Monday, July 5, 2010

4 Dead

I have a 4 Dead interview in the current issue of my zine (#8). I did a few copies for the zine fair, hopefully I will do some more in time for their house show with A SECRET DEATH.

I'm not going to put the interview up quite yet, but here's an old classic from The Riot Act, a Canberra "news" website. It was posted by user Carzee in October 2007 after a show at the (now defunct) Jamison Inn.

I photographed an All Ages thrash/scream metal gig at Jamison Inn last Sunday. The line-up was 4 Dead, 50Lions, and Parkway Drive –all from north coast NSW. Disclosure: I am late 40’s.

Anyway, from the first chord of the first song of the first band there was a LAM, large area mosh. It was like someone threw a switch. Well, lets get physical! Lets get violent! I’ve seen mosh before, but at gigs like Wolfmother etc the security dudes damp it right down pretty quick as they can and get rid of the nasty -usually drunk- boofheads that can ruin it for others. Well, this was an under-18 event and these guys were not drunk. I’d guess they were on caffeine or red cordial because they moved around very fast. ‘Frenzied’ fits here. So does ‘disturbed’.

I don’t think it can last. Yeah, I know, “alert the fun police”… but who’s insurance company was covering this? If my 15 something year old was in there at risk from the stage diving and human dodgem cars etc I’d be concerned. [ I didn't include a ref to girls just then because this mosh stuff is a wannabe alpha male thing apparently. A smaller percentage of the audience were female. They were there waving their arms around but unable to see much to the front and sensibly staying out of the way of the running-jumping-shoving rumble in the center which looked like a gang fight with a soundtrack].

It may be a Jamison thing. The band’s singer encouraged “this weird thing you do down here” and launched in another set of lyrics. Thats being kind btw. The rock star wannabe also felt it a necessary part of the thrash scene to fill the breaks with very very crude/off jokes about oral sex with babies (3 or 4 jokes on the subject) and one other obligatory joke about sex during menstruation.

The main act had about 1 metre of space between themselves and The Front Squashees at the front of the audience. By the time this photo was taken the energy level had died off a tad (!) and the worst of the boofheads-on-cordial were most probably worn out. In this pic you can’t see The Front Squashees, but they’re down there.

I was surprised to see Jon give a reply to the original post. Here it is here...

So… I missed all of this as I was away for a few days. This was forwarded to me by a friend. I wouldn’t normally reply to this sort of a thread and I’m not even sure that anyone else cares anymore or at all, but here’s some facts:
“Carzee” actually came up to us after the show and gave us some positive feedback, right to our faces. Very little negative comments were made by him, none about us in particular, there was some mention of the crazy pit… we assumed this guy hadn’t been to too many punk or hardcore punk shows. So… I think in light of this, I think his views expressed here are a little strange.
I also find that his internet barrage is a little ignorant and ill-informed. There really isn’t much else that upsets me more than gutter journalism or keyboard ninjas that use the internet to spread pure rubbish.
As the vocalist in 4 dead, I know for a fact that I said one joke that may not have been in the best taste but in no way was it sexist, in fact it had nothing to do with sex what so ever. The Jokes which offended him, said by kids in the crowd, also offended me a little too. I also didn’t think that they were the most appropriate due to the age of the kids at the gig etc. But it’s their call.
On Rockstardom: This is a personal attack. Not one person attacked your character as a 40+ year old Male with a camera at a show where the average age of those who attended would’ve been 16 IF that. You clearly have no idea about DIY / Punk ethics held dear to bands like ourselves. That established, I think you have also forgotten what it’s like to be an angry young man living in Australia. Maybe you should give both the kids that are part of this more credit, particularly the womyn! I believe you have once again mis-represented both myself as well as 4 dead by stating that we encouraged the alpha male behaviour, as you put it. The thing that strikes me is by commenting about what was going on in the audience, I was suggesting that people may use the space a little differently, prompting the kids to approach the stage and close down the area being used for circle pits etc.
As far as legal matters are concerned, you’ve missed the point. These people don’t want to sit in a chair at the sydney football stadium or wherever. They don’t want barriers. They, as minors, certainly don’t want to be dragged outside of a gig they’ve payed $20 for and kicked til they bleed from a bouncer. They don’t want to be told what to do… how many weeks of a paper run, or how many pizzas delivered, burgers made is that for a kid? Punk has always been about accessing music and being involved. Musicians aren’t looking to be put on a pedestal here, they’re just angry kids being boxed in by a plethora of social pressures (as are the people who come to shows). It’s supposed to be about taking all the shit things out of music and music industry. It’s about “F*ck you! I don’t want your war, or your beer or your overpriced ticketmaster or your platinum club tickets. F*ck Big Day Out. F*ck Wolfmother and F*CK YOU! If your into it, I’m NOT.” I emphasise the word “supposed”.
On top of that, do you think when Iggy Pop was busy pissing blood onto people and breaking ribs that people were thinking “Öh dear, what a liability!”. Or how would Jimmy Hendrix have set his guitar on fire if he was thinking about public liability? Due to people like yourself, with these opinions, characters like Ray Ahn from the Hard Ons can’t breathe fire on stage anymore. I don’t wanna see the day when gigs become predictable.
By a book, read up. This is how it should be. No rules. No bouncers. No Rockstars. No authority figures. A great leveller.
For someone who seems very unsure about the legalities of these shows, I sure hope you had written permission from the correct people to be photographing minors. You wanna be careful with that stuff.
Stick to Jazz.
Jon Dangerous

I left everything as is, but one of the final points sticks out to me.

This is how it should be. No rules. No bouncers. No Rockstars.

The Jamo was a great venue while it lasted. Now it stands, fenced off, burnt down, waiting for something to happen which seems as if it will never come.

I will probably post up the 4 Dead interview next week.

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Daniel is now living in Santiago de Chile. You can find some more writing at I Love Chile

Recent Issues of Capital Eyes zine:

Issue 12- Sticky's Target 168: Russia
Issue 11- Yoko Oh No, Elysian
Issue 10- Break Even, Alexisonfire (reprints)
Issue 9- Jerkstore, Ruiner, To The North
Issue 8- 4 Dead, Dangers
Issue 7- Polar Bear Club, Jungle Fever