sabato 10 marzo 2012

EXTORTION interview 2006

What can I say about Extortion? When I was in Perth I saw them live a couple of time and I was totally annihilated by their intense, angry, non PC fast hardcore. Interview conducted with singer Rohan via email on sept. ’06, just between their first ep and first lp (their best period, imho). Originally featured in PM#5.

Perro: Hi Rohan, how’s going there? Before starting the Extortion interview I’d like to ask you a couple of questions about your previous band, All In Deep Shit (by the way, great name!). It seems that AIDS had a very brief life…why did you break up so early?
Rohan: actually aids was around for quite a while, we started in march of 2001 went through about 3 guitarists before rhys join and broke up in 2003 when our vocalist, robin, left for melbourne. we reformed and did a short tour of the eastern states when the 7" of our recording came out. i must point out that aids was a pretty shithouse band, it was (for most of us) our first band and for the majority of our existance we were more like the musical equivalent of a sloppy steaming pile of horseshit.

Perro: Since half of the AIDS members were also in Extortion at its beginning, could we consider the bands connected in some way? To make it more direct: is Extortion the continuation or the evolution of AIDS?
Rohan: there was quite a gap between aids and extortion, and we all formed a bunch of bands in that time. towards the end of aids i ws writing heavier, more grindcore tunes and after aids broke up wrote started a band called halo of knives with james who played drums in aids and jay who is the current guitarist in extortion. i'd say halo of knives was the natural progression of aids, in terms of my songwriting. rhys on the other hand wrote the more technical powerviolence songs, something along the lines of youth enrage.
extortion was really more of a progression from nailed down, who i also played bass for. there were a lot of songs i had written for nailed down that we never got around to learning before we broke up, so when rhys said he wanted to drum for a band (he previously played guitar in aids, the collapse and 5.3 billion other bands) in the style of early boston/infest i had songs ready to go and rhys wrote a few and we had a set in no time.

Perro: The way you sing in both band is very different: in AIDS it was more a fastcore screaming style while in Extortion you are using a more traditional yelled approach. Why did you decide to change the way you sing?
Rohan: haha, actually i played bass in aids, robin was our vocalist, we're both pretty haggard looking dudes, so i can understand the mix up. the songs we had for extortion were angry sounding songs, so i'd write lyrics about how shit work and my boss is and other crap that pisses me off and yelling that way just seems right for the subject matter i guess.

Perro: Ok, it’s time to close this brief trip to the past. Since I don’t think you are very well known here, introduce Extortion to the uninitiated!
Rohan: extortion is a band from perth, australia. we play fast angry hardcore. like if infest, no comment and crossed out gang raped siege whilst negative fx witnessed the ordeal and ran off to ring the cops (who happen to be repulsion, terrorizer and early napalm death).

Perro: You are going to have a new release on Deep Six and I think this label is perfect for your style. When you told me that, you were very happy and in some way proud of it…
Rohan: haha, is this a question? thanks raffa! i'm fucking stoked to be on the same label as infest and numerous other bands i listen to on a unhealthily frequent basis

Perro: Have you already recorded it? I think that with your new drummer Dean your sound is improved a lot…
Rohan: yeah we recorded it in febuary this year, a month or two before rhys (our first drummer) left to find ugly chicks to fuck in europe. our songwriting evolved a lot since the first e.p so the songwriting is a lot stronger. rhys's drumming improved tenfold since the first recording, not surprising considering he'd only been drumming a few months.

Perro: Talking about dean, he’s a living drum machine! Are his arms insured?
Rohan: he's not currently insured, so nowadays after we play he usually just gets dismantled and put back in the box he came in and kept under the stairs. he's good, but with the price of petrol these days he's expensive to run.

Perro: This one is directly for Dean: Your hardcore “pedigree” is very impressive, you played with Rupture, Nailed Down and also Heist. Can you tell us some funny or scary anecdotes about these experiences? 
Dean: Considering i hate everyone that i have ever played in bands with, i don't hang around them long enough to have any anecdotes worth telling except the one where I smashed andrew (singer from rupture) in the streets of melbourne cause he asked me for money for heroin... and considering i hate junkies more than i hate the people in the bands i played in... it was worth it.. at least he is dead now.

Perro: Your lyrics are very negative, depressed and full of violence. Are them inspired by the huge number of MTV kind of punks that I saw all around Perth? Seriously, you are a very nice and friendly guy, totally different from the idea that someone could have after reading your lyrics. What’s the font of inspiration for them?
Rohan: im a bit of a pessimist i guess. on top of that, whilst i'm willing to talk to anyone, if they repeated talk solely about inane boring tripe or outright retarded shit, i just won't have anything to do with them. songs are usually about these type of people. as for MTV punks, well yeah, they suck, but so does the majority of the population, so its no surprise.

Perro: “Mindless violence” is obviously a tribute to gore movies. What’s your favourite one? If there was an Extortion movie, how would it be and who would direct it?
Rohan: im a big fan of cannibal movies, and ruggero deodato's cannibal holocaust is a favourite. along with braindead by peter jackson for its sheer gore overload. as for an extortion movie, i think it'd be more like a series we had over here called blue murder, it was about corrupt police. i doubt anyone could say we could be seen as moral enough to pass as police, but the arseholes in the police force that i always seem to encounter would prove otherwise.

Perro: I was very impressed by your live performance, especially the gig at your house with Jaws was totally crazy! Are you neighbours threatening you for hosting shows in your living room?
Rohan: i'm surrounded by stores, the closest house is maybe 50 metres away? so yeah, i guess we are far enough away that its not too noisy. it seems every single person who has made a complaint about noise has disappeared in suspicious circumstances before anything came of it and we've had not one complaint which makes these disappearances even more suspicious.

Perro: I’ve always had the impression that aussie scene is a bit ignored by international diy scenes. Do you feel that? I’ve also noticed that sometimes Perth, due to its geographical isolation, is skipped by overseas touring bands…
Rohan: yeah, well australia is so far away it costs a shitload to get here and the lack of population makes for pretty small shows, so i can understand why it would be seen as a bad idea to come to australia. its only been recently that enough people have been going to shows to make it worth while for international bands to fly all the way over here. Perth is just a more extreme version of this situation, its all the way over the other side of the country, so you're paying around $500 each person to play to a small crowd in most cases. that said perth is getting better, we're getting 100-200 people going to see most touring bands.

Perro: On the other side, Perth is the undisputed capital of australian hardcore. Almost all the classic aussie bands seem to arrive from there. What’s the secret for being so good when it comes to play hardcore? I’ve read somewhere that is also the same for many others music genres…
Rohan: perth seems to have a history of fast hardcore, from the 80s through til mid-late 90's there's always been a bunch of fast bands around which is kinda weird considering how small and isolated perth is. i'd love to know how those early bands heard about this style. there are also a lot of KBD bands from perth, the victims, quick and the dead, etc. i don't really know much about other genres, but apparently perth is huge for drum and bass, hahahah

Perro: Perth and HC gossip: I’ve read about a famous controversy between Rupture and Nailed Down some years ago. Could you tell us all the spicy details…
Rohan: hahah, i wish i knew too! i've quizzed kim from nailed down about it, but to no avail and i've spoken to matt from rupture and he doesn't know what it was about. seems to be some sort of animosity between kim and andrew (gus chambers).

Perro: Introduced european species like rabbits, bees or foxes are a serious threat to your unique and delicate environment. I’ve noticed that in many national parks the questionable solution is poisoning and killing them. What’s your opinion about that?
Rohan: it seems that nowadays whilst they try their hardest to stop feral and introduced animals, its only slowing their spread as opposed to stopping them. its kinda fucked. i dunno much about animal control, so i can't really comment on whether poisoning them is bad or not. given the amount of animals and the vast amount of land they inhabit, i can imagine there would be little other choice?

Perro: Some years ago a refugee boats was refused to land by John Howard’s government. You still have him at the power, is the immigrant situation getting worst?Rohan: hahaha, everything has been fucked over here for a long time, as far as politics is concerned. though i imagine its the same everywhere if not worse. its seems like there is no choice, no one is making the right decisions and the majority of the public are more concerned with whatever paranoia they're being fed by newpapers and television.

Perro: Plans for the future?
Rohan: we're always writing new stuff, and we've got enough for a new e.p now, but booked in at the studio in december, so we'll probably have a monumental amount of stuff by then. i'd love to tour, but its a matter of money and time and the fact that i'm lacking both of them.
as for myself, just keep working my shitty job just to keep on top of rent and bills, hopefully one day save enough to travel! see you then raffa!

Perro: It’s time to conclude, thanx for your time! Any last words of wisdom?
Rohan: i'm not a wise man, and hence have nothing wise to say. perhaps don't do anything i would do? that'd probably the best way not to fuck anything up, really.

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