Metal became the hot new flavor of the metal universe, I got heavily into bands like Megadeth, Metallica, Venom, Bathory, Testament, Sodom, Exodus, Anthrax, Kreator, Morbid Angel S.O.D, Pestilence, Sacred Reich, Nuclear Assault, Entomed, Carcass, Candlemass, Metal Church etc. Discovering Possessed and hearing the Scream Bloody Gore album with Death brought me even further into it, and this was shortly before I encountered one of the most influential metal album of all times..”Reign in Blood” by Slayer. Napalm Deaths “Scum” album was also another great landmark and, of course, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost were also important names to me.

Thanks to this Oslo cable TV that also reached the 2 hour drive away house of my father, whom I usually visited in vacations, this club in Oslo called “Bootleg” used to broadcast some of their shows on Friday nights. Together with some of the less timeless Norwegian punk/hardcore stuff I was into at the time, I also encountered many of the Norwegian Thrash/Death metal exponents of those days, I think I saw Red Harvest, Equinox, Cadaver, Decadence and, most important, the mighty Darktrone, which remains my all time favorite Norwegian band, no matter genre of music. This was of course before Euronymous of Mayhem had put his blackening magic spell upon the band, so they played traditional death metal songs, 10-15 tempo shifts per song, which in technical aspects really impressed me in those days.

I bought the Soulside Journey (Peaceville, 1991) album as soon as it came out and liked it a lot, though not in the same sense or degree as the “unholy trinity”[6] to come. In the meantime, that span of time that passed before the religious experience of hearing A Blaze In The Northern Sky (Peaceville,1992) for the first time, I remember reading the very first Mayhem interview in Billy Cockroach Clan(ex-Mayhem/Within Range)s fanzine “Panic”, where they talked about the suicide of Dead(ex-vocalist Mayhem, RIP) and also hinted heavily about putting some of his brains into a stew and of course also the legendary photo session that later made it to the cover of Dawn of the Black Hearts bootleg release, depicting Dead lying on the floor with all of his brains blown out and the shotgun lying beside him.

Hearing A Blaze In the Northern Sky for the first time, down in the cellar apartment of this Molde sXe/vegan skater who was some of a metal connoisseur, really took me by surprise and a feeling of being possessed of a fascination that is somehow forbidden. Having already good knowledge of the band, the conventionally well produced Soulside Journey album, I was shocked to hear they now sounded like they barely could play the proper version of metal, forced to approach it from another angle; creating an atmosphere of sinister pagan rituals and Satanic invocation. Deep into the Norwegian forgotten woods, which also displayed a group of technically adept musicianship, which was kind of required for the job of playing death metal in those days. This guy also introduced me to both Mercyful Fate (today one of my all time metal faves), The 3rd and the Mortal and Diamanda Galas as well.

I became deeply fascinated by everything about that album, the intended sound quality, like it was recorded in a dark coven cave high up in Jontunheimen[7]. The simple riff and arrangements, some kind of metal played with a Diabolic Punk feel to it, the almost static grooves of blast beats. The haunting witchy vocals, a much treasured change for my ears compared to the, after a while, almost comical grunts of the standard Death Metal outfit, especially bands like Cannibal Corpse and Benediction, an exaggerating tendency that made me fall out of  metal for a while.

Of course the epitome cover did a considerable impact on me, instantly reminding me of my beloved KISS, Alice Cooper, kind of fused in with images of dead people from various horror classics from the 70s/80s, as well as Nosferatu [8]and the German expressionism in film in general. I was also told by my skater friend that the guys had moved out in the woods to worship Satan and stuff, which made me even more fascinated.
A bit later I heard Burzum debut for the very first time, actually right before the churches started to burn down and media created the image of “Devil Worshipping” youth running totally wild and all that stuff. I remember being really stoked on the atmosphere on that record and vocals that had a really unique edge. I even visited the “Helvete” shop once, an episode that also left certain impressions on me; it was so dark in that shop, you could barely see which record cover you held up. I don t exactly know who stood behind the counter that day, but I have a hunch it was Euronymous himself.

The only problem of my fascination with Black Metal those days, were the ethical responsibility we definitely felt in the first years of Lash Out. Everything was supposed to be that goddamn political correct according to the dominating trends in US hardcore. The media created picture of Satanism and the Black Circle was by no means elements that were possible for us to dig, at least not officially, so we had to choose the sublime approach, a growing tendency to a darker sound, darker themes in our lyrics and of course my high pitch vocal style of Worn Path and What Absence Yields. The latter was of course a direct influence from Norwegian BM, especially Burzum and Darkthrone. I guess Lash Out later would prove to the maximum how much importance we placed on the metal “nature” of our music. Speaking of the subject, it is safe for me to say that me and Bjørnar have a pure and orthodox Black Metal outfit coming up, Vinterblek, please check it out if you are into the first generation of Norwegian Black Metal, as well as the contemporary “Nidrosian” style of new and young BM bands from Trondheim, which has become a genre of great passion for me, at least.

Are Lash Out a political band? What do you think about the recent political and social upheaval in Egypt and the Middle East in general? How was it for you witnessing on your TV and computer the effects of a true movement of the people as they toppled corrupt governments?

D O U B L E H U M A N:

Well, both me and Vegard were most certainly into politics at the time we started up the band, both studying political science at the university and also loosely linked to the traditional leftist radicalism, the underground "resistance" of punk culture; a blend of grassroots’ topics like anti-multicorporate, anti-exploitation of the third world, anti-nuclear weapon, anti-racism, animal rights, anti-bullfighting, anti-whale hunt etc. We basically tried to take the anarcho-punk ethics and its political legacy, remove the worst ideological implications and then infuse the importance of individual beliefs taken into action, both on the personal level, like straight edge/vegetarianism/lifestyle/consume/social interaction, combined with direct action, from demos to illegal sabotage, which I personally was involved in and even organized at the peak of my maybe not so innocent idealism. I do not regret it.  Amor Fati, as Nietzsche once wrote.

Nevertheless, as soon as my thesis in international comparative politics was written and those first novels of Oscar Wilde, Charles Baudelaire and Joris-Karl Huysmans swept the floor, my focus of analysis went into a critical state of change. My interpretation of the projections I sensed in this world, had apparently reached a stage of maturity, wisdom and insight where the life conditions of the temptress Herself, Idealism, ultimately had no place, I remember realizing to myself that the steps toward change I had taken, was a solitary mission completely in vain, with regards to the possibility of realizing the doctrine laid forth by this slogan.

The parliamentary representative democracy works on the grounds of the magician, distracting real sensorial observation and at the same time creating an illusion of a real influence, indirectly, on the forming of our common rules. Ok, since I saw Paul Stanley and KISS on television at the age of 6, I was probably never set for a life in more conventional world anyway, at least not the political arena or the established media. I would never have found myself at ease with a job I thought was dull or impossible to stand out in the long run. Politics, conventional business and basically most realms of the collective and social life, are not the bearing pillars of my existence or creative production. Getting that idealism out of my circuits of reflection was by all means good riddance.

Unfortunately, our time is still floating over with false signs of something better to come, sold through all channels of mainstream media and the tentacles of the state. Despite the total lack of empirical knowledge on the efficiency of abrupt change and revolution, the web of manipulated mythology still hang over our heads, still able to trick us into obedience through the cheap seduction of a sublime romanticism, the heroism of the revolutionary, who liberates his comrades by building up the collective trance of destruction, murder and self-annihilation to a bursting point. The temperature always raises high enough, if there is no intervention or action taken against it, to reach a climax where self restraints, the institution of the “free will”, vanishes into a fog of chaotic confusion and senseless anger.

That fact that their political, economical, technological and legal systems of modern civilization have become very complex to fully understand, any less handle or control, never seems to worry the participants nor the spectator during the heat of the events. It has a lot more in common with the social phenomenon of a party that has slipped out of control, than a well administrated mass political act. I see it as a vulgar display of power [9], a mass hypnosis into seeing an illusive force emerge out of their corpus of unity.

The revolutionary theorist has always put too much faith in a presumption of an existing universal interest for sociopolitical life, a hint of a care that includes one self as the others, as he also dreams of such a thing as a constant and incorruptible sense of justice, which beats proudly inside every human heart.

The story of the Cuban Revolutionary hero, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, is the textbook example of this. The famous rebel chose away a good position in the Cuban power elite, a life of fine women, excellent food and wine and luxury, because he thought that he alone could initiate a peoples' revolt, almost by his sheer presence. Like some modern Jesus Christ, raging violently against the ruling class who controls all means of production and exploits the workers just to get fatter and richer. Much in the same manner as Baader Meinhof, Guevara thought the central points in the Marxist analysis of how things work in every “capitalist” and “fascist” society , were common knowledge, all too obvious and logical to ignore or disagree with.
Guevara had a firm belief in the peasants of Bolivia. He thought they would support his little private revolution, as soon as the time was in, because they were believed to agree on the same conclusions as he had reached through his Marxist take on the conditions of their labor and existence: they were subjects of an inhuman exploitation, both of their labor and their agricultural products. Thus Guevara was convinced that looked upon him as the true guidance out of their capitalist misery; they would hide him and grab their weapons in defense of him, their liberator and charismatic leader. He was proved dead wrong and the fairytale cracked wide open. His destiny was nothing but meaningless, sad and pathetic. At the end of the day, he had brought along just as little changes around for the better as Jesus Christ.

All revolutions in the political sense of our history have never been much more than a rowdy collective escapes from mundane realities. Alternatively, you might get away with the description of it as a grotesque form of amateur entertainment, with an escalating violent swing that usually takes its toll on the “revolutionary” frontiers; the police, innocent bystanders and the surrounding buildings, properties, cars, stores etc.

Much more than a rational political act, it is a social event expected to run wild in an unpredictable chaos, that it the real thrill of it all, not the big and honorable slogans of “liberty and justice”, a load of boring politics that never manage to mobilize the same sparkle in the eyes of the mob. The often total lack of preparations, organization or any specific direction of their disobedient wave of mutilation, a drunken search & destroy, should be clear ringers for the outfall.

Instead of the fantasized link between an envisioned awakening of the masses, leading to a justified and inevitable reaction in fire and blood, it is much more likely to be spawned by reasons of a less admirable and sympathetic credo. Getting up from the couch and the TV is far more likely to be triggered by boredom and a possessed hunt for adrenaline. The bonus could be, if it hits on big, the possible enchanting feeling, in retrospect, of “I was there, in the middle of the heat and crossfire”. “Once I smashed a police car”, the old fella brags to his grandchildren”.

The Burning rage that terrorizes the streets by all means accessible might not ever have left the personal levels or the egocentric points of view. How naive one must be to reason that this fire in their eyes could only be glimpses of the flame of revolution, set ablaze by bombastic pamphlets or theory on radical change.
What they in reality bring out to the hordes and their angry fists in the air, “clenched tight, to hide the humdrum and dull material inside”[10] are general frustrations, old grief and long grown bitterness, the anxiety of modern living, sadistic fantasies about to get “a chance to shine”, to say it with the words of the good old Mozzer. Needless to say, bringing it even closer to the concept of a party, there are also bags of alcohol, to make it even more memorable, smashing empty beer bottles in the boardwalk or even using it in a Molotov cocktail.

The working motor of any revolution is without doubt the will to riot, violence and destruction, which seems bound to be released at any price. If the rebels without a cause are unable to get off by torching down the official state building, the embassy or the local police station, you bet they will compensate with ANY thinkable alternative, like Jello Biafra points out in “Riot”:

But you get to the place
Where the real slavedrivers live
It's walled off by the riot squad
Aiming guns right at your head
So you turn right around
And play right into their hands
And set your own neighborhood
Burning to the ground instead
Riot—the unbeatable high
Riot—shoots your nerves to the sky
Riot—playing into their hands
Tomorrow you're homeless
Tonight it's a blast
                                                            Dead Kennedys:  “Riot”                                                                  
(Plastic Surgery Disaster, Alternative Tentacles, 1982)

Revolution as a modus operandi for actual change for the better to take a hold, like for instance a fundamentally reformed power structure of society that will benefit most citizens, is yet to be proved. First and foremost, the individual drives of revolution deals with strict personal issues, problems or needs, “kicks”, as they say. It seems like the majority of the people voluntarily let themselves be civilized and socialized into tame sheep that let the big boys, several levels above their own league, define both pleasures and duties. The violent bully boy limit his part of the common contributions for a better world down to a couple of nights completely dedicated to the first, and probably most arousing, phase of the turnaround: tearing down, burn to the ground, kicking asses, smashing windows and cars, lifting the local grocery store for all the booze or everything, as with the starved and abused people in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

According to official records of history, they never seem to regain their political conscience or sense of right and wrong, even when the alcohol or anger wears off and they ought to be checking out the conditions of the urban battlefields they more than willingly participated in leveling with ground zero last night. It is like having a home party where everything gets smashed to pieces. The day after though, you always have to rebuild the interior all by yourself.

There are many proofs of the decreasing interest and the decline in the political participation of the voters. Even though it only takes 5 minutes every 4th year, this seems to be more than the common man is prepared to give of his precious time, spent in front of the television or at the pub at any given day. Politics is dull and far too advanced for him, even though he really should be slightly interested in the stuff that eventually set the premises of his mundane life. The contrast of this passivity and indifference arrives on the very same hour as the mob gathers at the market place. I always think of the great Antonin Artaud and his performance in

Abel Gance´s Napoleon(1927), in the role of Jean-Paul Marat[11], the visualized prototype of the revolutionary fire starter. The way Artaud exaggerates every movement of Marat, hints at an understanding of the forces at work inside him, one that does not deal with political issues whatsoever. Not particularly peaceful or constructive ones either. Later on, in the real French “Revolution”, they also turned to the execution of opponents, defined as “the enemies of the people”( an early precedes of the Stalinist rhetoric’s), into a National sport, cutting off their heads in the public guillotine, located at the same marketplace where justice finally was balanced into right once and for all. Not.

The German film prodigy Rainer Werner Fassbinder(1945-82) once made a terrific movie about the reality of terrorism, Die Dritte Generation(1979), which portrays the third generation of a terrorist group(referring to Baader Meinhof, whose undisputed founder and leader, Andreas Baader, had been a childhood friend of Fassbinder), counting a wide selection of young restless and bored bourgeois citizens who carries out the most extreme acts of an urban guerrilla, murder, arson and bank robbery, without even having one single official sentence of political justification or defined mission whatsoever. As some people play the football in the field, others gun down innocent people. Could this will to riot and urge to destroy have something to do with the disconnection from the natural state of our race? Is it the suppressed manimal [12] inside him, breaking out and shows us his last spasms of wilderness?

The other side of the revolution, the eve of destruction, is by no means as visible as the monster itself. It is quite the opposite in terms of having any traceable words or symbols that will serve as evidence for the claim of their existence.  This is no random coincidence, as these activities are of a kind that would not stand the trial of the different courts of civilized humanity. The organizations of the biggest players on the global field of international politics have an extensive network of roots going either high up in space or deep down underground, literally speaking. A grown up and normally intelligent individual who refuses to acknowledge the possible scenario of certain interests working outside the radars of the public ear, could perhaps be up for a big surprise, only time will tell.

Human greed and megalomania have no limits, something we definitely should know by now, as well as the fact of how the cynicism, applied to the master minds in the political field, can cover up or mask their operations , also with the typical irregular methods of the people. A society that hails the works of Niccolo Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes[13], should not be taken by surprise realizing that “the owls are not what they seem”, to quote a classic line from the world of “Twin Peaks”

Any person, who has kept up with the many events of modern history, should be able to sense a healthy suspicion towards the real intentions behind them, the causality kept in the shadows of the hidden agendas that never manifest themselves before the public eyes of the voters. If you refuse to believe in anything that fails to correspond to the official version of story, the typical phrase you will hear announced prior to any intervention in the Middle East, you are nothing but the perfect casus for their cynical plots.  Every sensational event taking place in the Middle East, is guided and fronted by the statement forced fed by mainstream media: "We invade this legitimate independent nation because we care so much about the development of a democratic political rule". "We want the people of this horrible regime to experience the "real" freedom of the West", and what have you. As long as the population of the country actually believes that this symbolic nature of politics counts for just as much as the action they promise you, we will soon find ourselves in a world where in fact the formulation of intent is just as good as the deed itself, the action they refer to.

I refuse to be the blue eyed skeptic, laugh out loud my contempt for those who try to make others aware of a status quo that ought to give us the creeps. I have studied all essential topics in the world of politics and administrative rule, from the legal constitutions of a domestic voting based representative democracy, to the chaotic uncertain state of international comparative politics. After2 1/2 years at the university, first writing a thesis at the end of first course/degree on the Gulf War of 1991, focusing on the role of Western media, and then a thesis on second course about United Nations, an object of careful scrutiny through the lenses of organization theory. Those two and a half years of a political study in depth and through a considerable amount of information to read and also understand, had a crucial effect on my understanding of politics and the real machinery behind all the seductive utopias of political life.

Personally, I merely see the “Arabic spring” as just another operation, masked as an admirable act of the “good” Samaritans of the Western world, carried out to make progression in a much bigger plan before its inner megalomaniac mind. Alexander the Great will never be forgotten, in the mythological pantheon of ambitious men, or in the tactical approach to war strategy. If you thought Adolf Hitler was the last of his kind, or much different from his peels in USSR or USA, you better think twice, wake up an take a look around. Hitler was just less intelligent more and indiscreet, that is all, and the price he must pay by the human judges of the past, is to come off as the Devil himself, though I should rather say “Jawhe”, the Christian god who kills 26 million people altogether during the 2 testaments of the bible, way more people than what is able to blame Lucifer for.

From an ethical point of view, Josef Stalin was way worse, counting 15 millions more victims, killed in a less human but cheaper way(driving “the enemies of the people” butt naked into the Siberian night in January, even with a cynical statement of falsification on top of it, handed out with a Judas grin. Think of a criminal that commits a bigger crime, but gets away with it by pointing in the opposite direction. This should be the ultimate recipe for success in that world.

Stalins method of manipulation is very simple, though indeed effective in its orchestrated propaganda media stunts to cover up for the bestiality committed behind the iron curtains. Basically, it is all about saying the exact opposite of what you in reality are doing. The bad deed is simply tagged with a positive and kind word. Still to this day people swallow this without thinking twice.  Russians are still among the giants of international politics, even though they managed to declare the fall of the eastern block and hence call off the cold war.

I could go on revealing the power constellations of international politics, but there no point giving you all the secrets when you can find out for yourself instead. I have nothing but great admiration for the most advanced and sophisticated psychological manipulation systems developed by clever cynical men through history. Regarding the “Arabic spring”, I can tell you that the master plan that dictates it, is an intellectual/emotional invention of the superior part of the game, responsible for crucial turns in modern history, though they possesses such skills at it, most people do not stand a chance against their complex spider web of illusion and slow infiltration and manipulation of the subtle unconscious way we process the analytical material our brain is fed on by the perceptional  tools of  the reflecting mind. 

I can tell you that much and this is conventional international news and not theory, that the revolution in Egypt was initiated in our Western world, not by Egyptian freedom fighters in exile, as you might think, but someone who can only have a totally different agenda at hand. If you look back on the revolution in Eastern Europe and Iraq, do you really think people in those countries see the big difference in their everyday life, before and after the revolution?

 You have always used really interesting and unique Artwork for your covers. How important is the artistic aesthetic to Lash Out and how do you choose which pieces of art to use? Which is your favorite piece that you have used?

D O U B L E H U M A N:

Lash Out was always a band that gave importance to every aspect of creative expression, also the ones which only deals with the visual qualities of the surface, artwork, graphical profile and image/ gimmick. It almost explains itself, if you ask me, the fact that every inch of an exhibited artwork has an equal relevance to the experience of the spectator and thus also the same potential to play the crucial part in the overall judgment. This was something I personally in reality understood already at the age of 6, when I saw Paul Stanley and KISS on the screen for the first time. Those prepared to proclaim the makeup of KISS had no real importance to the “substance” of the artist/the performer, should at least underline that they are only speaking for themselves, not articulating a generalization or truth they should expect holds true for other individuals, like the 6 year old version of myself.

My obsession of KISS and rock and roll had never grown into giant proportions unless they came up with those masks and personas, “…the fame and the masquerade…”, as Stanley puts it in “Do You Love Me” from the essential 1976 album, Destroyer (Casablanca). The image, kind of giving me some of the same thrills as Spider Man or Dare Devil gave in those days, was perfect.  In its cynical mixture of glam and glitter, mythology, science fiction, Horror, Pantomime, Masquerade, sexiness, heroism, in combination with catchy and well manufactured songs, like the mall version of Led Zep, dressed up like a cross between New York Dolls and Alice Cooper, it was irresistible to me, putting them above all others at the time, even Elvis, Beatles, Beach Boys and The Stones. Of course that ranking was bound to change again and again.

Nevertheless, KISS became my first proper obsession, the debut encounter with a piece of pop culture that ought to change the direction for the rest of your life. I mean, in my 6 year old eyes, Mick Jagger and Elvis Presley certainly looked cool, but I was nevertheless way more attracted to the typical male lead role in Super Hero comics and thus thought that Moon Knight and Punisher were much cooler idols. KISS was the ultimate compromise, hence giving them the key to that huge success. That stylistic cultivation of the cue brought along by Arthur Kane and Alice Cooper, originally coming from the Wild Hunt or Oskorsrei motive of Norse Mythology and Germanic paganism, gave them the upper hand to the kids of the 70s and early 80s, thus becoming the big heroes until we reached a higher level of maturity.

I have always been interested in art, style, fashion, gimmick, and theater, the sensations of the eyes as well as the ears and the brain cells. It started as a boy, turning the pages of some art book belonging to my parents, where I was fascinated by Egyptian art, some Hellenistic Greek sculpture, Giotto, Michelangelo, Matthias Grünewald, Hieronymus Bosch, Francisco Goya, William Blake, Caravaggio, Pablo Picasso but also very much native artists, like Theodor Kittelsen and especially Edvard Munch.

Of the mentioned names, Munch was probably the one with the strongest immediate appeal, which I kind of read in relation to, among other things, my fascination of masks, theatrical effects, Horror and the sort of gloomier themes. Munch had this, one might call it, twisted fetish on the sensual sides of death and sickness, a trace we also find among the others, and he had a gift of expressing them with an effect that even worked on young individuals who not quite understood it was supposed to have a “deeper” meaning and all that academic bullshit. The greatest art through the entire history of man has always been the works that paint their images in hues that catch the attention of the eye per definition, if you know how to “decipher” or “interpret” them or not. That goes for most creative expressions, music, film, photography, theater, ballet and, to some extent, even poetry. Poetry would often require certain knowledge of language and its grammatical structure and definitions, but that is about it. The best stuff don't require the skill of analysis, or being familiar with Odyssey or Ulysses or not, it strikes you with a thrill like a bullet from the gun, a word, a riff or a certain look.  Speaking for myself, this thrill at its best, fills me with an electrifying ambivalence, something scary yet sexy (the two are indeed often very related), a feeling of ease yet there is nagging doubt, something that crawls down your spine and injects a promise of inspiration, which could yield an obsession of an idea that either ruins your life or lift you up to the natural euphoria of standing on the roof of the landscape, some icy alpine Northern summit, like Store Skagadølstind in Norway. Sense a brief time of complete satisfaction, over a completed mission, while gazing around, browsing the tops, which one to take next.

Much like the many first artist in Heavy Metal, bands that had found themselves under the spell of the occult interest, like Black Sabbath or Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, deals with the typical John Milton “Paradise Lost” approach in their discussions or narration of the themes from Revelation of John, the ultimate war in heaven, the fall of the right hand of Jawhe himself, the Archangel Lucifer, who together with his pack of fallen angels, got kicked down in a kingdom called “Hell”. You know the drill. These lyrics, themes and motives are perfect for the one who doesn't feel comfortable on any of these sides, who do not want to run the risk of becoming the one who feels too much sympathy for the devil, a tradition that both Venom, Mercyful Fate, Hellhammer and Bathory breaks with, in favor of the straight out the Satanism/Luciferianism, present in all of this four classics groundbreaking lyrics. In fact, if you dig deep enough in the lyrics of “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zep, you will find the same trace of devil pacts and the choosing of the Left Hand Path.

Like Integrity, which choose to take the moderated approach to the problem of good and evil, light and dark, Lash Out alwyas had this tendency to choose semi grotesque motives for the different releases. Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and his woodcut illustrations from The Revelation of John, “St Michael and the Dragon”, as we used a fragment from on The Darkest Hour and Judas Breed was the perfect motives for a hardcore band with a certain distance to the battle of the two forces, but nevertheless completely sold to the dark themes of metal.

So what future Plans do you have for Lash Out? Any important shows coming up? Will we ever see new recorded material?

D O U B L E H U M A N:

The Future plans for Lash Out equals none so far. We never planned any steady reunion or comeback, nor have we discussed the possibility of any more material recorded and released for the future. But many of us are still doing music, though in a wider palette of sound, probably at its most extreme with me, both listening and creating Black Metal and commercial pop at the same time. I have my D O U B L E H U M A N project coming up, with 2 releases in near future, and 1release with my old s p a z t x project, releasing a sort of “Best of…”, and also the BACK DOWN EP will be recorded before xmas, VINTERBLEK is probably set for next year.

“Caress us with the solitude” of some final words.

D O U B L E H U M A N:

Thanks for the patience and support, man. I am proud to have supporters like you, keeps one going, you know. Keep up the good work!
If you wish to check out the music of Lash Out then hear one of my favorite tracks here: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1]  V/A: This Is Boston, Not LA:  US hardcore punk compilation with The Groinoids, Decadence, The Proletariat, The Freeze, The F.U.'s, Jerry's Kids, and Gang Green. (Modern Method, 1982)
[2]  Youth Of Today: We re Not In This Alone (Caroline Records, 1988).
[3] A jargon within the band at the time for projecting the neck of the “axe”, guitar or bass, in the air, in a stylish synchronized manner, typically at specific parts of the many rhythmic, “closed”, thugga thugga, “March of the Banned” riff parts in E. The term refers to US Hardcore outfit Strife, one of the first bands that springs to my mind doing it in a sort of calculated fashionable way.  However, it lends its soul to an old tradition within the circus of rock n roll, right down to Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townsend, Jimmy Page, Angus Young, Johnny Thunders and many more. The mighty Chain Of Strength, the sharpest department of style to ever emerge from that template of US hardcore at the time, and Beyond were doing it already in 1988, but in a less systematic and more impulsive style. At some point in 1994, everybody was doing it. But of the European acts, Lash Out and Abhinanda must have been some of the first to “Strife a Pose” in a larger, more Heavy Metal kind of proportion.
[4] Lash Out: ”A New Face”, demo 1993, released on the Judas Breed album(Get By Records,2011).
[5] Integrity: ”For Those Who Fear Tomorrow” (Overkill Records, 1992)
[6]  A insiders term for the three genre defining albums Darkthrone released in a row, starting with A Blaze In The Northern Sky (Peaceville, 1992), Under A Funeral Moon (Peaceville, 1993) and Transylvanian Hunger(Peaceville, 1994).
[7]  The biggest and most popular mountain area in Norway. “Jotun” refers to Norse Mythology, “the home of the Jotuns”.
[8] Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, German motion picture by F.W Murnau from 1922. Remade by Werner Herzhog in 1979.
[9] Pantera: VulgarDisplay of Power(Acto, 1992)
[10] A paraphrase from the Lash Out song ”Weak”, featured on the The Darkest Hour 12”(Stormstrike, 1993).
[11] Jean-Paul Marat (1743-93): French radical writer, politician and revolutionary fire starter and extremist.
[12] The Germs: ”Manimal” (G.I, Slash Records,1979)
[13] Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)  was an Italian historian, politician, philosopher, diplomat and war strategist who, posthumous, was identified as the original founder of cynicism in politics, as Thomas Hobbes(1588-1679), English philosopher came up with an outlook on human ethical praxis and social interaction, who radicalized the old traditional ill perceived notion of a society taking place as a natural result of the “good” nature of human beings, the decadent late Athenian conviction of “the right knowledge assures the right deeds”. He claimed a peaceful and civilized society could only have been born out a common fear of the lethal risks of the ultimate anarchy, the theory of the “social contract”, which Hobbes introduced in his classic work of philosophy, Leviathan (1651). The magnum opus of Machiavelli was equally believed to be The Prince (1532), even though he wrote other treatises on other subjects that were far more complex, advanced and influential.

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